What I Did for My Son’s Worries and Anxieties
When my son moved up from a familiar, friendly primary school - where he was known and loved and had never been in trouble - to a big, scary secondary school full of strangers - where he landed a detention in the first week for a hidden Velcro strap on his formal shoes – he became extremely sad and anxious.
As any parent would understand, it was heart-breaking to see him that way. He lost his smile. He wasn’t eating properly, and he was fearful of going to school. I had to bring him out of it, so every day, I explained some things to him which, by Allah’s will, eventually got him through.
I taught him about real happiness. How he can be content, no matter what is going on around him.
I taught him about Allah’s love and how it can uplift him. I made sure he knew how much he was loved by me and his family too.
I taught him how to process his worries and to have the best expectations from Allah.
I taught him the power of thinking positively versus the harmful effects of thinking negatively and how others perceive his feelings and react to them.
I taught him about the bigger picture, and how to feel OK if he didn’t get something he was hoping for.
I taught him the power of a smile and posture. It’s incredible.
I taught him how to react to other people’s unpleasant behaviour.
I taught him how to talk to Allah and connect with him to stay present.
Eventually, I think I taught him how to shine.
I remember feeling so relieved and proud when I would pick him up from school, having prayed all day that he was OK, to hear him say things like, “I was feeling really anxious in Spanish, but then I did what you told me to with the smile, and all the other stuff and IT WORKED!”
That beautiful smile of his came back, and he developed an unassuming confidence and charm. Allahumma baarik. All good is from Allah, and all praise is to Him. The spiritual and mindset skills he learnt have stayed with him over the years (he’s now starting his A’levels mashaAllah) and I can see him applying them in all the areas of his life, from school to work, to interviews, to social situations. May Allah protect him and his brother and increase them in all goodness. Ameen.
Realising how very important it is to address emotional wellbeing in children, especially from the powerful Islamic perspective,
I wanted to share what I taught my son with more children and parents. I wrote The Young Muslim’s Mindful Book of Wellbeing with all the content I went through with him in our chats. With Allah’s permission, it’s helped many others (adults and children), Alhamdulillah, and I pray it continues to do so.
*The image above is a stock photo. It’s not my son.