Ramadan is quickly approaching, and among the various spiritual, physical, and mental preparations that we engage in, we must also think about our role as a parent and educator.
Each Ramadan we are sending a very strong message to our children about what Ramadan means. So as a fellow parent, as an educator, as your sister in Islam, I urge us to reflect on what we want our children to think about when they think about Ramadan. What associations do we want our children to have with Ramadan? Where do we want the focus to be?
- Do we want all of our conversations about Ramadan to start around the idea of “not eating?”
- Do we want our children to believe that we, as parents, are too cranky and too tired to play with them during this blessed month?
- Do we believe that it is okay to sleep away the day and stay up all night? Is this what we are expecting from our children during Ramadan?
- Do we want Ramadan to be a time where our children have the occasion to meet other friends and relatives and increase ties of kinship?
- Do we want to model to our children that spending hours getting dressed up or preparing elaborate feasts is the best use of our time and energy this month?
These questions may have obvious answers for some. They may sound incredibly obnoxious or loaded to others. There is no judgment involved, nor do I believe that there is one way to best approach Ramadan. We have to do what we believe is best for our families, both in this world and the next.
We should strive to make a conscious decision and recognize that how we treat Ramadan is going to be an indication of how our children will perceive and treat Ramadan, at least while they are young.
If we want Ramadan to be a special time, where we converse frequently with Allah; where we spend time in His remembrance; and spend energy benefiting others in order to please Him, then that is the example we need to set.
As a way of encouraging our children (and families) to be more mindful about Ramadan, Discovery Dome will be posting activities and challenges leading up to this blessed month inshaAllah.
Please pass this information on to those who may be benefit as we are taught that “reminders benefit the believers.”