Just Parenting

Two children were eating ice cream. The younger one dropped hers on the floor and started crying. So the father snatched the ice cream from the older child to give it to the younger one to stop her from crying – of course the older child burst into tears because the father was unjust to him!

Did you know that you are supposed to treat all your children fairly and equally?

This means that they are entitled to an equal amount of your time and attention. If you give one child a gift, you must give the others a gift of equal value. If you reward one child for doing well in something, reward the next one who does well in equal proportion and value. If one child gets punished for doing a certain act, other children who do the same act should be punished the same way (often, parents only punish one and let the other one off the hook, or one child gets a harsher punishment than the other). If you are reprimanding a child, do it privately without the other children listening in, to avoid any humiliation.

If you have a dish during a meal, don't give the best parts to just one child. If making a favourite dish for a child for one meal, make a dish that's the favourite of another child for another meal.

Allocate the household chores in a fair rotation. For example, don't allocate one child permanent toilet cleaning duties while giving the sibling the easy task of feeding the goldfish (but also do it with wisdom depending on the child's age and ability).

Maybe it's impossible to love all your children the same way and in equal amounts, but be sure to distribute your affection fairly so that no one misses out and no one is pampered.

We are told to be just to our children even from the time of Adam AS. The repercussions are huge if you don't – because any injustice will carry on to the next generation, and in the long run, affect our dealings in society. Both the one who is deprived and the one who is pampered can create damage to themselves and those they interact with. Also, for as long as such injustice continues, even if generations later, the original parent who created the injustice will be answerable to Allah. Be careful, because it is your children's rights that you treat them fairly.

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