Many times, across different types of relationships, we face some turmoil and challenges that may bring about animosity, chaos and intense emotions. One major cause of most relationship problems is communication. However, there’s one other issue that is critical in relationships yet remains rarely identified; our attachment styles.

Attachment is the emotional bond between an infant and parent/guardian and it is through this bond that the infant gets their primary needs met. According to renowned psychiatrist John Bowlby’s attachment theory, the relationships with our primary caregivers during our earliest years have a major and long-lasting impact on our social and intimate relationships, including connections made at workplaces. How we bonded with our parents and guardians sets the stage for how we perceive and build all our relationships thereafter.

There are four attachment styles, the last three are considered insecure:

1. Secure attachment

2. Anxious Preoccupied attachment

3. Dismissive Avoidant attachment

4. Fearful Avoidant attachment

It should be noted that parents don’t necessarily or intentionally choose these attachment styles. Most of the time, they’re unaware and it is just automatic behavioural patterns passed from one generation to another .i.e. an anxiously attached parent might have an anxiously attached child due to unhealed generational trauma and they raise their kids the same way they were. Nonetheless, other factors might also affect which attachment style a child adopts as they grow up, such as trauma, life experiences, environment, or the close relationships they have with others.

1. Anxious Preoccupied (High anxiety, Low avoidance): Also known as anxious ambivalent in children, is often associated with an inconsistent parenting pattern. The caregiver tends to give mixed signals by sometimes being responsive to the child’s needs and sometimes being misattuned or unavailable to the child. This may be very confusing for the child, make them feel unstable and regard their parents’ actions as unpredictable or unreliable. They may become very distressed when separated from their caregiver, and even when he/she returns, they continue to display anxious behaviour and do not appear comforted. 

Please note that this doesn’t mean that the parents intentionally neglect the child’s needs but it could be that the caregivers didn’t meet the child’s needs in the way that they wanted. As such, they opt to throw tantrums and become clingy to get their attention. These children tend to be very sensitive and self-sacrifice to take care of others even at their own expense. 

When one grows up with this style, one may have some of the following characteristics:

  • Fear of rejection
  • Need for constant reassurance
  • Being needy/clingy
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Depending on a partner for validation and emotional regulation
  • Codependent tendencies
  • Jealous tendencies
  • Low self-esteem
  • Highly sensitive to criticism 
  • Needing approval from others
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • Difficulty being alone
  • Feeling unworthy of love and not being good enough
  • Self- critical and indecisive 
  • Overthinking tendencies 
  • May develop anxiety disorders as adults

2. Dismissive Avoidant (Low anxiety, High avoidance): This attachment style is formed when the child’s caregiver is absent or emotionally distant or busy or disinterested in their emotional needs. The child could be expected to be independent and the caregiver might also disapprove if the child shows any display of emotions. When the child is upset, their distress is regularly ignored or dismissed. Because their needs aren’t met, the child perceives that as rejection. They thus learn to detach from their feelings because they don’t trust that their caregivers will be there for them and they rarely seek comfort from parents/caregivers. So even when they’re separated from their parent they react fairly calmly and do not embrace their return.

As such a child grows up, he/she may develop some of the following:

  • Super independent 
  • Have a hard time trusting others
  • Fear of intimacy or closeness (Most of their relationships are surface level)
  • Uncomfortable expressing their feelings
  • Have commitment issues
  • Emotionally unavailable
  • Often feel self-sufficient and don’t need others
  • Feel threatened by anyone who tries to get close to them
  • May distance themselves or shut down during conflict
  • May find relationships to be suffocating

3. Fearful Avoidant (High anxiety, High avoidance): Also known as disorganized attachment, this style is often associated with childhood trauma or abuse. Fear for their caregivers is also present. The child grows up in a chaotic, threatening or abusive environment and because the caregiver shows inconsistent and unpredictable behaviour the child starts fearing for their safety. The child might seek closeness to the caregiver but at the same time, pull themselves away from them, due to fear.

When such a child is separated from their caregiver and then the parent returns, they may act oddly, by approaching them then turning away from them or freezing or even hitting the caregiver. All this is because of the childhood trauma they’ve experienced. In short, the parent is considered a source of both comfort and fear and thus the child adopts disorganized behaviour.

A child with a disorganized attachment may grow up to have some of the following symptoms:

  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of intimacy
  • Inability to regulate emotions
  • High levels of anxiety
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • Signs of both avoidant and anxious attachment styles
  • In relationships, they almost always expect and wait for disappointment, hurt and rejection to come.
  • Contradictory and unstable behaviours i.e. might be clingy one moment then dismissive at another.
  • They both desperately crave affection and want to avoid it at all costs.
  • They want to love and be loved but are afraid to let anyone in.
  • Likely to develop mental disorders such as personality or mood disorders or even substance abuse and self-harm.

4. Secure Attachment style (Low avoidance, Low anxiety): A child with this attachment style grows up with reliable caregivers who were quick to soothe, comfort and meet their needs. This creates trust towards the parents. The child feels safe, seen, understood and valued. They know they can depend on their caregivers to be there for them consistently and support them to explore the world around them to attain autonomy and independence.

The child feels safe to ask for reassurance or validation without punishment from the caregivers. When such a child is separated from their parent, they become distressed but upon their return, they welcome them warmly and with positive emotions.

As adults, those with this attachment tend to have healthy relationships and positive traits such as:

  • Ability to regulate emotions
  • High self-esteem and confidence
  • Great and effective communication skills
  • Comfortable being alone
  • Comfortable with closeness and mutual dependency
  • Easily trusting and bonding with others
  • Goal-oriented
  • Show healthy and balanced behaviours in relationships
  • Ability to open up and seek emotional support
  • Being easy to connect with
  • Ability to manage conflict well
  • Strong capacity to reflect on how you are being in a relationship

Take note that attachment styles aren’t everything in relationships and can be influenced by other factors as well. 

These styles are not permanent and can change over time through different experiences and variables in one’s life. For example, an individual with an insecure attachment can change to become secure when they’re in a relationship with an individual who has a secure attachment style and influences them to feel safe and calm as well. The opposite of this is also possible. Also, attachment styles are not mental disorders, even though they can make one more prone to certain disorders.

Nonetheless, we cannot undermine the impact of these styles on our relationships. Many times, people have unhealthy behavioural patterns and are unable to regulate their emotions without understanding the root cause of it all; attachment styles. These styles affect how we function, behave, think, connect with others and even feel. Inadvertently, they also affect how we raise our children and which kind of environment we provide for them. To break this dysfunctional cycle, it is important for each individual with an insecure style to actively work on changing to become secure.

How can one change that? Below is your answer.

Here are a few tips to acquire the secure attachment style:

1. Self-awareness is the first and most important step towards healing. Do some research on the topic so that you may understand the different attachment styles further and yourself better. YouTube can be a good place to start for we have many resources there concerning this topic. Personally, I love ‘The Personal Development School’ on Youtube for how they explain these matters, but the resources are so many.

Do understand that sometimes an individual could have different habits that are associated with different styles and this is because of the different experiences and traumas we face at different phases in our lives. We have several online quizzes on attachment styles that can help you in finding out which style you predominantly have. One link where you can conduct the quiz is here. They usually show you percentages of the attachment styles that you have according to your tendencies and habits. The biggest percentage shows your most predominant attachment style.

2. Once you have understood your attachment style, you should do some much-needed self-reflection and take the time to analyze your own emotions, habits, your triggers, how you deal with conflict, communicate and your interactions with other people. Pay attention to the emotional and physical sensations that come up around emotional intimacy. You could have a journal specifically for this and you could jot down what’s going on with you daily. This helps in not just understanding oneself but also gives you some relief from whatever emotions you carry with you.

3. This journey might not be easy so you must be ready to do the work however hard it might get. It is important to accept your weaknesses, unhealthy habits and the things you might need to work on. Be self-conscious about your thoughts and emotions and learn how to regulate them, soothe yourself, and positively interact with others.

4. Most of the time, we tend to attract people who will represent all the suppressed parts within us, or the parts that we wish were stronger within us or parts we’re ashamed of and wish to change. So for example, if someone is quiet and emotionally detached, they will attract a partner who is emotional and expressive. If someone is controlling and demanding, they attract a partner who is pleasing and submissive. If someone has a hard time asking for help, they attract a partner who asks for help all the time …etc.

A good example of such a case according to attachment styles is that anxious preoccupied individuals and avoidants tend to subconsciously attract one another despite the two being very opposite. The anxious one is impressed by the avoidant’s independence and mysteriousness as they wish they could depend less on others and be more self-reliant. The avoidant on the other hand is attracted to the anxious person because they provide endless love, warmth and intimacy-something they didn’t quite have while growing up.

But the problem is, the two individuals have very different needs when it comes to relationships. The anxious one wants closeness and intimacy from their partner and tends to be clingy and needy, while the avoidant one is intimidated by closeness and really values their independence and personal space. So despite their attraction, the relationship tends to become a chaotic trap of triggers and unmet needs. The two genuinely struggle to provide their partner with what they need. The avoidant feels the anxious one is too much, while the anxious one feels their avoidant partner is not enough for them. In fact, they call it the anxious-avoidant trap/dance/cycle, because the two individuals feel stuck. They have a hard time making it work but also a hard time moving away from each other. (You can read more about this here)

 It is thus very very important for a couple to understand their individual attachment styles and how they could be triggering each other. It is not impossible to make such relationships work but they need a certain level of self-awareness and willingness to grow and change for the better.

The two of you must have open and effective communication about your needs, worries and concerns so that you can also support each other in your healing journey. It might get very uncomfortable, especially for the avoidants but there is no shortcut to the process. The good thing is, the outcome is totally worth it!

Side note: Many times, the partners we’re seeking have traits and behaviours like one of our parents. The reason for this is that we’re trying to find an outcome that will be different from how it was with our parent. For example, if your father was inconsistent with you, you’d subconsciously find a partner who will also have inconsistent habits. The hope here is that you’ll be able to make them grant you the stability and consistency that you lacked in your childhood and thereafter heal your childhood wound.

We subconsciously get into such relationships in an attempt to heal that part of us that is insecure about our worthiness and to prove that we’re lovable after all. And sometimes it becomes a lifetime pattern of seeking such partners.

The way to avoid this pattern of attracting people who have unappealing behaviours like your parent, is by first trying to understand what you’re trying to heal. For example, are you trying to be loved by an abusive partner? Are you trying to attain affection from an avoidant? Once you identify what your core wounds are, then you can seek what you need from people who are actually capable of giving what you need-accepting you and proving to you that you’re not too much.

5. Working with a therapist may be the best way to go about this for they will guide you on how to regulate yourself and change for the better whilst taking into consideration your unique life story and personality.

6. If it might be hard for you to work with a therapist on this, you can enrol in online courses that are specific to your attachment style and they can help you navigate all types of relationships and emotions to attain a secured attachment. There are also some attachment-style workbooks that have practical exercises to deal with your style. Among the websites that offer such courses and workbooks include https://www.attachmentproject.com/ and https://university.personaldevelopmentschool.com/ among many others. There are also courses that are specific for couples of different attachment styles-showing them how their pairing works and how to navigate their relationships in a healthy manner.

7. Do understand that sometimes parents aren’t aware of how they’re emotionally affecting their children and are simply doing their best (abusive parents are a different case here). So you can acknowledge the effect they had on you, without blaming them for it. Most times they can’t undo anything they did and it is best if we all just looked forward and focused on the healing journey.

8. Regardless of the painful experiences of your past that shaped who you are, as an adult, it is best to leave the past where it is and take full control of your life now. Healing is an intentional choice that each one of us should make. So don’t allow your trauma to permanently ruin your emotional stability and how you relate with others.

9. Start working on building closer relationships with people by listening to their needs, worries and concerns as well. You could develop a step-by-step approach on how to effectively communicate with others, how to let them in and meet their emotional needs as well.

10. Do not beat yourself up for your shortcomings and don’t try to change everything at once. Have a system/plan which takes you step by step without overwhelming yourself. Remember that this is a long process and your effort is much appreciated. Involve a close friend or partner or even a trusted family member so that they can act as your support system and also hold you accountable. Most importantly, remember that consistency is key! Don’t expect your partner or your friends to do the work for you.

By consciously working through your unhealthy patterns and triggers, you can create satisfying relationships. So don’t give up! This is your personal project-strive to take intentional steps towards healing and healthier relationships.


Kp_counseling (on IG)










To read the first part of this article, please click on this link: https://lubnah.me.ke/before-dawn-part-1/

Have you realized that PP1 students, children of about 4 years only, study around 7 textbooks? And sometimes have to leave home as early as 6 a.m?!

When talking about the well-being of children, we must also talk about the draining effects of the new education system in our country.

The intention and vision behind the new curriculum (CBC) may be brilliant but the amount of pressure this system has exerted on parents, teachers, and the students has been immense so far. CBC aims to shift Kenya’s educational paradigm from a teacher-centred approach to a more student-centred one. Student-centered learning places more emphasis on skills development, a child’s well-being, and inclusivity. However, despite this new curriculum’s appeal, at least on paper, we know that there’s a lot more that needs to be done in reality. We have deeper systemic challenges that need to be dealt with i.e. teacher training, ineffective policy, and infrastructural barriers. Not to mention how these children and even the parents were not mentally prepared for all these changes. AT ALL!

Some assignments require the use of smartphones and the internet. Some require the active participation of parents for example practical making of scarecrows or musical instruments and the like. The number of lessons has increased for school children by almost double, which can be quite overwhelming. The number of textbooks plus supplementary books required in schools has been a big burden to most parents too. The reality is that many Kenyans still struggle to make ends meet let alone afford the internet. Some have to work overtime to bring food to the table such that they barely see their children let alone assist them with the assignments. What happens to these children? Or what can these helpless parents do? Weren’t all these factors to be taken into consideration before the implementation of the new system (even if we acknowledge its long-term benefit?)

We can see how bad things are by the number of children attempting or committing suicide for losing money intended for school or when achieving lower grades than expected. Just this year, students have had to attend 4 schools terms in an attempt to catch up with the time lost to COVID-19 last year, while parents have had to pay school fees 4 times too. The frustration and exhaustion are affecting many parents, students, and even the teachers to scary depths.


Parents too play a major role in creating emotional distress amongst school-going children. Some of them offer conditional positive regard and love on the basis of their performance or the career path their children partake. If one was lucky enough to have joined a university or a college, then there was the endless reminder of how much money (most of which were loans) is being paid for the school tuition. You could never afford to fail, or God forbid repeat a class, even if you really did your best! 

There’s also the very common habit of forcing children to take up courses they have zero interest in. How many students have we heard went into depression because they were forced to study medicine or engineering despite the child’s apprehension and protests? Parents set the standards for their children based on their own personal dreams and self-fulfillment, and induce pressure on their children to do as they expect. When the children attempt to resist the university courses that their parents want them to enrol in, they are threatened with abandonment – “you’ll pay your own fees” or “please move out of my house.” Some are even ready to disown their children if they don’t follow the career path they choose for them.

Understandably, parents want the best for their children and they have more experience in life. However, that does not in any way help when their son or daughter is passionate about a different career path. It is also not helpful when the children have to suffer psychologically and emotionally in order to please their parents. So many children have had to resort to two degrees; one that the parents want them to undertake, and another that they want for themselves. Some had to drop out at some point due to the dissatisfaction and lack of interest in the degree courses their parents chose for them.


The struggle for young adults doesn’t end here. 

After being forced into careers that they’re not passionate about, many students at the university are often faced with myriad other challenges. Even for the students who genuinely dedicate themselves to their education, university life can become overwhelming. This is the phase whereby everything seems to put one on the edge. You’re either thinking about your future, your career, or your piling, unpaid fees; and at the same time, you are thinking about the need to establish social networks crucial for career progression in the future; or worried that you haven’t seen your family for close to eight months, or missing out on forming important long-lasting relationships. 

When were you ever going to rest?

In a report by the Kenyatta National Hospital that was released in 2015, over 100 cases of attempted suicide among the youth aged between 18-25 (mostly campus students) were reported within a span of two months. These numbers have escalated since the Covid-19 pandemic. Keep in mind that these are only the reported cases. With suicide and attempted suicide still being considered taboo in the majority of Kenyan cultures, many of the cases are hidden.

In a 2019 publication by The Standard Entertainment epaper, there are growing concerns over the number of young adults committing suicide. One victim of suicide was Ndirangu Mwai, a second-year student who committed suicide at his rented house outside the university premises. It is said that Ndirangu had confessed to a local pastor about his suicide plan over squabbles between his parents regarding poor grades.

Another 23-year-old student, Edwin Mwaizi, a fourth-year Petroleum Engineering student, committed suicide by inhaling carbon IV. In the note that he had left behind, he stated that he was stressing over lack of money and upcoming end-of-semester exams among other reasons. 

According to someone who knew him closely, Edwin was smart and ambitious.

The surge of suicide attempts and cases haven’t only been reported among campus students. We’ve also heard quite a number of times from the news, of children at primary school level committing suicide too. In 2018, a class eight student allegedly committed suicide for not performing well in a test. The 15-year-old had been leading his fellow candidates in other internal tests. However, it is said that he came out second out of 26 with 372 marks during the second term while the leading candidate scored 373 marks. As reported by The Standard Entertainment epaper, sources said that the boy wrote on the blackboard, explaining his disappointment with his performance.

The note – “Congratulations to all my teachers who have been teaching me since I joined this school. It is not my fault to bid you goodbye but because of unavoidable circumstances, I’m forced to do so. It is useless to live without peace according to my gradual poor performance. To all candidates, best wishes in your exams. We shall meet again.”

According to the school headteacher, the student hadn’t performed poorly: “The information I have is that some children reported to his guardians that his academic performance was declining when they saw him become number two. But that is untrue because last time he was number one with 369 marks while this time round he was number two with 372 marks,” he said. The headteacher speculated that the boy’s problems might have emanated from home.

Whether or not this young boy truly died from suicide because of his results, isn’t it heartbreaking that a child would even consider 372 marks (out of a possible 500) as a failure? 

This is just one example. 

There are many others who take their own lives due to their perceived poor performance in school. Who’s responsible? 

Parents, for instance, are known to have helped their children cheat in exams, to have bribed the system, or to completely subvert it. For example, they have registered their children to sit their exams in poor-performing schools, so as to take advantage of the quotas reserved for these underprivileged schools by prestigious secondary schools: Alliance, Kenya High, Maseno School, Mang’u, Starehe, Limuru Girls, are often amongst those most prized. Students resort to cheating in exams, after realizing their parents are also doing it. 

Where did this obsession for ‘success’ through shortcuts, really come from?

I once spoke during a parents-teachers meeting for KCPE candidates and the on-going discussion was whether the candidates should attend classes on Saturday too during the holiday period. First of all, the Ministry of Education had already banned holiday classes, but several schools were doing it secretly. In addition, plus the assignments being given daily, they wanted the children to go to school on Saturday too. 

‘When will these children rest?!’ I remember protesting. 

Even if they’re examination candidates, it gets to a point where it is just too much for them too. How do we expect them to learn if we keep over-feeding them with information and assignments to a saturation point?

Only one other parent, a mzungu, agreed with me in the entire room, all rejecting my apprehensions. They all recounted how hard they had to work, relayed the pressure they endured during their time as students. 

Then I was tempted to ask, ‘and how did that turn out for you? Are you happy with your life?’ But well, I decided against it. 

Throughout the entire meeting, as the mzungu and I conversed, I could sense an air of disappointment, ridicule perhaps, coming from the parents’ present. An atmosphere that gave life to the old adage, ‘Coastal and white people often spoil their children.’ 

They proceed to talk about how life is challenging, and of the need to toughen up children so that they could deal. In my mind, I kept thinking, the economy and life in our country has always been tough since I could form any independent thought. That it is very likely that our children, including their own children, would also have to hustle hard so as to make it in life. But then again, why do we feel the need to put our children through the same dysfunctional system? Why do we need to make these ten, twelve-year-olds understand struggle at such a tender age? Why do we romanticize struggle and poverty and hustling and harsh environments like it is the ONLY way that we can ever succeed in life? Why do we make it seem like one needs to work fifteen to twenty hours a day, or even more, so as to make it in life? 

What exactly constitutes making it in life anyway? 


Stay tuned for the final part of this article. Thank you!


Also, my book ‘Reflection & Resurgence: A Believer’s Journey to Islam’ is available at 1500/= only. To get yours contact me at 0704 731 560

You are worthy because Allah created you. Because you are one of His creatures.
Because He knows your name.

As human beings we sometimes struggle with our feelings of worthiness and perceptions of our own value.

We see someone who has ‘more’ than us and we feel less. We look at his big house, his four wheel drive and his gadgets and we feel less.
We see someone who has ‘accomplished’ more than us and we feel less.
We are awed by his multiple university degrees, or his lofty job title or the powerful people he knows and we feel less.

A lucrative career does not make someone worthier and neither do excellent grades or being multilingual or being “gorgeous.”

Just know that you are worthy just by being you.

Ladies, take note- you do not have to look a certain way or look like someone else or take off your hijab to be worthy.

You do not have to torture yourself with toxic chemicals because you desire to keep up with the Khateebs or the Alwis. You do not have to be a certain weight or a certain skin tone. You do not have to impress anyone to feel valuable.

You are priceless just the way you are.

Parents, take note….your child does not have to bring home straight A’s or win academic awards for you to be proud of him. He is deserving of it just the way he is. Your child does not have to bend over backwards or reinvent the wheel or come out at the top of his respective class for him to be worthy of your love. Put no conditions on your love.
Love him for who he is.

Young people take note. You do not have to smoke, do drugs, skip school to be worthy of your ‘friends’ or to fit in.

You deserve friends who will hang out with you for who you really are.
Gentlemen, take note. You do not have to compete with others to be worthy. You do not have to waste the precious hours of your life trying to prove that you can be more than , have more than or be just like that man you envy and admire.

You are worthy whatever salary you make, whatever you use for transportation, however old your electronics are and even if she is the only wife you have.
You are worthy.

For those of us who are so very abundantly blessed, you can have all that you are blessed to have without believing somebody else deserves it more.
You can learn to be grateful for Allah’s gifts and blessings on you without feeling guilty for having them.

Can you not see that in itself is disbelief and a lack of faith?
It might be a challenging feat learning and accepting that we are worthy. Allah loves us and blesses us in so many ways and that in itself should teach us that we are worthy.

Our worthiness is not defined by age or beauty or net worth or achievements. The more we place emphasis on these things the more people will fall into self loathing and a sense of not fitting in.

You are worthy, dear reader. You are worthy. You have been worthy since the day you were born and your father gave you your name. You are worthy.
You are worthy of all that is good and safe and blessed. You are worthy of great health and prosperity. You have no need to apologise for yourself or your uniqueness which the Almighty bestowed on you. You are worthy. You are worthy.

Say it with me. I AM WORTHY.

One of the saddest things is hearing people say, “I need help but I don’t want my family to know…”It says a lot about the person, the situation and the family; especially the parents. It is a messed up society. The youth are afraid to speak up about their struggles and depression because they are afraid of their parents’ reactions. The situation is such that depression is almost becoming a trend now. And the parents? They remain oblivious of how much their children are struggling. I am not pointing fingers at anyone. As I said, it is a messed up situation. The youth could be unnecessarily worried about speaking up. Perhaps their parents would in fact listen and help them get help. Perhaps they would be supportive. Perhaps you speaking up would be a wake up call for them. How would you know if you never approached them? This generation is so good at hiding so we can’t entirely blame the parents for not miraculously knowing you’re in pain. The family on the other side could be playing a role; sometimes a major role, in the problem itself. Carrying on with the same old traditions and customs, our parents seem blinded on how much they actually play a role in facilitating depression amongst their children. Here are some ways in which parents, unintentionally cause unnecessary pain, struggle and hopelessness.

1. Forcing them to take up courses/careers they aren’t interested in: I was talking to this 18 year old girl who just completed form four. She says she HATES maths, she FAILED maths and she doesn’t want anything to do with it. Oh well guess what, her family still thought that being an accountant is the only way to succeed in this life.I couldn’t understand how anyone could see her misery and still force her do this. It is sad, so sad, that parents have this one track mind. Parents believe they know what is best for their children (which majority of the times is true) but sometimes this is not the reality. If someone despises something that much, what kind of life do you expect your child to have at university? Sleepless nights, over-working themselves, breaking down cause of constant failure…what for?? Is it really worth it?? Even if they indeed work their sweat off and pass their exams, what kind of a career will they have? One whereby they deal with numbers for eight constant hours, seven days a week…do you expect your child to lead a happy life? Will they be any less valuable or worthy if they didn’t become that person you expect them to be or that they didn’t follow your footsteps?? Go ask around the students at university, ask them what they study and majority will tell you they do it because they had no option. Because their parent chose this course for them. Because becoming an artist or a chef or a journalist won’t take you that far. But would it give them a chance to grow? A chance to go after their dreams? A chance to be happy? So long as it is something that can still earn them some money and is decent enough then why not?? WHY NOT?!

2. Imposing their beliefs/opinions on their children: This happens a lot. A child is rarely allowed to have his/her own opinions. So a father would tell his son, ‘A real man marries from his own tribe’ or ‘A real woman should know how to carry firewood on her back’…This and that and that..Opinions are fine but imposing them on someone else is what is wrong. What if your son would love to marry someone from a different far-off culture, does it make him any less a man? What if your daughter knows how to sew clothes instead of carrying firewood, what do we label her? As much as we’d love our children to think in a certain way or to be our copies, it is wrong to force to them think in a certain way. The best a parent can do is advise. If a child follows their own path despite your words, they’ll be the ones to face the consequences of their actions; whether good or bad. Let your children fly. If they bump into a tree and fall down, they’ll come back to you crying and seeking your wisdom. Yet still, don’t cut their wings. You can’t protect them from the word, you can only guide and pray for them.

3. Forcing/Pressurizing them into marriages: ‘I got married at 18, you are 28 and you are still single’ ‘I was a father at your age’ ‘This is the best bride you could get’. I get it, parents get worried about their children; where they are headed to, whom they’ll have a family with, whether they’ll settle down like their mates or not. We get it. It is a scary world and it’s natural for them to be worried or desire to take control of their matters. But the reality is that your son/daughter is the one who will live with that person, that it is them who will handle the responsibilities, that it is them who will live that life. At least give them the chance to choose their paths; what time they decide they are ready to settle and who they want to settle with. Don’t make them any less human for not not being married yet or for not wanting the person you chose for them.

4. Comparing them with other children: This includes comparison amongst siblings. We are all built differently, with different personalities and different emotions within us. We experience the same things differently and different things the same way. We come from different backgrounds and the words we use in our home could be banned in yours. Your child could start speaking at two years and another at four. Your child and your neighbours’ could go to the same school since kindergarten and live in the same environment, yet they’d still perform differently and have different opinions. That is how it is, even for siblings living under the same roof with the same parents. We are different. Parents tend to make this mistake to always compare their children with others. It could be in performance, achievements, beauty, neatness, skills…anything really. Yet this is how they slowly ruin their childrens’ self esteem from a very tender age.

5. Getting children mixed up with adult problems: This is in the case of divorce or separation or just parents having frequent fights amongst themselves. Many times the parents never consider the effects of these fights on their children. Many children from broken families end up having trust issues or being depressed or unable to commit to any relationship. Parents would fight over custody of children, make them choose whom they want to live with, keep repeating to them how their other parent is worthless or is a bad parent, comparing the bad habits of the children to their other parent and so on. Children end up being exposed to unnecessary drama and chaos, traumatizing them psychologically and the effects would be seen way into their adulthood.

6. Rarely showing appreciation: A child could be responsible, obedient, hardworking…but the parent would never take a minute to praise them or show them appreciation or tell them how worthy they are. But once this same child does a mistake, he/she would be lectured, insulted and maybe even not spoken to. There is no balance and as such, the child ends up feeling worthless despite everything else good that they do.

7. Absent parents: These are the worst. Because you can barely tell if these children have parents or not. They are either too busy working, or too busy fighting, or too busy travelling, or too busy with their own business, they rarely have time for their children. They could be providing for them their basic needs but they don’t offer the emotional connection they desperately need. Sometimes they are forced to take up responsibilities, bigger than their age to cover for their parents’ absenteeism. This sometimes leads to the children seeking love or any emotional bond elsewhere to compensate for what they lack.

8. Never involving children in family decisions: It all starts with the small things. If a parent involves his/her child in decision making with regards to the house issues, then the child automatically feels valued. Even if it is by asking them what food to cook today or what colour they think will be best if painted in the room. The child feels that his opinions and thoughts are welcomed, wanted and appreciated. Even if their suggestions won’t be accepted, the children will still feel proud and their confidence will obviously boost. Yet what happens when the opposite happens? A child gets home and is just informed that the next day they are moving to another town. A child gets home and his father has traveled abroad without a word. A child gets home and some of his clothes have been given out. As much as parents have the right to do whatever they want in their homes, it does certainly have an impact on a child with regards to whether or not he was informed/involved or asked his opinion. Unfortunately we tend to think asking for children’s opinions is too Western but children often surprise us with their thoughts. And it is by these small decisions that children get to assume how much their opinions are valued or not.

9. Never supporting their ventures: So your child decided to open a furniture shop instead of the tiles shop you wanted them to. You decide you won’t support them. In fact, why talk to them even? They disobeyed me. But maybe your child believes that this will work out better for them. Maybe they love dealing with furniture and decors. Maybe this is a risk they must take for them to know what they are capable of. Sometimes all a parents needs to do is show support despite the differences in opinions. One can’t say the support doesn’t matter. It definitely does. One becomes more confident when they know they have their family backing them up.

10. Parents who are too proud to accept their mistakes: Indeed we are all human beings with so many flaws. Parents sacrifice and do a lot to ensure their children have good, stable lives. No one can delete or ignore their efforts. However, parents sometimes ignore their own wrongdoings and mistakes despite them having an impact on their children. They wouldn’t accept they are wrong when they publicly embarrass their children for lack of some skills, they wouldn’t accept their mistakes when their children’s teacher complains of their absenteeism to the parents’ meetings. They wouldn’t accept they are wrong when they demoralize their own children or when they send their young children to buy them weed. So first they make the mistake and second, they demand that no one questions the way they raise their children. Having stubborn parents like that, a child may end up having low self esteem, or have the wrong view of life or themselves. The child may end up thinking that accepting mistakes means one is weak, so they follow suit. There are many ways in which this could affect a child.

As much as we love and respect our parents, maybe it is high time we said it out loud that many are the reason their children are undergoing depression or being constantly sad. They also play a role in silencing the screams from within due to the children’s’ fear. Maybe it is high time we are open about these things so that maybe, just maybe, the future generations can have better, understanding parents. Ameen!

P.S. I dare you to try talking to your parents about what’s stressing and eating you up. You never know. You just never know. It could be your gateway to a healthier relationship with them. Plus, they could help you through your dark times, who knows?!

Photo Courtesy: Unknown

Of Blame Games
Stop. Let’s stop right there. Let’s have a moment of silence. Let’s take a moment to understand what is happening before pointing fingers or saying what’s wrong or right. A young man was killed by the mob; a wanted young man, part of a gang, and his mates now want revenge. But that isn’t the full story is it? There is a whole lot of things that have gotten us to where we are. One of which is the blame game.

Let’s stop because the too strong blame game will not bring any results. We need to critically look for a way forward soon and soon enough. We need answers not speculations. We need to come together not split further into antagonists and protagonists.

Of lost Youth, Drugs & Unemployment
What could have gone so wrong? Is it that we were raised in such a wrong way? Is it that our parents and leaders have failed us? Is it that we are too cool for planet earth? But no. We are all to blame. Parents, Teachers, Leaders, Peers…We have failed each other. We all have an equal role for we have brought ourselves down. Let’s not say there are no jobs. Let’s face it; jobs can be found. You just need to seriously look and TRY. Problem is, there are no jobs that we think we deserve. The problem is when we say, I have an education so I can’t, shouldn’t and wouldn’t ever be a shopkeeper or a tailor or anything else that appears minor in our eyes. Let’s accept that our youth have gotten the wrong idea of life and success. Let’s accept that this is the generation that watches macho violent movies and we forget those are but fiction that we forget the part ‘Don’t try this at home’. This is the generation that is sooo obsessed with ‘Being Someone’ such that any way to get to that is good enough. Drugs that are easily found by teenagers, how does that happen under our noses? How are we training our young ones to be steadfast and upright in such a century? How are we being role models to the youth such that they can be something in this life without harming others? Allah (S.W) says in Surat Ra’d: Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. Can we be the change first?

Of Tearful Mothers and Hurt Fathers
We can all agree on this; No parent ever wants to see their children lose their way, being in the wanted list or harming other people (Not unless the parent/s themselves are involved) So let’s not be too quick to say, ‘How did his/her parents let him become a goon like that? It must be that they were negligent.’ Okay maybe they are negligent. Maybe they failed at some point in their parenting. Yes maybe they should have brought forward their spoiled child for rehabilitation or for justice. Maybe they should have tried harder…but who are we to criticize when we haven’t even heard their side of story. How can we ever know how much they battled and wept for the children or they still do? Perhaps they also had some little hope for them to reform, maybe they didn’t want to give up praying just yet.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on what happened with Nabii Nuh when he was asked by Allah (S.W) to ask all the believers to leave with him on the ship as from the qur’an.: “And [Noah] said, “Embark therein; in the name of Allah is its course and its anchorage. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.

And it sailed with them through waves like mountains, and Noah called to his son who was apart [from them], “O my son, come aboard with us and be not with the disbelievers.”

[But] he said, “I will take refuge on a mountain to protect me from the water.” [Noah] said, “There is no protector today from the decree of Allah , except for whom He gives mercy.” And the waves came between them, and he was among the drowned.

And the story goes on and he says:
“And Noah called to his Lord and said, “My Lord, indeed my son is of my family; and indeed, Your promise is true; and You are the most just of judges!”

He said, “O Noah, indeed he is not of your family; indeed, he is [one whose] work was other than righteous, so ask Me not for that about which you have no knowledge. Indeed, I advise you, lest you be among the ignorant.” (Ch 11:41-48 Quran)

Does that mean that Nabii Nuh failed as a parent? No. Or when Qabil killed Habil, did that make Adam (A.S) a bad parent? Some children are but tests to their parents and as much as some have contributed to their children’s ugly behaviours, some are nothing but helpless souls. We should be encouraging them to bring out their children for rehab instead of throwing off words to judge their parenting. We should join them in prayers for today it might be their child tomorrow might be yours. Yes, life is that scary.

Of misplaced priorities
Where is all our concentration? No, let’s be honest. What have we given our priority to? Hasn’t it been politics and what which politician did what or arguing over who is a better candidate? Hasn’t it always been on petty issues like what day was ‘real Eid’? Haven’t we put too much energy debating and roasting one another online over ridiculous issues like who holds a fake account and whose wife was seen where? For how long have these gangs been harassing different communities? Long enough to bring about call to action. I won’t discredit the efforts of some individuals and few leaders who’ve tried taming the situation but this should be something we all come together for; not with too much anger and remorse, but with wisdom, prayers and smart strategies.

Of unethical images and their widespread
Please people, it is wrong. It is so very wrong to publicly share photos of a dead individual especially when it shows his/her face or that makes him identifiable. It doesn’t matter if someone was a thief, a goon or a ninja assassin because when one dies, they just become a body. Those widespread photos won’t hurt him, but will hurt his loved ones who probably have no involvement in his/her actions. It is disturbing that you share those images even when you put a huge disclaimer that the photos are disturbing. I mean why are we so hungry to be the ones to spread some news? Please adapt the golden rule which says, ‘Do unto others as you would have done unto you’. Now maybe you are not a thief or a goon on the wanted list, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want such disturbing photos of your brother or friend or even someone you know being spread after they die or killed or suicide or during an accident…whichever the case is. Give the dead their privacy and respect. Their judgement is now upon the Most High.

Of second chances
I’m just trying to imagine, what if one of the gang members really wants to surrender right now?? But then there is the wrath of the people awaiting him. Would he really surrender? Should he? Would you, if you were in his shoes? We say we really want to help our young ones and children, but are we ready to give them second chances? Can we accept them back and forgive them? Perhaps they need reassurance. Maybe not all, but even if one is ready to repent then that’s a win for a community.

Remember the story of Ghawrath bin al-Harith. When the Prophet received word that some of the tribes of Ghatafan were mobilizing an attack on Madinah, so he undertook a small expedition toward their territory but they fled before the Muslims arrival.

However, while the Prophet was resting under a tree, an enemy warrior by the name of Ghawrath ibn al-Harith, who had pledged to assassinate the Prophet, quietly took the Prophet’s sword as he slept and suddenly declared, “O Muhammad, who will save you from me?” The Prophet awoke and simply replied, “Allah.” Ghawrath inexplicably dropped the sword and the Prophet picked it up and asked, “Now, who will save you from me?”

Ghawrath was astonished and pleaded, “Be the better victor!”
The Prophet Muhammad forgave him. He asked Ghawrath whether he believed in the truth of Islam and Ghawrath replied, “No, but I promise not to fight you or aid those who fight you.” The Prophet let Ghawrath return to his tribe, whereupon Ghawrath said, “Verily, I have come from the best of people.” (Mustadarak al-Hakim, Sunan al-Bayhaqi, and Ibn Kathir in al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah). Food for thought.

Perhaps there is too much bitterness right now; of harmed individuals and robbed people. There are also revenge plots looming, God have mercy on us…
It is understandable why people would choose mob justice any time, but can we come together to sincerely help them, forgive them? Can we come together to make a special prayer for our lost youth? Can someone who knows how to go about this, arrange please? I mean, last time we had drought we came together to pray asking for rain alhamdulilah, why not do it again, for our brothers and children and future generations too? After all, it is only Allah who can grant guidance to people. Why can’t we have these many sheikhs come together with our leaders and parents for prayers and for a way forward?? To ensure that those who need rehabilitation are taken there?

May Allah guide us and our young ones and our children and protect us from all evil and bloodshed. Let us remember to pray for ourselves and our cities and communities frequently. Ameen.


Photo Credit: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com

There are many people in this world who are successful, who have been successful, who know the taste of success yet just a few know the taste of progress, consistency and prosperity. You have become the doctor the always wanted to become now what next? You have always wanted to own your own business, now you do. Yes you have succeeded. But after that is there any progress? Is your dream bringing in goodies like you expected? You have passed university level with flying colours…but where is the job? It is therefore one thing to succeed and quite another to be blessed in what you do.

There is the famous saying that goes like, ‘it is the little things that matter.’ Yes, even in success, it is the little, small, tiny gestures of humanity, love and humility that keeps pushing us the ladder. Let me mention to you a few things that isn’t taught to us yet it should.

1.Your parents; they are your secret weapon, secret key to success of all kinds. Whether it is to pass your exams, get a job, get a promotion, get a good spouse, have a beautiful life here and the hereafter too…all lies in how you treat and deal with your parents. It may be something you don’t see directly; they are not the ones to literally grant you the promotion or miraculously make your exam results turn out great but it is all a matter of how pleased and happy they are with you. Yes, I mean it. Be a good child. Remember your parents all the time. Make them happy, not by showering them with money, but by giving them your quality time, by helping them, by loving them, by showing them that you care for them more than your phone or your corny girlfriend/boyfriend.

Have you ever seen an educated person with a good job yet is still miserable? Have you seen an intelligent, brilliant student yet they still struggle to pass? Well they could be having other troubles but trust me, when your parents are pleased with you, you will see how things will work out easily. You will see how God will shower you with blessings from all corners and you wonder how. Ever seen two siblings, one who has succeeded in their education and maybe is wealthy too yet the drop-out reaches a higher level of success and attainment of happiness? It doesn’t matter what your religion is, as a matter of fact, all faiths have always insisted about parents and how we should always be kind to them. So this is it. You want to succeed in this life and the next? Please your parents. Never underestimate their prayers for you or the smile that you put on their face. And by the way, the more difficult your parents are to please, the more blessed you become. Do it tirelessly. Help them sincerely with a lot of love. And when you do this, always put the intention that you want God to bless your life for your actions towards your parents. Try this out. I promise by God’s will, you will see a change in your life!

2.Your teachers, your lecturers, your tutors…you name it; they also play a big role to ensure your progress but only if you prove to them that you are worth it. Most of us when we get to high school level and university, we tend to believe that our teachers are useless. We mock them, give them ugly nicknames, judge them by how  they dress etc etc. It is usually all part of the ‘school fun’ as some would name it. But besides that all, your teacher deserves respect from you however mean, ugly, dirty, foolish, awkward they are. They deserve your respect for their title, ‘teacher’. You may not really get this but intelligence is not the secret to success trust me. Teachers are very observant and keen on every students’ behaviour. They appreciate hardworking students, humble and those who appreciate them too. Sometimes you may wonder why a teacher is close to a weak student in performance yet it is because this particular student is treating the teacher with respect and  appreciation. And this particular weak student is the same one you will meet years later driving a Mercedes and you remain mouth agape asking how!

Let me tell you how. The teacher saw the student’s potential plus the great respect, he ended up giving this student all the words of wisdom, the secret formulas, the way out of difficult situations, the empowerment he needed. And even years after this weak student has graduated, every single opportunity this teacher comes across, whom do you think will he contact? The arrogant intelligent student or the weak humble and hardworking student? I am not telling you to love them, talk to them 24/7, bring them gifts or visit them every weekend. I am saying, treat them well however stupid, mean, ugly they look. keep their contacts safely. Ask for their advise whenever you need it. Ask for help whenever you are stranded. Ask for their ideas, opinions and criticisms even after you are done with that level of education. Teachers appreciate being acknowledged by their students and I promise they will do the same for you. You will be the first person they call whenever a good opportunity arises. And this is one of the things I’ve never regretted. I have the phone numbers of different teachers from primary level to university. It has done nothing to me but good. You should try it!

3.Stop being narcissistic and believing that no one can do it better than you, that you are always right and that you   are your own mentor. Find inspiration from out there. There is always ALWAYS someone better than you in what you do or look or even think. So cut this drama of, ‘I am thee best.’ Sweetheart, thee best is definitely not you or anyone else. There is always going to be someone one step or ten steps ahead of you. Learn to be humble. Accept positive criticisms. Ask for help when stranded. Listen to other people’s opinions and thoughts. Learn from others. Accept your mistakes. Accept when someone else is right and not you. Seek and reach out to all kind of people. That is what makes the successful one become MORE progressive.

4.NEVER underestimate the dunderhead, the slow learner, the thick headed, the uneducated, the less educated than you are, the poor, the man seated on the street…just never underestimate anyone. We believe that education is not only the one that we learn and study in class, but there is the greater knowledge of life that none can comprehend better than these people who’ve known failure, hunger and struggle. The cobbler on the pavement of the street could give you a great idea about your business, your house help could have experience in something that you don’t, your child or younger ones could have brilliant thoughts that could help you. So always look out and listen keenly to anyone who has an idea, a thought, a suggestion, an opinion or criticisms. Never choose whom to listen to. Open up to everyone who can bring positive changes to your life. You don’t have to follow what everyone says but what do you lose if you listen to them all? All you have to do is listen then filter the important information and the unimportant, the great ideas from the lousy ones. There…did you lose anything? NO. So??

My friend, being successful is difficult, hard, a tough journey but being consistent and progressive is even tougher and it is by such small things in life that create the whole difference. So don’t just aim at being successful. Aim at being continuously successful; more success by the day.

Photo Courtesy: www.ayeina.com

Personally, I consider young marriages the best thing ever. You are not too old to have fun, do all these crazy things young people do while dating and especially that you can have children at a good age and be able to get playful with them. Yet sometimes, for some people, this may not be the best option for them. Parents usually think differently; their focus is on seeing their children happy and settled. However, they take some things for granted when it comes to young marriages involving their children which thereafter costs not just one person but both parties and families. The following are some of the things parents should keep in mind when dealing with such issues:

1. If it is not a happy marriage then she/he is better off without it. Marriage is an entire life of commitment, patience, tolerance, humbleness, understanding and most importantly, love. If the lady or young man is not interested in the marriage then please do not force them into it. This is about their happiness; not about the parents or two families or the business that would prosper if the two families joined. This is your child’s life at stake here. As much as parents are to be respected since they are more experienced in life and they have the wisdom, don’t assume your child’s happiness is the same as what you would consider as yours. We are living in totally different times and our definitions of everything has changed. Please do not force your child. And even when you are right, then definitely there will come a time they will realize it and appreciate your words but still, do not force. The consequences of that can be tragic.

2. When a young man says he wants to get married, GET HIM MARRIED. Parents should stop denying their young men from getting married due to excuses like ‘he is studying’ or ‘you are too young’. We all know that most men are scared of commitments and we probably know it is because of the responsibilities that come with it but if a young man says he needs to get married then it is because he really NEEDS to get married. When you stop him, do keep in mind you have a share of all the evil this young man will do along the way until the time you think he is old enough. This would be happening well if parents tried to understand their son’s situation and accommodate his financial needs and for his wife whilst he settles down. It is not a bad thing if he is given such support because we all know what a young energetic man can do in this current world when he is denied a wife. There is pornography, rape, fornication etc etc. So which would you rather offer to your son? Financial support or a go-ahead to spread immorality in this already rotten world? Same applies with a lady; even if she is studying but asks for marriage then don’t automatically reject. Advise her, yes but don’t get rough lest she becomes rebellious. Such issues need mature talks rather than abusive ones. This doesn’t mean parents should let them get into marriage just because of intimacy for marriage is a lot more than that. It therefore depends on the young man involved. If he is known to be responsible then why not? If he still needs to be grow up then parents should be there to advise him and guide him before letting him take up the commitment.

3. When a young man says he is not ready to marry then do not force him into it. As much all parents fear for their children on the fitna around and wish for them to settle down as soon as possible, pushing him to get married is unsaid of. Ironic thing about families is that they will be quick to say, ‘get married son, we will support you do the wedding’ so they will contribute thousands and thousands for dowry and a huge wedding and then when the boy comes to borrow salt from their house, they will be the same people to say, ‘see he took responsibilities he couldn’t handle and now he just keeps borrowing here and there.’ Oh! Weren’t you the same people who pushed him to marry even when you knew he is not ready financially and even maybe psychologically? Nowadays we have so many ladies so miserable in their marriages and maybe even have children because her home is just like a lodging to her spouse. He only comes home for food and bed and nothing else. Why? Because the boy was pushed to marry yet he still fancies his bachelorhood life and he lacks maturity. If the young man can control himself then well and good; please let us not ruin ladies’ lives because of an immature being. Again, same applies to a lady.

4. There is nothing like ‘You are rejecting God’s blessing or rizq’. How many times, have we heard parents or other people talk of ‘wakataa rizki’. Truly, marriage is a blessing and there are so many ladies out there who wish that any man would knock on their doors but this doesn’t justify the pressure parents and relatives put on their children so as to get married. We all have to keep one important detail in mind: When God wants something to happen then it WILL happen whether we like it or not; and He knows it better. Therefore, people should stop misusing this statement. If it is one’s rizq then it will definitely happen. It is NOT their rizq that’s why they rejected and most importantly, it is because God did not will it to happen.

5.Coming to the consequences, there are some psychological effects of pushing children to get married. Some end up hating the whole idea of marriage while some go into marriage with an attitude. Where will the peace be found in such a home? The one forced will always be moody and temperamental and will always find faults in the spouse. Where is the happiness there? Some people are lucky that with time they were able to accept their spouse as they are and finally found the peace and joy… but for others it ends up being a miserable life which may end up in divorce. Parents should know that the pressure they exert on their children affects them deeply more than they can imagine. So please stop the psychological torture, blackmail and bullying. Please stop using words like ‘what if we die without seeing your wedding?’. Where is the belief in qadar (fate) here??

6. If someone is on a self-discovery journey then please respect that. Some people have issues; deep issues. Some have very low esteem. Some don’t love themselves. Some are broken. Some need to stand up from their fall. Some need self acceptance. The current generations have too much stress; which is such an unfortunate thing but nonetheless, we can’t close our eyes to these problems. Parents should help their children deal with their emotional problems before pushing them into marriage. How can someone love someone else before they know how to love themselves?

7. Personally, I really dislike when I hear families saying, ‘She is a wild girl, maybe he will be able to settle her down’ Same case with boys. So many times parents have married off their wild, hyper, immature children to partners with good profiles with the hope that they will change. As much as I understand the plight of the parents but this is unfair sometimes for they are using the girl/boy. It is no longer a marriage but rather a therapy. Not unless the other child involved is interested then this shouldn’t be okay at all. Most of the times, the one being used here is the one who ends up being miserable. How do you marry off your daughter to a drug addict just because he needs someone to change him? No one can change anyone except when they are willing so. Change is self driven.

8. Marriage is a beautiful thing really and parents, especially of the lady, should know that when their daughter is proposed then it is her life, her chastity and dignity that is in hand here. As much as you believe your daughter is priceless, do put into consideration how much damage you are causing by demanding high dowry rates or only accepting very rich men’s proposals. Yes money is important but not more important than your daughter’s happiness and dignity.

The old say, if you haven’t tasted marriage then you haven’t tasted the sweetest part of life. It’s a bond that can’t be compared to any other and for us, the Muslims, it can be your reason to go to jannah. So for the married couples, I hope you are doing it right 🙂 And for the parents, please be supportive to your young men and ladies; you are all they got! Because at the end of the day, a young man’s/woman’s perception about marriage is shaped by what they have seen from their parents. So parents have a big role to play in such matters coz you have been it and much as experiences may differ, you are familiar with the common denominators in marriage which might act as critical pointers as to how our children perceive of marriage.But when all is said and done, it is the role of parents to encourage their children to uphold the institution of marriage because negative forces exist and the event of falling into it is a real threat. May Allah protect us all and guide us on the right path.