Thursday, June 30, 2011

Teach Problem-Solving Techniques for Emotions

         Your five-year-old son has just had a meltdown.  He wanted you to take him with you to his older brother’s basketball practice.   You refused because it was after school and you knew he needed a nap because he’d been up late last night.  Little sleep equals a short temper for your little one.
        And that’s just what he had—a short temper.  He started his rampage of kicking the door against the wall and flailing like he was in a pool swimming backwards.
        How is a mother, who wants to give up hitting and shouting, supposed to control this type of behavior?  The first thing to understand is that children are going through a learning process.  They must be taught how to behave.  This doesn’t mean you simply let them know their behavior is unacceptable. It also involves showing and explaining to them other ways to actually solve their problem.
        Some children take longer than others to learn how to control themselves.    This is where patience comes in on the parent’s part.  When a child seems to be unresponsive to suggested solutions to his problem, don’t give up.  Continue directing him.
        A significant aid in showing your child how to handle his upset feelings is by showing alternative ways of solving his problem.  When your child is having a temper tantrum, he is responding to negative feelings such as sadness, anger or blocked opportunities.  Show him how he can resolve or lessen his problem to help himself feel better.
        Let’s go back to the story of the five-year-old who is heated because he can’t go with his mother to his brother’s basketball practice.  Think of solutions he can use to help resolve or lessen his feelings of rejection.
        Explain to him he can go outside and play with his friends since he can’t go to the game.  Tell him he can play the new computer game on the computer.  Tell him to get his clothes out for you to iron so he’ll be ready for you to take him to the next game.  The idea is to help him see there are ways of minimizing the blow of not being able to go with you.

       He may not cease his behavior immediately.  But once you leave the house, your ideas will remain in his mind for some time.  And he will likely take you up on some of the suggestions.

This is an excerpt from Grandma Jeddah’s FREE e-Book: Discipline without Disrespecting: 8 Tips to Taming Your Muslim child's Temper.  To download your FREE e-Book or receive Grandma Jeddah's FREE newsletter, visit her at

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Discipline Tip: Is your Child Getting Enough Sleep By: Grandma Jeddah

        Getting the proper amount of sleep has increasingly become an important aspect of good health.  While we often consider sleep to be a “passive” activity, sufficient sleep is increasingly being recognized as an essential aspect of health promotion . . .1 explains a report from the Centers for Disease Control.    Lack of proper sleep can affect your child’s emotional as well as mental and physical wellbeing.
        Lack of sleep has been known to cause depression in those who don’t get enough rest.2 A depressed child can show increased signs of anger and hostility.  They are also more likely to be irritable.   Excessive anger, hostility and irritability can lead to an increase in tantrums and loss of self-control.
        Ensuring your child gets enough sleep is one key factor in helping her control her temper.
        According to the National Sleep Foundation, children should receive the following hours of sleep per day:3

(0–2 months)
12–18 hours
(3–11 months)
 14–15 hours
(1–3 years)
12–14 hours
(3–5 years)
11–13 hours
(5–10 years)
10–11 hours
8.5–9.25 hours
7–9 hours
So, sleep tight . . . don’t let the tantrum bugs bite!

This is an excerpt from Grandma Jeddah’s FREE e-Book: Discipline without Disrespecting: 8 Tips to Taming Your Muslim child's Temper.  To download your FREE e-Book or receive Grandma Jeddah's FREE newsletter, visit her at

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pediatrician's Help on How to Discipline without Hitting

Pediatrician's Help on How to Discipline without Hitting

Quick 10 minute video, simple yet informative and useful

If you like this, you can find more helpful parenting resources like this on the "Parenting Support" page at

Monday, June 27, 2011

Reach for the Stars By: Grandma Jeddah

The weighing on that day is the true (weighing). As for those whose scale is heavy, they are the successful.
And as for those whose scale is light: those are they who lose their souls because they disbelieved Our revelations. (7: 8-9). 

One effective technique to disciplining your child without hitting, scolding or shaming is using an incentive or Star Chart system with your child in which he can earn stars toward a desired goal.  The stars work as rewards themselves, as they provide a fun and exciting way to work toward an enjoyable objective.  Write your child’s name on a sheet of paper. If you have several children, place all of their names in a column on the paper. Draw a horizontal line between each name to separate the names.  There are more elaborate methods of designing star charts, which can be a dandy activity for parent and child to work on together.  But for parents with many children and little time, a simple blank or lined paper will work just fine.
 When you hear Karima, for instance, using phrases that you‘ve taught her, such as-- “Stop annoying me, you’re being a pest,” instead of her old phrases such as “Leave me alone you stupid bum; I hate you,” give her a star. When she gets 10 stars, take her shopping to buy a toy or play a game with her, or let her bake cookies with you. Use your imagination and make a list of rewards your child will be inclined to strive for.  Share it with your child; even better, let her select the reward herself. 
            When you set up your Star Chart system, explain the new program to your child. Let her know you've found a fun new way to help her do the things you’d like her to do.  Be sure to emphasize the positive aspects of your reward system.  Let your child know how she can receive stars. It’s best to select several actual behaviors you wish her to improve on rather than simply stating she will get them for good behavior.  Good behavior is a vague term.  Giving your child specific actions to accomplish is more effective.
            Determine which behaviors you want your child to stop or begin doing.  For instance, let's say you want to encourage your child to make salat soon after hearing the athan or around the time you’ve told her it’s time.  Let her know whenever she makes salat early, she’ll get a star.   When she does make her salat promptly, tell her she has a star and place it on the chart.  Or for a “stop” behavior, let’s say your daughter has a problem whining after you’ve asked her to perform a chore and you want her to stop the complaining.  When you notice she hasn’t complained after you’ve instructed her to do something, tell her you appreciate how she didn’t protest and tell her she has a star.
It’s easy for parents to fall off the wagon and forget to put up stars when their child is doing things as desired—nobody’s perfect.  Be mindful that this is when parents often begin seeing the old behavior returning.  This is also when parents start to feel like hitting, or shouting again.  Keep up with the positive reminders.  You’ll see positive results, insha’Allah. 

This is an excerpt from Grandma Jeddah’s e-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.  To order her e-Book or receive her free newsletter, visit her at

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Giving Hope to Cope By: Grandma Jeddah

They will enter Gardens of Eden where they will be adorned with gold bracelets and pearls, and where their clothing will be of silk. They will say, 'Praise be to Allah, Who has removed from us (all) sorrow: for our Lord is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Ready to appreciate (service), Who has, out of His bounty, settled us in a Home that will last: no toil nor sense of weariness shall touch us therein.' (35: 33-35)

There are numerous ayat in Quran where Allah helps the believer who is suffering, to imagine his place in Jenna.
What you can’t give in reality give through imagination. Your son wants a new bike like his friend down the street or your dyslexic 11-year-old daughter wishes she could read books like her older sister.

You can say to your son Karim who wants a bike—

Mother:            Wouldn't it be nice if you could go to a bike shop and pick out any bike you like                            no matter how much it cost?
Karim:              Yeah, I’d get the fastest most expensive bike in the world.
Mother:           Maybe someday you’ll be able to.

To your daughter Myisha who has difficulty reading you could say--
Mother:            Wouldn't it be nice if there were glasses you could wear that made you able to read books, magazines or anything else you wanted to read?
Myisha:           Uh huh, then I could read whenever I want, without anyone helping me.

Your 4 year old wants to go outside to play but there’s no one to supervise him.
Mother:           You probably wish you were older so you could watch yourself outside.
4-year-old:       When I grow up I’m going to go outside all the time by myself.

Helping your child see the hope for a better day can build optimism that will help carry him through. This is a coping technique you can develop in your child that will be helpful for him now and throughout life, insha'Allah.

This is an excerpt from Grandma Jeddah’s e-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.  To order her e-Book or receive her free newsletter, visit her at

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Stay Calm, Cool and Collected By: Grandma Jeddah

فَاصْبِرْ صَبْرًا جَمِيلًا
“So be patient with gracious patience."  (Quran 70: 5)
Make things easy for the people, and do not make it difficult for them, and make them calm with glad tidings and do not repulse them. (Bukhari)

There are several reasons why you should remain calm when disciplining your child. One reason is because you want to develop a loving relationship with her.   A child that feels loved and respected is more inclined to want to please his parents. This makes things easier for the parent in her role of parenting. You are your child’s primary teacher. You don’t want to lose that connection between you and your child.  Even though your child will go through periods in which peer pressure reigns, your child will still be open to your suggestions if you have an understanding relationship. This helps you continue exercising your influence into the period of adolescence and beyond.
            Another reason to maintain your composure when disciplining  is because when you become angry when correcting your child, rather than emphasizing that you want him to behave, you are instilling in your child that he has the power to control your emotions. Let us say your child is angry because you're not letting him play his Play Station for three days because he neglected to complete his homework three days in a row during the week. He is angry and vindictive. Even if he has to sit in his room for 30 minutes, it’s worth it if he can ruffle your feathers and make you feel the frustration and pain he’s feeling right now for missing out on his games.
Remaining calm also shows your child that being rude and saying hurtful remarks are not the way to solve his problem.  For some high-spirited children, your anger and shouting are likely to escalate and intensify the child’s resistance and encourage a battle of wills.  He is likely to start a tantrum or other aggressive behavior that you feel helpless to control. Usually when you feel helpless and at a loss as to what you should do with your child, you tend to resort back to what you're comfortable and familiar with—hitting.  Controlling your anger can stop this power struggle before it starts in the first place.
Remaining calm shows your child you’re in control--you have the reigns. The strong-willed child needs to know you’re the director of him. This actually helps him feel more secure. He wants to know what his limits are, and he wants to be guided. 
Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet (saw) counseled a man who asked for his advice and told him three times “Don’t get angry.” (Bukhari Vol 8 no. 137)
Sometimes parents themselves need to calm down and deal with their own feelings first before they attempt to handle the behavior of their child.  If you are in a bad mood or your child has done something that really ticks you off, do not immediately react.  Take a breather.  Go to your room for a few seconds—or minutes.  Count to ten.  The Prophet (saw) counseled not to get angry.   He also recommended that when you are angry you should sit down.  If you’re already sitting, then lie down.   Don’t act upon your anger.  Be still until you have calmed down.  You will be in a healthier state of mind to make the proper decisions for both you and your child.
When your child observes your actions during your episodes of frustration and anger, he learns from you.  If you tend to become physically violent with him when you’re angry, your child will learn this as acceptable behavior.  If you rant, curse and shout, he will learn this as acceptable behavior during his periods of anger, too.  You are his role model, his teacher.  Your actions are what he will emulate.

This is an excerpt from Grandma Jeddah’s e-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.  To order her e-Book or receive her free newsletter, visit her at

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hold it Right There! By: Grandma Jeddah

According to the sahaba, 'The Messenger of Allah used to talk little and everything was expressed in this brief talk. In his speech, there was no defect of excess or brevity. The words came one after another like pearls. Whoever heard them remembered them. He was the sweetest in talk among his companions. He used to keep silent for long and not talk without necessity. (Shamaa-il Tirmidhi)

When correcting your child, say what you want to say as briefly as possible. Rather than emphasize repeatedly what you want your child to do, say it once, giving the alternatives or consequences. Children get bored with our voices sometimes—well, maybe most of the time—when we’re correcting them.  If your child chooses not to do as you ask, give him his penalty and be finished with it.  Talking leads to debating and debating can lead to you getting more upset with your child.  Avoid it.
Remaining silent can also be useful as a discipline technique itself.  When you let your child know that you don’t have anything to say to him until he has done as you’ve asked—obedience is usually close behind.  Your child dislikes when he’s not being listened to.  Use it to your advantage.

This is an excerpt from Grandma Jeddah’s e-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.  To order her e-Book or receive her free newsletter, visit her at

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Special Parenting for Special Needs Children By: Grandma Jeddah

Children with learning disabilities and mild to moderate mental retardation are often looked upon as “normal” because many don't look like there's anything different about them on the outside. This leads to many misunderstandings and mislead assumptions on the part of those whom these children come in contact with.   Because of their normal appearance, the children’s behavior is mistaken, for rudeness, immaturity, or attention seeking behavior.  It is also mistakenly perceived as a result of poor parenting.   Few outsiders understand the difficult struggle these children live daily, dealing with constant disappointment and failures, knowing they don’t understand things that others grasp easily, tripping over their feet while others don’t, stumbling over words, and constantly being asked to repeat themselves for clarification.  Failure is their constant companion.  Many develop strong wills as a result of their continuous struggles to cope with their clumsiness, misplaced comments, mispronounced words and other idiosyncrasies.
            Likewise, few understand the enormous challenge parents of such children experience.  It is particularly important for parents to educate themselves of their child’s disability so they can understand their child better and learn the special techniques needed to handle such children. In addition, it is wise to seek out parenting groups, support groups and other helpful resources for moral support.

This is an excerpt from Grandma Jeddah’s e-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.  To order her e-Book or receive her free newsletter, visit her at

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Helpful Tip for Disciplining your Child with ADHD/ADD By: Grandma Jeddah

           ADHD is a developmental disorder that makes it difficult for your child to exercise self-control. You might often find yourself facing situations in which your child exhibits defiant behavior, behaves excessively aggressive, or confronts you with arrogance.  Avoid the easy, habitual response of hitting your child when he opposes your instructions or violates others’ rights.  Spanking can escalate negative behavior in children with ADHD/ADD.  The long term negative effects can be counterproductive.
People look forward to pleasing those who treat them well. Your children are no different.Your child may disagree with your reasoning regarding an order or request, but, if you make your request in a kind, respectful yet determined way, he is more likely to respond to your instructions.  He is also more likely to do his best at the job. He will be more open to obeying. 
 Parents sometimes hit their children because they are angry or under added stress. Hitting when angry can become a habit. You may begin to view hitting as the primary source of discipline. When hitting is your main or only method of disciplining, it is very easy for you to cross the line from hitting to abusing.
If you’ve already hit your child once for sneaking into the kitchen to get a cookie, what are you going to do the next time he does it—hit him more times and harder?  This is particularly a problem with special needs children who have problems controlling their impulses and act out often.  These types of children are more likely to receive abusive treatment from their parents because they have more difficulty controlling their own behavior than the average child. 

This is an excerpt from Grandma Jeddah’s e-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.  To order her e-Book or receive her free newsletter, visit her at

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Being Consistent when Parenting By: Grandma Jeddah

Children (as well as adults) have a natural tendency to test limits.  Defining limits is a natural part of parenting.  Some kids are more prone to deliberately challenging limits set by their parents.  Because of this, it is important that parents follow through on consequences set for misbehavior.  Forgetting or ignoring established consequences encourages your child to disregard your rules. 
            If you tell your child his homework must be done before he goes outside to play, you must follow through on your demands.  Make sure you check to see if his work has been completed before allowing him to play.  Knowing that you mean business helps your child establish appropriate long term behavior.

This is an excerpt from Grandma Jeddah’s e-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.  To order her e-Book or receive her free newsletter, visit her at

Monday, June 20, 2011

Who's in Control in Your Home By: Grandma Jeddah

Narrated Sahl bin Sad: A tumbler (full of milk or water) was brought to the Prophet (saw) who drank from it, while on his right side there was sitting a boy who was the youngest of those who were present and on his left side there were old men. The Prophet (saw) asked, "O boy, will you allow me to give it (i.e. the rest of the drink) to the old men?" The boy said, "O Allah's Apostle! I will not give preference to anyone over me to drink the rest of it from which you have drunk." So, the Prophet gave it to him. (Bukhari)

Children  need to feel they have some control over their lives.  Desiring independence is a natural instinct humans have.  Allowing your child the power to decide for himself may be difficult for many mothers to embrace, but such actions are necessary to raise children who can make appropriate decisions for themselves and stand up to adversity and challenges. 

Power struggles
Children who are not allowed a certain amount of freedom to choose and make decisions for themselves may become defensive. Excessive commanding, ordering, correcting and overseeing a child’s behavior can sometimes result in a child rebelling against authority.   Power struggles are one of the ways children attempt to gain power over their lives.  Often the approaches used by children to gain this power are perceived as bad behavior. 
When you’re having behavior problems from your child, begin offering him options.    Ask your child what he would like for dinner instead of telling him what you’ve decided to cook.  “Do you want to go to bed at 8:30 or 8:45?”  “Do you want carrots or cabbage for dinner?”  For your older child you might ask, “What three days of the week do you want to use the car?”
If you find yourself trying to force your child to comply or do what you want, a power struggle is likely in effect.  During times of power struggles, you might resort to excessive means of discipline to get your child to do as instructed.  Or, at the other end of the spectrum you might be so drained and frustrated that you simply give in to your child’s demands to eliminate any further conflict.  Both measures lead to unproductive results. Excessive measures can lead to you being unjust to your child and can also result in a breakdown in your relationship.  On the other hand, if you allow your child to pull your strings and you feed into his argumentative ploy resulting in your failure to act at all, your child will learn that he needn’t respond to your requests. 
Find a medium between enforcing your demands and allowing your child the liberty he needs to avoid using a power struggle to achieve his aims.

This is an excerpt from Grandma Jeddah’s e-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.  To order her e-Book or receive her free newsletter, visit her at

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wait a Minute—A true Story By: Grandma Jeddah

This  is a true story.  The names and details have been changed.
            Umm Ibraheem just couldn’t understand it.  When she asked her 5-year-old son Ibraheem to get out his pajamas for bed, he said, “Wait a minute,”  and ran off to pet the baby kitten.  When she told him to sit down to eat dinner, he said “Wait a minute,” and dashed into the bedroom to search for his lost ball.  When she told him to put on his shoes to get ready to go outside, he said, “Wait a minute,” and trotted over to his dresser to pick out a new shirt to slip on.
            One day while Umm Ibraheem was in the kitchen washing dishes Ibraheem thumped into the kitchen, glanced up at his mom and said, “Can you fix me some oatmeal, “Wait a minute,” said his mother, “I’m washing dishes.“
             Later that day when  Umm Ibraheem was on the computer typing, Ibraheem clutched his mother’s dress and said, “Can I sit on your lap?”
            “Wait a minute,” said his mother, “I’m busy right now.”
              That night when it was almost time for Ibraheem to go to sleep, he leaned over the bed where his mother was resting with her book in her hands and asked, “Can you read me a story?”
            “Wait a minute, I’m reading right now,” replied his mother.
            “Why do you always say ‘wait a minute?’” asked Ibraheem, with a scowl.
            Umm Ibraheem shifted her eyes from the page and stared at her son.
            The room was silent.
            Umm Ibraheem rolled over and swung her legs off the bed.  She walked into the kitchen, reached for a cup from the cabinet, got out a carton of milk from the refrigerator and poured the milk half way into the cup.  Then she gently leaned over and handed the cup of milk to her son with a warm smile. 
            From that day on, Umm Ibraheem replaced the words “Wait a minute” with the word “Okay,” more often.  And guess what . . . So did her son Ibraheem.

For more information on making obeying easier and discipline simpler without hitting, shouting or shaming, visit Grandma Jeddah’s website at: and subscribe to her free newsletter. 


Friday, June 17, 2011

How to Handle a Toddler who says "No" By: Grandma Jeddah

You pushed him out, nursed him, gave him all your love and just the other day you told your 3-year-old to put his plate away and he had the audacity to tell you, “No!”
Well, don’t take it too personal. What you’re experiencing with your child is a normal stage children go through around his age. About age two, kids have a tendency to want to exert their independence. Saying, “No” is one way of doing that. He wants to have his own say about things . . . which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily. You want your child to learn how to say “No” for some things. Don’t take saying “No” too seriously. His vocabulary is blossoming at this time. “No” is a word that he probably often hears you say. So he’s probably quite familiar with it. If you’re still a bit concerned, here are a few things you can do:
First, try to limit saying “No” whenever you’re around him. If you think about it, you might be saying “No” out of habit rather than necessity when he does things. If it’s not a major infraction, maybe you can just let him continue what he’s doing. You can also switch to the phrase “Don’t do that,” rather than use the word “No” when you want him to stop doing something.
The second thing you can do is offer him choices instead of presenting questions that can be answered with “Yes” or “No.” Instead of “Do you want to take your bath now,” ask him "When do you want to take your bath, before or after your story?” This does two things. First, it presents a situation in which he has no need to say “No.” Second, it helps him feel empowered, which is something saying “No” might help him to feel. After all, when he hears and sees you saying “No” to him, you’re exerting your influence and power over him.
Third, like I said in the beginning, don’t really make a big issue of it. He might enjoy the expression or response he sees in your face when he says “No,” to you. If he says it and he sees you’re not responding as usual, that might take some of the pleasure out of it. Now let’s summarize.
1. Limit saying “No” yourself.
2. Offer him choices that do not require a “No” response. This will also help him feel empowered.
3. Ignore it, and don’t take it too seriously.

For more information on making obeying easier and discipline simpler without hitting, shouting or shaming, visit Grandma Jeddah’s website at: or subscribe to her free newsletter.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to Deal with your Pre-Teen who Smokes By: Grandma Jeddah

Dealing with the issue of your pre-teen smoking is not likely to have a quick or easy solution.  This is because the reasons why youth begin smoking can be related to numerous social and personal issues.  Also, if your child is addicted, the road to becoming un-addicted may be long and difficult for him. 
Find a suitable time and in a non-judgmental and calm manner let your son know that you are aware that he is smoking.  There’s no need to let him know how you came to know of this, the point is that you know.  Find out why your son is smoking.  This is easier said than done.  The answer, is important, however because it will determine how you should proceed.  This is not to say there are clear cut 1-2-3 steps to solving the problem of your youth smoking.  It simply means you will have an advantage in knowing which tools to use to help you work on the problem, insha’Allah.
Ask your son why he is smoking? Find out through listening and knowing him if he is acting out due to rebellion and defiance against you and other authority figures in your home.  Listen to your child.  You may not be able to get all of the answers you wish to have at one sitting, but don’t give up on trying to find answers to your son’s reasons for smoking—in a non critical fashion.  Also, think about the answers to questions such as the following: Are there domestic problems within the home, does your child have a negative relationship with you? Is your child having problems in school?  Is your son reprimanded often at home? If the answers to questions such as these are yes, your son may be using smoking as a crutch to cope with hidden feelings of pain, hurt and anger. He may have a desire to go against your rules and wishes in an attempt to get back at you for his feelings of resentment.  These issues will need to be resolved along with the issue of smoking .
If your son’s family situation is “normal,” the problem could be peer pressure from unsavory friends.  Other than locking him up in his room, there isn't much you can do to stop him from associating with certain friends.   You can, however, seek ways to introduce him to friends that are more likely to have a positive influence over him.  Try to get him involved with youth activities at masjids. Also find adult male relatives who are positive role models and willing to spend time with your son.  In addition, see if you can get him involved in sports leagues.  Youth involved in sports activities are more concerned with their health and likely to discourage his smoking behavior.
Another thing you can do is introduce him to an assortment of hobbies.  Hobbies offer a distraction for boredom and stress which can contribute to the desire to smoke.  They can also help your son develop interests that can help build his self-esteem. Some hobbies he can get involved in are woodwork, leatherwork, karate, swimming and horseback riding.  Check out your local YMCA, or community college to see if they have any programs for youth your son’s age.
You can also teach your son how to say “No,” when he’s being pressured by peers.  Let him know that it's OK to say, “No, I’m cool without that,” or “I have to go,” Or simply, “No.”
Be aware that if your son has been smoking for some time, he may be addicted.  This adds another dimension to his smoking issue.  Unless he has a strong desire to quit, there’s not much you can do to get him to quit.  However, you can set limits within your own home.  Let him know, in the tone and manner you would a close friend, that you don’t approve of smoking and that you won’t allow it in your home. 
Find out if your son would like to quit. If he has a desire to stop, he may have great difficulty on his own.  He’ll need your long-term support, insha’Allah.   Explain to him that changing friends from those who smoke to those who don’t can aid him in trying to stop. Also, you can seek out support groups that help teens stop smoking.  Find out more about these kinds of programs from your personal physician, local hospital, or local teen organizations online. Provide DVD’s, and booklets for him that provide information on the harmful effects of smoking. Also explain to him the Islamic concept that what is harmful to us should be avoided.
Remember to keep the channels of communication open with your son.  He needs to know that you are there for him if he decides to change for the better. This is done by avoiding confrontations as much as possible and developing a kind and respectful relationship.  It is critical that you obtain outside support and family assistance to help your son feel connected to family and other honorable based institutions, such as the masjid, volunteer organizations, or work.  He needs to feel a part of legitimate institutions so that he will not have a need to feel important with disreputable peer groups.
You can get more tips on how to discipline your teen without hitting, shouting or shaming by ordering Grandma Jeddah’s  e-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. Or you can subscribe to her free newsletter at

How to Discipline a Child with ADHD

Do you know this child? He runs, jumps and shouts wherever he goes? You tell him what to do-- but both ears must be clogged with wax. When you finally get him to hear you, he behaves as though it’s opposite day. When he’s around his peers, you hear continuous complaints about him hitting, teasing or constantly annoying them. What is it with this child?

This type of reckless, overactive and aggressive behavior is often seen in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These children have problems paying attention, following instructions and acting out of impulse without thinking.

One of the greatest misunderstandings parents, teachers and care givers make with children exhibiting these characteristics is mistaking the child’s actions for intended misbehavior.
Children with ADHD don’t intend to be overly active, inattentive, impulsive and annoying. This behavior has to do with their chemistry makeup. Children with ADHD have a neurological disorder that leads to problems with self-control. The following are tips on how you can manage your child with ADHD more effectively:

1.       Do not label your child as bad, even though neighbors, friends and family may consider his behaviors as bad. Learn more about the behaviors children with ADHD exhibit. Use this information to better understand your child as a unique rather than bad person.

2.        Look for your child’s positive behaviors. Did he remember to make salat without your reminding him? Did he play nicely with his younger brother this afternoon? Did he say something kind to you today? It may seem as if your child is “always” in trouble, but there are times when his behavior is agreeable. Search for moments when he is compliant. Give him a hug, kiss or pat on the back. Tell him how pleased you are with him. This will encourage future positive behavior that you desire.

3.        Make sure he understands your instructions. Make certain you have his attention when you direct him. Is he looking at you? Are his hands free?  Is he still when you instruct him?  Also be sure you speak slowly, clearly and with words he understands. Stand in front of him when speaking, if possible. “I want your controller down and you looking at me.”

4.       Develop a loving relationship with your child that does not involve hitting. Children with ADHD are resistant to spankings-- they often become rebellious. Because their unintentional behavior so often leads to frequent corrections, extreme and excessive discipline methods can lead to adverse feelings between mother and child. It can also lead to abuse. Children who feel loved, understood and respected are more likely to have the desire to obey and exert the extra effort to obey.

More information on disciplining children with ADHD can be found in Grandma Jeddah’s eBook Discipline without Disrespecting: Discover the Hidden Secrets of How to Effectively Discipline Your Muslim Child-- And Keep Your Peace of Mind While at It. To order her e-book or receive her free newsletter, please go to

Monday, June 13, 2011

How to Potty Train Your Toddler By: Grandma Jeddah


Potty training can be a challenging part of raising a toddler. The good news is that with a little patience, time and a few special tricks your son or daughter will soon be able to use the potty on his or her own.

Believe it or not, 2 - 2 ½ years of age is a good time to begin potty training. Many mothers are eager to potty train their child because they may have a friend or family member whose child has learned at a younger age. But all children are different. Some may be ready earlier. Don’t be overly concerned if your child isn’t.

Some kids do show signs of wanting to learn sooner than 2 – 2 ½ years. They might pull at their diaper as soon as they’ve finished urinating or defecating. But there's nothing wrong with waiting until after 2 years old or even 3 years old to potty train. Starting when your child is ready and no sooner is the best way to make potty training easier for both you and your child. This is the first important step toward successful potty training.

The second thing you want to do is make sure your child’s potty is comfortable for him. A potty that may have been the right size for your older child might be too high for a different child to sit on. You want him to be able to sit down and get up by himself easily.

The third thing you want to do is let him walk around without his pants off throughout the training process. This way you will know when he’s about to use it. Then you can quickly set him on the potty. Explain to him what the potty is for and whenever you see him about to pee pee or poo poo, set him on the potty.

The fourth thing you can do is fill him up with water then set him on the potty. Get out his favorite book and read it to him. Or get the puzzles out or some game or other form of entertainment. Use these things to pass the time with him while he’s sitting on the potty. When you notice him relieving himself, make a big deal by jumping up and down, clapping your hands and hugging and kissing him. "Hassan pee peed on the potty! Hassan pee peed on the potty—good boy!"

This fifth step is something that I rarely recommend. But I know how stressful and frustrating an event potty training can be. It’s a period when many parents lose their patience with their children. So I make this special exception for potty training. Use candy as an incentive.

Get a bag of skittles or M&M’s pieces or some other bag of candy that has tiny soft pieces. Whenever Hassan uses it on the potty, jump for joy as in step four, but also give him 1 piece of candy. Make sure you tell him why he’s getting it. "You pee peeped on the potty, Hassan, you get a candy!" This method has worked wonders with my kids."

In general, look at two weeks or less for training your child. If it goes much longer than that, I’d suggest taking a break for about a month or so then starting the process over again.

Another important thing is to make du’a for success and patience. That’s number 6.

Let’s summarize the steps.
Don’t be concerned if other kids are trained earlier than your child. And 2 ½, is a good age to start training, although some kids may show signs of readiness at an earlier age.
1. Start when your child is ready.
2. Make sure the potty fits him comfortably so he can sit down and get up by himself.
3. Let him walk around the house without pants so you can catch him relieving himself.
4. Reward him with praise
5. Reward him with pieces of candy
6. Make du'a for success and patience
For more information on making obeying easier and discipline simpler without hitting, shouting or shaming, visit Grandma Jeddah’s website at:

Parenting and Discipline e-Books

You can enjoy reading your parenting e-books by   making payment to Al-Madinah School. Please go to their Home page and click on the donatio...