Tips on improving Muslim parenting skills

Every parent wants a pious and obedient child but not every parent possesses the right parenting skill or is willing to go through what it takes to be a good parent. Perhaps its easy to be a parent but its never easy to be a good parent. A good parent is one who takes his children’s moral upbringing as his sole priority.
Have you ever wished you had not followed up your daughter’s back talk with your own ill-mannered retort? Have you ever wanted to respond to your son’s messy room with an instructive response rather than a furious rant? Well how about working on improving some of those skills? Here are some productive ways to improve your parenting skills.

Make Dua
Make Dua. It is really Allah who guides and misguided, but if you’ve done your job as a parent, Insha Allah, keeping your children a practicing Muslim will be easier to do than if you had neglected this duty. As well, make Dua for your children in front of them. This reminds them how much you love them and your concern for them.

Give them Attention
We all enjoy a little attention every now and then, so do our children. Children do not only enjoy it; they thrive on it. Make sure you give your child your time every day. Although you will be focusing on prayers, reading Quran, and other forms of worship, involve your child in some of these activities as well. Encourage your child to pray with you when you offer Salah. When you are reading the Qur’an, have your little one sit on your lap and explain using your native language and simpler terms about the meaning. And of course, kids love the kitchen. Let your child help out with some of the dishes.

Be Patient with Them
Being patient when you are frustrated or displeased with your child’s behavior can be so hard, but worth the effort. Being patient helps you avoid doing or saying inappropriate things to your child that you might later regret. It also helps you model appropriate behaviors for your child to imitate.

Be a Role Model
One of the best ways of directing your child towards proper behavior is by being a good model of proper behavior yourself. Be respectful towards others in and away from home. Avoid ranting when you are upset during problematic situations. Refuse to hit when you’re angry. Make Salah on time. Remember Allah often in your speech and actions. Mention Allah regularly in your home. When your children see you behaving in an admirable manner, it gives them the incentive to do too.If you want your daughter to refrain from hitting her younger brother when he uses her markers, let her see a pattern of behavior from you in which you avoid hitting when correcting others. Let her see you use alternatives. This will give her alternatives to select from, as well.

Find Alternatives for Rewarding and Punishing Them
In Islam if it becomes necessary to correct your child for some wrongdoing this must be done according to a certain hierarchy: first, explain to your child in a gentle way how they have overstepped some limit from right into wrong; second, if the gentle instruction does not result in the child correcting that wrong behaviour, you should indicate your disapproval of that wrong behaviour by withdrawing your favour (for example, do not give smiles, hugs or kind words to your child at such times); and third, only as a last resort, and that is if it becomes necessary, you can hit. In Islam there are specific rules and limitations: you may not hit your child on the face or stomach, you may not hit your child more than a maximum of three times, and you may not hit your child hard enough to leave a cut or bruise on the skin.

Model After the Prophet
Learn ways in which the Prophet behaved around children. He was kind, compassionate, and known to avoid using physical discipline with the young around him. He was also very tolerant of children’s behavior. Here are a few examples of how gentle the Prophet was with his young family members: one hadith illustrates his kindness when he kissed his grandson Hussein. Another shows his patience when he allowed his grandson Hasan to climb on his back and neck while prostrating during Salah! And here’s a hadith that says it all Anas ibn Malik said, “I served the Prophet for ten years, and he never said to me, “Uf” (a minor harsh word denoting impatience) and never blamed me by saying, “Why did you do so or why didn’t you do so?” [Sahih Bukhari]

The Soul of a child is like an uncut precious jewel entrusted into your care by Allah. To you is given the awesome responsibility of shaping that precious jewel into a beautiful form, pleasing to the eye of Allah. It is your sacred duty as a parent to ensure your child grows up to be a good and righteous Muslim.

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