Chapter 35: Love Should not become a Hindrance to Good Upbringing
There are parents who will love their children to such an extent that they don’t realize what is good and what is bad for their upbringing. When they notice any fault in the child, or when someone else points out the fault, they overlook it not to displease the child. You must have seen such children who hurt other children, trouble other persons, break windowpanes in the neighborhood and use abusive language with others. The parents of such children not only ignore to correct them, but they also keep a phlegmatic smile on their faces as if the child has done nothing wrong.
Thus they abet the undesirable acts of the children. They do a great disservice to their own children. This neglect of proper upbringing is not pardonable in the eyes of Allah. Love for the children doesn’t mean that the parents close their eyes to the norms of good upbringing.
Good parents are those who make a clever mix of love and good upbringing. They love the children and keep a realistic eye on the behavior of the child. They cleverly try to correct the faults of the child. They make the child realize that he is not free to do wrong acts. He is made aware of the fact that if the parents love him for the good things he does; he may be punished for anything wrong committed by him.
The parents have to realize that the child will grow into an adult and will have to interact with others in the society. If, because of their extreme love for the child, they have neglected their duty of training him in the norms of good behavior, he will not be welcome in the society and others will avoid him or even hate and abhor him. It must be borne in minds that other people will not be like the parents who close their eyes to every fault of the child and continue loving him. In the society a person is accepted for his good behavior only.
Imam Muhammad Baqir says:
“The worst father is that who loves his child beyond limits."1
‘Ali, The Commander of the Faithful, says:
“One who has been taught good manners, his faults have been reduced."2
Imam Muhammad al Baqir said:
“My revered father saw a person going with his son. The impolite son was reclining on the arm of his father. My father, Imam Zain al Abidin, was so upset with the impertinent child that for the rest of his life he didn’t talk to him."