Child Psychology

Child Psychology0%

Child Psychology Author:
Category: Family and Child

Child Psychology

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Author: Mohamed A. Khalfan
Category: visits: 5723
Download: 2139


Child Psychology
search inside book
  • Start
  • Previous
  • 35 /
  • Next
  • End
  • Download HTML
  • Download Word
  • Download PDF
  • visits: 5723 / Download: 2139
Size Size Size
Child Psychology

Child Psychology


This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

6- Spare the Child from Inferiority Complex (Part 3 of 3)

Precautions At Home

Your child returns home seething and mumbling a complaint incoherently. You touch his hand as a sign of assurance of your concern and love for him so that he opens up; and this angers him further to worsen the situation. There can be a valid reason for this, and yet there can also be one which is not; -it may be connected with a complex of inferiority.

There are a number of precautions which parents need to take so as not to cultivate an inferiority complex in the child. The most important one is for the parents or any member in the family not to make a sneering reference to any negative aspect of the child's appearance, complexion or physical handicap which unfortunately is the tendency of a father to do so in the moments of anger over any incident of mis-behaviour by the child. It is vicious when the child is a girl and if it comes from the father; arid worse still, if this is occasioned in the presence of his siblings or friends.

There is no such thing as an ideal or perfect human appearance. Monkeys ask among themselves: Is it the ugly face which gives a human-being so much brain? And that may not be all! Some crawling species of insects are rarely trampled upon unaware because human-beings are believed to smell horrible, even from distance. Perhaps, the human speech sounds most irritating to some animals; music perhaps even f worse!

When a child -who is so viciously subjected to this indignity at the hands of his parents -meets other students on his day of enrolment in the school, instead of eyeing the competitive possessions of each others. like multi coloured pencils. books with flashy covers or even toys brought stealthily from home. the poor soul appraises the shape and size of their ears, to see if any pair was matching his as a solace. His has to be worse anyway because his father sees it so and says it.

Agony of Funny Name

Such a child normally for want of sympathy at a child's level. feels inclined to confide to his new desk-mate the agony of the funny name by which he is teased at home because of say, the shape of his ears or nose or head or the wide gap in a front row of teeth. What follows next is that he becomes known by that very name in the school in a matter of days only to worsen the agony which is likely to result into a fateful distaste by the child towards the school and the consequent poor performances in his entire school life.

Parents should also desist from scolding or insulting or punishing the child in the presence of others, especially his friends; worse, if the practice is during the meals time in the presence of the siblings. Apart from making him feel small, he may reply back only to defend his ego (self-respect) in their presence and thus create a precedent for such regular "encounters" in future also.

Besides, the right of the parents to lecture the child over a bad performance becomes only due if they have the fairness of commending and praising him also for a good performance as and when the occasions arise. And when it comes to lecturing him on his poor performances. his should never be compared with the performances of others by names, among his friends, relatives or neighbours, to make him feel distinctly small. He will believe that they too see him as small and "worthless" As this judgment comes from his parents. it will be disastrous if he resigns to it as being a fact and that which he thinks is irreversible.

Acting Like A Boss

On the contrary, whatever the ups and downs in the child's graph of performances, he should be encouraged to invite friends home and allowed the laxity or latitude of acting like a boss of the house in their presence, so as to assist him to build up a good commanding image of himself to impress the friends. This boosts personality. He will talk about each such occasion for hours after the friends have left.

Parents should restrain themselves from revealing, jovially or in frustration, to others outside the family, any of the child's behaviours and habits which are no credit to him. Bed-wetting, obsessive fears (say. of insects or darkness), hand-feeding, etc. are examples. The family's friends and neighbours and their children may take the liberty to tease the child in public. The conditions are temporary and wear off, but the teasing in public persists. The child should be protected by the same restraint which the parents exercise to protect each other's own bad habits from the public knowledge.

And then, the parents should also avoid quarrelling among themselves in the presence of the child. The family is his world and the parents are his only heroes (role- models) in his world. The scenes of quarrels will demolish his perception of his nice world and his good image of the parents. He would look elsewhere outside his home for a better hero to idolise and imitate.

The result will be the pin-up pictures of the celebrities pasted on the walls, dangling of a cigarette from a side of the lips while looking into a mirror, an ear-ring in an ear, a peculiar hair-cut. baggy or drain-pipe trousers or the pair with multi- coloured patches -which all are the signs of borrowing "self-importance" from the reflection of the importance of others, when his own is made to appear lacking or shallow.

Children Shoot School-mates

The incidents of children shooting down fellow-students in the schools are horrible, but not quite inexplicable. The former are most-likely the victims of the 1nferiority complex in a society which believes in an unrestricted freedom for children. The recent (March 2001) examples are the separate shooting in two High Schools in California. The teenage gunman in one was said to be "unpopular" among the students. In another incident, 15 people were killed by a student in a Colorado High School in April, 1999.

The child agonised by false perception of his unpopularity in the school reacts abnormally to make himself truly unpopular. He is seen at home moody, rebellious, depressed or brooding. The unmistakable tell-tale sign is his outburst strangely against the parents at their expression of love or concern. A gun is the means for a sudden command over power and assertion of his importance over others. The newspapers headlines will flash his name. The TV media will beam his pictures. He will have "accomplished" what no one among his peers or any in the elite group could dare. He too is important. He will have the last laugh!

Electiveness of Sijdah

So if the child returns home badly upset and complains falsely over what appears to be his ego having been offended, which is a Satanic trait, get him to perform a quick sijdah and teach him to tell himself while in a sijdah the fact that he and all others who ever walked on this earth are small and unimportant before Allah, and that he is the greater than them because he knows that fact. How Allah sees and judges him is all that he cares for! Perhaps by this way. the parents may undo whatever they may have done in laying the foundation for the child's complex at home.

The understanding of the significance of Sijdah is normally minimal to a child, but it has its impact to last him during his adult life. Firstly, he will remember his child-hood experience of Sijdah which he will always connect to the false feeling or perception of being small in a society. Mind always need a trigger for strength, and what can be a better one than Sijdah in pertinence to the subject? Secondly, it will serve to register in his mind that an Inferiority Complex arises in a person who is weak in mind and faith.

However, the effectiveness of sijdah during childhood depends on the child seeing the parents also in sijdah while they are performing their Salaat regularly. And then the importance of regular supplications (dua) to Allah swt for guidance in raising a good (saleh) child with a stable mind and strong faith should never be under-rated.

7- Intruct the Child Once Only for Better

Attention & Compliance

Many years ago a father, accompanied by his son, visited me for a professional advice. He introduced himself as a landlord. The son appeared to be in his late twenties.

On the conclusion of a satisfactory consultation. the father turned directly to the son and instructed him what to do in the matter. The father chose to give the instruction in my presence perhaps to ensure that it was correctly articulated as discussed. However, as if the articulation was not assuring enough and the time already taken was not long enough. the father repeated the instruction. This time he repeated also some words, the planned timing, and the names and places concerned in the con- tents of the instruction over and over again much to my concealed disgust and to the visible boredom of the son.

Now! I got the clue why the son was not so attentive to the instruction at the first " time. It was obviously because he was well trained since childhood to wait for a repetition of every instruction given.

And yet one more clue! The father had also kept on repeating to me his questions to prompt me into repeating my answers during the discussion. It was obvious that he too was made a victim of this family-trait in his childhood and he was dutifully pass- Mental Hazard The indications were that the repetition of the instruction in my office was not going to be last one from the father to the son.

The full sympathy is for the wife, the work-subordinates or the employees and the house-servants of such a person, because this type of a chain of onslaught of boredom can be a mental hazard and therefore, a cause for parting ways!

With the complexities of the present life as we know of. let us be conscious of the dictum that: "Time has become a precious commodity; making and retaining friends an art and to be counted as being among the per- sons with a polished or refined personality a challenge." Nothing is more un-nerving than listening to a same piece of information, advice or instruction repetitively at the same moment. It goes against the dictum.

For any errand or assignment, have the habit of saying your instruction once only to the child and surprise yourself with the results. Your instruction wins his sharp attention and a secured place in his memory for a perfect compliance -because it was said once, as always! He too will adopt and pass on this polished culture down in the family.

Another Dimension

However, there is also another dimension to this unpleasant weakness. The child who has been made habituated to responding only after a repeated instruction is likely to grow up as an adult with yet a greater weakness. While he would show immediate willingness to do a favour upon a request, he would act only after the request has been repeated even if the favour was small or simple. There are those amongst us who express a request only once for a favour. Repeating the request is avoided because it amounts to begging.

A person makes an inconsiderate spouse in the family; also an unkind son or a daughter to the aged parents if the person habitually needs a repetition of almost every small request before he would remember to oblige. Often the repetition awaited never appears and the request drifts from the memory as if it never existed. The favour is deemed to have been denied when the intention was not so.

8- The Child's FIrst Participation in a Religious

Congregation There always comes a time when a child is seen old enough to be taken for the first time to a mosque. He has some knowledge of tahaarat (cleanliness) and ehteraam (respect) for the mosque.

Incidentally, that is also the age when the child can be allowed the benefit of his "first impression to be his lasting one" with regard to his first experiences that he comes across in his life and the values attached to them.

Parents need to believe and make the child also believe that his first participation in a congregational prayer is a momentous occasion for him and for the family, which indeed is, if only they knew!

The first impact and impression of the child regarding the occasion will leave lasting imprints in his memory. A person belongs to where his memories are. Some child- hood memories always survive sharply to create the desire to relive the occasions. And he later in his adult life relives the occasion like this sub-consciously by maintaining regularity in the attendance of daily prayers.

Planning & Preparation

But this has to be preceded by an enthusiastic planning and ostentatious preparation for the child to notice. So the child's inquisitive nature makes him attentive to the talk going on around him about certain prior arrangements and time-schedules, and he knows in his own small way that there is in the air an important occasion out.

His interest however, sharpens with great expectations when he hears the debate whether he is old enough for his first participation -and if he is, what smart clothes he can put on.

The child's first attendance inside a mosque should be planned as a big favour from the parents and accorded an appropriate ostentation and importance. To register a maximum importance of the occasion on the child, the day fixed is later than earlier to plunge him into a longer duration of raised expectations so that he has also time to raise the subject of the anticipated big day in the family and reveal it in confidence to the neighbours' children.


The plan should provide for an early arrival at the mosque to enable the child, in his new suitable dress for the occasion, to be taken round for the inspection of the facilities and general familiarisation so that he begins to feel "at home". He is introduced to relatives and family-friends in the mosque before and to some after the congregational prayer and later to the Imam of the congregation also. The introduction is by his name to accord him a self-identity and acknowledge his distinct personality.

What is needed to be avoided however, is the regimental warning of 'dos and donts' while in the mosque or pointing out to the child his mistakes in observing the discipline of the congregational prayer, and more importantly, avoiding the day when there is a sermon and lengthy proceedings. Children cannot maintain concentration longer at a stretch.. Spells of boredom are counter-productive.

The first participation in the mosque serves only as a maiden experience to sink in and not as a start for a regular attendance. The subsequent attendance should be at intervals, preferably at the child's own request to be followed by an incentive like a visit to a candy shop or an ice-cream parlour before returning home.

The child, when adult and himself a parent, will cherish the memory of such first experience and think very kindly of his parents when they are deceased. The parents and the mosque become linked for a centre place in the memory. He cannot belong to the parents when they are no more in this world, but he belongs to the euphoric memories in which they feature!

In a good Muslim family a child's best and lingering memories are of the parents taking pain to teach him the obligations in Islam.

Clock 9- Introduce the Child to the Clock

An office-messenger who was sent to collect some important papers was asked to come back for them precisely in 20 minutes because of the urgency. When he came back in ten minutes instead. he was asked to return once again in ten minutes. He reappeared much later. He should have been given the exact time. It would have been easy for him to keep a track of it by consulting those who kept a wrist watch. He never kept one and therefore he had never gained a dependable sense of the pas- sage of time even if it were for a small span of five minutes.

When the messenger is idle and anxiously waiting for a due time for an assignment, the due-time arrives faster; and when he is busy with another interim job in the mean- time. the due-time arrives later for the assignment! If the exact known-time due is in 15 minutes. he would still ask people for time-information or go to consult the clock about three times.

There can be no efficient .management of the daily affairs and no trust earned in the society without a deligent adherence to a time management; and the time manage- men-t is elusive without mastering the sense and value of time. Islam also teaches a meticulous observance of time which has disciplinary variables.

That was with regard to the earthly clock.

Graphic and Vivid

A man of about 80 years of age in the course of a normal talk was narrating to his son during one leisurely week-end a family event which had taken place when he was in his twenties and his own father was the head of the family. His narration to the end was graphic and vivid and his face-expression lively as if the aged personthere was a re-enactment of " the event before his eyes. Then strangely, after remaining quiet and thoughtful for rose from his seat, stood still thoughtful, and then slowly walked away to retire in his room. sometime, It should be easy to guess why the old man suddenly fell into a deep thought with all r the visible sign of desolation and melancholy. He felt that the event had taken place " only "yesterday", and there he was an old person "today" and the relatives will argue at the cemetery "tomorrow" whether that old weather-beaten grave was indeed his! The span of some sixty years since the event was now a mere 24 hours to him! And that is precisely what the Holy Qur'an wants us to remember.

"He will say: How many years did you tarry in the earth? They will say: We tarried a day or part of a day, but ask those who keep account. He will say: You did tarry but a little -had you but known (it)" (23 : 112,113,114). Now this is the celestial (heavenly) clock, Time will tell. Introduce the child to the earthly time-clock in time so that he later as an adult becomes aware of the celestial clock also in time and is not caught by a rude shock like the old man. What a great pity when there are people in the society who were raised and conditioned to be oblivious to the dictates of both the clocks!

Sense and Value of Time

Observe our children. They think of a number of things to do in a day, more on a holiday, but when asked, they will be seen having no idea at all of the respective time normally necessary for each of them. The things are just too many for a day even if sleep is skipped! It means that the parents have not yet introduced them to the clock. Children must grow up as adults with a smart sense and value of time.

If the child says that he was going to a certain shop to buy a book, ask him as if for a mere interest to know, how long that will take him until he returns home. He will begin to think, estimate -perhaps wrongly -and then reply. That is a good start if such casual inquiries are made as a normal practice.

When the child mentions a duration of time for a particular job or assignment, challenge him that it will take him longer, to make him conscious of the time. He will try to accomplish it much sooner with an eye on the clock not only to meet the challenge r but also to impress.

If the child invites friends at home for a small afternoon party, ask him when will it be over and then teasingly question: why so late, not because it matters whether late or not. He will immediately direct his mind to the time-management to explain and justify why so late, though to te parents it may not be late. All these are a part of the exercise and practice of time-orientation to teach the child time-management through a cultivation of a sharp sense and value of time. This is essential.

Parents should also impress the child, when grown up as a youth, that only "yesterday" they were young like him and "tomorrow" he will be old like them. As an adult the child will always know that time is constantly slipping by "fast" beyond his control according to the earthly clock and death is always "the same day" -according to the celestial (heavenly) clock even if it were forty or sixty years hence!

10- The Child with Culture of Reading is More


An anxious husband away from home reads quickly important pieces of news from the letter he has just received from his family and then reads them all over again. If the anxious husband had been illiterate. he would have got the letter read out to him by someone who would have then folded and returned it to him only to see him unfolding the letter and looking intently into it as if he was now able to read it. The action in both cases reveals a particular pattern of the human mind. It wants to register and familiarise the pieces of news at its own independent pace.

If the husband is reading about his baby being sick, his mind is also registering a likely perception, familiar to his mind, of the background against which the baby is in the state of sickness. The pace for reading is influenced by the pace at which each piece of the news undergoes such a mental registration in a wider perspective.

The mind works the same natural way for an illiterate person too. Unfolding the letter only to be looking into it is to prompt a mental registration of the picture depict- ed from the news which is in the letter. The only disadvantage is that when a letter is read out, the pace at which he hears may not be the leisurely he would like if he were reading the letter himself for an efficient registration. His mind is always alert about what is next to be heard and this disturbs the efficiency-pace of registration. He therefore takes the letter to someone else for a favour of being read out to him again, though he now knows mostly what is next in the line of hearing.

The Difference

This is precisely the difference also when a person listens to a programme of a series of national and international news in a quick succession from radio or TV channels r. and when he reads them in the newspapers. The latter facilitates a mental treatment of each piece in a wider perspective at an acceptable pace; and this helps in avoiding the absorption of any hidden message planted behind the presentation of the s by the electronic media.

The electronic media therefore has an effective capability as compared to the print media of manipulating the public opinion in this way. No wonder that the electronic media has captured a wider market and is capable of influencing large segments of public on the issues of faith (religion), socio-culture, politics, economy and such others, because it "conveniently saves" those gullible among the public-viewers from exercise of smart thinking and scrutiny.

Fertile Mind

As a result, more and more among the succeeding generations lose the culture of serious minding reading. Gone are the days when a child was seen in his room engrossed in ling a book and weighing or questioning mentally the merits of the thoughts and s of the author. It is this process which helped the child to widen the horizon of his critic mind, and it is such a child who grew up able to also develop a creative mind formulate his own ideas and then be able to write or express them.

He possessed a fertile mind of originality and creativeness because he had conditioned the mind into a critical thinking while feeding it regularly with a serious reading. He grew better equipped to formulate his independent thoughts and visions -and to advise lead.

The mind in a child wants to explode into an expansive horizon such is the thirst for absorption of knowledge and information and he can draw on a number of sources to satisfy this: the sources being family; school, electronic media, friends etc. The source is, however, reading which means a flow of one's own critic thoughts as E continues to read.

While there is always plenty of reading around - in the school, places of business and work, etc, none of these can serve as a substitute for the taste and culture of the leisurely at home or in a library for the reasons explained above.

Message is Simple

"The message is simple and yet crucial: do not let your child grow up without having cultivated the habit of reading as a family culture or hobby. A certain time is set during a week-end and school holidays when the child is alone in his room with arrangement of no access t TV, radio, Computer, game or telephone chat, and he picks up a suitable children-book to kill the initial boredom, preferably one of those with a good moral story or fiction and an attraction to complete it.

Some parents may perceive this arrangement as an unnecessary toll on their dear child for such an apparently minor habit. It is probable that they themselves lack or under-rate the culture of reading and any idea of its richness in the mental nourishment. Reading is a culture with no compensatory substitute; and no culture is minor.

11- The Child and his Concept of Allah swt

Talking about a small child's "initial concept" of Allah, one person was reminiscing his childhood's mis-concept. A member in the family died. His father had an explanation: Someone called Allah took him away. This information created a fear in him of who- ever takes people away. Incidentally whenever he misbehaved in the street while walking along with his mother, she would point out at a police constable if one hap- pened to be in sight and scare him that she would ask the constable to take him away. So during his early childhood he, in his misplaced concept, likened Allah. when mentioned at home, to a man in a khaki uniform.

As Allah is not visible and yet He is often mentioned at home, children form their own independent picture of Him in their mind. It varies from child to child. Such pictures are influenced mostly by what the parents mention about Allah's pleasure and displeasure in the context of a child's misbehaviour and his "sinning" against Him because of the misbehaviour.

Such incidental and cursory introduction of Allah with the depiction of human emotions in Him gives a mis-leading representation of His attributes. For example, the mention of Allah as punishing for a wrong-doing makes a child liken Him to a teacher he knows in the neighbourhood who punishes students in the school. And yet, the mention of Allah being Wise and all the time Alive gives to another child the picture of an old and knowledgeable grandfather who is getting older and older and yet keeps on living.

Polishing or Polluting!

Everyone is born with a natural in-born belief that there exists power and control over himself by his Creator (al imaan bil ghaib - belief in himself by his Creator (al imaan bil ghaib -belief in the Unseen)) and this nagging belief is general for the mankind. The human mind cannot remain blank or shed this belief. He has either to run the path to polishing the belief or run the risk of polluting it. There is no third option. In the case of a child, therefore, under the inspiration of this inborn belief, he senses a thirst for information in order to polish the belief. In the absence of adequate and balanced information, his imaginative mind tries to fill in the gaps and comes up with an incorrect interim concept of his Creator Who he finds often mentioned as Allah in the family. This mis-concept is common with small children.

Therefore, it is an Islamic obligation of the parents to ensure that as the child grows up, his thirst, which often goes unknown to them, is quenched amply with a flow of pure and proper information. The risk of the child drawing information from other doubtful Sources, as an alternative, becomes diminished. He is spared from his belief being tampered with doubts later in his adult life.

Religious Duty

The parents therefore have a religious duty to ensure that the child is purposefully engaged in the proper learning of correct and balanced concept of Allah as early ''as possible" essentially based on His attributes. The perfect concept of His being and existence is however, beyond human comprehension. The initial childhood picture of Allah as a being with a human physique, image, emotions, needs or limitations must not stay on longer.

And this is only possible when the entire package of His attributes, including those of His benevolence, compassion, forgiveness, generosity and such others are addressed. There therefore develops a balanced concept of Him as the loving and lovable Being, and yet also a reasonably feared One if disobeyed or angered -all in the context of tauhid (absolute onennes). Common God is not Allah.

What is even more important is to impress upon the child that there exists only Allah and there is no god besides Him and that the mention by others, of god or God, who lacks all the combined attributes of Allah is not Allah. And no god other than Allah exists. Therefore, the universally common God worshiped by all others does not exist if he is not Allah.

While it is true that great "thawab" is earned by those parents who are the first to teach their children to recite or read the verse: Bi'simi Laahi Rahman Raheem", its importance is not confined to teaching the recitation of the verse or its translation only. The importance essentially lies also in helping the children to form a correct and balanced Islamic concept of "Allah" mentioned in the verse.

It has to be reiterated that Allah has created Man in the nature of wanting to know Him. Human reasoning, which is attuned to his nature, leads to knowing Him rightly. Therefore, children's ability to reason, when prodded by the parents, to gain the right concept of Allah should not be under-rated.

When the growing child is taught to address his dua (supplication) to Allah, the impact of his faith in the dua is tremendous only if he has also been made to gain the right Islamic concept of Him.

12- The Culture of Talking to Allah swt

If rooted deeply and practiced earnestly during one's lifetime. this culture can make a difference in one's fate in this and the next world. but then it needs to be commenced and cultivated in one's childhood.

It is not common to see a child moved on his own accord to talking to Allah in the form of dua (supplication). .It never dawns upon the children the need to talk to Allah, Their parents make available for them almost all that they need, desire or hope for, They provide a dependable sense of security. When children fall sick they see the parents bring medicine to make them feel well again.

There was however this child who did talk to Allah. No one in the family had asked him to. though. His mother. half crying. was telling his grandmother on the phone that his baby sister with signs of a serious dehydration was to be rushed to the hospital that very moment. The baby was in danger of her life and the family doctor who had just left after examining her would join them after a short while. She ended the conservation hurriedly with a frantic plea to the grandmother for a dua to Allah.

After the parents had left with the baby for the hospital. the child. realising for the first time how helpless and weak his parents can be after all, talked to Allah in a few stuttering words of his language. He felt less anxious after that. He would however not let his parents know about this secret monologue because children do not talk to Allah!.'

What normally the child sees at home as a familiar scene perhaps almost daily is of the parents individually "reciting" what they call "dua" and that too in the language which the child knows as not theirs. He does not know the reason for this recitation in a language not understood except that it is no different from what he sees as Salaat (daily prayers) in regularity. He however, notices the parents also talk to Allah. The parents' apparent secrecy of such talking in low whispers is beyond his comprehension ( Q.7:55)* He thinks that the whole participation in this secretive monologue is for adults only.

Family is the Loser

Parents may falsely presume that children do understand why parents "recite" dua or address it in low whispers, and that children also understand that their needs are provided because of the blessing of Allah to the parents through duas. They also presume, again falsely, that children's duas to Allah. if they are made to address, produce no results because of their age. By such a presumption the family is the loser. We mortals are poor in the sight of Allah (Q. 35: 15)**. The only thing we own is the means of dua.

Allah has asked us to call upon Him and promised grant of duas. (2: 186; 40:60)*** He is the Best of Promise-keepers. We can expect the pleas of the children to be more readily granted not only because of their innocence (ismat) but also because teaching them to turn to Allah is pleasing to Him.

Street beggars apply the "salesmanship" of taking out their children together to elicit sympathy. We should get our children to join us in expressing our humbleness to our Lord in the form of dua. Let us remember that if the sight of a child sitting in a quiet corner and engaged in imploring Allah in low and shy whispers with small hands raised up together moves the heart of the mother, then it is reported that the love of Allah for His creatures (servants -ibaad) is seventy times of that of the mother for her child.

It Is Simple

Parents should make the best of the opportunities presented in the form of dua when they have small children in the family to facilitate the dua to be answered sooner. It is simple. When the child eagerly requests for a special thing, not common in his wants, direct him to address a dua to Allah for it, without revealing whether the inten- tion is to buy it for him or not, and then leave him in suspense while he keeps repeating the daily dua before the request is met. The parents should also teach the child to resign to the dua not being granted by making the child to address dua even where the intention is not to comply with his request.

"Dua is a gist of ibaadat (worship)"; "The best prayer (ibaadaV is dua" -Ahaadith of the Holy Prophet. Why not get children to participate in this form of ibaadat, which is simple in performance and convenient in the discretion of time and yet tremendously rewarding.

Parents should experience the thrill on seeing their small child praying to Allah for lots of things, big and small, for them while they strain their ears to catch his words with- out letting him know. for he will have been taught to pray for them also, as for himself, in his own language. So let the child "play" adult in this euphoric role of talking to Allah and the "score" will be real!

"Call on your Lord humbly and secretly..." (7:55) "0' men! you are (fuqaraa) they who stand in need of Allah..." (35: 15). "I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he calls on Me " (2:186). "Call upon Me and I will answer you..." (40:60).

13- The Child let Sulking Ceases Sulking

The answer from the parents was negative when the adolescent daughter asked for permission to attend a late-night party of girlfriends the following day. And yet a couple of her friends came in time to pick her up. Smartly dressed for the party, the daughter departs oblivious to the decision and displeasure of the parents. The daughter had already registered with the parents a catalogue of such examples previously, some even more worrisome to them.

In fact, seeking permission and then doing exactly what she intended to do regardless whether permission was given or not, was the daughter's "dutiful way" of only informing the parents so that they were aware.

It was the parents, that is, mostly the father, often supported by the mother, who 'graduated" their daughter to this irreversible status of freedom in her relation with them. However, the graduation came about gradually in phases as the daughter grew up from childhood. :;"

The Doors To Graduation

There was the primary phase, to start with, which then inevitably opened the doors to the two subsequent phases leading to the graduation. The parents would more often than not decline permission to the daughter unfairly as a tradition when she was a child because they felt "No" was rightly safer than safely right. However, as the refusal was unfair but always pops out first as a tradition in the family, there would "rightly" be a reversal later to please not only the daughter but also the parents them- selves!

Perhaps the parents enjoyed the feel of authority over the daughter or reversal of refusal was their way of impressing her about their love for her. Whatever the case, the consequences that ensue stage by stage become irreversible. They include a long-term disturbance in the mental and physical health of the parents.

There followed another phase, as the daughter got to know the weakness of fickle- ness (wavering) of the parents. She would argue, sulk or cry until the answer is reversed to "okay yes, dear" where the parents should have remained firm with the original refusal. Such a successful exploitation of the parents' love was more a rule of the game than exception for the daughter. With it, her choices for which the initial permission was negative became bolder and bolder. What is worse, the siblings too tended to follow her behaviour.

Resoundingly & Resolutely

The best love and affection for the child, since her early childhood, lies in the parents saying "NO" resoundingly and remaining firm with it resolutely provided however where such an answer is absolutely prudent or fair and the child is explained fully the reason for it. The child may show anger and sulk temporarily but will have permanently more respect for the authority of the parents.

So instead of coming up with a quick initial or cursory negative answer to every request for permission in the beginning -only to be reversed later, the parents must give an earnest thought to the child's request. They may even take time and then come up with a firm and final decision, which is fair, and this may turn out to be rightly in favour or against the wishes of the child. Unfortunately, this is not the case with a number of families and on many occasions. The long term and far reaching consequences are disastrous.

The daughter who has been conditioned by her own parents into exercising such a freedom in open disobedience to the parents tends to continue with the freedom after her marriage and runs the risk of the break-up of her marriage even before its first anniversary.

When the parents let the awe and respect of the child for them to erode, the most likely result is the frustration of most of the aspirations of the parents regarding his/her education, carrier, religious commitment, family attachment or good conduct in the society, and also his/her matrimonial happiness.

If only the parents would tell the child the truth: that this world is not as warm, rosy and saintly as it seems to the child while he/she is under the care and protection of the parents; that this world is not needless of precautions against dangers which lurk am in every corner, and that refusal of permission where prudent and kept firm is apart of that very care and concern which in turn makes the child feel this world safe and secured.

14- Gaining Vision from Family History

A client brought his prospective (intended) partner to my office for a cursory (initial) appraisal of a proposal for a construction of a modern office building which he intended to finance with an option of a joint ownership on completion. When the prospective partner introduced himself, I got curious because of his surname. I asked whether he was related to a person of his community with the same surname with whom I was very close until he emigrated. He confirmed that he was, whereupon I naturally inquired more about their relationship.

The client was surprised to find that I knew the history of the grandfather of the prospective partner, which I had learnt from the emigrant cousin. The prospective partner was almost a stranger to his own family history of struggle, set-backs through mistakes and bad luck, and the later successes through patience and faith.

Later the client informed me that his interest in the proposal diminished following the accidental appraisal of the person he intended to work with in the proposal. He - realised that as in the case of the proposal, an appraisal of the person intended to be involved in a proposal was equally important. The ignorance of one's own family history was seen a demerit.

Lessons For Right Vision

Almost every family has a known history of tact, hardship, perseverance, devotion, and of adherence to principles, values and faith in the course of the constant struggle in life with an alternation of set-backs and successes. The known history may span over three preceding generations or more. Every young member in the family has the right to be informed of such history of the family by the parents so that he later in life as a responsible adult is able to draw lessons from it and formulate his vision aright.

There may have occurred partnership disputes, business split, divorce cases, inheritance disputes, losses from business speculation and such other situations in the past in the family through perhaps negative emotions or miscalculated reasoning or misplaced trust with some disastrous consequences. Family history, if known, can help the succeeding generations avoid a repetition of the occurrences or exercise caution to avert such potential situations.

But before a child is old enough for information about the family-history, he has yet a prior right, equally important, -a right to that best and pertinent piece of education which originates only in his home and can avail to him in his young age only by the parents. That piece is about the reality of this transient life, the life of a constant struggle, exacting mental, physical and emotional toll, until there comes the inevitable exit in the form of death. He may not know that the struggle begins right from birth. He too cried as he struggled for first few initial breath, which is normal for all babies when they are born.

Importance In Timing

The importance lies in timing the imparting of that piece of education for good effect. The time is when the child is getting inquisitive about the reasons for the quarrels and disputes which he hears about or witnesses as each occurs among the adults. The reasons are mostly connected with the struggle as part of this mortal life attendant with human weaknesses. He cannot.

be explained reasons without allowing him the perception of the constant struggle in the life of every mortal, whatever his station of life, and which is attached to every family. To preserve health is also an ongoing struggle until there is a succumb to natural death.

The child has to be impressed that there is always a twist and turn in the struggle; and ups and downs in the history of every family and that the family in which he is born is no exception. Examples of the struggle are given to tf1Ie child in the form of piece-meals narration of the family-history as and when appropriate occasions arise as he keeps growing up.

Then the child, on his .part as an adult later would, for the information of his children, add the narration of his own life-history of strife and successes as a continuous process of passing on the family history to the succeeding generations.

The grasping power of a grown-up child with regard to the family history and the les- sons intended for him in the narration should not be under-estimated.

Tribute To The Grandfather

There are some people who hear about the pieces of the history of struggle and successes of their family either late or from other elders of the local community. They wished they had heard it earlier and from the family so that they could not only have paid tribute to the grandfather while he was still alive but perhaps also asked him for details and the reminiscence of emotions involved.

Allah (swt) mentions in the holy Qur'an the importance of history. It offers guidance and lessons so that the reality of life is known and the mistakes committed avoided. The family-history is no different. The following are the examples of the Qur'anic verses: 'And all We relate to you (the Prophet) of the accounts of the apostles is to strength- en your heart therewith ' (11 :120). 'In their histories there is certainly a lesson for men of understanding ' (12: 111)

'Thus do We relate to you (0' Our Messenger Mohammad!) of the (historic) accounts of what has passed (of old); and indeed have We given to you from Ourselves a Reminder (Qur'an)'. (20:99).

Let us learn from the desert ant which crawls long distances under the scorching sun. It stops and turns itself to look behind now and then in order to be able to monitor the direction and forge ahead. It never gets lost. We too need to look back into the family history, that is, if we have been made aware of it in good time, as we march on with the time with no repetition of past family mistakes.