11 Ways to Build Your Children’s Character
(Do I really need to write an intro whenever I start a blog post? Yes? Ok..)
Children are cute. You know what’s not cute? When we think we can spoil our children and fix them later.
Our limited-edition children have limited time on earth, just like us adults. They too don’t have forever. That’s why building our children’s character is something we should have started yesterday. If we haven’t, no issues. The next best day is today. So, without wasting too much time on this intro, let’s jump right into the ‘ways’ to build their character.
Allow them to attend and engage in grown-up gatherings. Adults tend to shoo them away from discussions that involve work, money, the financial crisis in the world, war, famine, (Russia?), etc. But children need to learn about the things that go on in the world and witness how adults solve these problems. Allow them to listen when you conduct meetings with your employees or colleagues. This will make them more mature and wiser.
Tell them stories about the heroes of the earlier generations. This will motivate them to be courageous and strong. Fictional characters are, you know… unreal. They’re not good enough as examples. Islamic history is rich with examples of the most fascinating men and women that ever lived. When we have access to the stories of such real superheroes, we don’t need fictional characters to set the standard. (So long, Superman. )
Teach them basic manners like greeting people in the best way and talking kindly. Kindness never goes out of style.
Please treat them with respect at all times, in the presence of other people and when they’re at home. Children are also human beings and deserve all the respect we show to others. They tend to see themselves the way we treat them. If we treat them well, they’ll have a healthy level of self-esteem and confidence too.
Do not humiliate them. Advise and correct their mistakes privately as much as possible.
Ask for their opinions. They will feel like their thoughts and opinions matter and this will improve their self-esteem. Bonus: children think outside the box and often come up with some of the best ideas. Sometimes, I call my children for a meeting and present a problem to them. It could be related to my work or an item in their list of daily chores. They give me some direct and simple, yet refreshingly new suggestions that make me say, ‘Hey, why didn’t I think of that?!’ (Allaahumma baarik alayhum!)
Give them responsibilities and chores. Very important. Chores build discipline and perseverance. Children who do their chores understand that things need to be done for life to run smoothly. They also feel a sense of importance in having a role to play in the family. I think it’s better not to pay children for their chores because its more closer to adult reality. Do we get paid for completing chores?! If we did, won’t we all be super-duper-rich by now?
Teach them how to speak in public. Public speaking is an important skill. Our Prophets and Messengers (alayhumus salaam) spoke in public to call people to Islam. Our Imaams in the masaajid are using their public speaking skills when they give the khutbah on Fridays. This is Google’s free public speaking course if you’re interested.
Teach them to dress modestly and appropriately. In a world where people are shedding clothes to please bad people, covering up to please Our Creator is the right trend to get them started on. And whatever you teach them early on sticks with them through adulthood too.
Teach boys to be boys and girls to be girls. This is even more important these days than it was in the past.
Discourage them from being lazy. (Give them LOTS of chores. Jk.) Get them used to being active. As Muslims, there is so much to do and achieve. Time to kiss laziness goodbye!
So… looks like I’ll need to write a conclusion too? Maybe I should take a 20 min break for inspiration purposes? (As if I didn’t take enough breaks already…) Maybe my 2022 personal development goal should be to write a seamlessly flowing conclusion to my blog posts without using this space as a journal.