Culture and religion in shaping attitudes to parenthood and equality
In addition to his involvement with White Ribbon Australia, Kuranda Seyit has done significant work in the diversity sector and for Australia’s Muslim community. White Ribbon ensures that diversity and inclusion are fundamental to our prevention programs. It’s important for us to acknowledge voices such as Kuranda’s, which provide valuable insight into parenting and respectful relationships within Australia’s Islamic community.
While these parenting guidelines have been written from an Islamic perspective, this information can be useful to anyone who has the responsibility of raising a child.
What is your involvement in White Ribbon Australia?
My name is Kuranda Seyit. I am the father of two boys, a White Ribbon Australia Ambassador and member of the White Ribbon Australia Fatherhood Reference Group. Recently I helped compile a parenting program for Muslim communities.
What has shaped your attitudes and approach to parenthood?
My culture and religion play an important role in my approach to raising my two boys. Much of our information about Islamic perspectives to fatherhood come directly from the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. We have information about how he lived and his family background. We also have a large body of documentation about his life’s sayings, his advice and his recorded actions as verified by his closest followers. The Prophet was first and foremost a family man. He was a leader of a nation, a statesman and a spiritual guide for thousands, but just as importantly he was a husband and a loving father. :Regardless of a person’s own culture or religion some of Islamic philosophies towards parenting can be of interest and benefit to anyone with responsibilities for raising children.
What would be your top five things you have learned as a father?
Children are born pure and innocent, their natural inclination or disposition is to be good.
Parents play a critical role in the nurturing and developing of healthy and functional children into adulthood. It is only through a child’s upbringing and exposure to behaviours that are modelled by the people around them that they learn negative behaviours.
Therefore, as parents we must be extremely consistent and careful in the way we model behaviour. If there is a problem then don’t look for the cause within the child but instead look at how you can change their environment.
Parents are guides and role models.
Children need a safe, stable and nurturing home and community to grow. Maintaining a good environment also includes giving thought and consideration to the types of people that might surround and influence them.
The essentials of upbringing are kindness and mercy.
We know that childhood play benefits the physical, emotional, cognitive and social development of a child. We also know how important physical touch such as cuddles are for infants in order to make them feel safe and loved. Physical affection and play should continue as a child grows, of course, this might change as your child gets older, but it should never stop.
When your child gets up to mischief, don’t scold or blame, instead hug or pat them reassuringly and say, ‘I forgive you, let’s fix it!’ Then explain their mistake and suggest a way to resolve it together.
Draw the line for your children, set boundaries.
Without boundaries, society would be in chaos. Children need clear boundaries to guide their behaviour, while allowing them the freedom to act and behave within them. Set rules and limits for everyone in the family (including yourself!) and take care to explain to your child why they must obey them. Children love logical reasoning, but make it simple.
Small responsibilities allow the small shoulder to make it big!
Being responsible teaches children to be independent, reliable and productive. It makes them feel they have a role in the family and society and develop a sense of belonging. Having a feeling of purpose can prevent children from misbehaving out of frustration and uselessness. It also helps us to teach children about the consequences of their actions and preparing them for the responsibility of adulthood. Start young, find age appropriate jobs for your preschool age children and gradually increase their responsibilities over the childhood years, adding more as the child slowly heads towards maturity.
Visit here for more information on White Ribbon’s Fatherhood program.