Effective Relationship with your children – Part 1

Most of us spend a lot of time talking only about a few things with" our children. "Wash your hands." "Stop teasing your sister." "Do your homework." "Stop that." "Go to bed."

Often our relationships with our children center on control and correction. When parents control their children, they are trying to get the children to do things the children don't want to do. Or they are trying to keep the children from doing things they want to do.

Parents generally have more power than children. We are bigger and stronger. But it's hard to force people to do something they don't want to do. We can spend all of our time yelling at children and trying to bribe, convince, or force them to do what we want them to do. That's the trouble with control. It takes over the relationship. It can be the only thing that parents and their children seem to talk about. And it's not a very good basis for a relationship.

Sometimes our relationships with our children are based on correction. As parents, we spend a lot of time telling our children what they do wrong. Sometimes our correction even becomes insulting. "How can you be so dumb?" "Why can't you do anything right?" "Can't you think?"

Insults are damaging. They do not give children useful information. They only make them feel bad. Even when we avoid insults, too much correction can be bad. Correction should not be the main part of our relationship with our children. There are better things to talk about.

Everyone realized that raising children is a very important task for many reasons.  Our children are a trust from Allah SWT. Allah entrusted us with them and we will be held accountable for how we carried out and whether we fulfilled this trust. The Prophet SAW sakid : “It is enough sin for a person to let those who depend on him go astray.”

Children are a product of the influence that their parents have on them and Allah is going to ask parents about that influence on Judgment Day. How do we influence our children so that they can possess certain important qualities that are essential to make them good Muslims?

The first step is to evaluate our actions and deeds. Umar Ibn Khattab radiallahu anhu used to say, “Review, evaluate, and assess yourself before you are assessed. Weight your deeds before they are weighted against you, and prepare yourself for the day where you will be fully exposed.”

Ask yourself the following questions with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and acknowledge your findings and categorized them as either positive or negative behaviours.  Acknowledging our strengths and weaknesses is the first step in improving our parental behaviour.  After that put your trust in Allah SWT and make a commitment to positive change. Changing unhealthy habits is the key to success.

Here are the questions and be truthful when you answer them.

1.       I feel that I had little experience with my first child. This causes me to be too strict or too lenient with him or her.

2.       I expect perfection of myself when I am with my children and I often feel like a failure when I can’t do the perfect thing.

3.       I feel that cleaning the house and preparing the food is more important than playing with my children or taking them to the park.

4.       I don’t often let my children try certain things that I think are difficult, because I wasn’t able to do them when I was a child.

5.       I feel that I’m raising my children in the same way that my parents raised me, despite the difference in time and place. This is because I don’t know of a better way to raise them.

6.       The way I treat my children shows that I don’t have confidence in their ability to do things.

7.       I let my children make simple decisions that are specific to them and reasonable for their age.

Reinforce the positive parental behaviours and keep practicing them with your children. Change the negative behaviours and replace them with the positive ones.


Zakia Usmani

Source: Parenting skills

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