Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sharing is caring :)

Oooo who's head and fingers? :P

Assalamu'alaikum dear mommies! or mommies to b :)

Today I'd like to SHARE about SHARING. Yelah, sharing is caring kan? :)

Do you notice how your children will react when they are asked to share whatever they have in their hands? say, maybe their food, toys, or even adik? Hehe...

This is what normally comes from my son:
"Aaron Houdd, can I have some --------?"
"Cannot. It's mine!"
"Ok. Can we share?"
"Cannot! / I don't want!"

Or if its food, he'll sometimes reply like this:
"Cannot. I'm hungry!"

Oh boy!.

At first I was so worried. Then, I found an article about this from babycentre. It's actually quite normal for a kid his age, especially if he has strong character and background of high potency of being dominant (first or only child, taken care by close relatives, etc).

But as parents, we surely don't want this attitude to prolong until they turn older. right? Of course we want them to be generous and concern about others too. 

So here are some tips that may help in educating our children to be more generous. InshaAllah :)

1. Solat Jamaah - how is solat jamaah related to this topic? Oh its actually one of the best tool to educate our children to have more sensitivity towards others. As solat jemaah gives a lot of tremendous impact in our life, it also be able to teach our children about unity and responsibility. There's vast difference between a family who practice solat jemaah and a family who is not. If solat jemaah becomes one of family compulsory event, the family normally has no hurdle eating together, communicating and sharing other things as well.

2.  Eating together - Let's make a simple rule in the house. Nobody eats in front of the tv, or eating alone while others are home. Easy. If we eat together, we'll share the food. If the amount is little, everybody'd have small portion only, and nobody will left behind. My father always reminds us that if we want to spare food for someone, make sure we apportion the food before dining time, not spare it as if it's a leftover from anybody else. Eating together is also the best way to create good communication environment.

3. Sharing is OK. Nobody will lose - As parents, we have to always remind our kids that it's OK to share something that we have with someone else. A 2 year old kid might not understand about this, but surely he'll get the point later on. But make sure we- as parents or adults, have to initiate this routine. Remember, kids learn faster from observation! It's very contradicting if we ask our kids to share but we show to them the opposite attitude- e.g., eat snack in front of the tv alone, without even invite others to have it some. Or simply have our meal alone while our spouse/mom/sister is doing chores or reading newspaper.   

When I was small, I was taken care by my aunt (my dad's sister) with my 2 other siblings, 2 other cousins and her 5 kids. It was a big number right? Like a nursery! But my aunt is the best care taker ever! She'd taught us a lot of things, including SHARING. She is a perfectionist. Every time she cooks, she'd make an even portion to everyone - us, and her own kids. If she fried paratha or even cekodok and her kids got 3 pieces, the rest would get the same amount. Nobody would go to the kitchen and had the meal first. Everybody'd have his/her own portion and eat together. If someone got back from school and brought back a sweet, she'd divide into how many of us. If it wasn't enough for all of us, she'd take it and said that it's not enough for everyone so it's more appropriate if she took it and ate it. And we'd all agree. Hehe... 

I was also taught to always remember my other siblings when I want to buy some 'jajan' etc. If I had it just for myself, I had to finish it before I reach home. And don't mention about it. If not, then I'd to share with the other siblings. We used to live in a big family (our neighbors were our cousins) and some of us not so wealthy. It was not nice to brag about something we had but others just had to listen with -maybe- frustration or hope. Remember, kids way of thinking and priority is different.

Up till now (i'm old enough for this... I guess.hehe), if we want to celebrate birthday, or having our favorite chocolates, we would wait until everybody is around, or at least (like the chocolates) divide it evenly so that everybody will get the same amount and taste each flavor. Hahaha.... Somehow we enjoy doing it (gadoh2 main2 siapa banyak siapa sikit padahal dah bagi sama rata. And boleh tukar atas dasar suka sama suka.)

4. Sharing responsibility - By educating our children the true meaning of sharing, we are also teaching them to be more helpful. We can start teaching them by doing small chores together, or at least to tidy up their own belongings. If they make the mess, it's better if we ask them to help us clean up the mess-together. We can't expect kids to be fully responsible for what they have done, and so it's better to lead the cleaning process with them rather than just nag to them, hoping that they will do it by themselves. We can also ask them simple question like "Would you like to help me setting up the table?" or "Do you mind helping me hang the sejadah please?"... We can also encourage them to be responsible by throwing their own dirty diaper or trash into the dustbin, and keep their own shoes in the shoe cabinet. Don't forget to praise them and say THANK YOU and never ever redo the chores they've done helping you. If you really can't stand looking at the improper clothes they've helped you fold, redo it later when they're not around. And remember, they can't do it as perfect as us adult, but the main point is not to reach perfection. So don't complaint their work. They'll feel unappreciated.

5. Donate - I used to join comparative religion study back in university time. I'd the chance to join Christianity 'usrah', their mass event, and other important events too. I love being in the church. Everyone was treated as family. And you know what, the church was so lively every time they had an event. One thing I notice about the Christians, they encourage their kids to donate to the church from an early age. From what I'd noticed, the parents will give each of the kids certain amount of money and each of the kids had the opportunity to donate the money to the church. 

We are not educating our children to be silly, by simply giving our belongings to other. We are teaching them to be generous. So we have to work on it with explanations and strategies.

6. Family saving box - This is interesting. Apart from educating our children to do saving in her/his personal fund, why don't we create a fund who is under everyone's responsibility, and the profit will also benefit the family members. 

We have this since I was in school age. Everyone has to invest money. We do it on monthly basis. Of course the amount is not the same. Parents and adults (who is working already, or seen as wealthy enough. hehe) have to donate bigger amount than the school kids. For example, kids below 12 yo have to invest 50 cents per month, whereas adults have to invest RM2 or RM5 per month. Log book is necessary to maintain justice, transparency, etc. The money will be spent together on something everyone is agreed upon, but some amount will be carrying forward. In case somebody need to borrow the money, he/she can borrow from the family saving box but on one strict condition, must pay back :) We'd used the money for our family vacation in 2009 and everyone was happy and felt the contribution -not only rely on dad's money. Hehe...

It's a lot more other interesting ways to educate our children about sharing. Everyone is welcome to add up and SHARE the tips:) 

Selingan.... below is my son singing one of his favorite song "Flowers are red" he also sings "Allah knows" but tak larat nak upload byk2. was recorded in audio version but I can't upload it directly so I've no choice but to make a video out of it. main amik je gambar2 Aaron secara random :)

Oh,  the song is from Zain Bikha album entitled "Allah knows". A very interesting album for kids and adults too :)


Peace Be Upon You (",)

Peace Be Upon You (",)

Tribute to all mothers in the world!