Parenting successfully according to Islam
August 20, 6:59 AMMiami Muslim Women's Examiner
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A parent’s education, culture, religion and life style have a significant impact on a child. For example, if the parents smoke than there is very high probability that the child will also smoke in adulthood. So many of these bad habits are inherited to our children. So it is the requirement of the parents to change in a positive manner, whom a child sees as supermodel in his early age. In fact, the level of self-confidence and self-respect is also transferred in the children from parents. It is also seen that in multicultural world, many Muslim brothers and sisters when migrated to other land, either they change them completely or sometimes they do not change at all. If they do not cope with the new environment they will feel more isolated in their new environment. However, when they completely change themselves according to the culture and
religion of the new society, no care for Haram and Halal (prohibitions and permitted things of Islam), no flavor of Islam in their life, no self-confidence in them, the child will learn the new cultural values of the new land.
Issues are abundant and should be addressed before you explore the possibilities of having children and what you are going to inherit to your children by being a Muslim parent.
We should be always proud of the society/religion which we follow with strong respect for all other society/religion which is followed by other members of the society. We should teach the children about every society/religion but before doing so, let children have proper understanding of Islam first. If he/she understands Islam properly, he/she will respect all other religions/societies. By following a democratic manner in family, by giving effective duty and rights to everyone, one can teach the children how to be polite and careful for all the concerned people around him. I would like to finish with a prayer to Allah, ‘O Allah! Bless us to be good parents to our children and give us ability to guide them among strong pillar of Islam’.
Children are born in a state of fitra (purity) and then their parents teach them to be believers or unbelievers. According to the Musnad Ibn Hanbal, "The children of the unbelievers are better than you grown-ups. Every living creature is born with a righteous nature." It is our obligation and duty as parents to teach our children so that they grow up to be believing, practicing Muslims. Sending the child to an Islamic weekend school or to a full-time Islamic school is an
important but minor part of their Islamic education. The major 'institution of learning' for each child is his family, and the major 'professors' of this institution are the parents.
The most effective way to teach anything to anybody is to be a role model. This is why Allah sent human beings as prophets to all peoples. Whether we willingly accept this job or not, it is a fact that your child learns how to function in life by watching what you do. Even the absent parent is role modeling to the degree that a boy, whose father abandoned his family, will probably treat his own children the same way.
POSITIVE VS. NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT
Negative comments and treatment result in negative attributes in our children, and positive comments and treatment result in positive results.
The term 'positive and negative reinforcement' is popular in modern psychology, but it was advocated by the Qu'ran and the actions and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him), 1400 years ago. How do we use positive reinforcement to teach our children?
Young children are basically good. Furthermore they want to please their parents. When you praise them for their good behavior by telling them that you are happy with their action, you are using positive reinforcement. Unfortunately many parents ignore their child's good actions and only comment on the bad actions.
CREATE A READING-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT AT HOME:
Reader-friendly home is important. A family with full of excellent books for all ages, especially concentrating on child’s various ages, can aid a lot to improve the mind and soul of the child. One should keep a varied selection of books, magazines, reading materials, CDs, etc. considering the age of the children.
Story-telling, from book or from mind, by parents in early ages is important.Fortunately, we have more Islamic and moral materials than before and we can buy from bookstores or from Internet, or if some free materials are available online, then we can print those and make a nice format for the kids. Also, those who can write or make materials for children should try to disseminate through Internet, email groups so that others can use these.
RESPECT TO ELDERS AND GRANDPARENTS FROM PARENTS:
Respect to elders, especially parents’ parents are important to teach indirectly that children should respect and love and care to their own parents. In some cases, a father or mother does not bother to take care and respect their own parents in their elderly ages. Therefore, the children of that father or mother can not get the lesson directly to respect, obey in good points and respect their own parents, as they notice the treatment of their parents towards their (children’s) grandparents.
Also, step-parent issue is another concern where some problems may harm the child, unless both parents are really sincere to Allah and to the child. One can re-marry and maintain a sound family with step-children and the step-parent will receive ample reward from Allah, if he or she takes proper care to them and nourish them, as Islam insists too much on the care of orphans (yatim) . One of the exemplary attitudes believers meticulously adopt is “to do good” to orphans and “never to treat them harshly” .
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM TO BE?
Most of the parents teach and nourish their children in such a way that they never feel that their role model in life should be our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAAW). Therefore, a kid dreams to be like and to follow another great personality, sportsman, actor or actress, politician, etc. We need to teach our kids through story-telling and by other means, that our Prophet is the best person in the world, the best teacher, the best lawyer, the best leader – overall the best human being to follow and try to be like him in this world. All parents must buy and present several biographies of our Prophet to their kids based on their ages and mindsets. And through several readings in different ages, they will feel easily about the greatest personality in this earth and try to dream to follow him.
However, a parent should not be too crazy about a child’s special love or care towards a specific cartoon character or sport’s personality or a leader, if he or she cares too much. Unless it seems immoral and too much reactionary, a parent may tolerate and mould with the due course of time.
Finally, we can only try and rest is up to Allah to guide them. If we try with sincere hearts and pray to Allah for them, then inshallah, the path will be easier and smoother inshallah. May Allah guide us and help us.
Sadia Raheem Contact Sadia
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