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Wednesday 9 July 2014

Ramadan Parenting Challenge Day 12: Be Kind To Your Children

Ramadan Parenting Challenge 2014
Kind words and forgiving of faults are better than charity followed by injury. And Allah is Rich (Free of all needs) and He is Most-Forbearing. (Qur'an, 2:263)

Yesterday, we have seen how important it is to be generous and give charity but according to the above verse of the Qur’an, kindness and forgiveness are even better than being generous. 

We are told in numerous places by Allah in the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad (s) to be kind. For example, we are told to be kind to parents: And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents… (Qur’an, 46:15) and to neighbours: Prophet Muhammad (s) said, “…and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day should treat his neighbour with kindness...” (Narrated by Abu Huraira in Muslim 1:75). There are also many instances of telling us to be kind to orphans, to the poor, to Muslims, to non Muslims, to animals, in fact, to everybody and everything. 

As humans, we are drawn to people who are kind and shrink away from people who are cruel. Think back to your favourite teacher, chances are she would have been kind. Why? Because kindness is a quality that makes a person beautiful from the inside. Prophet Muhammad (s) said, “Kindness was never bestowed upon something except it beautified it and kindness was never removed from that thing except that it made it ugly.” (Ibn Hibban)

I remember when one of my Year 1 students said to me out of the blue, “I like you Miss. You’re kind.” My heart melted and I asked her what made her say that. She replied, “You let us do things like draw and write letters.” Wouldn’t it wonderful if your own children tell you all the time that they love you because you’re kind and generous? 

This was how the children saw Prophet Muhammad (s): Narrated Malik: We came to the Prophet and stayed with him for twenty days and nights. We were all young and of about the same age. The Prophet was very kind and merciful. When he realized our longing for our families, he asked about our homes and the people there and we told him. Then he asked us to go back to our families and stay with them and teach them (the religion) and to order them to do good things. He also mentioned some other things which I have (remembered or) forgotten. The Prophet then added, "Pray as you have seen me praying and when it is the time for the prayer one of you should pronounce the adhan and the oldest of you should lead the prayer. (Bukhari 11:604)

When you are kind to your children and others you are modeling how it is to be kind. Children pick up on this more than being told to be kind. 

You would still discuss with them about what it means to be kind. Depending on their age, there are books about kindness that you could read to your children. These are based on hadeeth such as the story of the man who was kind to the thirsty dog and another one about the woman who was cruel to her cat. There are also stories about children who were kind to their parents. If your children are older then just read one of the hadeeth or ayat and discuss that. 

Also give feedback for when your children are being kind or unkind to someone. If they’re aware of what they’re doing then they might do more or less of it, whichever the case might be.

Challenge for today is to:
Do these and continue to do them throughout Ramadan.

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