How to Train Your Children to Fast

By Riri Anggraheni Eka Rimandasari | 04, Jun, 2018
How to Train Your Children to Fast

Ramadan is an event of great importance to the world's Muslim community, involving a change in the daily routine of a Muslim. The act of fasting is an expression of their deep belief in God. Muslims look forward to Ramadan as an opportunity to develop their inner strength and their spiritual selves. While fasting during Ramadan can be seen as one of the exciting periods in the Islamic calendar, children may view fasting as a chore.  

First of all, let's admit it: fasting is not easy. When it comes to training our children to fast during the month of Ramadan, we cannot simply advise them to have patience. As a parent, you'll definitely hear this all day:

Ugh, I’m thirsty! When is the iftar time?

I can't take it! I think I'm about to faint!

It’s true that fasting for the first time is not easy. However, we always have to make sure that our children continue to challenge themselves to overcome the hunger. We have gathered 5 Essential Steps to get your child started to fast during Ramadan.

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Step 1: Part-Time VS Full-Time
Clock showing the time

Image Credit: Ocean Ng on Unsplash

As a stepping stone, we can encourage them to fast from Suhoor to noon. This can be considered fasting part-time. This is to familiarise themselves with fasting. After a few days, they can start fasting full-time just like everybody else. This way, children are able to gradually get used to fasting rather than to jump straight to fasting from Subh to Maghrib.

Step 2: Stories of Islam
stack of books

Image Credit: Tom Hermans on Unsplash

It is important that during the month of Ramadan we constantly remind them why we fast. Parents could read them stories of our prophets to expose them to the history of Islam. This could also be one way to inspire them to continue fasting throughout the month of Ramadan. We should also explain to them that fasting is one of the ways for Muslims to remind themselves of the lives of others that live in poverty and hunger. That way, they are able to appreciate the things around them.

Step 3: Praying Together
a parent and a Child praying

Image Credit: Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

Try to pray together and get them to lead if they can. This will make them feel special. This gives them a strong understanding of the importance of the 5 daily prayers. Take your children to the mosques for prayers if you can, especially during weekends for Tarawih as it builds a sense of community and togetherness. Praying on time will help them take their minds off the hunger for a little while! At the same time, keep them occupied with activities and naps to make sure that they are well rested and are always engaged.

Step 4: Celebrate!
bunch of donuts

Image Credit: NajlaCam on Unsplash

To continue encouraging them to fast, parents could prepare a special menu for them during Iftar. This automatically assures them to look forward to Iftar. These Iftar treats can be sweet, savory or even fun desserts that could excite them to fast for the day. Another way to encourage them to fast is to also get them excited for Eid! Get them involved in decorating the house and making Eid snacks for guests to keep them active.

Step 5: Giving and Receiving
piggy bank to collect coins

Image Credit: Andre Taissin on Unsplash  

One way to make Ramadan extra interesting is by encouraging them to donate every day. You could set up a coin bank for them to save throughout the month of Ramadan. They could start with collecting coins every day and use the amount collected to buy snacks for the orphans by the end of Ramadan. This allows them to know what it feels like to donate to the less fortunate. At the same time, you could also explain how Allah rewards us much more in Ramadan by doing good deeds.

Ramadan is an opportunity for us to train our children patience. Of course, Ramadan is a very challenging period for parents too. May God bless our family with patience and perseverance this Ramadan and grant us strong Iman and knowledge that can lead them through this life and the hereafter successfully.

Riri Anggraheni started her career as journalist on television and newspaper. Working as a journalist gives her opportunity to develop her writing talent and traveling hobby. She is also a freelancer in the field of SEO, business, blogging and event organizing. Her mission is to inspire many people through her work and activities. Until now she actives in various social NGO. Do not hesitate to contact her via LinkedIn

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