Category Archives: Parenting tips

Zayd’s timing

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This is Zayd’s first drawing. It might seems like nothing to most people, but to me, this simple drawing contained in it many important mothering lessons.

1. Kids will learn things in their own time.

I have to admit, sometimes I can be quite the anxious mother. Especially when I see other kids are already doing something that Zayd was still unable to do. I will ‘teach’ him how to do those things. And it NEVER WORKED!. No amount of cajoling, sweet-talking, threatening (!) will make him do it. In this particular case – to hold a pencil properly and write/draw/anything. Since I am a bit artsy and always either writing or drawing things – I would always asked Zayd to do the same. And he never ever want to do it. He prefer to roll his car up and down..well, anything. His cars are his universe. After a while I resigned to the fact that maybe he’s just not into pencils. Fine, it’s ok. I will work with what I have. *sob sob

But recently, he started picking up the pencil on his own and starting to draw too! With no inputs or instructions from me whatsoever! He spend a lot of time with his older cousins now and they were always drawing things. So he observed them and started doing the same.

Now he really enjoys drawing/doodling while telling me stories about what he draws/doodles.

2. Pencils open up a whole new means of expression for him.

Zayd has always been quite the verbal kid. He loves talking and telling stories. Now that he learnt how to hold the pencil and use it to draw – a whole new world seems to be opening up to him. And it was really wonderful watching his expression as he managed to translate his ideas into images. I saw the light in his eyes the first time he draw trees (in the picture above the lines and squiggly black thing eheh) and he went “mummy..trees”. Ah that expression. I still can’t forget those precious expression. It’s like suddenly he found a superpower or something. It’s truly amazing masha Allah.

(I thought I have more lessons but maybe just these 2 ehehe).

But these are really important lessons for me! It made me realise that I just need to keep trusting him and his ability. I need to trust the timing. I need to know that as long as I keep providing the right environment – he will learn these things in his own time. But the RIGHT environment is the key here.

Also, I need to keep encouraging him to explore all means of expressions. It seems that there’s  a whole world inside that little head that is yet to emerge.

Alhamdulillah, all praise to Allah for giving human ability to express ourselves. What a wonderful gift it is. Alhamdulillah.

2 year old’s emotion

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I think the theme with Zayd these past few days is in managing his emotion.

Last weekend, at his ayahtok and mamatok’s house he was enjoying himself too much watching one Youtube videos after another. So I asked him to watch one more and we have to stop because it was Maghrib time.

He said yes, but when I wanted to switch off the tv he started screaming at me. And I mean really scream in anger.

Again, at that point, I just decided to just let him express his emotion while verbalising it to him.

“Zayd marah kat mummy ye”

“Ya!” *screaaaaaammmmm*

“Dah habis dah marah?”

“No!” *screaaaaammm*

“Dah habis marah mummy come hug mummy ok”

“No!” *screaaaammmmmm*

And after a while he gets tired and wander off to his ayahtok. So, I picked him up and we went into our room to prepare for Maghrib prayer. And I asked him again,

“Zayd marah mummy lagi tak?”

“Tak dah..” *smiles*

“Boleh hug mummy tak?”

“Boleh..” and he gave me the biggest hugs ever!

I learnt something important here – that I need to let him know that it is ok for him to express his emotions. That he is safe to feel whatever he is feeling with me. It’s my job to guide him in understanding his emotion, the correct way to express and manage it.

I am grateful for this opportunity to keep on learning and growing with him Alhamdulillah 🙂

Calming the tantrum

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I wanted to write about this particular experience that I had with calming Zayd’s tantrum recently. He was having an epic tantrum as he usually had when he woke up after Asr’ or near Maghrib. When he is in this mood, every little things can set him off. And normally, by the end of the day – I too have lost most of my energy and became impatient with him. But that day I decided to do things differently.

I watched as his little body shook and tremble with his tantrum. I realised that he is not in control of himself and he might actually be afraid of the intensity of his emotion. So instead of normally getting impatient and asking him to stop – I just sit down and be there for him while verbalising what I thought is happening to him.

“Zayd can’t stop crying is it..”

“You want to stop but you can’t..”

“I know it’s hard sometimes to stop crying when we are in the middle of it..”

And I picked him up and do the distraction technique by trying to count how many taxi are zooming by in front of the house. We managed to count until 10 and he seems to calm down after a bit.

And then I want to do the normal thing I did which is to ask him to take his bath, but he refused and he started to cry again. At this point, normally I will be impatient again. But that day I decided to just sit and be with him. So I said, “Ok Zayd, just sit down calmly with mummy first and when you are ready you can tell mummy when you are ready to mandi”

He calmed down again, and nodded quietly while hugging me.

After a while, I can sense that he became calmer and he said ‘Ok, mummy Zayd dah ready nak mandi”

And his mood completely changed and he became so much happier and calmer.

It made me realised that sometimes all it takes is for me to be a little bit more patient, understanding and empathetic with him. I realised his emotions are getting stronger as he grow up and I am sure sometimes it’s hard for him to control it. Even us as adults had trouble controlling our emotion sometimes, and we had years and years of practice! I realised in his toddler years I need to be more of a guidance and mentor to him in learning and managing his emotions. I need also to let him know that it is safe for him to express his emotions with me.

I also learnt that sometimes we parents forget that as little as they are – they are a person and they had their own wishes and wants. And when we honour and acknowledge that they became more secure in their relationship with us.

I am grateful for this learning experience that Allah gave me. My years with Zayd is getting more and more interesting! 🙂

Clock and speedometer

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A quick story I would like to record here about Zayd. 🙂

A few days ago, while we were in the car, he suddenly pointed to the speedometer in the car and said ‘clock’. He is in this phase of pointing and naming things. What struck me as interesting is that he can only name the things according to what he knew. And in his limited 19 months storage of vocabulary and knowledge – the speedomoter is a clock.

The thing is, this nature doesn’t change, even when we are all grown up. We can only see and appreciate what we already know. But in our cynical adult way, when we came across something we don’t really know, rather than trying to get to know it and understanding it better – we pass our judgement on it. When faced with something unknown, we fear it. We mocked it. We pushed it away.

Observing Zayd learning made me reflect on my own attitude towards the many things that I still don’t know. Or the things that I thought I knew.

May Allah open both our hearts and minds to receive beneficial knowledge everyday in every way. May both of us always be eager learners, avid readers, keen observers, and humble do-ers ameen.

Kahlil Gibran – On Children

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Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwells in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies
so He loves also the bow that is stable