Ways To Share Faith With Your Child
In this day and age, it's harder to raise your children in your faith. There are many parents out there that don't choose to bring their children into their faith, but you want to share it with yours. How can you do that in the modern age? Here are some ways you can share your faith, and make your relationship with your children even closer.
Give your child a role model-lead by example:
The modern child is quick to grasp and understand things. The last thing you should expect of him is to follow commandments without any visual stimulus. Many Muslim parents make the mistake of teaching their children all the ethics and morals without providing them with a good role model.
The first thing you want to teach your child is to appreciate the children and love their creator. To do this, you need to inculcate a love of worship and the Quran in him. There is an easy way to do it. You have to lead by example.
You should take your child to holy places like the mosque or khutbahs. You should also read from the Quran in front of him so he mimics your reading. Moreover, you should dress the way you want your child to dress in the future. If you want them to cover their head, make sure you do yours too.
If you continue telling the talk and not walking the talk, it won't have any effect on the child. On the contrary, your child will see you as a hypocrite, somebody who doesn't believe in doing what they preach.
Learning through communal support:
One thing that formed the essence of Islam during the prophet's time was the presence of community structures in the life of individuals, and especially in the life of Muslim children. The prophet was one of the kindest and most loving individuals on earth. Contrary to what people believe, he encouraged the involvement of kids in the day-to-day activities of the community.
Islam also gives a lot of importance to community training. It emphasizes that a strong and ethical community can teach morals and ethics to the kids as well. A great way to teach your child the love of religion and faith is to introduce them to like-minded people.
Children learn a great deal from primary and secondary socialization. They need to see other kids and parents indulging in similar activities. This will help them better absorb the teachings of Islam. You can also enroll your child in a local madrassa or Islamic institute where he learns alongside other Muslim kids.
Moreover, make sure to take your children to worship places frequently. If you take them to the mosque only on Fridays or holidays, they will think that religion is to be practiced only on special occasions, and not every day.
Celebrating the holidays with zest and fervor:
A reason why Muslim kids are more drawn to non-Islamic holidays like Halloween, Easter, and Christmas is because they appear more appealing to them. These holidays are marked by the glamour and fun activities that attract the child. Under these circumstances, your child is likely going to lose any interest in celebrating Muslim holidays, but don't worry, there is a simple solution to this.
You need to make the Muslim holidays as appealing as possible to your kids. For example, when Ramadan comes, you should bring balloons and decorations to the house. You should also get a custom cake that writes words like 'Welcome Ramazan' or 'Ramazan on top'. You can do the same for Eid festivities. Moreover, you should also ensure that you invite the child's friends and cousins to celebrate the special occasions.
On top of that, you should go out of your way to dress nicely and make your child do the same. This will not only increase the importance of the event in his eyes but will also make him reflect on fond memories as an adult.
Don't stop your child from exploring:
One of the worst things that happened in recent times was the misleading assumptions in the minds of Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Islam encourages exploration and research. The Quran as well as the prophet's teachings allow Muslims to ask questions and do research in the name of Islam. Contrary to what is perceived, Islam is not a stagnant religion and evolves with time.
Children tend to get bored easily. You can not expect them to take interest in something that doesn't spark their interest. You should hence get a couple of Islamic books for your child and encourage him to read a chapter every day. There are some amazing books on sahabah (companions of prophets) out there for your child to explore. These will not only make him fall in love with Prophet and his companions but will also make him develop a sound interest in his religion.
Furthermore, you should never discourage your child from asking or raising questions. If they ask a difficult question and you are unsure of the answer, ask them to come up with a possible answer in a few hours. Meanwhile, you can consult an adult or a scholar for the appropriate answer. This teaching process will surely be beneficial for your child in the long run.
Start with the basics- encourage your child to practice the tenets of the faith:
As your child is growing up, you don't want to bombard them with a lot of information and commandments. This will have the opposite effect to the one you are hoping for. Islam focuses a great deal on kindness towards neighbors, charity, and love towards animals. It also emphasizes helping the poor. These are the things you should focus on when your child is at a growing age.
To inculcate these Islamic values in his mind, you can encourage him to take part in activities that develop these tendencies. For instance, you can take your child to a mosque and help him serve homemade food to the poor there. Moreover, you can help him volunteer for charity events. Additionally, you can teach your child the importance of spending one's own money. This way your child will be compelled to spend a share from his savings. The act of spending one's own money will make him feel independent and proud of the deed.
Involve them-it makes them feel important:
If you continue doing everything on behalf of your child, they will never feel the compulsion to do anything themselves. This is why it is essential that your child feels a sense of accomplishment when they are doing anything.
Be it the holidays or any Islamic event, make sure the child feels connected to the entire process. If you are making a special dish to commemorate the event, you can have your child decorate it with chocolate or garnishing.
Finally, ensure that you're involving your children every step of the way in your faith. Some parents make the mistake of telling children they're of a certain faith, but not letting them get involved, and explore what that means. Instead, actively bring them into the faith and let them get involved.
For example, you can ask a child to perhaps lead a prayer at mealtimes. You can read holy texts together, and there are plenty of child-friendly versions that you can share with them. Bring them to faith, lead events, and let them take part themselves.
Celebrate your child accomplishments:
There is nothing better than your child feeling happy and content with what they are doing. They need to feel happy that they are making an effort to learn their faith. For instance, the first time a child prays on their own, you should try to bring a cake or small present and make them feel important.
Moreover, when your child completes important milestones like completing their first chapter of the Quran or learning a small surah, you should celebrate it by inviting your child's friends or cousins to a small party.
This also proves as a perfect alternative to celebrating their birthdays.
Treat them with respect:
One of the worst things that parents can do in this entire process is treating their children like inferiors. Before you embark on this journey, you need to keep one thing in mind; your child is not stupid and shouldn't be condemned for doing something the wrong way.
You need to understand that they are still in their development phase and will need some time to get accustomed to the faith. So the last thing you want is to discourage them at the very start.
Make them meet people of the other religions:
A major part of the Islamic religion is respect and kindness towards people of other faiths. Contrary to what is believed, Islam doesn't ask you to treat other people with contempt and that is exactly what your child needs to learn at the start.
A great way to inculcate this part of the faith is to increase the interaction of your child with people of other faiths. You can encourage your child to take food and gifts for them. This will teach them the basic ethics and kindness that their faith demands.
Let them move at their own pace:
As a mother, you want your child to learn things. The temptation to make your child the best version of themselves is great. However, children aren't engineered to understand the complexity of everything at a very young age. You can not expect them to understand the inheritance laws or rights of orphans at a young age. You should thus only start with basics and then move on from there gradually.