Saudi Gazette report
The methods parents use to raise their children differ from one family to another. While some tend to spoil their children, others believe in using a combination of strict and lenient methods to instill certain values in their children’s minds.
Experts say effective parenting means establishing a strong bond with children so they develop a sense of responsibility and grow up to be happy and productive citizens. Al-Riyadh daily spoke with several experts on the most effective parenting methods that keep family bonds strong and help develop the skills of children.
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Tariri, professor of psychology at King Saud University, said raising a child goes beyond providing him with basic needs such as food, clothes and a home. Nurturing and developing his mental, psychological and physical well-being is equally important.
“Our religion encourages us to take good care of our children mentally, psychologically and physically so they can grow up and be productive members and help build a strong nation. We should raise them to be good citizens, not troublesome ones,” he said.
“Parents should listen to their children, try to understand them and candidly share their feelings with them. If a child does not get enough attention from his parents, he will start looking for other people who would be willing to listen to him and give him the attention he wants,” he added.
Dr. Ahmad Al-Bar, a social service professor at Imam Muhammad Bin Saud University, emphasized the importance of connecting with one’s children and interacting with them as a means to building a stable family.
“If one of the parents is emotionally distant and detached from his children or if his children fear him because he is cruel, problems will arise. Children will not feel comfortable and will not have positive values in their lives because the positive role model does not exist in their life. Both parents should bear the responsibility of raising their children and dedicating their time to them,” he said.
According to Fahad Al-Hazmi, a family counselor, the number of children a family has should not affect the parents’ ability to raise them and show them the right path to follow in life. No matter how many children parents have, they must be available emotionally and physically when their children need them.
“The best thing parents can do is distribute responsibilities between themselves and try as much as possible to keep abreast with the latest technology and communication methods so that they monitor their children’s behavior and protect them against all evil,” he noted.
Eman Al-Hajaji, a lecturer in the department of sociology at the University of Dammam, called upon parents to be role models for their children. Families should provide their children an environment that meets their social and psychological needs, an environment that allows parents and children to integrate and interact.
Sarah Al-Nasser, also a lecturer in the same department, believes that modern lifestyles have made raising a child very difficult for parents, especially if the parents come from uneducated backgrounds.
“Successful parents are the ones who can understand and meet the needs of their children. Understanding how your child thinks, and trying to think like him will go a long way in building a strong relationship between you and your child,” she said.
“Raising a child should not be the responsibility of parents only; it is the responsibility of society, which includes important figures such as teachers, mosque imams, friends, etc. The right Islamic values should be instilled in children’s minds at an early age so that they grow up to be good citizens,” she added.