Patience in the family

August 15th, 2011 @   -  No Comments

Most good things in life require us to be patient before we can attain them. A great career, for example, requires a lot of hard work and endurance. People who tend to give up easily at the face of hardship are not likely to be very successful. Patience is also required in personal relationships when we have to deal with people who are close to us but sometimes get on our nerves. Patience is beneficial in all aspects of our lives.

Being patient with children

Moulding children to become the great adults parents want them to be does not happen overnight. Children are not born with good character; they have to develop good character. Sometimes parents forget that. They forget that when children make mistakes or do something wrong, they do not always know that it is wrong. They must be taught wrong from right.

Children do not always learn from the first lesson they receive, sometimes the lesson has to be repeated several times before it clicks in the child’s mind. Some parents may notice that the lessons clicked for their children years after the lesson was taught, perhaps when the parent may have even thought that their child never listened to them. But children register the information their parents give them but they may not execute it right away or as fast as parents would want them to. Parents may find themselves repeating something before the child finally understands it. This is where a parent’s patience comes in. Without patience parents can give up on their child and the child can become misguided as a result.

While children can be such a joy in their parents’ life, they can also be a test from Allah.

“And know that your worldly goods and your children are but a trial and a temptation, and that with God there is a tremendous reward” (8:28)

Parents can be tested through a child’s death, or sickness or misconduct. How parents carry themselves in these types of situations can be a testament to their faith. These tests are not easy. Practicing patience and recognizing that everything is in Allah’s hands can make the difficult experience a little less painful.

Teaching children patience

The earlier children develop patience the stronger and more successful they will be as adults. They must have the proper understanding of what patience really is. People mistake patience with passivity and idleness. Being patient does not mean that you sit around and let something happen to you. You must do whatever you can to relieve any suffering you may experience, or ease a difficult situation. But patience comes in when results are not instantaneous or the results are not how you wanted them to be.

There are a few things you can do to help your child develop patience. First, do not give children everything they ask for, even if you can afford to. Make them work hard for something they want. Giving them whatever they want, when they want it will lead children to develop the wrong attitude towards life. They may grow to believe that everything should come easy and instantly. Many children who grow up in such environments may be shocked to realize at a later point that life is not always easy. During hardship they may not have the necessary skills to deal with it.

Playing sports and games is also a good way for children to learn patience. Firstly, they need to be patient with themselves while they train and improve their skills in a particular sport. Talk to them about their favourite athlete and research with them how many hours their favourite athletes had to train to get to where they are. Secondly, if they play within a team, they have to learn to be patient with their team members.

Gardening is also a good way to teach children to be patient. It teaches children to take care of their plants and wait for them to grow before they can see the results. If they want to quit too soon, encourage them not to. Help them imagine how big their plants will grow and how beautiful they will be.

Help children develop their faith and understand that in this life, hardship is to be expected. They should learn the stories of the prophets who suffered in different ways but remained patient. They should also hear contemporary stories of people suffering all around the world. Sometimes learning about other people’s suffering can give us the strength and inspiration to deal with our own.

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