Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Only 24pct of M’sian parents check content of children’s gadgets: Survey

Sunday, January 21st, 2018
Less than a quarter of Malaysian parents check the content of their children’s electronic devices, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim revealed on Saturday. (File pix)

KUALA LUMPUR: Less than a quarter of Malaysian parents check the content of their children’s electronic devices, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim revealed on Saturday.

The worrying finding, for children aged between 3 and 17, was revealed by a survey of 1,165 parents who attended programmes carried out during the 1Malaysia National Family Month in November.

“Nearly 80 per cent of parents… allow their children to own and use electronic gadgets.

“However, only 15.1 per cent of them prohibit the use of gadgets if their children commit an offence (such as perusing forbidden content),” Rohani said.

The survey also found that only 48 per cent of parents limit the time their children spend on gadgets; while 3.7 per cent do not monitor their children’s online activities at all.


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Code of ethics for parents need to be implemented soon – NUTP

Friday, October 6th, 2017
The National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) wants the Education Ministry (MOE) to immediately implement a code of ethics for parents to protect teachers as well as to maintain harmonious relationship between both parties. NSTP file pic

KANGAR: The National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) wants the Education Ministry (MOE) to immediately implement a code of ethics for parents to protect teachers as well as to maintain harmonious relationship between both parties.

Its president Kamarozaman Abd Razak said the code of ethics for parents would also ensure that the teachers’ dignity and emotion would not be adversely affected by the stress caused by parents’ displeasure on things they were dissatisfied with.

“NUTP submitted a proposal to MOE a year ago but until now there was no development. Therefore, we have to take proactive action similar as the ones implemented by developed countries, and not scrambling to address the issue only after a mishap occurred,” he said.

He said this when met by reporters after the launch of CDERT-NUTP and the conferment of the rank of affiliate officers of CDERT (Civil Defence Response Team)-NUTP by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim here last night.

Kamarozman said the NUTP would take proactive action by obtaining feedback from parents, non-governmental organisations and to discuss the code of ethics with lawyers before submitting the proposal to MOE.

“A majority of cases involving parents attacking teachers occurred in the urban area. Although the numbers have yet to reach alarming level, they still affected the teachers and if not contained, it can spread to wider areas and ultimately causing discord between teachers and parents,” he said.

On the upcoming 2018 Budget, he appealed to the government to increase the allocation for schools, as many of them, especially in rural areas are mainly of old buildings, the majority are more than 20 or 30 years old, and they need to be immediately maintained or repaired to ensure the safety of students and teachers.

“In efforts to implement the transformation and to create quality human capital, education is very important,” he said, adding that the RM600 million allocation for the maintenance of 10,600 schools nationwide, tabled in the 2017 Budget, was inadequate.


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Code of ethics for parents needed, says NUTP.

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

PUTRAJAYA: The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) is urging the Education and Women, Family and Community Development Ministries to come up with a code of ethics for parents.

Referring to disciplinary issues in schools, NUTP president Kamarozaman Abd Razak said it was important for parents to cooperate with schools to ensure a harmonious relationship.

“Parents must behave professionally. There have been too many incidences of parents attacking teachers as they believe everything their children tell them.

“A code of ethics for parents must be implemented by the two ministries,” he told reporters after the NUTP’s 21st tri-annual conference.

“There are codes for teachers, so why isn’t there one for parents?”

Kamarozaman also said counselling was necessary.

“There aren’t enough counsellors in schools. In primary schools, every 350 pupils are assigned to one counsellor while in secondary schools, it is 500 students to a counsellor.

“If there are sufficient counsellors, bullying and disciplinary issues in schools will be reduced,” he said.

NUTP secretary-general Harry Tan Huat Hock said in schools, principals and headmasters have the power to allow teachers to cane students but this must be done in front of eyewitnesses.

“There is standard operating procedure to follow,” he added.

The union also raised concerns over a lack of uniformity in school timetables.

Tan said while some schools start at 7.40am, many tend to have activities before school hours.

“This causes problems for teachers and parents. We suggest all quarters follow the official time schools are supposed to start.


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SMART PARENTING:Know your children’s friends

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

WE all think we know our children really well. That may have been the case when they were much younger and spent time exclusively with us. We fed and clothed them, and we were always there when they needed us. But as our children grow older, they begin to socialise with others their age.

Three of my children are in college so, in a way, we have “lost” that exclusivity with our kids. They now have other influencers in their lives — their friends. So, what should we do when it comes to our children’s friends?

Protective but not nosy.

While it’s important to protect our kids when they are out with friends, being too close and involved will make everyone uncomfortable. In other words, being nosy may even drive the friends away. There are many ways to get to know their friends better.

Interrogating them will just put you in a bad light in the eyes of your children and their friends (this is especially true for teenage friends). We must respect their privacy and show that we trust them. Always remind them that the trust is not a privilege but something to be earned and valued. Once broken, things will not be the same.

Set Boundaries.

Once trust is in place, we can establish boundaries. If they are a group of younger children, this is akin to supervision when there is a get-together. Make them comfortable with the presence of trusted adults.

Things are a little trickier when they are older and more independent. They want to hang out at a place further from home, for example, in a mall. That’s good for their social life but I know of some parents who discreetly follow their children wherever they go. Again, this shows a lack of trust.

A better strategy is to establish clear boundaries of do’s and don’ts. For example, let them inform you who their friends are. Ideally you’d have met them at least once. Remind them about appropriate behaviours between genders, and most importantly, agree on a safe and reasonable hour for an outing.

Invite them over:

Perhaps the best way to combine all the above is to invite their friends over for get-togethers. There are plenty of opportunities to do this — birthdays or open houses are some good examples. But the truth is, we don’t have to wait for special occasions.

Our family organised a “post-exam” party. The objective was to get our children’s friends over and get to know them better in a happy, informal setting. It works both ways — their friends also get to know us, and hopefully respect and mutual understanding are established along the way.

by Zaid Mohamad.

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Parenting in the digital age

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017
Technology has a generally positive effect on a child’s future, career and life skills. FILE PIC

IT was only just few days ago that we celebrated Mothers Day. Apart from handing them cards and flowers, we now take them out for a meal, snap wefies and post them on social media.

Technology has changed many aspects of our lives, including parenting. Parenting in the digital age has evolved quite a bit compared with a few decades ago.

Nowadays, we get parents saying that they feel that they are losing their kids to smartphones and tablets. Quite true, if I may concur. As seen in many public scenes, where parents sit down to a meal with their kids, yet everyone is glued to his smartphone or tablet until the food arrives.

To be fair, it’s not entirely the children’s fault. Partly, it’s the parents’; we are responsible when it comes to giving children access to technology. I am not saying this is a bad thing. In fact, it is good for them to gain knowledge of technology to keep up with the world. The fact that I am more concerned is the amount of technology access we parents give to our children.

As parents, we need to lay down ground rules when it comes to technology. Technology is like a coin. There are two sides to everything. It can offer so much to our kids and, yet, it can also be a hazard. There’s no way to stop our young from technology, so it’s up to parents to make the best of it and adjust to the best we deem fit for them.

Parenting on its own is not easy. In this digital age, it’s a new ball game. Parents have to grapple with technology before they can learn or understand how to deal with their tech-savvier children. Technology can have a generally positive effect on a child’s future, career and life skills. The number of hours a child or teenager spends on technology differs in every country, too.

Children today are not the same as children 20 years ago. Due to the changes in the environment and, to a certain extent, food, they are more active and inclined to learn or pick up things faster.

Children today also learn from their parents and environment. Due to these changes, children are exposed to technology so much more than before.

Honestly, there is no one-size- fits-all approach when it comes to parenting in the digital age. However, there are many ways we can adjust to cater to our kids.

First, we need to strengthen our connection with them. It’s the attention that kids want. If parents spend enough time with their kids, they really wouldn’t have to resort to be hooked on computers and tablets. Ask your child to be honest with you about what they want and they may just tell you that they want your time.

Whatever you may do with your kids, even when you both are on computers or tablets, make sure to do it together. It’s that important as not only will it strengthen your relationship, but both may just learn some new technology together!

As parents, we learn from our own journey in life, books and advice from others.

Technology can open up a whole new path of knowledge in parenting. One can Google anything, anywhere and anytime if you need to find out about something on parenting.

In fact, technology has allowed many parents to understand more than ever before.

Parents just need to do their due diligence to make sure that they get their facts from reputable sites.

Treat technology as a plus point. Apply the same parenting guidelines to real and virtual environments. Set limits in both worlds because your kids need and expect them. Know your kid’s friends, online and in the real world. Keep track of the software and sites that your kids visit, just like you would in reality.


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Heng: Don’t abandon children if unable to care for them

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

IPOH: Parents who are no longer able to look after their children should send them to Welfare Department-registered welfare homes, said Wanita MCA chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie.

Heng said that parents should never neglect the welfare of their children, adding that it would be safer if a child was cared for in a registered home.

“Parents could also call MCA’s Legal Advisory and Women Aid centre to help get their unwanted child adopted. There are many couples that are unable to have children who are willing to adopt,” she told reporters during a feng shui talk at Wisma MCA Perak here on Sunday.

Heng said that there are alternatives to abandoning children.

“Malaysians are a caring society. Whenever there’s a disaster, they are always ready to spring into action,” she added.

Heng was asked to comment about a three-year-old boy who was found naked and crying alone in a house in Tampin, Negri Sembilan on Friday.

The mother, who was unemployed, is believed to have left him there alone while she went out to look after her mentally-ill mother and stepmother who was injured in a road accident.

The police have since remanded the mother for investigations.

Asked about stateless children, Heng said that those who plan to leave their children at welfare homes, temples or other institutions should leave them with the necessary documents for them to obtain citizenship.


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Parents, is your child being radicalised online?

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Lone cub: The 16-year-old youth who tried a kidnapping in Sungai Petani. — G.C.TAN/The Star

Lone cub: The 16-year-old youth who tried a kidnapping in Sungai Petani. — G.C.TAN/The Star

THE dreaded phone call from the police. Every parent knows the fear of receiving that “bad news” phone call – “your child is ill”, “was involved in an accident”, or even “caught shoplifting”. It is enough to make a parent’s heart stop.

Now we need to brace for ­another type of bad news call: that your child is a member of the so-called Islamic State (IS) terror organisation.

When Shafi Khan got “the call” about his son, it was a huge shock – they had just prayed together at the neighbourhood mosque early that morning.

After prayers, Shafi had gone back to bed as he always did, while his 19-year-old son, Hamzah, went to work at a nearby home-supply store.

That day, however, while Shafi was sleeping, Hamzah sneaked out of the house with his 16-year-old brother and 17-year-old sister to get to the airport and catch a flight to Turkey. Their plan was to fly to Istanbul, then drive into Syria to join the IS.

When the teens reached the airport, though, the authorities were waiting for them. As reported by The Washington Post, the FBI had been monitoring the Khan siblings’ online communications.

Shafi and his wife were left stunned. They had no inkling whatsoever of the abominable plan their children had been hatching.

happened in Chicago, the United States, but recent incidents show that it can happen in Malaysia too.

Early this month, a 16-year-old boy was charged in court in Sungai Petani, Kedah, for attempting a solo IS attack in January. Armed with a knife and fake pistol, the boy tried to kidnap a 27-year-old woman at a mall there.

The boys’ parents were by his side in court; we can only imagine how they had felt when they got their bad news call.


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Dad’s what all kids want

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

Fathers have an impact – good or bad, intentional or otherwise – simply by what they do, and what they don’t.

TODAY is Father’s Day. There is no real significance to this date, other than the fact that it has become yet another day for commercial interests to make more money.

And so we are inundated with messages on what we should buy for our fathers – anything from a tie to a power drill is fine.

It is also interesting that many charity organisations have also got into the game, where you can give a donation on behalf of your father in support of various causes.

I won’t pour cold water on those who believe this day should be celebrated in such manner. Having been a father for nearly 30 years, I will say that a day’s celebrations can’t encapsulate the role of a father, which is both unique and challenging.

More so in our Asian culture where fathers tend to play second fiddle to mothers in a nurturing role, and may not have enough opportunities to exert their influence on the children.

But the reality is we, fathers, do have an impact – good or bad, intentional or otherwise – simply by what we do, and what we don’t.

I have written before in this column that the best times in my career were the six years, over two different stretches, that I spent at home as a full-time father.

I had a whale of a time, although my better half did find it tricky explaining to friends why she had to earn the bread and butter while I was gallivanting at home.


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Parents, guardians warned of drug-laced biscuits, sweets

Monday, June 15th, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: A new drug smuggling tactic has been discovered.

Police found that drugs were mixed in solid food such as biscuits and sweets and were then marketed through social websites such as Facebook and Instagram.

“The suspects only interact with the buyers through Facebook and the Instagram application for orders and delivery, which would be done via postal or courier service,” according to a statement by the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) on Monday.

Parents and guardians have been urged by PDRM to monitor their children’s social media contacts.

The police have also advised the public to be alert their family members and friends’ “unusual” behaviour, or any receipt of courier-delivered parcels.


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Parents, Teachers Urged To Foster 2R Concept Among Students To Counter Bullying In Schools

Monday, May 4th, 2015

KODIANG, April 26 (Bernama) — Parents and teachers have been urged to cultivate and foster the 2R concept – ‘Respect and Responsibility’ – among children or students to counter bullying in schools.

Deputy Education Director-General (Education Operations Sector), Datuk Ahmad Tajuddin Jab said the two aspects, if practiced by the students, could help counter bullying which is becoming a problem in schools these days.

“The seniors have to love and respect the juniors, just as the juniors must respect the seniors. Through respect, we can create a harmonious environment and with responsibility, the students will be accountable for their actions,” he said when officiating the excellence award ceremony for education transformation of schools in Kodiang here Sunday.

He said the ministry was concerned with bullying cases in schools and schools had a standard operating procedure to handle them.


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