How Should Parents Treat Their Children?
These who bring children into this world are responsible for raising them to realms beyond the heavens. Just as you take care of their bodily health, so take care of their spiritual life. For God’s sake, have pity and save the helpless innocents. Do not let their lives go to waste.
The future of every individual is closely related to the impressions and influences experienced during childhood and youth. If children and young people are brought up in a climate where their enthusiasm is stimulated with higher feelings, they will have vigorous minds and display good morals and virtues.
The first school for children, whose souls are as bright as mirrors and as quick to record as cameras, are their homes. Their first educators are their mothers. Thus it is fundamental for a nation’s existence and stability that mothers be brought up and educated to be good educators for their children.
If parents encourage their children to develop their abilities and be useful to themselves and the community, they give the nation a strong new pillar. If, on the contrary, they do not cultivate their children’s human feelings, they release scorpions into the community.
Improving a community is possible only by elevating the young generations to the rank of humanity, not by obliterating the bad ones. Unless a seed composed of religion, tradition, and historical consciousness is germinated throughout the country, new evil elements will appear and grow in the place of each eradicated bad one.
Children should respect and obey their parents as much as possible. Parents should give as much importance to their children’s moral and spiritual education as they do to their physical growth and health, and should entrust them to the care of the most honorable teachers and guides. How ignorant and careless are those parents who neglect their children’s moral and spiritual training, and how unfortunate are the children who experience such neglect and are so victimized.
Children who are inconsiderate of their parents’ rights and disobey them are “monsters derived from a deteriorated human being.” Parents who do not secure their children’s moral and spiritual welfare also are merciless and cruel. Most brutish and pitiless of all are parents who paralyze their children’s moral and spiritual development after their children have found their way to human perfection.
By M. Fethullah Gulen