Having righteous and pious children is the aspiration of every parent. However, many parents still grapple with questions about when and how to instill Islamic values in their children. Ideally, the introduction of Islamic values should start as early as possible, even when children are very young.
This is because at a young age, children tend to be more receptive to new concepts, making it an ideal time to impart Islamic teachings. Teaching children about Islam at this stage is commonly referred to as Islamic parenting, with the main goal being to bring children closer to religion.
So, what steps can you take to ensure that your children become enthusiastic learners of Islam? Here are several ways to educate toddlers and help them become righteous individuals:
1. Avoid Selfishness
Parents are the primary role models for their children. As a result, you must set a good example and lead by demonstrating selflessness. Show your children that you are a caring and unselfish parent.
For example, when you ask your child to pray and read the Quran, as a responsible parent, you should set an example by doing these activities first. It’s not appropriate to instruct your child without acting accordingly. The same applies to Islamic parenting, where being honest and not lying to your children is essential. You must show your child that you are open about various issues, while using discretion when necessary.
Never lie to your child. Such behavior will make children believe that adults are capricious and ultimately, they will no longer trust their parents.
2. Teach Children How to Pray
In addition to cultivating a positive attitude in your child, you should also engage in Islamic parenting by teaching your child the five obligatory daily prayers. Begin with the most challenging prayer, Fajr, because it requires waking up early in the morning, which is often a struggle for adults.
To make this a habit, you can wake your child up for Fajr prayers every day. Over time, this will become routine, and your child will be enthusiastic about rising early in the morning.
Initially, this aspect of Islamic parenting may seem challenging for your child. However, as a responsible parent, you must not give up. One possible solution is to create a rule that your child should be in bed by 9 PM to ensure that they are well-rested for the early morning prayers. To make the morning activity more enjoyable, you can also include exercise such as running, cycling, or yoga.
3. Visit the Mosque Together
Once you have established the practice of the five daily prayers, you can introduce your child to the mosque. Take your child to the mosque to perform congregational prayers. The goal is to encourage your child to develop a strong bond with the mosque and prioritize praying in congregation.
An interesting aspect of Islamic parenting during this stage is that you don’t have to limit your visits to the local mosque. Instead, you can plan religious excursions to unique, beautiful, and historically significant mosques. This not only enhances your child’s understanding of Islam but also helps them appreciate the beauty of Allah’s house.
4. Create a TV Schedule
As a parent, you are aware that your child’s activities involve more than just learning about religion. At times, they will engage in other activities, such as watching TV programs. Therefore, encourage your child to watch educational and informative television programs.
In Islamic parenting, you should also supervise your child while watching TV. This is not to restrict them but to help you control what they are exposed to. Sitting with your child while they watch TV can lead to more open discussions and serve as a chance to learn from these programs.
Ensure that the TV-watching schedule is appropriate, with allocated time that doesn’t interfere with other activities. This approach also helps prevent children from sitting in front of the TV all day.
5. Start Teaching Islamic Values
There are numerous ways to instill Islamic values in your child through Islamic parenting. One effective method is storytelling, sharing stories about the prophets and other Islamic figures. Telling these stories at bedtime or during relaxed times can stimulate your child’s imagination and help them develop a better understanding of right and wrong.
Select stories that are appropriate for your child’s age and capabilities. You can also include Quranic verses and hadiths as guidelines for daily behavior. By doing so, your child will gradually internalize the values and be able to distinguish between right and wrong.
6. Be a Parent and a Friend
In Islamic parenting, it’s essential to avoid adopting an authoritarian stance. Instead, establish a close, friend-like relationship with your child. Spend quality time playing and having conversations, and listen to everything they say.
This approach allows your child to trust you and feel more comfortable discussing their problems with you. When your child encounters difficulties, you will be their best confidante.
7. Make Your Home a Safe Haven
Your home should be the best place to return to. Make your home a paradise for your child. You can talk openly, patiently, and without annoyance. Even if you and your spouse have different approaches, ensure that you present a united front in Islamic parenting.
Instill good habits continuously in your child, and never tire of repeating them. It’s vital to avoid using violence, as children, despite their young age, have feelings similar to those of adults.
Children don’t like to be scolded, treated roughly, or embarrassed, especially when compared to others. If you are the best parent for your child, then your child is the best among others. Always consider your child’s feelings while correcting their wrong behavior.
Islamic parenting can be straightforward when you know how to approach it. These tips can help you and your spouse in raising competent Islamic generations. Good luck with these strategies, and may they bring benefits in the future.