Can you discipline my child?

Our parents grew up in an era where not only did aunts, uncles and grandparents help discipline a child but along with them the neighbors, teachers and their mamas jumped in too.

In our generation, it would probably go to the extent of aunts-uncles, and grandparents.  I’m not sure how things are presently in Pakistan, but in America your neighbors mind their own business and the teachers better be wise in how they say–what they say.

Now we jump into present-day where some people feel that only the parents have the right to raise their child their way.  I don’t quite agree with this philosophy.  I firmly believe in the fact that it takes an entire family to raise a child.  If Eesa’s grandmother is telling him “don’t touch” then it is for his own good.  The authority figure that you have chosen to watch your child also loves the child and would want to see that child flourish and be the best in his or her manners.

For example, my sister loves my son as her own.  She does everything for him from changing to feeding and everything in between.  Therefore if she were to ever reprimand him for something then that should not bother me.  If she can change his diapers, and spoil him rotten, then she can most certainly help correct him when he’s doing something wrong.

Sometimes, children listen to relatives more than they listen to their own parents; Parents should use that to their advantage.  When I am out, I usually tell my mother-in-law or others to tell Eesa not to do something, because I know he will listen.

Another scenario is when parents leave their children with relatives.  Parents are not around to see their children misbehave, therefore on those occasions I think the authority figure has the right not only to reprimand but perhaps punish them (i.e time out, take a toy away etc.)

If these adults are not given the right to reprimand your children, then the children may take advantage of that and in turn lose respect for their elders. The child would take advantage of that by 1) pushing their boundaries and 2) Not take them seriously if the relatives were to say something.

Another way to look at it is that if a child were to have some sort of problem, then that does not just affect the parents, it affects the entire family.  At that point, the entire family has an obligation to step up and offer whatever advice or help they can.  My nephew is like my son, therefore I would correct him out of love and concern, the same as I were to do for my own son.

My father recently taught my son a lesson in a funny way.  Every time I were to put Eesa in the car seat, he would throw a tantrum.  Naturally, he did the same with my father; My father took him back inside the house and closed the door while leaving Eesa inside.  My father was standing right outside the door for a mere few seconds, and in that time Eesa started knocking on the door.  Baba opened the door, brought him back in the car seat (peacefully) and as he was buckling him, Eesa let out a loud chuckle.  I don’t quite understand the logic, but hey it worked Alhumdulilah!!

So if your family helps you take care of your child, then they should be allowed to discipline them as well.

For the parents who disagree, I would love to hear your viewpoint!

Something to think about…

Oh Brother!

One of the greatest joys is to see your kids play and enjoy each others company, on the flip side one of the most frustrating things is to see them fight and cry.

My sons play and fight all day, I’ve learned to let them “duke it out” the more I get involved in their matters, the more I get frustrated, so at a very young age I gave them the independence of resolving their own matters. The good thing is that they are both around the same size so when they begin to wrestle and sit on top of each other I’m not particularly concerned about them getting hurt.

Advantages of having a sibling close in age is that there is never a longing to be around other kids, you have a partner to play with and you learn to share EVERYTHING!

Disadvantages are that both kids don’t get that much one on one bonding time with the parents. Boys tend to get more aggressive and learn to fight over everything, including parental affection.

Sometimes I’ll laugh at something silly my 18 month old (Hassan) will do and then my three year old (Humza) will do the same thing and I’ll give him a disapproving look! It gets tricky for the parents and there has to be a constant balance so that both siblings know where their place in the family is. It is so important that they each understand their unique personality and self-worth. Easier said than done, it’s something I have to remind both myself and my kids.

Having a small age difference between two kids, can be challening but the love and friendship they have is so warming. When one gets in trouble the other one sneaks into the time out corner with him to give him support, or when one of them gets a shot at the doctors his brother cries for him! The two are inseparable and often when I want Hassan to do something I’ll ask Humza to explain it to him and it works!

One time, my 18 month old was crying and fussing… exhausted, I lost my temper and ordered him into a timeout corner, his elder brother came and calmly explained to me that Hassan was creating a fuss because he wanted juice in a sippy cup.

I instantly realized that my three old was right and gave Hassan the sippy cup, voila! The problem was solved.

Their intuition and love for each other is remarkable and I pray that Allah always keeps my boys close and best friends forever – Ameen.