Ethical Upbringing of Children
Mawlana Asif Jahanzeb Attari
Children are a precious gift from Allah Almighty. Parents have a duty of care towards them and are responsible for protecting them, nurturing them, and educating them. Many parents today pay a lot of attention to the education of their children, but most do not focus on teaching them adab—ethical behaviour and manners. They mistakenly think that their child will naturally grow into a moral and ethical member of society.
Thinking your children will learn like this is deceptive. Just as knowledge is acquired through actively learning, morals too have to be learned. If you do not teach your children how to conduct themselves and how to be civil, you are partially responsible for the bad choices they make as adults. This is because you provided your children with an education but did not inculcate in them morals.
The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “It is better for a man to teach his children good manners than giving one sāꜤa in charity.” Teaching your children moral values can be done in many ways. Here are some methods you can act upon in order to improve the mannerisms of your children.
Change your thinking
First and foremost, parents must not fall into the trap of thinking their children will learn morals when they grow up. When you instil in your mind that it is essential to provide a moral education to your children, you will certainly give importance to this task and strive to undertake it.
It is imperative to plan before carrying out any important task. When planning for the moral training of children, one must keep in mind what must be avoided and what must be adopted.
Reforming your methods
You must lead by example because your child will learn a lot by simply observing you. Therefore, reflect on the image you are giving to your children. Speak to them with love and compassion. Do not fight, shout or argue in front of them as it can negatively impact their character.
Advise your children
In their ignorance, children may do things which are incorrect from a moral standing, but due to their innocent nature, they are not told off. Instead, they are encouraged to do it again! When the child does the same action when he is older, he will be told off by everyone. Hence, when a child makes a mistake, correct them immediately, with love, kindness, and wisdom. This will enable them to differentiate between right and wrong.
Pray for your family
Alongside taking practical measures, supplicate for your children too. It is mentioned in a Hadith that there are three supplications that will not be rejected:
1. The supplication of the oppressed.
2. The supplication of a traveller.
3. A father’s supplication for his children.
Dear parents! By adopting the above-mentioned methods, you can provide your children with a moral and ethical upbringing, and make them into well-mannered individuals.