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Ramadan is here and moms have questions about helping their little ones feel the holy spirit. Many wonder how to use the opportunity to teach kids religious rituals like fasting and good deeds which are the core of Ramadan.
In this article, Certified Positive Discipline Educator from US Positive Discipline Association, Rana Hany, tells us all about teaching children how to fast during Ramadan in a friendly and lovable manner.
Do not start too early or too late
- Don’t wait until the child is obliged to fast and expect him to fast for 16 hours all of a sudden without gradually introducing the concept.
- According to some pediatricians, we can start at the age of seven or eight to train our kids fasting gradually as long as the child doesn’t have any health conditions.
- Serve the child balanced meals including fruits and vegetables and encourage them to drink water frequently.
Tips for fasting for the first time
- While many parents ask the child to fast for the first time till noon or Asr, yet it’s better at the first time to let him fast from Asr to Maghrib, so they can have Iftar with the rest of the family and feel Ramadan’s vibes. Then, stretch it from noon to Maghrib when the child is ready.
- We can exclude food only at the beginning and the child can drink water, then fully fast when they adapt.
- It’s very important to talk to our kids about the health benefits of fasting.
It’s a good time to bond
- Associate worship with nice memories to encourage kids.
- Ten minutes before Iftar, while our little ones can’t wait to eat or drink, we can hug them and pray together, encourage them to mention the good things they have, and thank God for them.
- We can lead by example by thanking God for blessing us with adorable kids.
- We can include them in decorating the house and make DIY lanterns and decorations
Do we reward them or not?
- Linking fasting to a daily reward is a tricky method and has a positive effect on the short term only.
- The child links his spiritual relationship with God to tangible gifts. They might show a negative attitude and refuse to fast or do any kind of worship as long as there is no reward in return. The child might also grow up to be a materialistic person.
Never link fasting to punishment
- Don’t punish the child for eating or drinking during fasting or using threats like “God will be upset” because this will make the child hate the whole concept and will eat behind the parent’s back.
- Help the child feel at ease as he’s still learning. Try to distract him with nice activities during the fasting period.
Happy Ramadan, mamas!
Further reading: 18 Online Stores That Sell Ramadan-Themed Home Accessories