Monday, May 21st, 2012
We recently celebrated St. George’s Day here in England, the day of the country’s patron saint. My children dressed in red, white and blue for their schools’ St. George’s celebrations. For most people this is no longer a celebration tied to religion, but about celebrating all things English. I have always felt very conflicted about my identity—am I English, British, Pakistani, Punjabi or none of these? Can you be more than one?
Growing up, my parents made it very clear to me that we were Pakistani. Read more
Preserving kinship ties is considered to be a very important part of Islam. Read more »
My eight-year-old daughter did something a few weeks ago that surprised me. Read more »
I suspect those who celebrate Christmas will be familiar with the way I felt a day or so after last Eid. Read more »
I can remember when I was little my parents would feed us early and send us to bed to get some peace during iftar (the daily breaking of the fast during Ramadan). We then spent all evening sitting on the stairs trying to find ways to come downstairs and eat all the nice things everyone else was having. I am now having to deal with the same from my children Read more »
Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, is the time for healthy adult Muslims’ to spend the day abstaining from food and water and the nights in hours of worship and contemplation. Although Muslim children do not usually fast, this does not mean that Ramadan, the holiest of months in the Islamic calendar, is not important for them.
In Ramadan, a family and community’s routines are completely changed. Read more »
In the past, when I have written about Islam’s perspective on child discipline, I described it as one where gentleness is preferred according to the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the examples set during his own life.
I feel that taking the time to explain, exercising patience and making an effort to try to see things from your child’s point of view are the strategies that are most conducive to producing good behaviour and a calm child. Read more »
I had an interesting conversation with my sister-in-law recently about an old friend of hers who had moved to the States and become a Christian, despite being raised in a practicing Muslim household. It made me think about what aspect of her former faith led her to believe that Islam was not for her.
I have come across a small number of former Muslims who have converted to a different religion or become atheist. Read more »
Sex education is a bit of a minefield for me as a Muslim mother, as I am sure it is for most parents, whether Muslim or not. How much to tell? At what age? Who should do the telling?
I have been adamant that I will be honest with my children and expect them to have the courage to be honest. By never lying, I hope my children would be able to trust me and believe what I say to them and to understand that there is never anything to fear from when they are honest with me (oh the things they have gotten away with just by honestly owning up!)
My determination to be an honest mum has been challenged now that my oldest daughter is at an age when she is curious about the “birds and the bee’s” and in particular where baby’s come from. Read more »
I have a small poster on my fridge, now old and slightly yellowed, which my children love. It's called the "Children's Rights and Responsibilities" and lists all of the basic things to which every child is entitled. They love seeing it and having it read to them—it makes them feel that as children they matter in their own right, and knowing that it is the duty of adults to provide these things is empowering to them. Read more »
After the birth of my first child, there was a thought that kept crossing my mind regarding the status of mothers in Islam. Growing up I had heard of hadith (Prophetic sayings) such as, "Your paradise lies under the feet of your mother," and not given much thought to them. Once I became a mother myself, I started to wonder what this meant. I was no one special, why would paradise lie under my feet?
Then I thought back to the sickness, discomfort and exhaustion I suffered during my pregnancy. Read more »
Guilt seems to be an integral part of modern motherhood. It sometimes seems that no matter what you do, you are not good enough as a mother. Stay at home mothers sometimes feel they miss out on things they want to do and are accused of living through their children, going into overkill mode with every birthday party and milestone, turning their children into spoilt, selfish little monsters. Read more »
Thanks to a small number of Muslims and large chunks of the mainstream media, Islam has gained a reputation for severity and harshness. When it comes to the way we raise our children this can often be true, but usually due to our cultural backgrounds more than our faith.
My parents and grandparents grew up in Pakistan where it was the norm to be smacked by your parents, extended relations and anyone else that happened to be around and in a bad mood. Read more »
As someone who loves to write and read, a love of language and words fits naturally. My family is of Punjabi origin, hailing from Jhelum, Pakistan and therefore speaks a Patwari dialect of Punjabi. Growing up, I spoke Patwari with my mother and grandparents; this was the language they scolded us in (Danger! Animals!) and loved us in. The dialect they used is exactly the one they brought with them from Pakistan to the UK forty years ago. Read more »
Christmas is a favourite time of year for most people, parties, gifts, special foods and family traditions--what is not to like? But for most Muslims, this time of year always brings with it a host of issues to consider: should we participate? Should we join in the office parties and games of Secret Santa? Or should we avoid the celebration totally, writing it off as not part of our faith?
For those with children, the decisions we have to make require even more consideration. Read more »
With the approach of Eid-ul-Adha this year, it felt like a good time to reflect on some of the family traditions that we had begun as a family and some of the ones that my husband and I had brought with us from our own childhoods.
Eid-ul-Adha is one of two Eids that Muslims celebrate around the world. The first is Eid-ul-Fitr which celebrates the fact that we have fasted for a month during the Muslim month of Ramadan. Read more »
I am facing one of the biggest challenges I have ever met: how to raise good Muslims. I have always found progress very easy in my academic and working life and have enjoyed the feeling of sailing through these spheres most of the time. This leads a person to the feeling, especially when you are young, that you are oh-so-clever.
Having children puts that whole mindset into perspective. Read more »
Are four languages too many?
The blessed curse of politeness: how my daughter minds her p’s and q’s.
Our latest map find.
It only takes 5 minutes per day to start!
One of the best snacks ever.
Should we back off with both languages at once?
One simple reason.
Make a traditional craft from Papua New Guinea with everyday household materials!
The Mexico we saw on vacation
It doesn't get any more adorable than this.
A fight between cousins turns into something unexpected
Adjusting to life in a "five-minute," male-dominated Mexican town as a former New Yorker.
Here's how this mom overcame self doubt on her solo adventure
Kids love these songs and games!
Someone tell me, is this really Korean?
That one little thing that is the bridge between Canada and China
This trilingual family offers some truly awesome advice we all can benefit from.
There's more to it than you think
Celebrate Asian-American heritage month with our top book picks
Your new go-to soup recipe
7 tips to make sure you don't blow it
Why colorblind is all wrong and a guide to what's right
Our way of celebrating you!
Why I love the abaya
My yearly pilgrimage to my homeland where I no longer feel at home
Why you shouldn't judge a mom giving coffee to her infant
I couldn’t wait to see how my kids would do with their new Spanish when we got to Mexico.
Important tips for parents and kids of all colors
Foregoing meat in a land where no one does
What to do when your child doesn't love travel like you do.
This mom never knows how she'll find her kids in the morning
A holiday just to celebrate children-how cool!
How he began to find his heritage
How they made it possible
See the magic and universality of play
Here's the secret
Colleague drank your breast milk from the work fridge again? Tales of breastfeeding in Mongolia
She fought her Turkish in-laws on it--did she succeed?
Why it's critical all parents read books that reflect diversity
Who knew that becoming a mother merged our histories of loss and grief
Have you been guilty of any of these?
Fancy schools, international vacations, foreign language books, DVDs and tutors add up fast
Life after devastation
The freedom of growing up as the only Serbo-Croatian in Sudan
It’s easy to raise bilingual kids when you speak a second language, right? Wrong.
The secret revealed of why African babies don't melt down like Western ones.
How the West sleeps is different from the rest
Why OPOL has been harder than we thought.
Money can't buy love. Or can it?
And why it made this mom worry
Has the West taken fear too far?
In photos and figures
Language acquisition in three-and-a-half year old, bilingual twins.
Have you made any of these mistakes?
Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask
Welcome to our newest blogger--a world traveling, homeschooling mom--to the InCultureParent family!
Does Islam's reputation for severity and harshness apply to how Muslims raise children?
Because every little global citizen needs a map
Cultural oasis or no man’s land?
All that's left to do is wait and wonder
10 must-read tips on co-sleeping from Africa
Time outs due to whistling versus school's out due to poverty
I belong to a faith with virtually no rituals.
Is it racist to not want to raise your kids in white America?
Raising children in the shadow of exile
Lessons in parenting from the Côte d'Azur
How one family celebrates the biggest Muslim holiday
Who said raising bilingual kids was easy?
Four pregnancies, four miscarriages and a bout of thyroid cancer later
What linguistic research has to say
Why you shouldn't judge a mom giving coffee to her infant
How my language use morphs to meet the situation