Inspiring Mums' Stories- Anisa

Please share a brief bio about yourself and your blog.

A Conscious Parenting Educator and Social Entrepreneur, Anisa Al Sharif is also a trained CTI Co-Active Coach and a Social Policy Expert. She is passionate about family issues, child development, and education.

The Founder of Tanshia, a social enterprise, and platform that promotes Conscious Parenting approaches and Child-Led Learning practices, she leads parenting support groups and other community-based initiatives.

On a personal level, Anisa is an enthusiastic reader. After her daughter was born, she grew special interest in Arabic children’s literature and Arabic content for children.

She holds a Masters degree in International Social Policy from Bath University in the UK, and a Bachelors degree in Economics from UAE University.

Many mothers feel although they give too much, they still sometimes feel guilty or not giving as much as they want. How do you think your son/daughter will describe you if we asked you as a mama?

Unfortunately, most parents experience the feeling of guilt no matter what they do. This is because of the pressure we face in competitive cultures and expectations from modern societies.

In truth, what children most need from their parents is a deep sense of connection and unconditional love. Years of misinformed research, especially in the behavioral sciences, left parents with tools that kept failing them. Parents are trapped in a vicious cycle of rewards and/or punishments, which trigger guilt and fear.

Like any other child, my daughter Jana thinks I’m the best mother in the world! That doesn’t mean that I am guilt-free all the time; I’m still trying to balance a million things and to work on my stressors and triggers. With practice and great support, I’m getting better at it.

Considering lives nowadays, parents are busy all the time, and are interrupted by many things around them, inspire us and tell us what’s considered a son/mama special time?

I love the ‘Special Time’ tool that Hand in Hand Parenting has developed. It offers a fresh perspective on ‘special time’. You can use even 10 minutes to create a deep sense of connection that will help your child throughout the day.

Choose a time when you can focus on your child 100% (no phone calls, and no side discussions with your partner or other kids). And then set an alarm; this is important so you aren’t the one who puts an end to Special Time, the alarm does that. The other important guideline is to let the child choose. We choose nearly everything for them and give them guidelines and instructions all day. During Special Time, it’s the child’s turn to be in charge while you follow his or her lead. So put your personal agenda aside, focus on your child completely, and enjoy!

Kids between 2-5 years old develop their own character. What is your best parenting/educational tip to other mothers considering our new tech-savvy generation?

I think children are born with their own characters; some scientists say they have distinctive characters even when they’re in the womb. We usually fail to notice until they are around 2 or 3 years old and they start expressing themselves. I think 90% of parenting challenges come from our own triggers and worries, so my tip is to work on your tensions and triggers. Notice what triggers you, and try to ask yourself questions like ‘Why am I upset by this behavior?’ or ‘Why can’t I stand this situation?’. These are good questions to start with, and they’ll help you become aware of the dynamics of your relationship with your child.

In my experience, this solves most parenting challenges. My second piece of advice is to make peace with crying and tantrums. As humans, these are natural tools that are built into our emotional systems to heal tension and stress. As parents, once we accept that, we can be there to listen, offer support and keep children safe during these tough times. Believe me, it works like magic! Most of the time, a child will find his or her own way to become calmer and more cooperative.
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