Having children is a great blessing from Allah. But, with every great blessing comes great responsibilities. Especially in times of great fitnah like the current time, it is even more important to take care of the great responsibilities of parenting very well. And as parents all over the world might have known, it is a challenge to balance between showing discipline and love to your children. Here are 7 tips for Muslim parents to show their kids love.
1) Develop a Good Character
The first and the best way to show love to your children is by developing a good character and being a better you for the sake of your children. Unconsciously, your children will imitate your personality, your behaviour, and your actions. Most of the time, if there is a broken home case, the parents are the primary cause. I bet each one of us knows at least one friend who has problems with their parents and is still very resentful about how the parents behave in the family or towards them. Learn from this experience and knowledge that the best way to love your children is to be a person of good character that they can really look up to as their role model in the worldly and religious sense.
2) Be affectionate in their early years
According to research studies published in a pediatric journal, being affectionate to children in their early years is very important and has long-lasting effects. Effects of skin-to-skin contact during children’s early years include: having higher IQs, earning higher wages, having less propensity toward hyperactivity and aggression in school, less likely to experience school absences, reducing the fussiness and colicky symptoms that peak at 6 weeks old, and leads to more optimal brain development. You cannot literally spoil a baby and it is a good thing to carry your baby for a significant portion of the day.
3) Make a lot of Du’aa
Allah has promised that the du’a of the parents for the children is not rejected. And the du’a is a believer’s weapon to fight all the fitnah that is going on in this world right now. One of the best ways to love your children is to make sure you are constantly making a lot of du’aa for your children, for their world and their Akhirah. Pray that you will be blessed with children who grow up to be the coolness of your eyes. Pray that you will be blessed with children who grow up to guide others to Islam. Pray all the great things that you want your children to have. Once you get used to praying for them, you will also take any opportunity to help your children so that they can have what you pray about (because it is always on your mind), making it more likely to manifest in their life, InshaaAllah.
4) Play with them
When you play with them, you have a chance to educate them in their world, on their level, and using the activities that feel familiar with them. Play with them but do not forget that they are also your responsibilities. Love them by teaching them how to properly interact with others, love them by spending time with them, and by observing their development – what kind of things they are good at, and what kind of things that they still need to build or lagging behind compared to their peers?
5) Teach them to pray
Teaching them to pray is an essential part of your role as a Muslim parent. If you neglect this and they ended up never learning it, it is akin to ‘killing them’ because you haven’t prepared them to be a good Muslim. It is severely important for parents to set the foundation for their children to have their own personal kind of relationship with Allah. They will carry this relationship throughout their life, and your commitment to cement this in their early life will be a cherished moment for them and a proof to your ultimate love for them in the sight of Allah.
Listening is a good way to show your love because it makes your children feel acknowledged and paid attention to, which is probably the most important thing for children. It can also come in various forms. When they are little, you can learn to listen to them by respecting their boundaries and preferences. When they are starting to show their natural inclinations, you can pay attention to their talent, offering spaces and support for them to develop their natural talents. When they get bigger and starting to have opinions, you can learn to invite them to make family decisions and listen to what they think about some issues in the family. What are some of the other ways to listen to your children?
7) Be their friend
Be their friend especially during their teenage years. Understand them, support them, and try to figure out what does it mean for them to have ‘a cool parent’. But most importantly, a friend is someone who becomes their safe space from the storm outside and makes them feel like they are not alone. Most importantly, be there for them when they need you.
There are many ways to show love to your children, but those are the 7 ideas that you can try. Parenting is such an important responsibility in Islam and one you cannot skimp. It is also a heavily rewarded act. Whether you are a new parent, been having troubles for a while in parenting, or just been wishing to be a parent soon, don’t forget to check out AlKauthar Institute’s Parenting Matters online class. Enroll now at online.alkauthar.org and learn in-depth materials at your own pace about how to make the most of parenting Islamically.