Attachment Parenting

What is attachment parenting in relation to the Islamic upbringing of Muslim children?

In order to raise righteous children parents need to practice, what is known as 'Attachment Parenting' from the very beginning. Attachment Parenting, meaning that, it is the right of the children to be loved and to be treated in a loving fashion.

That begins with the breast feeding of the child, that the mother keeps the child close to her, maintains that physical contact, Allah (سبحانه وتعالا) prescribed that two years of breastfeeding, western culture went away from breastfeeding, for variety of different reasons, in the end they came back and they now tell parents, it is best for you to breastfeed and they try to promote it on a large scale. But Islam stressed it right there in the Qur'an. It is the right of the child. As long as the women is able, she is capable, then she should breastfeed them for those two years and that provides a warm beginning for the child. The child is in direct contact with the mother and that exchange, that contact is important in the psychological development of the child.

Scientifically, it is being proven that the first five years are most crucial in forming the future personality of the child. Most of the problems of teenagers come from the early period of childhood. So children need love to help stabilize their characters. And the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) stressed that one who is not merciful and loving to their children is not of us. This was his way. Of course even in those days people used to have this material kind of thing that kissing and cuddling and these types of things with children, for men, you don’t do this.

On one occasion Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) kissed one of the kids - it was Hasan or Hussain and another companion by the name of Aqra bin Habis, he saw him do this and he turned to another companion and said: I've got ten kids and I never kissed one of them and the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) turned to him and said: "One who is not merciful will not receive mercy." Islam, the way is a merciful, loving and kind way. So the guiding/directing of the children should be done in as loving a way as possible. Quality time and personal attention should be given to them.

We talked before about communication. We have to develop lines of communication with the children. It is very important. Giving them quality time, not just brief passing time, but to give them real time, for you to know them and for them to know you. Also when dealing with the children, one should know what to focus on, one should avoid being harsh, wherever something may be done through kindness, it is better to do that than through harshness. So the fourth habit is bonding with the children, developing a good solid bond of love and affection with the children. That’s going to make a big difference in their upbringing.

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