Parenting is the world's greatest challenge and also the greatest joy which can be fulfilling and rewarding. Different skills are required for small children and for teenagers. Little ones need more care and attention and at times stern discipline. Teenagers have a mind of their own. They want freedom; make their own decisions which we may not like. They need to be handled with tact, understanding and patience. An intellectual attempt to help change their minds would be more effective than a list of do's and don'ts. All children need love and care from parents. This in-built love for children has to be demonstrated by a loving and caring attitude. Aqra, a companion of the Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) once saw him kissing his grandson, Hasan. In amazement Aqra said, “I have ten children and I have never kissed even one of them!” Muhammad said, “The one who does not show mercy to people, God Almighty does not show mercy to him.”
When a group of visitors learned that Muhammad kissed his children they said that they never kissed their children. Muhammad said, “What can I do if God has removed mercy from your hearts.”
When dealing with all children, justice is very important. It is the right of every child that their parents treat all their children justly and fairly. Favoritism always leads to jealousy between siblings. This can lead to rejection and lack of self esteem. Daughters must be treated the same as sons. Muhammad commanded people, “Do justice amongst your children!”
God, we thank you for the wonderful gift of children. Enable us to cherish them, love them, treat them justly, guide them and protect them, amin.