Thursday, 4 June 2009

A Mum That Says YES…sometimes

I caught myself recently repeatedly trying to get rid of the children – to the garden, downstairs, upstairs, to their dad, to their gran, to pester their uncles. I stopped to reflect what I was doing that could be so important that I was avoiding their perfectly good-natured chatter and the things they keep bringing to show me (Little Man picks up beads and sequins from all over the house and brings them to me at intervals).

Another thing I’m finding is that the kids are constantly fighting, and Little Lady tends to use her hands despite my warnings and explanations.

So I am trying to make an effort at being a bit more gentle and a lot more thoughtful insh’Allah. I feel strongly that children are a reflection of their parents to a large extent, so that gentle and calm parents are more likely to have gentle and kind children and of course happy parents have happier children – of course, this is why we should all look after the mum’s around us.

I love Sandra Dodd’s site and her exhortations to listen to your children and try the gentler approach. So with inspiration from her I decided to try and get through a whole evening without saying “NO!!” to anything my children asked me. Any mum knows that NO is a staple of our armoury, especially with my children’s requests for ice-cream, chocolate, crisps, to go to their nans, to visit their cousins or for playdough, which go on throughout the evening. This method involves not giving up all boundaries or letting them have anything they ask for, but asks us to find a kind compromise so “Ok you can have ice-cream after dinner if you clear your plate” or “ok we can go nan’s house, but tomorrow when we have a day off”. I also found that just saying “yes” sometimes was a lot of fun. So giving in against habit and breaking our routine and just dropping everything and going to their nan’s was actually very nice for all of us.

This didn’t help the fighting much, but it has kept everyone in a good mood and brings out the gentler side of the children and made me feel very good, which always rubs off on to my little ones. For the fighting, I am trying to keep reasonably calm and ask them what made them argue, invariably it is Little Man annoying Little Lady and then getting a swat from her. So the lesson at the moment is “KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF” through gritted teeth and asking “what can we do to make things better again”. I suspect I will be working on this for a long time, an as both my mum and my mum-in-law remind me, both sets of the kids grandfathers were always up for a fight and their dad and uncle’s exploits as teenagers are famous. Top this with the fact that Gorgeous is turning into a neck-less little bruiser and I can see myself stopping a lot of punch-ups.

As always (especially with such a big family) I am struggling to keep in place a routine for the children, but the last thing I want is to become a serious disciplinarian. I’d love my kids to look back and look at their childhood and their relationship with me with pleasure and as an inspiration for their adult lives, so that whatever situation they are in, they can find pleasure and a positive perspective.


  1. Assalamu alaykum sister!

    Good post, good reminder. Since Omar has begun walking about 2 weeks ago, I find myself saying no A LOT. ANd I hate it. I know I am doing my best to protect him since he's so tiny with no real grasp of the language, but I know he understands NO.

    I too, want him to look back on his childhood with fondness and love.

  2. Assalam-alaikam Sis iMulsimah,
    Give him another few months, NO! will mean YES to him, then the fun really starts.
    The only thing to do is child-proof the whole house (it won't look so great, but much less clutter) and then let him roam free.