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No One Will Play With Me: Helping Your Child Make Friends

My usually bright, feisty, full of life, three year old boy was sullen, withdrawn and sad and it took me the better part of a week to figure out why he suddenly didn’t want to go to preschool any more.

“No one will play with me” he said with tears rolling down his cheeks…

He seems so sad and confused by this strange occurrence, he thought that going to preschool would mean lots of friends and people to play with.

My heart breaks a little for him, but I smile, because I know that going to preschool will mean lots of friends and people to play with, but it will take time to learn how to make friends, how to join in, and how to deal with the disappointment of being told ‘you can’t play’.
Children are not born innately knowing how to play together. Social play is a skill that develops over time and is dependent on a child’s age and stage of development.

Ways to Help Preschoolers Make Friends

1.  Don’t expect too much too soon
At around three years of age children are only just taking their very first steps in developing more social play. They most often engage in Parallel Play (see table below). At three to four years of age Associative Play develops and children begin to interact with each other during play, but only sometimes. They are slowly beginning to understand the concept of ‘friendship’ and wanting to play with others.

Expecting children at this stage to play complex, co-operative, social games without adult support is probably expecting too much.

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Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).