Epic Parenting – Bonding With Your Kids

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Haleh Banani

Channel: Haleh Banani

Topics: Parenting

Episode Notes

Sr. Haleh explains to us why it is so important for us to bond with our kids.

Episode Transcript

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Salam aleikum, welcome to the parenting class, I just wanted to let you know that I had canceled the class at the messenger. And I'm doing I'm coming to you from my home. Because I didn't get to announce the fact that the class is canceled, I wanted to make sure that I come on and give you some pointers. What we have here in the US is the winter break. And many people were not able to attend at the masjid. And that's why we decided to cancel the class. But for those of you who are tuning in from from all over, I thought that it would be the right thing to do to tune in, we'll do a shorter session, just a little reminder of how to bond with your kids, especially right now, since a lot of

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the kids are off during winter break. I think that one of the most important things that we can do as parents is put time and spend with our kids and really connect with them and have fun with them. Because many times As parents, we are so caught up with our work with the schedule with keeping up with everything that is around the house. And we overlook the most precious thing is giving time to our kids, no matter how much you provide for them financially, you no matter what schools, you put them in what you get them, there is nothing as precious. There's nothing as precious as, okay, someone's saying there's light on my I know I have a bright sun. So I hope this is better.

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Nothing as precious as spending just quality time with them and seeing how you can, how you can spend time with them in order to connect. So one of the things that we've been doing in our family that we've just started is, is doing some games playing games together. And I found that we have bonded on such a deeper level. One of my husband's friend, Baba ima, I don't know if y'all are familiar with him. But he came and visited us in in Dallas a couple of weeks ago. And he got our family some games, and we are just enjoying it so much. Because before, I used to think I used to think of board games as just monopoly and life. I mean, that's what I grew up with. And I who was in

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the mood to play a four hour Monopoly game I never was. So game boards just became about that. But he introduced us to some fun games, I wanted to share that with you. One of them is the game 49 Okay, 49 it's a great way of seeing each of your kids personalities, how they naturally come, how they naturally shine, and you get to see who is who is the one who's competitive, who is maybe a little bit more, a risk taker who likes to play it very safe. And I've actually gotten to know my kids on a totally different level since we started since we started playing. And so you can not only bond and have a good time, but you get to see your kids in action. And I think that's something that

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we don't always get a glimpse of, they're at school. They are, they're playing with their friends, we drop them off at their friend's house. So we don't really see how they're interacting how if they have good sportsmanship and that's like something that I really emphasize with my kids as we play this is the importance of having good sportsmanship where you, you have a good positive attitude you play fairly you are, you're kind to other people and it's it's nice to have that competitive nature, it's nice to want to win. That's you know, that's that's a great mentality, but you never do it at the cost of hurting other people or cheating or doing anything like that. So I you know, teaching

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good sports and sportsmanship while you're playing these games with them is a really nice idea. So that was 149. Another one he got us was Dr. Eureka. Okay, Dr. Eureka. It's really fun. It's a game I can show you.

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It's about coming up with patterns. Okay, coming up with patterns, you have these cool little cylinder like items with balls, and then you get a card. All right, and you have to make that pattern. And the first one who gets in and says Eureka, then that's the winner. Okay, so it's like it's a really fun, exciting game that you can play. Another one is imagine if this is a great way to get to get

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To know your family, because it will give you different scenarios and you have to vote secretly on who you think would be most likely, let's say the most likely to do so. And so and then all of you vote on the person. So it's a really fun thing to do with the family. This is a good one Jenga. And I can tell you, one of the things that it's helped me personally, is a way to unwind. And like, I'll tell you yesterday, I had a very long day of therapy session, it was all day back to back. And I went over to a friend's house, and we got together our kids, her kids, and we just we started playing these games, and I can't tell you how much fun I had. I mean, I was just having this.

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Just laughing from the bottom of my heart, like a little girl. And it was so therapeutic. It was great therapy. For me. The first one that you said was, the first game is 49. Okay, there was another really good one, but I don't remember the name. Eureka was the second one, then we have Jenga, okay, as you can tell, we play it a lot.

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And then imagine F, okay.

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So what it does is that it helps you to relax and helps you to really connect with your kids. So during this time, if you can really

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steer away from all the other activities that you usually do, maybe it's just I know, we used to just go, let's say to the movies or go to a picnic or something like that. But connecting on this level has such a profound impact on your relationship. And regardless of what your relationship is like, okay, someone is asking Dr. Eureka guys, Dr. Yuri.

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Regardless of what your relationship is, like, right now, you might be in a really bad place with your kids. Maybe you have a rebellious teenager, maybe you have a defiant toddler, or whatever it is, don't lose hope, don't get frustrated, don't feel like it's over. I give up. You know, our kids go through so many different stages. And I saw my kids evolve. From the time you know, let's say they were toddlers to when they were like 562 when they were in middle school and now high school now my eldest Mashallah is graduating, which I can't believe, and they keep evolving, they keep changing. And don't ever, ever give up hope. Okay, because I've worked with individuals who are kids

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have gone into like, really extreme and extreme problems, they have done some really horrible things upon a lot, they were misguided, whether it was getting involved with the wrong group, getting having bad friends, experimenting with all sorts of things, I won't go into it. Now I have, my kids are at home. So I got to be a little more selective with what I share. But, but by the moment, the parents, let's say, they started to do therapy, and they said, You know what, I am desperate. I don't know what to do. I feel like I've lost my child. And we start working, we start working on the relationship and we start making that connection, you know, I tell them back off, stop with Don't be

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the head on police at home, right? Stop pushing them away from the dean by being so let's say by being so strict, because a lot of times parents just see their role as simply, you know, telling them what is right and what is wrong, I just

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and they forget that there needs to be a fun factor. In case I tell them back off, spend time with them, enjoy their enjoy their company, and then you'll see that you'll finally connect with them and they will be they will be open to receiving advice from you. So as long as you are that person who is just

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you know, demanding them to do things. And you are you are what is it? You are criticizing them and you're correcting them as long as you're doing that. Then what's happening is that they just see you as someone distant. They don't open up to you, but you need to get into their hearts you need to penetrate into their hearts. I had one session just last week with a client of mine, her and her mother and and the mother very much alive very religious. She has a diary she spends she's dedicated her life to teaching people about the dean. daughter is extremely Mashallah Good girl has a good head on her shoulder. But you know what she complained about? She's like, you know, my mom, I feel

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like she's just she doesn't trust me. And there's this. There's this double standard between my brother and myself. How

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Have you all have experienced double standards between girls and boys? Right? That happens a lot, unfortunately, in the Muslim world, and you know, her brother can go stay out as late as he want, and she gets in trouble for just being like 1015 minutes late. So there was a little bit of this tension between her and her mom. And so when I did therapy, with the two of them, I asked for the mom to join in. Oh, I wish I could do the lectures in Arabic inshallah. inshallah soon.

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But, you know, I asked him to join in and when she joined then I was, I was telling her when was the last time you guys did something fun together? The mom looked at me like, fine. What are you talking about? I'm like, Yeah, when did you do something fun. And she just, she could not come up and the girl was this kind of, you know, she had really grown apart from her mom, because there was no connection. She her mom was a source of, you know, this is what you do. This is hot. This is hot. Um, this is Helen. And don't, don't, you know, don't mess up basically, and do well in school. That was that was her connection with her with her mom. And so when I told I go, why don't you guys do

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something fun together. And I go Why? And then they couldn't come up with anything. So I suggested go out go to a restaurant daughter love sushi. Mom is like, I don't like sushi. I go Just try it. You try something, cook, get adventurous. Do the things your your kids like, and that will create that bond. I go. When was the last time you guys went bowling together. And she was just like, oh my god, she was a little girl. I didn't think we could do that. So I said, Go for it, do it. And it just created that bond. And the daughter reported back to me is like, you know, and the mom said, we we haven't done this. She was very honest about us. Like I never made that a priority. I was just

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about get things done. And and the daughter reported back that by doing that, it just created a such a beautiful bond with her mom. It's like reconnecting and being able to just laugh, be able to laugh with your children is such a gift. It is such a gift. You know, I think we get so serious. We're so adamant about what needs to be done. As far as the religious rituals as far as the academics. And we're all like about, you know, structure. And sometimes we need to just kind of loosen up, and we need to have fun. And we need that your kids need to be able to see you as as a friend, someone that they can relate to. So I think I think that's a really important lesson. And if you could all take

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that time. And like I said, Don't lose heart No matter what stage you're at, with your relationship with your kids. It's never too late. It's really never too late. I see this all the time where I had one. One mother came in, and she had like a 16 year old daughter, who there was a lot of tension between them. And because the mom was the head on police, that's all she did was you know, oh, I don't like what you're wearing. This is not right. Don't say this, don't do that. And, and basically, this created this tension. And it got to a point that the daughter unfortunately said told her most like I hate you, mom. And so she was heartbroken. So when she came into therapy, she

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was just she was crying and she was heartbroken. Like, this is my little girl who, who we were used to just be so close to and now she's saying this night. So what some of the things that I got her to do was echo unit, all this pushing, you're going to push, push, push, you're going to push her off the cliff. If we imagine that as long as a cliff, and you keep saying this is wrong, this is wrong. And then you keep pushing, and they're eventually going to fall over the cliff. So you need to really embrace your kids, you need to make them feel you need to make them feel accepted. You need to make them feel that they can relax around you that you don't want to be the kind of parent that

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they're like, Oh my God, let me get away from them. Let me just there's such a pain. And I when I tell ask the teenagers, I tell them, you know, how do you spend time with your parents? They are like, well, all they do is lecture. That's it. When they think about their parents, it's all about life change. They need to think about you as Wow. Like mom is you know, she's she's cool. I can talk to her. She's fun. When they have that association, then they're going to open up they're going to listen to you. If they just see you as somebody barking out orders. They're they're going to tune you out. They're definitely going to tune you out. So with her. I got her to step you know to stop

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I'm going to see if the lighting is better like this.

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There we go.

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To stop being so strict with her connecting with her going out I told her praise

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Hurt, catch her doing good. So she was a very good athlete, and she had gone. She went to one of her sporting events, I said, you know, get her, get her flowers, treat her go out to lunch together. And she did all that. And it's upon a lot. As they worked on the relationship, it took a few months. But it was, I don't know what the occasion was. But the daughter baked her mama cake, gave her a card. And in the card, I said, Mom, you're my best friend. Like, how precious is that? How precious is it for your child to feel that connection, okay, and to feel that they can open up to that they feel that they can have fun with you. So this is the key is that we need to bond with them. And at

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whatever stage your kids are at, try to connect with and try to see what is it that they like one of the things I do with, with my son, I have like a house of

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teenagers, he's 14. And one of the ways I connect with him is we do a mother son, date that we go on. We go and play pool together. I'm not that great, but we just we know we go, we shoot pool. And then it's really fun and cool for him. And we connect that makes us have a deeper connection. And he looks forward to and I look forward to it. Because it's just a time when I can just focus all my attention on him. And I think making sure that you have that one on one time with your kids, where you are just enjoying them just enjoy them. No, it's not about giving them rules. It's not about criticizing, it's not about lecturing, it's just about having fun. So my message to you today is

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that for those of you who are off on the winter break, really try to connect with them try to have fun, try to do things that they want to do. You know, a lot of times parents just drive their kids from one maybe dinner party one lecture to another one message to another and they expect them to have a blast. And you need to ask them what do you want to do? What would you what would be an ideal day for you and i right and then and then just go out of your comfort zone a little bit something like the mall, it's like I don't like associate Well, okay, just Expand your horizon, go and get something that that is on the menu that you can eat because because delts feel like wow, mom is

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really trying to connect that is going out of his way to do something that that will make me have fun. So that's, you know, that is the advice inshallah and I, you know, I can be open up for a few questions. I can see if there's anything that let's see most challenging becomes encouraging for doing Salah on time, specially fetcher during the holidays. Okay, well, with fetcher, I think he definitely still need to have a reasonable time that they're going to bed because if they're going to bed really, really late, it is gonna be hard for anyone. So make sure that they're still going to bed at a reasonable time. And in the morning, like I was just getting my kids up for fetcher. One of

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the things I do, I never, I never threaten, I never scare them. A diet is just not effective. What I do is I just I samiha Mashallah, Allah has really blessed you, it was given you so much. And all it takes is like, two, three minutes, what five minutes maximum? I'm giving thanks. And then whenever I say I find that, that they, you know, they're more encouraged. So he needs to just encourage and give them lots of love lots of attention. Parenting is an art. Yes, it is. And it's the art that few people master. Let's see if there's anything else on son is 12 and is very into girls, how should I act?

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All right, what I would say is that it's good that he's into girls.

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Because I'm getting a lot of clients who have, you know, sexual identity crisis, unfortunately. So the fact that he's a boy and he's into girls, that's a good healthy thing, okay? Now, you have to just kind of teach what is appropriate, what is inappropriate, you have to teach the fact that there are certain things, certain acts that are reserved, to reserved with your spouse, and these acts are precious, and they're beautiful when it's done in marriage. So that's one of the things that I would recommend is that you can have crushes, you know, I talk to my kids about crushes, we've all had crushes, right? I mean, what kind of real have those talks with your kids don't portray yourself as

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like you'd never did.

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And never had these thoughts, right? I think when you're very open and honest with your kids, then they'll be able to be open to you. So we talk about crushes, and how it's very normal and healthy to have them but it's about not acting out on them, and not maybe

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sharing it with others. So these are things that you could tell him, what is it when having fun? My kids tend to slip into moments of disobedience in a minute, this slip into moments of disobedience and backtalk I think they try to test her boundaries. How do you balance? Okay? Well, you know, it's,

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it's important to always remind them if they step out of line and say, you know, we're having fun, but we always have to remain respectful. And when you remind them of being respectful, I think that's, that's really important that you very nicely, you don't have to give a lecture, you don't have to get angry, you don't have to get mad, but kind of remind them that we're having fun. And it's really important that we we still keep our respect. Okay, so is there any other questions about what can we do when there's a huge difference between values at home and at school?

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Okay, values at home at school, like, I grew up with that, because I went to I went to public schools all my life, and then, but at home, parents have, like totally different, you know, guidelines. And I think what really affected me growing up was my parents saying, to me that, you know, first of all, one thing they would always say, is, get the best of both worlds, right. So the qualities that Middle Eastern qualities, the culture, you know, grab that and cherish those good qualities. And then, at the same time, get the best qualities of you know, of the American culture and living here. And I think, I always put things through a filter. And that helps so much, because

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it wasn't just about like, Oh, this is me, this is my culture. And this all I'm going to be it was about, okay, well, this is great. I'm going to hold on to this, this is not so great. Of course, not with the dean, but I'm talking about cultural things. And then it was about looking at the American culture and saying, there's a lot of great things that I can adopt. And then some things that is just doesn't adhere to my, to my religion, to my beliefs, and my morals. So that really taught me to sift, sift through everything and select the best. And then and then you have to really teach them that you teach them confidence. Because if they're confident that was one of the things I'm really

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grateful for my parents is that they just made me feel very confident that I'm, I'm different. Yes, but I different in a special in a good way by and I think respecting yourself, then you don't want to just fit in. And so that's why I put so much emphasis in these classes on building self confidence. All right.

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Let's see if there's anything else.

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Can you answer my question? I don't know what your question was.

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How can we watch next lectures? The question and answers are on and then the lectures, they're going to be presented in sha Allah.

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Later on, I'm not sure exactly when someone says Sir, my son is 12. We talked about that. Anything else? The Muslim woman's club?

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to others. Okay. Let's see. Anything else? All right. What's your idea about when they are confused between differences between values at home? Oh, that. Yeah. So we I talked about that. You just talk about the consequences, right? consequences of behavior, anything that we are prohibited from doing is for our own good, right? So for instance, if

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if there's a railing, and you can't go beyond that point, as far your own good, right, so you don't fall and hurt yourself. So you have to see that all the rules that are there for us, is is there as a form of protection. And you talk about how when these people like when individuals choose a different pathway, what is the end result, the consequences? So it's really critical to discuss these things with your kids, not just to say, Listen to me, because I'm your mom. But listen to me, because what I'm saying has certain consequences that they are. I want you to learn these life lessons. If we don't have the patience to explain to our kids, the whys, then guess what? They're

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going to just be like, you know what, this is useless. If you can't give me a good answer, I'm not going to follow it. And that's the mindset of the kids these days that it's not enough for you to say, you know, do so and so they'll say why and say Because I said so they'll be like what is that? We have to give logical explanations, we have to be encouraging. And once you do that, then they're much more likely to to understand

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Specially, that we are going to be on winter break here and have more time to work on connecting and playing with our kids as I calaca You're welcome. That's why I thought this would be. This would be great. You know, just a reminder for all the parents, get off your own devices, get off the phone, get off the laptop, to the TV, and really connect because you know, sometimes, just the other night, I guess it was this past weekend. My kids were like, Can we have a movie night I said, let's let's play games instead. Okay, so initially, there were drawn towards the movie. And then when we played, we just were laughing and connecting on such a different level where in a movie, you're not really

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interacting, you're just sitting and watching. And, yeah, it could be fun, but it's not it's not the same thing. So So how do you organize our children's time after school and during vacation? Okay, well, you can put like the bare bare minimum bare minimum things that need to be done. For instance, for us, regardless of vacation throughout the year we do that with the Quran is like, you know, something that we, we have them do, they work with the chef overseas. And so whether we're traveling or we're at home, wherever it is, they have that time that they spent and reading the Koran. Another thing you can do is, for instance, limit the amount of time on PlayStation limited amount of time on

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on devices, it's not just like, okay, just do whatever you want, because that they need kids need structure. And I find that

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you know, I guess it was this past weekend, I saw that kids had been watching, they're on YouTube doing all that and I let them do that. Then after a while, I'm like, you know what, let's it's now time to read. And then my daughter was she was so engrossed in the reading when I came up with my Okay, it's time to go to sleep, she still wanted to read some more. So sometimes that's not their natural instinct to grab a book and maybe read it, maybe it is some kids are like that, and they love it. My son was always like that, but some other kids they need to be encouraged. But when you encourage them, you say okay, now this is the time to read, then what happens is that they get into

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it so you're you're requiring them to do these things. So set that you know set a kind of a flexible schedule, I wouldn't be so adamant they need downtime. Don't try to fill every minute with an activity or in a course you know, just allow your kids to have some downtime because I think that's very healthy psychologically. It's very healthy for them to come up with things to do other than electronics. And you know, play dates have your have their friends over meet up do do different things that will help you to bond Let me see if there's anything else my toddler is too much Allah when he is when is the best time for me to start teaching him Arabic? Oh, you know, with foreign

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language, you need to start immediately, immediately you just you know, you start, you need to choose they can kids can learn up to six languages, Mashallah, simultaneously, but the key is to teach them like one person does that one language because switching back and forth can kind of confuse them. So start talking to them now let's teach them the letters, the sounds, it's, I started immediately with with my kids and I talked to them and they got

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we had like three languages at home and I said, Well, either they're going to be very confused or smart. So they were able to they were able to learn you know, all three and they got exposed to it and because, you know, I spoke to my husband talk to them and then they were learning English at home. They they picked up all three and hamdulillah hamdulillah laughing with our children makes me so satisfied. It is it is wonderful.

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Okay, that's wonderful. You speak Farsi. kids start comparing between their siblings, you know, there's always going to be comparison is but you just have to do your best to just be To be fair, do your best to be fair with them because they do pick up on if there's double standards, they do pick up on the fact that you may favor one over another so do your share To be fair, and then I think they would compare less so I think that should do it for today. I am sorry that it is a shorter lesson but like I said I had cancelled it at domestic but I didn't feel like it was fair not to do the class at all since I didn't announce it, but inshallah that all of you get have

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