Parents’ primary role is to keep children safe and protected from negative influences. FILE PIC FILE PIC

HELICOPTER parenting refers to a parenting style that is overfocused on children.

This involves parents taking too much responsibility for their children’s experiences, from what they can do, what they see and who they hang out with.

This can easily be seen as a negative style of parenting; every child, especially millennials, wants to have freedom.

However, it goes without saying that today’s parents need a greater degree of control over their children.

It is common knowledge that everyone has access to the Internet. More children and adolescents are becoming vulnerable to influences from the Internet.

It comes as no surprise that young children take part in illicit activities, most of which are sexual.

Every day, there are cases of children assaulting younger siblings, pupils groping classmates and children harassing teachers.

How should we raise our children in these troubling times? How do we raise them so that they stay safe and protected from social evils? What style of parenting should we adopt?

Dr Mohd Hizul Azri Md Noor addressed these issues at a talk in Batu Gajah, Perak recently. Some 30 people, including parents and grandparents, were present.

Dr Hizul said he believed that social media was pushing youth into a hedonistic lifestyle, in which one was free to crave and obtain sensual pleasure.

This is aligned with what is promoted by pop culture: the freedom to live as you want and the way you want.

As much as we want to live as we like, we should live within limits drawn by principles, moral values, ethics and faith.

However, the opposite of that is what is being promoted by pop culture. Youth are attracted to a fun lifestyle and freedom.

Dr Hizul, who is also Yayasan Dana Kebajikan Muslim Malaysia adviser and a speaker, said we must begin by strengthening spirituality in youth.

He said children had to be taught to recognise what was good and evil, and develop a conscience.

He emphasised that we must educate children on faith, character-building, physical education and intellect.

If children were equipped with the above, he said, they would have the strength to fight against negative influences in the form of unhealthy friends, relationships and malevolent media.

He recommended that we read Tarbiyatul Aulad Fil Islam (Pendidikan Peribadi Anak Menurut Islam) by Dr Abdullah Nashih Ulwan and Prophetic Parenting (Cara Nabi SAW Mendidik Anak) by Dr Muhammad Nur Abdul Hafizh Suwaid.

Social ills have become a norm in society. How confident are we that our children or siblings will not be involved in negative activities?

How confident are we that our children or grandchildren will grow up in a safe environment five or 10 years from now?

It is high time that we changed and we must begin at home.

NOR FARZANA SYAZA JEFFRI

Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Tronoh, Perak

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