Monday, August 16, 2010

Discipline: Cool the Fire!

BismIllah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah.

Discipline is an topic that comes up often for us mothers, mashaa'Allah. Much earlier I posted "The Lying Down Treatment," which is an approach based on Islam for calming our children when they are angry or upset. The following hadith is my basis for the cold water treatment.

The rationale for making wudu and praying when angry is explained by the Prophet (s) in a hadith related by Atiyya As-Sa’di in Sunan Abu Dawood (#2227): “AbuWa’il al-Qass said: We entered upon Urwah ibn Muhammad ibn as-Sa’di. A man spoke to him and made him angry. So he stood and performed ablution; he then returned and performed ablution, and said: My father told me on the authority of my grandfather Atiyyah who reported the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) as saying: Anger comes from the devil, the devil was created of fire, and fire is extinguished only with water; so when one of you becomes angry, he should perform ablution."

When time out is ineffective, when the hudood stick doesn't deter, I have an alternative you might consider. I came up with it a couple of years ago, when laziness became a disease in our homeschooling days and smaller ones couldn't get their behavior under control.

I calmly pick the child up (this is based on the fact that the heaviest child in our house is 58lbs, LOL) and put the child in bathtub. They may or may not be undressed. Then I shower them or douse them with cold water. I continue to do so until they have calmed down and have repeated words to the effect of " I'm washing away all my : anger/laziness/disobedience/bad feelings/horrible behavior. "

How does this work? As the hadith says, the anger (in fact all negative behaviors) come from shaytaan. The cold water extinguishes the fire of shaytaan. It comes quickly, out of the blue, and is a shock to the child. The insistence on them speaking and saying over and over while what they are washing away, while being sloshed with cold water is a psychological tactic. They need to verbalize the purpose of what they are experiencing.

The key is to be consistent. Every time they do the same behavior it's bathtub time! An added bonus is that you have very clean children, masha'Allah! LOL This has been very effective for me and the beautiful part is that I don't have smack the child or waste hours of a day with ineffectual time outs. In fact, after just a couple of cold water treatments, I didn't have to do them again wa al hamdu l'Illah.

If it benefits, then ALL thanks and praise are for Allah, subhaana wa taala.

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