Saturday, December 06, 2014

The Upbringing of Children

The nature of children is like a plain paper. Whatever is imprinted on it initially will remain forever. Therefore it is important to create good images on this clean and pure page. Whatever habit, good or evil is inculcated in childhood remains for life. Hereunder a few points relating to the upbringing of children will be mentioned.

1. The first nourishment of a child is the mother's milk. She should partake of halaal and pure food so that the milk which is formed from it is pure. Milk has a great effect on the life of children.

2. Muslim children have to carry the banner of bravery during their lives. They should be taught to be courageous. Women have a habit of frightening children, sometimes from the police and sometimes from some other fearful thing. This is an abominable habit and creates cowardice.

3. Just as a weak plant rots due to excessive water, so are children spoilt when given excessive food and at improper times. Appoint a time for feeding the child so that he remains healthy. Do not overfeed him.

4. Do not decorate them excessively. Yes, do consider their cleanliness and bathe them daily in summer.

5. Do not inculcate a habit in boys of wearing expensive clothing and in girls of wearing jewellery, etc. from the beginning. It is not a commendable habit of having vanity and pride from childhood.

6. Children are covetous by nature. Therefore make an attempt to discard this habit of theirs by teaching them to give food, clothing, money etc. to the poor. In the same manner teach them to distribute food etc. to their brothers and sisters in order to learn the habit of generosity.

7. Children can learn well by means of examples. Explain the evils of eating excessively to them, but do not mention anyone's name.

8. Do not give children so much that they develop the habit of asking nor frustrate them so much that they lose hope. Do not fulfil all their wishes as this spoils their nature.

9. Friends have a great effect. Keep your children away from those who have evil habits, or escape from studies or are used to ceremonious food and clothing.

10. Anger, speaking lies, to be envious of others, stealing, back-biting, defending ones statement, to speak of futile things excessively, to laugh unnecessarily and to deceive are all dangerous characteristics. If the child commits any of them, admonish him immediately.

11. Just as a child is spoilt by impoliteness similarly is he spoilt by excessive affection and love. If he breaks anything or hits someone, punish him accordingly so that he does not repeat the act. If love and affection is shown at such an occasion, it will permanently spoil the child.

12. Encourage acts of piety and inculcate the habit of salaah from the age of seven.

13. When the child is capable of going to Madrasah, make him first learn the Quran. Do not let him abscond.

14. Occasionaly read the stories of the pious to him.

15. Books that besmirch the character are very common. Do not allow him to read books that contain love stories, subject matter that is contrary to the shariat or useless stories and poems etc. Instead, teach him to read books of deen and good morals.

16. Moderation is praiseworthy in every act. Do not bind him to studies all the time. When he returns from madressa, permit him to play for a while so that he becomes active, but the entertainment should not be spiritually or physically harmful.

17. Besides deeni (religious) education, also teach him a trade or profession. Learning a skill will enable him to earn at the time of need and difficulty and support himself and his family.

18. Educate girls, the minimum being such that they can write letters and be able to calculate the expenses of the house.

19. Inculcate in children the habit of doing their work themselves.

20. Remember that when a child does a praiseworthy act he should be congratulated and shown love, in fact he should be rewarded as an encouragement. When he commits a wrong act, he should be reprimanded in privacy and warned not to repeat the crime. If he repeats the act, punish him accordingly.

21. Teach them to respect elders in general and the fathers in particular. The mother should make the child fear the father so that he is respected.

22. Do not allow the child to do any act in secret, whether it is playing, eating, or any other work. Remember that if he does anything in secret he regards it as unlawful. If it is something wrong he should be taught to forget such a habit and if it is good like eating or drinking, he should be taught not to hide and do things suspiciously.

23. Teach the child to do menial tasks and to exercise for physical well-being e.g. calisthenics or walking for a kilometer.

24. Another way of pleasing the child is to give him a few cents occasionally so that he spends them according to his desire, but ensure that he does not buy something without your knowledge nor anything harmful.

25. Remind the child as often as possible of the following etiquettes when partaking of meals:

To begin by saying Bismillah, to eat with the right- hand, to eat from directly in front of himself, not to stare at the food as greedy people do, not to eat hastily, to chew the food properly, not to take another morsel before swallowing the first one, to take the morsel properly so that gravy does not spill onto the clothing and the fingers do not mess unnecessarily, not to move the face when chewing a morsel, not to be bare-headed whilst eating, to wash the hands before and after meals, to drink water with the right hand and in 3 breaths and to praise Allah after eating.