How to Inspire Our Children to Gain Knowledge

by Shumaila Mahmood

Children are a product of our society and the most valuable asset of our future. We, as adults, greatly influence how a child feels and behaves. We have the power to motivate and inspire them. We need to create a positive image about learning about our deen. The only way to achieve this is by leading by example. As a parent, you will have very little impact on your child’s want to learn if you do not make the effort to do the same.

The key to motivating your child in learning about the deen is to make it fun, get them interested and put in the effort. For all you Productive Muslims out there I have come up with a few practical ideas on how to achieve this. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but simply a starting point to get you all started. Use Ramadaan as an opportunity to create the thirst for knowledge in your children insha Allah.

Step 1: Check your intention: 

Ask yourself ‘why am I doing this?’ Every journey we decide to embark upon must be for the sake of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). This will help you to stay focused and will earn you reward, inshaAllah.

Step 2: Make dua: 

Ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to help you succeed in teaching your children.

Step 3: Plan, plan, plan: 

Make a list of the things you would like to teach your child. Make this as detailed as you can. This is to help you realise how much there is to cover. The purpose here is not to get overwhelmed but to help you plan. If there are topics that you feel you do not have sufficient knowledge in, use this as motivation to seek this knowledge for yourself first. Get the help of others, this will provide others with the opportunity to gain reward.

Step 4: Choose one item for each day: 

Plan out how you will cover the topics over the course of the month. Yes, challenge yourself, but remember you cannot possibly cover it all in just 1 month. The idea is that you want to make this a part of your life.

Step 5: Take action: 

For each item on your list, plan how you will teach it to your child. Identify resources or people you may require well in advance. Start now. Do not procrastinate!

Step 6: Get your child involved: 

Create a large colourful calendar where you can add things to. Make it colourful, and have a system where your child can tick things off.

Step 7: Make it fun:

 Use games to make it fun. For example, if you are getting your child to memorise some of the 99 names of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), you could create a matching pairs game and set up a competition between different members of your family.

Step 8: Make it interactive: 

The more your child engages with the content, the more likely they are to remember and learn the information. Use a variety of activities to teach a particular topic. We all learn in different ways so build this into your activities. For example include reading, writing, moving around. Just ensure the activities are engaging. Get others involved, invite friends/ family over to help you achieve this. Remember: for this to be successful, you must stick to a plan otherwise it will simply result in a social gathering and you will not have achieved your goal.

Step 9: Build a reward system: 

This could include rewarding your child with certificates, a day trip etc. Make sure that the focus does not shift to the reward rather than acquiring knowledge, You want to build the desire to want to seek knowledge in your child, rather than focusing on getting a new game for their X-box.

Step 10: Always review progress: 

Get your child to provide feedback on how they are finding the process or your technique. For example, you can use the ‘2 star and wish’ approach we often use in schools. At the end of each day give your child a card. The 2 star category represents 2 things they liked about the activity and the wish represents what they want more of or anything they would like to try. A nice idea could be to get everyone in your household to fill one out and put it in a secret ballot box. At the end of the day when you are reviewing your day’s progress, read the comments and take them on board for the next day or the near future.

This article was originally published by ProductiveMuslim: http://productivemuslim.com/inspire-children-to-gain-knowledge/

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