Ramadan Series - 5 ways to make your child love Ramadan!
Teaching children about Ramadan can be very tricky. Children are inquisitive by nature and they will ask all sorts of questions. Here are a few things that you can do, while you are introducing your children to the concept of Ramadan and even if they are grown up you can instill the love for this holy month and keep them engaged.
1. Ramadan Calendar.
Okay, so my little one is two years old and he has zero idea about what Ramadan actually is. Duh. So I am going to put a monthly calendar that will have a surprise treat every day for the entire month. Now, you can either make this calendar yourself or order it online. You can put in small treats, like a tasbih, colour pencils and a colouring page related to Ramadan. You can even add a few treats to have after iftar or a small dua to memorise and tell them the beauty of that dua. There is so much that you can add to it.
2. Getting them to love Allah.
There are a lot of people who will disagree with my school of thought, but this is what I believe in. Make your child love Allah by telling them the amazing things that Allah has created. Tell them how Allah gets happy with the good things that people do and gets upset with the bad things. Do not tell them the consequences of doing the bad things. Do not tell them that they will get punished severely if they fail to do a certain thing correctly. I used to live in a joint family and I was taught to fear Allah instead of loving Him. Instill the basic roots of loving Allah and then later on slowly and gradually, introduce them to the consequences when they start getting older.
3. Make them love prayer and not treat it as a chore.
Admit it. We are washing the dishes and thinking 'I still have to pray, man!' or 'Let me pray in 5 minutes and then I will continue washing the dishes.'
NO. just no. Make your child love prayer so that when they get older, they do not treat their prayer as a chore. Ask them to sit besides you while you pray (if they are still too young to pray, that is). If they are grasping the concept of prayer, then introduce it to them, gently. You can now get colourful prayer mats for children. What is the harm? Children love colours and they will love their colourful prayer mat and look forward to praying Salah. Give them a token of appreciation when they finish their prayer, be it a small star on a prayer board. Appreciation always leads to goodness.
4. Make a jar of 30 days, 30 good deeds.
This is my absolute favourite. Every morning when the children wake up, ask them to pull out a good deed from the jar and accompany them to fulfill the task. These tasks can be anything. From smiling and saying Salam to someone in the street, to helping in the kitchen or laying down the table. From giving out old and new clothes to charity, or picking up garbage and throwing it in the trash can or feeding the birds. Make sure you do it along side so that they know what a good deed feels like. Appreciate their good deed and make sure that they keep doing it for the rest of the year too.
5. Make a small Sadqa box.
A D-I-Y sadqa box is so easy especially when the children make it themselves. You can use simple tupperware, cover it with white paper, cut a small hole on the top and ask your child to personalise it. And every morning, before they leave for school, you can ask them to put in money, even if its just a penny. At the end of the month, you can take that money, ask them to buy something from it and distribute it amongst the needy.
All this is just a small part of what you can do in Ramadan with the children. You can do so much more and keep them hooked on doing good for the rest of the month. Do not forget to decorate your house with a few buntings and balloons to welcome Ramadan. I am pretty sure they will be looking forward to the next Ramadan. May God bless them with a happy pious life!