“If you treat your children well, with adab, they’ll treat you well & love you when you are old.”- Shaykh Abdul Aziz Ahmed at Educating Children workshop
Snippets of Educating Children: Classical Advice for Modern Times workshop by Shaykh Abdul Aziz Ahmed Fredericks written by a participant.
1) Shaykh begin with the introduction, “If you treat your children well, with adab, they’ll treat you well & love you when you are old.”
2) If you are able to take care of your children well when you are young, the more they’ll be able to relate to you when they are older.
3) Upbringing, raising and disciplining of the child has to be done with Ta’dib (from the word Adab) i.e. to ‘refine’ a person. This means that in order to discipline and raise your child, you have to approach them differently in different situations and at different age groups. You have to use the right words at the right time, the right treatment in the right context. When giving Tarbiyah to your children, you ought to always consider the situation or context they are in. There has to be a need to know what is going on & you need to think thoroughly about what you are addressing, giving exactly what is required at the right time. Not just punishing them as and when you like. That’s not the recommended way in Islam.
4) You don’t give or inculcate adab in your child. She gets adab through the process of education YOU give the child.
5) If you catch your child making error and he’s keeping it a secret from you, then you should also deal with your child secretly and not to discipline him openly and tell everyone his mistake.
6) Parenting is all about Playing, Teaching & Befriending! What does this mean? Raising your child has to be done in phases: 0-7yrs, 7-14yrs, 14 & beyond. For 0-7, this is the phase where you have to play with them especially in matters regarding Ibadah. What does this mean? At this age group, the children are brilliant copycats. They’ll see your habits and they just follow blindly without question. So you should make use of this to make them copy you in Ibadah. You don’t have to teach them, just make sure they try to copy you. For e.g., if you wanna pray, play “dress up” and clothe them with nice clothes to make solat and make them “play” how to pray next to you. They’ll copy you and over the years, they’ll mirror what you do. So this is highly crucial. For 7-14yrs, this is the teaching phase, this is when their intellect takes over. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to play with them, still continue with it but you gotta start teaching them (development through play) AND you gotta make the teaching fun for them so that in their later years, when they achieve something due to what you teach them, they’ll always attribute their success to you. Above 14, this is when teaching and instructing them won’t work as well any more. You gotta start befriending them. At this age group, trying to teach them forcefully will just create a disconnect between parent and child. So you don’t have to teach them, they’ll learn from you through your companionship to them as their friend.
7) Hold your anger. Never ever ever discipline a child when you are angry. Because if you do, you are not discipline the child, you are just throwing your anger on the child. Control your anger, once its under control, then discipline the child with intention.
8 ) Is it too late to reboot your relationship with your child if you think you want to amend things with your child? No. It’s never too late. You can still reboot your relationship, you just gotta bear in mind the approaches you need to take depending on which phase they are in: 0-7/7-14/above 14. If you still teach forcefully, command and instruct your child while the child is above 14, you are just damaging the relationship further.
9) If you’re sincere in your relationship with your kids, they’ll know. If you are happy and they are a reason for your happiness, they’ll know