How the spirit of Ramadan can help your parenting…
This is my second Ramadan in Dubai. Last year, I found ordering my flat white behind a black curtain and not being able to eat or drink in public a little overwhelming but I definitely appreciated the Ramadan principle of giving something back. This year I’m totally jumping on board. After all, aren’t the values of generosity and respect to the less fortunate* that underpin Ramadan exactly what we’re trying to teach our little ones – often with limited success (or is that just me, mamas!)?
As with everything it’s always better to lead by example and that’s where Ramadan’s really got my back – providing heaps of small ways to make a difference to the lives of others and improve our own well-being at the same time:
- You had me at hello – even just passing the day and wishing someone a ‘Ramadan Kareem’ or ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ (a blessed Ramadan) is a good way to instill decent manners in the kiddos. Until I started doing this, I’d forgotten how good basic human contact makes you feel – plus my daughter loved showing off her Arabic!
- Keeping your cool – Ramadan Sharing Fridges started in 2016 and (ironically) spread like wildfire. The fridges are open for anyone to leave fruit, water or other small packages of food for tired workers to enjoy when it’s time to break their fast. Last year my little one loved putting together a package of flatbread, water and fruit to deliver to our local fridge and we even ended up hanging around to see people enjoy what we’d left. This year we’re looking into getting a fridge of our own! For more information check out here.
- Making a bigger difference – we’ve decided to take giving one step further and make a charitable donation in the name of Ramadan. To get my mini-me more involved, we let her choose the charity. She picked K9friends, which turned out to be a great choice as for just 370 AED we were able to actually sponsor a dog, covering its food and board for a whole year. Our daughter even got a photo of the pooch she picked. How’s that for a shaggy dog story? Get your own K9friend here.
* In our household, this is definitely me! As a side note, I tried to parachute in on Ramadan for more mama respect and increased tidiness at home and failed miserably. Oh well, you can’t win them all…