DR HARLINA'S SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tips no. 1 - 50
I am a blessed mother of three beautiful children since 1993 & thousands more medical students since 1997. I started writing these tips as FB page entry since June 29th, 2011. If you can benefit from these, let's share them with as many parents out there.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no.1 - Strive to be the best role model to your children. Make them proud of you first before you can expect them to make you proud. How about asking this question to your adolescent kids today : ` Have I ever made you proud, son/daughter?' Reflect on the answer, if you're gonna get one.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no.2 - Display your commitment, affection and love for each other (as parents & couple) for your children to see. Put on your best smiles the moment you step into the house, no matter how bad things are at work. Make your home as the sanctuary & heaven on earth for the kids. Keep it warm & cozy with your prayers and unconditional love for everyone.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 3 - Avoid degrading or talking bad about your spouse in front of the children. Remember, it is their father/mother you're complaining about. Don't try to win them over & make them go against your spouse. That's not win-lose, in fact, it is definitely a lose-lose!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 4 - Appreciate every single deed and help you received from your children. Thank them, praise them - loud and clear for everybody to hear. Put on your best smile while thanking them. You have just made up their day
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 5 - Practice what you preach. But don't preach every time you talk to the children. It might sound like a good sermon to you, but to them, it is simply a nag! Don't ever begin your sentence with ` When I was your age,..'. If you do, just watch their eyes rolling up & their ears turning deaf.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 6 - Provide spiritual guide to your children - they need the framework & structure. Never neglect spirituality in everything you do. Pray together as much as you could. Read the Quran and reflect on its meaning. Convince them, spiritual health is as important (if not more) as physical, mental & emotional health.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 7 - Apologize for your mistakes and shortcomings, tho' sorry is the hardest word, esp. for parents. We can be wrong too. The children need to be reminded that they're being raised by HUMAN BEINGS, not angels. Try hard not to repeat the mistakes. This might be the most difficult tip to practise!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 8 - Allow some space for your adolescents to make decisions and guide them from there. Trust them. Who else will if not you, the parent who raised them up! Don't doubt your parenting. Avoid suffocating them with your over-protectiveness. Let them learn from their mistakes.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no 9 - Introduce your children to your friends/colleagues. Exhibit how much you appreciate them & proud to be associated with them. Only then you could expect your kids to introduced their friends to you!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 10 - Learn about your children's love languages. Each has a different, dominant type, tho' they might come from the same womb. Manage the diversity. Adapt the best parenting method for each of them. Get feedback - that's the only way to improve.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 11 - Thank Allah everyday for selecting you, of all the parents in the world, to be THE parent to these beautiful children. Feel honoured by the privileges of being a parent. Enjoy your parenthood - despite the hardship, pain, worries and sleepless nights (not mentioning the big bucks). Cherish your role - show how much you love being a parent!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 12 - Treasure your own parents, and let the children realize how much you love them. Visit their graves (if they are no longer alive) & tell the children amazing stories about their deceased grandparents. If they're still alive, allow the children to spend their holidays together. Allow grandparents to occupy a special place in the children's hearts & lives.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 13 - Involve the children in making plans for the family - renovating the house, buying a new car, selecting gifts etc. Best time to teach them about family value & traditions. Let them suggest, however indicate who's the boss. Be fair, sporting and reasonable - this is when the children learn the rules of the game.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 14 - Instill love for books & knowledge into your children's lives. Hang around in bookshops & never miss the annual book fair. Being digital natives, introduce them to e-books, digital readers & tablets. Read together as a family. You're enriching them with a legacy.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 15 - Be fair in showing off your affection to each of your children. Deal with sibling rivalry - do not just ignore it. Make time to understand the dynamics, address the dissatisfaction, attend to each complaint. Put yourself in their shoes - they always see things differently!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 16 - Learn to say NO to your children, esp. on matters of principles. Do not compromise your values to accommodate their demands. Provide guidance, framework & structure. They need those to lead a successful & meaningful future.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 17 - Avoid calling your children `problematic' - esp when you can't handle them. Let's rephrase - they are children with `difficulties' - varying degrees, of course. Some quite trivial, some really massive! They need your help & assistance. Do not give up or abandon them now!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 18 - Support each other in your parenting process. Display solidarity, restrain from open contradiction on parenting styles. Kids tend to be manipulative if they know you both have disagreement. Single parents, engage others (family, close friends) to support you. You shouldn't shoulder these duties alone!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 19 - Instill sense of belonging among your children. Train the young ones to respect the elder siblings, vice versa. Keep them closely knitted.Treat them equally, avoid favoritism. Express unconditional love. Everyone matters & has a special, dedicated place in everybody's heart.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 20 - Befriend your adolescent kids - if possible be their best friend . Avoid being their worst enemy. No doubt parenting adolescents can be most challenging, but they're also facing the most difficult phase of their lives. Friends are not judgmental, loyal and keep secrets well, while enemies despise & couldn't stand one another.Which one is you?
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 21 - Respond appropriately when others complained about your children's misbehavior/misconduct. Do not take it personally. Do not stage war or threaten to take legal action against the complainant before investigating thoroughly. It takes the whole world (not just a village) to raise a child these days.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 22 - Make time to read the Quran together with your children, especially the adolescents. Ponder on the translation. Help each other to memorize some parts of the Quran. Each child should have his/her own Quran (+ translation) hardcopy, besides a mobile phone @ laptop!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 23 - Raise your boys to be caring, thoughtful and responsible men. Never humiliate them in front of others, esp the siblings. Be a good listener and mind-reader. Listen to his silence. Read his body languages. Your teenage boy is sending out a message : SOS, help me survive this rapids of adolescence! Anybody listening out there?
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 24 - Engage in intellectual discussion with your spouse - on issues of environment, politics, socio-economics. Include the children in the discourse, get their opinions. Avoid gossiping about the neighbours/artists/politicians. Stop quarelling over petty matters. Enlighten your home with rays of wisdom and virtues.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 25 - Play with your toddlers ( below five years) - that was what Saidina Ali ra proposed. Dads, carry them over your shoulders - give them the chance to see the world from where you stand. Rasulullah SAW did that to his grandsons. The child psychologists agreed that is the best way to carry your toddler!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 26 - Pay attention to your adolescent girl. She really wanna know whether she inherits your beauty, Mum! She desperately needs to know whether you think she's pretty and presentable, Dad! Assure her that in your eyes - she is the most beautiful and charming. She needs that affirmation to face the world of fake beauty outside!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 27 - Discipline your children (esp those between 7-12 years of age) with love. Sound familiar,eh? How can that be possible? If you really love them, train your children with discipline, self-restraint and strong will. Instill consistency and high standard of self-management. Unfortunately, it all has to start with you first!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 28 - Watch your children sleeping. See how innocent and peaceful they are! Thank Allah for trusting you to look after His beautiful, tender creatures. Promise Allah that you will seriously take good care of them. Keep to your promise - never ever forget that!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 29 - Listen to your children. I really mean it. LISTEN to their stories, laugh at their jokes and answer their questions. Give your undivided attention if they need you to listen to their worries, complaints etc. Look into their eyes. Once they're assured that you care enough for them, they are ready to face ANY challenges out there!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 30 - Groom your children with good manners - train them to say`Please', `Thank you', `Excuse me' etc. Teach them the right body language, facial expression and voice intonation that goes along with those pleasant words. Explain what rudeness means, make them aware of social norms & cultural values surrounding them.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 31 - Learn to manage and handle diversity efficiently - your children are different eventho' they might be coming out from the same womb. Learn their likes & dislikes, strengths & shortcomings. Remember what John Gray wrote about ` Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, Children are from Heaven, Living together on Earth!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 32 - Make effort to reach home before the children go to bed. Spend time to listen to what they did at school today, look at their drawings & masterpiece. Do not ever forget to wear your smiles. Tell how glad you are to be safely home with them. Remember, the kids spell l.o.v.e with T.I.M.E!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 33 - Bring your children to your office sometimes (of course, only if your employer permits). Let them see where you sit, rest, pray & eat in the office and what decorates your room/table/cubicle. Introduce them to your colleagues. Explain in simple terms what exactly your role & contribution in the organization. Show them the organizational chart. This is another important part of your life that they need to know & share. This is where your paycheck comes from. Remind them that you don't simply pluck money from the trees.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 34 - Teach your kids about principles of life such as honesty is the best policy, respecting others, be thankful & grateful to those who have helped etc. Principles remain to be the virtues of life. Train your children to keep to their promises, to be truthful and to accomplish what is expected from them. Lead a principle-centered life every day.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 35 - Be consistent in disciplining your children. Be confident with your ability to do so. Explain why such rules & regulations are necessary. Do not easily succumb to their `manipulations' & `emotional blackmail'. Keep reminding yourself, the children need structure & framework, esp between age 7 to 13. Do not reserve it to later years of adolescence. It will be too late by then!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 36 - Pluck some courage to ask your teenage children this question : ` Are you proud of me being your parent?' If you are fortunate enough to receive an answer, ask the next question : ` Exactly what is the main reason that made you proud/not proud of me?' Listen to the answers, listen real hard. We definitely need appraisal on our performance & competence as parents too!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 37 - Make sure you are ten steps ahead of your children in everything. Equip yourself with the latest update on their favourite websites, music, sports, games, movies, actors & singers. Conduct your own research. Learn about the latest gadget in town. The best way to be updated is by showing some interest & asking the kids themselves. Who knows, they might finally accept your to be their FB friend and stop rejecting each time your sent your request!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 38 - Train your children to comply to the Quranic teachings. Teach them about verse 23 & 24, Surah Al-Isra' (Chapter 17) before it's too late. Allah wants them to be respectful & kind in their conducts towards you. They must not raise their voice while talking to you or dismiss you by simply saying ; Ahh! They must choose the best words in conversations with you. They must never forget to pray for you. As liberal & friendly as you are as a parent, stick to this principle!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 39 - Do not allow your love for the children blind you. Your deep love must be translated to a genuine concern to shape the kids into caring & responsible individuals for the future. Be wise enough to manoeuvre your parenting skills - knowing when to let go & restrain. Be kind and considerate & make sure you are always in control, since you're the boss!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 40 - Show interest in your child's close friends. Invite them to your house for sleepovers. Get to know their parents too. You can discover a bit more about your child by the friends that he/she chooses. Have a heart-to-heart discussion with your child if you disapprove any of his/her friends. Keep checking on their activities. Let your child know that you really care!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 41 - Love your children unconditionally. Do not practise favouritism. Be generous with compliments & rewards. At the same time, be consistent and persistent in instilling values. Be fair and just in your punishments. Remind them time and again, how much you need them to cooperate. At the end, you never expect compensation for your sweats & tears in raising up those beautiful children!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 42 - Pray to Allah for assistance and strength in carrying out your duties as parents. If you're adopting a child into your family, pray that he/she will add more blessings and colours to your everyday life. Ask Allah SWT to open your heart so that you can accommodate as many children in it - not only meant for your own flesh & blood.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 43 - Avoid humiliating and degrading your child in front of others, esp. his/her own siblings & friends. Your child would not be able to withstand the pain & bitterness of constant embarrassment. He/She is going to need lot of help with his/her self-confidence & acceptance. There must be a better humane way to boost up or motivate your child.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 44 - Acknowledge the A's in your child's report card before focusing on the B's, C's, D's & E's. Appreciate his/her effort. If you feel that he/she was not trying hard enough, it's time for a one-on-one / heart-to-heart talk. Work out some plan for the holiday. But make sure, do not overburden them. Give them space to learn according to their own paces.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 45 - Always be there for your children. Be the strong pillar for them to lean on to. Lend them your shoulder for them to cry on. Put your arms around them to provide the warmth they desperately need in this cold, icy competitive world. Do not abandon or ignore them now- physically, emotionally & spiritually. Never ever give up on them!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 46 - Win your children's hearts by learning the skills on how to make them feel special. Your kids do not need much actually. Learn their love languages & express your love through those means. Be generous with your rewards. However be smart enough to decide on the right achievement, time, place and situation before rewarding the best acknowledgement to that particular child. Experience counts here!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 47 - Be well reminded that you do not OWN your children. They do not belonged to you, even though you might be the one contributing the sperm/ovum and allowing them grow in your uterus! They're Allah's special packages of love, care, misery, discomfort, anxiety, joy and sorrow. Allah sent them to groom you to be a better person. Handle them with a lot of care, trust and honour!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 48 - Keep improving yourself to be a better parent. We're still learning each day. Let your children see how committed you are in bringing them up to be good individuals. Make them realize that you will never give up and will go on trying. Don't forget to ask them to pray for Allah's guidance on you. We definitely need all the help we could get here!
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 49 - Prepare your children to face this life without your presence. Remind them that death is inevitable. It's either they have to see you departing from this world, or it is you who have to face their deaths, which ever comes first! Besides your life saving & insurance, leave behind a legacy for the children to emulate, cherish and treasure.Pray hard for Allah's guidance to your children, especially when you're no longer around.
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARENTS : Tip no. 50 - Raise your children with the best methods you know how. Stay committed to your parenting responsibilities. Keep on learning new parenting techniques suitable for the new generations of parents & children. Bear the heartaches and deep cuts, lost opportunities and time constraints. When you witness how well your children adapt and survive their life challenges, do not ever forget to thank Allah SWT! Simply give your best to this very rewarding job called PARENTING!