December 9, 2009

Raising Children and Difference Between RESPECT and Submission

In the name of Allah, compassionate & merciful بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Peace be with you السلام عليكم

I think there is a difference between respect and submission. I WILL teach my son to respect his elders but I will NOT teach him that he has to submit to every single thing they demand. I think most abuse happens because children are confused, they are taught to respect their elders so they loose their voice when that adult decides to abuse the child.

What are they to do? To say no to them is to disobey them and his parents have taught him that we MUST respect them and that Allah swt will punish him for disobedience. See the conflicting message with devastating consequences? I have encountered people who think that to speak to a child about sexual abuse is to rob them of their innocence and hayaat (natural shyness). I think nothing robs a child faster of their innocence or their hayaat BUT to be a victim of sexual abuse.

I think there is a way to teach children about this touchy topic without scarring them or making them afraid of everything that goes bump in the night or ashamed of either their sexuality or sex in general. I am still doing my research on how I will bring this topic up to my son and at the moment I am getting a lot of verbal attacks from some people. You see my son has just entered the fear of strangers phase in his development and yes, it's totally natural. Ok so my son goes to the people he knows but throws a fit when people just come up to his face and try to take him from either me or my hubs. I WILL NOT teach my son to go against his natural instincts nor ridicule him for something that is completely natural.

That is his defense mechanism why should I stop it? He feels threatened, he doesn't know the person and they are invading his space. If we did that to any adult am sure they will push back and not respond as kindly as they expect my son to react. With the exception of the midwives that delivered him, the mohel that performed the circumcision, and the doctors when he was hospitalized my hubs and I are the only ones that have seen him naked or touched him in his nether regions. I also don't change him in public even if I am at a gathering I find the most secluded (Safe) area to change him. He is a person after all and he is entitled to his privacy. It may sound extreme to some of you but I do want him to know that there are a select group of people who can see him naked and another group that is no ok. I think it will be easier to teach him about boundaries later on if I start introducing them now.

Anyway some people have told me that my son has to be submissive to his elders and I told them HELL TO THE NO! He will be respectful because it is SUNNAH to be respectful but that is it. Does anyone know where I am coming from?


Queen said...

i completely agree with you and have done the same thing myself. i always took my children ( when they were babies) to change their nappies away from people... unless of course it was someone i was close to like mum sister etc. Just because they are babies doesnt mean it is okay for any old person to see them like that.
i would like to know what you propose to tell your child, as i wish for my child to be aware of such things but without scaring them. After all that the only thing we can do is put our trust in Allah.

Muslimah said...

I completely get where you coming from and I think Mashallah what your doing is the right thing.

NtN said...

You had a moyel do it? Awesome!!

Anyways, I completely agree and support you in this. Good parenting call, mashaAllah!

.::Tuttie::. said...

@NoOr. HECK YEAH! I mean he only gets one in this life and I wanted to get the most experienced individual out there and not the first idiot that shows up.

I interviewed a couple of people before deciding on the mohel I got but that's for another post though.

Mrs. S said...

Depending on your culture there is not a clear understanding of the difference between submission and respect. It's a huge source of conflict between the generations in my culture. Sadly, it doesn't have to be and is just another example of culture being put above religion. I totally understand where you are coming from and what you are talking about. Alhumdulillah you have figured this out for both your sake and the sake of your son.

.::Tuttie::. said...

@ hispanic muslimah. YOU ARE SO RIGHT!

I think what is needed is that a child's self esteem is built high and strong so that when they are uncomfortable they SAY something.

Anonymous said...

u must be some mother to teach ur child that.good job.