Parenting Gone Wrong
Kids mess around. That’s what they do. But there are methods of upbringing and connecting them to the Masjid. One of them is not forcing them or insisting on them always attending the Masjid, especially during the tender ages and beautiful weather where their passions lie solely in playing.
Let me give you an example. Yesterday I went to the Masjid, and observed a kid who I have always seen in the Masjid at practically every Ṣalāh during the holidays, for years, since he was even younger. I remember seeing him in ‘Ishā (and a few early Fajrs) during the summer; sleeping on his dad's lap during speeches, etc. What was the kid doing? Now being probably a year or so either side if his teens, I saw him perform 4 rak‘āt…In a minute. Yes, 1 minute. His attention was focused solely on whether his totally oblivious dad, who was sitting many rows in front of him, was watching him or not.
You may think ‘Oh it’s just a kid, so what?’. However, to me this is a huge red flag. It indicates that the kid has been intimidated into coming to the Masjid in his childhood and deprived of his playtime in the process. The love of the Masjid and of Ṣalāh hasn't been nurtured in him...why else would the state of his Ṣalāh be such, with puberty probably a few sleeps away, and a childhood of Ṣalāh in the Masjid?
Kids in the modern day need to be brought up using common sense, love, affection, friendship and a lot more. Gone are the days of the dictatorial upbringing methods of 1900s India, or the notion that merely frequenting a holy place will be enough for their well-being. Wake up people! These are challenging times for the younger generation, and we need to be prepared to face these challenges.