Helpful tips on raising a Muslim Child
Every child has a varying amount of fear; some are normal fears
of childhood while others are not. Some amount of fear in a child
is understandable and healthy, like fearing the fire for it burns.
Child Psychology experts say that a child in his early years may
show signs of fear when hearing a sudden noise or something falling.
In general, girls show more fear than boys, and the intensity of
the fear may vary according to the intensity of the child's imagination;
the more imaginative the child is, the more fearful he may be. However,
the child may develop fear of harmless things, like darkness, water,
stairs and gathering with other people. These fears can result from
a number of factors;
(a) The mother scaring the child with ideas of ghosts, shadows
or strange creatures.
(b) Relating stories or fairy tales that have evil and imaginative
characters in them.
(c) Raising the child in isolation and keeping him secluded - away
(d) Children are imitators of their parents and pick up phobia from
their parents, therefore presenting a good example before the children
plays a major role in training them.
In order to avoid such fears, the parents should:
(a) Always train the child to believe in Allah, worship Him and
turn to Him in all situations of fear and anxiety.
(b) Do not scare him with imaginative characters, ghosts and animals.
Always remember the Hadeeth of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam): "The strong believer is better and is more loved
by Allah than the weak believer." [Saheeh Muslim (2664)]
(c) Give the child responsibilities and allow him to work it out
himself. Also, allow him to meet and mix with other people and get
to know them.
(d) Instill courage and bravery in the child by relating to him
true stories of our pious-predecessors.
(e) As psychologists recommend, give the child an opportunity to
get to know the thing that he is frightened of, for example, if
he is afraid of water, allow him to play with little water in a
bowl, if the child fears the dark; the parent may allow him to play
with the light-switch, turning it off and on...
Fear of Dark: Generally children shows fear when the parents separate
their bed. Parents need to recognize the fact that the room looks
totally different to the child when the lights are out. So, you
(i) Use a night light, but experiment with its placement to be
sure that it does not create frightening shadows.
(ii) After the light has been turned out. Stay in the room for
a few minutes and talk about how different things look. A curtain
blowing in the breeze looks very different at night than it does
during the daytime.
(iii) Leave the door to the child's room slightly open and tell
him that you will not be far away.
(iv) If the child awakens in the middle of the night, he should
not be invited into your bed else he may develop a habit that is
difficult to break!! Instead, comfort him in his own room and tell
him that you are proud of him for being grown up enough to sleep
in a room by himself