On my oldest daughter’s first day of school, she came home and said, “John says I’m his girlfriend. What does that mean?” I explained to her that everyone, boy or girl, is her friend and there is no need for special terms like boyfriend or girlfriend. As she was only five, that seemed like enough of an explanation. The next week, she announced that she could no longer wear her favorite dress because, “Susie says it’s stupid.” I explained that she is free to choose her own clothes and that Susie’s opinion shouldn’t sway her. The following month, she came home and said, “What’s a homosexual?” That’s when we took her out of school and began to homeschool.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t want her to learn about homosexuality — I don’t want her to learn about any sexuality. Not right now. No, my daughter is still sweet and innocent, childlike in a way that is too quickly passing. I don’t want that taken away from her. Not yet.
The same with the boyfriend and girlfriend issue. Although Muslims do not date, I know that the day will come when we’ll have to have the dating and premarital sex conversation. Not in kindergarten, though.
There are too many things happening in our local public schools that I don’t want my children exposed to. Kids are experimenting with their sexuality at a shockingly young age. Things that used to be taboo for married couples are now happening in school restrooms. Kids go to school showing off their bodies in a way that is so far beyond their years. Children are trying alcohol and drugs at younger and younger ages. So many kids do not respect themselves and cannot respect anyone else. That is not what I want for my daughters.
Rules have been taken out of the schools and out of many homes. Too many of today’s kids have no knowledge of God, Heaven and Hell, and consequences. They can do as they please with no fear of repercussions. My daughters will not be like that.
People say that we’re sheltering our daughters. Maybe we are, but I prefer to think that we’re protecting them. No matter what people think, I consider that my main job in life. I want to teach my daughters values — our values. I want them to hear about Allah, to have religion be an integral part of their life, not just something that is jammed into a busy schedule “when we have time.”
I realize there will come a time when my children will need to be exposed to different morals and values. They will need to be able to say “no,” and learn from their mistakes when they don’t say “no.” If they never have the chance to distinguish right from wrong, how will they ever learn? I know all of that, and I agree. My daughters will have those chances, but not today. No, today they will learn about our faith, our religion, our values, and our morals. Today we are building a strong foundation so that they can stand on their own… when the time is right.
I intended to write about how to bring Allah into our homes and our children’s lives, but I got carried away! I guess that’s a topic for another day, En Sha Allah (God Willing). Until then, Assalamu Alaikoum.