How can my husband and I coordinate the tarbiyyah of our children?

Question:

I am trying to raise my children (10 and 6) to the best of my abilities, trying to impart to them the deeni aspect in everything. In doing so, I sometimes overdo things. For example, if I ask my child if he had read his duas before sleeping the previous night and if he takes a minute to think and answers “yes”, I would ask him if he is “sure”…I just want to make sure that he is not lying. My husband sometimes intervenes and tells me not to deter his confidence by doing so. I agree with him, but he does this right in front of children and I am of the opinion that, if he thinks there is a problem with how I am dealing with a situation, then he needs to communicate it in privacy.

Doing so in front of the children would lower my respect in their hearts but he strongly disagrees and says that it is normal and no such thing will happen…Please let us know whose point of view is right.

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

May Allah reward you for taking the time and effort to provide your children a proper Islamic tarbiyyah.

It is better for the parents to coordinate their responses so there is no confusion for the child. More importantly, these small issues can easily lead to one of the spouses getting irritated in front of the child and that would have a negative effect on their tarbiyyah. By deciding beforehand on how to deal with these common issues both of you will be on the same page instead of contradicting one another. At the same time, your husband has a valid point that the relationship between you and your children should be one of trust and friendship.

One of the ways you can do this is to instill in him love of honesty and the importance of telling the truth. You can do this by narrating stories of our pious predecessors. Insha-Allah regularly listening to examples of good conduct will have a positive effect on him.

Think of alternative ways to verify his statements. For example, to confirm that your child has read his dua say,  “I love to hear you voice, can you recite the dua for me?” This way you are not always doubting him and are also checking on him from time to time to make sure he’s reading his duas correctly.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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