Throughout your childhood, your parents must have taught you millions of lessons, but the lessons that have stuck with you the most are not the ones they taught you through words. They are the lessons they unintentionally passed on to you through their habits and actions. Being the conservative country that we are, most Egyptian parents usually forget to set a healthy relationship example to their kids. They teach you about love yet don’t practice it themselves. They tell you to pick a husband/wife who will care for you with every fiber in their being, and yet you can’t recall a single time you saw your parents casually holding hands. I’m not bashing every Egyptian parenting technique, but most Egyptian parents did in fact forget to teach their children important things about love.
1- Divorce is actually healthy
Some parents stick their marriage out in favor of the concept that: “how will divorce affect the kids?”. Well, let me tell you how. If parents choose to ride out their loveless marriage because they don’t want to break the family up, their kids will grow up with two parents who barely have anything to say to each other. Their kids’ idea of a marriage won’t differ much from having a roommate. But if they get divorced, their angry little kids will grow up eventually and WILL understand that couples split up and that it’s okay. It’s okay that you fell out of love, but it’s not okay to give us jaded expectations about what love should look like.
2- They taught us that sex has nothing to do with love
Most Egyptian parents shy away from discussing sex with their children when they reach an appropriate age, thinking that if they do, they will be turning them into sex addicts. They don’t sit them down and explain what sex means and this is why kids go seeking the information their body is looking for elsewhere such as: porn websites, magazines and asking around. Curiosity about sex is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s a rite of passage. When sex is an off-limits topic in the house, kids grow up thinking that their parents have sex out of obligation to each other and not for physical attraction or love.
3- Maybe love can sometimes come after marriage, but it shouldn’t
Most of our parents probably got married “gawaz salonat” or just met and got married a week later, so they never really took a journey of their own before bringing us into the world. They got to know each other as they got to know us and that’s wrong on so many levels, because how can you raise a child with someone you barely know? This engraves in children’s brains that love is not an essential factor to marriage.
4- They didn’t teach us HOW to love right
To put it more accurately, their relationship taught us how to love in all the wrong ways. Kids are attentive and pick up everything and model whatever their parents do. If a girl sees her father treating her mother with disrespect or not caring enough about her, she will grow up thinking this was an acceptable form of love. Or if a boy grows up with his dad always telling him that he can’t cry or show too much emotions, he will start bottling up his feelings and will find it hard to verbalise them. Compare this to kids who see their parents expressing true love toward one another. What will those kids grow up believing?
To wrap up, many teens and young adults nowadays are against the idea of marriage. This aggravates any Egyptian parent because it goes against everything society and culture deems the right way to live your life. But if you want children who are open to the idea of marriage, make sure you are constantly setting an example of a good healthy marriage. And remember that the most important thing a parent can do for their children is to love the co-parent.