The Persuading Parents: How to Motivate Children to do Good
By: Nisaar Nadiadwala
What motivates your child to do a good deed or to stay away from evil? Most of the parents would find this difficult to answer. Our children hear a lot from everyone that back biting is forbidden in Islam but they can’t stop themselves from indulging in it. They know the virtues of praying fardh salah in the masjid but we find very few children in the masjid. What motivates them to develop habits that are marked very high by Islam? What stops them from indulging in things that spoil their character and put their akhirah in danger?
In the world of sales, one of the key secrets that motivate customers to buy a product is the personality of the salesman and the way he deals with them without signs of irritation. Due to this, many sales people enjoy long time relations with their customers who not only buy repeatedly from them, but also promote them in their circles. No matter how good your product is, your pleasing personality will work like a magnet and speed up the deal. Sales trainers and sales training books are among the biggest money makers in the world today.
Even children love such presentations and approaches. That is why 16% of consumers of chocolates, colas, dresses and movies are children. As a parent, you are contesting with models, jingles and nicely edited videos as well as actors. It is a cut throat competition where you don’t want your child to waste time, money and akhirah over movies and other un-Islamic things. The best way is to study the manner in which they approach your child and compare it with your own style in stopping them.
Consider this: Your child is suffering from viral fever and the doctor has instructed your child not to take colas and ice creams. Observe your own method of keeping your child away from them and compare it with the advertisements that tempt him to go for colas and ice creams. It is your way of talking to them and correcting them that makes a way into their hearts and this is how they get motivated to do any good act or habit that you are directing them to.
One of the most important things that parents today need to do is break the ‘dumb wall’ that stands between them and their children. Getting irritated over silly things is one of the most common traits of bad parenting. Many parents are unable to persuade their children for more than a few minutes, but the same parents can persuade customers and seniors in their offices for hours every day. Children too need to be convinced like esteemed customers and mark my words, DON’T CONSIDER PERSUADING AS PAMPERING.
Around $ 1 billion is spent every year in America on market research. Many other governments also spend on such researches but how much is spent on the research done for children’s emotional needs? It will cost an estimated $241,080 for a middle-income couple to raise a child born last year for 18 years, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released lately. That’s up by almost 3% from 2011 and doesn’t even include the cost of college. Around 20% is spent on health problems which are caused due to junk food and junk eating habits. Very less amount is spent on mental health care or I would say ‘Emotional health care’.
One of the most pressing needs in parenting is to educate children in making proper decisions. Just like nutritive food is essential for our physical health, nutritive thoughts are also essential for our mental health. Just like we consume junk food and risk our health, similarly we consume junk thoughts and risk our mental health. Children are like customers who need to learn to think before they decide. My friend’s son wanted to buy a particular bike but his father did not yield in instantly. He asked his son to give reasons:
- Why should he buy that particular bike?
- Why not some other model?
He assured his son that if the latter could give him convincing replies, he will buy it for him. The son kept putting forth his reasons and the father kept refuting them with his own reasoning. It took one hour for the son to get his father convinced. My friend said to me: I could have bought him a bike instantly but I wanted to teach him to reason and persuade so that he does not become stubborn in demanding things.
When you try to cultivate a good habit in your children, you need to show them how it should be done and how it will benefit them. Have you noted that when you buy a new washing machine, you expect the sales person to demonstrate how it is used before you start working on it? The salesman is trained to reply to all your questions about the product. Have you ever trained yourself in replying to at least a few questions your child asks?
For example, why should she not buy a sleeveless frock even though she is young; or why should he go to the masjid for fardh prayers? The conversation may be a long one, but many ‘Daddies’ believe in imposing dictatorial orders over their children, directing them towards a good deed, hoping an instant obedience comes the moment a command is given. They are proud to be called a “Disciplinarian”. The fact is, they don’t possess the required stamina to pursue a long dialogue with their children.
Many parents lose their children’s goodwill by a single factor or many factors. It could be your short temper or a habit of backbiting. It can also be a father’s habit of hanging out with friends till late night. Children are uncorrupted till you corrupt them. Children learn from seeing, hearing and feeling things happening around them.
In quality parenting, it is the personality of parents that work on the children. One of the reasons we lose our children to spoiled friends, bad habits and bad characters is because we lose our patience, and once patience goes, we lose your temper and when we lose our temper, it takes along with it all of our goodwill. Many children take refuge in being with friends or watching a fantasy movie as a route to escape temporarily. This includes smoking, drugs, movies marathons and friends who work as pain killers for children.
We learn how to behave with customers and bosses. Why not implement the same rules upon us at our homes?
Posted on January 13, 2015, in ARTICLES and tagged akhirah, character, child, Children, danger, Education, factors, good, good habit, habits, how to motivate children to do good, instant, islam, islamic, islamiconlineuniversity, knowledge, learn, motivate, nisaar nadiadwala, obedience, parents, persuading, relations, today, wisdom. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.