Disciplining Our Children With Respect

Disciplining our children with respect

Do you need some effective discipline tips? Try this!

The next time your children need correcting, let them know they are loved and that their feelings do matter. One way this is done, is by correcting them with respectful words and actions. It can also be achieved by being patient and understanding with their mistakes. In addition, allow your children to express their feelings in an acceptable and considerate way.

Regarding the subject of hitting children when disciplining them, there are differing opinions. Some scholars are of the opinion that hitting is allowed for young children, others forbid it¹. There are of course, reports of the Sahaba hitting their children. There is also the hadith that at ten years of age, parents should hit their kids if they don’t pray.

However, traditions of the Prophet’s (saw) life, indicate he himself never hit his own children nor the children of others². This is truly an amazing aspect of the Prophet’s (saw) life. He had biological children of his own, step-children from other wives, and he was around many children during his prophethood. In fact, in one hadith, Anas ibn Malik says he lived with the Prophet (saw) for 10 years and the Prophet (saw) never hit him, insulted him, or frowned in his face. That’s 10 YEARS! Another narration says,

“I served the Prophet (saw) for ten years and he never said to me ‘why did you do that?’ after I had done something or ‘why did you not do that?’ after I had neglected to do something.’ ‘He never said a word of contempt to me.’ ”

One of The Prophet’s (saw) primary manners of correcting, was respectfully counseling individuals to do what is right. This is exemplified in the story of the Bedouin man who urinated in the masjid (Muslim in his Saheeh, 285). The companions were ready to beat him because of his errors. However, The Prophet (saw) had a different manner of handling the situation. He asked his companions to refrain from hitting the man. Once the man had relieved himself, the Prophet (saw) explained to the Bedouin what the masjid was for and was not for. This was the way of The Prophet (saw), and he is the best of examples for us to imitate.

If The Prophet (saw) was this understanding, and considerate to an adult man who committed such a serious transgression, how much more understanding should we have with our own children, who commit lesser forms of indiscretion, and who are less knowledgeable and still learning?

Even in situations in which a parent is of the opinion that hitting is allowed, it’s important that we understand the limitations of hitting our children. Does it include hitting with a belt, cord, stick, fist or hand, that injures and leaves welts, bruises, breaks bones or draws blood? From scholars who consider hitting permissible, even they disallow this behavior from parents. They also speak against hitting when angry and hitting in the face. In addition, they suggest hitting as a last resort not first. They also forbid more than ten lashes³. When we consider all these stipulations, we must ask ourselves,

When I hit my child, am I transgressing against my child?

This is an important question, because in our earnest attempt to correct our children, it’s possible we may be harming them. My website, the e-books and other material found on it, are a humble attempt to get Muslim parents to contemplate the subject of how children should be disciplined in Islam. This effort is to stimulate your appetite so you can do more research on your own about what Islam says about disciplining our children. It also is intended to encourage you to seek effective alternatives to hitting your children. It attempts to show that positive discipline methods, which discourage hitting shouting or shaming, can be a successful means of training your children to be Allah fearing Muslims.

We want our children to grow up to be the leaders of tomorrow. But more importantly, we want to give them what it takes to hold on to their religion and die pleasing Allah. Giving them love, understanding, attention, and patience are critical aspects of disciplining our children to achieve this goal. There are numerous examples from Quran and hadith that illustrate how we can raise our children without hitting, shouting or shaming.


2 thoughts on “Disciplining Our Children With Respect”

  1. Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatu Sister Nazeeha,

    May Allah bless you and your family to be well and in strong iman.

    In these situations I would suggest you be kind and courteous while trying to appease your family members. Try to find some agreement about what your family members are saying regarding your children, then continue with the discipline correction that you would like to make. You can also use humor to diffuse ill feelings you or they may have regarding the discipline issue, while continuing to correct the discipline issue as you feel best.

    The other thing is to seriously consider whether your family’s defense of the children is justified. Consider whether your discipline methods are too harsh, unjust, or unbalanced.

    Finally, remember to make dua often, asking Allah to help you with this issue. May Allah make things easy on all of you and bless things to work out for the best.

    Your Sister in Islam,
    Grandma Jeddah

  2. Dear sister, I am a struggling mother of two boys 7 and 3 and my biggest challenge is when it comes to disciplining them is the influence of grandparents and other family members who all live in the same house and come to their defend.

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