Monday, September 9, 2013

Smart Parenting

Recently, I came across this article in the NST online. It was written by Mr Zaid Mohamad, the founder of smartparents .com.my. 

Do take a look at it , and read it until the end...Tell me how do you feel after reading the whole article. HAPPY, SAD...?

When we think we have time


Recently I took my youngest son, Adam, for a haircut. He is eight years old and dislikes going to a barber as he prefers Mummy to do it.  I persuaded him to join me for the trip by saying that he is now a big boy and besides, a professional haircut would make him more handsome.

He reluctantly agreed but went through the process without any problem. After the cut, I was impressed at how neat and nice he looked. So I gave him a spontaneous compliment, "Wow Adam. You look so cute!" His response was not what I expected. He was not very happy with the comment. I then probed, "Why, you are not cute anymore?" His candid reply: "I know I am still cute, but please don't call me that anymore!"

That comment left me smiling. But it also reminded me of how fast he had grown up. Being the youngest, he had always been "a baby" in our family. Apparently he began to feel uncomfortable with the status and tried to move on to another phase of life.




Adam is not alone. It is quite common for kid this age to start being independent.  They may also begin to feel uncomfortable when treated like a little person. Parents may find them reluctant to be hugged and kissed especially in public. However, this does not mean that they are loving us less.  It just means that they want to be treated like a bigger boy or girl.

This forms a great reminder to all of us parents. First of all, it is not unusual to wish that our kids will never grow bigger.  Many parents want their little angel to stay nice and cute forever. This is because their little ones provide an endless source of entetainment, funny and memorable moments during their growing up years.  They will never resist us when we want to give that quick hug or a peck on the cheek.  

Because of this, parents may sometime feel that they have all the time in the world.  They sometimes postpone spending time with the kids because they will do it some other time. Many spend a disproportionate amount of time at work thinking that there will be a break coming soon.


The days turn into weeks and months but the break never comes. On the contrary, we are getting busier than ever as our careers or businesses flourishes and grows.  In the meantime, our kids at home are also growing at a faster rate.  They no longer like to be hugged, cuddled or called cute.  



When that happens, the parents would have lost a significant amount of parenting joy.  There's no amount of money that can pay back the lost time.  

Looking back, there really isn,t that much time.  Try to look back at your kids' photo album and you will know what I mean.  Once our young ones go to school, we will be missing the days when they fell asleep on our chest.  We will wish that we have just one more night to bathe them, put them clothes and read them a bedtime story.  Now that they are busy with their school work and activities, we will be wishing for some quiet time just to have a decent meal together.

Talk to any parents with grown up kids, they will tell you a thousand more memorable stories.  Chances are, they would no longer complain about the hardship; in fact, many would not want to do it any other way.  

These hindsights form the valuable learning we can fast forward to our situation today.  Stop complaining about our kids' antics because it will be for only a short time.  Never miss another dinner together because many necessary distractions will be coming soon. Stop pondering about whether to take that holiday; just pack and go instead.


The time is shorter than we think. We only have about five years to hold and cuddle them before they politely push us away.  The next seven years will be spent in primary schools.  The teenage years will be even worse. Many teenagers would prefer to spend time on their own or with friends instead.  

As it is, time do fly indeed. One of the best measure of how much our kids have grown is to see how easy it is now to hug and kiss them, as their heights are catching up fast!

Let's not waste any more days not doing things together. Stop holding life and love because things will never be the same once today is gone. Take that break and go on that vacation. Read that book and play that game with them. Laugh at their jokes and feel the stresses melting while the bond renewing.

Don't worry about putting work on hold because time with the family is much more limited.  It will be a time well spent because we don't really have much of them.


"Duit, kalau hilang, boleh dicari, diganti bila-bila waktu. Kita cuma perlu lebih usaha. Kasih sayang kalau hilang, kalaupun datang semula, tidak akan sama dengan yang asal..."

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