Ramadān is a very special month, and as parents, we want to share the blessings and importance of this holy month with our children. How do we explain the concept of fasting, prayer, and charitable giving to young children? To be honest, you would think you understand something until you are trying to explain it to a young child. May Allah ﷻ guide us.
Start early: One of the best ways to introduce Ramadān to children is to start early. It is not until they reach an actionable age that we inform them. This will give children plenty of time to learn about the importance of fasting, prayer, and charitable giving. It also serves to help them understand the expectations or flow of things. Also, make it personal. Share your own experiences of what it was like when you were young and explain what this month means to you through stories. Be aware of traditions you want to keep and traditions you want to start to build on. It is also important to explain it in a way that children can understand as it is not very easy to grasp. Also, as much as possible, use simple terms. A good underrated way of achieving this is by reading books about ramadan. A few favourites are;
- Hassan and Aneesa love Ramadan
- Under the Ramadan Sky
- Ramadan Moon
- What is Ramadan by Goodword
- Ramadan round the world
- Hassan and Aneesa celebrate Eid
- The month of Ramadan is here
- It’s Ramadan Curious George
A few places to shop for books are The Dotted Pearl, Meena’s Muslimart, Hadiya NG.
Make it fun: Learning about Ramadān doesn’t have to be boring! You can make it fun and engaging for children by incorporating fun activities into the learning process. For example, you can organize a Ramadān-themed scavenger hunt, decorate the home with Ramadān decorations, and again, books. For younger children, could make special Ramadān crafts together, like creating our own Ramadan calendars and for older children, can make fun projects and presentations.
Encourage Questions: Children are naturally curious, and they may have a lot of questions about Ramadān as they have about everything. Encourage them to ask questions and provide honest and straightforward answers. If you don’t know the answer to a question, do some research together, and learn something new! Encourage your children to ask questions about Ramadān and their religion. Answer their questions honestly and openly.
Lead by Example: This is the crux of our roles as parents. The best way to teach children about the importance of Ramadān is to show them. Let them see you fast and pray and engage with the Qur’an and do what is right and keep aside what is wrong. Let them see you improve, change and be your best self for Ramadān. Let them see you give out of what Allah has provided you as well. And show them Mercy, teach them that the month is one of mercy in your being merciful to them. And seek knowledge. Know more, unlearn certain traditions, relearn the sunnah and revive it in your homes.
Introducing Ramadan to children is an important part of of our roles as parents, and hopefully, we can make it can make it a fun and engaging experience for all our children. And In sha Allah we can help our child develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of this pillar of our faith.