Patience at the end of the day…

Both my kids are early risers and as an early riser myself, I’ve had some of the best experiences with my kids in the early hours of the morning. They seem to be at their best early in the day and it pays to take advantage of this.

While I enjoy my mornings with the kids, after an early start and a long day at work, maintaining the patience and understanding at the end of the day becomes a challenge.

When the grown-ups are exhausted at the end of the day and the kids are approaching their bed time, patience becomes scarce and in most cases chaos ensues. Tired kids are cranky kids and cranky kids can’t think rationally. Unfortunately the same is true for tired adults so when these situations do arise, its a good idea to have an action plan.

  1. Give yourself a break. Take a few minutes to compose yourself and lose the work-baggage before you engage with the kids.
  2. See the bigger picture. In most cases, the quarrels we have with our kids are over trivial matters, put them into perspective and they’ll probably take care of themselves.
  3. Focus on the positives. Think happy thoughts and look at how mazing they are despite the current situation.
  4. Reflect. Find a quote or saying that inspires you and use it in these situations.
  5. Remember. Think about how much you love them and say it. Show some love and you might even be able to change the topic and neutralise the tension.
My kids are under 5 so I guess my strategies will have to evolve as they develop. For now, this is my action plan.

“And if you forgive and overlook and pardon – then Allah is most forgiving, most merciful.” – [Quran, Surah Taghabun, Verse 14]
Reflecting on this verse in the context of fatherhood is a good way to stimulate rational thinking in moments of anger or frustration.

Unplug and play…

I see many pictures and videos criticizing the excessive usage of smart phones and gadgets by kids and teenagers these days. While it is a major issue and though I’m not free from making judgments myself,  why is there so much focus on the kids? Kids and teenagers are almost being vilified for there use of technology which in some cases is justified but what absolves us as adults from this obsession and excessiveness?

We discipline our kids in regard to excessive TV, movies, video games, etc. Some of us wouldn’t even dare allow our kids to use our phones, yet we are comfortable and ignorant enough to whip out our phones anywhere, any-time without any regard for the people around us.

As a perpetrator myself and speaking from experience, I believe that our smart-phones are a great injustice towards our children. Technology has advanced so much that it now allows us to neglect our children while they sit in our company. I’ve made this mistake myself and its very easy to get carried away after a busy day at work but there is nothing on that device that can be more valuable than the time spent with your kids.

I have reduced my phone usage over the last 4 weeks particularly in the company of my kids and I plan to reduce it even further. Sometimes awareness is all it takes. Be mindful of your usage, focus on the things you and your kids are missing out on while your head is buried in your screen.

Unplug and play with your kids, one day you’ll look up from your screen… and they’ll be looking down at theirs!