Home > Blog > 5 Common Discipline Mistakes Parents Make

We can all probably spurt out a list of mistakes our parents made with us when we were young. For some reason, faults are often more memorable and vivid than the numerous sacrifices our parents made for us. Even though as parents we will make mistakes now and then when raising our children, it’s helpful to know which mistakes we should try to avoid when trying to raise them up to be good Muslims. Here are 5 discipline mistakes to avoid when directing your child toward proper behavior.

  1. Getting enraged when disciplining.

One of the biggest mistakes parents make when disciplining their children is getting enraged when correcting them. Expressing your rage when disciplining your child is problematic for several reasons. First, it directs your child’s attention away from his mistake and causes him to focus on your wrath instead. The object of discipline is to guide your child towards proper behavior for both short term as well as long term period. If your child is more worried about how you will react in your anger rather than what he did that was wrong, he is unlikely to benefit from your counsel or choice of discipline. Rather, he will become irritated himself and resentful. This doesn’t mean the child won’t comply in the short term. To the contrary, many children respond to an angry parent. What it does mean is that the lesson you are trying to teach may not sink in.  It might even get completely lost depending on the extent of the anger shown. When disciplining, you want your child to behave not only immediately, but even when you’re not around, as well. Responding to your child’s misbehavior with shouting and aggression does not help him learn to self-manage his behavior. It merely teaches him how to respond to you when you’re angry.

The second problem with expressing anger when correcting your child is that it provides the opportunity to be excessive when punishing. This can lead to abusing your child. Often times, when a parent is angry, she vents the anger onto her child. She does this by using hurtful words or by correcting with excessive and harsh smacking. To effectively discipline your child, try your best to avoid correcting them when angry.

According to hadith, The prophet SAWS has said: Whoso suppresses his rage, while he has the power to show himself, God will call on him on the day of resurrection before all creation, and reward him exceedingly. 1

  1. Comparing Children

One of the least effective ways of achieving compliance from your child is by comparing him to his brother or sister. “Hason always does his homework, why don’t you ever do yours, Jamal?

The problem with comparing your children is that rather than causing the child to want to comply, it makes him resentful of the other child and you. Sibling rivalry is common between children. There are many factors which contribute to such quarrelsome behavior. Comparing children to one another can accelerate disagreements between siblings, which only contributes to additional discipline problems in the household.

Instead of comparing children, a better method would be to reward and complement the child when he performs as desired. This is more likely to cause the child to repeat the desirable behavior.

  1. Do as I say, not as I do.

Demanding of your children what you do not do yourself is bound to result in failure. Parents are children’s first role models. Even older children who model after their peers, continue to look up to their parents for exemplar behavior. “If Mom isn’t making Fajr regularly, why does she expect me to make salat on time?” your child might ponder.  Being a parent is an enormous responsibility. An important part of parenting is being the type of person that you encourage your child to become.

Of course no parent is flawless. And this is okay. In fact, periods of failure can be a learning experience for your child. Let your child see you take responsibility for your errors—apologize to others in your family when you know you’ve treated them improperly. This will give your child an example of the proper way to correct his mistakes with family and friends. 13Nov2015 -Blog Post-Inside poster -5 Common Discipline Mistakes

  1. Not respecting your child

As Muslims, we have an engrained understanding that children should obey their parents. Allah SWT tells us in Quran about being kind to our parents. The Prophet Muhammad SAWShas instructed us to be especially kind to our mother. A child who is not respectful to his parents is certainly behaving in a way that is contrary to our religion.  But not only should children be obedient and kind to their parents . . . parents should also be kind to their children.

When interacting with our children and even when correcting them, we should remember to be gentle and kind with them. People are more inclined to pleasing those they have a positive relationship with. Speaking in a calm, respectful tone to your child does not convey a sign of weakness. To the contrary, it let’s them know that you are indeed in control—not only of the situation but also your emotions.

  1. Expecting perfection

Often, when we catch our child misbehaving, we wonder why he’s acting in such an unpleasant way. We must remember that none of us is perfect. We aren’t, and neither are our children. It can be helpful to remember that we want AllahSWT to be merciful and patient with us when we make mistakes. We should try to enact these same virtues when managing our children. When we accept the fact that our children will err and disappoint us at times, this helps us accept them as fallible humans and not view them as simply bad children. We are here to guide our children to be God fearing Muslims, but they have their own mind, desires, and temperament–it’s not easy to avoid sneaking into the cookie jar for one more of Mom’s delicious chocolate chip cookies.

Patience should be our motto when disciplining our children. This will help us accept those disappointing times when our children don’t live up to our expectations. It will also help us become a more superior parent to help us avoid the 5 common discipline mistakes parents make.

Please share your tips/suggestions about this topic in the comments section below. 🙂

  1.   Tirmidhi



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67 Responses

    1. murtgarb2009@yahoo.com'
      Muhammad Murtala Garba

      In Shaa Allaah I will take to some of the steps, that is, not to compare among the children and to give gifts from time to time for good deeds.Alhamdulillaah.

  1. Pingback : 5 Common Discipline Mistakes Parents Make – IOU Blog | kokicat222

    1. meemn@gmail.com'

      Same here.. my parents did all these.. i hv such vivid memory of these that i dont even remember any pleasent childhood memories with them although i know there must be some.. im filled with resentment and im now 28 with a son, i really hope i dont do the same mistakes my parents made and hope raise my child lovingly and leave many wonderful memories for them.. amin..

  2. abukash@live.com'

    jazakallahu kheiran, i realy loved this article and hope it will help me raise my kids better and i’m glad that i can say i got this advice at the proper time because my kids todlers and infants now ALHAMDULILLAH

  3. rosidah.nordin@gmail.com'

    Assalamualaikum Grandma Jeddah. Wish I had read your article long time ago when my son n daughters were still small. They have turned out quite well behaved, Alhamdulillah, just a little lazy sometimes especially in helping with housework. Guess they were used to having a maid who did all that. Any advice how I can change that behaviour? Jazakillahu khairan kathira.

  4. lonemichael9@gmail.com'

    May Allah Reward you for this valuable information ameen,By these valuable things we can make our life better and joyful.even i am not married yet,But after married i will Try my best to apply all these things and make life better inshallah,And i will spread this Message Around my all corners.May Allaj Bless you and all us ameen.

  5. ireland760@yahoo.com'
    Ibrahim Ahmad Mairiga

    Actually I’m impressed with this lesson and I urge this forum to continue with its good tips to help our muslim umma in their cause of children upbringing. And I want U to pray for me,cause I’m getting marriage by february in sha Allah, I want to have a devoted childre

  6. manjukabir@yahoo.com'
    Kabiru Manju

    Those are very useful tips. But I think it’s important also that we not become too much engrossed in showing understanding and mercy, sometimes parents need to be stern and apply the carot approach where appropriate, lest the child(ten) takes important things for granted. Jazakh Allah khair. May Allah bless you and us the more.

  7. sharif0307seu@gmail.com'

    As-Salamu Alaikum Dr. Bilal Philips, thanks a lot for brining a very important issue today. I strongly believe that: our parents shout figure out the utmost outcome of their mistakes and effects on their children…I have done my Master degree but still scared for exam since my Father pushed me to do nothing but the BEST…!!

  8. Shaimpbt03.ss@gmail.com'
    Shaim Siddiaue

    I did’nt have any of those good behaves from my parents. I will ensure that my children does not get any of those mistakes from me or my future wife. we will ensure those solution. Insha Allah..

  9. sadia_2s@yahoo.com'

    Telling growing children to do as parents say without telling them logic or reason. Hence enclosing child’s mind in a box of accepting every thing every idea custom from every one without knowing its crediblity and justification. This becomes part of their personality for their whole life.
    2. parents always want for their children what they feel is best for children but Give some room to your children by letting them take decisions of their life. Matters can b trivial or important according ti their age. Trial n error n failure r also essential part of learning life. This gives them confidence and ability of taking responsibility of their own life.

  10. farysal@gmail.com'
    Farida Ahmed Salim

    Mashallah, this is a very educative article. The present day parent is faced with serious challenges in bringing up children. Keep educating parents. It will go along way to bringing up responsible children.

  11. fouziatabassum12@Gmail.com'

    Jazak Allah! These tips are really beneficial for parents. V often do these mistakes without realizing. When v realize and get conscious v can correct ourselves. Thanks Grandma ?

  12. cns.cs309@yahoo.com'
    Nurul S

    May Allah swt grant me and husband with patience and calm in handling our first child. He’s becoming more clingy and throwing his tantrum almost everyday ever since he knows that his brother is arrive soon… thanks Dr. for the useful advise.

  13. drahmanroyhaila@yahoo.com.my'

    Thank you for the wonderful advice..as we tend to put our anger upfront when we punished our children..and sometimes they even don’t know yet that it was a mistake. Alhamdulillah..may these can help us to raise the future khalifah on this planet. May Allah blesses all the ummah who bring others to the path which Allah swt blesses..Amiin ya rabbal alamin.

  14. topecadry001@yahoo.com'
    Tope Sarumi

    Jazakumlahi khairan. May Allah increase you and give us the wisdom to deal with the situation. Walahi, most times we forget to be patient with them cos of the stress we under go daily, but with Allah’s assistance, we can achieve this. May Allah be sufficient for us all. Amin.

  15. Munagaataa@gmail.com'
    Muna Abdullah jama

    Jazak allahu khair shekh . Even though I haven’t got married yet. But like read books and articles about marriage and how to behave the child and how to learn his Deem. Furthermore i also read your advice your post really they are useful for me. May allah give every Muslim youth good wife / husband ameen

  16. R.nizamani@hotmail.com'

    I cant bring myself to even read this topic. Living with my inlaws under their roof their environment i fail to even be a mother.. Two toddlers both call their grandparents mum and dad and call me by my first name. I didnt even get the chance to make these mistake let alone correct them.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your discontent, Sister. May Allah The Most High bless your children to cherish you as their mother, nevertheless, and bless good to come from the situation in which you all lived.

  17. arkayde1@gmail.com'

    jazakumulah hairan
    Walahi, you’ve have said it and I pray Almighty Allah will let our parents take to it because it will help build our main and purposeful life!
    May Almighty Allah make us take to it wen we become one too

  18. shaly.sakay@gmail.com'

    As salam…thanks for the valueable articles really makes me wake up about how am i teaching my children..may Allah bless you…thank you very much for wake me up with this useful articles 🙂

  19. maham_913@yahoo.com'

    Nice information…. every parent should have the knowledge about our Prophet’s PBUH teaching, … My Allah give us ability to groom our child according to Islam’s teaching… ameen

  20. Pingback : 5 Dicipline Mistakes | Frauen und Islam

  21. qamerana96@hotmail.com'

    Very true,most parents including me ,do these mistakes though I would like to add that when we give examples of a Good Kids we are not comparing but to give them as a guide ,roll model or a good example to follow, not in a sense that they are better than you Instead that you can do a Good Job like them or even better. Also true we set the Bar high but not punish them if they can not achieve that goal

  22. Serish1020@gmail.com'

    You have mentioned parents should be kind but what if they are unkind for little reasons and hurt the children for little mistakes or what they consider as mistakes … hardcore hitting? Will Allah not ask them? Because ive gone through it and i can never think of being so harsh with mine ever after what I’ve been through. Or if the step parent is being harsh and mother doesn’t do anything? Have they got a right to hit us?

    1. Assalamu Alaikum Sister Serish, I am sorry for any injustice you may have experienced as a child from your care givers. May Allah bless your experiences to be a means of your own children being raised in a merciful environment.

      In general, the Prophet (saw) was very kind and gentle to his own children, grand children, and the children around him, according hadith. He, himself (saw) even had step children. You can find more detailed information on hadith related to disciplining children and what some of the major scholars’ opinions are related to hitting children (if at all) and to what extent, insha’Allah my e-book “How to Discipline Children the Islamic Way” http://shop.grandmajeddah.com/How-to-Discipline-Children-the-Islamic-Way-Video-e-Book-129.htm

  23. Fathimaslam94@Gmail.com'
    Summaiya aslam

    Assalamualikum rehmathullahi wo barkatuhu dear brother JazaakAllahu khairah for ur advice. …I always do the first thing as you have said get angry at them for their mistakes an shout….my behaviour is seen an what mistake they did ‘ll never be seen….an I am always wrong in their eyes. …plz pray for me
    …..I too ‘ll try my best to control myself ….INSHAALLAH.

    1. Wa Alaikum Salam Sister Summaiya, you are doing the right thing in asking Allah The Most High to bless you to become more patient. He is the One who grants patience. May He bless you to have more patience when managing your children.

      You might be interested in my e-book Reaching Patience: A Muslim Mother’s Guide to Self-Control When Disciplining.

  24. Nidonaheed@gmail.com'

    JazakAllah dear sister….i m doing the same mistakes which u have mention.plz pray for me that i can overcome these problems.as i m v short tempered.

  25. farahsnhb@hotmail.com'
    Farah Ayaz

    I’ve always had and have a troubled relationship with my father. Unpleasant to even bring it up now but I’m Alhamdulillah a mother of two myself and I’m glad to be getting to read informative islamic articles from time to time. My kids are too young, a toddler and an infant so the right time to learn and get myself educated of their upbringing. May Allah give me all that it takes to be a good, useful mother, Ameen!

  26. azkanazeer@ymail.com'

    I read this before…and i tried to change myself…again I forgot….but now I am taking a strong decision to be patient when correcting my daughter..jezakallah grandma Jeddah

  27. maryam_sharaf@hotmail.com'

    Assalam aleykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu,
    The tips are very informative. Thank you for guiding us the correct way to deal with our children. Jazakillahu kheiran

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