Thursday 22 April 2010

Enjoying Your Children

I have been talking to other mum’s recently and it has been slowly helping me to work myself into a frenzy of anxiety regarding the kids. In comparison to some of the mum’s I have been speaking to, I don’t seem to do as much with them and we seem to have gotten quite far behind in our Quran studies. My first reaction was to panic and start listing all the things we will now be doing.

Talking to a good friend over lunch though, helped me to put things in perspective. She told me about how much her mum used to do with her when she was small that they both enjoyed: playing together, baking cakes together, going to museum’s, movies and trips. But also just hanging out together in the park, watching an old movie together or spending the day in each others company. As a young teen her mother fell ill and could no longer do those things, but the two of them had no regrets and my friend didn’t feel that she missed out because her mum had done so much with her as a child. It also means that she is a lovely, sweet-natured person today with a wonderful relationship with her mum.

Her descriptions of her childhood helped me to calm down as they felt a bit more like the kind of parenting I could manage. So one of my goals is to do something fun with my children each day. Yesterday they had the play-dough out in the garden, today was painting, I have promised to take them painting in the park this weekend insh’Allah which they loved the idea of (I can sit with them and read or write for my journal, or maybe even learn to draw). I am going to have fun trying to think of other ideas insh’Allah.

That still left the issue with the children learning Quran. I still was determined to get that sorted. On the way home from work with hubby, I started moaning and put down my ultimatum: I can’t cope with teaching the kids anymore, they have to be in madrassah/classes by next Monday! He waited till I had stopped venting, and calmly told me that some brothers that had been working to arrange a property to start Quran classes for local children should be getting the keys this Friday! That stopped me in my tracks alhamdulilah, the place they have found is a former surgery about five minutes walk from my home. It remains to be seen whether they will be organised by Monday (you know Muslim’s are just known for being well-organised…), but I am feeling much more positive and very, very grateful right now.

Kids with the rainbow painting bag (plastic bag containing water colours, jar, brushes and card offcuts for them to paint). They can carry the bag into the garden when I am not there and they need something to do and easily throw everything back into it again.


  1. Sometimes its the simple things in life that children really need like time and attention, and not necessarily expensive holidays etc. I just find nowadays that when I do occasionally give gifts to children they don't really appreciate it or careless. Is that because they always get whatever they want, or I don't know? When I was young, when someone gave a present it meant ALOT. I don't understand whats changed. Has anyone ever experienced that?

  2. In fact, even I get a gift now it means alot to me :)

  3. Cosmic cook--yes I have the same problem. Maybe they are spoiled, speaking about my kids here ; ) All it takes is two toys or treats in a row to get them addicted to wanting more on whim. I think I have to space their treats out more, and get their Baba to go with the plan.

    I liked this post a lot because I feel the same. Maybe I am not as good as doing things with my kids as I should, but this is a good reminder that it is important to actually spend quality time with them, not just be around them. I too fret about their lack of quran and Islam, but it is coming little by little, alhamdulillah. I think they'll be able to get more when they are older. I do not do a full islamic curriculum at home, like some homeschoolers. I just can't. I don't know how to do that (convert) and part of me wants to go slow. They don't need to be overloaded with details in a (classroom setting)at this point. Inshallah, when they get to that point, then Inshallah they'll go willingly and read on their own too. I tried two days of masjid sunday school, and it was brutally boring and LONG. (astaghfirullah) I can't put my kids through that. ( I have that East West film image of the kids hiding from the masjid van to avoid going to school). In the meantime, I hope casual and daily use of islamic adab and values is enough to keep them in the loop until we can find a better solution---and work on spending quality time with them--otherwise it'll be mean Mom pushing Islam down them... not good.