3 Steps to Help Guide a Muslim Childvia Lingua Islamica by Destination Akhirah on May 29, 2007
1. Role Modeling
When a child does an action that is un-Islamic, it is better to give the child a role model of someone who acted Islamically.
When a child lies (and children do lie), I will remind her/him about a child that does not lie. “Remember, that when Abdullah broke the cup he quickly told the truth!” Then the child will speak the truth, it has worked every time.
2. No Praise, Only Encouragement
Praising is not effective. It does neither good nor benefit. What is more useful and highly productive is words encouraging a particular behavior that is of high value.
For instance, instead of saying, “you’re smart” when a child answers a question correctly, say, “I loved the way you took the time to think about that, you really thought hard about it... (smiles) good work!” This will encourage the child to continue with that particular effort.
Especially in reading, “I love the way you slowly sounded that out! I knew if you stayed patient and kept trying you would get it! I love to see you take your time and sound out every letter.. Wow! Fantastic Effort!”
3. Change the Mood
If a child is not interested in school work for instance, and is doing the work at a very slow pace. You may take a piece of candy and say, “This candy has super powers, whomever eats it has the power to think harder, and work faster! I would give you some, but I’m afraid it might make you work too fast!” It is easier to get work done when there is a happy feeling inside. Think of ways to give the child a “happy/peaceful” feeling, and once it is there, the child can work more effectively in becoming a patient, hardworking, happy Muslim.
May Allāh provide for us children who are a comfort to our eyes, and may He make us parents that earn His pleasure, and by His Mercy, may Allāh make us a comfort to the eyes of our children. Āmīn.