spanking

As-Salaamu-Alaikum,

Where is Super Nanny when you need her?  As you know from the previous post, my son is a handful.  My daughter was also, at this age, but she quickly learned and improved her behavior.  My son is a challenge.  He ignores any command to “stop”, “put that back”, “get down”, “don’t do it”.  He ignores me so well that I actually had his hearing tested.  Al Hamdulilah (Thanks to God).  The response of the audiologist was, “He hears fine, he is just ignoring you.”

I was raised in a family where children were spanked.  Al Hamdulilah, we all turned out normal, so this method did work.  We learned quickly that some behaviors were not allowed.  But, I want to try a different method.  I am concerned with the mixed message I send my son, when I stress to him, “NO Hitting.”  And to emphasize the point, I hit him.  Ahhh the hypocrisy.  My mother says it is not hypocritical because I am teaching him that I am the only person allowed to hit.  It is supposedly okay for me because I am the authority figure.  But maybe what I am teaching is that as an authority figure I have a policy of “Do what I say, not what I do.”  This is not a policy I want to teach.

As I look at the violence in America, I wonder if this is another of the root causes.  Do we teach our children to resolve issues by violence.  If a child sees their parent reacting with violence, what do they imitate?  These are my college educated, social psychology background, responses.  The reality is that as I watch my son repeatedly hit his sister, jump off of furniture and worse of all, go running in the street….I wonder.

It is incredibly difficult to modify his behavior without spanking.  Spanking is by far the quickest, easiest and most effective way to change his behavior.  But I despise myself later.  I feel like a failure as a mother.  I have sunken to my lowest level out of frustration.  Sigh.  I have searched the Sunnah and the Quran  for advice.  The best I have found is the hadith, “he is not one of us (a believer) who does not show kindness to children.”  There are many exhortations to be patient.  I often reflect on the patience of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) when his grandchildren crawled on his back while he was leading the salaat in sajdah.  My son loves to do this also and it drives me crazy!  My first instinct is to knock him off, but I restrain myself and wait him out as long as I can.  Then I’m sorry, I have to get him down.  He can literally sit on my back, pulling my hijab and kicking my ribs for about fifteen minutes straight.

I am trying “time out.”  And we have instituted the “naughty chair.”  Thanks Super Nanny!  But I have literally had to put him in the naughty chair five times in a row for hitting his sister in one morning.  This worked but by the next day, he had replaced hitting with biting!  And he has so many behaviors that require a quick and immediate response that it is very frustrating.  I just wonder how other moms feel about this issue and what are some of your methods.  By the way, time out is the only thing that works because he doesn’t have anything that he enjoys enough for me to take away.  Nor does he relate his current behavior with future activities, so I can’t say, if you do this we wont go to the park later.  And before you ask, No, I am not the most consistent and I know that is part of the problem.  Sigh…

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Busy not bad!

As-Salaamu-Alaikum (peace be with you)

I am not one of those deluded parents who imagine that my toddler is an angel. My toddlers are handfuls. I hesitate to say “bad”. But I will say that they are “busy”. By busy I mean they are literally into everything. Especially my two year old son. We are visiting relatives for the summer, (see previous post), and I am told constantly by my sister. “Whoo, your son is so bad.” (Never mind that her two sons were NIGHTMARES while growing up. And their behavior even today as young adults leaves a lot to be desired.) But she, and a few others have commented that, “he is bad.”

As his mother I feel that he is not bad but he is busy. Yes, very busy. Typical activities of his are; running everywhere he goes, he loves to climb up things and of course after reaching the top he has to jump off, he likes to take things out of wastebaskets, he likes to write on paper, and walls and carpets and table tops, he likes to throw things, okay everything, he opens doors and explores rooms, he will run outside, he pushes any button he can reach, he chases the cat, he opens the fish tank, he puts his hands in water, including the toilet bowl, he picks flowers, he likes to talk on the phone, and play on cell phones, he peels bananas, he makes copies, he…well you get the picture. If you can imagine it, he will do it.

Reading over this list, I’m thinking maybe he is bad. In his defense I will state that he does not do all of these activities at one time or in one day. He spaces it out nicely over a week. Sometimes he has a particularly busy “spurt”. Sometimes he’s quiet for a relatively long period of time. During this waiting period which generally lasts no more than thirty minutes, we sit waiting with baited breath for the next spurt. I believe that his behavior does not qualify as bad because it is age appropriate. When in a new environment he uses all of his senses to explore and understand his world. At his age, he learns by doing and experimenting. So he rolls and and drops things to see what will happen. He climbs and jumps because he is learning the limits of his physical ability and what his body can do. He puts everything in his mouth because this is a method of exploration at this age. He is my little scientist, a great and brave explorer in an unknown world.

I feel as his mother that my job is to encourage this exploration as a way of developing valuable learning skills that he will need to problem solve as he grows. My job is also to teach him what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Something things he knows, like he shouldn’t throw everything. Sure sometimes he is testing the limits of my patience and gauging my reactions. But I feel that too is normal and appropriate. I am working on improving his behavior and reigning him in so he doesn’t destroy your house. All I ask in return is a teeny tiny bit of patience and that you not label him as bad during this formative period.

breastfeeding -latching tricks

As-Salaamu-Alaikum (peace be with you)

My daughter was a breastfeeding challenge! As a new mom, I expected slight hurdles but she gave me mountains to jump over! As a newborn she decided to lift her tongue to the roof of her mouth every time I attempted to feed her. This made breast feeding difficult and a good “latch” impossible. We struggled with this challenge for three mos. Al-Hamdulilah (praise be to God) I have a dear friend who is a lactation consultant and she advised that some children take about 3 mos before they develop a good “suck technique”. I told my darling several times, “Okay you need to get this in three mos because after three mos…I’m quitting! After exactly three mos and one day she latched on perfectly.

After following all of the traditional advice such as bring the baby to the breast and just roll the baby’s head onto the breast. I found this additional method worked best. I undressed myself and baby. I laid down in a semi-reclining position and laid her on my breast. I gently stroked the side of her face. And brought her to the nipple. I found the “naked mommy” method worked wonders. She loved the skin to skin contact. And the contact helped to relax both of us and made the whole process easier. Patience is definitely key!

I am posting this because I have a good friend whose baby cannot come home because he is not eating and gaining weight. Although theirs is an extreme case, I just wanted to put the info out there for other mothers who may be struggling with latching problems. 1. It will get better – believe me!, 2. Be patient and don’t give up – give it AT LEAST THREE MOS! And finally give the “naked mommy” method a try it did wonders for us.

I cha cha!

As-Salaamu-Alaikum,

As followers of my blog, you probably know that I am a stay-at-home mom.  Al hamdulilah (Praise be to God) my husband has a job where he is able to provide for our family comfortably.  We are not well off by any means but we do get by even in this terrible economy.  (Can you believe both milk and gas at 4.00 a gallon!)  I’ve been home for two years now and have never been able to find an internet job that I can work with toddlers running around in the background.  If you have visited my website, http://www.mymuslimmom.com then you have seen the list of legitimate work at home jobs that I have found.  My problem is that most of the jobs are either phone telemarketing or customer service work.  It requires a few hours of quiet work in a noise free environment.  I have not had quiet hours for four years!  (My oldest is four.)  And I refuse to commit to sacrificing what little sleep I get!

That’s why I am so glad I was accepted as a Cha Cha guide.  It is a completely internet, text only job.  Cha Cha works by random individuals texting their questions from their mobile phone and I look up the answer and text them back.  You can jump online at anytime and from anywhere and text.  You can also just work 15 mins here or 5 hours there.  There are no minimums or maximums.  The pay could be better, but hey I like it because it is so completely flexible.

If you are looking for a way to put a little extra change in your pocket I would check them out.  The only caution I would advise is that they are very selective.  They test your general knowledge, typing skills and common sense before approving you and then after approval you still must undergo training.  I am bound by confidentiality clauses so I can’t go into details but I can tell you that not everyone who applies or initially is approved makes it to the “guide” stage.  However with the company growing rapidly I am hopeful that more opportunities for others will arise.  If you are a guide, let me know how you are doing.  If you are not but are going to check it out then, I wish you good luck.  InshaAllah (God Willing) you will be cha cha-ing soon!

Toddler Visits

As-Salaamu-Alaikum, (peace be with you)

I haven’t had a chance to write lately because I am travelling.  I am staying with my family out of town.  We are here for an extended visit and it has taken some adjusting for all parties.  I have two toddlers, ages 2 and 4.  And i just want to give some quick tips to help make overnight visits with a toddler more comfortable for all.

1.  Please put glass and fragile items out of reach.  (Yes, I know I should control my children and watch their every move but it just is not physically possible at all times.)  They should not touch your fragile items but I have noticed that my son seems to be on a seek and find mission to find every possible breakable item and THROW IT.  (FYI plants, flowers and trees fall into this category)

2.  Understand that part of how toddlers explore new environments; is that they roam, pick up, touch, taste, etc, everything they can.  My children are not bad, but they are busy.  As a mother I am frantically running behind them to save  your  precious collectibles.   I am greatly concerned that my little darlings might actually damage something of yours.

3.  Please bear with us with patience.  As you criticize, sigh, roll your eyes, and threaten them, keep in mind that I their mother am trying my best to teach them not to act on their natural toddler instincts.

4.  Please put all of your toxic, household cleaners out of reach.  Yes, I know that they should not be under your kitchen/bathroom sink but it is so irresistible to a two year old.  And although my kids have not yet opened up a bottle of cleaner and swallowed, (AL Hamdulilah -Praise God) I am fully aware that it is something they COULD do.  I would rather avoid the possibility if I could.

5.  Keep your doors locked.  I know you always do right?  However even for moment, if you forget, a toddler is like a prisoner with an open jail.  THEY WILL ESCAPE!  My son loves to open the door and wander outside.

6.  If you feel you should not have to make any changes to your household to accommodate your toddler guests, you don’t.  Just be aware of the choice you are making and the chances you WILLINGLY incurred.  Because a parent can’t watch everything.

7.  Be patient always, forgive and overlook much, and remember that they are children and that the day will come when you will look back on these times with fond remembrances.