Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dancing for Children

I just love it when my daughter dances. She's 3 and a half. It's the most adorable, innocent thing. She moves how she feels. She's doing contemporary style dancing and it's just so real for her! When it's time for the bath, she gets undressed and refuses to let me in the room and then runs out to tell me she's done and does the I'm-naked-and-it's-funny dance. It's just innocent and fun for her at this age but her dad doesn't find it that nice when she is running around naked, even if it's just at home and even if she's just a small child and doesn't really like the idea that she loves to dance. For him, she's just starting bad habits. We will want her to grow up to be a modest young lady who doesn't love to hang out naked. And to me, it's smaller details, but ideally, I don't want her to love pop music and dancing around to it. I love to dance myself, but if i rule out music with haram themes, I'm left with little to choose from. Love of dance as a kid or teenager will pretty much always lead to love of music with haram themes. So anyway, I agree with him that I don't really want her to get into that as an older kid/teenager.


But right now, she is 3 and a half and I wanted to put her into dance courses. My husband is against it because it would be a beginning to instilling love of dance, but for me right now, it's just about getting her moving and enjoying herself, and getting her started early on an active lifestyle.

What are your thoughts on dance courses for young children? For or against? Do you have children; did they do dance?

Anyway, for my situation, I will not put her in the courses out of respect for my husband's wishes, especially since he is suggesting we enroll her in something else like sports. He's iffy on mixed sports even for young kids, but I am convincing him that until 10 or so, it will simply have to be and he's not 100% happy, but would accept that since they are so young and there often just isn't an alternative.

What are your thoughts on mixed sports?

9 Comentários:

Becky said...

I don't think dancing for young kids is wrong at all. Nor do I think it's wrong for them to run around in the house naked (especially not if it's done in conjunction with bath time). They're kids! Yes, we should teach them to be modest, leading by example, but we shouldn't teach them to be ashamed of their bodies. Dancing is such a natural way for a child to move - for them to learn to love to move.

If not modern dance classes, how abuot a ballet class? That would probably be mainly girls, and wouldn't feature modern pop music.

Also, I think there's absolutely nothing wrong with mixed gender sports, especially at such a young age. I went to a Christian school growing up, and we had mixed gender PE until 4th grade (10 years old) then we were separated, so grade 4+5 girls would have PE together, 6+7 etc. - and the opposite for the boys. I think that worked well.

Admittedly, I haven't got any kids, but those are my thoughts, for when I do have kids one day, inshAllah.

Anisah said...

Girls need sports to help them with a positive body image. You (General you, not you specifically) are not going to be able to keep girls away from boys in public, if so, can she ever have a job at a place where there are men, or go in a store where there are men?

Instead of segregating genders from each other, teach them how to behave respectfully around the other gender.

My 2 cents.

Anisah

Jess said...

I think running around the house naked is extremely important for young children because, united with Islam in the home, it is a wonderful way to teach us to love and value our bodies. I think it can be used to make her MORE modest, not less! :) But, she's 3, it's just fun right now.

I agree, it's extremely important to raise children that are NOT ashamed of their bodies because shame leads to low self-esteem and letting people use/abuse you. And, I love Islam because it really empowers girls to love and value themselves.

As far as dancing...I think it's an important thing for people to use their bodies and rejoice in their movement. For a child, dancing around is a way to learn muscle control and keep discovering their body. It's important! But, if the hubby doesn't like, maybe you could do gymnastics instead? Similar, but not *totally* haraam?

There's lots of wonderful non-haraam music without words but with great beats, like celtic or "ethnic" music.

If you go to www.pandora.com, you can sign up and listen to radio online. The great thing is that it allows you to dictate the kind of music/beats/songs you like, so you can really hone in on "good" music. Also, they have a few pre-made channels (like celtic) that have a good selection.

As far as sports, they're still young. They need to interact with boys and it teaches them to work as a team and see each other as team mates rather than something other, that's good, right?

Sorry this is long. :)

muslimethic said...

Assalamu alaikum.
If you and your husband visit your friends home and their a 3year old girl running naked there ,your perspective on seeing that girl and your husband are entirely different.
Men always look and assume opposite sex differently than women.

Your husband is right. Children need to know modesty in their early age.

Dancing for children up to 10 years may be not bad. But when a child is totally influenced with certain activities, it is difficult for them to come out from that impact even when they grow up.

Anisah said...

well my non -muslim daughter was like nora... she is super modest now..even wihtout being muslim. OS ya never know..

I think dancing is not a good idea though in public.. thats not ok... BUT I think older she can take courses to learn in an all women's enviroment. nothing wrong with a lil belly dancing for the future husband haha

natybe a new housecoat is in order for the lil nekked dancer lol

Candice said...

Becky: I agree with you! Actually for us here, I never had girls only phys. ed. It was mixed until college (we have 2 years of CEGEP between highschool and university, which is the equivalent of grade 12 and first year of uni, and we have phys. ed there too, mixed) Tournements and stuff were separated, but that's just normal.

Anisah: I think sports has a lot of very positive effects (for health, teaching discipline and lots of good values, like time management, etc). But from experience, sports can actually cause negative body image in children/teens. Certain sports moreso like gymnastics and ballet because of the standard body needed for these sports. I actually have been meaning to make a post on body image. It's a very important topic.

I agree that we should teach our sons and daughters to behave respectfully. Great point.

Jess, I might not use "extremely important" but I also think that running around naked in the home only has positives to it! She is learning that her body is nothing to be ashamed of - I totally agree!

I like your view on dancing a lot and your suggestion for music is just great. I will definitely check that out! I want to continue to encourage her to move and express herself that way, even if it's not going to be in courses.

muslimethic: I'm not sure if I understand your first idea right... That a man would "look" (like in a sexual way) at even a 3 year old??? That's just disgusting.

I think you are probably wrong and that it might be a cultural thing for you, but either way, I would't want my daughter to be naked in front of others than family because of possible pervs so definitely, if people are here, she's not to run around naked.

Anisah: Belly dancing is a good idea for her as an adult (or for me right now!) hehe

Susanne said...

I think little kids running around naked in their own households is normal and cute. :) I can imagine Nora enjoying a dance class or sports. I'm fine with either of them, but I'm not Muslim so I don't find mixing haram.

Stephanie said...

I'm not against dancing for kids or adults. How do you feel about ballet and other types of formal dance? I guess one can celebrate the beauty and form of the human body without it always being about sexuality, or even if there are sexual undertones, accepting that this too is part of humanity.

Candice said...

Susanne: I don't think mixing is haram either. I think I'm at a place where I believe it's not encouraged at all to have friends of the opposite sex for adults, but having a friendly conversation and interacting for various reasons is quite OK. In Islam, it's important to stay away from doubtful matters and to me, just having a friendly conversation with a person of the opposite sex is not a doubtful matter, but having a close friendship is (like one where two friends of the opposite sex hang out alone together regularly).

Stephanie: I'm not a fan of ballet, really or other formal dances like the ballroom styles. I like more expressive forms of dance like contemporary and fun and loose like hip hop... It's a personal preference... that would make me not take active steps to get Nora into it.

I really do feel like there's a way for dance to not be sexual and just be beautiful, even if we see the body. And I also feel like there's a way to make a dance with "sexual untertones" just beautiful and raw and almost spiritual even! But I know that the line is thin between beautiful and provocative sometimes. And I often feel it falls into doubtful matters which we should stay away from. That is, dancing in public.

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