10 Super Tips to be a Muslimah Super Mum
You’re already a super mum. I know you are.
But we all seem to always want to be better than that. No matter how much we do for our children, it somehow never seems to be enough.
So, I welcome you to read this blog post which is a reminder of many things you already know and, hopefully, a little bit more.
Even though some people may think so, our children, the fun cuties, are not our retirement plan. They are beings that simply deserve to be treated well without us expecting anything in return from them.
Since the seeds we sow in childhood can impact their adult life as well, let’s hop on to some of the ‘super tips’ to see how (as a super mum) we can make their lives happier, nurtured and more successful.
Let’s start with the basics.
You already know this. It is the most surefire way to equip them with whatever good there is and carries more weight than all the parenting tips we might follow. Duaa brings nothing but good. (Bonus: a parent’s duaa is answered.)
2. Prioritizing the deen.
This point cannot be overstressed. If we care about our children concerning their future in this fleeting dunya, what about their everlasting aakhira?!
We need to educate them about the deen and teach them to pray by the time they are seven. Instilling deen habits into their lifestyle will be better than everything else they may receive all their life. Having great deen habits is true wealth. The deen will be their aid in their temporary present (dunya) and permanent future (aakhira).
3. Protecting them from trauma.
Though you’re already fully aware of this, I thought it might be beneficial to still mention it. (A reminder never hurts, I guess?) We can sometimes underestimate how trauma can handicap a child. It can have a long-lasting impact even into adulthood.
The ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) questionnaire is a great tool if you’re curious about the causes of trauma. It certainly renewed my determination to protect my children from all causes of trauma.
(This is also something you already know about. Since you’re a super mum and all that. Yet, reminding you about this important parenting duty makes me feel more at ease. So please bear with me.)
Children need to be taught the safety rules, like, “Don’t talk to strangers.” “Wear your seat belt.” “Apply sunscreen.” etc.. And they need to be reminded again and again (“Wear your seat belt.” “Wear your seat belt.” “Wear your seat belt.”).
(I could write a whole blog post on just the safety rules. (Should I?))
5. Protecting them from stress.
Stress is an inevitable part of our lives and even children aren’t immune to it. It might affect them more than it affects us.
Reducing the overall stress at home and being attentive and nurturing to form a secure attachment with the kids can help them cope better with stress.
So, what exactly do we do to form this secure attachment? As a super mum, we will need to be emotionally available, respond quickly to their needs and attend to them warmly and lovingly, consistently. We need to let them know that they’re always loved and are safe with us.
6. Improving our parenting style.
A few factors can affect your parenting style. It might benefit you to ponder upon:
- Your attitude towards parenting in general. Because we tend to replicate our parents’ parenting style, even if we hated it when we were young. Even if we declare that we will never repeat the same mistakes our parents made.
- The attachment you had with your parents. You might want to take this Attachment Style Test. We often pass on the same attachment style to our own children.
- Your own past experiences as a child. It is important to understand what dissatisfied us with our own upbringing so that we don’t unknowingly make the same mistakes.
Children need to be taught to understand their emotions and behave accordingly in different situations. If we can’t understand ourselves and our own emotions, how are we going to teach our children to understand theirs?!
Nothing to worry about. There is always room for improvement in parenting. When you learn more about childcare, yourself and your emotions, improving your attachment with your ‘preciouses’ will be a piece of cake, in sha Allaah.
7. Paying attention to their ‘character skills’.
Sure, you might encourage your kiddos to watch the latest Baby Einstein videos to develop their cognitive skills in math and language. But did you know that, according to Paul Tough who wrote the book, ‘How Children Succeed’, ‘character skills’ like perseverance, conscientiousness and self-discipline are far more important? Character skills can take them far in life and can even help with developing their cognitive (Einstein) skills.
- Even if children start with lower scores than their peers, if they persevere and stay dedicated to their schoolwork or education, they can achieve higher grade point averages.
- A conscientious child will try his or her best to complete a task even if there is no external reward involved. And this trait can lead to many many positive results.
- Self-discipline can sometimes take a child far beyond what IQ can. In the iconic Marshmallow study, 4 year-olds had a marshmallow placed in front of them and were given a choice: if they waited and didn’t eat the marshmallow for 15 minutes, they would be given 2 marshmallows at the end. The children who restrained themselves longer went on to perform significantly better in life. They got better grades, were healthier and financially more stable.
It is important to nurture children’s character skills by all means. They rely on us to learn right from wrong. We should guide them in whatever way we can to whatever good we can. Ideally, we can coach them and exhibit exemplary character traits ourselves to actively and passively teach them great character skills.
8. Packaging ‘helicopter parenting’ in a helicopter and letting it fly away.
No, but seriously. Hovering over the kids, being overprotective and trying to save them from every possible failure or pain might make them fearful of failure which can then lead to performance pressure.
Children need to feel free to fail and fail again so that they can learn the art of picking themselves up. They need to be taught how to navigate the world without our help.
But, of course, we can teach them:
- how to explore options before making any moves
- to learn and improve from any mistakes (by asking them, “What can you do better next time?”), and
- to understand that mistakes are impersonal and don’t become a part of who they are.
We are not going to be around forever. Let’s equip them in whatever way we can.
9. Taking it easy.
In the modern approach to parenting, where parents drive the kids to extra sports, arts and language lessons, children seem to have a stricter schedule than the CEOs of many companies.
Make it easier upon yourself, worry less about being the perfect parent and give yourself and the kids a break. Chillax and allow the kids to play video games, watch cartoons and run around in the backyard more often.
If you’re stressed or tired, get take-out meals (yay!), hire a good babysitter (yay!) or a cleaning service (yay, yay!). If these can help you be a happier super mum, it’s all money well spent.
10. Creating extraordinary memories with them.
Think about how you want to be remembered and plan and create those beautiful moments. Shower them with kindness and respect. (Don’t worry. Kindness and respect would never spoil them.) Remember that the sleepless nights are temporary and everything will soon become less exhausting, in sha Allaah. When the kids become teens, you might wish they had more time for you.
So, let’s try to enjoy this journey to the fullest, whilst we can. Shall we?
Know that researching about parenting and reading this blog post already makes you a super mum. 🙂 Give yourself a pat on the back (literally)!
And… oh yes, have more kids. Because the world can’t have enough of you! 🙂