One of the amazing things about children, especially young children, is that some very simple things easily entertain them. It is often quite normal for children to be interested in people outside of their family circle.
Our children spend most of their time with us, and a secure child will readily interact with other people when he or she has the opportunity.
Of course, we also want our children to look forward to the time that we spend with them. We want both the adult and the child to enjoy that time with a natural ease, as this will create a bond of trust and safety for the whole family.
So, what can we do to encourage this bond? First, children want to feel that you are sincerely interested in what you are doing together. Make a list of activities that you like to do and think about how you can adapt them to do with your child. If you are not sure what you like to do, ask your son what he does at school and what he likes.
Some activities you might like to try are coloring, playing with play dough, having an indoor picnic, or making a snow fort outside. The list of possibilities is endless and you can search on the Internet for more ideas.
Better yet, turn your everyday activities into exciting adventures by using your imagination. While you make dinner, let your son dress up in one of daddy’s old shirts and a tie and let him pretend to be daddy, or grandfather, with you. This will give you an amazing insight into how your son thinks and feels.
One word of caution, do not have very high expectations for your son. Most four-year-olds only remain interested in one activity for 10-15 minutes and then they want to move onto something else. Do not let this worry you. Make the activities open-ended so that he does not feel like he has to “finish” it at some specific point. Put it away and let him come back to it the next day.
Please keep in mind that all of our activities should reflect our Islamic beliefs. Remind your son about all the wonderful things Allah created for us to use in our lives. Now is a good time to start teaching the steps of wudu and salah. Of course, he may not make it through one rak`ah at first, but you will be surprised how quickly he will begin to look forward to these times.
Begin teaching him the alphabets of any languages you know. You can start by writing them on big pieces of paper and he can trace over them, first with his finger and then later with a crayon. As he goes over the letter, say the sound it makes and name some words that begin with that letter. Most of all, remember that if you are happy and interested in what he is doing then your son will be happy too.