I need advice on how to manage my children given their own unique characteristics and ambitions.

Question: Each one of my children has his own special characteristics and ambitions. How should I deal with them in the house? I love them from the depths of my heart, but I am too arbitrary with them, and I fear that it will affect their futures. I do not know whether I am right or wrong in my way of dealing with them!

The answer: Dear brother, I have read wonderful educational statements of an Iranian writer called Muhammad Taqi Ma’soomi. I translate them here with my additions in reply to your question. The author says,

1. If you want your children to live psychologically and mentally in safety and soundness, you should avoid quarreling in their presence.

2. If you want your children to not be obstinate, you should not always reject their requests, insult them, or shout at them before others.

3. If you want your children to listen to you, you should listen to them carefully and respectfully.

4. If you want your children to not get used to bad morals and nervousness, you should not treat them with rude, superior orders and strict instructions.

5. If you want your children to not feel desperate or disappointed, you should not scold them with severe words when they fail to achieve success in something.

6. If you want your children to not mistrust you, you should not promise them what you cannot fulfill.

7. If you want to strengthen your children’s self-confidence, you should praise them for their good deeds and reward them with some gifts.

8. If you want your children to obey you, you should not scold them or insist that they obey you.

9. If you want your children to be successful in the future, you should be a good example for them in orderliness, planning, and deliberation.

10. If you want your children to not be slack in speaking and talking to you, you should smile at them whenever they want to speak and show them that you will listen carefully to them when they want to talk.

11. If you want to help your children in studying their lessons, you should not do that without consulting someone who specializes in school affairs.

12. If you want to guide your children out of their troubles, you should listen to their questions carefully and react to their sufferings.

13. If your children are weak in their studies and you want to help them, you should not blame them with words like “failure”, “weak”, “dull”, “stupid,” etc.

14. If you want your children to not be defeated by despair and to not submit to failure when disappointed, you should assure them that bitter events pass away quickly.

Finally, dear brother, you should not lose your patience and be desperate because life is full of difficulties and memories. You should write down on its pages what pleases you and what will make your family remember you after your death with good thoughts and prayers.