Raising Resilient Children

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Zohra Sarwari

Channel: Zohra Sarwari

Episode Notes

How do we empower our children so that they can go out and be whatever they want to be, and do whatever they would like to do, without compromising their identities, and maintain their vibrant personalities, despite all that’s going on in the world today? We asked Ustadha Zohra Sarwari these very questions at our visit, at the Being Me Conference. Ustadha Zohra is a Muslim author, business coach, entrepreneur and international speaker living in Sacramento USA. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Business Administration, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Islamic Studies. She has also homeschool her four children. Here what she had to say about raising resilient children.

Episode Transcript

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Welcome back. How do we empower children so that they can go out and be whatever they want to be without compromising their identities and maintain their vibrant personalities? Despite all that's going on in the world today? We asked a status O'Hara savari. These very questions that are visit at the being me conference was that as O'Hara is a Muslim author, business coach, entrepreneur, and an international speaker living in Sacramento, USA. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and Business Administration and is currently pursuing a master's in Islamic Studies. She has also homeschooled her four children. Let's hear what she has to say about raising resilient children.

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Welcome to the shows our does that. Go ahead. And thank you for having me. So, you know, you deal with a lot of educational related issues, you homeschool, you've homeschooled your children as well. How is the political social climate that we're living in today impacted your ability to be able to do that? And how has it, I guess changed in some ways as well, right? Absolutely. I think seeing what's out there, seeing the options we have, and seeing the issues we have in the school systems has really

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made me take the direction of homeschooling, because not only the bullying, but the hatred, Islamophobia, the jaw pulling and lots of issues I don't think kids need to deal with at their age have made me give them an were their goal should be education has made me decide to homeschool and give them a safe haven, where they're learning, they're growing, they're changing, building their self confidence to be able to be the best humans they can be. And that was one of the biggest reasons I decided to homeschool. Now I know someone like you, you know, you have the ability and you're able to homeschool, but a lot of parents aren't able to do that. So I want to walk through

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some of the issues that you talked about the first one being how, what are some strategies that we can give that parents can give rather for our kids to develop a strong Islamic identity, in light of issues like Islamophobia, which is also evident. You know, we have the same issues here in Canada, that self confidence and self esteem we can give as Muslims is the foundation of them dealing with every problem that is going to come at them, whether that's bullying, whether that's you know, peer pressure, alcohol, I mean anything that can come to our kids. So for me, the way I look at it is, the more knowledge they have of the faith of Islam, the more knowledge they have, and the more they

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understand the lives of the messengers of Allah peace of blessings be upon them. And the Sahaba the companions of the profits, peace and blessings upon the more they can see not only their struggles, and what are the some of the stuff they went through, but the more they can see, wait a second, it's upon Allah, they've been through some of this already. So I can handle this as well, inshallah.

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So what are some examples? So the really honestly, I'd say,

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one of the best examples would be, you know, when, you know, right now, I guess a lot of families have divorced, that happened between them. And so the parents get separated. And, you know, the kids are in two different homes. And a lot of kids feel like that is a lot of stress. And so it comes back down to when they look at the life of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. And they realized that his father died when he wasn't even born. His mother died when he was six years old spine, so he had so many people raising him, you know, from his grandfather, and that his grandfather passed away. And then his uncle raised them. So from all these things taking place, yet

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Marshall, the medical, he was resilient, strong, and, you know, it's just an excuse of what we're going through. And when they can see all of this happening, that's upon Allah, they have a different view of like, oh, it could always be worse. And that's something we always say, my house, it can always be worse, you know, you always look at your situation, and you can, it can always be worse. And then again, even, you know, taking verses from the Koran and saying, you know, there's verse obviously, chapter number 14. So we have Rahim, where Elijah Adel God, the greatest says that, if you are grateful, I'll give you more, and reminding ourselves of many of these things that we don't

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do. And so, you know, are we just being complaining and negative, or, you know, but again, those identity or seeing, or you buy some, you know, job easy upon, but with him, you know, all the illnesses, he went through losing all his money. And so when our kids see, maybe they're going through that maybe their family just lost their family business, you know, they're in bankruptcy, and they don't have a certain things but and they get sick, maybe their kids have cancer or something. And they know that, look, this is how the Messenger of God present wasn't dealt with upon it. So how can I deal with it? So these are all examples of, you know, the difficulties or, you

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know, Jesus piece of upon all of the issues that he dealt with, I mean, it was very difficult, or his mother, Mary PC upon all the issues she dealt with as a single mother, you know, and not having even been with a man. And so it's so many things that we can learn from all these stories that build our self esteem, our confidence. So when the difficulties arrive, and they come at us, Arise, and they come, we're not at a loss for like, oh, what should I do? I'm depressed. I don't know, where we stand back up. This is how they dealt with this is how we need to deal with addiction. So when you talk about building that foundation, right, so take an example of a child goes to a public school,

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you know, they deal with these issues. What's the way to build this foundation

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Is it sending them because I, you know, my husband is a teacher, and he tells me a lot about the kids that they go to Islamic school. And so the parents think, okay, they're getting everything there are like, you know, kids in public schools, I have friends who used to go to Sunday Islamic school, and they don't really have that foundation. So how do you build that foundation, this is when the parents really need to get focused and get involved in their kids life, the parents need to, you know, take time, every day, every single day, if I can give any advice to all the parents that you need 20 minutes a day to sit with your kids and do this, whether that's reading the stories

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with them, and talking it over and helping each other understand it, getting the lessons out of it, whether it's taking them out, I mean, we need a lot more family time. Because you know, a sister said earlier, you know, the kids are stuck on gadgets, and I'll be honest with you, my kids don't have gadgets, they don't have phones. My oldest was 17. And she's in her third year of university, Mashallah. She has a tablet, which she uses for her studying and stuff. But my boys both got tablets as gifts, as you know, because one did a competition for the Quran, memorization, and he got one to one God for something else. And I don't give it to them. And they're like, well, Mom, when do you

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think I'll get it? I said, when you become mature? And they said, When do you think that it will according to American statistics, it's 41 years

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of spare. So they don't have we don't have a TV in the house. They don't have an Xbox. Really, it's I want them to be outside. I want them to be playing, I want them to enjoy life. And not just addicted to tablets and phones and, you know, computers, I mean, they do use computers for their studying. But beyond that, it's you know, so how do you get away from that? So you have a family situation where Mashallah, you know, you may have been able to do that, but I know a lot of young moms as well. And parents, yeah, who it's come to a point where kids are addicted to their phones. And I think I would say even adults sometimes, right? Yeah, how do you break away from that cycle to

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rebuild a strong time at night, let's say seven to 737, to 730, all of us, Daddy, Mommy all and whoever has it, all of us, I could put it all in one room, no one's gonna look at this look, close the door, and everyone's gonna have finally time. And we're gonna, in that 30 minutes, we're going to read this book, and we're going to discuss it and I'm going to listen to all of your perspectives. So one person may have one idea another may have another, another may get another and it'll be amazing what the parents will learn from the children at that time. And it'll be amazing where the kids will learn from the parents, cuz it'll be different perspectives and different

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generations. But making that time, including the parents, I always say, lead by example. So if I'm going to tell my child to memorize the Quran shall either be memorizing it as well, if I'm going to tell my child, it's time to pray, then I better be ready for Salah. And we better do it in congregation. So all of this is very important as a family, we need to have that time where we connect. And we need to lead by example. So if I'm going to tell them, no phone time, or no game time, then why am I on it. So and I tell this to my kids all the time, like I, you know, these things are a waste of time, when you're playing games all day, you know, I don't know all the games

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they have. But on my phone, there is no games, there is no games. And because I don't agree with anyone, I'm not going to sit and waste my time play games. If I have a few minutes, it's either my Quran or my app, gods or something important, and I teach that all the time. So what we do with our time is valuable. And I think if we lead by that example, inshallah, then again, our kids aren't always listening to us, but they're watching us. A lot of times we're sitting there telling them, but we're not doing it. We need to become examples of doing it. And don't say it so much. We don't need to tell them, just do it. And they're gonna learn from that as well. And I think you've given

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us some good foundations, how do we deal with issues, for example, like cyber bullying or bullying that, you know, kids are experiencing it cyber bullying is a new area, right? How do you deal with that? First of all, I don't think kids should be on social media the way they are, I really don't, I don't think they're ready for they're not mentally mature, they're not physically mature, they're not, there's a lot of garbage that goes on, I think limiting their time on that would be great. That would be my best thing for cyber bullying, they don't need to because if they're not on it, they're not going to get bullied, number one, get rid of that stuff as much as you can. Number two, is, you

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know, as far as bullying itself goes, if they have their self esteem, their confidence and their awareness, that Subhanallah you know, they, they need to be able to have a relation with the parents that they come and tell them I'm being bullied. And if that's the case, then obviously that they need to address that with the school and, and a lot of times, you may need to relocate your child to another school to a better area. If that needs to be because bullying has become a big issue, including cyberbullying, where kids are not committing suicide by the masses. It's not a joke anymore. I even I mean, I get messages from kids who want to commit suicide Muslim kids all the

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time. On Facebook, I'll get you know, people like I'm 16 I'm at the end of my rope. I have nothing to live for. I'm going to commit suicide. And I'm like, are you like playing a prank on me? Are you serious? Like, you know, at that moment, I don't know what to expect. And so I'm trying to connect with these kids and I'm trying to talk to them on Skype because they're in different parts of the world.

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But when I get on that phone, and they're crying to me, and they need that help and family's not listening, then we've done something wrong, done something wrong. So I think that relationship that parents need to build is let the kids come to you with anything. I mean, so there, that's, let's say, I may or may not protect our kids. But let's say they're addicted to drugs, or smoking or alcohol, or whatever, they need to be able to come to mom and dad and say, I have a problem. You know, I have a problem, and I need help. And mom and dad need to listen, and be open minded and help their child before their child do the worst, which is I will either commit suicide, or even go

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farther than where they're at, versus closing them down. We need to open those doors, let them in and let us help them. What would you say to someone because we talked about the importance of building a strong identity. And you said sometimes bullying is to the extreme, yes, that they should actually move. I'm just playing I'm not saying I don't know, I'm just playing devil's advocate and asking you, what would you say to someone who says, Yeah, well, isn't that them running away from the situation? And Shouldn't we be leveraging a strong Islamic identity? What would you say to that? Absolutely. If your child is strong enough, and they have the confidence and the ability, don't run

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away from it, let them be able to defend themselves and say it.

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But if they're not, and they're weak, and they're you It's hurting them more, and it's gonna affect them more emotion, they can't handle it, then you have to change the situation. There's obviously much more we can talk about, but I'm going to save our discussion for another segment. Thank you so much to her. She's like,

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