Think. Learn. Act. Remind.
Many a modern parent today has a concept I find a little hard to digest. They willingly allow and say that they do not have any expectations from their children, that they will care for them and help them stand on their own feet but they will not expect their children to take care of them in their old age. I think they are not only denying themselves that fundamental right which God has given them but, in doing so, are also denying their children the right to earn their Jannat (Paradise). What could be more depressing than seeing parents, who have dedicated their whole lives to making their children happy, being left to fend for themselves in their old age.
A child, as soon as S/he is able to comprehend it, should be taught that s/he will be responsible for his/her parents at the time when they need him/her. Now some parents think that this concept need only be instilled in the sons among their offspring. I ask any mother, was it any less painful giving birth to a girl? This concept of a daughter being only responsible for her husband, her-in-laws and her children will have to take a backseat. Nobody has more right on a child, whether son or daughter, than the people who brought the child in this world (with Allah’s will) and raised it. If a son has to support his parents financially then the daughter has to do it in many other ways when needed. In fact, for parents with only daughters and no sons, the married daughter, if not allowed to follow a career by her husband or even if she simply does not want to work, will have to support her parents with her husband’s money. Such are the glorious mercies of Islam, that the son-in-law is made directly responsible for his wife’s ailing or poor parents if she has no brothers and if he is not allowing her to work or even if she does not want to work.
If these are the directions for a wife’s parents then one can only imagine the huge obligation one has towards one’s own parents. A child should be taught this obligation from day one. He is only likely to learn and implement this if he/she sees his parents fulfilling similar responsibilities for their own parents. After all, we shall reap what we sow.
So instead of trying to be a pillar of strength by not asking too much from your own children, will, allow and teach them to take care of you so that you are happy and so that Allah is happy with your children.