| The Role of Parents in Their Children’s Lives
By Maria Khani
Quoting a saying of Imam Ali where he says children should be played with until the age of seven, after which they are disciplined for a further seven years, and then befriended for the next seven years,
For example, prayer times should be a time of great joy for young children, not something that is rushed. Parents can tickle and play on the prayer mat and display affection before starting, so that children have a positive association with this important ritual.
– Parents can nurture love within the home and love for Allah and His Prophet through gentleness and warmth.
– Pick up the Quran, take your child in your arms and read together. Ask him or her to point out words they know or that you want them to learn.
– Move beyond memorization alone, and capture your child’s imagination by telling them the stories that would make a typical fairy tale pale in comparison.
– Flying creatures? Al-Buraq.
– Miraculous objects? A Pen, which wrote about everything that would happen.
– Look for topics that would engage children – study the animals in the Quran and work on crafts that relate back.
– Make the Adhan a fixture in your home.
Encouragement & Support
Respect is key to the success of any family, and translates to communities where children are heard and are encouraged to participate. This starts at home. Parents should make time for their children – why do teachers often know more about our own children than we do? If that’s the case, more time with your child is in order.
Respect your child’s needs. No one likes to get up in the morning and immediately head to work, for example. Give children at least one hour and a half before they have to leave the house, or start an activity. How best to wake them up? Massage them, kiss them – make waking up a bonding activity that everyone looks forward to. Make sure children are well fed before starting the day.
Encourage children to share with others. Only buy them what they need, not what they want. Let them give of their time and their effort, and they will soon prefer to give, rather than receive.
Muslim Versus Mainstream
Make Eid an awesome party.
Talk about the point of celebrating achievements.
Teach about sensitive issues – like sex education – through references to the Quran and Sunnah (which a parent can slowly impart between grades 4 to 7). Other health topics from the Sirah include information on how to keep bodies clean.
For daughters, show the honor of Hijab, emphasizing its beauty as something a woman voluntarily does for the sake of Allah. Mothers should talk about how they feel about their Hijab, and share their own experiences with it.
Parents should consult each other on how to raise their children. In Surah Al Baqarah, Allah Talks about the decision to wean a child as one that both parents should make.
“…but if both desire weaning by mutual consent and counsel, there is no blame on them,” [Noble Quran 2:233]
Nowadays, many fathers have given up this responsibility, but it is important for them to remain involved in the upbringing of their children.
Remember The Goal:
When Prophet Zachariah called on Allah to grant him a son, he wanted someone to carry on the Prophetic tradition. The aim of having a child was to raise someone up who would carry on the mantle of righteousness.
“And surely I fear my cousins after me, and my wife is barren, therefore grant me from Thyself an heir, Who should inherit me and inherit from the children of Ya’qub, and make him, my Lord, one in whom Thou art well pleased.” [Noble Quran 19:5-6]
Remember, Prophet Noah lost his son because his son’s actions had cut him off from his own father (which shows that ultimately, even the best parent cannot be sure of the outcomes.)
“[Allah] said: O Nuh! Surely he is not of your family; surely he is (the doer of) other than good deeds, therefore ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge; surely I admonish you lest you may be of the ignorant.” [Noble Quran 11:46]
Raise your children with love and kindness, and pray that Allah will save us all.
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The Role of Parents in Their Children’s Lives
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