Fasting is actually not an easy task for little children especially for the first timer but it is the duty of their parents to educate them about fasting before the month of Ramadan comes. This is because parents could train them to be more prepared to face the holy month. There are several easy ways that can be used by parents to teach them about fasting that is appropriate for their own age.
It is really important to allow children to be in a state of readiness and not be surprised when they cannot eat and drink all day. Most importantly, tell them about the reasons and importance of fasting.
1) Explain The Concept Of Fasting
Parents can explain that fasting not only suppresses the appetite and drinking but also months of practices such as tarawih prayers, sahur, and breaking fast. Make them realize that fasting reminds everyone that God is the only provider of every good and perfect gift. Help children to find this reality.
2) Do Not Force The Children
It is actually the best decision not to force them to fast completely, especially those who are still young, instead let them try to follow their ability. This is because forcing them to fast would make them lose interest in fasting easier and faster because they would feel so the burden to do it.
Waking up early in the morning for ‘sahur’ can be a bit difficult for all the children and as parents, always remind them about it so that they get used to waking up for ‘sahur’. Give them a choice of what menu they want to eat so that they feel excited for ‘sahur’ and they do not want to miss it.
4) Give Motivation Towards Children
Motivation and also moral support are sorely needed by children so that they are confident they can fast or at least try and understand the concept. Having support from the parents would be really meaningful for the children when fasting.
5) Perform Daily Activities As Usual
When teaching children to fast, parents should allow children to do the usual activities including playing with their friends. Do not ban them just for fear they will feel hungry. If there are too many prohibitions, they may misunderstand the concept of fasting. The activity can also make them forget about feeling hungry and not ask for a break.
Sources: Jeddah Mom