Editor's note: It's our annual #LikeYouMeanItHH beginning-of-the-year reflection time! What does it mean to "wear it like you mean it?" We invite you (and ourselves) to renew our intentions and reflect on what our hijab (and faith and other areas of our lives) mean to us.
By Zaiba Hasan
When our children are born, they come into this world with a vulnerability that demands our instincts to love and protect them. We hold them close; we love them with a fierceness that can’t be described with words because the gift we have been given is so overwhelmingly powerful. All we can DO is love them.
However, that innocent, loveable baby that slept in the crook of your arm one day turns into a sullen, hard-edged teenager and then overnight morphs into an adult who towers over you, unrecognizable at times but with glimpses of that chubby-faced toddler. As parents of adult(ish) children, we may need help figuring out how to show our love to our adult children without overstepping the boundaries of adulthood they need to succeed.
I always say that my story is still being written, and this chapter into parenting older children just started for me and has been a series of lessons in learning that while my intentions in loving and caring for my grown children are still the same (as I’m sure is similar for so many other parents), how I execute upon these intentions has to change. Here are SEVEN basic things we can do to show our children that our intentions of love for them are unwavering through how we express this love.
Give these adult parenting methods a try (if you’re not doing so already. The bonus may result in a better, more intentional relationship with our children.
Image source: Pexels
1. Let it go: Mamas, as your child grows, you will NOT be the center of their universe, and guess what? That is okay. Recognizing that you have moved into a more supportive role in your child’s life allows you to have a front-row seat in their lives.
2. Bite your tongue: This may be one of the hardest things a parent can do but in reality, one of the most important. They are on their own journey and though it pains us at times, stepping back and allowing them to make their own mistakes is how they will grow. So the next time your child comes to you and tells you about an issue or idea in their life, fight the urge to explain how they are wrong.
Instead, quietly nod and smile and keep your fingers crossed for success. Even if they ask for advice, consider if it’s more helpful to guide them or let them figure it out, making the mistakes they may need to make along the way.
3. Soft landing: If you play your cards right when things go wrong, and trust me, they WILL go wrong, your child will come to you for comfort. But, comfort looks different as they get older. It looks like a sympathetic ear, a comfort meal, a place for them to turn without judgment. Creating a space where they can come during confusion, distress, or just a simple reset is how we, as parents, can show intentional love.
Image source: Pexels
4. Speak their language: As your child ages, you may have a more challenging time understanding the world in which they live. It can even feel like a different language at times. However, attempting to try and get to know them on their level shows an intentional effort to get to know their older self.
Join them on social media and share funny TikToks and memes with them on Instagram. Watch a favorite show alongside them and casually mention it in your next Facetime conversation. Surprise them in your next text exchange with a strategically placed “W” or “sus.” In speaking “their language,” you shorten the communication gap between you. They may think it’s lame or funny, but they’ll probably also appreciate it. :)
5. Have your own life: I know, I know! You’ve been a mom for a long time, but guess what – you were a person before that. Now is a fantastic time to dust off your old persona and see what she can do now! Having your own life guarantees you aren’t putting your nose into your child’s life uninvited. I spend a lot of time with my mom clients at this chapter of their lives, and I love to remind them that life begins in your 40s!
Remember, even our own Prophet Muhammad (saw) received the holy message of Islam this chapter of his life, and look what an amazingly profound impact he had on the universe! It is now YOUR turn to rediscover that version of yourself as well. (NOTE: if you need a little help trying to figure this out, Mommying While Muslim is having a retreat Fill Up Your Cup Retreats by MWM
, use: HH10 as an exclusive discount code for Haute Hijab Readers)
6. Trust them: You’ve done the painstaking work raising these little buggers. Now is the time to step back and trust that you’ve instilled in them the tools needed to succeed. Please remember, though; this will come with having to watch them fail or not get what they want at times. Failure is one of the most important things about becoming an adult, but probably the most challenging thing we can witness as a parent.
7. Pray: AND…always pray for them. The best gift we can give them as a parent is to pray for their health, success, and guidance.
Pray for yourself, as this portion of your parenting journey will be filled with highs and the lowest of lows. But nothing is more rewarding than watching your “baby” become a great human being. May our intentions to love and care for our children evolve into adult-oriented parenting practices as they grow. To quote one of my favorite books: “I love you forever, I love you for always. As long as I am living, my baby you’ll be.”
Until next time,
Zaiba Hasan is part of the dynamic duo behind the award-winning podcast, Mommying While Muslim. She is the CEO, founder and a spiritual parent coach at Emerge Consulting Solutions , interfaith mediator and sports mama extraordinaire. Look for her on the baseball fields and basketball courts in the DMV (Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia) area cheering from the sidelines.