Equality Between Distress and Leniency
- :Ismail Abdullah
Honoring the child, doing goods to him, making him to feel love and sympathy, making him to feel his status in the society, that he is accepted by his parent and the community, he should not exceed the proper bond or limit and should not allow complete freedom to act according to his wishes.
It is incumbent on the parents to lay down equality method in their dealing with the child. Don't be so much lenience to reach the utmost limit of leniency and not to be severely in all that he committed but leniency and severity at their limit. Let moderation prevail between the two (i.e. leniency and severity) in all stand till he transcend the stage of childhood with peace and tranquility. He will then differentiate between the beloved and the disregarded conducts because the first five or six years in the child's life is where he constitute his personal mode of life.
Verily the narrations have laid emphasis on moderation while dealing with child without negligence or excessiveness.
Imam Al-Baqir (peace be upon him) said: "The worst father is he whose kindness has led to immoderate ......" 144.
It is incumbent on the parents when the child committed some disagreeing conduct to make him feels the wrong of this disagreed conduct and try to convinced him to abstain from it, he should reproach or punishes him spiritually and not corporal punishment if conviction and leniency are not beneficial because psychological punishment is better than corporal punishment just as Imam Musa bn Jaafar Al-kazim (peace be upon him) answered on how to deal with the children and said : "Don't beat him, dissociate with him but not for a long time" 145.
In a repetition of the child's short-comings Imam did not call for leniency and tolerance and did not also call for continuous spiritual punishment (i.e. dissociation) but he calls for moderation and balance between punishment and leniency.
Negligence and immoderate leads to negative effect on the child in all aspect like mentally, psychologically and morally.
It is incumbent in light of free educational method to create moderation between commendation and reproach because excess commendation is like reproach for its effect on the child emotionally and makes him anxiously worried. The child that (rise from excess compassion will not be able to resist the changes in life before him or to strive with it) 146.
The emotional maturity of a child who is babied delayed and his childhood period prolonged before him. 147.
He will then remain in need of his parents in all stances that face him, this situation continued with him till his old age. That is why we can find youth and matured ones in our society waiting for the community to call for their needs or to support their views or to praise and commend them. They are not also able to confront the problems standing before their aspirations. It is the same saying to the child whose conduct is disregarded or who is subjected to insult or excessive reproach from the side of the parents or the children that are made to be accountable to all that occurred from them. Like wise Imam Ali (peace be upon him) said: "Immoderate in reproach rises the deep flame" 148.
That is why we find in the community the phenomenon of the perverted ones whose attitudes are hostile towards others; they were subjected to insult and continuous punishment.
It is then incumbent on the parents to laid down a program enlightening the children the good and bad deeds so that commendation and reproach will base on what he has committed and it enable us to plant love for good deeds and hatred for bad deeds in his mind. In this stage you should struggle to strengthen the inner-most of the child so that it will be his future plans. We should plant fear from committing bad deed and motivate him for good deeds instead of fear from punishment and motivation for commendation and laudation.
The parents should let commendation and reproach sincerely for the aim of educating the children and should not reflect their psychological status while educating them like he who was confronted with problems and cast his anger on the child without any justification.
In this respect the holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his descendants) has forbade educating while on a state of anger 149.
There are some situations the parents have to be very vigilant so that reverse effect should not be on the child's sense and psychology. For example a child that break in to pieces some costly items in the house he deems he has done a nice job by making it two through breaking it and he is demanding praise and commendation for the well done job, the child will be surprise of being punished instead of commendation. The punishment will then have its psychological effect on the child.
In another situation some times the child may be in need of reproach or blame or abandonment or corporal punishments as DR. Sapok says (Verily the children in most cases are happy because the father has laid impudence for them) 150.
The child needs a balance attention when he is sick without negligence nor immoderate (i.e. no excess attention nor absence of attention) moderate is better, and make him feel of being attended to a reasonable limit because the exaggeration method taking by the mother when their children are in sick has psychological effects on the child even at his old age, it will create a gloomy child from it, with much complaint and quick agitation.
It is incumbent for the parents to observe one and agreed method while educating the child so that they can realize the right and mistake in his conduct. The mother should not contradict the father when he reproach the child for a certain committed mistake like wise in commendation because the conduct disorder and psychological sickness that affected the child in his youth and as a man in future is as a result of the wrong treatment of the parents .....
Like contradiction in method of dealings, swing between tolerance and stress.... verification and negligence, all these development will neither create hostility or criminality or psychological chilliness or frustration and scruple or excess depending on others, babied conduct and personal weakness. 151
144 - aareekh Yaaquubi vol- 2:320. T
145 - Bihaaril Anwaar vol- 22:114.
146 - Attifl bainal wiraatha WA ttarbiya vol-2:180 from the book 'we and the children: 39'.
147 - Ilmi Nnafs Attarbawi: 535 - by DR. Fakhir Aqil.
148 - Tuhfal Uquul: 84.
149 - Bihaaril Anwaar vol- 79: 102.
150 - Mashaakilil Aabaa'a: 75.
151 - Adwaa'i ala Nnafs bashariyyah: 302 - by DR. Zain Abbas Ammarah -printed by Daruth thaqafah 1st edition 1407 A.H.
Adapted from the book: "The Child's Education in Islam" by: "Ismail Abdullah"
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