What are practical methods for raising upright children?

Question: How should we educate our child and feed him with religious teachings, moral values, social principles, and historical lessons? Could you suggest a practical and successful method?

The answer: There are still fathers and mothers like those of the past who at bedtime tell their children nice stories with useful meanings and in a wonderful manner of telling. Many of those meaningful stories have educated children with sound concepts, and when they became old, they still remembered them and took sufficient lessons from them.

In our present age, we should not ignore the sincere efforts of those who spread modern Islamic information through audio and video cassettes, CDs, magazines, and books. May Allah reward them with the best of good.

It is wrong to think that a child does not understand or comprehend what we mean or that he does not benefit from our stories. The Islamic experts, based on the traditions of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and different experiments, have discovered that a child is able to comprehend the meanings of others’ words from the fourth month in his mother’s womb. Therefore, traditions recommend mothers to recite the Holy Qur’an during the period of pregnancy and after giving birth even if it is through audio cassettes because a child responds and reacts to the Qur’anic inspirations, which have an influence on his mentality, morals and behaviors when he grows up. Similarly, the azan and iqama are recited in the two ears of a newborn child.

Thus, a meaningful story with good moral and social contents leaves a constructive effect on the personality of a child in the present and future.

From among the necessities of education at this stage is buying some books for the child that fit his intellectual level, and it does not matter if he tears them, because after tearing the tenth book, for example, he will make friends with the eleventh book. He will keep it safe and read it. Here you can win his friendship with books throughout his life, and the loss of tearing ten books in comparison with this winning is not so important.

Parents can read to their child from the storybooks of children, and they will thus kill two birds with one stone, because the child will like books and benefit from the contents of the stories at the same time. I suggest that you hang this statement on the most noticeable wall in the house: “a good book should be read several times, discussed several times, and relied on throughout one’s life.”