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Some time ago, our masjid had a giveaway after Jumuah.  Used toys from an assortment of huge, bulging bags were set out on tables in front of the masjid for any girl or boy to browse through.  My children selected a Chinese checkers game, a pottery wheel with clay, markers and crayons, and a host of other colorful and fun looking toys. This was truly a blessing—a collection of free “new” toys in a matter of minutes. Over the next few days, we had a wonderful time playing with the newly found treasures.

Participating in pleasurable activities with your children is an important aspect of raising them. It helps you to bond with them, and it can also help prevent some forms of misbehavior. Children are little creatures that thrive on attention.  If they don’t get your notice through positive interactions, they will seek it in negative ways. 

Here’s a scenario: Your 11-year-old son Fahad grabs his 5-year-old brother around the chest and wrestles him to the floor beside your bed while you’re relaxing, enthralled in an interesting book.  Well, he’s certainly grabbed your attention now! A good five-minutes or so of it . . . “You know better than that,” and “Why did you hit him?” and “I told you about hitting him?” With all of the shouting, scolding and threats he’s now receiving, you would think young Fahad would run for cover. Not a chance.

You fed right into his plan.  Your son may not intentionally be aware of how calculating his actions are.  What he does know is he wants your attention, and making his brother cry out in shrieks is sure to get it.

To prevent inappropriate attention seeking behavior, parents must be proactive. Ensure that you set aside a certain amount of time for your children to receive 1-on-1 personal attention from you. This can be done on a daily basis, even if you have a large number of children, believe it or not.  Here are a few ways to give your children their own personal time with Mom:

  1. Face your child and look him directly in the eyes when he comes to talk with you. This let’s your child know that you have an interest in him. You’ve stopped the important work that you were doing solely because you want to hear and understand what he has to say.
  1. Tell your child you love him. Being told you are loved can create a warm, tingly feeling that rushes through your body and just feels good. According to hadith the Prophet SAWS said:

“If a man loves his brother in faith, he should tell him that he loves him” (Abu Dawud).

  1. Kiss and hug your child. Who doesn’t need a warm, snuggly hug every now and then to help push you along throughout the day?  It has been narrated that Prophet MuhammadSAWS hugged his grandsons Hassan and Hussein.  In fact, when a man in the presence of The Prophet’s SAWS saw this act of affection, he informed The Prophet SAWS that he’d never kissed any of his 10 children.  The Prophet’s SAWS response was: “Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully.” 1
  1. Play fun games with your child. Even a simple game such as tic-tac-toe can be a form of entertainment for your 5 or 6-year old.  How about pulling out a quick and simple puzzle from under the bed and putting the pieces together.  What about that deck of cards that has been sitting on the shelf for months? Line the cards up face down on the floor and play matching game.  The last two games can be played with one child or more.  Often times, the more the merrier.

          According to reports, The Prophet SAWS allowed children around him to play and simply be children:

The daughter of Khalid ibn Said narrates: “I went to Allah’s Messenger SAWS with my father and I was wearing a yellow shirt. Allah’s Messenger SAWS said, “Sanah, Sanah!” I then started playing with the seal of prophethood (between the Prophet’s shoulders) and my father rebuked me harshly for that. Allah’s Messenger SAWS said, “Leave her.” and then Allah’s Messenger SAWS (invoked Allah to grant me a long life) thrice.” 2

  1. Take one child with you on your next outing to the store and leave the others with Dad. While you’re in the store, listen attentively as your child talks about what he sees all around, what foods he likes to eat and the like. Answer his questions with enthusiasm and interest. This is his special time with Mom.

Finding personal time to give to your child can sometimes be a challenge.  This is even more so when you have a large number of children.  With a little bit of planning and effort, you can work the time in, insha’Allah—a bedtime story with one child on your lap, a bubble bath with toys to squirt and splash or a review of your older child’s homework to find out how things are going in school, always remember to fill up your child’s “attention” bank–so he won’t have to dig into his “attention seeking” reserves. 

Please share your thoughts about this article in the comments section below. 🙂

  1.   Al-Bukhari
  2.   Al-Bukhari



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14 Responses

  1. shaaie@yahoo.co.in'

    Assalam u aly kum…! Jazakallahu khair fr such a winderful n informative article…hopefully inshaaAllah ur such positively parenting tips will help me in maintaining my bond vd my 5 n 3 yrs kids…thanx fr sharing…may Allah reward u d best…

  2. Pingback : 5 Easy Discipline Methods You Can Bank On | ۩ DailyHadith+™ ۩

  3. Raschel16@hotmail.com'

    JazakumAllah khairan. Beautiful article that I knew and still didn’t do it! But I challenge myself to start doing it tomorrow!!!!

  4. Wa Alaikum Salam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatu Sister Shaista. Thank you and Jazakalakhair for your kind words. May Allah The Most High reward you and bless you with success in your efforts.
    Your Sister in Islam,
    Grandma Jeddah

  5. saeedshaibu@gmail.com'
    Saeed Shaibu

    Sheikh may Allah bless you in multiples, in fact this piece will do a lot of good especially in Africa, where majority of children can’t get attention from their parents (especially fathers) .

    1. Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatu Sister Maimina,
      Alhamdullilah, I’m happy to know you benefited from the article. May Allah bless you with much success in your efforts.

      Your Sister in Islam,
      Grandma Jeddah

  6. speakto.shahriar@gmail.com'
    Shahriar mahbub

    this is very helpful guide line for parents..thank you and may Allah guide you to guide us. if i have some other personal question then how could i seek your help??

  7. Sh_image@hotmail.com'

    Thank you for these nice tips
    It’s kind of hard to get time if you are a working mother but this article made me realize how important it is to give your full attention to your children.
    I’ll try to follow your advise and suggestions


  8. Pingback : The Boy who Barked - IOU Blog

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