Parenting is no easy task; ask any parent. Unfortunately, kids don’t come with manuals, no matter how much you thought you were prepared for it. So instead, we tend to make it harder. Every aspect of great parenting can be broken down into two components: Protecting and Teaching.
Protecting: As an infant, a child depends entirely on the parent. The child can sleep and notify you when something is bothering them. So the parent should keep the child clean, fed, and in a safe environment. This may sound oversimplified and basic before that is a constant task. What is a safe environment? As a newborn infant, a baby generally cannot roll over or push something as simple as a pillow off its face, so even a crib with those adorable accessories can quickly become a hazard.
Children are curious about everything and will want to explore EVERYTHING. Keep in mind that they have not learned caution. There is no difference between an angry dog, a blanket, a poisonous snake, and a new toy. They want to explore it all, play with it all, and, most of the time, put whatever in their mouths.
Teaching: The same as being vigilant in protecting your child, you must also be thoughtful in teaching the child. A child’s mind is like a sponge. They will take in anything and everything around them. So we must take great care of the environment we place our children in. Think about what’s on the TV, radio and the conversations that go on around them. You may not think it’s all that big a deal until your child starts to portray behaviors that are foreign to you. That’s when you ask yourself, “ where did this child learn that?”. Well, you taught or allowed it to be introduced to them. Generally, a child’s fears, likes, and dislikes come from you, the parents, and those you allow your child to be exposed to.
These two duties go hand and hand. In protecting the child, you are teaching them how to defend themselves. Like when you teach a child, you protect them from other harmful knowledge. Our beloved Prophet Muhammed( Sallahu Alayhi Wa Salaam) guides us to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. As a parent, it is your responsibility to start your child off right and to help them along the Right Path in this life to the best of your ability. May Allah swt bless your success in this noble endeavor. Ameen
One book I recommend is Nurturing Eeman in Children. This book showcases the importance of instilling Islamic education, good morals, and characteristics in your children. Nurturing Eeman in Children is a must-have book. This book is for parents but can also be read with your children to discuss and develop an Islamic identity. Now more than ever, we need our children to be proud of being Muslim, to understand what it means to be Muslim, and to live according to the Quran and Sunnah.
A few points from the book:
Children are test from Allah. Therefore, as parents, we aim to teach aqeedah, build bonds and attachments, and teach the methods of living according to the Quran and Sunnah.
Education is a factor in raising healthy, knowledgeable, and strong Muslims. Our world is everchanging, but Islam remains the same. Instilling our children with correct Islamic knowledge will allow our children to become the best Muslims.
Praying for righteous children. One of the biggest worries for parents is the uncertainty of your teaching. Pray that you are raising your children righteously. “My lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication.” (Quran 3:38)
Can you think of things your parents have taught you that have served you in your lifetime? What are some things you want to teach your children? Please share in the comments below.