Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ramadan Mubarak to all!



I hope everyone has a beneficial and safe month of Ramadan :) 




Friday, June 6, 2014

Parenting: A Little Story

This is a story inspired by a news event. 

I live in a nice, safe neighborhood al7amdulilah! It's nice to be able to walk around with no real fear of being attacked or abused, offered drugs, witnessing crimes, etc.

One beautiful fall evening I went to the convenience store for one missing ingredient on my way back home from getting my children from daycare. They wanted to stay in the car instead of coming in with me and I agreed. After all, I was parked close to the door, my oldest knew not to unlock for a stranger, but also knew how to unlock and leave to get help if needed. It was a nice cool evening, not really sunny. As far as I'm concerned, staying for 2-6 minutes was no more dangerous than any regular life activity like riding in the car to get there or playing in the park.

I went to buy what I needed and and then we went home.

Unlike the news story, I did not have an asshole send a film he took of my children to the police to have me arrested. Other than that, this is the same story.

Commentary:

The person in the news story lived with such guilt at what she'd done in leaving her kid in the car. She'd been programmed to never leave a child unattended, no matter how safe the situation - it was dangerous - her kid could've died. She felt horrible. Her story is full of "I know I shouldn't"... "I had a momentary lapse of judgement"... "I know it's not ok but"... as she tells it. She knows what she did shouldn't give her a criminal record but she can't get past the judgement from all sides that tell her she was still in the wrong. She apologizes and has trouble coming to terms with the horrible event for a long time.

Well, I (the same "I" from the inspired story I told you before the commentary) will not apologize for leaving the kids in the car in a situation I evaluated as perfectly safe. I will not apologize for not being sucked into every story of irrational fear I hear about. I will not apologize for following laws for what they are meant to be (the reason and idea behind the law) rather than what they literally say! So everyone who wants me to apologize and admit I did something terribly wrong that cool autumn day can just SUCK IT!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thankful Thursday!

After not posting for Thankful Thursday in over 2.5 years, here I am again! I've had so much to be thankful for since then, what a wonderful life :) My children are growing up healthy and happy, my marriage is solid, my outlook on life is positive.

Today, Thursday June 5th, I'm thankful for who I am. I actually wouldn't want to be any other person; I feel "well in my skin" as the expression goes in French. I have been blessed in life.

It's such a nice day too! It was nice and cool outside, but sunny at the same time; it's perfection! In my dress, wearing pearls, showing off a bit of my tattoo, wearing turquoise as an accent colour in my outfit, woohoo ;)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Spiritual Experience in Egypt?

I just came back from an amazing month-long vacation in Egypt. One idea I had before going there was that I wanted to go visit mosques regularly by going into a nearby mosque when the call to prayer rang across the city to pray, going to Friday prayer, doing wudu and wearing hijab at least occaisionally. Basically try to live more of an Islamic lifestyle, a lifestyle centred around Islamic obligations. This is something that is easily possible in Egypt with mosques everywhere and the call to prayer reminding us 5x a day... and being on vacation, I had few obligations preventing me from doing it.

However, it didn't really work out that way. I guess that's to be expected, nothing really works out exactly as planned... Concrete plans are not a good thing in Egypt!

Still, I do find that I had more God-consciousness going on than I had before. I went to Friday prayer 2 out of 3 times and prayed a few regular prayers here and there. One thing that I didn't expect would make a difference was making wudu more regularly. It really is an act of worship to prepare yourself for God. Sometimes I didn't pray or anything like that, but just doing this for God made me more conscious of his presence and importance throughout the time that I was in a state of wudu.

Although I didn't have a life-changing spiritual experience, I had one that is right for me. Gradual and private.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Disgusting Habit of GOSSIP

I had a falling out with my 2 main co-workers who were before this incident in November, people I considered real friends... It wasn't a fight so much as an incident that made them say things that made me realize that they weren't REAL friends. It left me extremely hurt... I don't have a lot of friends at all and it felt after this that I had no one close to me, no one I could trust or who loved me unconditionally. These people like me and support me on condition that I do exactly as they recommend... and it hit pretty hard.

Anyway, since this happened, I haven't been able to interact with them in the same way, and really I've come to see it as a good thing. We had a tendency to chat a lot about just anything and it would regularly become gossip. I have a love/hate relationship with gossip... I feel that it's so wrong - overall I try to understand why people are how they are, I make excuses for why they do things the way they do (that is less than ideal, or just wrong) and when we gossip about that, there's no place to add much of that and it makes it overall so negative, I feel like part of myself is left behind, part of the puzzle of what I'm actually thinking. On the other hand, there's something fun about it and I can't deny that I had an amount of fun at the time.

Since the falling out, the gossip or  backtalk I used to engage in has become flat out ugly to me, I feel disgusted whenever they mention others, I see it for what it truly is and I've been pretty much staying away. It's my respect for them that has gone down a whole lot. My hurt at losing friends has been replaced by relief that I'm not on this track anymore.

A good tip someone once gave me about avoiding gossip is to flat out say something nice about whoever is being gossiped about, so that the gossipers know not do talk about that person with you. You might still hear it but you won't be asked to participate at least and sometimes (like in an office setting), that's as much as you can ask for!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Child Whisperer - Learning About Type 1 My Daughter

I'm reading a book called The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle which talks about letting our children's natural tendencies shine through to help them become happy, successful, cooperative children. It's about respecting your children and allowing them to grow up without feeling like they need to go against what comes naturally to them.

It's based on her 4 energy types which are basically like her version of personality types which she markets as being more real and true than a person's personality.

I have to say that I really disliked the first chapters because I really just don't like her style. It sounds like she pretends to be scientific when her work just isn't, and she talks as though her book is the best thing ever, a true handbook for how to raise children that every single parent should have. I don't like the arrogance, it goes further than just confidence. If this was a novel, I would have stopped right there (I stop reading something very easily) but I thought there was probably something I could get out of this book, especially since it was recommended by my son's daycare educator.

I fought to get to the good stuff and the first energy type was an exact description of my 6 year old daughter.

Here it is: 
Type 1: The Fun-loving Child

  • Primary Connection to the World: Social
  • Primary Movement: Bouncy and random
  • Primary Need: To have fun and happy parents
May be described as: animated, fun, bright, light-hearted, friendly
May be negatively judged as: flighty hyperactive, unreliable


I feel like I learned so much about who she is when I read the detailed descriptions and examples... it expanded on what I had noticed and knew about her and told me that it was not only OK but necessary to accept and embrace her nature as a fun-loving, carefree, happy, random, high-energy girl. I've been struggling because I highly value my daughter for her spontaneous, high energy nature but the other part of me wants her to be able to sit still and be able to concentrate better on tasks especially for school grades. I've been struggling with knowing she's not a bad kid at all because of her tendencies but also knowing that the educational system is not tailored for children like her at all and wanting her to do well!

I was reminded of how amazing her energy is, how true and pure it is and how much better she will feel in the present and future if she is able to be true to herself on a day by day basis rather than be molded into what we want from her. I recognized that I squash her nature when I tell her to "stop talking - for crying out loud stop talking!!" and that a child like this will go from one subject to another and be very talkative, but will also be easily redirected and might just need a moment!

For those of you who watch My Little Pony, I've said it from the beginning, my daughter is Pinky Pie! Way random, always wanting to have FUN, talks non stop, intuitive, quirky, etc. Pinky Pie was probably based on this "energy type".

This book basically says that for children who are of this fun-loving energy type, FUN is not only fun to them, it's what makes them who they are, what makes them well. It's a necessity in their life, not just distraction or entertainment. Honouring her nature, it's not a good thing to force her to spend a long time doing one homework or project before doing the next, etc. The book suggests breaking up the homework into shorter time spans, mixing up what needs to be done in a more random fashion that these types respond well to. And why not?! This is something I will try with my daughter. IThere were other nice tips that I will take note of so I can remind myself every once in a while.

So I have to say that despite the shaky beginning, I'm really getting something out of this book and I feel that it's very helpful to keeping things in perspective as a parent, helping our children become happy, well adjusted people and it remains to be seen, but hopefully I see some good outcomes for their current behaviour.

Next post: Type 3 (my son)

Gentle Discipline

I've been learning more about gentle parenting so that I can apply it to my family and hopefully help my kids feel and BE better. It's supposed to be a more harmonious way of parenting, that has the children's rhythms and needs respected rather than have them forced to fit into our adult lifestyle. It's about connection and compassion and allowing them to be who they naturally are.

I've always taken an attachment parenting approach, which I guess gentle discipline is a part of, so it's not totally foreign to me. The connection you have with your child is extremely important, your children's needs should be met, and your children need to feel secure and safe with you... This is part of the approach.

Here are some things I've been trying to do: 

-Make efforts for the children's routines to keep them well-rested, not hungry (snacks at appropriate times) and comfortable overall to avoid the annoyances that make behaviour worse.

-Be softer in speech, no yelling when anger overtakes me.

-Avoid saying "no" to Adam, instead I use the positive version... For example he wants an apple, I tell him he can have one after supper instead of saying he can't have one now.

-Not force the Adam to do things the "proper" way, but show him how by modelling good behaviour and manners. Positive reminders when necessary, but no forcing. This is something new for me especially when it comes to saying sorry... But I've decided to put the focus on making him FEEL sorry rather than just saying it.

-Have LOGICAL consequences. If he refuses to put his mittens, his hands will be cold outside. If he throws his food, his meal is done. If he hits his sister, she will play elsewhere and not with him (unless behaviour changes and a "make nice" attempt is made, in which case she forgives him immediately and they start over)

-Make efforts to understand WHY the behaviour is happening... I let the children know that I understand that they are angry/sad/frustrated/etc.

Next parenting post coming up is on this book I'm reading called The Child Whisperer which talks about 4 types of "energies", a bit like personalities and how to best deal with the children in each.

Exploring Life and Islam © 2008. Template by Dicas Blogger.

TOPO