Avoiding heedlessness when raising children

Muslim family drawing
Muslim families, kindergarten drawing © Zurijeta | Dreamstime.com

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in a hadith:

“When a man dies, his action discontinues from him except three things, namely, perpetual sadaqah (charity), or the knowledge by which benefit is acquired, or a pious child who prays for him.” (Sunan Abi Dawud)

When a person is blessed with the gift of children, they should be constantly grateful to our Lord for what He has ordained. This blessing should not be taken for granted. Neither should we forget the teachings that parents have a great responsibility to raise their children justly and in accordance with our faith.

Parents are required to do the best they can to raise righteous children who practise the religion properly and thoroughly understand it. Children should be taught in a way that allows for them to ask questions when they want to find out more, rather than just giving them replies that make them feel negative for asking or as though they are not allowed to share what is on their minds.

When raising children, it is incredibly vital to remember to teach them through example. Starting from a very young age, children learn from what they see around them. They begin to imitate what they see people around them doing. If children have grown up seeing people around them living their lives in a certain way, children will obviously be inclined to follow that lifestyle.

Therefore, it is important for parents to be careful about what they are facilitating for their children to be surrounded by, to avoid situations in the future where children have followed the incorrect way and then parents feel full of regret. We should also keep in mind the significance of teaching children not to become so attached to worldly things, as true happiness lies in remembering and worshipping Allah so that we will be successful in this life and in the Hereafter.

Even when children do make mistakes, it is crucial for parents to be understanding and continue to guide them. Ignoring their children is not going to solve things. It is important to remember that everyone makes mistakes, and we all have a duty to repent to Allah for our mistakes. Parents should still be there for their children, put in their best efforts to guide their children, and of course put their ultimate trust in Allah and seek help from Him.

When a child experiences sadness, their parent should try their best to be their strength, teaching them that it is fine and normal to feel low sometimes in life. Both happiness and sadness are a part of life, and this is something written by Allah. Even when children become adults, it is still a parent’s duty to continue to guide them towards the right path.

Parents are there to guide their children as that is their responsibility. However, children should be able to have good friendships with their parents too, otherwise children will become so fearful of their parents that they will not want to share anything with them at all. We must understand that parents do not own their children, as Allah is still in charge of everything and He is still our Lord, whether we are a parent or a child.