As much as my Little People enjoy spending time together, there’s days where all they do are is fight and bicker! And its over the silliest, most ridiculous issues as well.
‘He looked at me funny’
‘That’s my pencil’
‘She touched my apple’
‘He dropped my pen’
‘I wanted you to hug me first’
‘I wanted the yellow cup’
‘She answered the phone, but it was MY friend calling’
And on and on and on….
There’s days when my response is to try and fix the problem by patiently explaining who was wrong and why. Other days when I scream to get their attention, and yet other days when all I want to do is hide in my bedroom with a slab of chocolate, and earphones. And then I think, I have made a million mistakes, and Allaah has never made Himself unreachable to me, and the guilt in those moments becomes a bit overwhelming.
As a parent, I can’t bring myself to physically discipline my kids. I don’t agree with it, not for me, or for my kids. I see no logic in teaching kindness and compassion through pain. So I’ve tried many different methods of getting the nastiness levels reduced. I tried the ‘naughty corner’ and positive reinforcements. I tried reward charts and treats. For my kids the method that worked best, was confiscating or withholding priviledges. Just the threat of ‘No TV’ is enough to stop any bad behaviour instantly.
Lately though, during an Aqaaid lesson, I stumbled upon an even better idea, while teaching the Little People as well as the madressa kids a lesson about the angels, and the Islamic belief in them. As we progressed through the lesson, we focused on names of a few different angels and their ‘jobs’ Soon we came to Al-Kataba, otherwise known as Kiramun-Kaatibeen, or individually Raqeeb and Ateed. These 2 angels write down all our actions and deeds. One is stationed on our right shoulders, and records all of our good actions, and the other on our left shoulders and records all of our bad deeds.
Now when the fighting and squabbling begins, I simply ask ‘Which angel do you want to keep busy?’
This amazingly makes them stop, and internalise. Instead of pushing blame and fault onto the other, they learn to recognise their own part in the conflict, and try to resolve it or sometimes even let it go altogether! It also teaches the concept of always answerable to Allaah for our actions, and realising that more than pleasing our parents, we have an obligation to our Creator!
May we always remember this ourselves, in moments of impatience, anger, and frustration. Ameen!
‘Which angel do you want to keep busy?’