Instilling Manners and Respectfulness in our Children
We read in a hadith:
Abu Darda reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Nothing is heavier upon the scale of the believer on the Day of Resurrection than good character…” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)
There are many simple things we can do to effectively instil manners and respectfulness in our children.
Children learn through example. When they see people around them behaving in a certain way, from a young age they start to imitate those behaviours, whether or not they understand what is right and wrong.
It is important to remind ourselves that when we establish good manners in our character, our children are more likely to do the same, especially if they are around us more than other people. Positive behaviours, respectfulness and manners do indeed start at home.
Our surroundings and our family friends affect our children. Our children will begin to imitate the behaviours of those they see. If we make an effort to visit people that have good character as well as teach their children good manners, our children will learn from them. This will also give our children the opportunity to develop friendships with children who they can learn from.
When we explain to our children why it is important to be well-mannered, they will understand the importance of it and become more likely to develop respectfulness. Explaining to them that it is a character trait that is positive and something which is pleasing to Allah will also inspire them to do so.
When children know why a certain behaviour or attitude is classed as ‘bad manners’, they are more likely to avoid it as they have a good understanding of why it is negative. Sometimes, when children do not have a good understanding about the reasoning of a certain behaviour, it is more difficult to help them to develop or avoid that behaviour.
The words, phrases, and language we use are all things which our children pick up on. From when they are of a young age, we could try to teach them how they should greet other people or how they should respond to people who are greeting them.
Teaching children to practise patience is also something that will help them to develop better manners, as they will understand that it is polite to wait for something or someone.
Showing children what they should do when a guest visits is also a great way to teach them good manners, as they will be able to put their skills to practice. Our children will also see the reaction they receive from the guest they are talking to, and notice that it is positive. Praising our children for their efforts to develop good manners also motivates them to continue doing so.
We read in a hadith:
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The most complete of believers in faith are those with the best character…” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)
May Allah enable us to instil manners and respectfulness in our children and may He make them among the righteous and practising Muslims. Aameen.