What’s often overlooked in our households is that character building comes before academics. The prophet s.a.w said, “What weighs heaviest on the scale is a person’s good character”. If a child is struggling with long division – it’s OK. As long as we keep explaining, demonstrating differently, at some point when the time is right he or she will conceptualize it. But if a child is often ungrateful–that’s not OK. We will have to immediately do something to change that.
How do we build a good character then? When we say this person has a good character and that one has a bad character – what do we really mean? The answer is that person A does good things on autopilot (out of habit), and person B does bad things on autopilot (out of habit). And we build a good character in our children (and ourselves) by instilling good habits. After all, we are- each one of us, a bundle of habits.
Kindness is a habit, obedience is a habit, praying on time is a habit, delaying your Salah (regularly) is a habit, being grateful is a habit, always complaining is also a habit, being patient is a habit, giving up easily is also a habit, doing your best is a habit, doing it ‘for the sake of it’ is also a habit. How do we form these habits then?
A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Likewise, all habits start with a single act. As Thomas Kempis cleverly stated, “Sow an act- reap a habit, sow a habit–reap a character, sow a character – reap a destiny”
But how do we form a habit? How do we take new action? In order to take new action- we all need inspiration- an inspiring idea because every single action starts in the mind. Therefore, children need a regular sparkling of inspiring ideas of righteousness. The spiritual force of an ‘idea’ plays a huge role in character-building. Because the character is built on habitual acts. And a habit is set up by carrying out an initial idea through a long sequence of corresponding acts.
While we firmly believe Example is the Best Sermon, our character-building courses on Gratitude, Respect, Accountability, Trustworthiness, Fairness, Compassion, Diligence, Courage, Punctuality and et.al are perfectly designed to feed your children’s minds with awe-inspiring ideas. The courses are carefully presented through prophets’ stories from the Qur’an, relevant and authentic hadiths, the stories of companions and other inspirational figures from the past and present and of course, engaging reflective tasks and activities.
The studies of human behaviour proved that people, adults as well as children, will only change when they want that change for THEMSELVES. So, most of our job as parents involves making our children want to do what is right not because they are told to do so, but because they want it for themselves. And our specifically designed character-building courses will help to achieve just that inshaAllah.
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