CHILDREN/TEENAGERS & DISCIPLINE

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

CHILDREN/TEENAGERS & DISCIPLINE

 
|Just Short admonisher|

Author: Sister Cristina Mariam Ignat


There were quite a few sisters who had some several questions about what kind of discipline is required or necessary for their children.
Therefore, I am writing this article to respond generally speaking to all those who may have inquiries on this topic.
Discipline forms are different based on different ages.
A - DISCIPLINING THE SMALL CHILDREN
(Ages up to 10)
Discipline issues can arise for the small children – whether Islamic (regarding Salah or religious duties) or behavioral.
You have to keep in mind that the small children are still in the process of “understanding how life works” as well as understanding the mandatory duties
Especially the small children you will find that they tend to drift easily – suppose you ask them to do their Salah or homework and, the moment you turn, they start doing something else. This tends to drive parents literally crazy (I also experienced it with my daughter) and due to anger the kids may be spanked, beaten or treated really badly.
DO NOT BEAT YOUR CHILDREN – since they are too small and they will learn that if they do anything wrong, they will get a beating. Although this may work somewhat in the short term, it will not work in the long-term. As they get older, some kids may come to hate you and they may even go into Kufr because of the poisonous relationship that is likely to form using all these methods. Also, for those living in the West you have to think about this even more – because, while the child is small and is still “in your hands” so to speak, when they grow up they realize the Freedom provided by the system and they are likely to leave home early – as this is “the trend” in the West. This also supposes you escape the system – for beating your kids, although spanking may or may not come under another category. And you may end up in an investigation yourself.
We Muslims are really in a deplorable condition – all we do is BEAT, AND BEAT AND BEAT THE KIDS – when they do not listen. While the kufaar have excellent activities for their kids and even for ours (do you recall how excited many of our kids are with school activities, but not with our religious duties?). This is also one reason for which our kids are so attracted by the Kufaar, because they make everything seem so easy and fun and ultimately they go into Kufr!!! (Authu Billah).
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) loved children and was always kind to children. Here’s one Hadith to illustrate this:
Narrated by Abu Huraira: «Allah's Apostle kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali while Al-Aqra' bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, "I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them," Allah's Apostle cast a look at him and said, "Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully."» [Sahih Bukhari, Book #73, Hadith #26]
In regards to the Hadith of where you can beat your kids after the age of 10 for Salah – that means “lightly, without leaving marks on their body” and should be done only in extreme cases. (I heard some scholars talking about this). Now if you beat your child every time for Salah (Authu Billah) – what does the child learn? Salah = beating or Beating=Salah and they end up hating the Salah and most likely won’t pray.
COMMUNICATION with your children is essential. You need to talk to your kids daily and remind them of their duties.
The solution to these issues is to constantly “remind on your children” –about their duties and make sure they start them. In the beginning especially, they may still not comply easily. They need time to form a routine. However, in time it may become easier as the necessary routines are formed.
I suggest that you (usually the mother has more time, but father also) tell them every single day - Salah means worshipping Allah - Salah saves the person from the Hell-fire, Salah is the best gift which Allah T'ala bestowed on people; Salah is very very important to us and is the best worship to Allah; Salah is a way for Allah to forgive our sins; whoever does not pray Salah ends up in the Fire of Hell, etc. etc. etc. I also do this with my daughter too.
Whatever you put in your kid's mind will be of benefit later on in sha’Allah when they understand life better as adults. This technique can be used for any other issues or things you try to make them habitual to it. In sha’Allah by the time they grow up they will understand the significance of all this talk and in sha’Allah they will pray on time and they will want to pray for Allah's sake and get Jannah.
However, if you find that you need to apply some form of discipline, and you cannot get them to do things just by asking them, then in sha’Allah try to apply the technique of REWARDS OR PUNISHMENTS. Example, if you do your Salah properly this week, you will get so and so (whatever halal that the child desires). And if you do not do your Salah properly, then you cannot watch this so on TV, or go to friends’ house, or have ice-cream, etc. etc. (cut their privileges).
There are many other “discipline avenues” so to speak. Only the principles are highlighted here. However, you have to search what motivates your child best and try to influence him/her with Rewards/ Punishments based on his/her likes and dislikes.
Home-schooling is a very good method for providing Tarbiyah/ Islamic education for your child, along with secular education. Also, from an Islamic point of view, public school is the worst place to put your child in. But if you have no other solution, at least go there for your child’s lunch and ask him/her to do Salah. And don’t get confused by the administration if they tell you “they have no space for Salah” – if you are determined about it, you will find a solution, in sha’Allah.
If you are weak in one subject, you could switch with your friends (example you are good in Math and your friend has excellent English skills; therefore, you will teach Math and your friend English). Home-schooling links are provided in the Links category.
The Islamic School – it is definitely recommended for the parents who can afford the tuition fees, due to the beneficial environment. As always, you may notice that usually Muslim schools are not as well funded compared to public schools. However, the quality of teaching is good because many teachers have immigrant roots and high standards of teaching. Also, one great advantage is that Salah is offered every day, as well as the fact that they will be around other Muslim children among whom they can find good/religious friends.
Watching your child’s friends, fun activities and home-schooling are discussed in more detail in the disciplining the older children and they all apply to this age group as well.
B - DISCIPLINING THE OLDER CHILDREN/ TEENAGERS!
This is “the real headache” – especially for Muslim parents who live in the West. What is the way to deal with the older kids to ensure that they are being given a glimpse of Islamic education.
Usually by this age the child is almost already formed – his/her way of thinking are much more firm than the smaller child. Usually when the parents have (major) problems at this age, it is much more difficult for them to still do something for their child/children, since the kids are much more independent at this age. The problem could be that something was missing in the education at the younger age.
Sometimes the parents do not have major problems while the child is small, but usually because the Islamic Tarbyiah was not insisted much at the younger age, the mindset and/or behavior of the child can become a major problem.
However, there are still ways of trying to influence your kids positively even though they may be older. All the previous methods specified can be tried.
Communication with your child is extremely important at this age. If they ask you questions that you may find outrageous (girlfriend, boyfriend, drinking, dance parties – watch out they have a lot of those in “school” etc.) – DO NOT GET ANGRY, as this will make the situation even worse.
I know that especially for the parents raised in the East are most likely never any discussions of this sort with their parents, therefore it is very difficult for them to talk about this issues. However, keep in mind that your child is not small anymore and they are being exposed to all these issues. If they do not talk to you they will talk to their friends or teachers, who are usually Kufaar – and what things will they tell them? Their answers are likely to be unislamic and haraam. Therefore, do talk to them and try to make them understand things from an Islamic perspective.
Friends Influence – You should do your best to observe which kind of friends your child has; if some of his/her friends are bad, try your best to explain to them the reason for which they should stop those relationships; also encourage them to keep and strengthen the relationship with their good friends. Friends are one sure way to guide the person towards right or wrong.
Fun-activities – as always kids are kids and they need to have some fun. You would have a pretty good idea what your child’s likes and dislikes are. Therefore, you should schedule time for his/her hobbies (such as sports, certain TV programs, some home-parties for them and their friends, etc.) Once they have the green light, they will at this age do the planning.
Home-schooling – is recommended for any age before university/college; however, if the child was never home-schooled before high-school, it is unlikely that this method will bring much benefit at this age because he/she is used to socializing primarily through school; however, the parents are encouraged to home-school their children, as it may prove beneficial. You should search also for high-school credits which can be obtained through the internet. Certain virtual schools are recognized by the (Canadian) government as well. Home-schooling links are provided also in our links category.
The Islamic School – it is definitely recommended for the parents who can afford the tuition fees, due to the beneficial environment. As always, you may notice that usually Muslim schools are not as well funded compared to public schools. However, the quality of teaching is good because many teachers have immigrant roots and high standards of teaching. Also, one great advantage is that Salah is offered every day, as well as the fact that they will be around other Muslim children among whom they can find good/religious friends.
Public Speakers/ Councilors / Other Relatives – it is many times effective if other adults talk to your kids, as they me more impressed by their advice, especially if they can present the same information you would like to convey in a more attractive way than you can.
Other Methods – you can try any other methods that you think may be effective with your children, based on their mind-set and personality.
C - FEW RELATED HADITH
However, here you have to correct yourself first – because if the parents fall into Bidah, so will their kids; this Hadith really deals with Adults.
BEATING FOR BIDDAH:
Reported by Al Bukair: «That Ibn Abbas, 'Abdur-Rahman bin Azhar and Al-Miswar bin Makhrama sent him to 'Aisha saying, "Pay her our greetings and ask her about our offering of the two-Rak'at after 'Asr prayer, and tell her that we have been informed that you offer these two Rakat while we have heard that the Prophet had forbidden their offering." Ibn 'Abbas said, "I and 'Umar used to beat the people for their offering them." Kuraib added, "I entered upon her and delivered their message to her.' She said, 'Ask Um Salama.' So, I informed them (of 'Aisha's answer) and they sent me to Um Salama for the same purpose as they sent me to 'Aisha. Um Salama replied, 'I heard the Prophet forbidding the offering of these two Rakat. Once the Prophet offered the 'Asr prayer, and then came to me. And at that time some Ansari women from the Tribe of Banu Haram were with me. Then (the Prophet) offered those two Rakat, and I sent my (lady) servant to him, saying, 'Stand beside him and say (to him): Um Salama says, 'O Allah's Apostle! Didn't I hear you forbidding the offering of these two Rakat (after the Asr prayer yet I see you offering them?' And if he beckons to you with his hand, then wait behind.' So the lady slave did that and the Prophet beckoned her with his hand, and she stayed behind, and when the Prophet finished his prayer, he said, 'O the daughter of Abu Umaiya (i.e. Um Salama), You were asking me about these two Rakat after the 'Asr prayer. In fact, some people from the tribe of 'Abdul Qais came to me to embrace Islam and busied me so much that I did not offer the two Rakat which were offered after Zuhr compulsory prayer, and these two Rakat (you have seen me offering) make up for those."» [Sahih Bukhari, Book #59, Hadith #656].
EVERYONE IS A GUARDIAN
Narrated 'Abdullah: Allah's Apostle said,
«Everyone of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges. The ruler who has authority over people, is a guardian and is responsible for them, a man is a guardian of his family and is responsible for them; a woman is a guardian of her husband's house and children and is responsible for them; a slave ('Abu) is a guardian of his master's property and is responsible for it; so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges."» [Sahih Bukhari, Book #46, Hadith #730].
WHEN THE NIGHT FALLS:
Narrated Jabir: The Prophet said, «When nightfalls, then keep your children close to you, for the devil spread out then. An hour later you can let them free; and close the gates of your house (at night), and mention Allah's Name thereupon, and cover your utensils, and mention Allah's Name thereupon, (and if you don't have something to cover your utensil) you may put across it something (e.g. a piece of wood etc.)."» [Book #54, Hadith #500]
REGARDING THE INHERITANCE
Narrated Ibn Abbas: «(In the Pre-Islamic Period) the children used to inherit all the property but the parents used to inherit only through a will. So Allah cancelled that which He liked to cancel and put decreed that the share of a son was to be twice the share of a daughter, and for the parents one-sixth for each one of them, or one third, and for the wife one-eighth or one-fourth, and for the husband one-half, or one-fourth.» [Sahih Bukhari, Book #60, Hadith #102].
WHAT SAVES A PERSON IS IMAN/BELIFEF:
(not wealth and or children)
Narrated Khabbab: «I came to Al-'Asi bin Wail As-Sahmi and
demanded something which he owed me. He said, "I will not give you (your money) till you disbelieve in Muhammad." I said, "No, I shall not disbelieve in Muhammad till you die and then be resurrected." He said, "Will I die and then be resurrected?" I said, 'Yes'. He said', "Then I will have wealth and children there, and I will pay you (there)." So this Verse was revealed “Have you then seen him who disbelieved in Our Signs and (yet) says: I shall certainly be given wealth and children?”[19.77]» [Sahih Bukhari, Book #60, Hadith #256].
LOVING CHILDREN
Narrated by Abu Huraira: «Allah's Apostle kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali while Al-Aqra' bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, "I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them," Allah's Apostle cast a look at him and said: "Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully."» [Sahih Bukhari, Book #73, Hadith #26]
CHILDREN ARE A TRIAL
“Your possessions and your children are only a trial, and Allah it is with Whom is a great reward.” [At-Taghabun 64:15]

For any comments on this article, contact sister (Cristina) Mariam Ignat: cristinna7@yahoo.com

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