Teach them contentment…
One of the parenting skills I learnt from my father (may Allaah have mercy on him) is how to say NO to a child’s demands even if you have everything s/he wants.
He always has a lot of pens on his table – from the cheap, generic ones to the expensive, fancy and branded ones. I always dreamt of taking one of the branded ones to school so that I could brag among my friends. But whenever I asked him to give me a pen, he would only give me Bic or Eleganza pen.
I tried to hide my discontent for many years until one day, when I finally opened up. I noticed that there was a particular pen that he has not even removed from the package for many years, so I asked him to give me.
Without a second thought, he told me that if I needed a pen, I should take the Eleganza. I can’t remember exactly everything he said, but the lesson was clear – be contented with the basic things and stop trying to impress people with things that you can’t afford.
This kind of discipline is lost nowadays even among adults. You want to use the most expensive brands… You want to flaunt the latest designer clothes and mobile phones just to show that you have arrived, even though you’ve never worked for it. You feel entitled to your parents’, sibling’s or friend’s properties but you’re too lazy to sweat for your own…
When children hear you say NO, they’re likely to ask you WHY. Don’t hesitate to explain the why of your no. Let them learn self-control by accepting your no as well as your why. That way, they won’t be tempted to steal or feel unnecessarily angry with you.