15 Tips to Raising Great Children
Children are easily
influenced by their surroundings. These days, it is extremely
difficult to expose our children to an ideal Islamic environment
given the influences from media, friends and even other members of
radio, Internet and forms of media mostly touting un-Islamic values,
it is up to parents and adults close to the children to set the
It is impossible to shield our
children from all the negative forces that can shape their minds and,
ultimately, their behavior.
However, by our own example and
showing them better options, we can set them on the true path, which is to obey
the commandments of Allah (swt) and our Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings
be upon him).
Here are some tips you may want to follow in
helping your children grow up with Islamic values.
Start by teaching them
the importance of Worshipping only Allah: The best thing any Muslim
parent could ever teach their children is to emphasize, from the day they
can comprehend, that Allah (swt) is One and no one is worthy of worship
except Allah (swt). This is the fundamental message of our Prophet (may
Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and it is our key to Paradise.
Treat them kindly: Kindness begets
kindness. If we were kind to our children, they in turn would show kindness
to others. Our Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was the
best example in being kind to children.
- Teach them examples of
Muslim heroes: Instead of Batman or Superman, tell them about real
heroes such as Abu Bakr, Umar ibn Khattab, Othman bin Affan, Ali bin Abi
Talib and others. Tell them how Muslim leaders brought a real peaceful
change in the world and won the hearts of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
- Let children sit with
adults: It is preferable for children to be among adults, especially
when listening to Islamic lectures. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and
blessings be upon him) would often put children in the front row when he
spoke to the people.
- Make them feel
important: Consult them in family matters. Let them feel they are
important members of the family and have a part to play in the growth and
well being of the family.
- Go out as a family:
Take family trips rather than allowing your children to always go out only
with their friends. Let your children be around family and friends from whom
you want them to pick up their values. Always remember that your children
will become who they are around with most of the time. So, watch their
company and above all give them YOUR company.
- Praise them: Praise
is a powerful tool with children, especially in front of others. Children
feel a sense of pride when their parents’ praise them and will be keen to
perform other good deeds. However, praise must be limited to Islamic deeds
and deeds of moral value.
- Avoid humiliation:
Similarly, do not humiliate them in front of others. Children make mistakes.
Sometimes, these mistakes occur in their efforts to please the parents. If
you are unhappy with your children, tell them in private.
- Sports: The Prophet
(may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) encouraged sports such as
swimming, running and horse riding. Other sports that build character and
physical strength are also recommended, as long as the children maintain
their Islamic identity, wear appropriate clothes and do not engage in
Have faith in their abilities to perform tasks. Give them chores to do in
line with their age. Convince them that they are performing an important
function and you will find them eager to help you out again.
- Don’t spoil them:
Children are easily spoiled. If they receive everything they ask for, they
will expect you to oblige on every occasion. Be wise in what you buy for
them. Avoid extravagance and unnecessary luxuries. Take them to an orphanage
or poor area of your city once in a while so they can see how privileged
- Don’t be friends:
It is common in the West for parents to consider their children as friends.
In Islam, it doesn’t work that way. If you have ever heard how friends talk
to each other, then you will know that this is not how a parent-child
relationship should be. You are the parents, and they should respect you,
and this is what you should be teaching them. The friendship part should be
limited to you and them keeping an open dialog so they can share their
concerns with you and ask you questions when they have any.
- Pray with them:
Involve them in acts of worship. When they are young, let them see you in
act of salaah (salat). Soon, they would be trying to imitate you. Wake them
up for Fajr and pray as a family. Talk to them about the rewards of salaah
so that it doesn’t feel like a burden to them.
- Emphasize halaal:
It is not always good to say “this is haraam, that is haraam”. While you
must educate them on haraam things, Islam is full of halaal and tell your
children to thank Allah (swt) for the bounties He has bestowed on them- not
just for food and clothes. Tell them to be thankful for having eyes that
see, ears that hear, arms and legs and, the ultimate blessing, Islam in
Set an example: As parents, you are the best example the children can
have. If you talk to your parents rudely, expect your children to do the
same to you. If you are disrespectful to others, your children will follow
too. Islam is filled with Divine advice on the best ways to bring up your
children. That makes it an obligation upon parents to be good Muslims so
their children will try to emulate them. If you don’t take Islam seriously,
neither will your children. It goes back to our third point, which is to
give them Islamic heroes. As a parent, you should be their number one hero.
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