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Monday 28 July 2014

Ramadan Parenting Challenge Day 28: Be Truthful

Ramadan Parenting Challenge 2014
Narrated 'Abdullah: The Prophet said, "Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar."  (Bukhari 73:116)

On Day 16 we’ve seen how being truthful is a part of being righteous but how do you teach children to always tell the truth? Below are three ways to help you raise truthful children.

Firstly, have an open relationship with your children, one where they feel loved by you so that they can feel comfortable to talk to you. This requires your child to feel connected and attached to you. So keep your relationship warm, caring and communicative. Find the time to have conversations with them.

There are three types of conversations that you could have. The first type is telling them to do this and that. The second type is persuading them to do things that you want them to do. The third type is engaging them in a two way exchange that builds trust through openness and non-judgment.

Ask yourself which type of conversations you are having with your children. Are you always telling them to do something, persuading them to do things or are you exchanging thoughts and ideas? If you are predominantly telling and persuading then it is less likely that your children will feel comfortable talking to you. If they feel that they cannot talk to you then when you ask them something they might not tell you the truth.

Another way to raise truthful children is to model honesty. Be always truthful yourself. Children learn through seeing not through being told. If you are not truthful then you cannot expect them to be.

The third way to teach truthfulness is to discuss it through dialogue, stories, books and various media. Everyone likes a good story. Take examples from the life of Prophet Muhammad (s) who was known as the Truthful (As-Sadiq) or any of the Prophets, Companions or make up your own tales of truthfulness to discuss.

Challenge for today is to:
  1. Model honesty.
  2. Discuss truthfulness.
  3. Engage your children in non-commanding, non-persuading and non-judgemental conversations.

Do these today and the remaining days.

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