By Sakina S. Dossaji
My son, Moiz Shabbir Dossaji, will be 18 this year. When he was a small child he used to cry frightfully in his dreams. We would rush him to the doctor thinking he has tummy ache or his legs were paining but it never was the case.
When my daughter was born, he was one and half yrs old.
In my post natal period, I used to be in the other room with my daughter and one day as his dad bid me goodnight, he parted to the other room with these words, ‘ Naqiyah is yours and I am my father’s.’
I don’t know what was running through his little mind. He would hardly come to me for anything, he would just be by his father all the time. The crying at night continued.
After a year or so I tried my best to give him more attention too and he got the idea parents are a set of 2 and not one. 😃
I was a very strict parent, I realize that now, being a teacher.
I was working and managing the house at the same time and it was hard for me, coping with everything together.
In the middle of the night he would start crying and used to have such a frightened look that we would be very scared of the unknown that was disturbing him.
Sometimes as I sat by his bed after bedtime stories with lights out he would stare at my big eyes and started fearing me! I used to ask him what is wrong baby? I am your mother. What makes you scared of me?
Some said his cries were a result of witchcraft, some said he needed medicine. I did not seek for any help for I was certain that something was troubling him inside.
It was then one fine day in Mombasa when my sister in law, Tasneem Adnan Kapacee introduced me to the concept of ‘sleep talking’ to your child.
At first it sounded peculiar. But the idea also intrigued me.
She told me our subconscious picks up things from around us.
So whenever he would go to sleep, I would stroke his hair and tell him how much I loved him.
And also in his waking hours, I changed my behavior with him. I started giving him more attention and love and made my rules a bit flexible. I also introduced a game whereby if they cleared up their toys they would earn points and so on instead of hitting the roof.
I think he was 6 or 7 then.
It didn’t take me long… Within 2 weeks it transformed him completely. I would talk to him while he was asleep and gradually he stopped crying completely. When I told Tasneem about it she was very happy to hear.
This same kind of ‘treating with love’ method built a very strong relationship between us, mother and son.
I only had to tell him to do this and he did it. Without nagging, he listened to independent learning methods and he achieved a lot by doing that. He took up talents like keyboard playing, social services gleefully.
When he was a little boy I would ask him ‘did u score a goal today?’ Upon his ‘no’ I would be very sad and the next time he would make sure he scored a goal and I would happily celebrate with a triumphant cheer..call me crazy but that was my style of developing his self confidence and making him believe in himself that he can achieve whatever he set his heart and mind to.
Today, he is a good footballer and I still ask him ‘how many goals son?’
My love for him is so deep, naturally, and everyone including my other 2 kids think that he is the apple of my eye. Had I not altered my previous relation, my boy would not be where he is today. He is studying Business Management. And yes, he is the sunshine of my life.
Sakina S. Dossaji is born and raised in Mombasa, Kenya. Currently residing in Tanga, Tanzania with her husband and 3 children. A teacher by profession, and a poetess by passion, she loves to write articles, stories, poetry and conduct activity clubs for kids for ‘Kids Curiousity Club’. She acquired her literature skills at Agakhan High School, Mombasa and inherited mostly from her father whose passion lies in writing English song lyrics, poems, articles and creating crossword puzzles. Reading is her favourite pastime.