There is a secret formula to successful parenting and it is called Connection before Correction.
It sounds wonderful right?
Imagine a world where you and your children sit down to discuss and agree on the solution to a problem without tears, yelling, nagging or frustration. Well, the truth is …….It is possible with the “Connection before Correction” tool because you would seek to create solutions to issues WITH your children instead of giving out punishment TO our children.
Let’s picture a common scenario in most homes:
Your child does something wrong and YOU discipline the child by either nagging, yelling, shaming, beating or any other form of punishment we think will make the child behave in the perfect way we want them to.
A friend once said that sometimes it seems being a parent is all about giving directions while all children do is disobey.
We all want to be good parents to well-behaved children.
We have it all planned out in our head about how we will bring up our children to be the perfect child.
But the reality is, some of us grew up with parents who were strict and dictatorial. Parents who gave punishment to us. Therefore, that is what we are used to.
Some of us want to bring our children up in a balanced environment where they will be corrected with love. But somehow, we usually find that we are either just as strict as our parents or way too lenient.
As Muslims, we assume that we will have it easy because we have the Qur’an and Hadith and we expect that all we have to do is try to live our lives by these rules.
In reality, it is sometimes difficult because there are lots of other factors that come into play that affect exactly how we apply the Islamic rules and etiquette to our parenting styles.
Remember Sis, you can never reach perfection during the parenting journey and you don’t need to be perfect. We grow and learn along with our children in our journey to be better parents and the only way to be a positive parent is to grow into being one. It is never too late to change and learn how to be a better parent.
- So how and where do we strike the balance?
- How do we use positive discipline tools to bring up the ideal Muslim child who will be of value to himself, his parents, the society in this world and the hereafter?
- How can we promote good behaviour and peaceful home without becoming harsh drill sergeants on the one hand or passive pushovers on the other?
Using the Positive Discipline Tool “Connection before Correction” works perfectly with the teachings of Islam because Islam emphasizes the importance of respect and empathy in relationships.
Research has also shown that the best way to positively influence children is to create a connection with them. When you connect with them, you will create a sense of safety and openness.
We all know that punishment, lecturing, nagging, scolding, blaming or shaming do not give us the desired result. The truth is, naturally, children resist to see if they can get away with something [they won’t be children if they are not curious and a little defiant.
However, if you have established a connection with them that shows that you respect them and you are willing to find solutions with them, they will be less secretive and more willing to make things work because they are understood.
We should remember to be gentle and kind when interacting with and when correcting our children. When we speak in a calm and respectful way to a child, they are more inclined to want to please.
Connecting with children should not be seen as a sign of weakness, on the contrary, it lets them know that you are indeed in control—not only of the situation but also your emotions.
It is important to note that “Correction” in the Positive Discipline way is very different from conventional correction. While conventional correction usually involves punishment, i.e, doing something TO children.
Positive Discipline correction involves respectfully finding solutions to problems WITH them.
Here are the steps to establishing a connection with your children.
- Spend special time with children. The best way to foster a connection with your children is to spend time with them. Children love knowing that they matter to you and the best way to show them is to devote time and attention to them. Spend 10 to 30 minutes bonding and getting to know about them.
- Listen to your children. Drop your phone, stop what you are doing and really pay attention to what your child has to say.
- Validate your child’s feelings. Try to understand their point of view. Don’t we all feel connected when we feel understood?
- Share your feelings and thoughts when appropriate. Talk to them and share your feelings and opinions. Tell them something about yourself.
- Focus on solutions WITH children after a cooling off period. There is that word “with” again–because it is a golden bridge to connection.
- Ask curiosity questions to help children explore the consequences of their choices instead of imposing consequences on them. Sincere questions open the heart and the rational brain—equaling connection.
- Hugs. There are times when all of us need nothing more than a hug. A hug envelopes a child and makes her feel loved and protected.
Children will be open to respectful, long-lasting correction once the connection is made. This method is not a one-off thing. It something that will be done consistently and made part of your routine. You cannot form a connection this week and be the harsh disciplinarian next week.
As mothers, we have a very great responsibility when it comes to raising our children. We are their primary and first source of guidance and if we do our part well with the guidance of Allah, the chances of children growing up to be the best they can in this world and inhabitants of the next increases substantially.
May Allah perfect all that concerns you and your family Sis. Ameen
I hope you have learnt something. If yes, would you like to join me in the Parenting for Jannah Academy? You should join the waitlist HERE to be notified when next we are open.