Nurturing Eeman in Children
When we nurture a strong eeman in our children, we cultivate within them the ability to distinguish right from wrong. This relationship and ability to discern will then lead them to choose the lawful in each and every circumstance. This choice will be made regardless of the pressure to act otherwise.
It is for this reason that a child who has developed eeman and piety will make the job of parenting easier one. The choices that a child makes will come from within, with love and fear of Allah, rather than having to be imposed externally.
Nurturing Eeman in children by Dr Aisha Hamdan, page 34-35
As a teacher with strong belief in character building taking precedence over academics, I strongly agree with Dr Aisha’s approach.
While I do appreciate when teachers strive to create reward systems to motivate good behaviour and academic performance in children, backed up by modern psychological principles, I dispute the practice to an extent because behaviour being nurtured tends to have a temporary effect on the child. Reading an excerpt from page 35, Dr. Aisha mentions that while such techniques may be useful at times, they should not be the foundation of parenting/ modelling/teaching.
She mentions that the focus for a child with a strong Eeman will be to seek the pleasure of Allah with the profound realization that these are greater than any material or social reward that can be gained in this life.
I’d like to add a thought to second her by mentioning that it is evident in our schools, homes and society at large that our upcoming youth are driven by material gain rather than self-discipline, sincerity and integrity.