My friend is a new Muslim. She said the Shahadah a month or so ago, Alhamdulillah. While my friend is adjusting to life as a Muslimah, her children are also adjusting to having a Muslim mother. What an adventure it must be for a child to all of a sudden be exposed to a whole new way of life compared to what they are used to living!
They all visited me about a week ago. We decided to walk around the way for ice cream. When my friend and I got ready to go, putting on our hijabs, her daughter asked me if I had one for her, too. So I let her wear one of my short amira-type hijabs.
Little Muslim girls are not required to wear hijab. But any little girl wants to copy what mommy and mommy's female friends do.
I think that it's never too early to let a little girl get used to wearing a hijab. We should never force them, but we should encourage them as they show interest.
If we don't do this, how can we expect them to be receptive to hijab once they reach puberty? How can we expect them to love hijab as grown women if they don't love it as children?
I know Muslim sisters who tear their hair out behind their teenage children. "Amir won't pray." "Ahmad doesn't want to go to Sunday school at the masjid." "Fatima wants to wear sleeveless shirts." and on and on.
Do we expect our children to all of a sudden become pious Muslims if we don't encourage it when they are young? The job of raising a Muslim child to be a righteous believer starts early.
Encourage your children early to love and please Allah (swt).