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Tips for Child-rearing

Tips for Child-rearing
By Ibrahim Bowers


As Muslim parents, we have an obligation to bring up our children in the best manner---to teach them right from wrong and to show them what we and society expect from them. The following principles should be useful in establishing a child-rearing method that is not too extreme:

1. Start Early-Although many parents believe that very small children are too young to understand, their early years are probably the most important opportunity for parents to start them in the right direction. Once good patterns are established, they will be easy to maintain. Once bad patterns are established, they will be difficult to change.

2. Have your Emotions Under Control while Instructing Children- Don't discipline your child because you are angry with him, but rather because you want to teach him. Motive is important here.

3. Parents should Present a United Front- Parents should discuss their strategy for Kid's Health and disciplining their children and agree to work together as a team. If children realize that one parent is strict and the other is easy, they will play the parents against each other. When the strict parent stops them from doing something, they will go ask the easy parent for permission. Both parents need to tell the child the same thing. If parents sometimes disagree on how to discipline the child, they should discuss it privately, not in front of the children.

4. Be Consistent- Most experts on children agree that parents should be consistent. Constantly changing the rules and expectations will only confuse your child. If you stop him from writing on the walls today, and allow him to write on the walls tomorrow, he will not understand when you get angry the next time he writes on the walls. If you inconsistently apply the rules, he will also test you at times to see whether you are going to be tough this time or easy. If, however, he knows from experience that you always stop him the first time, he will quickly learn it does no good to try to get away with something.

5. Never Lie to your Children- If you lie to them "every now and then," they may not believe you when you tell them the truth. This also applies to those situations when you tell your child to stop doing something, or you will put him in his room, or take away his toys. If you make that kind of a threat, you must stick with it. Otherwise, you have lied, and your child will not know when you are serious and when you are not. He will then be forced to test you again and again to see.

6. Don't Reward Crying-If children realize that every time they cry, they get what they want, crying will become like money for them. Every time they want something, they will cry. On the other hand, if you teach them that crying doesn't get them anything, they will stop crying for things. Let them cry and cry and cry, but don't give in. In the beginning, it will be difficult, but be patient. Once they learn the lesson and stop crying for everything, you will be happy that you were firm. You can either listen to crying for a few days or for the rest of your life. It's your choice.

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