Lots of Moms have asked how to stop fretting over their childrens untidy rooms and the mess they leave behind in the kitchen. In a moment I will tell you how; a really important thing you can start doing today that will have a dramatic impact on you and your children, is to physically show your child what you what them to do.
Lets visit umm Sabur’s home...
Little Zubaydah has always enjoyed cooking with Mom, so she decides to make some “chuppates” since she cannot say the word “chappati”, whilst Mom is fast asleep.
“Hmmm! Mom is fast asleep in her reclining chair very tired, she is always burning her candle at both ends! I wish she would take a break – Mom’s very hard working” – mutters Zubaydah.
Back in the kitchen, Zubaydah chatting away to her brother Abdul Rahaman “ I think I will need some flour, sugar oil and some butter”, “Abdul Rahaman “ she shouts “come here please, do you think I have all the ingredients to make my chuppaties?”. Abdul Rahaman replies “I guess so, I will just get the big baking pan, and then we can get down to it, Mom will be so proud of us.”
They both start singing “Chuppaties! Chuppaties! Chuppaties! Let us get down to it”, as they mix all the ingredients together. I leave you with the vivid imagination of the state Umm Sabur’s kitchen is in by now!
Umm Sabur wakes up! to the Clitter! Clatter! coming from the kitchen. She gathers herself and makes her way to the kitchen – as she stands at the door her face drowned in perplexity! Her fists perched on her hips “SubuhanAllah!” She exclaimed and then started counting backwards from 10. Mumbling under her breath, "remain calm and controlled, you can handle this, be patient and all will be well”.
Thoughts were turning over in her head, knowing she had a choice she decided to tackle this from a positive point of view. She calls out, “ Zubaydah do you want some help finishing off the chuppaties? ” “Yes, please Mom”, “on one condition that we clean up afterwards”, “InshAllah Mom, cooking is fun, isn’t it? That’s why Allah made you the best Mom and the best cook in the whole wide world,” with a huge grin on her face she plants a sloppy kiss on Umm Sabur’s cheek. And they both begin to chat as they bake away.
Imagine yourself in this situation how would you have reacted?
The natural reaction would be to scream or yell at Zubaydah and Abdul Rahaman, but Mom chose to remain calm.
How many times have we reacted and got upset at the sight of the kitchen, or our kids bedrooms?. Kids will always press our buttons,we just need to be ahead of the game whilst remaining in the driving seat. Being in control of our actions will always yield long lasting positive results.
Umm Sajdah made the right decision after recovering from the initial shock. Zubaydah will remember the days she baked with Mom years to come as opposed to memories of a yelling Mom.
A lesson to take from this scenario is to understand the importance of showing our kids what to do and how to do it. We will be equipping them with life skills that will encourage and nurture their growth into productive independent Muslims. After all, parenting is not about the kids it’s about us parents!.
Some tips for us Moms!
1. Look for the positive intention behind the action your child has taken, where applicable (easier said than done) join in the fun! Showing the kids how to clean up their mess after themselves.
2. Lead by example, kids will always emulate you , they see you as their role model – so always leave behind a clean tidy kitchen.
3. Make cleaning fun and rewarding
4. Introduce cleaning at an early age so they will get use to it as they grow older.
5. Let them realise the inconvenience the mess will cause to others.
6. The secret is to SHOW them what to do and let them do it and NOT you!
7. Praise them for cleaning up and introduce consequences for when they don’t
8. It’s important to praise and reward them for good effort
9. Finally, we need to remind the children that cleanliness is half of our faith.
Allah tells us, with every difficulty comes ease. Wherever you are in your life at present you are doing a Momtastic job! May Allah reward all Moms with the highest station in Jannah.
You are doing the most difficult job in the world.