Friday, 17 June 2011
Moms! Jumuah Delights! Parent Taming
Invite all to the way of your Lord and with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are the best and most gracious: for your Lord knows best, we have from his path and who received the guidance ~ (Q16:25)
Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love. ~Mildred B.
The Prophet SAW also says, “The best of you will never use force as a means of taribiyyah (nuturing)”.
When kids finally push us over the edge with the same behaviour we have been tolerating for days on end. Out of frustration, we begin to shout, yell and even label the kids with names, such, as “you are a very bad kid”, “you are lazy”. Some parents go as far as labelling the child, with words like, you are a disgrace, liar and very bad. This will only teach the child to continue in this manner if this is the only way he/she can get your attention. Therefore, discipline does not just mean using force; it means using certain disciplinary measures, e.g., no visits to the park, or visiting friends, or riding bikes.
Children should feel that even though they have to suffer the consequences of their actions, we must act with gentleness and mercy. A kid would know without being told, that Mommy loves them and is their friend. Discipline should never be viewed by kids as an act of revenge or hatred.
We know that discipline and self-restraint are main characteristics of the Muslim. We learn this through fasting and refraining from things Allah has told us to stay away from, eating pork for instance. Set clear and positive messages, make sure your boundaries and corresponding consequences are very clear. Identify what you want your child to do instead of what you do not what them to do, the Prophet SAW, never said a harsh word to Ibn Abbas throughout the time he spent with him. Therefore, the prophet taught and practiced positive parenting.
For example, the consequence of not coming to the dinner table when food is served, will be to eat it has it is!
When you are writing up boundaries, be clear, specific and remain positive
a. Don’t write –
i. I want to stop Jasmine from waking late for Fajr
ii. I want to stop my mom from giving Faris too many sweets
iii. I want Kulthum to memorise a portion of the Quran daily
i. I want to help Jasmine wake up for the Fajr prayer
ii. I want Faris to start eating more fruit and vegetables
iii. I will arrange for Kulthum to stay awake after Fajr and memorise the Quran for 30 minutes
Keeping to your boundaries is where the challenge lies, it is important to stand your ground, when you catch them doing something good – praise them. Always be consistent! In addition, stick to your promise; otherwise, you will not be trusted! Learn to negotiate, children are the best negotiators I have come across – so be sensible! As you are leading by example, you will be teaching your little gems these skills too! Boundaries show that you care about your child and what they are doing, it also helps them know where they stand and helps to feel secure and valued. Great skills for their future development.
With routines – children are learning to be self-independent and consist. We need to teach them to learn to wait, help and be patient. Hence, we will be developing solid tolerance levels for patience in our kids.
Parenting is all about parents, we have to learn to refrain and control our anger. Remember kids will emulate what they see and not what they have been told.
Our call to action today, before we can start with the kids – we need to sort ourselves out first!
Identify a “parent tantrum” you throw when you are very upset. For example, you pay negative attention to children, which usually involves “telling off” “or yelling”.
Start identifying positive ways to change this “parent tantrum” , commit to acting our age. You will not be able to change their behaviour by yelling and shouting.
If you keep calm and collected, you will start to notice a change in your kid’s behaviour. It is usually a long process, but if you are consistent and disciplined – you will start seeing results sooner.
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A very useful resource on discipline is Effective discipline for Muslim Parents by Grandma Jeddah at www.grandmajeddah.com.
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