[Sahîh al-Bukhârî (2587) and Sahîh Muslim (1623)
Children are an Amanah and it is our duty to raise our children with love and righteous manners. Children with their tender hearts can be molded into righteous people with a positive approach. Children become what they see and hear. It is quite common for parents to become so immersed in this world that they forget the importance of the upbringing of their children. Earning for them is not the only important thing with regards to their upbringing. Raising them with love, care and giving them the attention they require is more important.
Prophet Muhammad never held back his love for the children and always expressed his fondness to them. In one hadith Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:
I went along with Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) at a time during the day but he did not talk to me and I did not talk to him until he reached the market of Banu Qainuqa`. He came back to the tent of Fatimah and said, “Is the little chap (meaning Al-Hasan) there?” We were under the impression that his mother had detained him in order to bathe him and dress him and garland him with sweet garland. Not much time had passed that he (Al-Hasan) came running until both of them embraced each other, thereupon Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “O Allah, I love him; love him and love one who loves him.” (Muslim)
To be blessed with more than one child is a great bounty from the Almighty and it is our duty to treat them all fairly. Being unfair and showing favoritism between your children can be very dangerous and could be detrimental to their healthy development. Preferential treatment between children can cause sibling rivalry
Many a times parents unknowingly are the main cause of sibling rivalry. One thing that we must refrain from doing is ‘comparing’. No two people are the same so we must never compare or praise one child’s behavior in contrast to a siblings. It unfairly puts pressure on the child you praised and devalues the other child. Comparing children creates unwanted hatred between them. When one is due praises then do praise their behavior, effort or work and let them know you appreciate it in the presence of the other children as this will allow them to see what you like and what makes you happy and it will also encourage the praised child to continue and the others to follow. Or remind them of something praiseworthy they also did. But praising one child and immediately turning to the others with saying “Why can’t you be like that?” or similar will just cause resentment. One thing I’ve noticed my husband do a couple of times when he praises the younger children for anything that they’ve done in the presence of the older child, he’d ask the older child “did you teach them?”, Which makes the older child feel a sense of pride and responsible.
We should be with our children so that each of them feel like the special one. Take out time for each child individually. We should always teach our children to share. When we buy them toys then tell them its for everyone to share so either take it turns to play or play together. Or if your buying something for your son then buy something for your daughter too so she doesn’t feel left out or jealous. We should get the older children involved in looking after the younger, it will help create a stronger bond between the siblings Insha Allah.
If any of children feel like you are being unfair, speak to them. Always explain to the children why you did what you did so they also see it and don’t keep things bottled up inside. Always encourage them to play together and get them to help each other out when they are stuck with anything. If they hurt one another, encourage them to apologies. This type of care needs to be taken from when they are still very little so it seems normal as they grow older. As the thought of favoritism comes to children’s minds as they get older. Therefore, if we put love for each other into their little hearts, it will remain there as they grow up Insha Allah.