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The most practical parenting plan:3 stages of respectful parenting 

The most practical parenting plan:3 stages of respectful parenting . . "A child is a student when playing with sticks. A child is a student when learning to write between lines. A child is a student every single minute because he/she is already living his/her life; we must refrain from entertaining the thought that we need to train children to begin living their lives as adults" . . Click the link on the bio for the blog post on the The most practical parenting plan:3 stages of respectful parenting . What methods do you lean towards? Do share your thoughts💟 . . https://nuzham.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/the-most-practical-parenting-plan3-stages-of-respectful-parenting/?preview=true #homeschoolingmom #homeschool #muscathomeschoolers #muscatbloggers #muscatblog #muscatblogging #omanmums #omanblog #muscatblogging #muslimama #muscat #unschooling #homeschooling #joyfulmamas #motherhoodrocks #letthembelittle #educationsystems #sunnah #raising #lovelearning #themomtribefollowloop #mamatomama #mamaloop9 #mamacanteach #learningathome #muslimama #islamicparenting #instamom #muslimhomeschool #motherhoodthroughinstagram #cheekygigglesonapumpkintummy

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Today I came across a post on a popular mommy page where a mother was asking for book recommendations to teach her 5 month old baby. Teach. Not read to or show but teach.

The other day, another mom in the same group had posted a message out of panic. Due to being pregnant with her second child, this mother had been unable to teach her child to write and do sums and now she is worried that the child would be a failure and shunned. How old was the child in question? Two.

Two years old. 24 months.

We have fallen prey to the demands of this world. We created those demands and now, are in danger of being crushed by them.

When something as natural as learning starts to stress out the student or the teacher,then there is something unnatural in the mix. Take a break and evaluate your goals and priorities. 

“A child is a student when playing with sticks. 

A child is a student when learning to write between lines. 

A child is a student every single minute because he/she is already living his/her life; we must refrain from entertaining the thought that we need to train children to begin living their lives as adults

Here is a beautifully explained piece on parenting that I try to remember to live by:

“On the subject of raising children, Ali ibn Abi Taalib (RA) said:

“Play with them for the first 7 years of their life, then teach them for the next 7 years; and then finally advise them for the next 7 years afterwards .”
*First 7 Years
In the first 7 years, your goal is to build a strong connection with your child. This is the foundation, the base from which your relationship with them grows. If this rock is solid, the remaining years will be much easier. If this foundation forms poorly, the next years will be more challenging.
If you have young children, this (first 7 years) is the time to roll up your sleeves and invest, heavily, in yours and their future. In fact, you will be rewarded for all the righteous progeny that survives you, not just children, until the Day of Judgement.
*Next 7 Years
Once children reach 7, they are ready to learn. This is the time they are sponges, ready to soak up anything and everything you tell them, teach them, show them, and do in front of them. If you built that solid foundation in ages 0-7, they are now more than willing and happy to learn from you.
This is the time to teach them everything — aqeedah, halaal and haraam, fiqh, all the things they need to know to survive throughout their life. Qur’an and seerah are also very important; as one prominent tabi’een said, “we learned seerah (frequently and in details) from our parents the way we learned Qur’an.”
Teach them sports too, Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Teach your children Swimming, Archery and Horseback riding.” They gain many benefits from it, including physical fitness, learning teamwork, and sportsmanship.

*The Final 7 Years
Once your children hit 14, they are probably already mukallaf (full adults Islamically, and accountable for their actions) — this happens at puberty, or at age 15 at the latest.
At this age, you are mostly out of the picture. Children achieve independence; their personalities manifest; they look more to their peers than their parents and families. During these critical years, befriend them, advise them, and do what you can; understand that they are now full adults, and the choices are theirs to make, right or wrong.
If you worked hard during the last two periods of 7 years, you will already be that trusted confidant, that advisor, that go-to person when they need help or advice. Be part of their lives, and advise them as best you can.

May the almighty aid us in raising our kids!

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How to not catch cooties, Islamic style

Little children are sometimes the unkindest creatures to walk the planet. Their blatant lack of regard for propriety means brutal honesty. As quickly as they melt hearts with their smiles, they are capable of completely ostracizing or excluding another child for being different. A common problem in their tiny minds is figuring out how not to catch “cooties” off another tiny human, most often, someone of the opposite gender. They would talk to said individual and even maybe play a game but will screech at the thought of contact because of the “cooties”.

These children grow in body but almost always, never as a person, and roam the grounds as adults, silently afraid of catching “cooties”.

But only now, the dreaded imaginary germ is very real.

Hesitant to visit the sick for too long

Afraid of looking into the eyes of the poor and starving

Ill at ease in the company of those experiencing tragedy and heartbreak

For the cooties now mean more than physical discomfort; ill fortunes of others are feared to be contagious.

As with most, the cure for the worry exists.

When I told my Umamma(maternal grandmother)of a certain situation that I wished I never had to be in, she shared with me a one-liner that she assured me would shield me of all that I feared would be passed on to me: a cough, hair fall or even the fear of being married young. And it has always worked like a charm to quell the bubbles of fear as they begin to form in the pit.

[“Peace!”- a word (of salutation)from a Lord Most Merciful]  

Surah Yasin, verse 58

Mentally reciting this, sometimes with fervor to protect myself of whatever it was that I did not want to catch or experience has worked every single time. I have always experienced a sense of calmness as though the chanting of that line conjured up a safety bubble around me, not unlike the ones they cast over Hogwarts to thwart Lord Voldemort and his creepy followers. My enemy was scarier than any insecure cloaked man with a childish need of power and so, I remained secure in the ease I received at remembering the verse and ensured to recite it for myself and all my loved ones in mind.

I recited it out of fear when I visited an aunt diagnosed with cancer, with horror when I watched a widow cling to her young children in grief, and vehemently, when I heard of a girl having to marry young and “unaccomplished”.

I remained secure in my belief that I was able to ward off all that I least desired with a whisper of this verse. Till this morning.

It was very difficult for me to concentrate on my Fajr prayer today because I kept unconsciously pondering upon this verse and how fortunate I was to have been taught this.

And then I remembered I got married at 19, barely having accomplished anything since high school.

I answered a late night call twice in the space of a week when I was pregnant with my eldest, to be told that a beloved aunt and then a cousin had both been widowed with little children under their care.

The vicious claws of cancer grabbed two more beloved aunts.

This realization hit me with a force so intense that I had to pause before finding the courage to get the English translation out. I knew it was about peace, but did not know the depth of the verse.

The verses preceding this talk about the elation of the deserving after entering Heaven/Jannah and reaping the fruits of their lives, and getting all what was promised to them. Then they would be blessed with the greeting of “Peace” from the Almighty, because that is what they would have for eternity after facing the trials and tribulations of this world.

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How was this verse, as amazing as it is, supposed to help me from catching anything I feared and why had I not realized that my protective measure had not worked in most cases?

The answer lay hidden in the simple word of peace.

Albeit unknowingly, the assurance of peace after the trials and pain had kept me going and given me the strength to see reason and accept every situation I had prayed against.

This brought to mind something I had read about in Reclaim your Heart, by Yasmin Mogahed. She talked about the verse “Verily with hardship comes ease.” (Qur’an, 94:5) and about how the ease comes with hardships and not after or before. I would not do this topic justice if I was to squeeze it in here but the gist was to understand that nothing in this life is perfectly good or revoltingly bad; the aspect of perfection was reserved for Jannah/Heaven and Jahannam/Hell.

For all the times I uttered what my wise Umamma taught me, I was unsuspectingly warding off the fear and unease I had about handling the situation, should it fall upon me because that is what had happened. She had given me a lifeline when my paranoia threatened to suffocate me at the thought of any ill fortune or pain on my loved ones.

My beloved Umamma returned to her creator 5 years ago and all the “calamities” I described above happened in the space of 7 years but its proof of Allah’s infinite mercy that this realization hit me years after the pain and confusion. For had I realized then, I fear to think that my Iman/Faith would have been compromised at the thought of my “go-to-remedy” having “failed” me.

I had unconsciously been teaching myself to look at the bigger picture and reach for the reward of having the almighty bestow the salutation of “peace” and this I truly believe is what got me through my fears and change of plans that I assumed in my naivety, would do me no good .

I planned and I planned but Allah planned the best.

 

 

Islamic parenting · Muslim Mama · Parenting in Ramadan · Quran · Ramadan · Ramadan Tips · Surviving Ramadan with kids · Women

Ramadan tips in the era of Facebook-worthy parenting

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If you have ever felt gutted while browsing through the zillions of Ramadan related crafts and activities people share,  or felt guilty at not giving your children and family the magical Ramadan that your neighbor is giving her family, step into the boat and we shall row far away from the wrath of the perfect parents.

The updates started to roll in, slowly but surely. Blogs and posts of extensive Ramadan decorations and crafts that threatened to crush my airway with their sheer difficulty were all over the social media.

Suhoor and Iftar menus were documented and recipes were exchanged. Children were presented with Ramadan baskets filled with handmade items to keep them occupied during the month as the mothers occupied themselves with preparing vast meals with intricate garnishing and memorized the Quran along with it.

Every single tidbit was photographed and plastered all over the home page to possibly motivate moron-mothers like yours truly.

I watched all the preparations with a sense of foreboding that increased as the first day of Ramadan approached. With a folder full of ideas and recipes, I was all set but for the sheer energy or time.

Mustering up the motivation to change out of my pajamas by midday is an achievement; the idea of making ocean themed pastries with finicky pastry is laughable when my belly is full let alone while fasting.

After finally stepping out of the baby bubble this year, I was faced with the prospect of fasting the entire month whilst homeschooling a highly inquisitive 3 year old and a 1 year old who puts the energizer bunny to shame.

Although the month began in trepidation, this Ramadan has been one of the most productive and calmer ones in recent memory, with the help of a few small but necessary adjustments to my mindset.

Alhamdulillah!

  1. Curb the need to shine on social media. You choosing not to parade your kitchen success on your profile does not mean you feed your family sticks of butter. This constant need for approval in the form of “likes” can be indulged in all other months but let it go for now.
  2. Keep your meals simple but packed full of nutrition. Simple additions to your diet, like a glass of water with a couple of dates soaked in it for 12 hours can go a long way to keep acidity at bay. A plate full of watermelon at Suhoor keeps you away from being dehydrated. This is the month of fasting and not feasting, no matter what tradition may say. Stick to your regular dinner meals if possible.
  3. Keep your phone on you as much as possible. Use an authentic Quran app to sneak in a couple of pages of recitation whenever you are excused from pretending to be a horse or patient at the hands of your little minions.
  4. If you are homeschooling younger children, let these last few weeks be focused entirely on teaching them Quranic stories. We opted for a word-a-day activity to last the entire Ramadan (there will be more on this in the near future). Children love stories and the Quran is brimming full of enchanting ones.
  5. When you feel boredom or restlessness creeping in, listen to short but relevant lectures by orators who are gifted with the power to awaken your need to learn. A personal favourite would be Br. Nouman Ali Khan and his hilariously concise analogies.
  6. Try and get the children to stick to their regular sleep schedule as much as possible. This leaves you ample time for focus on yourself and your relationship with the Quran.
  7. It would be preferable to have finished all the Eid shopping before Ramadan but not everyone sticks to plans or remembers to take carefully jotted lists when stepping out of the house. The final ten days are around the corner- rush out and get all the clothes and gifts before they dawn upon us.
  8. Do not spend the last few days getting ready for Eid. Need decorations? Begin now or simply print out a bunting banner and you are good to go. The spirit of Eid al Fitr cannot be dulled by the lack of finicky decorations.
  9. Keep a record of things you want to achieve before the month comes to an end. The Satan is locked away and cannot hinder you from turning on a new leaf. Use these weeks to rid yourself of habits that you are not too proud of because this is the easiest time to practice doing so without the buzz of the devil.

Tendency to indulge in a spot of gossip? Make a vow to dedicate a prayer for each time you re lapse.

Easily hooked on to shows and prone to binge watching? Reward yourself for every day you go without it.

  1. Handling children: This is a tough one but a breeze once you actually stop and think about it. Our progeny hold the immense power to make us go from benevolent mothers to scaring the wicked witch of the west in a few seconds.  Short from having them on a leash (no pun intended), there is nothing we can do about it. Give them a free pass for the month. Let them have lots of unstructured playing whilst you sit in the same room (a witness is always required when you deal with more than one) and catch up on your recitation. It is entirely up to you if you feel that they need a structured time but this will require your already sparse energy too.  When they squabble, make it a point to begin a long talk and they will learn to figure it out themselves (happy dance*).

 

Our religion is a natural one and we creatures have been exhaustingly making it as tough as it possibly can get.  Mothers place undue stress upon themselves to live up to the insane standards set by individuals who are either blessed with amazing energy levels or have help at home; it is never possible to have it all AND feel a sense of satisfaction.

You will always have to forgo something.

It just does not have to be your sanity or your sense of achievement.

The mercy you show your children when you clean their snotty noses, the struggle you face in trying to coax food between their adamant teeth, the mini-asphyxiating episode you face as you wait for them to get off your head whilst in prayer, and even your funny faces to bring on a smile on their face is being recorded and rewarded a heap of times more than on any other month.

If the first part of the month was less productive than you would have liked it to be, let it go. You have the final 10 days to look forward to and make the most out of. Use the few days before those days to prepare yourself and your family to enjoy the rewards they come with.

In a highly materialistic world that places deep values in the opinion of society, it is difficult to stand up and do anything differently. Do it for Allah and remember that every family and their needs differ and you will surely be blessed with a sense of contentment, something even a zillion “likes” will never bring about.

O Mothers of the social media Ummah, you are the Queens of your households; reign as freely as you wish to!

Ramadan Mubarak!