Points of interacting with children
1. Reminders and requests should be given with gentleness and softness so as not to create a barrier between parents and child.
2. If your child is respected, he/she is less likely to rebel against the rules of the house. Respect and good interaction between parent and child are the bases in forming the child’s character. It is narrated from the Prophet (s): “Respect your children and talk to them with (good) manners and a likeable method.”
3. A good role model is someone who adjusts their children’s desires wisely and with the correct techniques.
4. Foster the faith of your child. Children that have been raised from the beginning with faith in Allāh (swt) have a strong will and powerful soul and from their early years are mature and courageous; this is easily observed by their actions and words. The readiness of the soul of a child to learn faith and Akhlāq is like fertile ground in which any type of seed can grow. Therefore, parents should teach their child love for Allāh
5. “Teach traditions to your children as soon as possible, before opposers (to your beliefs) reach them before you do.”
6. In traditions, parents who do not take the future life (aakhirat) of their children into consideration are reproached. It is narrated that the Prophet (s)’s gaze fell on some children and he said: “Woe upon the children of the end of time (before the coming of the 12th Imām) because of the disliked methods of their fathers.” It was asked of him: “Oh Prophet (s) of Allāh (swt)! Because of their polytheistic fathers?” He replied, “No, because of their Muslim fathers who didn’t teach their children any religious duties. They were content with worthless material things for them. I am weary and exempt of such people…”
7. It is said that in communist Russia , they used to eliminate the existence of God from the ground roots level; for example, when a child was hungry or thirsty their parents would let them cry and say to them, “Ask God to provide for you.” When the children would do this, and still remain hungry and thirsty, they used to say to them, “See, you cried to God he gave you nothing! Now ask Lenin (the Russian leader) to provide for you!” When the children would do this, then only would they give them food and drink. The effect of this was that it was instilled in the children from childhood that God doesn’t exist through this very deluded manner. This same concept is condemned in Surat Yāsīn, Verse 47:
9. “The faithless say to the faithful, ‘Shall we feed (someone) whom Allāh (swt) would have fed, had He wished? You are only in manifest error.’”
10. However, this is a wonderful lesson to us as to how Allāh (swt) should be introduced to a child from young age. Whenever a child gets to that age that he understands that whenever they desire something they need to ask their parents, their parents should ask them first to ask from Allāh (swt). Then when they provide the desired object, they should stress that it reached them through the blessings of Allāh (swt). Thus, as they grow up, they will be able to see Allāh (swt) as the underlying principal behind every action.
11. Stay away from wrist-grabbing and bossy behaviour with children.
12. One of the duties of parents is to foster the innate nature of telling the truth in children. Their behaviour in the house should be such that this becomes a habit. However, this is one of the more difficult areas of raising a child and attention to knowledge and action is very important.
13. It is narrated in a tradition from the Prophet (s): “May Allāh (swt) have mercy on the person that helps his child in (doing) good.” The narrator of the tradition asked: “How?” In his reply, the Prophet (s) gave 4 instructions:
a. Whatever the child has in his power and has carried out, accept it.
b. Don’t expect that which is hard for him.
c. Prevent him from sin.
d. Don’t lie to him, or do silly things.
14. Do not use fear as a method of raising your child, as this causes damage to their personality and leads to psychological problems. In particular, excess punishment by the mother weakens the relationship and value that the child has for his mother in his heart. Often a look or silence can be more effective in making the child understand their mistake than hitting them or scaring them.
15. Cuddling and kissing a child is one of their soul-foods, and it is necessary that enough of this is given to them. One of the reasons that a child is crying may be that they are thirsty for this expression of love. Children who grow up with plenty of love have confident personalities which are not swayed by the difficulties that crop up in life.
16. “Prophet Mūsā (as) said the following to Allāh (swt) when he was on the mountain of Tur : “O Allāh (swt)! Which act is the best one according to you?” Allāh (swt) replied: “Loving children is the best act..”“
17. Parents have a responsibility to make their children understand the indecency of sin and create an aversion for people who partake in this, and likewise, to reproach the bad and encourage the child’s good actions. However, reproach and admiration has its time and place and should not be overdone as this itself can corrupt a child.
18. The beds of children of 6 years and above should be separated from each other, even if they are both daughters or both sons.
19. As well as the natural characteristics that the child inherits from his parents, the environment and Nurture of the child have a profound effect. It is highly unlikely that in a family that does not function properly, a normal and natural child is raised.
20. In particular, the instructions of parents only have an effect if the parents lead by example. The first step of raising children is the Nurture of the self. Somebody who does not possess good Akhlāq cannot guide another to this, and similarly, hot-tempered parents cannot usually raise a calm and patient child.
21. Children need to be taught that characteristics such as lying, back-biting, bad language, etc. are disliked, and naturally, the child will refrain from such when the parents themselves have set such examples.
22. There should be a difference in the order and expectations of the behaviour of a child inside the home, and out. At home, allow the child to play freely.
23. Always bear the unexpected behaviour of your child to a limit and do not always take the mistakes of your chid to be unforgivable, so that you are not always compelled to punish. Patience, coping and forgiveness are a must when raising children. If your child has a quality that you do not like, it should be corrected in a wise manner without displaying contempt of the child, and the correct manner of doing things should be shown at the same time as stopping him/her from old ways.
24. When parents constantly tell the child off, they are belittling the child and not only are they not going to be successful in reforming the child, but are also going to create stubbornness in them.
25. When instructing your child, don’t mention the names of other children constantly, or compare them with others.