Being a mom who follows the rules and regularly supervise your children in Indonesia is extremely painful. You can be judged as being too strict and weird. And that is who I am, or should I say, my stereotype… right now… -___-“
It started when I had to go out from a company-owned site in a remote area in Lampung, Sumatra, (since I worked there for four years) to Bogor – one of big cities in Java, Indonesia. On the first weekend after moving to this housing estate or complex, I let the children playing outside under my supervision. I thought it was safe since I did the same thing in Lampung and I also saw many children playing and running in front of their houses. But, apparently, I realized that I made a WRONG decision. Suddenly, there was a motorcycle crossing the neighborhood without realizing that there were MINI HUMANS running on the street! And guess what, seeing their body size, I guess the rider was still a middle schooler or perhaps an upper primary student. Suddenly, there were like three or more motorcycles rode by CHILDREN around that age doing the same thing! I, spontaneously, took my children away from the street and have them sit down on the porch.
I shared the incident with other moms and most of them agree that Indonesian streets (including the ones inside housing complexes) are pretty dangerous for children. They also agree that the children need thorough supervision outside the house.
The discussion grew to the topic of underage children on motorcycles which means riding them. And voila… I was declared a heretic weird mom just because I don’t let my children ride motorcycles if they haven’t got the licence to ride it. They argued that it’s the condition that force them to take the decision.
“Condition? What conditions that would make a mother allow her children risking their lives on wheels???” I asked. Well, actually my question was not that explicit. I replaced the whole sentence by only two words “What conditions?”
“It’s too far to reach my child’s school. Letting them riding their own bikes is cheaper.” said one mummy.
“It’s a lot easier than to drive them.” said the other one.
“Coz my kid asked for it. I can easily buy it with cheap installment. “
I just stunned. Stunned on the way I view myself differently that perhaps is considered weird by the other mothers. I mean… seriously! Those are excuses to teach our children to disobey the law! Let’s carefully examine the ‘conditions’.
“It’s too far to reach my child’s school. Letting them riding their own bikes is cheaper.” Well, for me, this reason might be true if we want to take it from a nation’s perspective. Unlike Finland, the spread of quality education is not equal from one place to another. Sometimes, a ‘good school’ is located far from one’s neighbourhood. But, then, that would be a ‘intelligent excuse’. If I were the mother of the child (and I would) I would say: WAKE UP EARLIER, AND WALK! This is a lot more humane that letting them riding bikes. Now, my whole family wake up at 4 (the latest is when we hear the subuh adzan) to get ourselves prepared. We live in a place (in Bogor) where we have to reach the nearest public transportation in 30 minutes and we survive it by walking or having ourselves driven there by the dad. I inherited this habit also form my family who believe that “Good things are earned, not asked”.
“It’s a lot easier than to drive them.” Again, excuses. If we really want our children to succeed life, we have to be the first role model. Waking up earlier to drive or ride them to school is one way to teach them the family value and hard work.
“Coz my kid asked for it. I can easily buy it with cheap installment. ” Well, hardly to say that the danger of riba and hedonism that seems to be easily accepted is viable to be the cause of this changing mindset. Just imagine, in Indonesia, only by paying Rp 500.000 for the down payment and paying 3 YEAR installment, a person can easily take home a motorcycle by only showing his ID card! This did not happen in a long time ago when I was a teenager.
And yes, it was already mentioned that there will be time that people take riba (interest) as something normal as Hazrat Abu Hurairah r.a. reported that the Prophet said : “A time will certainly come over the people when none will remain who will not devour usury. If he does not devour it, its vapour will overtake him.” [Ahmed,Abu Dawood,Nisai,Ibn Majah] THe times when even Muslims would forget that riba is haraam since we don’t return to Qur’an and Sunnah as the Noble Qur’an – Al-Imran 3:130 “O you who believe! Eat not Riba (usury) doubled and multiplied, but fear Allaah that you may be successful.:” Sad but true, but the ease of taking riba would make people starves to reach the tertiary needs as if its their primary one.
Well, this is merely my opinion as a mom and as a muslimah. Hope we all learn to raise our children to be stong generation of the future.