The holy month of Ramadan comes once a year and is a joyful and pious time for self reflection, self discipline and good deeds. Adults observe the spiritual traditions and fast from dawn until dusk, but parents who have young children who are unable to complete the month have a way of helping their kids become familiar with Ramadan and its meaning. To accomplish this, there are 3 simple steps that contain a lot of meaning about the true spirit of this month that can be shared and taught to kids.
Take time to explain to your child the importance of donating items AND time to the less fortunate. Pay a visit to a charity of your choice and dedicate some time to serve a cause, whether the elderly, the orphans or the ill. Your child will learn how fortunate he/she is to have a home and a family and will develop empathy for others as well. Teach your kids to be kind to others during Ramadan in particular as part of this introspective training.
Help your kids take a breather from social media, tablets, games and otherwise by allocating time to visit family. This could be extended family you rarely see, or distant cousins you have lost touch with. This teaches your children that family is a main pillar in a person’s life and something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. It also widens their perspective when they take a break from technological items to focus on what really matters. If you can, join the family for Iftars, as a well surrounded table contains a lot of emotions and bonding.
No Gossip or Greed
Although young children are innocent and unaware of the concept of gossip, parents can help focus on the greed issue according to their capability of grasping the idea and allow them to realize what is needed in their life versus what is extra. That extra which is not essential can be done without or even donated to the needy, which ties into the first suggested idea of empathy, kindness and charity. Older children are aware of the definition of gossip but might get carried away when talking to friends, which is where parents may intervene and help them understand how a false fact can spark rumors detrimental to the victim and how they must refrain from such acts.
Maria Hage-Boutros Najem