Parental planning for Ramadan, which is a month of reflection, prayer and celebration for Muslims worldwide, takes practical thought and logistics as moms and dads consider their children’s school schedules, fasting and worship goals, other activities that may be happening and how to manage everyone’s everything. Whether you meticulously think things through or just wing it, stuff is bound to happen. For divorced parents, however, Ramadan can present some unique challenges when it comes to celebrating the holy month with their children.
Co-parenting during Ramadan requires communication, flexibility and a willingness to prioritize your children's needs (hopefully by both parents). It’s important to establish a schedule allowing your children to participate in the fast and other religious activities while accommodating your parenting arrangements.
Encourage your children to spend time with both parents (if both of you have good relationships with the children) during Ramadan, emphasizing the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation.
The spirit of Ramadan is one of compassion and understanding. Maybe you and your ex are on good terms. Maybe it’s not the best. Try to create a peaceful and supportive environment for your children during this holy time of year.
Here are nine tips for observing Ramadan with kids after a divorce. (These tips are pending both parents being Muslim. It can work if one parent is Muslim and one is not, but most likely things will flow a bit differently.):1.
Image source: Pexels
1. Communicate with your ex-partner: Communication is always key in co-parenting and especially during Ramadan. Discuss how you will split parenting time during the month to ensure your children can observe the fast and other forms of worship as much as possible.
2. Make a schedule: Scheduling Ramadan time with your kids and your ex can be a challenge, but it's essential to make an effort to ensure that your children can observe the fast and participate in its activities as much as possible. It's important to communicate with your ex-partner to determine a schedule that works for both of you and allows your children to have meaningful experiences during Ramadan.
Will they be going to tarawih? Which days? Who will be taking them? Be willing to compromise and be flexible, especially regarding parenting time and scheduling of activities.
3. Involve your children in the planning: Ask them how they want to observe and celebrate Ramadan and involve them in the planning process. This will help to make them feel included and excited about the holiday.
4. Set realistic goals: Ramadan can be a busy and tiring time, especially when you are a parent. Set realistic goals for yourself and your children and don't feel like you need to do everything perfectly.
5. Create a routine: Establish a daily routine for your children during Ramadan that includes time for prayer, reflection and family activities. This will help to keep them focused and engaged throughout the month.
Image source: Pexels; photo by Timur Weber.
6. Emphasize the importance of giving back: Ramadan is a time of giving and charity. Encourage your children to participate in charitable activities, such as donating food to those in need or volunteering at a local organization. If you and your ex can both agree to prioritize this with the kids (in your own ways), even better.
7. Make it fun: Celebrating and observing Ramadan with kids can be fun. Plan special activities, such as decorating the house or making special treats, to make the holiday more enjoyable for your children. Encourage your ex to do the same, but realize that his style may be different than yours.
8. BE FLEXIBLE: Every family celebrates Ramadan differently. Be open to different traditions and practices, and be willing to compromise with your ex-partner to ensure your children have a meaningful and enjoyable experience.
9. Focus on yourself: It can be difficult when the kids are with your ex-partner during Ramadan, but staying focused on your spiritual growth and observing the fast (and other forms of worship) as much as possible is vital. Use this time to reflect on your relationship with Allah (S) and deepen your spiritual practices.
You can also use this time to participate in charitable activities and give back to your community. In addition, you will want to stay connected with your children during this time, even if they are not with you, so consider sending them messages of love and encouragement or scheduling virtual calls to keep them involved in your observance of Ramadan.
Ramadan can be challenging for divorced parents, but with some planning and communication, it's possible to make the holiday special for your children. Prioritize your children's needs and involve them in the planning process. Take care of yourself during this busy time.
Above all, remember that Ramadan is a time for reflection and spiritual growth. Make an effort to create a peaceful and harmonious environment for your children to observe the fast and celebrate the holiday. Ramadan Mubarak!