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10 Great Ramadan Books For Young Kids

10 Great Ramadan Books For Young Kids

Look! There is the new moon in the sky.

It’s time for Ramadan to begin. Follow along with one young boy as he observes the Muslim holy month with his family.

This year, the narrator is finally old enough to fast, and readers of all ages will be interested as he shares his experiences of this special holiday in Islam.

You can get it here

A fun alphabet primer celebrating the month-long Muslim observance of fasting and spiritual awareness.

Ramadan is a month-long observance when Muslims all over the world spend more time with each other, emphasize charitable works, fast, pray, and break their daily fast each night together. It’s a time meant to focus on things such as sharing, empathy, compassion, generosity, and selflessness. These ideals are wonderfully illustrated here in Greg Paprocki’s inimitable style for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet.

You can get it here

Follow the story of Laila, a curious young Muslim girl that wants to learn about Ramadan. Through a fun story for both children and parents, allow your kids to start comprehending religious concepts while also sparking their curiosity for further knowledge about their Islamic religion.

Enjoy with your little one a unique and creative journey that will introduce her/him to one of the five pillars of the religion and offer your child a positive perception of the Islamic holy month of mercy, the Ramadan. A must-have children’s story that shouldn’t be missing from any family’s bookcase or Islamic books’ collection!

You can get it here.

Learn all about the traditions of Ramadan with this first book in the brand-new board book series Celebrate the World, which highlights celebrations across the globe.

In the ninth month of the year, when the first crescent moon rises in the sky, it’s time to celebrate Ramadan! In this lovely board book with illustrations from Rashin Kheiriyeh, readers learn that Ramadan is a time to reflect on ourselves, to be thankful, and a time to help others.

You can her it here. 

Join Rashad as he learns the history of the holiday, discussing the customs and the celebration Eid al-Fitr.

Get it here

Magnificently capturing the colorful world of Islam for the youngest readers, this breathtaking and informative picture book celebrates Islam’s beauty and traditions. From a red prayer rug to a blue hijab, everyday colors are given special meaning as young readers learn about clothing, food, and other important elements of Islamic culture, with a young Muslim girl as a guide. Sure to inspire questions and observations about world religions and cultures, Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns is equally at home in a classroom reading circle as it is being read to a child on a parent’s lap. Plus, this is a fixed-format version of the book, which looks nearly identical to the print version.

You can get it here

Lailah solves her problem with help from the school librarian and her teacher and in doing so learns that she can make new friends who respect her beliefs. This gentle, moving story from first-time author Reem Faruqi comes to life in Lea Lyon’s vibrant illustrations. Lyon uses decorative arabesque borders on intermittent spreads to contrast the ordered patterns of Islamic observances with the unbounded rhythms of American school days.

You can get it here.

Ramadan, the month of fasting, doesn’t begin all at once. It begins with a whisper And a prayer And a wish. Muslims all over the world celebrate Ramadan and the joyful days of Eid-ul-Fitr at the end of the month of fasting as the most special time of year. This lyrical and inspiring picture book captures the wonder and joy of this great annual event, from the perspective of a child. Accompanied by Iranian inspired illustrations, the story follows the waxing of the moon from the first new crescent to full moon and waning until Eid is heralded by the first sighting of the second new moon. Written and illustrated by Muslims, this is a book for all children who celebrate Ramadan and those in the wider communities who want to understand why this is such a special experience for Muslims.

You can get it here

Every child on the planet is locked inside their homes. They are kept deep inside, to guard them from the evil that lurks outside. An easy to catch virus that doesn’t distinguish between young or old. As Ramadan get’s close, Asiyah wonders if this virus might just ruin her favorite month of Ramadan.Her solution is to join forces with her pet lion Asad, who has been blessed with very special powers. Amidst these difficult and uncertain times, the book offers a message of hope and comfort to put young minds at ease. An imaginative creation that is surely going to be a popular addition to your reading collection!The story has been written for by Muslim parents who recognize the importance of offering relevant age appropriate content for Muslim children. They desired to develop a story-line that not only appeals and offers engagement but more importantly conveys values that can help mold young minds.Parents it is our full hope that you and all children will tremendously benefit from this story and from our planned future releases.Themes you’ll find inside this illustrated book: Allah’s mercy, communication with parents, planning in life, and striving for good in the blessed month of Ramadan.

You can get it here

A story of how an American Muslim family observes the holy month of Ramadan.

You can get it here

Are Your Kids Fighting? 5 Tools to AVOID That

Are Your Kids Fighting? 5 Tools to AVOID That

Are your kids fighting?

5 Tools to AVOID That

By Jailan Heidar

Now that most of us have been in lockdown for at least a month, tensions are starting to arise between siblings. 

Kids are fighting more for mom and dad’s attention, arguing and teasing each other and just not getting along. Do you feel it’s the same in your home with your kids?

I want to tell you that there are tools to help you and your kids through this!

I want to make sure you kid the important tools you need that can support you through this time if your kiddos have started squabbling. 

Here you go!

1. Spending special time with your child

Most unwanted behavior is a means to get attention, especially among siblings. Schedule daily alone time with your child even if it’s 15 minutes. Make sure you name it “special time with mommy and your child”. Let your child pick the activity you’ll be doing together. Remember to keep this time uninterrupted by other chores, cell-phones or people. You can still give individual attention to each child when you are with both of them. Remember to individualize comments and conversations with each child and do not group them together.

2. Get your kids to work together not against each other

To motivate kids, we sometimes fall into the mistake of comparing them to each other. “look how your sister is feeding herself” or “who is going to brush their teeth first?”. This can create unhealthy competition and resentment between siblings. Instead, motivate them by encouraging them to be a team against you or the clock. “Help each other clean up before the 2 minutes are up!”.

3. Let your kids speak for themselves

A lot of times we tend to speak for our kids, especially when there’s a much younger sibling or a shy child involved. This is completely well-intentioned by parents of course but it can seem to the child that you are taking sides. Instead, try to encourage your child to speak for him or herself to the brother or sister. You might need to assist a younger child but this is the first step in helping your kids speak to each other instead of having them come to you all the time.

4. Put your kids in the same boat

Every child is different, you may have a more active child and a calmer child. A child who follows rules and one who doesn’t. With time, compliments to the “good” child may cause feelings of resentment from the child who is struggling. The “good” child may also start looking down on the other sibling who has challenges. You don’t want either of those feelings because they encourage hostile feelings between siblings. Instead, group kids in the same boat with expected behavior “both of you clean your room so you can both go out in the garden” or “No screaming” instead of singling one child out who is screaming.

5. Show faith in your kids!

I can not emphasize how important this is. Kids do better when they feel better and when you believe in them. Let your kids know you believe they can be nice together, that they can work out a solution or that they can avoid teasing each other. Try, “I know the two of you love each other and can talk without screaming”.

Finally, conflict is part of life. It is unrealistic to expect to avoid conflict. As you minimize situations of unnecessary conflict with the above tools, you’ll have more breathing space and patience to use conflict situations as an opportunity to conflict resolution. How can your child ask nicely for a toy? ideas for turn-taking? problem-solving steps? there are a lot of oppr=ortunites for learning skills your children will need with their friends after this lockdown ends!

 

I want you to know you’ve got this!

Which tool will you be starting with? I love hearing from you! Just click here to let me know. 

Sending you lots of virtual hugs!

Jailan

PS. If you feel you need more in-depth support just click here and let me know what’s on your mind.

PSS. If you are struggling with dealing with the stress of parenting during the lockdown. I’d like to invite you to join Moms Together, a free virtual support group meeting every Tuesday at 8 PM. You can get the call link here.

3 Ways To Deal With Mom Stress & Anxiety During Lockdown

3 Ways To Deal With Mom Stress & Anxiety During Lockdown

3 Ways To Deal With Mom Stress & Anxiety During Lockdown

By Jailan Heidar

 know your time is valuable. You can listen to this message here (5 minutes).

I want to send you a little message and remind you to be kind to yourself.

It’s OK if you can’t plan activities for your kid, or if there’s just pasta and pizza for dinner or if you use the TV as a babysitter.

This is a transitional phase. You are experiencing something completely new. None of us have had this kind of lockdown experience before or at least not for this long.

It will take some time to create a new normal.

In the meantime, let’s think of some simple tools that can help you start making more calm out of this chaos. These are little changes you can start making one at a time to help you and your family.

1. The mind is an amazing organ. It runs our feelings and emotions but it can also be trained, shaped and molded into what you need. Right now you need tools to help you reduce your anxiety and stress.

Most of us are freaked out and stressed because we feel trapped, alone, isolated. We don’t know how long this will last. We fear us or our loved ones getting sick. There are things you can control and things you can’t control. Focus on what you can control. Every time your mind wanders to what you can’t control (the number of people getting infected) divert your attention to what you can control (staying home, sanitizing, minimizing your trips out, social-distancing, etc). You’ll find this gives you more strength and reduces your anxiety as you focus on what you can control in your environment.

2. Meditation is a great way to help you through stress and anxiety. It allows our minds to calm down and repeat positive mantras. Life coach and Happiness Evangelist Julie Leonard shares two beautiful meditations with you.

You can listen to Julie’s Self Compassion Meditation here and the Stress & Anxiety Reducing mediation here to practice them at home!

3. Antirumination can help us get out of a depressive state. One of the simplest practices you can do is to include in your nightly routine literally 2 minutes to highlight what you are thankful for. Pick 2 things you are thankful for. It would be even better if you could write them down as writing helps the brain engrave those positive thoughts. As you repeat this practice daily, the connections in your brain that notice these moments of gratitude become strengthened and you start to train your brain to focus on the positive rather than the negative.

If you feel you need support or want to reach out to share what’s on your mind just click reply here and it will come straight to me.

I wish you all the best of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health.
PS. If you feel you need ongoing support from experts and other moms join us every Tuesday at 8 PM CEST in the Free Moms Together Support Group. Get the call links here.

 

4 Reasons Boredom Is A Good Thing!

4 Reasons Boredom Is A Good Thing!

4 Reasons Boredom is a Good Thing!

 These days during the COVID-9 lock-down times, the most common question I’m getting from moms is “What should I do to prevent my kid from getting bored?”. 

Moms are feeling an enormous sense of pressure to fill up their children’s time at home with one engaging activity after another. It can be really overwhelming. To prevent acting out or just to get a moment’s peace many moms are reverting to overuse of screen time. I cast absolutely no judgment here, this is survival time. The thing is, even after this high engagement activities and screen time, the kids are still looking towards Mom for more. “What’s next?” or “I’m bored now” are quick to follow.

Before we were all contained at home, most of our kids had incredibly busy schedules. Actually, I’m reflecting that our personal schedule was a bit too busy. Almost every moment of their day was occupied with a task, daycare/school, activity, playdate, sports, afterschool, the list continues. 

It’s like we as parents are afraid to expose our kids to get bored. I get that! While kids are bored it can be incredibly difficult to deal with the initial whining, nagging, Oohs, and Aaahs of boredom. 

I don’t say this lightly. I know it’s tough. I’m a mom of a five and a two-year-old. As I write this my kids are talking about their own boredom.

The keyword here is initial boredom. Which means it passes. That initial feeling of boredom is like a wave. It goes up, the feelings get intense and then slowly calm starts to follow. It can take as little as 15 minutes or even up to an hour or two but it does pass. Most importantly the wait is worth it and here’s why.

1. When we schedule our kids’ every moment with a fun and engaging activity, that builds a sense of dependency and need for outside entertainment. First of all, that’s not sustainable for you or the rest of the family. Second, kids become used to being on the passive receiving end of being entertained or engaged. When we allow for some boredom, kids start thinking for themselves. They start taking initiative. They become more independent in finding activities for themselves. They also develop an ability to do things on their own if others aren’t available. All important traits that are positive in the development of a little human.

2. Another accidental result when we plan everything for our kids is that we pick for them. Some boredom gives your child more freedom and space to explore and find out more about what he likes. You might discover new things about your child now that he has more time to explore and play around with different things. I just discovered my son loves Lego Ninjago Audiobooks!

3. Imagination is one of the best rewards there is to being bored. We have robbed our kids of experiencing the same imaginative play we had as children. When we built forts from bed sheets and hid from imaginary monsters. The constant engagement by screen time and activities has made children passive receivers of others’ imaginative stories. What about their own? Once your child gives his imagination a push, he’ll experience a level of play that is extremely worth holding out through that initial boredom phase. 

4. When we back away from offering our kids ready-made solutions to their boredom, we stop giving them the easy way out of the problem. Giving them the encouragement and space so they can find their own entertainment also teaches kids perseverance. We help them learn not to be deterred if something doesn’t work out the first time. To try again. An essential lifelong skill and an important ingredient for raising resilient and confident kids.

Finally, this doesn’t mean you can’t have any structured or planned activities for your child. I always say balance is key for both of you. Divide your day into family activities, independent activities that you plan for your child and free play time where your child can experience some boredom, persevere and choose what he does for himself.

Remember at the beginning of this article I mentioned that my own kids were bored because I’d told them to entertain themselves? After some initial Ooohing and Aaaahing, my five-year-old is listening to an audiobook and playing with his cars and my two-year-old was singing happy birthday with play pizza to an imaginary friend. Was it easy? Not really. Did the boredom pass? Yes, it took about an hour.  Was it worth it? Absolutely!

Give it a try and let me know more about your experience. Just write to me at jailan@earlyyearsparenting.com

“I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ‘I’m bored.” becomes a habit.”
Louis C.K.

Why your child doesn’t owe anyone a hug this holiday season

Why your child doesn’t owe anyone a hug this holiday season

Why your child doesn’t owe anyone a hug this holiday season

By Jailan Heidar

Every holiday season or big family event I see the same thing. Kids being told to go ahead and give a friend or relative they haven’t seen in ages a hug or a kiss. Sometimes pressure being put on kids by insisting or telling them that the other person is going to be sad. We feel embarrassed as parents that our kids have “misbehaved” or aren’t nice. But are they really? Is the physical contact that important? Why can’t we settle for a simple hello or handshake even? Physical contact is such an intimate situation, especially a hug or kiss.

I understand that for a lot of us, we don’t want the other person to feel offended and not liked. That person is probably a family member or friend we talk to regularly and we are close to even if the kids don’t see them. A best friend, grandparent, aunt or uncle. Trust me, I understand. I’m raising my kids in one country while each of their grandparents, aunts, uncles and my best friends are in different countries. It’s tough when I talk to my best friends regularly then when my kids see them once a year they won’t say hello. But you know what? within an hour they’ve usually warmed up to them and are offering hugs and kisses themselves as they say goodbye. Because with people who really love your kids, the love comes through no matter what.

Whenever you start feeling awkward or embarrassed just think, .would you be happy if a relative (loved or not) grabs hold of you and gives you a big smooch? I doubt it. Would you feel safe/secure/relaxed/comfortable if your spouse/partner pushed you onto another adult who expected you to great them with a hug? Definitely not.

Let’s ask ourselves, why do we allow this behavior on children if we don’t allow it on ourselves as adults? The point of letting children choose whether they want to give hugs, kisses or even shake hands is not about letting them be rude or letting them get away with getting out of social etiquette.

This choice is empowerment. It’s letting your child know his/her space and body are their own. They get to choose who can come into that space. It’s also about building natural loving bonds through experiences. Isn’t that a completely natural and important lesson to learn?

So this holiday season, prepare yourself mentally in advance that your child may not rush into everyone’s arms. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about or apologize for. Reduce your expectations to your child giving a simple and respectful hello or handshake. That’s OK!

I hope you join me as we all try to be that parent who teaches that security, boundaries, limits, and consent are far more important than societal pressure and niceties ❤️

And trust that the love will come through.

A relationship is not based on the length of time you spent together; it’s based on the foundation you built together.”

“Go Give a Hug!” – What Message Are We Sending Our Children?

“Go Give a Hug!” – What Message Are We Sending Our Children?

Forcing your child to say hello, shake hands, give a kiss or hug to a friend, acquaintance or relative. What do you think?

I just had an encounter last week at dinner where a complete stranger (restaurant owner) decided he could ruffle my 3-year old’s hair and then asked to shake his hand. My son felt visibly uncomfortable after the hair ruffling and I could see his whole body cringe when the guy put his hand out to shake it.

Everyone at the table chimed in that my son had to shake hands and say hello. Except for myself and his Dad. I firmly said he didn’t have to shake hands if you didn’t want to. I asked him if he was uncomfortable or sad and he nodded yes. He said he was sad the man had touched his hair.

Why did I do this? Because this is the first step in teaching CONSENT! Consent and respecting another person’s personal space and body is an extremely important lesson to teach our child. Those lessons start at a young age when they are 3 not when they are 13.

Would you allow a complete stranger to ruffel your hair? I don’t think so. Would you be happy if a relative (loved or not) grabs hold of you and gives you a big smooch? I doubt it. Would you feel safe/secure/relaxed/comfortable if your spouse/partner pushed you onto another adult who expected you to great them with a hug? Definitely not.

Let’s ask ourselves, why do we allow this behavior on children if we don’t allow it on ourselves as adults? The point of letting children choose whether they want to give hugs, kisses or even shake hands is not about letting them be rude or letting them get away with getting out of social etiquette.

This choice is empowerment. It’s letting your child know his/her space and body are their own. They get to choose who can come into that space. Isn’t that a completely natural and important lesson to learn?

This is the kind of message children need to hear so they know when to say no when a touch feels inappropriate. So they can know it’s safe to come to a grownup and that they WILL BE HEARD and helped.

They need to hear this message so that when they are young men and women they understand what NO means and that NO is an option they have a right to voice.

Some of you who read this might think this is an exaggeration. It’s just a handshake, it’s just a kiss, it’s just a hug. It’s only for her uncle, it’s only for their aunt, it’s only for the restaurant owner. Where do you draw the line? How can a 3-year old understand where the line is drawn?

To them it’s simple; they felt visibly uncomfortable yet their needs, feelings, comfort, security, and emotions were ignored/dismissed/set aside to abide by social niceties.

I will do my best not to be the parent who does that. I will do my best to be the parent who listens to my child, sees the cringe, recognizes the sincere discomfort and supports their choice ❤️

I hope you join me as we all try to be that parent who teaches that security, boundaries, limits, and consent are far more important than societal pressure and niceties ❤️

Let me know your thoughts. I’ll be talking more about this and other Positive Parenting topics on Saturday during our Live Parent Talk

❤️