They are what you make of them…
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said,"No father has given a greater gift to his children than good moral training." (Tirmidhi)
Children are like sponges – eagerly taking in every drop of knowledge that comes their way. They soak up everything they see & hear & learn by watching and observing the adults around them. Modelling what they see is how they learn to grow into adults. They do not have inner instructions to go by and they must take it from the world - what they need to learn to survive in society.
Children learn what they live and we are modelling what their future behaviour will be. We can get an idea of what we are imparting to them by looking at their behaviour. If you notice any disruptive behaviour your child might have, look at your own behaviour in the house or where your child spends much of their time when away from home. If for example, when your child is faced with difficulties with siblings or peers, they yell and holler to resolve disputes then it is most likely that this type of behaviour is exhibited by their care takers when faced with similar situations. If you honour manners and courteous behaviour in your household, then you will see your child will do the same. This is more proof that our children are learning what they are living. They look to their environment and the people in it to build what they need to live. Look at who your child is and who he spends his time most with and you will figure out who to commend or who to reprimand for teaching your child what he has learned.
Our duty is to model to our children what we believe they need in the world. Once this is accomplished, the odds are they will follow your lead. They watch listen and follow so be certain your steps are leading in the right direction! If you merely offer lip-service and don’t do as you say, then your actions will speak volumes more than your words.
Having a role model is also an important aspect of a child’s life. They can either be the parents, grand-parents, or sometimes people they do not know personally. Role models can be powerful influences in their lives. They teach them many things. They help them learn who they are, where they come from and where they’re going. Children can copy the behaviour/way of life, and follow the things they say and do. Good role models teach good behaviours and values of living…the right from wrong and how to treat people and things around them.
In my opinion, the best role model a child could ever ask for is the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). It is incumbent upon each and every believer to obey and follow the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) if they hope for paradise and the pleasure of Allah (swt). He was sent by Allah (swt) as a mercy to all of mankind, to guide them from the darkness of Jahiliyyah to the light of Islam – through the instructions, teachings and practice of the Qur’an and Sunnah. He was sent as a teacher – a role model – for all of mankind. He is the source of guidance and the most reliable, trusted and loved. The Prophet (PBUH) had the best personality, characteristics and morals. His daily life was a living illustration and explanation of the Qur’an. He did and said everything in accordance to the teachings of the Qur’an and his life is the reflection of the Shariah of Allah. He maintained the best characteristics in his roles as a father, husband, friend, ruler, governor, teacher, statesman, protector of the weak, widows and poor, a guide to the rich, a guardian to the orphans and above all a servant to Allah (swt). No one can every equal the Prophet (PBUH) in the whole history of mankind. He stands head and shoulders above all other human beings in nobility of his character and piety of his soul.
If we inculcate the love for the Prophet (PBUH) in the hearts of our little ones and encourage them to strive to be like him, then nothing will come between them and