Having children is a huge blessing, but taking responsibility of their upbringing is even greater! As muslim parents we are going to be held responsible for everything that we teach (and don’t teach) our children, be it good or bad.
We have gathered some of the most common parenting mistakes:
1) Giving the little child too much freedom and choices and being strict to the teenager
Small children get overwhelmed by always given many choices, but as they grow up they get used to it and it is difficult for them to deal with strictness when they get older. In many muslim families teenagers have too many strict rules, while they have been given many choices and freedom as a child. This creates many barriers between the teenager and the parents, and many the times the teenager end up doing whatever they want to, because they can’t handle being limited. Instead the child should be given very few choices, and when they grow up as teenagers, they should be given more choices and feel they have some kind of freedom in their lives.
2) Believing islamic teachings will make their child perfect, while neglecting Islam themselves
Don’t get us wrong! Islam is without doubt perfect, but many parents teach their children islam with their words, but when it comes to themselves, they will neglect islamic worship. Parents will lie, cheat, abandon prayer and cut family ties, while teaching the children the opposite. When the children grow up, they will realize the hypocrisy of the parents and this will in most cases lead to lack of love for Islam, especially when the parents criticize things done by the children, that the parents do themselves.
Parents need to realize that children do what their parents says, not what they tell them do!
3) Indulging the child with gifts and not spending enough time disciplining and caring for the child
It is seen in many family that the child is given many gifts, but the parents don’t care enough about taking time out for the child. A healthy upbringing consists of disciplining a child with islamic and sound manners, while giving the child general knowledge about life, and strengthening the abilities of understanding, caring, loving and so on. All children love gifts, but what they need is quality time with their parents so they can get fulfilled their need of being loved, so they can give this love and compassion to others when they grow up.
4) Compromising established rules
No parent should be military, but in order to have a structure in your family life and to set some rules in your home, you need to be steadfast on the rules that you set. If you constantly compromise on the rules (for instance on having sugar in weekdays or spending too much screentime on iPads, TV etc) then the child won’t take your rules seriously, because it knows that every time it cries loudly, you will give up on your rules in order to get some peace. You are the parent and you set the rules, but you don’t need to yell to make that statement. Just keep being steadfast on the “no”, set some consequences and the child will eventually understand that you are dead serious about that no for the candy and the iPad.
5) Disregarding their feelings by telling them not to cry
When you tell a child that it should stop crying, your child will most likely feel that you aren’t understand its feelings. Show compassion and ask why your child is crying. Tell the child it’s alright to cry and you understand that the child is sad, but the child needs to understand so and so, and that you know how it feels.
6) Getting mad when they make mistakes
Every single person on this planet makes mistakes. But for some reason we just get extremely mad, when our children spill something, make annoying noises, break something or simply makes some minor mistakes. No one is born learned and everyone makes mistakes. Just like we are patient with other people around us who makes mistakes, we also need to be patient with children as well. Many parents end up yelling, telling the child off and then correcting the mistake themselves.Instead of yelling when children make a mistake, we should ask them why did so, and then explain to them how it is done correctly, and let them correct their mistake. It takes more effort to do this, but it’s all worth it.
7) Doing every single task on the behalf of the child
Engage your child in the household chores that are appropriate for your child’s age, so your child is able to do the tasks in everyday life itself, and thus prepare your child for the upcoming adult life. In many muslim families it is seen that even the child is 6 years old, the mother will be busy feeding the child, tying the shoes, and cleaning up after the child. Why? Because “he’s only a child” or just because the parent (especially the mother) loves to do so. This causes laziness in the child and when the child is used to get its tasks done, it doesn’t learn the proper methods to do the everyday tasks.
8) Making your elder children upbring their younger siblings
It’s good to involve the siblings when a younger child is born, and make them help out once in a while, but you shouldn’t let children do tasks that are inappropriate for their age. Elder sisters especially are likely to be given responsibility of taking care of their younger siblings: Changing their diapers, feeding them and prepare meals in a regular routine, even though they themselves are 6-8 years old. Children can help their parents, but it is not their responsibility to upbring their younger siblings when they themselves are still children! Especially seen in families where the parents go for travelling for a month and two, and the elder teenager sisters are responsible for the household, the younger siblings and their own studies too.
9) Not engaging in conversations with the child
Dear parent, your house will get cleaned eventually, your job won’t run anywhere nor will facebook go anywhere. While you are busy doing your everyday tasks, you forget to talk to your child: Ask your child while you are having dinner together as a family and before bedtime: How was your day? What did you do? Oh really, was it fun to play with that friend? Where did you go? And so on.By talking to your child you will teach your child how to keep a conversation going, but you will also make your child feel loved and appreciated because you ask about its day. Once they are teenager and you realize you can’t talk with your teenager, it has gotten too late to start conversations with your child.
10) Letting the child control your life and setting it in centre
It’s good to take care of the opinions of your child, but you can’t let your child have the control of your life. You are the adult and you make the decisions of your life. If you are a mother, don’t neglect your husband while making your child the centre of your life. Your husband has his rights, and your children have their own rights. One day your child will move on to its own life and the only person by your side will be your husband.