Archive for January, 2010

Self Motivation

I attended an in-house Personal Knowledge Management Workshop on Wednesday.


It was an enriching experience since KM has always been one of my favourite topics. Plus KM is now one of the organization’s priorities, considering that we are moving into a knowledge-based economy + we are a university.


Anyway, during the introduction session, one of the participants discussed about self-motivation, which I think is worth sharing. How does he motivate himself at work? It starts when he moves out of the house to go to work. He rides a motorcycle, but he imagines that he is driving his dream car – maybe a C-Class Mercedes Benz, a 5-series BMW or once in a while, a Jaguar. He knows that this is completely out of reach, but he finds that just thinking about doing it motivates him greatly. And he can perform his best at work!


I wish I could do the same. I should try believing that what I am doing now is my dream job. But then again, my dream job is to be a stay-at-home-mom!   

Don’t think THAT will motivate me at work!


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Someone sent me an email today on raising children.


I am not sure who actually wrote the following words, but it had a great impact on me:

Children aren’t adults, don’t expect them to behave as though they are,

Children learn by doing, don’t expect to approve of everything they do,

Children are more likely to do as you do than to do as you say,

It is often less important for adults to control children’s behavior than to control their own,

Children react to anger; they respond to love and affection,

The pain you inflict on them will probably be inflicted on others.



Children aren’t adults, don’t expect them to behave as though they are.

 That is why, statements such as “Dah berapa kali cakap ni, tak kan tak faham-faham? Dah besar kan?” Actually, I personally think that those words come out too often from my mouth. I always have to keep reminding myself that they are just seven-year olds and they are still kids. Seriously, when either of us says that, the twins would sulk the whole day.


Children learn by doing, don’t expect to approve of everything they do.  

“Kenapa main air sabun ni?” “Kenapa bubuh cat dalam benda ni?” “Kenapa main tanah ni, nanti kotor baju!” “Duduk diam kejap tak boleh ke? Asyik melompat aje.” Kenapa this… and kenapa that. Seriously, I should learn to let them explore. Takpelah comot or kotor, as long as tak cedera. I guess this point also relates to the first sentence. I sometimes forget that they are kids, and thus expect them to think before they act. Kids don’t do that too often.


Children are more likely to do as you do than to do as you say. 

How true! “Kenapa kakak or adik buat macam ni??” (in an almost screaming voice) They would stare at your face for five seconds. “Hari tu, kakak Nampak abah dan mama buat benda sama. Kenapa kakak tak boleh?” Ouch. It is like a big slap on your face. I usually become speechless when such statements come out. We are our children’s role models, whether we like it or not! And as parents, we are forced into showing good behavior all the time!


But the one that really got to me was the last sentence: The pain you inflict on them will probably be inflicted on others, simply because children react to anger and respond to love and affection. Maybe it is correct when people say that children who were raised in a very ‘hard’ environment (i.e. selalu kena pukul dan marah) will end up doing the same to the people around them and especially their children.


Is that why there are so many ‘intolerable’ and ‘unbelievably atrocious’ incidents occurring around us?


I have read somewhere that a good parent would use 80% encouragement and only 20% punishment. And yes, it is because children react to anger and respond to love and affection.


My struggle to be a better parent continues to be my priority in life and my earlier posting on 10 Resolutions for Parents has been printed out nicely and pasted in my notebook (because I am becoming more forgetful by the day!)

Who says being a parent is easy?

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I am struggling to finish this book. No doubt, the topic is very interesting + it relates to my research area + the author is the guru of organizational culture + my supervisor has reminded me to finish this by end of this month. And yes, I can read through the pages quite quickly. The problem is; I have another 164 pages to digest AND get something out of it for my PhD.

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Sending the kids to Primary School was an experience I would cherish for the rest of my life.


A lot of friends warned me earlier that the parents would usually get more excited (and nervous) compared to the children themselves. I couldn’t agree more. I took four days off from work to be with them!


Alhamdulillah, the children adapted to the new routine quite easily – waking up at 6, praying fajr together, getting ready for school – well, no tantrums so far. They go to school with another friend of ours, who also sends his kid to the same school. I had planned to send them every morning, but the thought of rushing to work from Rapat Setia to Seri Iskandar in 30 minutes was just unbearable. Traffic appears to be quite bad in that area. And the kids come home from school after praying Zuhr in jemaah at school. My parents and another friend take turn to take the children home.


I am glad that they reach home by half past two, and do not have to attend Sekolah Agama Rakyat in the afternoon. At least they get some rest, ample time to revise and complete their homework, and most importantly some time to play and enjoy life.


And now that the kids are settled at school, I have to get back to my old routine – work and study. Ouch!


Anyway, I found this article, 10 Resolutions for Parents written by Brigitte Rozario on Parenthots and I think it is good to share. At least it reminds me that I need to continuously improve myself because it is not easy being a parent!


1) Spend more time with the children.

Your children will grow up fast and before you know it they’re going to university and then going abroad or moving out of the house. So, spend as much time as you can with them now while they still want you in their lives and want to spend time with you. This is where you build that parent-child bond which will hopefully last until you’re old.


2) Stop being kiasu (overly competitive).

It’s always good to be competitive but don’t overdo it. Your child’s happiness must always come first. Don’t force your child to keep going for more classes and activities just so you can brag about how well your child does at school or music or dance.


3) Take time to better communicate with the children, collectively and individually.

You need to listen to your children and spend time individually with them. They will remember it for the rest of their lives and this will strengthen your bond with them. If something is wrong or if you’re upset about something, calm down first before talking to your child and explaining how you feel and why you feel this way. Your child will sense if something is wrong in the family – if you and your husband are going through a rough patch or if you have money problems – so it’s best to explain it to him or her in the best and simplest way that you can.


4) Stop comparing your children to other people’s children.

Your children have their own strengths and weaknesses and should never be compared to other people’s kids. Remember how you hated it when your parents used to do that? So, don’t do that to your child. It’s okay if he’s really bad at Maths. He may have a heart of gold and isn’t that better that being brilliant at Maths?


5) Encourage the children in what they are passionate about even if you think it’s a waste of time.

Times have changed from when we were children. Today, our children are more interested in social networks and being in touch with their friends. It’s not necessarily a bad thing as we too network for work. What may seem like a trivial interest to you means the world to your child and nothing would please them more than seeing you take an interest in it. Would it hurt to show some support?


6) Stop beating yourself up if you make a mistake as a parent.

We all make mistakes in our lives on a daily basis. Parenting is not excluded. Nobody is perfect and there are no perfect parents so don’t beat yourself up over mistakes. Learn from your mistakes and move on. By doing that you demonstrate to your children how to deal with mistakes so that they too can apply the same attitude in their own lives.


7) Make time for your spouse.

This is ultra important. Happy parents make happy children. Your children feed off your energy. If the parents are warring, the children will know it (even if it’s a cold war). They will not feel happy being in a home where mum and dad are constantly bickering or if mum and dad are not talking to each other. Keep communicating and spending time with your spouse so that your kids and your spouse will be happy and this makes for a happy family with a strong bond.


8) Stop farming out parenting to the maid and / or babysitter.

The maid and the babysitter have roles. Their job might be to clean house and keep an eye on your children but draw the line at the maid taking care of your sick child who needs you at night or making the babysitter comfort your child. They can be there for temporary help and support but ultimately your child should come to you when they need help, are in trouble or just want a hug. You do not want to have your child running to the maid instead of you when they hurt themselves.


9) Get healthy.

It’s time to stop smoking, cut down on sugar and stop drinking. If you don’t care about your health, think about your children. They need and deserve healthy parents who will be around to watch them get married and have children of their own. Plus, you don’t want to expose them to the risk of getting cancer because they’ve had to breathe in the smoke from your cigarettes. Make them get healthy too by cutting down on the sweets and chocolates and getting to eat more vegetables and fruits. A healthy family is a happy family.


10) Have fun.

 Parenting should not be all serious and by the book. Learn to laugh at yourself and your mistakes and have fun with parenting. Be creative in bringing up your child. Remember, you are building a bond with your child and you want your child to have happy memories of their childhood, so don’t always be the strict disciplinarian. Have fun when you can.

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Aktiviti Awal Tahun

Welcome, 2010.


I celebrated the first day of 2010 at the surau, cooking Bubur Asyura with the members of the newly-established women’s arm of the Society for the Welfare of Halaman Meru Permai Residents.


It was interesting how they worked so well in teams, and how they really live up to the ‘gotong royong’ concept. The ladies had actually prepared the ingredients from home, so that when they got there, the men could start cooking immediately.


Even the kids had fun. Seronok, kata mereka.


Meanwhile, we have been busy preparing the twins for school. Alhamdulillah, we have mentally prepared ourselves that the expenses will be double since they are twins – so we didn’t feel too bad about the whole thing. The kids have been so excited about school as well. Anyway, we will be sending the twins to a private Islamic school in Ipoh, Sekolah Rendah Al Hidayah at Rapat Setia which is one of the schools under the Musleh group. The Musleh group has another 19 primary and 13 secondary schools all over Malaysia including the famous Al Amin in Gombak.


The school organized an orientation day for the students and parents yesterday, 2 January 2010. There were three sessions – one by the principal on general rules at school, one by the principal of the secondary school on the philosophy of the school and another one by the vice principal for tarbiyyah on Sistem Pentaksiran Pelajar Musleh (SPPM). Basically, in a nutshell, SPPM is a tarbiyyah process whereby each student will be evaluated by the parents, teachers and their own self on three different constructs – family values (kekeluargaan), accountability (amanah) and solat. SPPM, when combined with the Islamic Education Philosophy and National Education Philosophy aims to nurture, develop and produce ‘insan rabbani’ who are knowledgeable, virtuous and with strong iman who are capable of making a difference in the community and in the country. More details can be found at its webpage, www.musleh.edu.my


The parents were also reminded that we are our children’s role model – so before you tell your child to do something good, make sure that you are the first to do it, especially when it comes to performing your solat on time (and not 10 minutes before towards the end!)

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