Ways to Encourage Your Child to Pray!
It is simply a joy to see your children pray at any age. Solah or prayer is a great blessing of Allah and when children learn about it and are enthusiastic to follow it, parents surely feel they have achieved something big and taken care of a huge responsibility.
Unfortunately some parents are unable to get their children to learn about this great blessing due to a number of reasons. Children can be very manipulative at times and would not want to do things that are good for them.
How we bring up our young affects their personality in the future. The first few years of childhood are the only ones when parents influence their children. After that it’s the company they keep that influence them more. Getting children to learn about Solah requires hard work. Think about yourself as a kid for a moment and visualize how excited or obedient you were about offering Solah. It is a pretty natural feeling to be lazy about things that are more beneficial than anything because the benefits are intangible.
So there are a few things that can be done as parents to encourage regularity in prayers of their children.
- Be Patient: It is important to be patient about making your children understand the importance of prayer. This is a long-term job that has to be done till the results are achieved.
- Narrate the Importance: As parents and teachers of our children, we are to let them know about the importance of Solah and its benefits. Children find everything interesting that is told as a story. Instead of lecturing, try to tell them the importance of Solah through stories and incidents at the time of the Prophet SAW and how it became obligatory. Show them videos of offering Solah or of children programs that specifically target offering prayers because they learn more visually.
- Ask Them to Join: When you are getting ready to pray ask your children to join you with their prayer mat so they understand how to offer prayer and acquire regularity.
- Get An Azaan Alarm: This is one tool that has helped many. Azaan alarm clocks are great to alert everyone. So when your children will hear it they will alert you about it as well. Or you can alert them and tell them to start praying.
- Pray in Jamaah: When everyone at home offers prayer together, the children will also be encouraged to join. Whenever it is time for prayer, gather everyone by preparing their prayer mats. They will join in when they see this. Ask your son to do the Iqamah or lead the prayer.
- Allot Duties: Make your children in charge of prayer-related activities. Give them duties like calling everyone for prayer, have your daughter put prayer mats for everybody etc. Being children, they might enjoy it because they treat it as a game, or enjoy it because they feel that you trust them to do certain tasks and would want to impress you.
- Make a Chart: Make a prayer chart at home and display it at a prominent place. Put up prayer timings, the number of rakaahs and names of your kids. Monitor their regularity and tell them about it. Offer a benefit each week for regularity.
- Provide Rewards: Children are greedy for rewards. Offer them some small reward when they offer their prayer on time. This is a very encouraging idea for children. Praise them well when they offer their prayers on time.
- Get Praying Gears: In order to make them excited about it let them know that they own this responsibility. Get them praying gears like prayer mats, headcovers for girls and boys, tasbeeh counter etc. When they get ready for prayers they will be excited to use them.‘My Happy Prayer Place’ on Facebook sells these colorful and cute praying outfit and mats for boys & girls. It’s certainly visually appealing to children!
Image Source: http://on.fb.me/HieWOG
Image Source: My Happy Prayer Place Facebook
- Make Dua: Finally it is very important to pray to Allah SWT to help you in this attempt and guide your children to the right path because in the end, the strongest power lies with Him and He can instil that love of praying in anyone.
Sadaf Siddique holds a degree in Computers and a Masters in Business Administration. She is the mother of a 2-year-old boy, a part-time writer and a full-time homemaker.