Using their own initiative


One of the overdue posts lol. I used to read at sister Umm Raiyaan’s blog about her child started doing things on her own initiative. I used to get so excited about my little ones being so one day. And Alhamdulillah time has gone so fast and it is hard to believe in 2 months time it will be 5 years since I have first become a mother. Blessed with the title twice since then lol.

If anything I could recall Sumayya benefitting from public school- it was this. She has started doing things on her own initiative, be it make and do projects or study-related things. She was constantly making things for her friends and teacher at school, writing letters to them and always reading books she brings from school.

I remember one of the 1st things she made completely on her own was a camera made out of toilet roll paper. Unfortunately I have not saved a picture of that project but she has used toilet roll paper, popsicle sticks and 2 milk bottle lids to make a camera. I have no idea who injects such ideas into her head and how she comes up such unique ways of proceeding in terms of practicality.

Then she has made a rocket from a kitchen roll paper and wrote down the names of all her friends vertically (not horizontally as we usually do). Then she made a book from an empty nappy box. She cut the hard card board box into smaller rectangle sized chunks. She wrote a sentences on each rectangle and drew a picture to go with a sentence. Then she has arranged each rectangle into pages and used cello tape to put the pages together. Such a talent. Honestly, we have made a lot more complicated things in the past. But, WE have made it TOGETHER. Usually, when we make things together it goes like this:

I have an idea->I research arts/crafts projects on this->I print the instructions->I get together all the necessary items (construction paper, foam, pom-poms, glue etc)->I give instructions->Kids will do it

But all three things I mentioned above, a camera, a rocket and a book, goes like this

Sumayya had an idea->She had thought of the practicality of going ahead with it->she has decided what make/do things to use for her project (toilet roll paper, kitchen roll paper, nappy box, cello-tape etc)->she found those things->she figured out what to do step by step->she made them

Honestly, she used to amaze me those days with her imagination and creativity. I think she got the motivation from school as every week they were supposed to bring in empty cereal boxes, milk bottles and things to use in classroom. Maybe group work, pair work encouraged her to show off her talents like this, wallahu A’lam. But she has not been making things on her own initiative.

Safiyya, mashaAllah makes things all day long. If we want her to sit still we only need to put paper, scissors and glue stick in front of her. We dont have to say anything. She always has an idea in her head. But she thinks what she made afterwards. She is not a thinker like Sumayya.

For example, she quickly cuts lots of paper into small bits. Sticks them onto another paper, wherever she wants, casually and quickly without thinking. Then she has a quick look at final project and then she decides what it is. Sometimes it can be a newspaper ad for toddler group she goes, but a little later she decides it wasnt about toddler group but it was something else lol. She is so hilarious, she always makes us laugh.

Though she doesnt make as many things on her own initiative, Sumayya does write letters. I receive love letters such as this daily from her. She usually writes 2-3 sentences and draws a picture to go with it. The one on the right belongs to Safiyya. You can see how their brain work so differently from their work lol. For Safiyya it doesnt really matter how her final project looks, it doesnt really matter what it is and it doesnt matter if she doesnt cut/paste neatly etc. She only wants to be doing something with her fingers and when she looks at her work finally she has a long time to think of what it could be. She really struggles to decide what it might be lol.


And she plays lots of pretend games and role-plays with Safiyya. She comes up with original story-lines. Of course none beats Safiyya when it comes to acting. So, we have perfect team lol. One making stories and one acting them out. One day they pretended a game/story involved Eid party and decided to invite grandma. Sumayya made an invitation card for her grandma.



Huose Road is the wrong spelling name of our road lol.

Another thing is Sumayya is so sensitive. She cant accept shouting, telling her off and pointing out her mistakes. Safiyya is so cool with all these. But she is irresponsive as well. Sumayya responds to my reaction and tries to rectify herself, her behaviour, discipline. Safiyya, on the other hand, keeps smiling and almost tries to win you over with her smiles. Sometimes when I tell her off she does cry but then she forgets very quickly, whereas her sister remembers it for days and days. Overall, I would say Sumayya is very reserved, sensible and sensitive. Safiyya is much more confident, talkative but also cheeky and can be a bit naughty too. I sometimes struggle how to approach her certain habits (such as spitting) as I find shouting and telling off so counter-productive with her. May Allah help me and make me patient with this child.

Anyway. Here is another letter Sumayya wrote to me. I shouted at her when I was angry. I cant remember now what she did wrong but she was so upset. So she came back after a little while and handed me over this letter. I was so upset and at the same time happy myself. I gave her lots of hugs and we had the following conversation too.


The letter reads: “I love mummy (on the cover). To mummy. Way do you shout at me wen I do bad things. It is not good. From Sumayya Fayziddin“. SubhanAllah.

-Sumayya, what happens if I shout at you. Do you get upset

-Yea, I do get upset. If you shout at me then I want to do bad things again and again

-What shall I do then

-You should explain it nicely like this “my darling Sumayya, please do it like this, honey” lol.

Safiyya overheard this conversation and every time I start telling her off repeats those lines of her sister’s in exact same manner. Because she gets herself more into trouble than her sister, I feel I have to do something. I always make dua for kids but other than that I just have to be patient with Safiyya’s some “creativity habits” subhanAllah.

Alhamdulillah, I am glad Allah helps us being open with our children in our family. Sumayya always reminds me of saying “Auzu billahi minash shaytonir rojiym” as soon as I start getting angry and it does help. She explains her feelings rather well for her age and says if I show love when she does something wrong, she corrects herself without being told. I think it is a reminder for all moms inshaAllah.






2 thoughts on “Using their own initiative

  1. Dinara says:

    SubhanAllah! I find this article so so related to my current situation. And reading these all gives me a comfort, that I am not the only one struggling with one’s patience. This piece of writing reminded me once again how important it is to know your child, observe, grow along, have a deeper look at child’s inner senses and what the child is actually trying to convey. Any misbehavior can be a message too for parents. Just an hour ago, I finally lost my temper and gave it a shout…she ran away and fell asleep. When she wakes up she might not remember this, but if she does she may recall how upset she was and tell me this with a puppy face. On the other hand I want her to understand that what she did was wrong. I was asking her not to do sth, she was staring at me and kept doing this over and over again, lol))) I wonder what was going through her mind that time? Why would she do the opposite of what I asked her on purpose? And she refused to say a word, she was just absolutely silent, no explanation at all. SubhanAllah…after three times of repeating, I broke down..I still try to understand what is behind such behavior? JazakAllahu khayraan!


    • Read about oppositional behaviour. It might help. Basically she feels in control when she sees you shouting. You could have taken whatever she is doing away or leave the room yourself etc. You might also find it useful reading about Nag Factor. We should not nag them to do/not to do sth but rather be patient and give them enough room to figure out what they are doing wrong, i.e you told her so many times that she shouldnt leave shoes in the hallway after coming back from outdoors but she did. so, instead of asking her to put her shoes away, you call her, give an angry kind of look and look at her shoes in the hallway. give hints so child should figure out herself what she did wrong and what to do next- we should not use a word lol. alhamdulillah i find this method helpful with my kids


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