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My Kids Dislike Praying,They Do it Only to Obey Us!

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Feb 06, 2019

Question

Salam. My kids are between the ages of 7 and 12. Recently in casual conversation, they have mentioned that they dislike to pray and only do it because we ask them. We speak a lot of Allah and all we have to be thankful for and they recognize this, but I want them to grow up learning to love salah. What can we do differently? They are of an age where we have to encourage them. But I don't want them to do it for us and stop when they get to an age where we can no longer monitor them. I want them to learn to love the deen and not do things just to please us. I also don't want them to end up hating prayer because they were forced.

Counselor

Answer


praying

In this counseling answer:

•Find out what it is about making salah that they don’t like and discuss these points with them with the hopes of nullifying the dislike insha’Allah. I would continue to have them pray with you sister for you are building up good habits within them.  While right now they do not like praying, you are creating a habit in them.

•Keep the lines of communication open with them, not getting upset or angry if they trust in you to tell you things that you may not want to hear (such as they don’t like praying) but commend them on their good actions of listening, being obedient as well as praying.

•In time, as they mature and learn more about the love and mercy of Allah in a way that they can assimilate it cognitively, they will develop a love for praying.”


As-salamu alaykum sister,

Thak you for writing to us. Often times young children dislike to pray, and for many reasons.  Did you ask them why they dislike to pray?  If not, I would kindly suggest that you and your husband find out why. Children at this age often feel prayer interrupts playtime, they may have friends that don’t pray and it makes them feel “different”, or they may feel is just not important. It sounds like both you and your husband have done a wonderful job at instilling the love for Allah and prayer in your children.

However, we cannot force them to “like” something.  At their ages, they are not yet fully capable of understanding the true blessings of salah, especially the 7-year-old. Hence, when a child begins to hit puberty (as the case with your 12 years old) they are accountable to Allah swt.

I would kindly suggest dear sister that you find out what it is about making salah that they don’t like and discuss these points with them with the hopes of nullifying the dislike insha’Allah. I would continue to have them pray with you sister for you are building up good habits within them.  While right now they do not like praying, you are creating a habit in them.

Later on when they get older, if they miss a prayer, insha’Allah it will feel strange to them as they were so used to doing it all of the time. Continue to cultivate a love for Islam in them by doing Islamic things they do enjoy.  Ramadan is coming so this is a good time to stress the festive and joyful, fun times in Ramadan such as the iftars, family suhoors, as well as preparing for Eid.

Sister, you stated you do not want them to pray just to please you and your husband, however, it is a blessing that they do want to please you and your husband and that they do in fact pray. Some children do not and could care less about pleasing their parents. In fact, some children can become outright unruly and refuse to pray.  Alhumdulilah, your children are praying and do desire to please you.

Insha’Allah, as they get older they will pray because they want to please Allah swt as well as see the benefit in praying is for them. I would not worry too much about it at this age sister, you and your husband are doing all the right things.


Check out this counseling video


I would kindly suggest keeping the lines of communication open with them, not getting upset or angry if they trust in you to tell you things that you may not want to hear (such as they don’t like praying) but commend them on their good actions of listening, being obedient as well as praying. Insha’Allah in time, as they mature and learn more about the love and mercy of Allah in a way that they can assimilate it cognitively, they will develop a love for praying.

Right now you are building up good habits of praying that will insha’Allah have a positive lasting affect on their spiritual lives and their relationship with Allah swt.

Sister, please do find out what it is they do not like specifically, discuss those points at an age-appropriate level and do compliment and praise them often for their good efforts in praying.  Trust in Allah sister for guidance as Allah is most merciful, and make dua to Allah that He continues to touch your children’s, heart.  You and your husband are doing a great job bringing up your children in an Islamic way and I am confident that insha’Allah you will not be disappointed.  You are in our prayers.

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About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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