We as parents may become anxious and stressed out as our first child approaches seven, considering how we will teach him or her salah with understanding and love. Then, how are we going to teach our child to practice positive prayer so that he or she remains consistent throughout his or her life?
To teach your child salah, you must plan and prepare for it in advance. Several approaches can be used to guide your child in salah, and that’s exactly what we will discuss today. We will explain 9 methods you can use to teach your children how to pray salah.
So read these tips and get started today. No matter what the outcome is, don’t lose hope; set your intentions, make a dua, and set a goal since that is the essential first step to success.
9 Methods to Follow for Teaching Your Child to Pray
Here are 9 methods to guide your children to do regular prayers. Regardless of your child’s age, these tips apply regardless of whether you teach them as a young child or a teenager.
1. Demonstrate by Example
Imitating is a natural way for children to learn; they enjoy copying their parents’ behaviors. Once the adhan has been sounded, show them you are making wudu and placing your prayer mat on the ground.
Your role as a parent is to set a good example for your children regarding the meaning of being a Muslim. You will, insha’Allah, raise a child who appreciates the importance of prayer if you make prayer a priority in your daily activities.
2. Start at a Young Age
A hadith suggests that parents should encourage their children to pray when they are seven years old and that praying will be established by the time they are ten years old, insha’Allah.
“Teach your children to pray when they are seven years old, and smack them (lightly) if they do not pray when they are 10 years old, and separate them in their beds” (Sunan Abi Dawud Hadith 495)
The home environment should encourage children to pray when they are young, even if it is not necessary to pray before seven. Most parents encourage their children to participate in congregational prayer earlier than that, simply reciting the Quranic ayahs without understanding how to pronounce them properly.
Don’t forget to hype up your children as they join you in prayer! Our little ones are always so cute when they join us on the prayer mat, so it shouldn’t be a stretch to include them in the prayer.
3. Provide them with their own Musallahs (Prayer Mats)
A prayer room should be allocated if you have the space. Alternatively, you may find a corner within a room reserved exclusively for prayer. You can provide your child with a prayer mat that is solely intended for them. Choose one for them. You can obtain one from a variety of wonderful sources. Further, teach them about the correct Qibla direction where the Musallah will point; you can use MuslimandQuran’s online Qibla finder tool for this purpose.
There is no better way for children to understand the importance of prayer than to have their own area in the house dedicated to it. You should teach your children that this small space is exclusively used to perform salah and should always be kept neat and clean. When it is time for the Musallah prayer, make it a cause for excitement and fun!
4. Make It Interesting for Them
A visual cue and reward chart are effective methods of motivating children. Your children will be encouraged to pray on time if you provide charts and Islamic calendars. This will serve as a visual reminder to your child of when to pray, so make sure you hang it up somewhere in your home.
Alternatively, you may wish to create a prayer tree. A leaf is colored green for each prayer that is performed on time by the child. During late prayers, the leaf is colored orange to indicate a timely prayer next time. If they fail to pray, the leaf on their branch will turn red; the goal is to maintain a green tree only for the whole month.
5. Provide Them with Knowledge of Allah
As long as Muslims don’t understand Allah, prayer becomes a ritual that lacks spiritual significance and a sense of emotional attraction to the creator.
Children should be taught that Allah made everything and protects and provides for them from infancy. Insha’Allah, this will instill in them a deep affection for Allah. Tell them that the Quranic verses they are reciting are part of their dialogue with Allah.
6. Teach Them to Maintain a Spiritual Connection
Focusing and concentration are of the utmost importance as we perform salah. However, children may find it difficult to achieve these two qualities. We can play simple meditation games (zikr) to assist in this process. Try asking your child to sit in one place for a minute or two and perform a small zikr.
The game rules require him/her to remain fixed on a point, not become distracted, or engage in conversation with anyone. As they read azkar (adhkar), their reading time and length gradually increase. By doing so, your child will learn how to control movement and distractions in their body. Alternatively, you can play the silence game, setting a timer and asking your child to remain silent until the buzzer sounds.
7. Pray Together as a Family
Make the prayer a collective practice to encourage a positive attitude toward it. Each member of the family should pray at least once a day. Allow your child to make adhan (call the prayer) if he can do so. As you practice together and get comfortable, have your child lead you in prayer.
You can remind them, and eventually, they will remember what to say or how many rakats to do if they forget. Encourage them to see prayer as an enjoyable, special part of their lives. Be sure to accompany kids to Friday prayers and Eid prayers regularly. Community prayer gives them a strong sense of identity, and it is so powerful to see them praying together.
8. Take small Steps to Make it Easier
The transition from not praying to praying all five prayers daily can be quite dramatic. Therefore, it is best to begin with small steps. You might want to start by praying the Maghreb or Isha prayers as a family. After that, add more. Your child should repeat the parts of the prayer until he or she can memorize the parts.
Praise your children and shower them with your love. It’s important to associate prayer as much as possible with peace and love. It should be important to you and to your children.
9. Maintain Consistency
Our children will sometimes feel lazy and unwilling to pray, even though we want them to love Salah.
Parents must ensure that their children pray by age 10, particularly before they become adults. Consistency is the key to establishing the habit. As they grow, keep reminding them as they become more consistent. Talk to them with sincerity and love about how important prayer is to Allah and how it is one of our most sacred times.
These are the nine most effective methods to teach children how to develop praying habits. Most parents may face difficulty teaching early when the child is non-serious or misses prayers, but it’s important to remain consistent and encourage them.