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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Some Tips on Raising Children

Some Tips on Raising Children
based on Ghazali's 'chapter pertaining to raising children in the earliest days of development'
notes taken from a class from a good friend of mine

Children are a trust in our care.  The heart of a child is a jewel we are able to shape in any way we want.  If the child is made accustomed to khayr (that which is good), his parents and teachers will share in his reward.  If the child is made accustomed to that which is wrong, the parents/teachers/ guardians will share in the punishment.

-Teach Mahassanul akhlaaq- beautiful conduct- like hayaa, sabr, forgiveness, courage, shukr, cleanliness etc.

-It is the duty of every parent to shield the child from the influence of peers that are evil- do whatever is feasible, with resolve, not to allow the child to be in the company of peers that will influence them badly (in terms of dress, speech, attitude towards parents, etc)

-Do not allow the child to be used to excessive comfort and grant them everything they want.  If they become accustomed to such luxuries, these things will attract them to the life of this world.

-Do not allow the child to be accustomed to that which leads to zeenah. Those things should not be made beloved to the child, indeed the consequence would be that when the child grows older they will waste valuable time seeking comfort in that, in their physical appearance, and this will absorb their minds and hearts instead of more important things.

-Give the child for feeding to one who is moral and whose income is halaal.  Do not give the child to be educated except by those who are Allah fearing and deeply conscious of Him.

-If the child eats a lot, the child should therefore be taught the matters of eating (cleaning your hands before you eat, saying bismillah, eating from that which is closest to you, eating sitting down etc).  Accustom the child to sometimes eat bread alone- this keeps them conscious of those who have less than them.  Eating excessively should be described as something ugly, and made analagous to the behavior of animals.

-In terms of clothing teach the child to like clothing that is white and clean, not dirty clothes or clothes that are excessively colorful. (like homosexually colorful)

-Forbid the child from being in the company of those who are used to too much comfort.

-When the child enters the properly selected school, he or she should fist learn Quran and hadeeth and the words of the righteous people, he or she should be acquainted with the works of the people of wisdom and righteousness.  The consequence of this is to inculcate and instill in the child the love and respect for those who are saliheen.  This should begin early.

-The child should not be allowed to learn about poetry about the love between men and women.  Instead of being "flesh-oriented" the child should be "hayaa-oriented"

-Whenever the child shows a khuluuq (conduct) that is beautiful, the response should be to honor him or her- to be generous in reward for that- and he should be rewarded with that which makes him happy (as long as it is consistent with the moral upbringing of the child).  Also praise the child in front of others who saw him do that good action.

-Whenever the child occasionally (not a habit) violates the norms of khuluuqal hassan, act as if you did not see it and it should not be exposed.   If the child does it again, continues to do it, talk to the child in private, and admonish him for his behavior.  Don't be excessive- admonish him in the least amount of words possible to get the message across - but if you continue the words will become meaningless and ignored.

-The child should not be accustomed to sleep during the day because getting used to sleeping during the day breeds laziness.  The child should not be deprived from sleeping at night.

-The child should be trained to walk instead of driving and riding.  He or she should be accustomed to movement, therefore the body will be alert and not lazy, and will make the mind alert and not lazy.

-The child should be prohibited from showing off- bragging about what his parents own and posess by the way he dresses or other possessions.

-The child should be used to honoring those with whom he or she lives, to be humble and show modesty with those he is with.

-The child should be warned and prohibited from asking another child for things- he should understand that giving is much better than receiving something.

-The child should be discouraged from loving silver and gold, especially boys because gold is prohibited to them, but both silver and gold so the child won't grow to love ornaments- they are superfluous.

-The child should be trained not to spit, not to clean his nose in front of people, not to yawn in the presence of others, not to cross his/her legs, not to speak too much, all the specific mannerisms a grown muslim should know.

-The child should be taught to listen with attention and focus when someone older and more knowledgeable than him is speaking.  He should be taught to stand up for someone above them in terms of ilm and age if it is connected to taqwaah.  The child should be taught to sit very close to the teacher and treat him with reverence, humility, and humbleness.

-The child should be prohibited from using harsh, abusive, or foul language, and being in the company of those who do so.  "And the root of protecting children is protecting them from evil company."

-The child should be taught to obey parents, to respect and revere parents and teachers.

-The child should be scared from lying and betrayal.

-At the age of 7, the child should be ordered to perform salah, but it is good to start earlier.  Do not be tolerant of lack of taharah!  The child should be used to approaching salah in the proper state of taharah, if he is not, make him go back until he is.

-When the child is to reach adulthood, he or she should begin to be given serious responsibilities.

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