The trouble with learning to parent on the job is that your child is the teacher. ~Robert Brault

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Halloween Holloween from an Islamic perspective by Marwa Sabry

Halloween was originally founded on religious bases. When I say religious, I don’t mean Islam but other religions ( Muslims have nothing to do with it but even when we argue that the event is nowadays purely secular and that it is loads of fun, I'd say let's think together before we teach our children to be followers for the mere reason of having fun.
The love of playing and pretending added to the natural love of candy is irresistible especially for children. There is nothing wrong with pretend play but it should be 1-in decent outfits 2-the goal of a Muslim should never be scaring someone 3- We have 364 days in the year to play that game so why the 31st of October? Is it just to follow the crowd? Do we need more followers in the Ummah? I don’t need to think about an answer for this one, it spells itself in the headlines and the streets everyday. What we really need is leaders. We sure don’t have enough of those and Halloween is a good practice for our children to stop and think-a skill that they will need over and over.
The companions of prophet Muhammad sala Allahu alaihy wa salam once asked him about pre-Islamic holiday and that prophet sala Allahu alaihy wa salam was firm when he said that Allah has given you two better holidays instead.
The concept of Trick or Treat however still bewilders me. Can we play tricks on someone because they didn’t give us what we want? Would we allow our children to do that? Okay, I hear you saying that children don’t play tricks on anyone anymore and that it’s just the name of the game. I’ll say that some children still do and they feel they have the right to do so. Let’s teach our children some dignity. Going from one house to another holding their buckets to be filled by strangers is a form of begging. Is it okay to beg for one day? I’ll say we don’t need more beggers in the Ummah either as we don’t need more followers of others.
Also, Collecting candies is a pure competition in the Dunia in its worst form. The children compete between them to collect the most of the cheap products which emphasize the immoral act of greediness and collection for the sake of collection. When Allah subhanahu wa taala mentioned competition in surat Almutafefeen, He said: “22. Verily, Al-Abr�r (the pious who fear All�h and avoid evil) will be in delight (Paradise).

23. On thrones, looking (at all things).

24. You will recognise in their faces the brightness of delight.

25. They will be given to drink pure sealed wine.

26. The last thereof (that wine) will be the smell of musk, and for this let (all) those strive who want to strive (i.e. hasten earnestly to the obedience of All�h).(

In conclusion, Striving is only acceptable when it counts and candy was never a good reason. Our children today are tomorrow’s leaders and Halloween is a good place to start shaping their minds. Knocking on doors is not a dignified act of a believer. Halloween is a wrong name for this holiday, it should be called “Holloween” for its hollow morals. ©marwa Sabry 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

“NO”, says the toddler.
In a parking lot, a two-year old grabbed her mother’s keys and ran with them.
“Give’ em to me,” ordered the mother.
“No,” said the toddler defensively.
“Give’ em here,” yelled the mother.
“No”, yelled back the toddler.
If you are a parent and you can relate to this scene, chances are you may be responsible for your toddler’s behavior. Simple steps can make your toddler change her attitude but only if you change yours.
The first step in the healing process is to admit that you might be as stubborn as your child. Your answers to most of her requests may be “no”. Therefore, she does the same. You should not say “no” to your child unless you have a good reason and by that I mean that her demand is either forbidden in Islam, dangerous, or you are sick. If none of the mentioned reasons is true, then say “yes”. The less “nos” your child receives, the more “yeses” you will get in return.
Respond to your child’s needs so that she learns to trust you and rely on you. Don’t let her feel that her tears don’t mean much to you but don’t hand her anything just because she is crying for it. Express to her that you understand that she is upset and state the reason you believe is behind her anger. Give her words to express her feelings instead of tears or worse screams. When you have her attention, list your reasons for saying “no”.
Change the subject
Sometimes the wisdom relies not in the confrontation but in changing the subject. In the example of the toddler grabbing the keys and refusing to hand it back. The child is too young and the parking lot is not the best place to hold a discussion with a toddler. The solution may lay in the mother’s purse or pockets. Holding another interesting toy or item that you’re not afraid of losing may be just the easiest solution. Show it to the toddler and explain how cute it is in an enthusiastic way. The child may drop the keys or you may be able to make a quick switch while admiring the toy.
Toddlers go through phases of independence and the last thing you want is a confrontation with an independent toddler who relies on you all the time.
©Marwa Sabry 2007
A mother who studies the art of childhood and a Project Corners

Monday, March 2, 2009

Don’t Skip This Dinner

Don’t Skip This Dinner

Mornings in Silicon Valley…Don’t even ask about them. They’re mainly full of hopping on tight schedules and as far as I am concerned, family time may end by each member of the family filing out the door. Evenings however, should definitely be different or we’re risking family ties. Positive relations between family members are essential but they don’t last without nurturing. We can take dinner time to nurture, and sustain healthy relations.
Dining tables whether they’re solid wood or plastic, can offer more than what we shopped for. Everyone in the family should make every effort to join the daily family dinner. Kids should take part in setting or cleaning the table no matter how busy or sloppy they might be. This 10 minutes chore will give them another perspective of what it takes to be part of a family.
Most of all, talk at dinner time. Each one including parents, should take turn mentioning the important things that happened that day. When parents seek their children’s advice, children will do the same when needed. Children should listen to their parents talk about what went wrong in their day and what went right. When it’s the child’s turn, let’s really listen and ask the important questions to show that we truly care. There is no time for details but the main points ought to do the trick of bonding the family.
Some kids will not know how to share their day so here are some questions that will help them get there in shaa Allah:
What was the best thing that happened to you today?
What was the worst thing that happened today?
What did you do in the recess?
Who did you spend your recess with?
These will give you an idea of what’s on top of your child’s head in shaa Allah and you’ll know who her friends are.
मरवा सबरी
a mother who studied the art of childhood

Thursday, January 29, 2009