Friday, July 27, 2012

5 tips to Getting your Youngster up for Suhoor
 Grandma Jeddah
            It’s Ramadan! Time for early morning meals, sundown feasts and late night prayers.  You want your child to learn the rituals of Ramadan, because Ramadan is one of the pillars of faith of our religion. Why not start out by getting him in the habit of getting up for the early morning suhoor meal.  It’s full of blessings and can give your child the energy he needs to make it through the day on an empty stomach.
             Although suhoor is an important start to a day of fasting, parents sometimes have a difficult time getting their children up for suhoor. Here are some helpful tips on how to wake up your child for suhoor.
            First, make sure your child is getting sufficient rest throughout the day.  A well rested child is easier to wake up early in the morning than one who is in need of rest.  Try to ensure that he’s getting his required hours of sleep per day.  Children aged five to ten need daily about 10 to 11 hours of sleep.  Youth over ten years need about 8 to 9 hours a day of sleep. Attempt to get your child to bed on time.   It’s common to stay awake into the wee hours of the night making up for lost eating time during Ramadan, but seek to avoid keeping your child up into extremely late hours of the night. That way, waking up early will be much easier on his body both physically and mentally.       
            Second, cook a delicious aromatic meal for suhoor.  Many people will tell you how nice it is to wake up to the aroma of fresh pancakes and bacon sizzling in the kitchen.  Once your child is aroused, your food on the stove can do the rest of the work for you.
            Third, use a calm and gentle voice when trying to wake up your child.  Who wants to wake up to a harsh, gruff voice shouting at him?  All you’d feel like doing is turning over on the other side, crawling up under your covers and going back to sleep. 
            The fourth thing is to remove the covers from him so he can’t pull them back up.  This makes him uncomfortable so that his sleep isn’t as enticing.  
            The fifth thing is to make an incentive chart using stars as rewards for getting up for suhoor.   Place a star on the chart whenever he gets out of his bed for the suhoor meal.  After he’s earned a certain number of stars, give him a treat or take him somewhere special.  This might encourage him to even look forward to getting up for suhoor, when he lies down to sleep at night.”
            Let’s summarize the points
1.     Make sure your child is getting sufficient rest. Try to get him to bed early so he’ll be rested when it’s time for Fajr.
2.    Cook a delicious smelling meal
3.     Use a comforting voice when waking him.
4.     Remove his covers for less comfort.
5.     Use an incentive chart to encourage him to get up by rewarding him with stars for getting up for suhoor.
            But don’t forget . . .  even though suhoor is an important aspect of Ramadan, don’t push to hard if your child doesn’t have a desire to get up for the early meal. Suhoor is recommended but not an indispensable part of fasting.  You want your child to develop a joy for the month of Ramadan. Let him take pleasure in the other areas of Ramadan that he looks forward to, as well—enjoying a delicious mouth-watering meal with family and friends after sundown!
Grandma Jeddah is the author of Discipline without Disrespecting: Discover the Hidden Secrets of How to Effectively Discipline your Muslim Child—And Keep your Peace of Mind While at It. Subscribe to her free newsletter at

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