Special Time at Home
By Grandma Jeddah
Special time is not only for outings. Make a game day at home. Every Friday night you can play scrabble or cards, color, put together puzzles, or play guessing games. Begin reading a chapter book to them that they enjoy. Read a chapter or simply a few pages each day or each week. Of course if you have four, five, six children or more, spending personal time can become a true challenge. Play card games or board games with several at a time. Or just simply plop down on the bed while you’re nursing the baby; the others are sure to trample in. While nursing, engage the others in conversation about their day at school or whatever might interest them. Try reading a story to several kids at a time. Place one child on your lap and one at each side. Each day you read, rotate who gets to sit on your lap. Discuss the story with everyone after you’ve finished reading. Spending half an hour of personal time for each child can seem impractical when you have a house full of children and a household to run. Do what you can. Every little bit helps.
Are you beginning to see how easy it is to develop ideas of your own that will help you give your child the attention he seeks? When some of your children are away at school, use the time for the younger ones. Dig out the play dough and puzzles. Play catch or kick ball in the house with a soft Nerf ball. Let little Omar help mix the eggs for breakfast or crack the peanuts for the granola.
When the younger ones are in bed at night, use that time for some of the older ones. Or you can multi-task--that method we mothers know all too well. Your daughter, who is still in the fantasy stage about the joys of washing dishes or cooking dinner, can join in the activity with you. You wash and she rinses. That‘s a huge chunk of one-on-one time right there. Or you could let one of your children help you cook. Certainly, all of this delays the time you use to complete your responsibilities but so does stopping to deal with behavior problems.
Grandma Jeddah is the mother of 11 children and 13 grandchildren. She has taught hundreds of students for over 30 years at an Islamic school in Los Angeles, California.This is an excerpt from her book, 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 --http://www.grandmajeddah.com