Children and personality

July 26, 2007 - 0:0

One of the most important gifts bestowed on mankind by God is the ability to love oneself.

A major aspect of child-rearing is instilling a sense of self-love in the young person. If the child is brought up wisely then this correct training will be the source of happiness, but if on the contrary guidance is poor or incorrect disasters may ensue. Parents must treat children with dignity and respect in order for them to grow up with a sense of self-respect. If a child is not respected by his parents, he will feel degraded and dishonored, he will be upset and depressed, and such a child will be in danger of deviating from the right path and will face various dangers in life. Thus we can say that the most basic element in the training of a child is that he is respected within the home. We must add that it is also the religious duty of all adults to treat children with dignity and kindness. Training of a child must start from birth as this is the time when the personality of the child begins to form. One cannot expect a child who has been degraded in family life to have good traits of character, on the contrary, he will not have self-confidence and will be unable to remold his own personality. One of the ways in which humans pay respect to each other is by greeting. There are different words and phrases in every country which are used for greeting and well-wishing. An older individual should reply warmly when a young person greets him so that the child feels respected. If a child’s greeting is ignored, he will feel degraded and upset. Greeting children has two psychological effects: firstly, it reinforces modesty in the greeter, and secondly it becomes a means for boosting the confidence and independence of the child. A child who receives a greeting from an older individual learns to believe in himself and feels that he is of importance to society. ------ Effects of kindness and humiliation on a child’s personality----- A child that is humiliated by others loses his dignity and confidence and becomes a danger to society. He may commit crimes and be capable of every type of misconduct. Unfortunately some people do not pay much attention to the fact that children are sensitive and vulnerable and they insult them in all sorts of ways. For example, they do not give a younger child as much respect as others at family gatherings. At mealtimes some people treat a child differently than the other individuals present. Some parents don’t even buy tickets for their child when going on trips – this will make the child feel that he is not worthy of a ticket and so he will not feel happy and independent, especially if he sees a youngster like himself in the bus who has a seat of his own. ----Duty of parents to bestow a good name on a child --------- One of the characteristics of any individual is his name. In the same way as an individual likes to see a photo of himself in which he seems beautiful rather than one in which he appears ugly, a good name makes one happy and a bad name causes unhappiness. Any individual who suffers from having been given a bad name will heal if, or when, he changes his name. A child who is teased because of his name, loses his confidence and avoids playing games with other children – he might even stand in the school yard in such a way that school teachers cannot see him in case they call his name. ----Causes of inferiority complex in children -------- ------ Deprivation of material needs------- Parents should try to provide toys, clothes and food of a similar standard as their child’s friends so that he does not feel under-valued in comparison. An older child can often understand if his parents have economic problems and can cope with having a lower standard of material life as long as he feels loved and respected. However, parents should try their very best in this area as deprivation can lower a child’s self-esteem and lead to an inferiority complex. ----- Disability ------- Another cause of an inferiority complex in children is disability. This can include many things, such as a birthmark on the face, or deformation of the legs or spinal column. All these disabilities may torture an individual from childhood until the end of his life. A child or adult who is disabled suffers from both their disability and the teasing and insults of others. In Islamic teachings, any kind of teasing or insult is forbidden and the prophets have seriously recommended people to avoid such acts. The best way is to encourage and support a child with a disability is by helping him live a life as similar as possible to that of other children so that he gradually forgets his disability. ------- Results of degradation ------- A child who has an inferiority complex shows various reactions. For example, he talks about and spreads the faults of others. He feels weak inside and is depressed because of this feeling. The child with an inferiority complex will pick on others’ faults in order to believe in his own value and to be safe from others’ disdain. A child who suffers from the contempt of his parents never forgets the abuse and in order to compensate he may undertake dangerous activities, abandon his family, or become addicted to drugs or alcoholic drinks to escape his negative feelings. No parent should under-estimate the need to nurture their child’s self-esteem and feeling of self-love as it is the key to his future happiness and success along the path of life. In Islam, instilling self-love and self-respect in a child is a fundamental duty of every parent. Based on: 1-“Islamic Morality” written by Mohammad-Ali Sadat 2-“Social Psychology” written by Yusef Karimi 3- “Islamic Teaching and Training” compiled by Mohsen Shokuhi Yekta RM/MA