All of us as parents, constantly think about the various ways in how to bring up our children to love Allah SWT and our ways of life. The Key is in being a good muslim ourselves. Children watch and observe, and grasp every action that we do. They love to, and try to imitate that we do, atleast most of the time. The way to upbringing your children in the Islamic way is, being steadfast ourselves, and adhering to Islamic teachings as much as we can. We should start preparing for this, even before our child is born, and not wait till they come of understandable age. But then again, its never too late. As soon as we realise the need to change, we should start implemeting it in our lives, and work hard towards it.
We do not have to worry about teaching our child the concept of One God, as every child is already born with that (the natural instinct of believing in One god, and the inclination to the truth and the ability to distinguish right and wrong), and as they grow older, they understand it better, and recognise the miracles of this world, and thus, will attribute it all to Allah Subhanahu Wa Tha'ala.
The Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam said, "No baby is born but upon Fitra (as a Muslim)." (Sahih Bukhari)
What we need to worry about is, training them to love to do good deeds and establish acts of worship. And for this, try to involve them in what we do. Tell them, "its good to do so-and-so". Believe me, they will accept it, just as simple as that. And we do not have to wait for them to turn 3 or 4 years old for this. We can start as early as 1 year old or even younger.
Some of the things we can do are:
1. Play Qur'an recitation as often as you can, at home, or in the car. Just tell them: Isn't it so beautiful to listen to this recitation? Use simple words like Qur'an is good or nice.
2. While we do salah, just tell them casually: If you want, you can stand with me, to pray. Never enforce them when they are too young, and never command or ask them, as kids always have the tendency to do the opposite just so that they will be told again and again. They just love to repeat things and things repeated to them.
3. If they get hurt, ask them after a while, if the "boo-boo" (hurt, pain) is gone, and when they say yes, say "Alhamdulillah" loudly or even "Thank you, Allah".
4. Saying "Bismillah" before eating.
5. Say duahs loudly and make them repeat it if they seem interested. Again, do not command, just offer (do you want to say the duah?)
6. When they sneeze, let them say, "Alhamdulillah" (or Abdullah, or Ahmedulillah, lol!- let's not correct them too much when they don't say it right, ultimately, they will get frustrated and will quit saying at all)
7. When someone in the family is sick, teach them to pray to Allah. Teach them to pray for all family members and themselves before going to bed, (it can be anytime, but night time is best, as that's the only time they will be little calm, and less playful and excited about other things.) Make it a routine along with the duah that we say, before going to bed.
8. Teach them to appreciate nature, not just the names. (Instead of saying, "look, that is the moon!", say,"wow, look at how nice/beautiful the moon is!")
9. Take them to the masjid as often as we can. Take them for community programs etc. Sometimes, it can be a little testing for them, as they need to behave well in such places. So promise them a reward for it. When you reward them, do not over-do it. Reward them appropraitely, with something small.
May Allah always guide us and our kids through the Sirathul Musthaqueem. May Allah increase us in Sabr (patience) to bring our children up in the way that will please Him. We should always be consistent in our actions, only then our children will acquire it from us; may Allah help us in being consistent always in our dheen. May Allah make us and our children among the righteous. Aameen....