WomenFamily > Islamic Principles in Raising up Children
Islamic Principles in Raising Children
Respecting the child's mind.
One of the general principles in raising children is
that parents should not consider their child as part of their
possessions. Instead, they should consider him God's trust that Allah,
The Most Exalted, has put in their hands. This is done by loving the
child, listening to him and respecting his mind. It should be suggested
to him that he could reach the facts if he exerts enough effort. He
should also be taught to criticize, discuss except or refuses the otherís
ideas. If you respect the thinking of others and their opinions you will
discuss it with them, since this discussion represents recognition of the
Respecting the child and teaching him to respect the
other is part of a general and integrated policy that includes respecting
the ideas the child comes up with.
Thus, when he comes up with a silly, or a naÔve idea ,
parents should not make fun of him, but rather try to show him where he
went wrong and encourage him to think again but this time in a better
way, without making him feel helpless. Making fun of the child's
abilities and potentials could make feel that he is stupid, inept and
similar frustrating and negative judgements.
To avoid this, we should tell the child that he did
not go wrong because he is stupid, but he used a superficial way of
thinking, telling him, for example, that this superficial way will not
lead to the truth, and that you should try again and again to reach
The role of punishment and reward
Q- there are many methods in education and bringing up
children, but most depend on the principle of reward and punishment. What
is the role of this principle in this educational process?
A-This principle is based on psychological mechanisms
that induce positive behaviour and thwart negative attitudes. When man
feels that he is promised by a reward for doing something, he will have a
motive to work hard to do it, just as athletes who train hard in order to
win a prize.
The reward plays the role of the stimulant for
positive behaviour while punishment represents the opposite, since we
avoid many things we desire because we are afraid of their negative
repercussions own us, whether they were the result of the action itself
or the reactions made by others.
The issue of reward and punishment is related to the
feelings of desire and fear in the human psyche. They are important
feelings that play a significant role in protecting and realizing one's
self. But in applying the principle of reward and punishment, we have to
study the individual's personality, as well as the circumstances and the
methodology. Giving someone a wrong dose of reward or punishment may
backfire and lead to counterproductive results.
In the case of children, the aim of using reward and
punishment is to develop the childís personality and mind. This means
that we have to discover the shortest way that will enable us to reach
And since the child has accumulated certain ideas in
his mind and developed certain feelings in his heart, and since dealing
with the child means trying to penetrate to the inner levels that are
very difficult to reach we have to use several methods before we find the
Thus the issue of reward or punishment is a changing
process. We have to study if it is feasible before we use them. For
example rewarding the child for studying might lead to that he will not
study unless he is rewarded and so on. And this will mean that he will
not be actually interested in studying or in any other issue or cause.
On the other hand, if the child is rebellious and
refuses to study ,giving him a reward if he does, might be a positive act
that will make him even find pleasure in doing so.
Reward and punishment is similar to medicine. We have
to give the precise doses to ensure optimal results. It is also a Quranic
principle that conforms with the human nature.
The concept of Mercy
Q: it has been related in our traditions that
he who does not have mercy on our children is not one of us. What is
meant by mercy in this context?
A Ė it might well mean that we ought to let the child
feel secure, by constantly showing him that we love him whether by
kissing or hugging and the like, or by letting him feel so by all kinds
of gestures. The child needs this feeling of love and warmth that will
give him security and tranquillity and enable him to develop his
personality and potentials.
Moreover, mercy is an ethical Islamic principle that
Allah, The Most Exalted, wants us to abide by in all our relations with
others, especially that if you are not merciful, you will not treated
with mercy or kindness