In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.
As I watched my almost 4 year old son pray at Jumuah today, I found myself reminiscing over the memories of him lying helpless on the prayer mat as I prayed beside him when he was only a few weeks old. I can’t believe it was the same kid standing beside me today.
Though the requirement to perform Salaah is only incumbent on kids at a later stage, it makes me proud to see him show such enthusiasm and respect for what is such an integral part of our faith and indeed our lives.
It might be easier to put off Salaah until kids are older, but the best habits are formed early in their childhood development, why not make Salaah one of them.
After 4 years of hands-on experience and 1 amazing wife at my side, this is what I have learnt. My 10 tips to getting your kids to pray with you…
- Pray with them, make it a habit of praying in front of them when ever possible – I started praying with my son beside me when he was a month old.
- Don’t make Salaah a chore – Allow them to witness the joy and peace you experience through Salaah.
- Play with them before/after you pray – let the prayer room/area/rug be a place of comfort for them too.
- Don’t be quick to pack up the prayer mat -leave it out for the kids to explore.
- Pray together, pray as a family – Let Salaah also becomes an activity the whole family can participate in and benefit from.
- Answer their questions, talk about Salaah and feed their curiosity – they’ll be emulating your actions in no time.
- Let them know when it’s time to pray – make room for them beside you in case they decide to join in.
- Entice them with a little kids prayer mat – make it fun and interesting.
- Visit the mosque with them – this can sometimes be tricky but I’ll leave it for another post In Sha Allah.
- Lots and lots of praise – acknowledge and praise their efforts! I recall my wife constantly questioning me about whether or not I praised our son when he prayed with me. And you can’t argue with wifey wisdom!
It’s not rocket science, but we often take these things for granted. It’s a matter of priorities and lots of patience. I need to test this strategy on our daughter now!
I pray that our children are the coolness of our eyes In Sha Allah.