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DC's friends wanting to eat lunch with us - although they are Muslim and it's Ramadan?

(34 Posts)
MummyCubed Mon 08-Aug-11 18:46:48

I'm fairly friendly with the neighbours a few doors down, mainly because of the kids. Today they came in for a couple of hours and wanted to stay for lunch. My three were really upset that the others couldn't stay but I thought it was best to send them home as although we're not Muslim I didn't want to disrespect the neighbours' beliefs and potentially upset relations. Was this the right thing to do, or should I just have let the kids eat with us anyway? DH thinks I was pandering to the parents and it caused an unnecessary fuss.

AuntieMaggie Mon 08-Aug-11 18:48:12

Ask the parents - that way you can be sure not to upset them!

CheerMum Mon 08-Aug-11 18:48:41

i am not at all knowledgeable on this subject but i didn;t think children had to observe the fasting element of ramadan? might be worth asking the parents in future x

thisisyesterday Mon 08-Aug-11 18:49:28

well.... if yo know the children are fasting then of course it was the right thing to do

your DH is a twat if that's how he thinks about it hmm

Sandalwood Mon 08-Aug-11 18:49:34

I'm not sure how old children generally are before they start to observe Ramadan.

squeakytoy Mon 08-Aug-11 18:49:43

Children, as far as I know, are not bound by the rules of Ramadan.

minipie Mon 08-Aug-11 18:49:45

Are you sure the parents observe Ramadan and expect their DCs to do so? If so then IMO it was best to send them home. however, there are Muslims who don't observe it and/or don't expect children to. Best to ask as maggie says.

ProcrastinatorGeneral Mon 08-Aug-11 18:49:56

Cheer has a point. Only kids over a certain age have to observe the fast. However, kids also li through their teeth. Might be worth chatting with the parents and get the info for next time?

saggarmakersbottomknocker Mon 08-Aug-11 18:50:00

Young children don't have to observe. Most of our Yr 6s do at school but not the younger ones.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Mon 08-Aug-11 18:51:40

pandering to the parents? That's a bit dismissive of someone's faith, isn't it?

I'm surprised he though it would be ok to just feed them without checking. Although I think many children don't fast, do they? Do you even know that the children were fasting?

It would have been the easiest thing in the world to simply ask the parents.

SandStorm Mon 08-Aug-11 18:52:29

If you're not sure then you did the best thing. Better to err on the side of caution.

FrozenFlowers Mon 08-Aug-11 18:53:06

Best to ask I think. But I think that it is a bit offensive for your DH to say that obeying the wishes of the neighbours about the upbringing/conduct of their own children would be "pandering" to them! Would he say that about anything else or is it just because Ramadan is a religious thing that he thinks that's OK?

Birdsgottafly Mon 08-Aug-11 18:53:11

As others have said DC's and pregnant/breastfeeding women do not have to observe Ramadam, but they may give up 'luxury' foods, similar to Christians during Lent, so always best to ask.

whackamole Mon 08-Aug-11 18:53:43

I think you did the right thing.

MummyCubed Mon 08-Aug-11 18:55:06

Only the two oldest have to, apparently (11 and 13) I knew they were because the parents were telling me about it. Apparently starting them even younger gets them used to it, even if they don't do it all the time they try for one or two days (heard this from a lot of people, I'm pretty familiar with the customs as although I'm Christian I have family from the ME). So I guess I could have given the younger ones something, and not the older ones but then I would have felt mean.
Having said that I feel mean having sent them all home!

smee Mon 08-Aug-11 18:57:55

Couldn't you have just asked the kids what they could and couldn't do?

MummyCubed Mon 08-Aug-11 18:59:38

Well when I did ask them all they said was that they wanted to stay and eat, so shrugs
DH is highly opinionated, often just for the sake of it, but he's particularly dismissive of religious stuff.

birdsofshoreandsea Mon 08-Aug-11 19:01:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LolaRennt Mon 08-Aug-11 19:03:14

What if someone's vgetarian 6 year old was over? Would Dh have fed them chicken nuggets if they asked? You have to respect other people's wishes for their children.

If the parents have the kids observing ramadan (even only for a small amount of time) best to let let them figure out when and what they can eat.

YANBU dh is

BustySinclair Mon 08-Aug-11 19:14:47

Would Dh have fed them chicken nuggets if they asked?

yes, at that age they know what they want to eat or not

you Mon 08-Aug-11 19:21:15

Sorry but your DH sounds like a twat.

Children don't 'have' to fast till they have hit puberty, however often shildren will practice with shortened days long before this. Of course if you know the children are supposed to be observing the fast you did the right thing by sending them home! Old enough to decide themselves or not, I would not want to be the one to aid that decision if that makes. Equally if we were cooking meat and someone's veggie 7 year old came over and wanted to try some- yes, maybe I'd think they'd be old enough to make up their own mind but I sure as hell wouldn't be the one to give them their first taste!

itisnearlysummer Mon 08-Aug-11 19:22:34

er, well not being your neighbours and not knowing whether they are observing Ramadan or not, I think the best thing to do is to ask the parents. Or the children. Surely they would know whether they are fasting or not.

MummyCubed Mon 08-Aug-11 19:30:21

itisnearlysummer, the kids knew they were meant to be fasting,but they were more than willing to overlook it and stay a bit longer to muck around at my place. But as I knew the parents wouldn't be happy, I sent them home. I didn't want to encourage them to go against the wishes of the parents. Although I guess as DH said the parents probably wouldn't have found out about it, and the kids would have enjoyed themselves eating together. I know at 11 and 13 they are old enough to know what they should be eating, but until they are adults (or at least, in their late teens) I wouldn't feel completely comfortable about it.

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Mon 08-Aug-11 19:34:22

I think you were right, if the children are choosing to be a bit rebellious it is better that it doesn't damage your relationship with the parents.
I knew Muslim teenagers who would eat burgers and bacon because it was a wicked thing to do and would annoy their family. smile

PumpkinBones Mon 08-Aug-11 19:37:50

I think you did the right thing.

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