It sounds so obvious but unfortunately (am telling myself first!), we often forget to model the best behaviour ourselves.
Here’s what someone sent in: “Start through actions rather than words. Many of us have grown up with parents who would tell us to go pray but they would be finishing up cooking in the kitchen or cleaning, etc instead of going to pray.”
Simple things like stopping whatever we are doing at Salaat time, taking some time to recite Azan and Iqamah beforehand, and the tasbeeh and duas afterwards. If however, we are grumbling at how early Fajr salaat time is during the summer or how we have a million things to do…this will also have an effect.
My own first memories are listening to my dad recite the Fajr dua out loud after Salaat…he wouldn’t force us (in fact, we would usually be asleep on the musalla straight after finishing!), but that recitation has stuck in mind and now when i recite it, i can often hear his melody in my head
Hina Khan-Mukhtar has said:
“No one recognizes hypocrisy quicker than a child. The truth of the matter is that you can encourage and teach a child to pray all you want, but if you’re not going to pray, the chances are highly likely that he/she’s not going to pray either. And letting a child witness that you pray isn’t always enough either. What about how you pray? Are you rushed and distracted? Do you drag your feet when the prayer time comes in? Are you nonchalant if you miss a prayer? I know of an adult who remembers his own father weeping when he once missed a prayer, and that reaction made more of an impression on him about the importance of prayer than all the lectures in the world ever could.”