Fasting for children and Ramadan 2021

(115 Posts)
Yazkiz Tue 13-Apr-21 18:27:37

Is any one's children fasting for Ramadan at 11 years old? My son is fasting for the 1st time. I'm worried especially this year with Covid if his immune system goes down during Ramadan.

OP’s posts: |
Bluebird2021 Tue 13-Apr-21 18:29:05

is he going into school every day?

CatCup Tue 13-Apr-21 18:31:16

No, 16 at the earliest. They are still growing and need nutrients and energy for school.

Kanaloa Tue 13-Apr-21 18:32:52

It seems very young. Maybe you could just let him know there’s no pressure if he can’t manage. I know younger teens do it though, I can remember when I was at school girls doing written work instead of P.E since they were fasting.

bonfireheart Tue 13-Apr-21 18:34:51

If you're worried about his health and there is no onus on him to fast, then he shouldn't fast.

MadKittenWoman Tue 13-Apr-21 18:52:25

As both a TA and tutor, I have found children to become lethargic and unable to concentrate during Ramadan, especially when it takes place during longer daylight hours in the UK. I can see why they want to be like the rest of their family but it's hard on them, especially if they aren't required to by Islam.

Salvationz Tue 13-Apr-21 18:58:28

My daughter is 8 and asked if she could fast but I said maybe when she’s a bit older x

IHateCoronavirus Tue 13-Apr-21 18:59:12

My DD is. She knows that she is under no obligation if she struggles but she wants to do it alongside her older siblings. I think the atmosphere and feeling of all in it together is special for them and gives them that desire.
She did mini fasts in pervious years. We are still at home from the Easter holidays at the moment so sh has been relaxing and reading all day, she might feel differently next week.

Yazkiz Tue 13-Apr-21 20:19:43

Yes he goes to school everyday. He is the oldest child in the family. He was ok today. He is doing his best fasting. He looks forward to breaking the fast as a family. He is a good boy. Although he feels obliged to do it and he doesn't want to disappoint his father as he is the oldest son and his daddy said Ramadan is more important than school.

OP’s posts: |
stairway Tue 13-Apr-21 21:53:51

My 12 year old is doing it. Not sure if he will keep it up once school starts. At the moment he can sleep in the mornings and have a bigger suhor.

MolotovMocktail Tue 13-Apr-21 22:47:56

I personally would find it concerning if my child’s father was encouraging him to starve himself for a month and telling him it was more important than his education.

00100001 Tue 13-Apr-21 22:53:09

MolotovMocktail

I personally would find it concerning if my child’s father was encouraging him to starve himself for a month and telling him it was more important than his education.

Ramadan isn't about starving yourself...

but, I do agree that his father shouldn't be encouraging a young child in this way.

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Apr-21 23:01:25

Yazkiz

Yes he goes to school everyday. He is the oldest child in the family. He was ok today. He is doing his best fasting. He looks forward to breaking the fast as a family. He is a good boy. Although he feels obliged to do it and he doesn't want to disappoint his father as he is the oldest son and his daddy said Ramadan is more important than school.

Is that right

stairway Tue 13-Apr-21 23:06:22

A lot of Muslims actually put on weight during Ramadhan. It isn’t about weight loss or gain though it is about the mental discipline. Ideally weight should stay the same. North African families break the fast with a very nutritious soup called Harira which we do in our house. I also do a big food shop of all the things he likes to eat.

babba2014 Tue 13-Apr-21 23:19:14

We used to love fasting as children. I remember many of us fasting in primary school, the early years. We didn't feel hungry and really it was a huge part of our identity. This was in a London school. I honestly don't remember feeling tired or anything but I remember teachers questioned my older sister and why she's doing it as she didn't feel children should fast.
Yes children do not have to fast. Our parents didn't wake us up. We didn't put alarm clocks on. Somehow we just woke up. I don't know what it is. I remember feeling so gutted my parents didn't wake me up one time. They thought I won't fast as there was only a few minutes left to eat but I asked for some toast and then fasted.
No one, especially our parents, made us feel we needed to fast. It's just a spark from within I guess. So many other classmates fasted too. I think it would be hard to tell a child not to when they have that zeal but of course if we ever felt unwell or lethargic, we knew what to do - break the fast by eating/drinking. It didn't happen though.
With these longer fasts just remind him of the same thing. Make sure he knows his limits and that it's okay to break the fast.
I know someone who fasted last year too when they were longer. Children are pretty strong in a way we can't understand but the also know when to stop when it comes to fasting.

Yazkiz Tue 13-Apr-21 23:20:08

Yes indeed he had a big feast for breaking his fast. His daddy said he was proud of him for doing his 1st Ramadan. He encouraged him and told he has now got a multitude of spiritual rewards for his first day. He hopes to be able to get up before sunset for 2nd day of Ramadan.

OP’s posts: |
MolotovMocktail Tue 13-Apr-21 23:21:33

You can dress it up all you like but I don’t find it acceptable to deprive a growing child of nourishment and water for a very long period of time each day, during school hours when their brains and bodies need it.

RunningFromInsanity Tue 13-Apr-21 23:21:49

What @WorraLiberty said...

ineedaholidaynow Tue 13-Apr-21 23:22:18

Religion should never be more important than education

SpikeTruman Tue 13-Apr-21 23:26:36

Molotov

Is it deprivation when it's voluntary?

frazzledasarock Tue 13-Apr-21 23:26:57

My dc went to Islamic primary schools. Every child was asked to bring in lunch they weren’t allowed to fast.

School issued very strict guidelines that any child without food would be sent home/parents called to pick them up.

As a child I remember desperately wanting to fast and trying even when my parents didn’t wake me for the ore-dawn meal.

With my dc I used to wake them for the pre-dawn meal then at lunchtime give them lunch and tell them they’d done really well in their small fast. It used to make them happy.

MolotovMocktail Tue 13-Apr-21 23:28:49

SpikeTruman

Molotov

Is it deprivation when it's voluntary?

Is it really voluntary when you’re a child?

ineedaholidaynow Tue 13-Apr-21 23:29:23

@SpikeTruman not sure if it is truly voluntary if he feels obliged to do it and his father thinks it is more important than school.

Britsy Tue 13-Apr-21 23:31:22

Depends on the education.

I started fasting aged 12 or so but the fasts were much shorter as it was winter so basically we broke our fast when we would normally have dinner anyway. And I started off fasting at weekends and school holidays first, not because anyone forced me to but because I wanted to. Ramadan is a special and festive time and it’s natural that children in Muslim households will want to take part.

But if a child is being forced to fast and it’s affecting their daily life especially in school then compromises can be made.

And to all those saying that ‘starving’ yourself for long periods of time is dangerous - why is intermittent fasting so popular then?

MolotovMocktail Tue 13-Apr-21 23:32:19

Britsy

Depends on the education.

I started fasting aged 12 or so but the fasts were much shorter as it was winter so basically we broke our fast when we would normally have dinner anyway. And I started off fasting at weekends and school holidays first, not because anyone forced me to but because I wanted to. Ramadan is a special and festive time and it’s natural that children in Muslim households will want to take part.

But if a child is being forced to fast and it’s affecting their daily life especially in school then compromises can be made.

And to all those saying that ‘starving’ yourself for long periods of time is dangerous - why is intermittent fasting so popular then?

I didn’t realise intermittent fasting was so popular amongst children.

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