Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
In our meetings with people, we are often asked regarding the right way of educating misbehaving children. We simplified several of our advices as the following:
- Build a close relationship between husband and wife. This would ease a unified course of action. It will also increase each parent’s confidence in taking any action.
- Think everything through considering the best approach in any action. This is important so that the child understand what his parents want, who are giving the same direction without contradicting each other.
- Clearly explain the rules to the child. Inform them the do’s and don’ts, limitations and restrictions and what is expected from the child. These rules can also be written.
- Involve the child in the discussion of the rules that are going to be enforced. This will make them more accepting in obeying the rules.
- Call them lovingly with good names or nicknames.
- Don’t’ be offended when they are misbehaving or acting out but keep your patience and continue to educate them with wisdom.
- Never say they are bad such as telling them they are stubborn or they never listen.
- Advice or caution them with explanation and not through admonishment and anger.
- Spend time with them especially when they are playing and try to understand their wants and thoughts.
- Discuss between husband and wife and try to identify the reason why the child is misbehaving as well as refer to other reading materials.
According to Firdaus Azhari, Education and Parenthood Consultant, children’s and adults’ way of thinking are different. In this stage, they are unable to look at a situation in another person’s perspective. They are only able to see, perceive and only think in their own way and regarding themselves. As an example, when the parents ask a child to stop playing with a glass considering the safety of the child, the child can only think of him playing with the glass for fun.
He shared several methods in handling these situations, which are:
- Keep calm
When one has already understood the character of the child, then one should be prepared for any possibility that may happen due to this.
- Consistent repetition
In training or nurturing something, repeat it as many times as possible with the same even tone and not in increasing anger.
- Avoid the concept of “wait till mom gets there”
Educate children to promptly move and do something the first time he is instructed to do so. The way to do this is by properly asking them to do something. If you want a child to go to the kitchen, don’t just yell from the kitchen, but go to where he is and make eye contact with the child and ask them to go to the kitchen with you. If you are asking the child to come to you at a distance or without any eye contact with him, a concept of “it’s fine mom has only called for me twice,” 
I remembered a method stated by salafus soleh:
لَاعِبُوهُمْ سَبْعًا وَأَدِّبُوهُمْ سَبْعًا وَصَادِقُوهُمْ سَبْعًا، ثُمَّ اتْرُكُوا لَهُم الحَبْلَ عَلَى الغَارِبِ
“Play with them for the first seven years, educate them in the next seven years and be their friend for the third seven years. Afterwards, leave a rope for them at the top of the hill.”
This shows that every child is educated according to their own capability until they are able to carry more and more responsibilities until they ultimately are able to lead their own families in the future.
May Allah SWT make our children the apple of our eyes. Amin.
Our advice, never forget to daily supplicate for our children and family members as well as the whole Muslim ummah with goodness in this life and the hereafter.
We end with a supplication to Allah SWT:
رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا
"Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous."
Surah al-Furqan (74)
 See the documentary titled Mereka bukan degil... (They are not stubborn…) in the portal My Metro broadcasted on 28th March 2019.