Two important examinations of young people are the problem of determination appropriate role model and ideal. The fact that this issue remains unresolved paves the way for the emergence of different troubles, and the parents, their close environment, and especially the young, may have to cope with the spiral of troubles in this period.
A person from 12 to 24 years of age is called young. The youth in this age period is in search of an identity in terms of psycho-social development period. He wants to take on an identity in which he can feel happy and will have value in social life. In this process of identity formation, the young looks for “role models for himself. In general, young people choose the people they love, like and care for as role models. For the young the meaning of the role model is the mirror of his identity and the answer to what kind of person he wants to be.
Now, ‘parenting institution’ should be involved in the process of the young person’s making a choice of this role model. “What kind of youth life provides the bliss of the world and the Hereafter, or transforms the world and the Hereafter into a dungeon? What kind of behaviours that the youth will exhibit earns Allah’s consent and complies with the social values, or draw them away from Allah’s consent and contradicts with social values?” The answers of such questions should correspond with the minds, hearts and spirits of the youth. Motivated and convinced on this basis, the characteristics of the role model that the young person will choose will be the embodied example of the above questions.
The responsibility first belongs to the parents for the realization of this situation. Otherwise, in order to drift our youth off the straight way of Islam, media supported role models that do not comply with any of our religious, national, moral, spiritual and social values will enter the minds and hearts of our youth. May Allah forbid! Your child also will be a soldier of the army of falsehood which tries to corrupt the spiritual values of ours. In order to prevent this and not to say “I wish” regretfully, it is essential not to neglect the education of our youth – who are tests of life for us – and thus not to make our test of life more difficult.
The youth’s quest for identity constitutes an important period of the youth. However, another important process of this period is the ideal quest of the young person. What is the ideal? It is defined in the most general sense as “what is taken as a goal and what is desired to be achieved.” The meaning of “ideal” for the young is the answer to the question “Which material and spiritual qualities do I need to have in adulthood so that I would be happy?” Indeed, one of the important milestones of the road to adulthood is the ideals of young people. The young without ideal is doomed to be driven away like the leaf in the wind, and be stranded on the road like a vehicle out of gas. In this respect, it is essential that young people have ideals.
Yes, attempts to determine the personal goals of the young person and to realize their expectations from life are first formed in this period. The period of youth offers young people various means to achieve ideals. In this respect, it is important that the young person’s efforts to seek qualified ideal are supported by the parents. As a priority for young people who have difficulty in finding a qualified ideal for themselves, an awareness of personal characteristics and potential should be created. Together with this awareness, an important dimension of ideal determination is the nurturing of the consciousness of being a servant of Allah and the wisdom of our being servants. As a matter of fact, the ideals that are determined while being unaware of the boundaries of servitude for human beings would be far from providing the ideal worldly and spiritual bliss. But the ideals determined by the young people who know the secret of their servitude will prepare the ground for the discovery of their capabilities in a real sense, and will bring both worldly and otherworldly bliss.
The importance of parents
Youth is a bridge between childhood and adulthood. Youth means being trapped between the enthusiasm of childhood and the maturity of the feeling of being an adult. The youth period is the period in which intellectual, mental, physical, spiritual, and other changes are rapidly experienced in every aspect. Therefore, it is quite normal for young people who experience transformation and development in many dimensions to have some problems. Therefore, the ‘parenting institution’ has a vital importance in terms of avoiding the drifting off of the young people on the sharp bend of the youth period, overcoming their crises, turning their crises into opportunities and solving their problems.
As a matter of fact, leaving the youth alone, on the eve of adulthood, by their parents during these stormy periods means laying a burden on them that they cannot bear. If parents do not share the burdens of their young children, that will be an invitation to the evil-minded people who are afflicted with the diseases of the century and desire to ‘help’ the young with their burdens.
In this respect, as believing parents, we need to be aware of the difficulty of our examination in this life and to remain cautious at all times.
I ask my Lord to make our youth and our future generation safe from the sedition and mischief of the century!