Children are a very great bounty of Allah. One of the ways by which we can be grateful for this priceless bounty is to train them in the Islamic way. By not training them in the Islamic way we have definitely been ungrateful to Allah.
The best gift that parents can give their children is good manners and correct upbringing.
Children are our prize and pride. They can be the pioneers of Deen if given the proper nurturing and correct Islamic education. They will then, truly be the coolness of our eyes.
✏ Do not speak shameful things in the presence of children.
✏ Lack of training will result in grown-up children always having bad, immodest, and impolite manners. They will without thinking, cause difficulties and annoyance to others.
✏ Do not assume that children will automatically acquire manners and etiquettes when they have grown up. Inculcate good character in them from a tender age. No one learns of his own accord. By reading they will gain the knowledge of good culture, but will lack the essential training that was not given to them during their childhood.
✏ Teach them to refrain from asking any of their needs from anyone other than their seniors (parents, grand-parents etc.).
✏ Teach children to act with shame/dignity, especially when answering the call of nature. They should not reveal themselves to others.
✏ Be a role model to your children.
Actions speak much louder than words. No amount of advice of a parent to refrain from backbiting will work if the child often hears the parent backbiting himself. When the child is exposed to hypocrisy, lying, selfishness and other such qualities at home, it is very likely that he will grow up following the same. A good example from the parents works even without words.
A child who grows up in a home where time of prayers is maintained, where hypocrisy in relations is avoided, and where contentment prevails, will grow up to do the same. Although it may seem a huge task to be able to be a good model for the child, parents should know that it is the only way they can really teach their children. No other way is as effective.
✏ A child should be taught that a human being is different from an animal. The value of the Aql [Intellect] cannot be underestimated and the child must learn to control his desires and wants. Emotions like anger, jealousy, greed, selfishness, etc. will all raise their ugly head. It is the duty of parents to deal with these emotions and help the child control them.
Thus, it is wrong for parents to give in to every demand of the child, or to allow him to vent his anger when he is thwarted. It is part of training to help a child deal with disappointment and failure, to prevent him from being egoistic and selfish. Many children these days feel the world should be at their feet, and their needs should be met on demand. Even when possible, it is wrong to give a child all he wants for it will create a personality that cannot bear denial.
✏ Although it is true that children inherit traits such as shyness, fear, etc. it is not true that these cannot be changed. Good training can help a child overcome certain characteristics that could hamper his progress in life. Parents need to first assess what negative traits are present in the child, and then plan how to overcome them. Useful tactics may include discussions with child, reading or narrating stories where people overcame these behaviors, and encouraging the child to decrease the trait.
✏ Children need to be taught about the harms of wasting time, of the evils of useless and vain pastimes. They should be encouraged to develop useful hobbies and pastimes.
Habits learnt in childhood last for a long time. If a child becomes accustomed to reading in his leisure time, this will probably become a lifetime habit. But the child who learns to switch on the television, and looks only to the television for entertainment and relaxation, will continue to do the same as an adult.
Thus, it is the duty of the parents to encourage their children to be creative with their abilities.
✏ Since the mother is the most important person in the life of a child, she is greatly revered. Her habits and behavior become a model for the child. Whatever the child observes from her, such as her housekeeping habits, her manners, her relationships with others, the way she spends money, and in general her lifestyle, will all UNDOUBTEDLY affect the child’s character. A mother is said to be better than a hundred teachers. Her emotional strengths and weaknesses are an example for the child, and will be followed for many years to come even though all of it may not be worthy.
(To be continued…)