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Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, my dear brothers and sisters.
If you are a parent, then I expect you are no stranger to this typical morning scene.
“Adik, wake up. It’s time for school. Don’t forget to do Subh prayers.” (Mother walks away to get breakfast ready). Child mumbles,”Okey, mum.” 10 minutes later, Mother walks in to find child still in bed. “Eh! What are you doing in bed?? Get up, you’re going to be late for school!” (and she continues to scold the child all the way to the bathroom…).
I don’t know about you but this was a daily occurence with my boys a few years ago. Even before I got out of the house to send them to school, my stress level was fast reaching dangererous levels and I haven’t even gotten to the morning rush hour traffic yet! I knew I refused to start my day upset so I started thinking up of ways to make sure I never had to go through another stressful ‘wake-up call’ routine again.
Number one on my list was definitely fixing their bedtime at 9.00 pm. A few parents I’ve spoken to say this is too early, that their child has tuition (at night!) or they wanted to spend a bit more time with their kids before bed (then turn off the TV or come home earlier…). I found that by fixing an early bedtime, I was assured that the boys got enough sleep the next day. So, they weren’t so tired and sleepy when I woke them up.
Number two is a must for parents! Wake your child up with a du’a: ‘Assalamualaikum, Daniel. It’s time to wake up.’ in a soft and gentle way. If it is followed by a kiss or a gentle caress on the face or hair, then even better. This actually sets the tone for your child to start the day well. I’ve found my boys wake up more easily after I started greeting them with ‘Assalamualaikum’.
Number three is making sure I’ve got everything prepared beforehand. It is so easy to get riled up and stressed out trying to sort out last minute ‘Oh, no! Where’s my car keys??’ Or ‘Mummy, I don’t know where my pencil case is.’ Sounds familiar to you? I made sure that everything was organised by the time it was time to wake the boys up.
In the event your child is still rebelling in the mornings, deal with it the Sunnah way. I clearly remember one morning Daniel was particularly difficult. We were very late and I had to drag him out of bed and into the bathroom. He was struggling and whining so much, that at one point, I just snapped and was about to start screaming at him. But, Alhamdulillah, I remembered the way of our Prophet s.a.w. I said ‘A’udzu billah’ in my heart but when I realised I was still very angry with Daniel, I took a deep breath and walked away. I went into my room and sat down. I took the opportunity to calm my anger and to think my way through this problem so that it won’t ever happen again.
I went back to Daniel, held him by the shoulder and looked squarely at him in the eyes. I explained calmly and rationally to him why his behavior was inappropriate and the consequences of his behavior e.g. being late for school, being upset and angry. He understood and immediately took his shower and brushed his teeth. We never went through that scene ever again after that day, Alhamdulillah.
I learnt from this incident that it became easier for Daniel to understand and accept my explaination because he saw that I made the effort to control my anger with him by walking away and coming back calmer. It was then that I realised that we, the parents, usually discipline or correct our children when we are angry. It will not work. I did a survey with parents and EVERY single parent answered,’Yes’ to my question,’Were you angry at the time you tried to correct your child?’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The strong man is not the one who can throw another down. The strong man is the one who can keep hold of himself when he is angry.” [Bukhari and Muslim]. In another hadith, Abû Hurayrah relates that a man said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Counsel me.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Do not get angry.” The man repeated his request many times, but the Prophet (peace be upon him) kept saying: “Do not get angry.” [Bukhari]
Follow the Prophet’s s.a.w. advice. He was sent to us to correct our behavior. We are meant to improve our character through his examples. The results from following his sunnah is almost guaranteed to be successful, Insha’Allah.
As for me, I just gave Daniel a kiss. AFTER he woke up on his own and went straight to the bathroom to shower, Masya’Allah…