Compassionate Parenting

Seeking members for Interfaith play group

I grew up in between two worlds, Islam and Catholicism. I see nothing but beauty in both faiths, and after discovering the Interfaith student organization while I attended university I realized the beauty of faith itself. Society has been gravely impacted by ignorance especially in these recent days. Interfaith groups are here to dissolve that ignorance and misplaced fear.

We can never achieve peace unless we understand and know one another. Peace is not about everyone being the same, because we are not, we are all different. Even identical twins are different than each other. Differences are not something bad or evil, they are what make us beautiful. Peace comes about by learning why we are different, the difficulties and simplicities that arise from these differences and figuring out how to apply these teachings to our lives.

I’m looking for mothers in the DFW area who are willing to learn and teach for the sake of our children, so they can grow up more knowledgeable than we are, and more understanding. This group may recieve funding from IFYC and depending on how much we are alotted we might be able to do some really fun activities!

Please contact me by March 29th if you are interested in participating so we can get this group funded!

Compassionate Parenting

Helpers

“Mr. Bradley is in the building” our principal said over the intercom. That was our cue in this drill if there were ever someone in the school that wasn’t supposed to be, or if we were ever in danger from a shooter. We were instructed to stay in our classrooms and lock the doors. A bit unnerving at eleven years old, although I understood that it was good for us to prepare if God forbid anything happened. I convinced myself that it was a normal drill despite my nervousness. Fast forward 16 years and here I am with two young children wondering what I am going to do when they start school. My older one attends an MDO and sometimes I still get anxiety even though he is less than 2 minutes away.

This morning another child brought a gun to school in Cleveland, and shot himself. The Facebook live comments were flooded with statements like “this is why we should spank bad kids!” And “If we were allowed to discipline our children things like this wouldn’t happen.”

They say “If you want to change the world than you should start with yourself.” So I’m starting with myself and the little extensions of myself; my children. When my older child hits his brother I don’t hit him back, because I don’t want him to learn that violence is the answer to violence. Sure sometimes I have really bad stressful days when this two year old won’t listen to gentleness and I think I should raise my voice and yell. I come back from my madness to earth and remember there are other ways, compassionate ways, gentle ways. I have seen far greater results from using compassion than yelling my way out. I try to talk it over with my son, yes he is a two year old and this isn’t always going to work but sometimes it really does.

“You hit your brother and you made him cry he is hurt!”

“I feel sad” he says

“It’s ok to feel sad, but we shouldn’t hit people”

He kisses his brother on the cheek and remembers my words “be gentle.”

This touches my heart when it happens and I believe is ten times better than scaring the daylights out of a two year old for hitting when he doesn’t understand what hitting is. Sometimes talking doesn’t work and my child insists on hitting or biting. On rough days when I am really tired being a gentle parent is hard. Spanking is the easy way out, a slap on the cheek and bam that toddler will be out of sight. But I haven’t done it, not once. I keep trying even if I think of spanking I ask myself, why would I do this? Because I’m really tired and my son has woken up his brother for the third time in a row? Then I remember that he has feelings too, feelings that he doesn’t even know how to express, and that there are some feelings he is still completely unaware of. And I ask him how he feels, or I try to separate him from his brother, I just keep trying different ways. Sometimes I yell and regret that, but I try my best to be gentle. I do this so when he gets older he is able to ask himself these questions, why do I feel this way, and why am I reacting this way because of my feelings? Spanking doesn’t cause us to think this way, it’s more of a way to get someone to shut down completely.

I understand people are upset and it is so difficult to understand how to deal with these things. But usually people who hurt themselves and hurt others don’t do it because they are inherently evil, but because they don’t know how to love or maybe no one ever loved them gently. I am definitely not justifying their actions, they are most definitely heinous, but to insinuate that if a child was spanked more often would prevent them from hurting themselves or others is not right.

There was a study released not too long ago on the effects of spanking, it was conducted over a period of 50 years and it showed that spanking affect children’s behavior more negatively than positively, and can also lead them to act out violently as an adult.

We don’t need more violence, we need more compassion. And in the words of Mr.Rogers who just had his 50th anniversary of his tv show we need more “helpers.”

Creative Ideas

What to do with those Aging Valentine’s day flowers

Ah those over priced but beautiful flowers are starting to look a little droopy now. Should you just trash them when they die or is there a way to prolong their stay?

I still have my wedding flowers from three years ago and they look like this:

And these beauties are from my anniversary several months ago:

I didn’t use any chemicals to keep them this way I simply let them dry out naturally.

How to naturally dry flowers

Today is day three of your flowers in a vase if you received them on Valentine’s day. You can enjoy them for this remaining day in water before they start drooping too much for the drying process.

  • Remove the flowers from the vase and trim them to your liking, this will be more difficult to do when they are dry because they become very fragile
  • Lay them down on the table if you want your flowers to dry while they are still upright and let them sit for a couple of days. If you have kids put them somewhere where they can’t reach…i ended up with a trail of flowers in my dining room once

– If you want dried drooping flowers, dry the stems with a paper towel and place them in a large dry vase, it’s possible if the stems are not dried properly for them to grow mold so be sure to dry them thoroughly and let them stand in the vase for a couple days.

– For shadow box display

Cut the stems to your liking but be sure the flowers will fit in your box placing dried flowers in a box they don’t fit in can cause them to fall apart. This all depends on the shadow box you buy, you can try to measure how much to cut while the flowers are still moist and do a trial and error. After you have achieved your measurements a d placement plan, allow your flowers to sit in a dry area

After a couple of days the flowers should be dried completely, if you place them in a shadow box like I did, but be sure they are completely dry. My first time I was a bit anxious and added them while they still had traces of water and have another shadow box full of moldy flowers also from my wedding day. My husband convinced me to keep them. The longer you allow them to dry the less chance they have of growing mold.

Another way to keep flowers is to immerse them in resin. I haven’t tried it yet but it looks like a lot of fun, I’ll add a picture when I try it!

Uncategorized

We have launched!

Compassion, a word usually associated with love, and what better day to launch our compassionate parenting site than Valentine’s day!

Our world seems like it’s in need of compassion, what better way to send it out than through our children. The hardest days are days that they most likely need our love most. Whether it’s throwing a tantrum or hitting their siblings, it’s difficult enough to deal with these issues, and then on top of that try to settle them compassionately!

Sometimes they just need a hug, other times perhaps an activity.

In honor of today here is a special

heART project activity!

Recommended ages 2+

This activity can:

Improve your child’s fine motor skills

Help distinguish color and contrast

And most of all help your child have some fun!

You’ll need:

  • Non toxic acrylic paints (your choice of color)
  • Small canvas
  • Stickers (heart stickers for Valentine’s day)
  • Sponge brush
  • Plastic paint pallet (I used an old plastic mushroom container
  • Old newspaper

As an artist and a mother I need time for creating, yes I created two beautiful little boys, but I need to consciously create.

With this heART project I let my son go wild (after stripping him down to the diaper and putting him in his booster chair and laying newspaper underneath) with painting! While I created a painting of my own!

Directions

After laying down the old newspaper and prepping him for painting I first let him paint a base coat.

I recommend something bright and vibrant because the following coats will most likely end up being a dark tertiary color…kids love mixing!

Let the base coat dry…this might take a while! It can be a two day project if you wish or if you want to provide your child with some scrap paper to paint on while they wait you are more than welcome.

Then after the paint has dried place your stickers on the base coat make sure they are stuck down firmly. Here comes paint layer fun! The stickers I used were from dollar tree, with a lace look. The design helped create more contrast and showed how deep the layers went.

Allow your child to paint over the stickers, the more layers the greater contrast!

While they go wild with paint allow yourself your own creative time. I’ll show you what I made at the bottom of this page.

When they feel they are all painted out allow the canvas to dry and pop your kid in the shower while you wait they are probably full of paint by now! Remember it’s ok to get dirty!

Now for the sticker reveal!

Once the painting is fully dried help your child find where the stickers were and slowly help peel them off.

Wow! It’s that vibrant base coat, this will be especially popular with toddlers. Ask if they remember the color of the base coat.

Yay you made it together! A lovely heART project.

While he painted his canvas I painted mine. A gift for a friend who just had a baby, her baby’s name in Arabic. I’m now taking commissions for baby name paintings, message me for inqiries.