Children are not like adults. The amazing thing about them is that we can earn their trust and love easily. They appreciate the simple things in life and are easy to please because of their pure, innocent hearts. But don’t let that innocence fool you! If you’re a parent, you know children are also blunt and can mistrust just as easily. They’ll check you the minute they see you making a mistake. There’s really no ‘gray’ area with young children. Everything is black and white. For that reason, we have to be CAUTIOUS with what we say and do in front of them. Avoid doing these three things to keep your child’s trust forever. Here are three ways you can lose your child’s trust over time IF you’re not careful.
Saying Something You Don’t Really Mean
A lot of us parents make the mistake of saying something to our children so we can get the child to sleep, stop crying, to share, etc. without actually meaning what we say. For example, a child is refusing to come with her mother after playing at the park; in desperation the mother tells her child she’ll give her some candy if she comes with her to the car. And the child does. Finally when they go into the car, the kid is looking at her mother, waiting for the promised candy but the mother never meant to give her any candy, so she does not. And the child cries and screams and throws a bigger tantrum. That’s a cry of disappointment. That mother lied to the child. Not only will that mother lose her child’s trust which means that trick will not work for her anymore, it’s also haraam. Lying is haraam even when lying to children.
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Aamir (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “My mother called me one day when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sitting in our house. She said, ‘Come here, and I will give you (something).’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘What do you want to give him?’ She said, ‘I will give him a date.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘If you had not given him something, you would have been lying.’”
And it was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever says to a child, ‘Come here and take this,’ then does not give him something, this is counted as a lie.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4991)
Having a ‘Do What I say, Not What I Do’ Mentality
When we tell our children to do or don’t do something, and we don’t apply that rule to ourselves, there’s going to be a clash and more than likely, mistrust between child and parents. Here’s another example: children are told they have to limit their screen time, and all of their electronics are taken away but they see mom and dad still using their phone or laptop in front of them. This will not go over well with the children. I have been checked by my own kids before for this exact idea of do what I say not what I do. If you tell them something is not good for them, you better apply that rule to yourself as well. I understand there are things we as adults can do and not children, but in that case we have to give them clear answers as to why they can’t do certain things and the caregivers or parents are allowed/can.
Losing Your Temper!
Do you struggle with this one? I sure do! We all lose our temper sometimes. You might be wondering how losing your temper might cause your child to not trust you though,right? If you lose your temper often enough with your children, they might not trust you to be calm anymore when they do something that upsets you. So whenever they make a mistake, they will be more likely to lie. They will not trust you with their honesty or come to you for their problems and concerns especially when the kids are seven years and older. They will lie just to please you or to get you off their back. They will lie about simple things just to be on your good side because they don’t want to deal with being yelled at. This can lead to many problems for the child, lying being one of the worst things.
Author of the article, The Long Lasting Effects of Yelling at Your Kids, Daniela Ginta, discussed the problems parents getting angry and yelling at children can cause. “Recent research points out that yelling makes children more aggressive, physically and verbally. Yelling in general, no matter what the context, is an expression of anger. It scares children and makes them feel insecure.” As hard it is to remain calm, we as parents must strive and try to suppress our anger and frustration or find other ways of handling our emotions rather than screaming at our children. In the long run, it’s damaging for them and will leave us parents feeling drained and feeling guilty.
To conclude, we must be careful about saying things we don’t mean. We also have to be careful about telling children something and not practicing whatever that is ourselves. And lastly, we have to be careful about how we react when children make mistakes, misbehave or make poor decisions! May Allah forgive our shortcomings and guide us in raising our children to be strong and healthy Muslims, Ameen!
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