How can I raise my son through stories, mainly, narrating a story to deduct new information thereof?
Dear Muslim sister:You are most welcome, We are very happy in (Al Alukah) to have such honorable mothers like yourself who are keen to raise and educate their children. Thank you very much for your precious trust and we ask the Lord, the Almighty, to be always as you think of us.
Dear Muslim sister:
The pedagogues and psychologists agreed that the method of narrating a story is the best way to raise children on religious and ethical values as well as the social and behavioral guidelines. However, the Glorious Qur’an has preceded all these studies several centuries ago when it raised the Muslim’s motivation of learning by using the narrative method fiction. Allah, the Almighty, says: “Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding.” [Surat Yusuf: 111]. He also says: “So relate the stories, perhaps they may reflect.” [Surat Al-A`raf: 176].
Allah (Glory be to Him) singled out a complete Surah titled Al-Qasas "stories", in addition to the numerous stories that were mentioned in the Qur’an and the diversified methods of their presentation. For more information, you may refer to At-Taswir Al-Fanny Fi Al-Qur’an "The artistic styles in the Qur'an" of Sayyid Qutb. It is an analytical meditative and interesting book in which Sayyid Qutb reviews with his stunning style the purposes of stories in the Qur’an, the artistic characteristics of the story, and depicting of characters; may Allah bestow mercy on Sayyid Qutb.
Children's Literature:What is meant by the children's literature is those works of art that are presented to the children through various communication methods and contain ideas, fantasies, and feelings that are consistent with the different levels of their mental and emotional development.
By this meaning, children's literature includes: story, novel, drama, and poetry as well. The form of story is no longer limited to the usual paper form that was known in the past, but now stories are written on the web, on CDs, as well as the possibility of hearing them on cassette tapes or watching them on TV.
The Importance of Children's Literature:
Children's literature is one of the most important types of literature. Dr. Sana’ `Abdul-Latif said in her book "This is how the Jews raise their kids": "The children's literature is very important in the upbringing of children because in that stage of life they need conscious and studied help to achieve their integrated and healthy growth in the various aspects. The Israeli entity has benefited greatly from this literature and has given it the material, physical, moral attention and support to the extent that they became on the top of the countries that produce the Children's Literature.
Types of children's stories:1) Stories of finger Games.2) Skits.3) Fairy tales.4) Legendary stories.5) Miracles.6) Historical stories.7) Science fiction.8) Religious stories.9) Animal stories.The basis for choosing children's stories:1 – A story must be appropriate for the child's age, and whenever the child is younger, it would be better to make the story characters few in number and the sentences are shorter and simpler in order to avoid distracting the mind of the child.
2 – The subject of the story must contain virtues, values, ideals, and stressing the wanted trends that are meant to be conveyed to a child, reinforce something in it, or to modify unwanted behaviors.
3 – Characters of the story must be clear, powerful, interesting, depicted and colored beautifully to convey the written text. Whenever the child is younger, it is preferable that the drawings and the colors of the story more clear and striking because children depend strongly on sense of sight to explore the outside world.
4 – To be written in a clear and simple style and elegant language that enriches the children’s language. They should also contain interrelated ideas and successive events that expands the children’s imagination and encourages the proper mindset.
5 – Letting a child to choose its own stories when it is at age where it can rely on itself in reading. In addition to taking it to libraries to recognize the different types of stories and guiding it to the best type of stories suitable for its age, mentality, and the Islamic principles and values of the family.
Stories that should be avoided for children:1 – Stories that evoke terror and fear because they cause disturbances in sleep.
2 – Stories that contain non-Islamic values and beliefs, as it is the case with some of the translated stories from Western ideologies.
3 – Stories that are based on mocking at others and causing harm to them.
4 – Stories that glorify the triumph of evil and injustice over good and justice.
Where we can extract stories for children?1 – Stories of the Glorious Qur’an: Personally, I prefer to read the story directly from the Qur’an to link between a child and the Qur’an; I do so even if I memorize the story by heart.
2 – The stories of the Prophet’s biography.
3 – The Islamic history that is full of stories of great scientists, scholars, and tournaments.
4 – Inventing stories from imagination that are connected with everyday life and I advise you to make the child the hero of the story, or making the name of the hero as the name of the child.
The Shar`y disciplines for children's stories:
The imaginary story should be close to reality and repairs of the defects, with a reference that it is not real, but it is a figment of the imagination. This was the Fatwa of Sheikh Ibn `Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on his soul) and others.
At what age should we start reading stories for children?
We should read stories to children even when they are still embryos then after birth and until his first year of age, we should read to him the stories that are printed in hard cover or on clothes so as not to tear them. Recent studies have shown that children who listen to stories from a young age grow passionate with reading the rest of their lives. Moreover, children respond to the stories they used to hear while they are in the wombs. Therefore, we find many of the children who completed the memorization of the Qur’an in early age that is because they used to listen to it during pregnancy.
How can we make the story of the child an enjoyable experience and an educational way?
1 – Choosing the right time where the mother should avoid the times where the child is mentally occupied, such as at playing, watching TV, while eating, the times of anger, at crying, hunger, fatigue, and so on. It is preferable to fix a certain time for stories, such as time before sleep to encourage him to read later on.
2 – Choosing the right place for narrating a story, such as sitting with him on the bed or assigning a place in the room to place a desk and a small library that includes stories, books, and magazines for children. At the time of narrating the story, the parents should sit beside the child, be close to it, and give much care to the visual contact with it.
3 – The story reader should be comfortable and not busy, mentally or physically, because reading is an educational experience that a child cannot forget. The intention is not only to let the child hear the story, but also to enjoy it. It is important for the educator to be patient and wise in dealing with the children’s questions and his expected interruptions.
4 – Reading the story in a clear, warm, and affectionate voice, with the manipulation of voice tones, facial expressions, emotion, and interaction with the characters the story to attract the child to hear.
5 – Making a dialogue with the child during the story by questions or asking the child to complete some sentences and sections to develop the child’s imagination and to maintain the longest time of child's attention. It is possible to stop at an interesting section of the story then telling the child to complete the second part of the story in the following day with the intention of thrilling and connecting the child with the story. (expect more and more persistence to hear the story in the next day to know the end of the story, but if you do not have much patience, do not use this method).
6 – Asking the Child about the storylines after finishing it.
How can we educate children through the story?There are three methods in the educational guidance:1 - Amending an unwanted behavior:Here are some examples of unwanted behaviors: lying, tantrums, disobedience, theft, extreme shyness, jealousy, selfishness, fight, lack of respect ... and so on.
2 – Reinforcing a desired behavior:Here are some examples of unwanted behaviors: honesty, cooperation, the use of words of thanks and apology, courage, generosity, obedience to parents, keep to Salah.... And so on.
3 – Letting a child acquire the desired behavior:They are the good behaviors that it has not learned yet, such as respecting the rights and privacy of others, personal hygiene, table manners, avoiding mocking at others, memorizing the Qur’an ... and so on.
Teaching behaviors through story telling depends on the urgency and importance. It is possible to make story telling with a deliberate purpose for solving a certain problem. If a child suffers from a problem, such as lying, a mother may be interested in narrating stories that deal with liars and their retribution. She may stress on the love of the truthful and let the child deduct that by itself, moreover, she may reward it when she sees that its behaviors have changed after the story.
She may also use it as a starting point to a specific value. For example, during or after reading a story about rendering trusts, the educator may start to talk about the trust, its importance, how to render it back, and its virtue.
We can help the child to improve its critical reading by letting the child discover the educational goal of the story by asking questions about it.
Conclusion:I ask Allah, the Almight to grant you power and persistence to give your children an Islamic upbringing in order to be aide for you in future life. I wish you success, happiness, and satisfaction, and do not forget us from your supplications.