The parents should give a thought to what sort of offspring the desire to give to the society. If they feel that their child should be a morally upright, kind, humane, freedom loving and responsible person then they too have to be owning such characteristics that they set an example for him to emulate. The mother wishes that her daughter should be responsible, kind, equanimous person who respects the feelings of her spouse then she should herself try to fit into these norms. The daughter will then observe the behaviour pattern of the mother and automatically mould herself the same way. If the mother is an ill-tempered, lazy, disorderly, untidy and selfish person then she cannot expect to train her daughter only through lecturing on the norms of good behaviour.
Only those persons can competently train and bring up children properly who had similar upbringing themselves in their childhood. They will have better understanding of the nature and psyche of the children. The parents who have differences and pick up fights over trivialities will be incompetent in bringing up children. Similarly professional educators who have taken up the task only for the material remuneration, who are impatient, excitable and do not have an understanding of the child’s nature and psyche will not be able to put their trainees on the right track.
Dr. Jalali writes: “Whosoever has the responsibility of upbringing a child should occasionally do introspection on his own character and behaviour, realize his responsibilities and try to correct his failings.”
Hazrat Ali (A.S) says: “The person who is in the lead should first reform himself and then try to correct others. Before teaching the norms of good behaviour to others he should set an example himself. One who educates himself in learning and manners is more deserving of respect than he who only teaches the norms of good behaviour to others.”
“You respect your elders that your children respect you.”
“If you wish to reform others, then commence the exercise with reforming yourself. If you like to correct others and keep yourself flawed it will be the biggest blemish.”
“When the talking tongue is silent on sermonizing and the actions of the sermonizer speak for themselves, then no ears can keep the sermon out and nothing is more effectively beneficial than this.”
One lady writes in a letter:
“…my parents’ character has deeply impressed me. They have always been kind to their children. I never found any flaw in their words or deeds. We also acquired this habit. I cannot forget their good character and behavior. Now that I am a mother my endeavor is to see that I don’t do any thing in the presence of the children, which is not considered good. My parent’s character is the example to be emulated in my life. I try to see that my children too are brought up the same way.”
Another lady wrote in a letter:
“…When I recapitulate my past life I recall that my mother used to argue and shout on trivial matters. Now that I am a mother I feel that with a little difference my condition is nearly the same as my mother’s was. All her negative manners have become a part of my character. The strange problem is that however much I try to reform myself I am unable to make much progress. Definitely it is proved in my case that the parents’ character and behaviour has far-reaching effect on the molding of the character of their children. The saying, therefore, is correct that a mother with the good training of her children can transform the world.”