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Archive for the ‘Raising Children’ Category

After much discussion, we decided to send the kids for swimming lessons.


My boss introduced me to the instructor(s) – there is actually two of them, a male and a female – and the classes run on Sundays from 9.00 till 10.30 at Ipoh’s Public Swimming Pool.


I was quite surprised because both of them were a bit hesitant to go for the classes – takut mati lemas lah, takut cikgu garang lah – all kinds of reasons. So we reassured them, and told them that everything will be alright.


And just as expected. Within 10 minutes, they were already enjoying themselves and laughing at each other because the instructor was teaching them how to properly breathe in the water.


After some time, mom and I felt hungry so we decided to join dad and husband, who were enjoying themselves over breakfast across the road with my boss’ husband. We came back slightly after 10.30 and by the time we got to the pool, kakak was already crying while my boss’ husband was trying to console her. Kakak got really upset because we left although earlier, she said “takpe mak, pergilah makan.. “


It took me some time to console her, but all in all, I am glad they had fun and they are now looking forward to next Sunday!.


Once in awhile, when I really think about my kids’ behavior, I cannot help but agree with the opinion that the first twin that comes out is actually the adik. Orang tua-tua kata kakak mengalah, so kakak would let adik come out first. Syakirah, who came out one minute before Syahirah – is a typical adik – who would cry for no reason, always wanting to be hugged, and consoled, and kissed – manja! But Syahirah, who is the younger twin by birth – is much more independent and matured. Maybe, it is true that Syahirah is the kakak!.

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Sports Day

It was Sekolah Rendah Al Hidayah’s 21st Sports Day on Saturday. 

My kids got extremely over-excited for the past few days, especially since the rehearsals and training were conducted for one whole week. I then realized why they got so excited – the Karate Do Club, Silat and Basic Self-Defense groups had performances during the opening ceremony! No wonder they have been kicking and punching each other at home!

 

Anyway, there were only 3 major events on Saturday since all track (athletic) events were completed on Friday – i.e. telematch for Year 1, 2 and 3. My twins were in the same house – yellow house – and they won first prize for the Year 1 telematch. However, the yellow house scored lowest overall – so the kids got pretty upset about it. They have been practicing their house anthem for the whole week! 

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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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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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PASTI Kawasan Tambun held its Hari Anugerah Kecemerlangan on Saturday, 14 November 2009 at Dewan MKLand Klebang Restu.


The event involved 14 PASTIs which are directly under the purview of PASTI Kawasan Tambun, and the structure is more or less similar to that of PAS Kawasan Tambun. As per previous years, another event will be held at the school level, usually on the last day of school.


The guest of honor was Timbalan Pengarah PASTI Malaysia, Encik Syazwan. Yang Dipertua PAS Tambun, Dr Khairuddin was also there, plus the Bendahari and Setiausaha. Pengerusi PASTI Tambun, En. Hadhri was the Chairman of the Organizing Committee.


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Anyway, awards were given to the top three students from every PASTI (both 5 and 6 year-olds). Adik also received an additional award, Anugerah Sahsiah Terbaik for PASTI Tambun. There were also performances from the students – and PASTI Taman Meru did some nasyids (kakak was the lead singer!)

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Alhamdulillah, the kids enjoyed themselves, and more importantly, they were motivated to work harder in the future!


I am thankful for the tarbiyyah provided by the teachers at PASTI. Despite the lack of funds, and not so state-of-the-art facilities, the students were given a strong foundation on Islam. As parents, we need to continue the tarbiyyah and monitor the kids continuously so that they practice what they have learnt at school.


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What a hectic week it was!

 

Since Abang had to work for 12 hours from 8 in the morning to 8 p.m. last week, I decided to stay at the library and wait for him (of course with my parents’ consent since my kids stay with them during the day). Alhamdulillah, I managed to complete some literature review that has been due for quite some time. My supervisor has indicated that he wants to see me mid-Nov, which means it is next week!

 

Anyway, work was pretty challenging last week too. Heaps of documentation and drafting to do, and of course, attending meetings that never seem to end. And plus, the excitement over MB Nizar’s appeal to the Federal Court on Thursday which had to be postponed to a later date after the submissions from Nizar’s lawyers ended at about 6.00 p.m. Traveling to KLCC on Friday for a meeting completed the working week (which was made better because I went shopping at KLCC).

 

When I got home, there was a bigger problem.

 

My kids received their report cards on that same Friday.

 

Actually, when I heard the news, I was already over the moon. Overjoyed. Adik got first in class, while Kakak got second.

 

IMG_6374-crop

 

But of course, mom told me that kakak, being kakak… cried like almost forever when she got home from school. Why do I have to be second? Why must adik be cleverer? Why did she score better when I worked so hard? Why must I be stupid?

 

And I thought… how do I explain to a 6-year old that this is all takdir??

 

Aduh lah…

 

So when they came to fetch me at Megoplex (since my friend dropped me off there), I had a tough time trying to console her. I wanted to tell her that she too, is clever and that she would have to try harder next year but then I decided to just keep quiet and hold kakak. Imagine if the situation was reversed in the future, would I then have to tell the other twin the same thing?

 

Alhamdulillah, kakak sort of got through it by Sunday. Of course she kept repeating how unwise she is, but we managed to make her forget and tell her that she is actually doing well, and that this is all takdir.

 

Actually, I don’t even remember having exams in kindergarten. Seriously. It worries me the ways kids are tortured with examinations at that very young age!

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