By Ayeesha Siddiqa
It is the responsibility of every Muslim to build their home, filled with peace and tranquility. Allah (SWT) has directed the message of Islam to both believing men and women. So they should take this message wholeheartedly which will guide them to lead a peaceful and successful life together.
The progress of human society is possible by strong relationships between generations. The parent – child relationship is of utmost importance for this whole process. The Quran gives us guidelines for this relationship for both the parents as well as children. The parents should fulfill their children’s physical needs and give sound value of Islamic teachings. The Quran highlights the role played by the parents, especially the mother. It is not enough for parents to cater to the physical needs of the child. They need to give the child an awareness and knowledge, help him/her gain good characteristics, and develop a virtuous personality. Such training of children has great benefits for the child as well as for the society in which he/she lives.
When a Muslim woman is striving hard to build her home by Islamic manners, she should note that proper upbringing of her children and maintaining the family will help her to achieve success in this Duniya and also the Hereafter. To raise a virtuous child is one of the greatest good deeds. It continues to bring rewards even after death. Of course nothing is possible without the help of Allah. That is why all of us should make the following dua:
“Rabbana hab lana min azwaajinaa wa dhurriyyaatina qurrata a’ a yunin waj’alnaa lil muttaqeena imaamaa.”
“Our Lord! Bestow on us from our spouses and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqun (pious)”.
Surah Al Furqan (Verse 74)
In fact this dua is not specific for parents or even those who are married, but can be said by anyone at anytime.
Another beautiful dua, which is specific to parents, is:
“Rabbi hab lee min ladunka dhurriyyatan tayyibatan innaka samee ud’dua’a.”
”O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.”
Surah Al – Imran (Verse 38)
The child spends most of his/her time with parents. And the most productive years for shaping your children’s character is the first 5 years. During this period they try to imitate everything that their parents do or they will try to grasp what others are doing. This developmental stage is a bit critical where parents have to be more careful. So parents should not bring the family problems in front of the children as this will affect them mentally. After this stage, the child is moved to the outer world including school, friends, playing activities etc. It should be realized that the role of the mother is more important than the father at this early stage.
So the child should be guided in the right way towards religion, knowing moral and social values, and to have good relationships with others. Teaching children to control their emotions like anger, selfishness, jealousy etc. matters the most. To start with, talk about the bounties and wonders of Allah with your child during every conversation. For example, after the child finishes their food you could say, “Alhamdulillah , you have finished eating your food without wasting it. Allah (SWT) will be pleased with you for not wasting it”. This will make your child feel encouraged and he/she will strive to be more obedient towards Allah (SWT) as well as to you. Teach your children to put their trust in Allah (SWT) first, in everything they do. Help them to know the virtues of Islam, and the path it shows to us.
Here are some tips for parents which will help them to develop their child’s character and to maintain a good relationship between them and their children.
Establishing a Nurturing Relationship with Your Child:
1. The strong marriage relationship between the spouses will help them bring up their children in the most positive way.
The basis for good parenting is a good marriage. The family is the most important building block for the overall structure. A strong marriage leads to the proper functioning of the family which in turn provides a good foundation for the society.
Islam emphasize on the marriage as narrated by Anas ibn Malik, Prophet (SAW) said:
“Whoever marries has completed half of his deen. So let him fear Allah for the remaining half.”
At-Tirmidhi Hadith 3096
Marriage is also a form of worship and it paves the way to increase obedience towards Allah (SWT). This bond of marriage is not only to find tranquility but also to help each other in their worship towards Allah (SWT). By doing this, not only does their relationship prosper in this world, but it also leads one to Jannah. Mutual understanding between the spouses, caring, respecting each others feelings, and cooperation are important criteria for building the strong bond of marriage. Throughout their efforts at strengthening the marriage bond, they should note that it is also good for the upbringing of the children. Both spouses should rely on Allah (SWT) and His will.
2. Make your home a child-safe environment.
Do not force your children to do things which you insist. Rather give them freedom to learn new things and also guide them by providing a safe/secure and calming environment. Home is the safest place to dwell in and thus try to make it a child-safe environment. As children spend most of their time in the home and with their parents, making the home the best place to lay the foundation of Imaan in children, is the duty of parents. Home should be a place where Allah (SWT) is remembered always through prayer, doing dhikr, fasting, giving charity, seeking knowledge which is beneficial for both this duniya and the aakhirah.
3. Make an effort to ignore pressure, and you will find yourself a relaxed parent.
In the past, raising children was simpler. One parent stayed home, and the other worked. But today that is no longer a norm. Even the woman who doesn’t go for a job, finds herself busy in completing the housework which later causes her to feel down till the evening. Here, stress is an unavoidable fact of modern life. To balance between work and childcare, you’ll need to be flexible, creative and realistic. Although small children need full-time supervision when awake, it may be possible to schedule work for times when they are asleep. By this way, you can make use of time properly and indulge in some pampering for yourself too. If you are stress-free parent, then you will be able to concentrate more on your child.
4. Express your love and affection towards your children. A hug and kiss makes all the difference.
Children have a greater need for affection. The love towards them should be expressed outwardly. Some children can’t understand how much you love them until you speak out. So just hug them, kiss them and say “I love you”. These three magical words make them feel wonderful in every way. Compliment them for everything they do good.
5. Don’t compare your child with others. Each and every person is different and they have their own style.
Don’t ever compare your child’s behaviour with another child of the same age. By comparing them with other children you make them feel inferior. By this means, you are putting stress in yourself and in your child. Each kid develops in different ways. So comparing your child’s result or performance with others is unrealistic. Instead, focus on your child’s improvement and analyse where it went wrong, and try to find a solution accordingly.
Meanwhile pondering over these ideas or information, parents have to know that good communication between them and the children helps them to grow throughout the years to come. It is a strong belief that a good verbal and nonverbal communication is a critical step to bond with children in the coming years, especially when they become teenagers.
So in order to be a good parent, try to focus on two things:
- You have to love your child. This is the easy part and most parents love their kids.
- You have to be willing to listen to your child. You have the last word; but it is important to listen, and for your child to know that you are listening.
It is true that it is difficult for parents to bring up children in today’s world and help them to achieve what they want them to be in the future. But this would happen only if the relationship between the parent and child becomes stronger as the years pass by. Striving hard in bringing up the children, maintaining the family in the proper way does require work. So parents should act accordingly in order to achieve success in their goal. May Allah (SWT) make it easy for all parents to bring up righteous children who will benefit them in this Duniya and the Hereafter. Ameen.