Rearing Better Children

Islam acknowledges the vital role parents have in fashioning the outlook of a child in later life. Here are some tips on bringing up well-behaved children:

1. Start Early
Their early years are probably the most important opportunity for parents to start children in the right direction. Once good patterns are established, they will be easy to maintain. Once bad patterns are established, they will be difficult to change. Sahaaba used to introduce their children to fasting for example at a young age, finding innovative ways to take their mind off the hunger by giving them toys. Likewise, parents are encouraged to inculcate the habit of Salaah in the child well before it becomes compulsory on the child.

2. Have your Emotions Under Control while Instructing Children
Don't discipline your child because you are angry with him, but rather because you want to teach him. The hadith emphasizes the need to have one’s anger under control. Motive is important here. As a Muslim parent, your motive should be to help your child. Again, Islam constantly asks us to check our sincerity when we do anything, and to always look out for the good of the next person.

3. Never Lie to your Children
If you lie to them ‘every now and then,’ they may not believe you when you tell them the truth. This also applies to those situations when you tell your child to stop doing something, or you will put him in his room, or take away his toys. The hadith discourages lying even to call a child.

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