✏ Often parents see television as a babysitter. Parents need to keep the children quiet as they do their own work. What they do not realize is that the children are coming under the influence of what they see. Their minds and thinking become attuned to the pictures flashing on the screen.
It is much better to have children beside the parent while they are working. A mother who is cooking should try and give her children something to play with from the kitchen utensils (those which are not harmful to the child). According to their age she could involve them in the cooking and get them to help. Or the children could read or color etc. near where the mother is working. It is better to think out ways of keeping children busy while parents are working rather than to turn on the television.
✏ Another disadvantage of television is the amount of violence it shows. It is a known fact that regular viewers of television become immune to violence. Scenes of death and gruesome violence create no emotion in them.
Some viewers are even tempted to carry out what they watch. Human beings lose their gentleness and humanness when they watch a lot of violence. The result is scary. Scores of young television viewers have no concern over the killings and murders that have become a part of life in many parts of the world.
✏ Television messages are quite effective in brainwashing a child’s mind because they are passed through the medium of sight.
Children are bombarded with images of people seemingly leading fun filled lives. Their behavior, clothing, lifestyles etc. are all totally opposed to Islam. The world, however, seems to admire such people and Muslim children begin to admire them too. They wish to emulate them, and follow their way of life. This type of subtle brain washing is very dangerous and can greatly influence [negatively] the mind of a child.
✏ Books play a great role in enhancing the intelligence of the child.
From a very young age, children should be read to, and given books that they can look at by themselves. Islamic books are available for the very young.
A book is the best teacher for a child, a friend who is never far away in times of boredom and loneliness. Reading the correct type of books can influence the child towards what is good and right in life. Parents should introduce their children to a good library and encourage them to read in their spare time.
✏ A great danger is when children begin reading the wrong type of books.
Just as books can be a good influence, they can also be a destructive one. A bad book can spoil the mind of a child, filling it with poisonous ideas and views. Many books for children are filled with violence, fantasies, and romance. Comics and other such books may be entertaining but have little or no benefit for the child.
Parents should know what their children are reading.
✏ It is not enough to encourage children to read and then leave them to choose whatever they wish. Most children will choose junk literature which has little benefit for the mind or for literary development.
Children must be guided towards choosing good books. Not necessarily boring or didactic ones, but ones which have value in their stories and language. Most libraries these days have information on good books for various ages.
✏ Some parents have a very negative attitude on life. They complain of their work, and the people they work with. They blame the world for their troubles and are quick to talk negatively about others. All this is undoubtedly going to have an effect on the child.
A child who has heard a lot about how unfair and difficult life is, may form a dim view of life in this world. His enthusiasm for life decreases.
A great deal of a child’s joy and zest for living stems from what his parents think and say about life. It is always necessary to avoid being too negative when talking in front of children.
✏ Life is miserable for those children who have to deal with parents who are constantly negative. Such parents do not forget mistakes, harp on small issues, and are always predicting the worst.
… “You are not studying hard, you are bound to fail” …,
…”Your room is such a mess, I wonder how sloppy your house will be when you grow up” …,
… “Stop troubling your younger sister, you have no love for her at all…”
are examples of negative and perhaps destructive comments.
✏ Some parents believe that to love children means to do their work. They take excessive pity on the child and feel that as a parent it is their duty to do things for him. So at six years old a child is still be dressed by the parents. He is considered too young to tie his own shoes, or comb his hair.
Such constant fussing over the child does not instill confidence and independence in the child. A ten-year-old who never cleans his room, and lets mum or dad do it, will learn to ALWAYS depend on others. This may also foster laziness, sloppiness and a lack of initiative.
✏ A wise parent knows that the best way to help a child is not do things for him, but to show him how to do them.
Learning the skills of carrying out personal and household chores are an achievement often appreciated during the early years.
A child who is not taught to do them when young, will be very unwilling to do them when older. Parents should help their children learn to do their own work, using the physical and mental powers the Almighty has blessed them with.
(To be continued…)