As parents, the best gift we can give our children is a good upbringing. While there is no magic formula in raising your child, there are several hadith in Islam that we can take reference on how to be an effective parent.
Prophet Muhammad SAW said in a hadith, “Play with them for the first seven years (of their life); then teach them for the next seven years; then advise them for the next seven years (and after that).”
The above hadith gives us a good guidance on how we can raise our children at three stages.
0 to 7 years-old
The first seven years is a time where parents should provide the foundation of good manners, values and principles to the child. This is the stage of observation and our children will mimic our behaviours. The environment and surroundings the child grows up in also plays a part in their emotional and mental well-being. Form a solid connection with your children at this stage and you will develop a strong bond with them as they progress to the growing years.
7 to 14 years-old
During this age period, parents can start teaching them about secular and religious knowledge. This is a time for them to also take up new skills and encourage them to learn values such as respect, teamwork, leadership as much as possible. Set boundaries for them on how to behave and what is accepted. Always explain and provide reasons why they are reprimanded and treat them as young adults who can comprehend reasoning.
14 to 21 years-old
At this stage, our child will develop their own personality and value independence. This is the best time to be their friend and offer advice on what they can and cannot do especially in the context of being a Muslim.