Family Consultation (Shura)

Shura or consultation is an essential characteristic of a Muslim. The Muslim family, like all other Muslim institutions must be run with mutual consultation. This process, if adopted by the family as a way of life, will benefit tremendously in the long run. Here are some tips to help encourage your kids to communicate effectively and participate in family Shura:

When they are very young, get them into the habit of talking about their day and feelings.

Children should be full participants of any formal or informal Shura in the family unless the issue at hand has to be between the father parents exclusively.

Children open up informally more than formally. Two minute sound bites from them in a car may provide more insight into what they feel than forced conversation.

Children love to ask questions. Answer their questions with one of yours: ‘what do you think?’ Think of their questions as the start of a two-way conversation (mutual Shura may pop in any time).

Let children come up with solutions. Instead of giving advice, ask ‘How do you think this should be handled?’

Avoid electronic overload: TV, stereos, computers etc. are a convenient way for kids to close off from their parents.

Keep your sense of humor. Laughing won't undermine your authority or sabotage the lessons. It will enhance your capacity to communicate.

Respect children's opinion. Carefully listen to what your kids say without being judgmental or critical.

Reward a good idea with praise or a gift.