Finally! We have now officially entered the long awaited holy month of Ramadan, a month full of blessings we've been looking forward to! Closely related to fasting and praying, it might take a few efforts to adjust into Ramadan.
As little people who are still learning, we can introduce our children to what people commonly do during Ramadan too. Not only will they learn to implement the good things, they'll also be respectful towards others!
Here are a few ways you could introduce Ramadan to your little ones, slowly but surely 😉
- Explain what fasting is and show them how: For 30 days throughout the month, muslims commonly fast from dusk till dawn— meaning they can't drink nor eat for hours (even water). Besides children under 14 or before puberty, pregnant or breastfeeding women, seriously ill people, menstruating women and the elderly, every muslim with fulfilled criterias fast during Ramadan. Even though kids aren't obligated to fast, showing them an example can help teach them discipline and someday implement this form of self control.
If you’d like your kids to try fasting, do make sure that they’re still heard and aren’t forced to. Without disrespecting our kids' needs and capacity, we can show how people fast for them to observe and follow the good actions!
If they are willing to, guide them to try fasting with baby steps like these:
- Start slowly by letting them fast only one or a few days in a week
- Allow them to still drink water and eat main meals in their usual times then resume fasting again! This way they could experience fasting without ending up with stomach ache because they aren't getting their nutritions 😀
- Make suhoor (the meal before dusk) and iftar (breaking fast after dawn) enjoyable! Create a fun atmosphere so they’ll be excited and get distracted from their stomach rumbles 😂
- Communicate with positive words! Instead of saying, “you must fast!” as a form of instruction, you can say “if you want to, you can fast to show appreciation of what we have.”
- Teach them good deeds: Besides fasting, muslims are also advised to get involved in acts of kindness like donating to people in need, handing out food and drinks for people to break their fast and so on. This is definitely something not only muslims can do because kindness isn't limited to anyone! Even with small gestures like giving a few dollars to someone who needs it, kids will see and maybe continue the chain.
- Celebrate Raya to the fullest: After one month of Ramadan, spend Hari Raya with a feast and gather with family & friends! Dress them up in their best clothes which doesn't have to be brand new, obviously. Introduce them to Raya with a good impression so they'll love and look forward to it again!
These are only some you can try— which are very flexible to everyone's values & morals! Have a great and blessed Ramadan, Nimbu Fam!