An interesting platform on social media for parents and kids
Who wouldn't like to be the best parents for their kids? But there is frequently clashing advice on how to raise a kid in our society. All through the circus act of parenting, it's critical to concentrate on adjusting needs, shuffling duties and rapidly flipping between the necessities of your youngsters, other relatives, and yourself -- and in particular, the quality time you spend with your children.
Nowadays, it has become really easy for new parents to go through get professional advice on parenting on the internet. But it gets difficult when there are too many options, and also to find out who to trust. Basically, It completely depends on the environment you are in. Recently, we got in touch with a mother Fatematuj Johra, with a platform on social media where she makes parenting a really fun and exciting experience for both parents and kids. She is trying hard to make this time in lockdown interesting for parents and kids. We got the chance to talk to her where she shared her story behind her group, Living A Mother.
● Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My favorite identity about myself is that I'm a mother. I have two boys, an eight year old, Minal, and Masaf, who is two and a half years old. Back in 2013 after my eldest son turned one, I started pursuing my Masters in Management. One of the discussions I had with my husband at that time was whether I should get a job to help with the growing household expenses, and also show others that I'm not just a housewife, which I was often labeled as by some friends and relatives. But by that time, I also felt my role as a full-time mother was more important than pursuing my career in banking where I had some opportunities waiting for me. I strongly felt that it was better if one of us took the major responsibility to look after the kids and spend as much time as possible with my child, so that he learns most things from me directly during his toddler years. We felt that I could make up for the money I wasn't earning by the time I could spend with my son.
● What do you love the most about being a mom?
The fact that my role is to help shape a little person's life who doesn't know anything about this world is a very empowering thought for me. As a mom, I'm in charge of making sure my kids get the best of what I can do for them. The importance of raising a human being with the right kind of care, guidance, and learning is what I love most being a mom. Unlike the social stigma that a stay-at-home mom doesn't do any work, I know that being a stay-at-home mom is probably the most demanding job in this world as there are no vacations, no time offs, and no chance of giving any excuses.
● What made you start this group?
I've been documenting my elder son's activities since he was a baby, and kept storing them on a YouTube channel, and a Facebook page both called Living A Mother; I would share some of those from my Facebook profile from time to time. The objective then was simply to have it documented and share with family and friends. I also invited my son's friends and their parents, and did activity workshops with them just for fun. The kids used to love doing them and coming over to our home. Since this Covid-19 situation started, one of the things my husband and I discussed was that we need to keep the children as active as possible, and try giving them more time than usual, since it is a very difficult time for the kids. To keep them active, I thought about doing something new with them every day, and started documenting those and posting an activity on my Facebook profile and page every day or every other day. I got a lot of responses from my friends and family, as they were also struggling to keep up with the current situation where the kids are all stuck at home and don't have much to do. One thing you have to realize is that for kids, these are their growing years. Being locked up inside the house has an unimaginable impact on them. Then I decided that instead of just sharing what I do, I will do something to encourage other parents to be active with their children, and pass it on to other parents too. That's when I thought about opening this group. This is how my platform of Living A Mother: Documenting My Journey of Motherhood has become a broader platform.
● How has the response been so far?
The response has been quite amazing so far. What I love about the response is that people are so encouraging towards me. It motivates me to keep going, and keep coming up with various ways to help other parents and children have a good time themselves. One member's four year old daughter had gone very quiet and stayed sad all day when this lockdown started. After seeing all these children doing various activities, her daughter wanted to try something out. It gives me great joy to see how my posts are engaging and helping kids and their parents to have quality time.
● How do you plan your posts?
Before planning a post, the first thing I do on the previous day is think of an activity that I will do with my children the next day, and plan everything accordingly. Since they love watching YouTube and TV, I try to think of something which will keep them away from those and also will be exciting. For children who are over five years old, it is best to do things focused on things that will help them to learn new skills, and things that will fascinate them. I focus on posting about something that will be simple enough for other parents to try at home, but also make it exciting enough for the kids to want to participate. Also, it is very important to have a first-hand understanding of how children react to such activities.
● How do you ensure a safe space for the community you have created on social media?
Creating a safe space for my community is my priority, as I deal with a very sensitive issue. Since parents post about their children, I stay cautious on who becomes a member of this group and how they are responding to it. As this is a private group, I am very selective about adding members. I also don’t allow people who repeatedly post about things that are not relevant. As the group grows, I plan on adding more strict measures of screening out who can be part of this group.
● Tell us a little bit about the "7 days activity" challenge you have created in the group.
The activity challenge that is going on in my group is called a 7 Days Activity Challenge for parents. A parent has to carry out one activity each day with their child and post a video in the group Living A Mother - Parenting & Life with Kids. After completing the challenge, each participant will win fun gifts for their child & themselves, which I will send over to them taking proper safety measures. The parents who are participating in this challenge will form a better bond with their children at this time. Because due to our busy schedules, doing something fun together with our kids for 7 days straight has always been next to impossible. For the kids, having their parents doing something with them will undoubtedly make them very happy and motivated.
● What kinds of activities do you plan that help your children stay calm and engaged in lockdown?
Some of the things I've been doing with my children include crafting, drawing and colouring, cooking together, recycling things with cardboard -- like a playhouse, a zoo for their animal toys and a maze game box, reading the Quran and praying together, making the bed and cleaning their room together, reading storybooks to each other, doing simple yoga, singing our favourite songs, watching kid friendly movies or series, encouraging them to dance, playing board games, feeding the street dogs, doing simple science experiments, and a variety of other activities. We also have a weekly Family Fun night; it's usually on Thursday night where my son, my husband and I play games such as Monopoly, Scrabble, Chess, Uno, Ludo, or Carom.
● Before making content for your page, what are the things you consider first?
For every content there are some basic principles that I keep in mind:
- It has to be something that my sons and I've had already tried and enjoyed
- The content should be something that anyone who watches can do at their home safely
- The content should not be too lengthy, so that viewers can quickly see what it is and reach out to me if they want to discuss how to do it for their child.
● What message would you give to our readers?
For the readers, I would like to mention that if you are a parent or plan to be one in the future, believe that parenting is one of the most important roles that you can ever play in this life. You don't need to follow anyone's parenting style; rather, focus on what makes your child happy and comfortable. And every time you may feel down, know that there are supportive parents out there who are trying to help each other out with positive thoughts, ideas, and helping spread happiness for kids to grow up in a loving environment.
To know more about this group please check out the links given below:
Living A Mother: Parenting & Life with Kids Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/688859511675419/
Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/livingamother/
YouTube channel: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCdyqAM2bJSOaT8lwPMSA87Q