You are not bad, you are just young!!!

Bismillah,

Alhamdulillah, it feels so nice to be back here, writing about the things that have been occupying my mind for some time now. I have realized that writing truly is one of my very few passions in life. So, here I am today writing about the important attitudes and skills essential to parenting.

I have been studying and working with children for over ten years now. Although it is not a long time, due to nature of our advanced society where different child development theories come and go each year, I feel I have been through various approaches, theories, attitudes as a teacher and a mother. Again, due to the nature of education evolving and developing so rapidly, we get at least 10 new books published each year somehow related to parenting. We read and drown ourselves in pool of information; all the way from potty training to getting kids eat their vegetables; from how to stop children telling lies to how to stop yelling. Whereas, in practice, I have come to believe, there are only a handful of attitudes and skills essential to successful parenting. And these contain the most profound task we ever set for ourselves- the willingness to grow, change and mature in every single day of our lives.

Nothing in nature is more complex or mysterious than a human-being. And yet we search for easy quick-fix solutions when dealing with our children. When patience is needed, we hasten; when kindness is needed, we spank, when empathy is needed, we shut down.

Self-awareness and Self-consciousness

Although we can influence it to a great deal, we can’t always control children’s action. However, what we can control is our own reaction. I have tested it over and over again- very often our reaction is not proportionate to how badly our children behaved. Our reaction is not in proportion to how big the kid-problem we face at the time. Sometimes, they may do the smallest things in the world like shutting the door harshly or talking loudly in a room and yet we lose control and start shouting. Other times, however, they may do the worst actions (I honestly couldn’t think of what could be the worst child action at the time of writing, throwing a tantrum, sibling rivalry resorting to hitting or child refusing to eat a meal you prepared with so much love), and yet we contain ourselves. The reason behind our varying reaction is how good or positive we are feeling in ourselves at the time of an assumed “mishap”.

On this note, I urge all the mothers to raise their own self-consciousness. Keep a diary or journal to write about your “trigger” moments. Or simply do a one-off reflection where you go somewhere green (local park or woodland etc) and write down your child’s worst behavior scenarios from the past and what your reaction have been, something similar to this.

Firstly, it helps you to understand yourself better. Secondly, writing requires to activate your thought process. When you are asked to sit down and write down those “trigger moments” and your reactions, you will realize how pathetic you can become sometimes in power struggles with your little one. Thirdly, as you are more aware of yourself, you can think of alternative strategies to blowing up, screaming and yelling. Perhaps, you can think of ways to make yourself happier in those moments. Thinking positively takes a lot of energy and training. For example, we have just come back from shopping. My 8 year old wanted to help put the shopping away. Accidentally she dropped a tray of eggs on the floor and all the eggs broke. You can either spank, lash out with “You are so clumsy. You couldnt even do that. Who asked you to put the eggs away anyway?” or think to yourself “At least she was trying to help.”

Love and empathy

As human beings, we all have an emotional tank and raising children can be draining at times. However, as an adult, we have to regain our posture and keep giving love to children even at times they don’t deserve. Perhaps, more so at times they don’t deserve. Unconditional love should be the foundation of everything.

Often, we look at our children as our own extended versions, rather than acknowledging them as a separate individual. Our actions reflect on them and theirs on us. We show our love based on their performance. We reward them when they behave in desired ways and threaten and fear them when the opposite happens. Our cuddles, kisses and hugs are plentiful as long as they accomplish their chores or do their homework. We often display love that is conditional, and just can not be bothered to display empathy when things are not going our way. We fail to attempt to understand things from our a child’s perspective and totally shut down when they need us. The time your child is told off because of her misbehaviour is probably the time she needs to be hugged most. Sometimes, one hug or showing physical affection can fix lots of whining and whinges. But, rather than connecting with our child, we do more correcting “You should learn how to talk properly. Stop whinging”,  “I am not going to listen to you until you stop whining.” or “You are old enough to ask for things in proper manner.” Thus we fail to meet our children’s need for love.

The problem is that, parents have not been able to make one simple distinction children need to hear often “You are not bad. You are just young!” (Eda Leeshan) If children feel genuinely loved by their parents for who they are, they will be more responsive to our guidance. It is only when they are emotionally secure, children are willing to cooperate. The first steps towards empathy is acknowledging their feelings “I know you are upset. Tell me about it” or “I know how you feel. Arabic can be too hard sometimes”. When you acknowledge their state without blaming them for how they felt, you take your first steps towards connection.

The key ingredient here is being able to LOVE yourself. That’s right. Stop blaming yourself for every uncontrolled tantrum. Stop making yourself feel like a failure for an uncooked dinner once in awhile. Stop being control freak and analyzing everything in your head. We all have to change ourselves for the sake of our kids. Love yourself so you can give love those around you. Have some sympathy for yourself so you can empathize with your kids.

Patience is a virtue

How many times have we been ordered to remain patient as a Muslim? In Islam, patience is a multi-dimensional concept with several ranks and mentioned over 90 times in the Qur’an. If I had to choose one human attribute that is crucial to parenting, it would be patience. Because, even the simplest things may take a long time, especially when you are trying to grow human-beings who process things countless number of times in their head before it sinks in and reflects on their actions.

Parenting demands an enormous amount of patience from a person. And let me clarify as well, being patient is not remaining calm and collective because you have no other choice. Being patient is not suffering in silence. Rather, patience is acting calm and collective when you have the upper hand whilst you talk about things that have been bothering you. Patience is forcing a smile on yourself when you see your children jumping on the bed, no brushing teeth, no pajamas well past the bed time and being able to  remind them of their bed time routine without screaming. Patience is stop yelling “Hurry Up” every time you are out with four kids because they are too slow according to your standards. Patience is stop blaming everything around you but rather accept their state of being and trying to change through a gentle reminder each time. 

In a nutshell, we first need to raise ourselves in order to raise our kids. Because the moment you became a parent, God blessed you with the biggest chance to grow again. May Allah ease our hardships and make this journey easy for all parents.

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Self-development

Bismillah,

 

The girls have been going to swimming for the past two weeks. Alhamdulillah, Big S is swimming so well without armbands. I actually doubted her swimming skills since we have not been at all for the past 6 months (since the birth of baby S, that is nearly half a year subhanAllah). And even before that we were not going regularly due to pregnancy and other issue. Hence I was actually very surprised when I saw her swimming. Especially the second week, she was swimming on her back, on her front, with her head under the water and she tried sideways. So, she was basically confident enough to try out different styles of swimming.

Now middle S is a complete different story. First week we didn’t take armbands so she was constantly either clinging to me or to metal bar on the side of the pool. Second week, with armbands on, she did let the metal bar go a little and she was praising herself so much for that. This girl of mine does not like to challenge herself. SubhanAllah.

Anyway, this post is supposed to be about myself and how I am connecting to the children. Since I have come back from Saudi, I keep thinking and rethinking about our set ways of doing things and my teaching and I feel there is something missing. I am often disappointed with myself. Generally speaking, I think one feels quite disappointed to return to this “dunya” where everything revolves around worldly things and you have just been to a holy a place at a time everything revolves around Godly things. Very strange feeling.

So, I keep evaluating things at home and keep asking “What do I want to achieve out of this homeschool thing? What is it really I am striving for?” Yes I want them to be able to read and understand Qur’an. Yes I want them to learn the Arabic language proficiently. Yes I want them to excel in Math, English, Science and in all their academic subjects. Yes I want them to go to top universities and become a dentist, a doctor, an archaeologist and ocean explorer, a story writer and an illustrator. However, the bottom line is, I want them to be good MUSLIMS.  So, before anything else, I want them to have good spiritual connection with Allah the Almighty and submit completely to the will of God. I want them to have that complete tavakkul (faith) and certainty with Allah swt and live their lives according to Islam.

I think we all agree that there is really only one effective way of moulding their character in this way from young age. There is only one thing we can do and that is SELF-DEVELOPMENT. If I really want to instil Islamic values in my children so they build up an Islamic character, the way forward is to start focusing more on myself. Because children will naturally observe, imitate, copy the adults of the household. And I strongly feel that my children are educating me in so many ways. They make me so conscious of what I say, how I speak, what’s my attitude and how I react. I know they are banking all these somewhere in their brain and will have exact same attitude to most things in life later on. That is so scary for me because I know I have a lot of character traits to improve. I am constantly praying that my children will turn up as someone much better than myself. Inshalla they won’t pick up those bad characteristics. Then at night time I lay in bed thinking “You are kidding yourself. The only way forward is to change those bad bits into good bits”. That is such a struggle, to constantly battle with your own self. May Allah guide and help us all.

So I am disappointed every time I shout to discipline them. I want them to have the love of Allah, the love of the prophet saw and the love of deen. But, I am so quick to point out their mistakes and shortcomings. I am so quick to judge and preach them. I lecture them daily about how Muslims should do things in Islam. And I fear that I am doing “more correcting and less connecting”. I am not really connecting to them in a manner that brings the love of learning Islam, the love of seeking knowledge into their lives. Sometimes I hear a friend or a colleague saying “Oh I hated Maths at school” or “I remember hating this or that subject so much” and the worst thing to happen would be one of our children saying “Oh I hated doing Arabic” or “I hated reading Qur’an” or have very negative attitude towards seeking Shari’ah knowledge.

So, I have decided to focus on 3 things for myself and for my family: Love everyone for the sake of Allah (because this stops that judgemental attitude you have towards others, including one’s children), Live in the moment (focus at present, plan as if you have forever but live as if you only have today) and Share the khayr.  When it comes to children, here is my target to do lise

  • Shout less
  • Discipline less- what it really means is criticise less. praise vs criticism ratio should be 5:1
  • Fill them up with love and make them feel loved unconditionally, regardless of what they do, what they say
  • Create such an atmosphere at home where everyone feels appreciated, wanted, valued
  • Listen to them when they speak, get to their level, make eye-contact
  • Say “yes” more often then “no”
  • More connecting through fun family activities

 

Positive Islamic Parenting Reminders

Bismillah,

Alhamdulillah, we had our next Islamic Parenting class today attended by 16 mothers. It went really well mashaAllah where everyone shared their tips and experiences on how to help our children with memorizing the Qur’an. If you would like the handouts and the power point presentation from today’s session to be emailed to you please comment on this post with your email address inshaAllah. I will not stop in detail as I have posted previously here and here on hifdh.

We talked a lot about parenting through positive reinforcement today. I had a handout which summarizes ten reminders to be read each morning by parents, especially mothers who are quite busy tending to the needs of a number of children. I don’t remember where I got them originally. But I have got it printed and stuck to my fridge and read from time to time, to remind myself on positive and effective parenting. So, here goes the list.

  1. I am raising my child to be a successful khalifah of Allah, who will help create a truly Islamic World.
  2. Today I will try my best to know and understand all the influences upon my child’s development.
  3. Today I will try my best to help my child understand the power of negative influences to take him/her away from Allah, and the power of positive influences to take him/her to Allah.
  4. Today I will try my best to shield my child from the power of the negative influences.
  5. Today I will try my best to enhance/increase the power of the positive influences on my child to take him/her to Allah.
  6. Today I will try my best to notice some positive things my child does or says, and tell him/her how much those things are appreciated by me and by Allah.
  7. Today I will try my best to say nothing negative to my child. Even if I have to correct my child’s wrong behaviour I will try my best to find some positive way to do so.
  8. Today I will love my child unconditionally, but I will try my best to express that love at times which are most beneficial to my child.
  9. Today I will try my best to be an example of a good and right human being/Muslim for my child.
  10. Today I will pray for Allah’s help that I can be a good parent for my child.

How easy it sounds and how difficult to implement those things in our everyday life. For example, I really struggle to understand what motivates my 4.5 year old daughter to misbehave and I struggle to correct her wrongdoing in positive way.

How about you? Do you find you often discipline your child through negative reinforcement like commenting on their misbehaviour or wrongdoing? Do you resort to force or use physical punishment? Do we as parents put emphasis on achievement and show appreciation of their well behaviour often enough? When we keep commenting on their misbehaviour what becomes of their self-value? Do you worry that “naughty” or “troublemaker” or “loser” might become their self-perception?

 

Gardening and Baking and much more

Bismillah,

Alhamdulillah finally we have been able to get some gardening done over the weekend.

I was ill for a couple of days last week so we all had 2-3 fun unschooling days where kids spent lots of time playing outside; doing literacy activities on starfalls and reading eggs; reading books and watching educational cartoons. I had much needed rest and finished the book I was reading “The Brothers Karamazov” by F. Dostoyevsky. I could spend the whole post writing a review on that book lol, but I wont. All I say is this, the author always amazes me with his characters, description of events and leaves me in awe and inspiration. A lot to reflect…

Usually I teach some other children on Saturdays. But I was teaching during the week due to school holidays last week and we have been rehearsing the children’s show to be played on Sumayya and Safiyya’s Qur’an party this Saturday inshaAllah. Kids will be performing some nasheeds about salah, telling us what they learnt about Qur’an and finally perform the story of Nuh a.s. They are all so excited about the event. Last week we made the poster of the story of Nuh a.s. Children all have lines to memorize and they chose to be either one of the Muslims who supported Nuh a.s or an animal. Sumayya is going to be a bunny rabbit and Safiyya is going to be a butterfly. We got their costumes yesterday, alhamdulillah. This week we will be making Qur’an posters to tell some fun facts about the Qur’an. I will share the pictures next week inshaAllah. I am teaching a group of 8 kids tomorrow and on Friday and inshaAllah their performance is around 2pm on Saturday. We are expecting some 60 people including both women and children. I am so thrilled, may Allah bless it inshaAllah.

We had our next Islamic Parenting circle last Saturday and it was about how to help a child memorize the Qur’an. Alhamdulillah it was useful to share tips and advice with other moms. I went to Being Me sisters conference in Manchester on Sunday. Alhamdulillah I got to see and listen to sisters Zohra Sarwari and Kafaya Abdussalam live. There were some other speakers whom I havent heard of before as well. MashaAllah sheikh Alaa Elsayed was really good. I had a good day to fill up my spiritual tank and came home calm and relaxed about wordly matters. Alhamdulillah.

And finally, my big news is we spent the whole Monday gardening. We cut the grass, cut some tress, pruning, planting some seeds and flowers etc. Alhamdulillah the girls took so much interest in gardening, they are always asking me which plants are weeds to be uprooted and which plants are planted so to be left etc. We had weeds growing all over the garden so had so much to do. We planted some gladiolus bulbs 2-3 weeks ago and mashaAllah they are coming out so nicely. And we also dug and made a patch to grow herbs. Today we planted basil, chives, coriander and parsley. I got girls both a watering can each and they are always busy watering our flowers and trees. I just can not wait till our herbs grow and we reap the harvest lol. Honestly so excited. I was planning to get some sunflower seeds, sweetcorn ad tomatoes too but the seeds were so expensive where I bought them. I need to find some cheap place to buy vegetable seeds. Sumayya cut the apples and took the apple seeds out and planted them as well. I am not actually sure if they will grow or not but she was so kin.

We baked apple pie and biscuits today and mashaAllah they always have a part to do. I believe they will learn just as much from observing too but I always give them their own tasks.

Ibrahim is walking and talking a lot more now. He loves outside in the garden and always pulling our hands towards the door or pointing that direction where we go out, subhanAllah. He listens to Qur’an with his sisters, reads books, plays with his toys, goes on the  swing, watches his own nursery rhymes on youtube etc. He often has a runny nose and one of the newest things he learnt is how to blow his own nose. If we give him a clean tissue paper and ask him to clean his nose, he actually puts it on his nose, blows his nose and wipes it away. I don’t know why but we all find it so so amusing. He is there, barely walking, cant talk but blowing his nose on a tissue paper just like adults. Usually small children hate when adults wipe their nose but he seems to love it and he often poses for his nose to be cleaned by one of us. He is also saying few more words in Uzbek.

We do Qur’an hifdh daily with both the girls. Then review Arabic vocab, read books etc. They get to watch something on youtube immediately after this- usually in the mornings. In the afternoons we do some literacy/numeracy activities. Usually I ask Sumayya to read a book then I choose 5-6 words from the book and just say them outloud one after the other. Sumayya has to write them- this is something we do for her spelling. MashaAllah I do nothing official or constructive for her spelling but she just seems to know how to spell most words simply by reading a lot of books. I guess a lot of exposure to print/books helps her to remember how words are spelled/written. We do quick and random addition/substraction sums and review numbers.

Safiyya is doing a workbook on phonics/handwriting/spelling. She does a page each a day but to be honest she is not so keen on workbooks. So, if she is not willing I try not to force her. We just keep revising numbers, colors, shapes, phonics etc.

Generally speaking we all are doing fine and our homeschooling tactics are developing day by day lol. Girls are always asking questions on Aqeedah and I am always busy answering them or trying to find the right answer. Mentally it is very draining…it gets so tiring to settle their fights etc. But, alhamdulillah I should not complain too much. I realize how good my girls are when I see some other kids behaving lol.

I have some really good ideas and inshaAllah if Allah blesses them all I am hoping to make them happen soon. InshaAllah

Project: Islamic Parenting.

Bismillah,

Alhamdulillah, I am yet again convinced that there is nothing that we choose in order to seek Allah’s pleasure, He will surely make a way out of the situation for us. When I pulled Sumayya out of school I was still a little concerned about her need to mix and socialize with other kids, because of her English and also because she is very sensitive child. But, alhamdulillah, we have come to know some great families where I would be quite happy for our children to be friends with and inshaAllah they will influence each other only in a positive way.

It is through these families and other sisters I have met recently my original monthly Mum’s Discussion Group has really taken off and rolling into something bigger, Alhamdulillah. I encourage all the sisters reading this post to get out and get to know the sisters within their community and  initiate a similar groups in their own communities inshaAllah.

Below is the short talk I delivered for our first study circle (khalaqa) that was held on Saturday 3rd March at a sister’s house. It was followed by a discussion and Alhamdulillah, was useful and beneficial for all of us. If you initiate a similar project in your city/town, please feel free to use it as a launching talk inshaAllah. *smile*

For a long time I had wanted to launch a project called an Islamic Parenting. It is an ongoing project where all Muslim mothers of Bradford could come together to inspire each other, to motivate each other, to educate each other to be a better mom so that we could help our children to become someone better than ourselves, to be the real servants of God and to succeed in this world and the next, inshaAllah.

Why is there a need for such a project? We have a lot of problems with Muslim youth in Bradford (and worldwide as well). Our youngsters turning to drugs and smoking, adultery and robbery. We cant turn away from these problems. The only way we could change this situation is through education and getting more involved in our childrens’ lives from an early stages. Secondly, a lot of us have children at similar ages. So, by coming together discussing the challenges we have, we learn from each other’s experience whilst letting our children form friendship with each other.

Firstly, we have to conduct the needs analysis for out children. What is it we want them to achieve? What is our aim for them? We want them to be kind, just, honest, caring and the list is endless. But, ultimately we want them to love God and love worshipping the One God so that they become successful not just in this world but in the next as well. We want them to love the prophet saw and imitate his character and actions. But how do you embody the character of the prophet Muhammad (saw) on children? There is one simple formula for this: Example is the Best Sermon. We should be careful for children will always test us on everything we ask them to do. So it is very ineffective to ask them to be honest, humble, giving, sharing, noble, caring etc unless we strive to have all those qualities in ourselves first. We may tell them shouting is not good but we shout at them when they misbehave.

Another simple example is I am always telling my kids to sit down and drink. However, when I am cooking and preparing things I drink and have little snacks on the go. So, they always catch me drinking standing and ask: “But, mom, why are you drinking standing. You should sit down”. Three things they are noting: I am not following the sunnah, I am contradicting myself by telling kids to do one thing and doing the opposite myself and thirdly I am not showing them the good example. Alhamdulillah, I sit down near the sink and drink my water now. So, if we want to teach our children we should never stop learning ourselves. We should act on what we say/ask our children to do as well.

Second, we should show love and compassion. The prophet saw said “He is not one of us who doesn’t show compassion to our little ones and recognize the rights of elders” (Ahmad/Hakim). Anas r.a reported that :”I have never seen anyone who is more compassionate to children than the messenger of God. Whenever he passed a group of young boys he would smile fondly and greet them” (Bukhari/Muslim) How often do we smile at our children? Sometimes when kids misbehave you can win over your anger/child with smiling. Remember, smiling has a psychological effect on yourself and on everyone else around you. It restores self-confidence in our kids and makes them feel loved unconditionally. Kate Samperi, author of numerous books on children said “Before becoming a mother I had a hundred theories on how to bring up children. Now I have seven children and only one theory: Love them, especially when they least deserve to be loved.” 

Show physical compassion. We should give them plenty of hugs and kisses.  Especially as they become teenagers. One day Bedouin came to prophet saw and asked him “Do you kiss your sons. Because we dont”. Prophet saw said “What can I do for you if Allah has removed mercy from your heart?” Abu huraira ra reported that Rasulullah kissed Hasan ibn Ali when Aqra b Hamis At Tamimi was sitting with him. He said I have ten children and I have never kissed any one of them. The messenger of God looked at him and said “Whoever doesn’t show mercy will not be shown mercy”. We should practise this advice at times of disciplining as well.

Third, we should listen to our children and spend a quality time with them. Catherine M. Wallace, another author on children have said
‎”Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.” 

Sheikh Yahya Adel Ibrahim said in one of his talks recently  “The greatest thing you can do for your children is to be around them and spend considerable quality time with them not just near them”. Spending quality time doesn’t take long and is not expensive at all. This is not just taking children here and there, to this playgroup and to that indoor/outdoor playing area etc. A fine example of spending quality time woud be reading aloud to them, ask them to narrate prophet’s stories, take nature walks and ask them to notice changes in nature whilst talking about Creator. It could be as simple as discussing family matters together and ask for their opinions. 

Fourth, Disciplining without spanking. Patience needed at all times but especially when disciplining children. Always remember Muhammad (saw) said “The strongest among you is the one who can control himself when he is angry”. So, we should try not to show our anger to children. And he (saw) said “Whoever controls his anger, while he has the power to show it, Allah (s) will call him on the Day of Resurrection before all creation, and reward him greatly.” Sometimes it takes ages even for one smallest habit to stick. Patience is key to success. We should read more on habit formation, establishing the routine and setting boundaries. If we train these three from young age, inshaAllah there will be no clashes as children become teenagers and beyond.

Fifth, we should stop comparing our children. Comparing the siblings to one another, comparing children to their friends, comparing their Qur’an hifdh, or math skills, it has to be stopped. We should let each of them be who they are. For each human being is unique and has their own strengths and weaknesses. SubhanAllaah. As they grow older we can introduce the concept of healthy competition, competition in good deeds. But, for younger children I have experienced that very often comparisons and competitions leave a negative effect.

To conclude, we should remind ourselves that children are amanah; a trust from God. So, we should raise them in a way that is in line with Qur’an and the Sunnah. If we succeed in doing so, then they will be the glamour of this world to us. If we raise them in a way that is in conflict with the Sunnah and raise them as hostile to the Qur’an, then they could be a source of trial and trouble. May God save us from such a trial.

On the day of Judgement we will be asked about the blessings we have been bestowed. And children are blessing. And Allah has asked us to protect ourselves and our families from the fire. Allah is going to ask “Did our children know Allah, did they know who the prophet was, did they know what the aqeedah meant, and did they know the lifestyles of sahaba?” And each of us should ask ourselves each day “Did we safeguard our trust or did we lose it?” 

The most needed quality

Bismillah,

Wednesday morning. It is a normal homeschooling day for us. I prayed fajr with my two girls, we made zikr and dua. Alhamdulillah, Sumayya loves this morning ritual and most days follows me without being told. Safiyya, my “ants-in-her-pants” 3 year old, on the other hand, doesnt like praying that much at this stage but enjoys making dhikr and dua. She always asks for healthy sweeties and oranges in Jannah that doesnt make her eczema worse, subhanAllah :). Poor child suffered from a bad eczema as a toddler and is not allowed citrus fruit, most sweets and chocolates. May Allah give her and other eczema prone children a complete shifaa, amin.

Anyway, we have breakfast following which we all sit down to do our numeracy and literacy. Safiyya is currently working with phonics, numbers 0-10, counting and simple addition with numbers 0-5. She is also practising independent handwriting. She has a writing workbook where she does lots of tracing, colouring and following the lines. She loves that. But she is not very keen on independent writing. And she keeps moving about during lessons which makes me ANGRY….

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MUM’s Discussion Group

Bismillah,

I know it takes awhile to this discussion group to take off. Nevertheless, I have to start it at some point inshaAllah :).

I run mum’s discussion group with some local mums monthly where we discuss our kids’ new habits, developments and attitudes and how to deal with behavioural problems each family facing at the time. Alhamdulillah we all find it very useful and I really enjoy listening to other mums’ stories and how they solved the problem etc. I really enjoy learning from their experiences.

So, for a long time I thought of organizing some kind of online group with some sisters whom I have come to know online. And some sisters I know in life but am unable to meet physically every month to discuss the issues relating to children. When we do meet once in awhile, often there is not enough time or will to discuss such things. So, inshaAllah this group will bring together all the great mums out there who are willing to share their experiences: what problems they are facing with children’s tarbiyya, adab, manners and how they are trying to solve such problems, what is working and what didnt work etc.

Every week we choose a different topic and I invite everyone to contribute to the discussion by answering 2-3 questions I pose inshaAllah.  So, this week’s topic is the importance of  HOME environment in children’s tarbiyya. Feel free to answer any of the following questions or just talk about what is the role of HOME environment in children’s tarbiyya. What was the home environment like in prophet’s companions households? I mean the younger sahabas who were children during the lifetime of the prophet Muhammad s.a.w? For example, Abdullah ibn Umar r.a, the son of Umar ibn Al-Khattab r.a was a young child during the lifetime of the prophet s.a.w. He is considered a sahaba as he got to see the prophet. What was his home environment in the household of Umar r.a?

Here are the questions:

1. What opportunities for loving can your home provide?

2. Name some worthwhile things to do at home (with or without kids) ?
3. “You are what you eat” can this become “You are what you read”. What type of stories do you mostly read at home (with children or your own reading)?
4. Name three simple things you remember doing at home as a family where everyone enjoyed and had fun. (watching, cooking,baking sth together etc)
5. Name three simple things that makes you angry/upset at home (the sight of unwashed dishes, untidy bedroom, kids wardrobe messy/clothes unfolded etc)?