From Root to Fruit

Kamal El-Mekki

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Channel: Kamal El-Mekki

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AI: Summary © The speakers discuss the roles of children in creating safe environments and creating a safe environment. They recommend psychological tools and techniques to help children achieve their goals, including listening to parents, being receptive to bargaining, and being a good judge of one's children. The speakers stress the importance of avoiding violence, setting goals, and learning new technology to achieve success in school. They also emphasize the need for parents to provide guidance and support, avoiding mistakes, and not just being a Muslim.
AI: Transcript ©
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cinematic Markkula who got a cut

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Smilla Rahmanir Rahim hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa salatu salam ala Rasulillah. I mean, while he was happy he made, and my bad. The title of my lecture is from root to fruit.

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So I'm going to talk about gardening. And now it's about family, right? From root. These are the children until you get the fruits of view raising them in the relationship. So some of the bullet points I was given, of course, beyond talking about family talking about healthy relationships, the roles of children, creating a safe environment so they can feel comfortable to ask questions. I don't know about that. I mean, I don't know if I'm good at talking about how to create a safe environment, I go out of my way to make sure my children understand they are not safe around me.

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I tell them, You're in constant danger. We're not safe. It's not a safe space.

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All right, for those who can't tell, I'm just joking. I'm a fun that. But you know why it's important to be to have your children able to ask to come to you with their questions, because you know, what's going on in the country right now? And we hope that other party doesn't when you're talking about

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these are issues? Do you want them to come to you with those questions? Or do you want them to go to their best friend at school or to go online?

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Where they're going to hear that it's okay, and all the other stuff. So it's important for your child to be able to ask you questions. Now there's this joke about this boy came sat next was father to ask them questions their father. He said, what's the ruling on this, this and that in Islam? His father thought about it.

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He said, I don't know. He said, Okay, then is this halal? Then his father thought about? He said, I'm not sure I actually don't know. This. Okay. What if I miss the rock I in Salah? How do I make that up? At the end? His father thought about it. He said, I don't know. Yeah. So the next question, the father said, I don't know. The mother said, Hey, boy, stop bothering your father. The father said, no, no. Look, the boy benefit.

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All right. I like to get to the point, let me tell you about the roles of children. If your children in the audience, it's really easy. We don't need a lecture on that. You've got three things to do. Number one, listen to your parents. Number two, be good to your siblings. Number three, get A's in school. We're done. That's it. No one's asking you to help pay the rent. You don't have to invent anything. solve world hunger.

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You We don't want you to become a professional soccer player, player or swimmer or anything like that. These are all perks and bonuses if you do that I'm doing now. But those are not your roles. Just those three, we're done. Okay, just remember them, you'll be okay. That's it. Got one job to do. This, dear folks, we get two siblings get A's. That's the only job wake up. I don't feel like going to school, you have one job, go to school. You don't want to go to school, pay the rent. Pick one of the two

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people complicate things. That's the role of children halus. You don't need a whole lecture on that.

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All right, people. So basically, what I want to do is I want to talk about some psychological strategies, also known as strike psychological tools that will help us hit all the bullet points that I'm supposed to cover in this lecture. And I like this term psychological tools or techniques. I like the term tools, because it's similar to how when you purchase a tool,

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the instructions don't tell you every possible application for the tool, you understand how the tool works generally, and you can apply it in completely different scenarios. When you buy a hammer. The instructions don't tell you how to use a hammer and every scenario where you can use a hammer. You know how the hammer works, then you use it by yourself. You can use it to drive a nail, you can use it to pull out a nail. You know it's Calgary, there's ice all over the you know, icicles coming down. You can use it to break the icicles discipline your child, you become creative.

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All right. You know sometimes even when you joke about hitting children and stuff, people get offended. Most of the sisters get very offended. I just want to clear the air. So sisters, let's be very clear. Never ever use your hand to strike your child. We're in agreement. Never ever use your hand. Use a stick use a shoe but not your hand.

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Oh, I see brothers are like why did we invite this guy is gonna get us in trouble. We're gonna get complaint

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For the next two months, all right, you get the idea of psychological tools or strategies. The old school days are over. That's the bad news. Old school days are over, you know, some of us the grown ups in the room. And the old days, your dad just had to give you a look.

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He just gave you that look from the look, you understand the gravity of your error, you understand the wisdom of why you shouldn't have done it. You understand how to operate properly in the future, just from one look, you just

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and your mom, she just had to either reach for the slipper, or pick up the slipper.

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You know, when we were kids, we were dumb. My mother, she would throw the first slipper. And she would always miss. So it misses you. And you turn around like this, not knowing she's using the first one to get her bearings. Second one, what comes hits you in the face.

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But those days are over.

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They had their benefits, but they also had their negative, right? You know, there's a saying that says, If you force me upon your point of view, then be sure that I'm still upon mine. And that's why it's so better. It's so much better to convince somebody than just to force, this is what we're going to do. And this is what I say and you do what I say. So I know as parents, we don't want to bargain. We want to bark out orders and rules. And that's it, we want them to be followed. But we can't do that 2023 You can't do that. It's my right, your child tells you stuff like that. It's your way.

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My right.

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That's what I thought.

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So you have to be receptive to bargaining so you can find acceptable compromises. So there are many techniques that you have. The good news is we're parents, we are smarter than our children, we can outsmart them any day, I can outsmart a six year old any day of the week, no problem. So I still have the advantage Hamdulillah. So there's something called the illusion of choice, for example, so your child wants to have, you know, this case, or this box of cookies or a jar of cookies before going to bet. So you're gonna give them what looks like to be choices, but it's really the illusion of choice. So look at these options. Tell them okay, look, we're gonna give you two choices. You can

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either have one cookie, and go to bed, or no cookies and go straight to bed. What do you think they'll pick the one cookie. Now it looked like they got a choice. But what happened is you want that three years old. They don't know anything you want. Instead of getting the box of cookies or the jar. They just took one and they went straight to bed. And but sometimes people think that no, I'm just going to force my way. I'm the parent, they should do what I say. So some parents are just yelling all the time. I have a relative like this. And anytime anytime she wants to say anything to her children. It comes out with yelling and severe anger. So even one time I was at their house, and

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she prepared dinner and she came and started yelling at the kids. Dinner's ready, going. What is going on? Dinner's ready, fella. What Why are you yelling? Brush your teeth and go straight to bed and hurry and they're just walking slowly. You know why? Because they don't feel any urgency mom sounds like this all the time. Good morning. Okay. Hi. Good morning, mom. That's what they get used to even teach you some teachers yelling every command. Even if nobody's in trouble. They're saying it with with anger and yelling. Because they think oh, that way. They'll have authority and they'll respect what I'm saying. But what happens is they just think that's your default. That's how you

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are. So now to really show that you're angry. You have to like go act like a maniac. So that oh, he's yelling now. So that was just whispering voice. And now this is yelling. I'll tell you a story. One time. I was going into, into London. I was going into London, which is a big mistake. Don't go to London. And we're flying it to Heathrow, we land there. And it's obviously when you land at Heathrow, you still have another like three day journey of making it to passport control. So there was this lady on the plane and Muslim lady and she had her like three or two or three year old boy I don't know. And then a little infant that she had her bags in her stroller and all that she's

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traveling alone, just her and these two children. And so when we landed at Heathrow, and she's got to now make this three day journey to passport control. I said I'll help her out. So I took some of our heavy bags, and we were kind of like walking next to each other and helping her out. She has her little boy. His name was yeah seen. Now I remember his name because every two to three seconds, the mother called the boy. So yes, he would like walk sometimes a little too far ahead of her. So the mother would say yes, seeing

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Yes.

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Yes.

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Yes.

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And three days we're going and she's just dancing

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Oh,

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yes. I felt like five minutes I wanted to strangle the lady.

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And she's just going on yessing

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because he's dealt sometimes gets a little too far do you think he has seen, even recognized like, we stopped for a minute, every time she said UFC, he probably doesn't even know his name is UFC, he probably thinks is just a mother a sound his mother makes every three seconds. And he's just walking, doing whatever he wants, because there's no value now, you know, you yell all the time, it has no value. So yes, all the time, it has no value, you threatened all the time, it has no value, especially if you're not consistent. You threaten the wall, you will not can not not

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the child will and then they know next day, you're gonna do it. So now, next time you threaten, it's an empty threat you there's no consistency. So, you know, psychologists tell you avoid what is known as reactance. reactance theory says, when you tell someone not to do something, that they're they will most likely want to do it or be intrigued by it. And that's why it's always better to tell people the wisdom behind why you don't do something. One of the first classes I always teach you, when we're doing Islamic Studies. First Class is always the purpose of the Sharia. And why you don't do things because we present Islam to them as a list of things that are haram can't do this in

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Islam. That's haram that's haram that's haram. But what about this is the wisdom of why you're not allowed to do this. This is the damage it causes you this is the damage, it causes the community and the society as a whole. And now they understand the wisdom is not just something you can't do. So with the reactance theory, psychologists, they they conducted a very interesting experiment on the bathroom walls. And you know, people like to write graffiti and things on bathroom walls, they painted two walls, fresh paint on one of them. They left it blank. The other one they wrote they put a sign do not write on this wall.

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Where do you think everybody wrote.

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Because when it says do not write on this wall, they feel like a right and a freedom they have is being challenged now. So to convince themselves, and to convince you that I still have that freedom, they go and write on that wall that says do not write on this wall, and they left the other one blank. So a lot of times you tell your child Don't do this, or make sure you never do that without the wisdom without explaining why without explaining the harm of what it will do. That's the first thing that becomes interesting to them. You know, they call it the forbidden fruit theory. But that's not very accurate. It's not very accurate. But basically, don't just tell them what they

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can't do. Explain the whole the big picture. Explain to them, why they can't do it. What's the wisdom behind it that benefits them on an individual level or societal level? All right, sometimes you're not happy with a child's behavior. And the first thing they tell you don't criticize the person criticize the behavior. All right? So you're a naughty boy, or you're a bad girl. No, that was a naughty thing you did. That was a bad thing. You did the action, the behavior that was bad, but you're not a bad person. Because you don't want them to see themselves in that negative light. And

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so one of the things, you're not happy with the direction they're going? You can do, what you can do is you can readjust their goals because actions are linked to goals. I'll give you a simple example. This is a true story. I had this relative cousin or something young man, and he wants to become a professional soccer player. His father wants him to become a businessman. And so if you wanted to become a professional soccer player, how do you spend your day? What do you spend your time on? You spend your day training? You spend your time watching soccer, or playing soccer or video games or reading about soccer or just it's all soccer because your actions are linked to your goals. Someone

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wants to become a racer, what do you think his actions will be racing? Whatever it is, your actions are linked to your goals. So some parents their technique is to critique and criticize the behavior and how they spend their time. This was just playing soccer, stop playing soccer, stop watching soccer, they're not gonna stop because it's linked to their goal. But what you can do as a parent is readjust their goals, readjust their goals. So I'll give you the example of Imam Malik Rahim Allah has his mother for him Allah she was a very wise woman. When Imam Malik was a youngster, you know what he wanted to become right

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now, yeah, he wanted to become a singer. Somebody said he wanted to become a singer. And his mother being a wise woman. She wanted him to become something greater than that. Now, today, it's so important to readjust goals. Just talk to your kids. Have them want to become famous YouTubers. I want to become like Mr. Beast. What

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I

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have my own chocolate bar.

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Five. All right. So readjusting the goals. So Imam Malik, his mother didn't nag him about becoming a singer, nagging on the actions if you want to become a singer, what do you do? You sing. You hang around with singers, you learn an instrument, you learn poets, you you write songs, and then you nag them, stop singing, stop writing poetry. Stop hanging out with these people. They're not going to stop. It's linked to their goal. But she readjusted his goals. And he she made him want to become a scholar. And she did some amazing things. Number one, she dressed him up like a little scholar. And we do that all the time with our children. I know we want our children to become doctors, right?

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Well, if you're Desi, but the point is that

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you go buy them that little kit from the dollar store that has a stethoscope that has you know the blood pressure thingy and it has the syringe and they go around, you know, giving people shots and checking your heart and all that stuff. Make him fall in love with the profession. You buy them the other kid from the dollar store also the has the plastic handcuffs, a little police badge and a little baton and they go around hitting black people and you know, the point

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it's it's training, it's training. What?

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This is Canada, everybody's nice, right?

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True story today I was in the elevator. I got a double story from these two ladies. First one goes sorry, the other one goes sorry.

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So don't worry about it. I'm over it. So anyways, so that was an American joke. Okay, not Canadian, not Canadian. The point is that she made him dressed up like a little chair, just to love the profession. And he would be too young to go to the masjid early. So she would walk with him to the masjid. And she encouraged him. Now I always tell people after Jim is over and people leave, put your child upon the member tell him okay, yeah, me or the ship, speak to the people. Give the lecture your it's your football now give the football make him look, fall in love with that. So

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you readjusted his goals. And when now his new goal is to become a scholar? What are the actions if you want to become a scholar, studying, learning, memorizing, going to gatherings, spending, spending your time with scholars, students of knowledge, she didn't have to nag him on the individual actions just changed the goals and the actions change automatically. Now, one of the powerful techniques you can

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is when you have people set their own goals. And studies show that when someone sets their own goals, they make a much greater effort to achieve those goals, as opposed to when you just come and tell them. These are your goals. These are your objectives for the summer, have them set their own objectives, even if it's summer. And again, I'm going back to what I described earlier as the definition of what a tool is going to give you this example. And we're going to see it applied or utilized in completely different scenarios. So I was in a class, it was research methods. And the professor allowed us to set our own grading scale. You know, the professor gives you the beginning

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of the year, your final exam is this much of your grade, your homework is this much class participation is this much. He said, I'm going to allow you the class to set your own grading scale. So of course we set it so that we can get an A participation was like such a huge percentage of the grade. The midterm was this much. And then at the end of the day, we decided that the final exam was going to be 4% of the grade.

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I never studied for that finals. 4%. Who cares, right? So I went to his office and I asked him, I said, Why would you allow your students to not care about your final exam. And he said, studies show that when you allow people to set their own goals, they make greater effort to meet these these goals as opposed to when you just throw your own goals onto them. Now that's the tool. Now looking at different applications. I visited the masjid in California, and they put like a in the parking lot and mini basketball court kind of thing. And they don't want the kids to go play basketball in the, you know, in the parks and stuff where there's drugs and all the other stuff.

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So they said The problem though is that the youth keep playing. And they hear the gunfire mother and they keep playing. Then they hear the comma. But this team is beating us by it at one point. So they tried to get regain that one point they keep playing but the other team gets another point. And now we're two points down, they then they hear this and Fatiha. And they hear the first record and they're still playing second record third record then by the fourth record, they're clamoring whining, trying to make will do and time and everything. So they said how can we get the youth to stop and pray on time?

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So the first thing I asked them like what has been done, what's the what was the effort made to get them to stop on time? They said we took the ball away.

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So that that would be a huge dilemma for the youth when you

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You take the ball away, what are we going to do? I mean, each one of us has about five basketballs in the trunk of our cars. But they took that special hoodie, you took the ball away, they have 15 other balls, it doesn't matter. or uncles would come. So an uncle would come and he would hear the salah. He parks his car, and he walks by and he sees the youth still playing basketball while they can hear the Salah. So what do you think? Take a guess. What do you think uncle's would say to them?

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Yeah, and what do you think they would yell? Yeah, you got it system. They will just yell. namaz

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Salah

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prayer.

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That's it one word in different languages.

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So do you think that will change anything? It's not like the youth are playing basketball and Uncle yields Namaste. They're like, Oh, that's what that sound was.

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And advice to him, like, why are they going in this order?

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They know that you're not adding any beneficial information here. So I said, Okay, this is what you're going to do. You're going to bring the youth, you're going to sit them down. And you're going to first agree, you always start with points that you can agree upon. Yes, points. So okay, look, we understand that the Salah is more important than your basketball game. Yes. Yes. And this is not even some kind of championship game. You know, maybe you have a championship game with fungible footwear to combine salah, but this is just a regular game, no championship, no trophies. So Salah is far more important. Recognize, recognize all right. Now we all know also, that when you're losing

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by one point and the pressure to just make up that one point and to you know, even the score or whatever, is a lot of pressure. And that's gonna pull you away from the salah or delay you from the salah. Right? Right? So they all recognize that. So now you tell them now, what do you think you could come up with? So it doesn't hold you back from your prayer, the game doesn't hold you back from prayer. And now you sit back and you moderate and you let them come up with their own guidelines. So they might say things like, Okay, we're going to consider the, the end of the Iran or the beginning of the dawn or whatever it is, or this phrase in the dawn to represent the referee's

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whistle. When the referee blows his whistle at the end of the game. Do you see a team member on the other side, still trying to get one last score, I lost, the whistle is blown, the game's over, this team won this team loss. So when they hear the end of the event, whatever the score is, at that moment, that's the team that won. That's the team that lost and hulless. That's the score. So you get them to decide whatever is going to get them to stop on time, they come up with their own decisions and guidelines. And then you also get them to come up with their own punishment, and make sure that it's not severe. Okay, so what if you guys do Mr. Salah, even after all these guidelines

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and rules were put down? Is that, okay? Youth might be a little bit excessive, you know,

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like extreme, they might say, or I will shut down the basketball for two months. No, because the whole point of putting the basketball there is that you don't go play in the park where they have crack cocaine, we want you to be here. So it's America, it's America.

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So you get them to say, okay, for example, we're going to clean up the masjid and can pick up all the litter on the parking lot if we miss Masala or something like that. But the point is that you get people to come up with their own or setup, set their own goals, even their own chores, and they will put a lot great greater effort to meet those expectations. Now, that's the tool. So the professor didn't say, Oh, you can use this to get kids to stop playing basketball on time for Salah, but it's on you to figure out different applications. Now, one time this is back when I was a chaplain of George Mason University, a sister came to me and she was already in tears. She was all

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the way down here. Okay. And she goes, I need your advice. I need your help with my husband. Okay, what's the problem? She says, I'm currently doing my PhD. And I have a child. And I work full time. And my husband works full time. And when we come home, he sits down and starts flipping through the channels on TV.

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And he doesn't help me at all. And I have to do everything I have to do the cleaning the cooking the laundry, the dishes, I have to put the child to bed after giving them a bath and I still have to do my homework. And he just sits there. And whenever like a the food is cooked, burnt or whatever it is. His Royal Highness gets so upset, how come I'm not doing everything properly, and he doesn't help at all and she's in tears. She said how can I? How can I get him to help them? So I asked her a dumb question. I said Did you ever ask him to help you? She said yes. So what happens? She said he helps out for like a day or two and then he goes back to sitting on the couch watching TV and

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yelling at me when

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and things are not done, you know, to his standards.

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So how can I get him to help said, Okay, this is what you're gonna do, you're gonna take a pen and a piece of paper, and you're going to sit down with him, and you can tell him Look, I have to do all these things and go ahead and list the things you have to do. And women mashallah very good at listing things very good. So, it's not an insult. So she's got to, um, I have to do this, and this and this, and this, and this. And this is impossible. I have school and I have the boy and I have worked. So you have to help me, then hand them the piece of paper and the pencil.

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What are you going to do? What are you going to be responsible for in the house? So he's going to write maybe a chore to because he's lazy? No, no, no. And there's still this and this and this. Okay, okay, fine, fine, until you're satisfied with the list of he has chosen for himself. Now you fold that piece of paper away, you put in your pocket? That piece of paper now has transformed into something else? It is now a license to

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nag? Absolutely. You can now come home, wear the white gloves. And just I see you didn't dust as you promised. And His Highness is gonna wait a minute. Wait, did I ask you to dust? According to my, you're the one who said you're going to do this chore. So now you got to hold up to it, right. But he chose the task you didn't give him to him. And I said, just go try that. And Charlotte should work. She came back a couple of months later, a big smile on her face. And she's like, he's been doing it his chores like a champ. 100. Now, the point is that dif the same tool, but you can use it in a completely different place. And there's so many things we can use with our children. Because

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the locks don't work. You know, I tried to give my child a dirty look one time. And they're like, Is there something wrong with your eye,

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one of them is closed, and the other is kind of open up. And like if you only understood what this meant, your life's in danger, but you don't even know.

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Alright,

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it's very important that the even when you're enforcing discipline, that you still show affection to your child, that they still understand that there are being loved and appreciated, even though they did something wrong. Because this is a very important point. Because lack of acceptance of photography feels lack of acceptance from a parent or even a sibling, or lack of respect, that makes them question their self worth. And that's explains the psychologist explain why family members get so angry with each other. Like you'll find siblings. They're so nice to everyone in the masjid. And if someone says something rude, they'll say something polite back. But with their sibling, they're

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extremely nasty. And they get super angry. So why do we get so angry with our siblings, and we let things slide to strangers in the masjid. Because we don't really care that much about the stranger. But when our own family members, when they when we feel they don't accept us or respect us, it makes us question our self worth. And we get very angry because their approval means a lot to us. Whereas the stranger you don't care what they think of you. And so that's why, like, if your brother feels that you don't accept him, everything else you do, and everything you say is going to be filtered through the lens. So even a simple joke, you're going to see it as a critique because I feel like

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you don't accept me. And that's why it's important to make each other feel like you're still loved. You still appreciate it. You're still accepted. There are so many different tools and techniques that we can use. But really, it's just about trying them, trying them. You know, my wife always tells me all those techniques you talk about in the lectures, why don't you apply them on the kids?

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Like because slippers are more accurate?

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No, I'm kidding. You see, you're not paying attention that women use slippers men domes,

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menus, the old boots from the winter, because

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all right. Anyways, you guys I am I'm done with my lecture. All right, man, Alaska, less pilot Taala to bring bliss, happiness and tranquility into our households. And to give us righteous children, and to protect our children are the children of the Muslims from all these things that we see around us. You know what I'm talking about? And I know, we know, right? That kind of stuff. You have to be on your toes today. To be a Muslim, you have to know about everything. You have to know how to refute everything, and how to argue against everything. Everybody wants a piece of you. So you have to be on your toes. You have to be ready. So be ready. have open lines of communication with your

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children, no matter how embarrassing or uncomfortable the subject matter is make sure they can come to you. Because if they go online, they're going to be told it's okay. It's who you are. Show your Mushara fish, your prerogative

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So, anyway, welcome lokalen for listening attentively some Allahumma barik ala Muhammad was Solomonic Marcopolo watercraft