Bismillah Rahman ar-Raheem
If I am honest becoming a parent was a bit of a shock. You are catapulted into reality, previously having held such opinions as “all he needs are some boundaries” and “when I am a mother I will never do A or I will always do B”. Fed by the fantasy “my child will not be the biter, spitter, sand thrower, or the rude one”….
I always used to wonder why Homer in the Simpsons would strangle his son Bart. I mean I knew it was a joke, but where did that idea come from? Lets just say I know now. I think whoever wrote that bit must be a parent!
Our children are one of the biggest blessings we can have in this dunya (worldly life) but they are also chosen for us, and us for them. My sons have taught me more about myself (and where I need to make improvements) than I could have learnt from any other direction.
I used to have the illusion I am a patient person. My goodness my first son has totally obliterated that idea.
When trying to get him to co-operate in general I have to use reverse psychology. I have had to learn this and we had some difficult times when I tried to do the usual kind of thing with boundaries and firm non wavering NO’s.
For example if he has a nap in the day when he wakes up he is usually thirsty and hungry. He won’t eat anything at that point though, because he just knows he feels terrible and then just cries and whatever you try to do he refuses it (he will only accept Nursing at this point – he is three – yes I know – head in my hands – I had the idea he would give up by himself… watch this space).
Now, because he can’t Nurse forever (he probably would if he could) what I do is bring food and drink, then put it close to him but say:
This is for your brother. Don’t eat it or drink it
Then I go to the kitchen, and do some jobs there without trying to talk to him or persuade him to do anything. When I get back – hey presto he is eating it. He then feels better and the tantrum is avoided! (Al-hamdulilah).
If the youngest wakes up hungry or thirsty I just have to produce some food and drink and he just gets on and eats and drinks. No fuss, no dramatics, easy.
Telling my oldest a firm NO, does not work at all. Then he wants to do the given thing more.
Today he was angry with me because he wanted to watch the youtube (head in hands again), but I said NO. He had already been watching for ages and I think too long at this or on the TV is unhealthy. He then says to me:
I’m going to make a mess now.
I didn’t really want him to make a mess but saying NO would not have stopped him.
So I said:
Hmm. No problem. Do you want to make Mama angry? (he nodded) Well then you should tickle me, I don’t like that at all and I will get really angry.
Al-hamduliliah he then gleefully tickles me, I pretend to be angry about it, and it didn’t escalate into a big tantrum!
Allah gave me my first son to learn patience. Finally after 3 and a bit years I think I am getting somewhere. I have been trying to follow prophet Mohammed’s (pbuh) advice to act patient even when one is not.
However, there are moments of inner crises (the “I’m a terrible parent”) when I haven’t been so patient, the tantrum has not been avoided and my son and I have been struggling over one thing and another for the whole day.
Usually then the emergency solution is to make Salat and Dua, and this is the only thing which gets us both back on track.
There are cockle warming moments of course, and in general these do add up to be the greater. Insha’Allah I will start to do some regular short posts of some of the things which they do which make it all worthwhile.
I guess other peoples children aren’t really that much interest to the general world out there so I am going to post these things really for my Mum (far away but always in our minds) and myself so I don’t forget them!
Of course for anyone else as well if they are interested.
I will end this post with a recent conversation between me and my son (3.5 years) using his toy cars:
Me: with the green garbage truck car:
Hello. Whats your name?
My Son: with the white Police Car:
Hello. My names Fire Truck.
You can’t be a fire truck. Fire Trucks are red you are white.
I am a Fire Truck
Okay, if you are a Fire Truck why are you white then?
Allah made me that way.
Subhana Allah (glory to God) the world is a wonderful, fantastical place.