The Amanah of a Child

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Abu al-Faraj ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Ali ibn al-Jawzy (r.a.) wrote, in “Disciplining the Soul”, “A father should know that his child is a trust placed in his hands, so he should make him avoid bad company from a young age.  He should teach him the good, for a child’s heart is empty, and accepts anything that is given to it.  He also should make him love shyness, and generosity.  He should tell him the stories of the righteous, make him avoid love poetry, because it is a seed of corruption, but he should not prevent him from reading poems about generosity, or courageousness, so that he exalts these characteristics, and becomes courageous.

If he makes a mistake, he should overlook it.  His teacher should not expose his secrets, and mistakes, he should not reprehend him except in private.  He should prohibit excessive eating, excessive sleeping, make him accustomed to simple food, minimal sleep for it is healthier.  He should be treated with physical exercises such as walking, disciplined by being prohibited from turning his back to people, and from sneezing and yawning in their presence.

If he chooses to exhibit a bad characteristic, he should be deterred from it excessively before it becomes a habit, and it is fine to discipline him if lenience is of no use.  Luqman told his son, ‘O Son!  Disciplining the son acts as a fertiliser for sowing seeds.’

If the boy is aggressive, his father should be lenient with him.  ibn ‘Abbas said, ‘The aggressiveness of a boy is an increase in his intelligence.’”


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