Effective communication is key to a healthy relationship, as lack of communication or poor communication skills can cause misunderstandings in any kind of relationship. Parent-child relationship is a gift from Allah ﷻ, but raising pious and obedient children is a task that requires dedication, sincerity, love, and good communication among other things. Communicating with children may look like an easy job, but it is harder than expected. Every child is different from the other. One has to talk to them keeping in mind their individual personalities. But some rules of effective communication are applicable for all children, at different ages, cultures, ethnicities etc. Given below are a few important aspects parents need to learn to develop a healthy communication channel with their children.
Be polite with your children
An important factor in establishing a good relationship with children is being kind and polite with them. Parents should take note from the character of Prophet Mohammad ﷺ and smile more often while talking to their children. This would create an environment of ease and comfort for the children, and they would feel loved and at ease while talking to their parents. When children have a respectful comfort level with their parents, they can talk to them about anything that happens in their life without keeping secrets from them. A rude or angry parent would instill fear and aversion in the hearts of their children, thereby causing a distance in their relationship.
Shouting or raising the voice at children can have a harmful impact on their personality and mindset. It is extremely important that parents maintain a soft and respectful tone while talking to them. Often, parents shout at their children to discipline them or get their point across, but this should not be used as a resort. We know our beloved Prophet Mohammad ﷺ never shouted at anyone, even in extremely intense situations. Taking note of this, parents should not shout at their children either. Instead, parents should use more impactful words in a neutral tone to put across their point. High-pitched conversations don’t have a fruitful result; the children, if young, will get scared of the parent and not understand the point of the conversation, or if teenagers, would develop a sense of bitterness in their heart for their parents. So, talking politely and respectfully is a very strong determining factor in creating a healthy parent-child communication channel.
Make them feel loved
Often, parents get so caught up in their worldly responsibilities that they neglect their children. Providing children good quality education, catering to their day-to-day needs and desires are not the only things required from a good parent. To have a healthy communication with children, parents need to ensure that they feel loved. This should start from a young age. It is important that parents tell their children how much they love them. Words alone are not enough to make children feel loved; it is vital that parents express their love for them physically too. They should hug, pat and kiss their children from time to time to make them feel the love and warmth that they have for them.
On studying the Seerah of Prophet Mohammad ﷺ, we get to know how much he loved kids. In a Hadith narrated by the Mother of all Believers, Ayesha (RA); we get to know that when a bedouin came to the Prophet ﷺ and told him that he and his people didn’t kiss their children, the Prophet ﷺ said to him,
“What can I do if Allah has taken away mercy from you?”(Sunan Ibn Majah, 3665)
This Hadith is a clear indication that expressing love for children by kissing them is encouraged in Islam, and we know that every Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ is beneficial for us. So, it is highly encouraged to play around and spend quality time with children and talk to them about their feelings and emotions. This strengthens the bond between parents and children, thereby developing more love and respect for each other.
Listen to them attentively
Often times, parents rebuke their children for speaking too much or asking too many questions. This is wrong. Parents are the first teachers of their children, they look upto their parents as problem solvers. While it may not always be easy to have answers to all their questions or solutions to their problems, it is very important to listen to what they have to say and then work upon a solution or find an answer along with them. This will enable the children to have confidence in their parents, and trust them with their problems.
Spend time with them
Parenting is a full-time job, which requires complete focus and attention. In today’s world, where everyone is busy with their work and personal lives, children often get neglected. It is vital that parents spend quality time with their children, especially when they enter their teen age. This can be done by helping them with work or taking their help in household chores or the like. This will serve a dual purpose. Children will feel confident and responsible when parents take their help for their work; and this would also create an easy channel of communication between them.
At times, parents scold their children and rebuke them for interfering in their work, when in fact, they should encourage their interest and involvement in their parent’s life and work. Even if they cause hindrance, parents should deal with them in a wise manner. They should keep the children occupied in some productive work that would make them feel responsible. Similarly, parents should help their children with their work, and indulge in activities that would enable them to spend time together.
An example of spending time and working together can be found in the history of Islam. Ibrahim (AS) built the House of Allah ﷻ with the help of his son Ismail (AS). If a Prophet, who was assigned such a magnanimous task by Allah ﷻ can take help from his child, then parents nowadays should also do the same and encourage their children to help them with whatever they can as this will open doors for effective communication between them.
So many young kids nowadays suffer from depression and loneliness. They feel apprehensive to talk to their parents about their feelings, and end up bottling them within themselves. Sometimes children even disrespect their parents, or worse, they end up using drugs and committing suicide. All of this can be prevented with an effective communication from a young age. Parents need to start creating an effective and harmonious communication channel with their children from a very early age, if they do not want to regret later in life.
May Allah ﷻ make this article beneficial for all.
Written by: Iram Atiqulla
Edited by: The Editorial Team
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