Monday, 11 August 2008

Parenting course notes - week 8

Boundary and discipline

All of us have boundaries and we try to stay within that boundary. We live within our boundary and we know that there are consequences if that boundary is broken. So why do we need to have boundaries? And how should we deal with those who go outside the boundary? What methods should we use to discipline? These were some of the questions that were raised in this session and to which answers were given alhamdulillah.

The following are some of the definitions we brainstormed of what we understood ‘boundary’ to mean:
· Limits
· Rules
· Consequences
· Discipline when boundaries are broken
· Physical barrier
· Line one cannot pass
· Distinguish between right and wrong
· Expectations
· Boundaries are not set in stone
· Boundaries of Allah cannot change. An example of this is the command of Allah that parents should order children to pray by the age of seven and smacked if they do not pray when they turn ten.

How to set boundaries?

· Giving children instructions and advising them. We should not be dictators and say ‘you can’t do this’ and ‘you can’t do that’. But we need to explain to them in a pleasant way and explain why they are not allowed to do certain things insha’Allah.

· Reward and discipline chart. This is used to reward good behaviour and punish bad behaviour. Every time a child performs an act that pleases the parents, then that behaviour is recognised as good behaviour and in return the child is awarded a sticker for the chart. Every displeasing act means the removal of stickers. This method usually works well when there are more than one sibling in the house, thus encourages competition for good behaviour.

· Role-modelling. As parents we need to have boundaries too so that a child does not feel boundaries only apply to them. We can relate to them the boundaries set by Allah and what happens when these boundaries are transgressed. This will make them appreciate that boundaries are placed in our lives for our well-being and protection.

· It is crucial to remember that a child should only be admonished after the boundary has been set and that boundary is then broken.

· We should try to raise ‘thinking children’. How can we do that you may wonder? This can be done by getting them to think about things and getting them to search for answers to their own questions instead of providing the answers for them. We should relate stories from the Qur’aan, give them parables. SubhanAllah this is the method Allah uses to make us think. For example, if we ponder over the story in surah Qalam we see that this story explains to us that we should not be selfish. This method is more effective and interesting rather than saying ‘don’t be selfish’.

Good Manners
So how do we teach our children good manners? The best method of instilling good manners is by modelling. For example, if we want them to say ‘Bismillah’ before eating. We should practice this so that they will listen and learn. This method is excellent mashaAllah because my daughter has learnt a few duaas through this. We should make it a regular habit o f reciting duaas and surahs aloud to them from a young age so that they become familiar with them and insha’Allah start imitating us and memorising them.

We discussed the methods used to discipline children and came up with following :
· Shouting
· Punishment
· Explain
· Standing on the wall
· ‘Naughty Chair’ but we could use positive words such as ‘thinking area’.
· Advise
· Taking away privileges
· Rewards
· Also it is vital to discipline ourselves first because children imitate our behaviour. For example if we don’t want our children not to use bad language we should avoid using it ourselves.

Six C’s for discipline
1. Calmness- Be calm when you discipline and do not lose your temper.
2. Confident-Appear confident and know what the child has done
3. Consistency- Be consistent when you discipline and do not contradict yourself.
4. Clarity- Explain clearly to the child and make sure that they understand what you are trying to explain.
5. Control- have control over the situation and do not lose your temper.
6. Communication- The child needs to be aware of what he has done wrong. Sometimes the child is unaware of why he is being punished. The hadith of the young boy who ate with his left hand was told that eating with the left hand is wrong. But he was corrected and he was told to eat with his right hand. He was also provided with additional information of eating the food nearest to him. This illustrates that a child needs to be told of the incorrect behaviour but also shown the correct behaviour.


Umm Maymoonah said...

JazakiAllah khair umm zaidah I very much enjoyed reading this.

I love this point :

'It is crucial to remember that a child should only be admonished after the boundary has been set and that boundary is then broken.'

Because quite often we automatically expect children to already know boundaries.

The 6 C's are great I will have to revise them!

mummyjaan said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu Alaykum Ukhti where was this course and who was the teacher?

Nabbu said...

Mashaallah very interesting read. jazaak allah khair for sharing. :)

Love your blog btw ;)

Anonymous said...

Masha'Allah - jazakillahu khair for this article and I also like the 6 'C's. :)

Umm Zaidah Nusaybah said...

wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

this was a 12 week intensive course held in East London by sister umm Talha alhamdulillah.

we have also completed a 12 week course on marriage for which I will be posting my notes inshaAllah.

Zaiba said...

Assalamu alaikum,

I have a question, would you be willing to give a talk to parents at the Manchester Muslim Prep School regarding 'Parenting'. It is much needed by Muslim parents who are straying from a muslim way of life with regards to upbringing of our precious 'jewels'. I look foward to your reply, insha Allah.


Umm Maymoonah said...

AssalamuAlaikum sister Zaibah. Umm Zaidah doesn't live in Manchester. Although she does visit here sometimes she feels she isn't qualified to do a talk to the parents.
InshaAllah if you leave me your details or email me I can ask another sister in Manchester if she could do it?

Umm Zaidah Nusaybah said...

Assalamu alaikum dear sister Zaiba, I hope you get someone from Manhester do to a talk for your school inshaAllah. I apologise for not being able to accept your request due to the factors mentioned by my dear sister Umm maymoonah.