You wake up in the morning, have your shower and breakfast, and run to your work or your class as quick as possible to arrive at the right time. You possibly will have a very busy day that might end up late, and then you'll either hang out with friends or return back home to have dinner and get some rest for the next day.
So, all of your day revolves around you, yourself, and your needs. It's you who needs to eat, to work, to have fun, and to rest. You might have your parents living near you or you might be living with them in the same house, but you don't put them or their interests into consideration. You'd rather do something to please yourself than do something to please them.
But, wait a minute! Haven't they given you most of their time when you were a kid? They overloaded themselves with work to bring you whatever you liked and yet felt very happy just because you were happy. They drove you to school when it was cold and rainy, so you wouldn't get sick. They cooked you the food you loved, studied with you, felt more worried than you did when you were waiting for the exam results.
And after all of that, you are only thinking of going to a faraway place where you can live all by yourself because you've become financially independent � you don't need to rely on them anymore!
Okay, you don't need them � that's fine. But, have you ever asked yourself whether they need you?
Your Parents Need You
The answer is "yes," most of the time. Even if they don't show it, they need your support, your love, and many times your help.
Remember that Almighty Allah says, [Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and (that you show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with you, say not "fie" unto them nor chide them but speak unto them a gracious word] (Al-Israa' 17:23).
Many parents suffer a lot with their youth and teenagers who don't seem to show any kind of commitment toward them. So, do you really want to be helpful to your parents though you are often too busy? Well, here are some pieces of advice that can make you the right hand of your parents.
Respect and Appreciation
A parent may sometimes ask one to help him or her with something. One tends to either ignore the whole thing or moan and yell that he or she is not a kid anymore to take orders and do them forcefully.
You need to remember that your parents were one day teenagers, so they know how annoying it is for teenagers to have tasks and chores that they don't like or don't realize the benefit from doing them.
It's too easier when you think of your task as a succor that you offer with full consent and even with a smile. This has another benefit: You'll find out that you are being rewarded by Almighty Allah in this life and the hereafter because of your parents' du`aa' for you. Another thing is that by exerting the smallest effort to help your family, you are training yourself for the future responsibility of having your own family.
So Close, No Matter How Far
So, what if you're staying in another town or country, whether you're studying, working, or living there with your new family? One important thing that you can easily do is calling your parents regularly to let them know that you're always there for them. It's now much easier than before with the technology of our time, which has made everything simpler.
You can talk to them through the Internet using any instant-messaging program, such as MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, or Skype. Check if they are okay, talk to them, and try to listen to their complaints with patience and empathy. Emotional support can sometimes be much important than physical help.
Also, try to make a trusted friend or a close relative help your parents with buying the groceries, doing the housework, or fixing anything at home, especially if your parents are too old to do these stuff. Also, by calling them regularly, you are giving them the chance to let you know if there's something wrong that requires you to be with them.
Suppose that you're still living with your parents and at the same time working to build your future. You need to help them financially, even if they insist that you keep your money for yourself or save it for the future or for the expenses of marriage.
You can help by paying even half of the phone bill or the electricity bill. You can buy the groceries every now and then. You can even bring some sweets or home accents as a sort of gift; this can make your parents very happy.
Let's see the following give-and-take rule that Almighty Allah has stated in the Qur'an: [Who is it that will lend unto Allah a goodly loan, so that He will multiply it to him manifold? And Allah straitens and enlarges, and you shall be returned to Him] (Al-Baqarah 2:245).
If you follow this rule, you'll get much more than you used to take, so you can spend and save at the same time. Be sure that as long as you spend money to please Allah by pleasing your parents and helping them, Allah will reward you both in this worldly life and in the hereafter.
Another way of giving a helping hand to your parents is doing the regular chores of cleaning, vacuuming, and the like, especially if you're still living with them. Here are some of the tasks that you can do at home. You can ask your younger siblings for help, if you have any. This way you'll do more work in a shorter time.
*Wash your own clothes and theirs, but be sure to use the right laundry detergent and water temperature.
Tidy up both your room and theirs and make sure to put the sheets, blankets, and pillows in the right way on the beds.
*Use a suitable detergent to polish all glass and wood surfaces, such as the dining table, the dresser, and the coffee tables.
*Wash the dishes; this can be a very easy task if you have a dishwasher, but if you don't, then use plastic gloves before you start.
*Vacuum some carpets and rugs; it's one of the easiest tasks that don't take much time.
*Sweep and mop the floors.
*Clean the bathroom; you can wash the sink, the bathtub, the toilet, and the mirror, and then change the towels.
*Put everything in its proper place.
Sometimes you may think that your parents don't need your support just because they have a maid or someone who does the work needed in the household. However, your parents still need your emotional support. You can choose to open your heart and mind and talk about yourself, your work, and your dreams. In return, they will be more open with you and tell you more about themselves.
This can have a big impact on strengthening the family relations.
You can choose to be a mediator if something wrong happens between them. You can bridge the gap between your parents and strengthen their relationship. You can make plans for a romantic dinner or a trip only for both of them. You can even cook their best food and surprise them. Things like these can make your parents so close to each other and to you at the same time.
All of these tips can help you attain your parents' love, trust, and respect. Above all, when you please Almighty Allah by pleasing your parents, you will find yourself blessed in all aspects of your life.
Mariam Al moatassem Bellah is an Egyptian freelance writer, and she was an assistant editor at Youth 4 the Future on IslamOnline.net. She can be reached at