People come to parenting seminars/workshops/talks with different experiences, different perspectives and expectations. As much as possible, I try to create a safe environment during these sessions, so that people feel comfortable to voice their concerns and problems. My hope remains the same: even if I were not able to give a satisfying solution, there might be someone in the audience who could.
Timely and honest personal sharing of parents can really help other struggling parents come to terms with their challenges and help inject a sense of new hope, sometimes simply by virtue of acknowledging that the issue exists, and learning that other parents are facing the same thing, too. It’s a great feeling to be validated and to realise that you’re not alone. But this can only happen if more experienced parents are willing to step out of their comfort zone and see the benefit that can come out of their honest words.
Some days ago, Ahmad Fakhri and I presented the topic of “Teenagers & Smart Usage of Gadgets and Online Resources” at a public seminar. During the Questions & Answers Session, a father and mother of a teenager asked to share their experience with their seventeen-year-old son. This is what the father said:
“If something is not right, for example, your child is playing computer or Internet games a lot, it helps to investigate. When our son was about to sit for his college entrance exams, he was failing Math. One day I sat him down and we had a chat. I asked, ‘What’s the problem?’ My son said, ‘At school I can’t follow the lessons. I’m lost. I just don’t understand what the teacher is teaching … Home isn’t much better. . . I get scolded and criticized all the time … What else can I do? Playing games makes me feel powerful.’ That was the turning point for me and my wife. I took four days off. I sat my son down and I taught him Math. At the end of it, my son said he really enjoyed it. He had fun! And he passed his exam. Not only that, my wife and I asked him to forgive us, for the way we had been treating him. Our son went on to become a Dean’s List student at his university.”
When things are not working the way you want, it’s easy to point fingers and blame something or someone else. You blame your spouse (forgetting you’re half of the equation), the system, the child who keeps messing up his exams . . . the teachers, the school, the syllabus . . . But what good does it bring? Just investigate, face the facts, and see how things can be done differently.
Don’t assume your child is lazy. The real issues could be deeper. Be ready to change, even if it means doing something you’re not used to. Or you don’t feel comfortable to do, so long as it’s the right thing to do. Nothing will change if you keep doing the same things. Focus on creating synergy. One plus one is more than two. What you and your spouse can achieve together is way more than what each of you can achieve individually. If you are a single parent, see if you can ask for someone else’s help, an adult you can trust. Open up to your child’s teachers, for example. Never, ever give up.
Thought of The Moment
When things are at their worst, if we are patient and calm, the good will come. – Laura Callisen
Read the Malay article here: Strategi Seorang Bapa Ubah Anak Dalam Tempoh 4 Hari