M.O.M- Master Of Multi-tasking, not gonna say it’s a bad thing but also not saying it’s a good thing 😉
As a stay-at-home mom who takes pride in her ability to multitask during the course of the day, I must say that losing my phone for a few days recently gave me an insight on how I interact with my children (that and that I really need a phone upgrade lol).
As I am around my children all the time, I may have not noticed that there is a difference between being with them and really being with them. I go through my days trying to get everything done on my to-do list. As long as they have organized educational play that keeps them busy for a few minutes, I am happy.
With the “fantastic” twos hitting us hard, it seems that as soon as I am ‘busy’, all ‘hell’ breaks loose around me. I overlooked to correct these behaviors in which they were seeking my attention by engaging in a negative behavior, until a few days ago (which happens to have been when I lost my phone).
Being present leads to children being Resilient & Confident
While on the lookout for certain patterns, I realized that I lacked in giving them undivided time. They were in need of “their time,” where I would give them my full attention without worrying about what to cook for lunch, checking my email, or replying to WhatsApp messages. Because it is impossible to communicate, much less bond with someone who won’t focus on you (just try to communicate with your toddler while she watches Peppa pig).
The type of undivided attention I am talking about is not one where you can’t get anything done for that day. It is just requires you to set aside some quality time, where you really listen to what they are saying to you. It means giving them that special moment where you look them in the eyes and you are present, enjoying their forced, fake laughs that turn into real ones (eventually). Because when we give our attention in this way, we show our children they are important and respected. Hopefully, that in turn will build their confidence, resilience and sense of belonging.
In recent years there has been a lot of talk about raising resilient kids as many studies have shown that children with most resilience do well better in school and personal life. That’s because they have the skills needed to manage stress, anxiety and not throw in the towel when the going gets tough. What’s more interesting is that resilient children had these two statements in common:
- I have a parent who cares about me
- I have a parent who listens to me
Why it’s important to raise resilient kids:
In essence raising a child with resilience means that you are raising a problem solver. A resilient child will strive to find a good solution to tough situations and is confident enough to ask for help when they need it. In other words a resilient Muslim child will not only worship Allah when there is ease but also when they are experiencing hardship.
As a matter of fact they use this emotionally hard time as a way to get closer to Allah. There are many dua’s for sadness, anxiety, worry and grief. It is for this reasons we should strive to raise resilient children and teach them the skills they need to be well rounded confident young Muslims.
Ways to teach resilience to your child:
- Listen to them attentively, spend time with them one on one and just listen to all their worries, problems, funny stories and the confusing ones. If you have older children you will find that when you listen to them you can encourage them and re assure them that their challenges will pass, that the experience will make them stronger and to have a positive outlook.
- Get down on the floor and play with them, Ali (radiyallahu anhu) used to say “Anybody who has a child, should, for his/her training, bring themselves down to their level of childhood.” Kids cannot stand the idea of losing and as parents we fall into a habit of always letting them win. When you are playing with your child you will find plenty of ways to teach them about patience, waiting their turn and working hard to win. We should resist the urge to always want to rescue or solve their problems for them. Sometimes we should let them experience losing a game or two just so they can learn how to deal with their emotions.
- Through Children’s books: We have been enjoying books like Dr suess the Places you will go, I knew you could by Craig Dorfman and more. Check out more of my favorite recommended resources here inshaa allah.
My New Goal in Raising my own Resilient Children
While there are a ton of ways to teach children how to be resilient, so far I have found these two methods to be universally effective for both older and younger children.
For now my new goal, is to prioritize my time, and identify what’s most important and to be aware of what takes away my attention so I can correct it. The past few days, I have tried to spend at least 10-20 minutes a day just being present with them in whatever we were doing. It wasn’t an organized activity, just free play that leads us to wherever their imagination took us. It has also been surprisingly therapeutic for me, as I can now slow down and really be grateful for the blessings Allah has bestowed upon me.