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Dealing with Difficult Toddlers

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Question:

Assalaamu ‘alaikum

Respected ‘Ulama

I need some advice regarding bringing up my child.

Alhamdulillah I have two masha-Allah children. The problem I have is that my son (two years three months old) is an extremely active child. He is also what you can call a ‘naughty toddler’. There are times when I sit and cry, wondering “When will this child become easier to handle?”

Whatever I do for him is always done with a struggle. On a daily basis, doing normal, routine things is extremely difficult. He doesn’t like changing his nappy, he doesn’t like going into the bath, and he doesn’t like eating a lot of things. When I say it’s a struggle, I mean he hits me, kicks me, screams and cries, throws himself onto the ground, etc.

Taking him to places is also another big struggle. When we get there, he is only fine for ten minutes at the most. Then he will be doing something dangerous, or running somewhere, or fighting with other children, climbing somewhere or emptying some cupboard – it just never ends! No matter where I go, I have to constantly be behind him, checking where he is as he will never stay in one place.

Can Moulana please advise me on how to discipline him? I just have this fear that as he grows, he will be harder to handle, and when they get bigger, the things they do get worse. I feel really down and depressed sometimes, especially when I see other people’s children behaving and listening, and when I see mothers that can handle their children well. I feel like I’m doing something wrong. Sometimes, I feel like maybe there is something wrong with the child, like maybe he has ADD or ADHD or something.

Can Moulana please advise me how to discipline my child and how to handle situations better, as I find myself screaming, shouting and also hitting him a lot? I feel really bad afterwards, but in that moment, anger and frustration overtakes me. I was a person that was quiet and calm. I now scream at the children a lot and I also have this anger and frustration that builds up in me very quickly. I don’t like to be like this, where I can’t control myself, and a lot of the time, I take out the anger and frustration on the children.

Also, are there any wazeefahs to read and blow on the child to make them calmer?

Answer:

Bismihi Ta‘ala

Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

Respected Sister in Islam

1. Your problem is not unique. Unfortunately, many parents have a similar issue. This age is generally known to be a challenging time – terrible twos.

2. It is important for you to ascertain what could be the cause of this kind of behaviour. Sometimes, a child behaves in such a manner because he is looking for attention and love. It is possible that since the age gap between your children is close, he feels that he is not getting enough love and therefore feels that he can get some attention in this manner. If this is the case, you should change your attitude towards him. Totally avoid shouting at him. Rather, show him extra love and attention. You will insha-Allah see a change in his behaviour very soon. 

3. Generally, when a child is regularly shouted at or beaten, then the experience has been that such a child becomes even more stubborn and the shouting and beating then serves no purpose. Thereafter, the child starts rebelling. 

4. You must change the way you handle his tantrums. At this age, they can already understand if something is told to them in a clear manner at their level. Start off with one thing at a time. For instance, if he starts performing when he is being fed, set a clear rule that you will not allow him to play with his toys. Expect him to throw a huge tantrum but do not give in. Eventually, when he calms down, feed him and “reward” him for listening. This will happen a few times before he gets to start understanding that he will have to give in. Then take the next issue in the similar manner.

5. Daily recite bismillah very consciously 7 times and blow onto his food and drink. Also, daily recite “Yaa wadoodu” 111 times together with durood 7 times before and after and blow on him. 

6. Daily make the following Quraanic du‘aas very earnestly, even in the sajdah of nafl salaah:

رَبِّ هَبْ لِيْ مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً ۖإِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ​

“O my Rabb, grant me from Your own (power) a pure progeny. Verily, You are the One who listens to the du‘aa.”

رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ​

“O my Rabb, bless me (with a child) from the righteous ones.”

رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي مُقِيمَ الصَّلَاةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِيۚ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَاءِ​

“O My Rabb, make me steadfast in salaah, and my offspring as well. And, O Our Rabb, accept my du‘aa.”

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا​

“Our Rabb! Grant us spouses and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.”

7. Refer to authentic books written by reliable ‘Ulama on the topic of upbringing (such as “Upbringing of Children” by Ml. Moosa Olgar and “The Ideal Mother”). The articles contained here will also help you in this regard insha-Allah.

May Allah Ta‘ala make your children the coolness of your eyes in every respect.

Answered by:

Uswatul Muslimah Panel of ‘Ulama