Whilst I was in primary school, I’d eavesdrop and listen to my grandma’s amazing stories of 15 year olds with bulging bellies and are proud of their status as young mothers. Simply because marriage was common to take place back then, even as early as after a girl completes her Primary 6 and furthermore, most marriages were ‘family arranged’.
But nowadays, advancing one’s career is more important than having babies because in most cases, a girl is still considered ‘immature’ until she reaches 21 years old (at the very least).
However, dont forget that whilst “Teen Pregnancy” have become such a taboo in our Malaysian culture, its meaning nowadays too have also evolved and addressed to young teenagers who have had premarital intercourse resulting in pregnancy (out of wedlock).
During a talk to students at Taylor’s College by Dr Jamiyah Hassan recently, the most obvious reason why teen pregnancy exists in Malaysia is because most of these young teenagers do not know much about sex, let alone on how to avoid getting pregnant, or the best known solution within the Islamic context is how to avoid ‘adultery’. **Dr Jamiyah Hassan is an obstetrics consultant and gynaechologist.
Statistically, 173 parents were interviewed, 55% believed that there are teens engaged in casual sex activities. And 92% of them denied that their children are involved. A 16 year old male student responded “This is just denial on the part of the parents. Sex is always on the table for us, so yes, some of us are going to do it but what make parents think their children are such angels?”
Another female teenage student added “If 55% of the parents feel that young people are having casual sex, yet 92% of the same parents denied that their children are not one of them, then who do they think are doing it?”
Through my personal observations, we as parents, most of the time fail to understand what and how our kids think and most of us underestimate them. I have listened (or eavesdrop rather) to many of my own teenage sons’ conversations with their friends in their room, and was alarmed to learn how much they are aware of the activities and whereabouts of their parent(s), as compared to how little we know of them and who they associate with!!
This is particularly so true, because sometimes we are not so sensitive to the surroundings of our whereabouts (since we are always too busy minding our own non-family related personal affairs) , whilst our children’s peers or friends who identifies and recognizes our whereabouts and activities, would immediately relate the incident among themselves. And when they speak their mind out, I felt like a stranger in my own home ………
Prevention is definitely always better than cure. Needless to elaborate, such phrase is self-explanatory.
Now how can we then, arrogantly yell or nag to our children about illigitimate sex or sex before marriage, when we know that amongst us, such practices takes place (with our consent??). If we proudly portray ourselves as ‘responsible’ parent(s) and wants to ensure that our children are on the right path and track, then how do you suppose we ought to react or respond when they question us about adultery and betrayal among spouses? Surely, we cant pretend , since now that they already know so much about us, denying would only reflect our own weaknesses and failures as a parent. The rest is actually up to the individual(s) to ponder and decide what’s best.
As a muslimah, and a single mother to six teenagers, I am no exception to dilemmas and issues. I admit I have been through a lot and you bet ….. things were never easy for me. Not all our kids think alike. Neither do they have the same likes and dislikes. Getting into their minds means I have to spend a substantial amount of time, getting into the minds of all my six children. It teaches me to endure GREAT patience – single handedly. It teaches me to think, act and make serious ‘between life & death’ decisions – single handedly. It teaches me to figure out their frustrations and difficulties without having anyone to discuss or share with – single handedly. However, Religion and Faith ultimately played a major role in moulding me and got me disciplined as to how to gather strengths and sustain my sanity till now. Friend(s) come and go. Whom I thought would remain through thick and thin, vanishes with or without reason. These lessons learnt, I share with my teenage children. And they see the real me.
My children and I went through many miraculous mishaps and tragedies together, and often they ask “Mama, when will our life change for the better like everyone else?”
Softly but affirmatively, I would reply “We have each other. We are not physically handicapped. I am always here for you. We never beg when hungry. My only advice if today shall be my last – with Allah in our hearts, and knowing how great a mother’s prayer had always stood for you, remember to stay unite, take great care of each other in good or bad times, and to never ever stop escalating your do’a and prayers seeking HIS blessings for your future family’s being, success and happiness, hereafter and thereafter, because I wont be there anymore to guide and to say my prayers for you” ……… wallahualam.
To all mothers : Endure patience, Endure Faith, Do Not Be Selfish, Never Blame Others, and our children will love and remember us the way we never expect them to!!
compiled by Dib Mossavi
Filed under: It Matters That We Share | Tagged: adolescence, dishonest, faith, family, inspirational, Life's Diary, love, mind, mother, motivational, muslimah, patience, prayer, sex, single mother, survey, teenage pregnancy, teenager, thoughts |