I am hoping that my father will not interfere in my affairs…. I want him to give some kind of freedom to me.
I hope he will discuss with me on some important issues…not command me to do something with the sense of command…rather in a fatherly and kindly manner.
I hope he will remember his youth, while he is interrogating me or putting an eye on me.
I hope he will respect me in front of my friends and mates, as I used to respect him in front of his friends and relatives.
I hope he will understand that I have my condition and power, as he has his own condition and power, so that he will forgive me of the unintentional mistake I made.
I hope he will understand that I was created for a particular time, not his time; he should not make me his copy in everything.
I hope he will be just between me and my other brothers.
I hope he will take care of me, but without interfering in my personal affairs, he should be decisive to me without cruelty… he should be my adviser not my dictator… and that he should not regard my effort as nothing.
I hope that my son will be better than me, and not only be my continuation.
I hope my son will achieve what I was not able to achieve in my life, and that his ambition and aspiration should be better than mine.
I hope he will use my experiences, and not fall into the mistakes I did, and that he will accept my advices.
I hope he will regard me as a sincere friend, so that he will reveal some of his secrets and problems to me… I hope I will be sincere and frank to him and likewise he.
I hope he will understand that my anger at him - when he makes mistakes - is love, not retaliation or dictatorship.
I hope he will understand that my children are all equal in my sight and that I love them all, but it might be possible that I hate some habits in some of them and love some habits in others.
I hope I will gain the confidence of my sons and daughters, so as to open for me their hearts and tell me their problems… and that they will follow my guidelines because it is for their own good and interest.
These are hopes and ambitions of both the parent and the child, which explain the sincere hopes of understanding, reconciliation and building a strong relationship between the children, who love their parents and respect them, and the parents, who love their children and want good for them. But, it is compulsory for both sides to study the hopes and likes of the other side, in order to reach a good family relation, even though, not all these hopes represent all the children's hope….and, likewise, also not all the likes of the parent. It represents the key hopes, which if preserved by both sides, the relationship will be good and acceptable by both the children and parents.
The question here is that: Why is it that all these valuable comments remain only hopes? Why didn't the parent try to fill the empty gap? And why are the children not helping their parents in building the bridge? … or why won't both sides open the door of dialogue in order to realize the hopes of the other side? Stopping the factors that prevent the achievement of these hopes, which if given much consideration by both sides, their goals will be achieved. Indeed, it is something practicable, it is not a miracle or something impossible.
Therefore, there is the need for both sides to understand the reality and the nature of the other sides feelings, his likes and dislikes. This is what we will discuss now:
Among the Mistakes of the Parents
It might be possible that some will put all the blame on the parents alone, because of the fact that they have much experience in life and that they were expected to be forgiven and possess a wider heart and mind.
Based on these, we will not forgive children, upholding blames on them, when they go against the advice of their parents, especially if they know that they are not suppose to do what they did.
However, because the responsibilities of parents are great, we will look into the mistakes of parents, which if it is treated well, the gap between children and parents will be filled.
Some parents treat their children very harshly, the way they were treated by their parents as if they inherited this harshness. Here we are not going to discuss this matter and study the effect of our relationships for the future of the family's relationship. Rather, we want to tell these parents, who are fond of dealing with such negative relationships that: Remember the effect and your hatred of the harsh treatment your parents used on you? How can a father, who lived in such a harsh condition and treatment, feel good to see his son in such a situation?
Is it good for a father to always shout and beat his children for a minor mistake, and to be talking in a wild and horrible voice in the house as if he is a small executioner?
It is narrated that one day the governor of a province visited one of the caliphs and found him playing with his child. The child was climbing up the back of his father, the caliph. The governor was surprised at what he saw, to the extent that he couldn't hide his surprise, so, he asked the caliph: "Why are you doing so, Oh my lord?!"
Then, the caliph asked him, knowing that the governor was not treating his children in like manner, "How are you treating your children, my dear?" The governor answered: "If I enter my house, the one standing will sit down and the one talking will keep quiet." Then, the caliph said: "You are not illegible to be a governor, because by these actions, you are hurting your subjects."
Indeed, if one of the parents recorded his behavior and wild condition when he is upset, on a video cassette and watch it when he cools down, he will feel ashamed at seeing himself in such a situation. He will refute the image in front of him, because he lost control of himself at that time. Thus, we must not do something, which we will be ashamed of, or it will make us seek an apology.
Is it that all ways are closed to us - that - we can't find a suitable method of controlling our children without using force or abusive language? Wise people say: "The last medicine is force." Why is it that our first medicine is force?! Why can't we use the steps before it, may be it will bring the required result? Why are we using force first? Did we exhaust all the other simple methods? It might be possible that looking at (the children) with the sense of showing disability with their action might prevent them from committing mistakes in the future. And maybe talking to them with a soft voice might make them refrain from exceeding limits in the future.
Why are we dragging our children to be angry with us always due to our bad relationship with them? Why are we training them to be harsh with others without their will? This may have an effect in their relationship with their children in the future. Have we ever perceived the outcome of all these?
However, the hegemony of parents can take a different shape, that their word is final without any consideration to the family's opinion. This can be best seen through imposing the mood and desire of a father on his family; for example, he may impose the kind of food he likes on the rest of the family even if they didn't like it.
It is narrated in one hadith that: "He is cursed who feeds his family with his appetite without paying due respect to the appetite of the family". The first is egoist and the second self-sacrificing, because whoever eats with the appetite of his family, is planting love and respect of him in their hearts and minds. Even if he doesn't see it presently, however, he will leave his effects on them and in the future they will be egoistic.
There are some parents who became angry, beat and abuse their children when they disturb their sleep or rest, even though they don't care about the resting period of their children, as if they are slaves, who don't have any rights in their home.
Among the biggest mistakes of the parents that has a negative effect on the children, is duality in their sayings and actions, because a child is looking at their parent as a pacesetter in their life. When they realize that their parents are not practicing what they are saying or what they ought to have done, the consequences of this will be bad, it may result in the disobeying of their command in the future. Otherwise, how can a father who is smoking order his children not to smoke? Even if he is smoking secretly, they may detect it one day, and his respect, in their sight, may fall.
Another mistake of the parent is enlarging the mistakes of the children, considering something small to be big, as if the mistakes are not forgivable or there is no way of correcting them, to the extent that some parents, because of their impatience, say: The children have changed…they no more respect us…now, they are not as they were yesterday. There is a way they can be changed, even though there is every possibility that most of the so called problems can be solved through love, wisdom and understanding. Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) said: "If a young fellow reprove you, leave him maybe he will be embarrassed with what he did."
Another mistake of the parent is that some of them deal with their children as if they are small kids by imposing their wills on them. This may cause unhappiness and discomfort in the young boy or girl who expects to be respected, being that he is coming out of the children's world into the world of the adults.
Up till today there are some parents who are fond of cautioning their children, even when they grow up, for example, to be careful of cars on the road when they want to go out to their work places or other places. Such advices are good for children but they are not good for the grown up who know how to take care of themselves.
Another mistake is to enforce on our children a certain work or profession that we like, but that they don't like. This is because a young boy or girl is an independent personality, which has his/her own opinion. He/she likes a particular work, and dislikes another kind of work. Thus, if you enforce a certain path of work or life, for instance to be a businessman like you or doctor or lawyer or an engineer, it means you want a copy of yourself, while he/she wants to be an original copy of himself/herself. No doubt parent has a right to discuss with him/her his/her choice, but he doesn't have the right to force a certain thing on them.
This mistake comes from interference into children's activities, which naturally causes a grave mistake, that is, in the personal affairs of the children. Later on we will differentiate between interference and advice, as well as, between interference and support.
Naturally, direct parent interference into their grown up children's affairs harms the relationship between both parties. And, likewise, spying on their activities damages the bridge of children's truth and confidence in their parents, which results in hiding their activities to the parent even on some matters that don't deserve it.
Therefore, as we hate to be under someone's scrutiny and spying, likewise, our children don't like this, because the prohibition of spying in this phrase [ولا تجسَّسوا ) ) Do not spy) is a general term, later on we will differentiate between "spying" and "monitoring".
At times, some parents interfere even into the issues of marriage of their children by forcing a partner (a wife or a husband) on their son or daughter, whom they didn't like; this adds water to clay. Sometimes the children will be forced to do a certain action not commonly accepted; crisis may continue to occur between them, which ends of in divorce.
Abu Ya'afur said; "One day I told Abu Abdullah (Ja'far al-Sadiq) (a.s.) that I wanted to marry one woman, but, my parents wanted me to marry another one, then he said: "Marry the one you like and leave the one which your parents like". This is because the one who wants to marry is the son or daughter, not the father or mother, and whom don't have any part in this except the right of advice and guidance.
Among the mistakes committed by the parents are the material and emotional differentiation they make between their children or between the sons and the daughters, which cause spiritual harm between those favored and those that are dumped. Some parents show love and affection to some and deprive some from it, or they didn't show equality between them.
One day the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) saw a man who has two children, kissing one of them and leaving the other, then he (s.a.w.) said to him: "Why shouldn't you do equality between them."
If kissing one of the children portrays differentiation between the children, then what of the other favors given to one of them and depriving the other from it? The issue is more complicated in terms of girls, because they are more nervous and emotional. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said: "Make equality between your children in terms of favor. If I prefer one over the other, surely, I will prefer the girls.
" Indeed, this is not from the chapter of differentiation; rather it is in the chapter of spiritual feeling and Islamic feeling and respect for women. Here, we ought to point out that these mistakes - and many others - may end up in crisis and have other negative impact.