When I was little, I always look forward to the festive season, especially Hari Raya Aidilfitri. For me at that time, Hari Raya is the day when we wear our new clothes and new shoes and eat good food. But before we get to the celebratory part of the year, we had to go through hunger and thirst. That part, I did not enjoy at all. I skipped fasting most of my childhood years.
Fast forward to now, as a mother I feel that to get our children to perform fasting wholeheartedly, parents need to teach them about the significance of Ramadan.
Every year, before Ramadan, I will start campaigning about the beauty of the blessed month. We will print Ramadan decorations to put up around the house. My husband and I would tell stories of the miracles of fasting. How it helps to clean our body. Of all the blessings of Ramadan, my children seem to love the fact that Syaitan is chained and no monsters will come and bother us. On day one of Ramadan, my children will be braver to go to the kitchen alone at night, or even sleeping alone in their room because, for them, Ramadan is their solace.
I asked my children, what is the hardest thing to do in Ramadan. The first thing that came to my mind was thirst. But they gave me a different answer. “The hardest thing is eating Sahur.’ It shifted my perspective immediately. Sahur is very important, as we always say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The difference between Sahur and breakfast, is we eat Sahur with our eyes half closed. Waking up as early as 4am, forcing ourselves to eat and drink when we are not hungry yet is not an easy task. So, how do we motivate our children? I often take out their favourite cake or ice cream during Sahur. Automatically, they will try their best to finish the meal because otherwise, the ice cream will haunt them for the rest of the day!
At Little Ones Eduworld, we fill the month of Ramadan with daily reminders of the beauty of the ibadah. Beginning with the understanding of the benefits of not taking food and water during the daytime to the great rewards awaiting those who do good things such as helping parents, teachers, and friends. Daily sadaqah of RM1 is done by the children themselves placing the money into the ‘saving boxes’ to be delivered to the nearby mosques at the end of Ramadan.
Before we know it, almost two weeks has passed by for Ramadan this year. When the goal is nearer, the excitement starts to build up in our hearts and minds. Soon, we can plan for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration. Fill up your children’s activities with Aidilfitri preparation. This will help to take their minds off from hunger, thirst, and tiredness. Let us hope that all of our deeds and ibadah during this month of forgiveness and blessings are accepted. Remind our family that Ramadan is a celebration, not a burden. That way, our children will be able to enjoy and appreciate the fasting month sincerely.