Wishing you and your lovely families a blessed Eid full of joy and family happiness. Here is my opinion on several questions I receive every year at this time of Hajj;
- I don’t think young children should be exposed to the slaughtering of sheep, at this age children should be learning empathy towards animals and it doesn’t make sense that after they bond with animal and love it, you slaughter it in front of them. And to people who assume this will toughen their children up, I say come and see how many children have phobias and anxiety because of things like this. You can only take your child when they are big enough to understand the moral behind prophet Ismail story.
- Parents who are going to Hajj: - Tell your child where you are going and where they will be and how you will communicate (no lies) - Show your child videos of people in Haj and do some pretend play with the teddy bears and dolls to simplify the idea of Haj and make it pleasant. - To help your child cope with the separation, avoid changing his environment and his/her daily routine (so its preferred for example that the grandmother comes to stay at the child’s house and not the opposite) - Ask your child what he/she would like as a gift - Make sure you say bye, even if it’s hard. (Don’t sneak out while they are sleeping) - Communicate on a daily basis.
Have a blessed Eid
Dr. Mona Youssri
Child psychiatrist, Family Counselor & CLC Founder