In this counseling answer:
•I would strongly suggest that you talk to his school about it. You might also use this opportunity to let them know a bit about Ramadan and that he is fasting now and seems to be experiencing additional bullying during this time.
•You need to do all you can as his parent to help him feel confident in himself so that the effects that the bullying may potentially be having on him are neutralized to some extent.
•Encourage him to invite other kids to come to your house or befriend the parents that you could invite over.
Wa alaikum Salaam wa rahmatullahi wa baraktuh,
Raising children in a non-Muslim country comes with additional challenges to the usual challenges faced with being a parent. These are challenges you will face as a parent and as will your son also.
Firstly, bullying is not acceptable and should be reported, especially since it is an ongoing issue. In this case, I would strongly suggest that you talk to his school about it. You might also use this opportunity to let them know a bit about Ramadan and that he is fasting now and seems to be experiencing additional bullying during this time. Most schools have policies in place to deal with bullying so, in sha’ Allah, it should be something that can be overcome within the school.
In the meantime, you need to do all you can as his parent to help him feel confident in himself so that the effects that the bullying may potentially be having on him are neutralized to some extent. Ma sha’ Allah, he has maintained his fast. May Allah (swt) reward him. Let him know that you are proud of him for keeping his fast as you are for anything else he might have achieved. He is very courageous and strong to withstand the acts of the bullies and still keep his fast.
Negative as the experience might be, it will also build an element of resilience in him. You can be confident that he is strong enough in his faith not to succumb to the taunts of the bullies. It takes a strong child to behave in this way. Remind him of the ways our Prophet (saw) stood patiently against bullies. Let him look to this best example as a role model in managing the nasty behaviors of others towards him, and in sha’ Allah the school will be working on the problem.
Eventually, the bullies might even realize that their bad behavior towards him is not getting the desired effect and will naturally leave him alone anyway. But, certainly, if things don’t improve, or the school doesn’t do anything about it and it is impacting on your son in a negative way, then don’t hesitate to move him to another school if that is what will free him from the bullying.
You might also try and help him to spend time with other brothers of his age in his spare time. If there’s a local mosque then take him along and if they do activities for kids of his age then encourage him to join in. This way he can find strength being with other kids like him who understand Ramadan and his religion.
Encourage him to invite other kids to come to your house or befriend the parents that you could invite over so you can also be more regular contact with fellow Muslims in the community and your son can be with other Muslim kids of his age, too. This will not only reinforce his faith but will help him find strength amongst other like-minded kids.
May Allah (swt) bring you and your son ease during this difficult time. May He give you both strength to endure and overcome the difficulties successfully. May He reward your patience and steadfastness.
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