Friday, March 14, 2014

Parenting: Communicative Problem Solving - Letters of Apology

As a follow-up to the last problem solving exercise, Exposure to Haraam, which elicited excellent responses maashaa Allah, we had a session the following day where letters of apology were written. The children wrote letters of apology to each person they felt they had negatively influenced or harmed in some way. It was also a time for parents to apologize for any failings or errors on their part.

This is not only a healing strategy, but also an expository one. It enables parents to see how each child understands the extent their actions affect others. For example, do they realize that disobeying parents or talking back is modelling haraam to their siblings? Do they realize that it isn't just necessary to apologize to their younger siblings if they modelled something wrong, but possibly to their older siblings. As disobedience and disrespect of parents is a major sin, they may also have to apologize to their parents.

Why else is this vitally important? Because they must have the correct ingredients for tawbah (repentance) to be accepted. There is no sincere and accepted repentance without regret for one's actions and trying to make amends to those one has hurt or oppressed.

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