Monday, August 16, 2010

Children: Start as You Want to End

As salaamu alaikum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

From the time my children were born, I have handed them food, toys, etc. in their right hand. I have put their right shoe one, vocalizing what I am doing each time. By the time she was one, my 3-year-old knew her right from left. She even started telling other children (and parents Blush) to put the right shoe on first, if she saw them doing the opposite, masha'Allah. It is a rare occasion that we have to remind her to use her right hand for eating, her left for istinjah, wa alhamdul'Illah.

I have said, "alhamdul'Illah" when they sneeze and responded with, "yarhomuk Allah." I have said "alhamdul'Illah first when I hurt myself or something afflicted me/us. All my terms of surprise, wonder, pleasure, and grief, were remembrances of Allah, subhaana wa taala.

From the time they could walk, I had them see me making wudhu. As we go about our day, I impart or model different aspects of Islamic adhaab and adhkaar so that they are integral parts of their day and life.

They don't watch television, movies with music, have toys that play music, and the non-compliant images in books are blacked out. That is what they are used to, so they don't miss anything.

The results from this, which hasn't taken any more effort than normal, have been a true blessing. I strongly recommend that you start as you want to end. Don't leave these seemingly small things until the children are older and have already developed opposing habits. You will make it easy on your child, and easy on yourself.

Of course, this can be applied to many things outside of religious training. Whatever you know is not of benefit to your child, or you will stop them from when they get older, can be avoided from day one so they never feel a loss, just a stable continuance of what they've always known.

This has benefited my family, and I pray it benefits yours.

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