FamilyConnections Podcast

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Jun 21, 2020

Racism is like an invisible gas that we all breathe. Whether we benefit from it or internalize messages that harm us, racism shapes our thinking and actions, often unconsciously, even if we don’t want it to.

The first steps to becoming anti-racist is to become aware and to discuss it in our homes. 

In this episode, part of a longer live session, we discuss why we must bring up race and racism within our homes and what stops us from doing so. 

Mar 25, 2020

As parents we are busy taking care of our families and can sometimes feel that we are running on empty. When we feel like we are running on empty, it can impact the emotional climate of the home and that is a big reason to remember to take care of ourselves as well. 

In this session, we had a very interesting discussion about what it means to take self-care seriously and how we can adopt it as a way of life

For more resources, please visit and sign up for DailyWisdom on 


Jul 2, 2018

In this episode, we covered the following points:

Introduction – the Islamic foundation

What is attachment – difference between bonding and attachment

Why is it important – the lifelong effects of attachment on the child

What does secure attachment look like

Obstacles to secure attachment

Tips to foster the attachment bond


The 3 stages of the Islamic Parenting Contract

 “The child is the master for seven years; and a slave for seven years and a vizier for seven years; so if he grows into a good character within 21 years, well and good; otherwise leave him alone because you have discharged your responsibility before Allah.”


Stage 1: Birth to 7 years – the child as Sayed The Imprint Period

Child like sponge, absorb everything as true. Period of attachment and trauma. “Give me the child and I will give you the man”.


Needs of child:                                                                                                                                             Bonding with mother and to have a responsive caregiver                                                                The concept of attachment and providing a secure base – internal working models of relationships                                                                                                                                               

The role of parent:

To be responsive to the needs of the child (follow the needs of the child)

To be a role model (internalized by the child)

To create a secure and appropriate environment for the child which stimulates and nurtures

To provide intentional and purposeful play activities

READ to the child and talk the child


What is the difference between attachment and bonding?

Attachment has a broader meaning than bonding.

Bonding about the parental bond of love and care.

Attachment is about both parent and baby. It's about how you build a relationship over time that helps your baby feel secure, loved, and ready to face the world.

Attachment and bonding go hand-in-hand. A strong bond makes it more likely to develop a secure attachment to parent.


Children need something more than love and caregiving in order for their brains and nervous systems to develop in the best way possible.


Children need to be able to engage in a nonverbal emotional exchange with their primary caretaker in a way that communicates their needs and makes them feel understood, secure, and balanced. Children who feel emotionally disconnected from their primary caregiver are likely to feel confused, misunderstood, and insecure, even if they’re loved.

What exactly is attachment?

According to attachment theory,almost all infants develop an attachment to their caregiver during their first year. The type of attachment your baby develops will greatly depend on daily interactions between parent and baby.

Secure attachment

Mamas who respond to baby’s needs quickly and accurately are likely to have securely attached infants. These tots seem to know that their caregiver will respond when they are feeling insecure.

Avoidant attachment

Mamas who are indifferent to baby’s needs or reject baby’s attempts at closeness may foster avoidant attachment. Avoidant infants often seem to know that their caregiver is not likely to respond to their needs.

Ambivalent attachment

Mamas who respond to baby’s needs inconsistently may foster ambivalent attachment. Ambivalent infants are often unsure about whether their caregiver will respond to their needs.

Disorganized attachment

A small number of infants develop disorganized attachment, exhibiting confusion over their caregivers’ availability. Researchers aren’t sure why some infants show disorganized attachment, but abusive behaviors may play a role.


  • A secureattachment bond ensures that your child will feelsecure, understood, and be calm enough to experience optimal development of his or her nervous system. Your child’s developing brain organizes itself to provide your child with the best foundation for life: a feeling of safety that results in eagerness to learn, healthy self-awareness, trust, and empathy.
  • An insecureattachment bond fails to meet your child’s need for security, understanding, and calm, preventing the child’s developing brain from organizing itself in the best ways. This can inhibit emotional, mental, and even physical development, leading to difficulties in learning and forming relationships in later life.


The benefits of a securely attached child


Children who have secure attachments tend to be happier, kinder, socially competent, and more trusting of others, and they have better relations with parents, siblings, and friends. They do better in school, stay physically healthier, and create fulfilling relationships as adults.


What does secure attachment look like?


Developmental milestones related to secure attachment

Between birth and 3 months, does your baby...

  • Follow and react to bright colors, movement, and objects?
  • Turn toward sounds?
  • Show interest in watching people’s faces?
  • Smile back when you smile?

Between 3 and 6 months, does your baby...

  • Show joy when interacting with you?
  • Make sounds, like cooing, babbling or crying, if happy or unhappy?
  • Smile a lot during playtime?

Between 4 and 10 months, does your baby...

  • Use facial expressions and sounds when interacting, like smiling, giggling, or babbling?
  • Have playful exchanges with you?
  • Alternate back and forth with gestures (giving and taking), sounds, and smiles?

Between 10-18 months, does your baby...

  • Play games with you, like pee-a-boo or patty cake?
  • Use sounds like ma, ba, na, da, and ga?
  • Use different gestures (sometimes one after another) to show needs like giving, pointing, or waving?
  • Recognize his or her name when called?

Between 18 and 20 months, does your baby...

  • Know and understand at least 10 words?
  • Use at least four consonants in words or babbling, like b, d, m, n, p, t?
  • Use words, gestures and signals to get needs met, like pointing at something, leading you to something?
  • Enjoy simple pretend play, like hugging or feeding a doll or stuffed animal?
  • Demonstrate familiarity with people or body parts by pointing or looking at them when named?

At 24 Months, does your baby...

  • Know and understand at least 50 words?
  • Use two or more words together to say something, like “want milk,” or “more crackers?”
  • Show more complex pretend play, like feeding the stuffed animal and then putting the animal in the stroller?
  • Show interest in playing with other children by giving objects or toys to others?
  • Respond to questions about familiar people or objects not present by looking for them?

At 36 Months, does your baby...

  • Put thoughts and actions together, like “sleepy, want blanket,” or “hungry for yogurt and going to the refrigerator?”
  • Enjoy playing with children and talking with other children?
  • Talk about feelings, emotions and interests, and show knowledge about time (past and future)?
  • Answer “who,” “what,” “when,” and “where” questions without too much trouble?
  • Pretend to play different characters—either by dressing up and acting or with toy figures or dolls?


Obstacles to creating a secure attachment bond

Since infants cannot calm and soothe themselves, they rely on you to do so for them.

1)  Infant’s well-being can affect the secure attachment bond

  • When a baby experiences difficulty in the womb or in the birth process—during a cesarean birth, for example—their nervous system may be compromised.
  • Adopted babies or those who spend time in hospital neonatal units away from a parent may have early life experiences that leave them feeling stressed, confused, and unsafe.
  • Infants who never seem to stop crying—whose eyes are always tightly closed, fists clenched, and bodies rigid—may have difficulty experiencing the soothing cues of even a highly attuned caretaker.

Fortunately, as the infant brain is so undeveloped and influenced by experience, a child can overcome any difficulties at birth. It may take a few months, but if the primary caretaker remains calm, focused, understanding, and persistent, a baby will eventually relax enough for the secure attachment process to occur.

2)  An older child’s well-being can affect the secure attachment bond

A child’s experience and environment can affect their ability to form a secure attachment bond. Sometimes the circumstances that affect the secure attachment bond are unavoidable, but the child is too young to understand what has happened and why. To a child, it just feels like no one cares and they lose trust in others and the world becomes an unsafe place.

  • A child gets attention only by acting out or displaying other extreme behaviors.
  • Sometimes the child’s needs are met and sometimes they aren’t. The child never knows what to expect.
  • A child is hospitalized or separated from his or her parents.
  • A child is moved from one caregiver to another
  • A child is mistreated or abused.
  • A caretaker’s well-being can affect the secure attachment bond
  • Parental stress or grief
  • Parents own attachment history
  • Distracted parenting
  • Technology


How to Cultivate a Secure Attachment with Your Child

1) providing comfort when needed and

2) offering the freedom to explore when desired.


Circle of Security. The circle represents the ebb and flow of how babies and young children need their caregivers—at times coming close for care and comfort, and at other times following their inspiration to explore the world around them.

The caregivers’ role is to tune in to where on the circle their child is at the moment and act accordingly.


1)   Be happy yourself

The youngest babies can sense ease versus impatience, delight versus resentment or irritation, comfort versus restlessness, genuine versus pretending, or other positive versus negative responses in a parent when these reactions aren’t evident to a casual observer. Little babies may pick up on the smallest sigh, the subtlest shift in tone of voice, a certain glance, or some type of body language and know the parent is genuinely comfortable or definitely not pleased.


No one can be attuned to another person at all times, though. In fact, the authors assert that the myth of “complete availability” actually undermines a child’s development.


Ruptures, small and large, happen all the time in the fabric of human relationships, and so it becomes important that repairs, small and large, become second nature to parents.


Children are not keeping a parenting score, but rather assessing whether the relationship is safe and secure overall. Good enough is truly good enough.


let go of any pressures they feel to constantly prepare their child for the future, which can inadvertently fill children with anxiety. Instead “being with” or cultivating sensitivity to what children are feeling at the moment and helping them label, understand, and manage their feelings…or simply sitting still and waiting with kindness and understanding they have their feelings. As psychiatrist Dan Siegel says, “feeling felt” is one of the most important needs children have.

 “every heart is still seeking the love it was born to know.”

Ways to help your baby form secure attachments

  1. Be sensitive to baby’s needs and follow their cue


  1. Follow your baby’s interests.
  2. Be in sync with each other.


  1. Offer a variety of stimulation.Stimulate baby using the “ABC’s” of child development.

A is for affect

B is for behavior

C is for cognition

5. Provide emotional support.

6. Use Nonverbal Communication

Eye contact.

Facial expression

Tone of voice


Body language

Pacing, timing, and intensity




Parenting a Secure Child by Kent Hoffman, Glen Cooper and Bert Powell.



Some resources to keep the learning going


Daily Wisdom Email Newsletter

Daily Wisdom email newsletter is a short daily burst of inspiration to live your best self every day.

Daily Wisdom email sign up:

Once podcasts and videos are uploaded will inform the email list inshallah.





Podcasts: (You can subscribe and listen on your phone)


  • Loving and living the Quran: Over 100 episodes of past lectures and Quran tafsir



  • Family Connections Podcast:





You Tube Channel:

(2 channels – please google my name and they should come up)



  1. Public Facebook pages:



  1. Private Facebook groups – still free but you have to request to join:

Please search “groups” tab in Facebook and look for these names. Then go to the group and click “request to join”

  • Quran Study Circle– focused on Quran study and tafsir via FB live sessions
  • Positive Parenting Community– focused on parenting skills


  1. Twitter

  1. Instagram


  1. Pintrist

Additionally, many archived courses on the Academy for Learning Islam Website.

Contributing expert on the web project:


Jun 26, 2018

What are the differences between Religion and Spirituality?

While many parents focus on teaching children the basics of religious practice, it is important to also focus on fostering a spiritual outlook to life. There is a difference and what parents do, matters.

We outline how parents can foster a relationship with God in their children and nurture a spiritual perspective while teaching the basics about religion. 

To sign up for DailyWisdom emails, please visit:

Jun 26, 2018

How to raise an emotionally intelligent child. 

What it means to be emotionally literate, why we need to focus on this and how parents can nurture emotional intelligence in their children

To join our free Facebook group on Positive Parenting please visit

And to sign up for DailyWisdom emails please visit

Dec 1, 2017

Recording of a live parenting session

Feb 23, 2017

Recording of a live session on Parents as Leaders of the household. What roles they play and the impact of parental leadership on children. 

Feb 13, 2017

Parents today are more concerned than ever about raising children who are happy and well adjusted. Yet the stats show that mental and emotional wellbeing amongst youth is at an all time low, at least in North America.

So what are we doing wrong? Why are our well-meaning strategies having the opposite effect of what we intend for our children?

We answer these and other questions in this recording from a live presentation.

Here is the link to download the slide deck that goes with the audio file:

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