No-one can deny it, raising kids is hard! First it’s the sleepless nights, then the teething, and eventually, the why’s and how’s of absolutely everything! Some questions are easy, “Why do we do salah?” and some questions aren’t “How big is Allah?” but curious little minds need answers just as thoughtful as their questions. Sometimes the easy answers aren’t enough.
As adults, it’s hard not to become uncomfortable by questions that we just don’t ask, but kids don’t have the same inhibitions. Part of a parents job is to be able to stay cool when the tough questions come along. “OMG you can’t ask that!” you might think when your child asks what Allah looks like, but resist the urge and look for an answer that respects their curiosity and intelligence. We’re teaching our kids to be confident, knowledge seeking Muslims, Muslims who know and understand what they believe in, and don’t just believe because that’s what their parents do. The only way to give them that sense of surety, is to teach them that there is an answer to their question, it may not be what you think, but it is an answer none the less.
One thing I decided early on in motherhood, was that it’s perfectly ok to be honest, an “I don’t know, but let’s find out together.” goes a lot further than a white lie or a stock answer. I believe saying “I don’t know” and “we can’t know” fosters curiosity and a love of learning, it empowers kids by allowing them to see you as human, and to see that you’re learning about life just as they are, it teaches them that it’s good to seek knowledge and that it’s ok not to have the answers, in fact, it’s ok for there not to be answers!
Need help answering some of the hard questions? I’ve written two books with the answers I gave to my kids, in order to help you answer yours (and even learn some scientific facts along the way). Read READ Little Muslims’ review about How Big Is Allah? and the review of How Does Allah Look? and get your copy from my website emmaapple.com