|Ramadan Parenting Challenge 2014|
And those who say, “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the coolness of our eyes and make us leaders of the pious.” (Qur’an 25: 74)
A home that provides the coolness of the eyes is one where there is happiness, joy and tranquility with the family. There is also refuge and shelter from the storm outside the family. When our husband comes home from work he expects to find peace, harmony and a stress-free environment.
A tranquil home is one where there is a healthy relationship among all of its members. Everyone gets along. Ask yourself how your relationship with your children, your relationship with your husband, the children’s relationship with each other and their relationship with their father is. When there is disharmony in any of the relationships then there will be discordance.
Let’s look at the two sources of tranquility that Allah mentioned in the above ayat. One source of a tranquil home is the children. I know it is hard to maintain our sanity sometimes when the children get into arguments. I have two boys that interact wonderfully together when they are happy but when they fight it’s like all out war. It is part of growing up and learning to compromise but very disruptive and stressful for me and especially for my husband when he comes home from an already stressful day outside. This is the part of the relationship between the children that I need to manage.
To handle any disruptions coming from the children, you need to have a set of parenting tools or behaviour management system to use. How can you encourage a more loving relationship between your children? How can you make sure that the children are on their best behaviour when their father walks in the door?
The other source of a tranquil home is yourself. When your husband comes home is the first thing you do is nag at him? Sometimes you do have real concerns that you need to discuss with him but not as soon as he walks in the door.
I know many a times that I wanted to burst out and tell my husband what had happened during my day and it took tremendous effort not to pour it all out. I just need to remind myself that he is tired and wants to relax first and preferably have some food inside him as well before he could deal with any problems.
Another place we mothers tend to nag is to our children. Nagging is quite stressful for everyone involved: the one being nagged, the one doing the nagging and the one witnessing and listening to it. I think it’s an inherent thing for women to do and we must learn to stop it.
To deal with any disruptions coming from yourself you would need patience: patience with your children, your husband and yourself. Then you would need to learn active listening skills. Active listening allows both sides to reflect on what was said and moderate the responses accordingly. When you use active listening, you restate what the other person said back to them instead of jumping to conclusion and accuse and nag. Sometimes reflecting back clears up misunderstandings that I think is at the basis of most conflicts.
Let this Ramadan be one where your home is the source of tranquility and comfort for everyone – your husband, children and yourself. A tranquil home is one where there is a connection with every member of the household to each other and to Allah. Let there be love, caring and respect that flows from one to another with the sounds of joy and the recitation of the Qur’an. For when you read the Qur’an, a calmness and tranquility descends. Narrated Al-Bara': A man was reciting Surat Al-Kahf and his horse was tied with two ropes beside him. A cloud came down and spread over that man, and it kept on coming closer and closer to him till his horse started jumping (as if afraid of something). When it was morning, the man came to the Prophet (s), and told him of that experience. The Prophet (s) said, "That was As-Sakina (tranquility) which descended because of (the recitation of) the Qur'an." (Bukhari 61: 531)
Challenge for today is to:
- Ensure a healthy relationship between each family member.
- Actively listen and refrain from nagging.
Do these and keep them going during Ramadan.