The Muslim Child’s Temper Tamer
By Grandma Jeddah
Do you have one of those hard-to-manage kids? I mean the really challenging ones. Like the four-year-old who stops drops and rolls when you don’t give him a second serving of cookies. Or the nine-year-old who shouts and stomps through the house like Paul Bunyan through the forest when you tell him he can’t get on the computer because he left his homework at school.
What is a mother to do when she sees her child is completely on another planet as far as controlling himself is concerned? And listening to your requests during these emotional outbursts—well . . . let’s not go there.
But, no---really. What do you do when you have a child that is prone to temper tantrums? Well, Grandma Jeddah has eight successful tips on how to tame your child’s temper.
The first tip is to make sure you are a good example of how to deal appropriately with anger. Ohhhhh. . . booooy, you might be saying to yourself cynically. But hey, that’s where it starts—with you. Now that’s not to say that all children who lack self-control have parents who throw tantrums. What this means is that you are your child’s primary teacher. They are dependent upon you to show them how to behave. One of the best ways people learn is by imitating others. This is where your example becomes extremely important.
Your Interactions with Your Child
One of the key times that your child observes your behavior is when you are interacting with her. When Jamillah has a rude response to everything you have to say to her, how do you handle her disrespectful behavior? Do you shout back at her, spitting out hurtful words? Maybe you lash out at her, smacking her a few times on her face and head to let her know who’s really in charge. Or perhaps you slam the door as you retreat to your room after a verbal battle with your daughter.
If your child observes you behaving in such ways when you are upset, she will view these behaviors as acceptable responses during her own periods of rage. Keep this important point in mind when you’re irritated and interacting with your child. Consciously think to yourself, I am my child’s example.
Disputes with Husband and Wife
You probably already know the next occasion I’m about to bring up. Yep, that’s right. . . your interactions with your spouse. This is one of those interactions that your children have a heightened alertness with. During situations when you and your husband are having differences, how do you handle your disagreements? Do you fly off the handle venting out abusive words to your husband? It’s not unheard of for wives to be on the aggressive end physically, either. Be aware that your children obey your every action, as the saying goes.
If you find that you have a problem controlling your own emotions when you’re upset, take steps to work on this issue. Being patient during troubling times is not something that can be feigned. This is a quality that comes with practice and fear of Allah. Perhaps you can search the internet for information on anger management. There’s loads of it out there. Plenty of books from the library or bookstore have information on the subject, as well. You can also enroll in an anger management class. Look them up online for your area.
Inspiration from Quran
Listen to lectures on the rewards and benefits of being patient. There are numerous ayat in Quran extolling the benefits of being patient:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اصْبِرُواْ وَصَابِرُواْ وَرَابِطُواْ وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
Ø You who believe! Endure and be more patient . . .” (3:200)
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ
Ø "And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirun (the patient)". (2:155)
وَلَمَن صَبَرَ وَغَفَرَ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ لَمِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ
Another way to help yourself become more patient is to frequently intermingle with sisters or family members who are known for exhibiting self-control when experiencing difficulties. By interacting with these types of people, you will pick up their good habits, insha’Allah.
Remember what the Prophet, (saw) said about how to protect yourself from becoming angry: In his Musnad, Al-Hafiz Abu Ya`la Ahmad bin `Ali bin Al-Muthanna Al-Mawsili reported that Ubayy bin Ka`b said, "Two men disputed with each other in the presence of the Messenger of Allah and the nose of one of them became swollen because of extreme anger. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said,
(I know of some words that if he said them, what he feels will go away, 'I seek refuge with Allah from the cursed Satan.')''
Along with the above words, remember in general to ask Allah to help you to get better at being patient. For Allah is the one who grants patience to whom He wants.
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: The Prophet (saw) said, “. . . Allah will give him patience, and no one is granted a gift better and more comprehensive than patience . . . ."
This article is an extract from the e-Book Discipline without Disrespecting: 8 Tips to Taming Your Muslim Child’s Temper by: Grandma Jeddah. To download this free e-Book in its entirety, please visit www.grandmajeddah.com.
Grandma Jeddah is a teacher of over 30 years and mother of 11 children. She’s also the author of Discipline without Disrespecting: Discover the Hidden Secrets of How to Effectively Discipline Your Muslim Child-- And Keep Your Peace of Mind While at It. To order her e-book or subscribe to her free newsletter, go to: www.grandmajeddah.com