In an interview with IQNA, Mohsen Imani, a professor of psychology at Tarbiat Modares University, discussed the perspective of Islam on raising children. Here is a summary of his remarks about how to deal with the mistakes of children according to Islamic teachings.
Children make mistakes due to their lack of knowledge and skill, and it is important to know how to deal with a child's mistake in accordance with Islamic standards.
Prevention is the first and best approach. Many of the punishments are imposed on children because they have put themselves in a dangerous situation; for instance, they have run on a stair with no railing or approached a hot pot on the stove. These dangers can easily be mitigated and prevented by installing railings on stairs or putting the pot in the back. Such preventive measures will eventually prevent our own anger.
In some cases, parents can turn away from children for a short time so that they realize their mistakes.
Once a man told Imam Kadhim (AS) that he whipped his child as a punishment; Imam became very upset and told the man he has no right to do so. Imam advised the man to turn away from the child temporarily instead.
Children can be prohibited from inappropriate and dangerous behaviors, but this issue should be accompanied by kindness and compassion.
Some of the behaviors may inflict damages that are not visible physically; such acts are examples of violence against children. Psychologists believe that even when a child sucks his finger, it is because of our lack of attention to him/her.
Employing children for tasks that are beyond their capabilities and depriving them of education are examples of systematic violence against children. Such violations are condemned and prohibited in Islam.
Psychologically speaking, childhood refers to the age range of up to 12. However, according to the Quranic concepts, a person is considered a child as far as he/she has not understood sexual secrets and has not reached maturity.