Growing Up Children 

The most important responsibility of parents is parenting. Bringing a new life, pure and innocent, into this world is not as challenging as the journey of parenting. Carrying the life for the whole pregnancy and giving birth is just for a fixed period of time. The parenting part is lifelong.

How time flies…as if it was only yesterday I’ve been awarded the status as a parent, a mom at that, for the first time. This December shall be my 19th year. In a job, I would have been a senior and well-experienced employee at least, if not a master of it. However, in parenting, why does it feel as if I’m still a newbie? 

At each year of growth, I continuously experiencing differences and changes in parenting style. My summary on this is, what used to work for a certain stage does not apply anymore for the next. What worked for the boy doesn’t necessary work for the girl! 

When a lovely young lady enters my son’s life, I guess it is normal to feel a little apprehensive. Will he be a better person, will he respect her and be kind to her, will he take care of her heart and well-being and will she be and do the same to him?

I can only pray and hope that my dear son will remember the family values that’s been instilled in him thus far. Respecting other ladies as he would his mom and sister. Oh well…I just have to let go and let them be. I’m sure they are in good hands. Of course, studies come first (*hint*). 

I wonder how other parents deal with it and still stay cool about it. I heard that some freaked out, some tried to act cool but feeling otherwise, some resorted to stalking the children. I am fine as long as I can see some positive change in him. And no, I didn’t freak out..hahaha.

As for my teenage daughter, she’ll come to have deeper understanding of friendship year after year. People grow up and change along the way. Feeling is ever changing so does the environment. The only thing constant is change. Embrace change for the better. My gentle advice to you, dear daughter, is do not hold on too tightly to things or people. Let it go if you have to, let it pass. New things will come along. Receive it while you learn to adapt and accept. The choice is yours. Therefore, choose your thought and action wisely.

My dearest children, no one has the power to determine your happiness except yourself. No one has the power to make you angry or sad. It only applies when you permit it. You are your own master. If you feel down or angry, validate the feelings. Allow the feelings to flow in you (don’t try to stop it) then wipe the tears,  get up and move on. Always remember if you don’t have the energy to get up, reach out for help. I promise you that I’ll always be there for you no matter what or when. 

Life is neither easy nor difficult. Just a bit complicated. No ones knows the answer to everything. Not even I. We learn from our mistakes and become wiser. Just ensure we don’t repeat the same mistakes. If I may add, don’t even try the “bad stuffs” in order to learn from the mistake. Some mistakes can’t be turned around so easily, for example drugs. Some grave mistakes don’t come with second chance, for instance, road racing, drink and drive and anything that is against the law.

Children, when faced with uncertainty, always think things through. Do not let others force you into making rash decisions. You’ll be able to make sound decisions when the mind is more calm and steady. 

I enjoy watching the children grow and grow up well, not perfect…I’m proud of them as they are. Walk tall but be kind and humble. Carry yourselves well, speak well and always be mindful of your action. I’m so blessed having you by my side. You are my pride and joy, then, now and forever. 

A contented parent,

Alice N.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY SON <3

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Sixteen years ago, you greeted the world with eagerness….you responded to your daddy voice as if you had been hearing it for the longest time. You opened your eyes shortly after to get a glimpse of the new world, your world! You are special to us. Makes me feel that It was only yesterday you were born into this world and into our family. Anyway, Happy Sweet Sixteen!!!

You know, son? You got everyone busy at your arrival. Our colleagues were so eager to visit immediately after your birth. Bless them. However, in less than 24 hours, you were down with high fever. Everyone had to pay much attention to this VIP Baby, so said the nurses at that time – “The One and Only VIP baby”. Your pediatrician, bless him, dutifully got the nurses to provide 4-hourly progress report to us and Dr Deng himself would visit us every evening to let us know your condition. All in all, I guess, with all the love and attention, you responded well by giving it a good fight and got well. What great relief it was for all of us. It was great joy to bring you home finally! We knew then, you are a fighter or rather, a survivor, dear son.

You always have a special place in everyone’s heart. Everyone who comes in contact with you. With your easy smile, laughter and kindness. You have a good heart, son. I’m not saying all these just because I am your mom, but there are collection of compliments I received from the receivers of your charm. I hope that all these qualities shall remain in you always as you grow up and face the whole wide world. Let not the hard world change you into a cold stranger. Instead, let the experience mould you into someone who can make differences, positive changes for yourself and the world around you.

Growing up, I saw a great young man slowly taking shape. I am so proud of you, son. My wish is that you’ll always be who you really are and be proud of it; no matter how big you become, or how successful you are, always have your two feet planted firmly on the ground. Remember the values we impart to you – that shall be your guiding light always.

My dearest son, Happy Birthday and I love you, sweetheart.

Love always,
Mommy

Parental Control

To what extent do parents wish to impose parental control over their children’s action and thoughts? To what extent would you as a parent influence the behaviour of your young ones?

Noted that we cannot control another human being who is able to think independently for him/herself. However, do we realize that we can indirectly influence their thoughts and actions? If you don’t believe this, think about your own childhood growing up. How much has your upbringing shaped you? How much has your parents’ speech and action influenced yours? Have you at any one point discovered that you actually sounded and/or acted just like your parents?

I’m not implying that parental control is not good or irrelevant. There are good values which we must live by and pass on to the following generation(s). Same goes to our family culture, with or without slight improvement or adjustment. Throughout my life, I have many teachers, life teachers, that is. The first of course, being my father. He gave me almost total freedom, except for those that might jeopardize my well-being and safety. I was allowed to choose my life direction, right from which school I wanted to attend, at the young age of 6, all the way to adulthood. It was my mother who tried her best to instill more discipline on me, as to what a girl/lady should do or say and what shouldn’t. I guess that provided a good balance, growing up. I must admit that I’m more grateful now than before.

Now that I’m a parent, a mother, I try to give some degree of freedom to my children. Allowing them to make their own life decisions while I provide a check and balance, when necessary. I have always preached to them that we shall always be responsible for our own action and choice that we made. However, we do impose parental control or rather rules here, when it comes to their well-being and safety.

They’ve been told repeatedly that life is impermanent. My presence here is as temporary as theirs. They will have to think for themselves; dare to make decisions; dare to make mistakes and to learn from them; dare to speak up while at the same time stand to be corrected; they are not perfect but many times, they made great decisions on their own, some of which I might not favour but they turned out well, better than I expected!

I always come across this : when a child (be it very young or an adult) did something greatly unacceptable, people are quick to judge and blame it on the parents. In my humble opinion, yes, parents are to be blamed in a way (if they one way or another, contribute to this delinquency) but if the child is a thinking young adult or adult, he/she has to assume the full responsibility. No excuse to pass the bug to the parents. Why? Simple because, we have the capability to think for ourselves, analyse any given situation and then come to a decision before acting or not acting upon it. If we get it right, bravo! If not, learn from it and make it right the next time. I always believe that all actions would have been thought of carefully before one acts upon them.

With or without parental control or guidance, there are people who made it in this world. What I mean by “made it” is that they live by a good set of principles and values. Some through the hard way of trials and errors in life, whilst some have the privilege to full family support and proper guidance. Regardless, it balls down to self; self-discipline, self-control, self-conscience…..

Dear young children/teenagers, when you have restricted or no passes to some thrilling actions and places, do yourself a favour, ask to understand why they are imposed on you. By having better understanding, you will be able to make wiser decisions in the future. You will know how to analyse situations and better choices. If you feel and think that your choice is right but different from that of your parents, have a discussion with them, while keeping an open mind.

Parents might know more but that doesn’t mean that they know everything and that includes you. Communicate openly with them so that they can understand you more and truly see for themselves how much you have changed and grown. Bear in mind that they are not trying to make life difficult for anyone, especially you; all they are concerned about is you and your well-being. Making them see your points is as important as you giving them a chance to present theirs to you and then come to a compromise.

Just remember, don’t rush to grow up. You have ample time to live your adult life. Enjoy your childhood and being showered with attention and adoration from your family members even though it might irritate you to your bones. Count your blessings that you are a receiver of such love and attention. Enjoy while it lasts, with a pinch of parental control. It’s not all that bad, really.

~ Alice N.


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Outward Bound Camp Experience

This is a continuation from my last posting, “Loosening The Apron String”. It’s finally the 10th day since the last time we parted with our son at the Outward Bound Malaysia (OBM) campsite. It was a 10-day camp and worth every second of it. Well done, OBM!!!

On the 9th evening, we had BBQ Nite where parents/families were invited to great food (mushroom soup, BBQ chicken thigh with brown sauce, coleslaw, salad, mashed potatoes, fruits) and entertained by all the participants, as young as 10 year-old. You’d be amazed by their talents! I was, and on that special evening, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my son could rap so well! Yeah, one proud mom and dad here 😉

A huge contrast to the first day of registration. The once shy and timid Tweens and Teens had been replaced by confident and excited young ladies and lads! The hall was filled with joy, warm and strong fellowship. If you were there, you could feel the strong bond amongst them. They no longer hanging around their parents but preferring to be with their buddies instead. At the same time, I could feel a tinge of sadness in the room as they knew that they’re left with one more night together before they part in the morning with each return to their own homes and lives.

On the final day, the closing ceremony was carried out in an orderly manner. I must acknowledge that OBM carried out their activities with much care and professionally too. On this glorious morning, all parents were punctual for the closing ceremony. During such time, parents would take every opportunity to snap as many pictures of their children with their friends. Same here…

On our way home, I was most glad to hear from my son that he enjoyed himself so much that he wished to attend the YAC again next year. He didn’t mind the “inconvenience” which came with it as he loved all the outdoor activities such as kayaking, setting up his own tent, rock climbing, jungle tracking, cooking together, etc. He even missed his dorm already. Upon hearing that, my tween daughter also echoed her brother’s wish. Great, we shall do that again come 2012!

Deep down, I hope from now onwards, his experience will bring positive changes to his life, besides the wonderful memories from this 10-day camp. I also encourage him to keep in touch with all his new-found friends, via Facebook, emails or occasional meetings for chats and catching up.

All in all, I’m most glad that we made that decision to register him for the YAC at OBM. Thanks to our dearest friend/brother, DKA who initiated this idea. He attended this camp when he was younger and it changed him for the better, to who he is today. Do you know that OBM has been on our land for the last 57 years and still counting?!

Cheers to Gayong YAC28!

Alice N.


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Loosening The Apron String

Nope, it’s not about cooking today. I must admit that I’m not much of a cook or a baker, but if you want to swing by for a simple meal, I believe I can manage that, if you dare try…(LOL!)

Today, I want to talk about parents and their children. Usually parents, mostly moms, are painstakingly protective over their growing children. I can attest to that, as I was one before. You know, modern parents these days choose to have fewer children. All they have are one, two or three, especially city folks, with both parents working. They are able to shower their children with abundance of love and attention that they sometimes fear to let go.

When I was planning to send my dear son to the Outward Bound Camp (OBC), I did mention to a few friends about it. They wondered how I could let my son participate in such a camp, three and a half hours away from home, with total strangers and for a period of ten days?! Well, feelings wise, I’m no different from other moms. Just that, when the time comes, I know I have to let go, bit by bit for his own sake. I must allow him space to grow up to be an independent young adult. He can only do that when I’m not around to “mothering” him around. I know very well that I can’t keep him under my wings forever, as I won’t be around that long. Yes, I do worry about him being out there but I consoled myself that it’ll be fine and he’ll be enjoying himself with his newfound friends. At the end of it, he would have learnt some life skills which we could all be proud of. I had been to many such camps, from young to adult life, and I ended up better off each time. I know what it’s like. The same shall apply to him. Who knows, he might want to go again next year?!

All I could do before we parted was to re-assure him and advise him to listen attentively to his instructors. I had to put on a brave front and be cool about it. Because I know, if I display any sign of anxiety, he would feel it too. That would make him more nervous. That was what I witnessed on the registration day, the scene of over-protective parents asking endless questions and anxious children tailing behind their parents! Poor kids.

As our children grow up, we must not keep them under a golden shield. Otherwise, they will depend on their parents for literally everything about them – making life decisions, expect parents to act for them, not being pro-active (always waiting to be told before doing something), etc. Should we leave permanently one day, what is to become of these children! They would be like lost lambs or like a kite with broken string! Terrifying! Oh no, I’d rather teach them to fish than to fish for them.

Of course, when offering freedom, I wouldn’t give all out. It’ll have to be bit by bit, to gauge how much my child can handle. If it is too much to handle, I’d pull some back. If he can handle more, I’d allow more. When we love someone, we must accord him/her some freedom by simply letting go, by the inch or yard. It is totally up to you. Just like one wise friend once told me – in any relationships, holding on tightly will stop it from growing and eventually breaks it apart. As in fishing or flying a kite, sometimes you let go and sometimes you apply a bit of pressure to bring it closer, then you let loose again.

Coming back to the camp : I was told by many that after the OBC, I’d expect drastic changes to my son’s behaviour. He’d be “tougher”, more disciplined and confident. Sounds good, right? Sometimes when a mother hears all that in one shot, she would be having mixed feelings like, glad but terrified. Glad because her child has grown and able to take on more life challenges; terrified because she might not be prepared for it. That’s how I felt initially, after listening to many mothers talking. Fortunately, my brain took over and did some analytical thinking, weighing the pros and cons and finally, the brain won! Yeah, it should do more good for him than harm. It’s gonna be alright….

He is old enough to learn to rely on himself and to trust his own judgement. Assuring myself that I’ve made the right decision in convincing myself and my darling husband, to let our son attend such camp at this age. Yes, I have a good feel about it from the time I completed those application forms, took him for his medical examination and the days which followed after we parted at the camp site. We’ll be seeing him again real soon….can’t wait!!!

For those parents who are still wearing a tight apron around their waists and still “mothering” their teenagers, try to loosen it a bit to avoid suffocation. After a while, you’ll get used to it and be proud of your children’s achievements in life. Been there, done that and still going from phase to phase. I’ve survived thus far and so would you!

Cheers,
Alice N.


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Aces Matters?!

Today, Malaysian students who sat for the UPSR examination obtained their results. As usual, you can easily spot various expression, of joy, surprise, disappointment and sadness. Some returned to immediately share their joy or frustration in the Facebook. I feel for all of you..

Academically, we can’t deny that Aces still matter. A lot! School authorities use it to measure the overall performance of their students. Schools also see the results before admitting any new students into their compound. Grades matter, like it or not…..is it because this is the only method used, to measure the level of intelligence of a student?

I do recognise the limitation faced by schools in measuring a student’s actual capability. However, I am of the opinion that Aces does not directly measure a person’s level of intelligence. I’d like to believe that Aces indicate the depth of understanding of a student for the subjects concerned. I have met some students with Aces who could not communicate or express him/herself properly, but have straight A’s in their exams. I have also encountered some average students who speak better, active in extra-curricular and display their creative side.

If one does not score all the Aces, it does not mean that he/she is any less smarter. Please do not despair if you have not obtained full A’s. Look at your results again and do a post-mortem. Ask how you managed to get Aces for certain subjects and why it did not happen to the others? Was it because you have difficulty in understanding the subject? Do you need extra help? Discuss with your parents to plan ahead. What about your studying method? Think, if you were to apply the same method of studying, for subjects which you scored A’s to the non-A’s subject(s), do you think it would work out?

Do not for a minute think that you are a failure or you are less smarter than those who obtained straight A’s. How you judge yourself will mirror how you think others feel about you. If you think you are less intelligent, you would think that is how people judge you. So, why not try to change the scene to that of a positive one? Not only does it give you a boost in the confidence department, it would make people feel the confidence in you. You will then attract good energy to you. Try it and you’ll know what I mean 🙂

For those who had done well, Bravo! Hard work paid off. You have the right to your happiness. While you are celebrating, it would be nice to be mindful of your friends who did not do well and are feeling down. For those of you who acted in kind but received resentment instead, from your friends, give them space and time to recover from their disappointment. It’s not easy for them too.

Moving along now….you’ll be entering the teenage world soon. There’ll be more challenges ahead. Enjoy the long holiday and have as much fun as possible. Come new year, you’ll be very busy adjusting to the new environment and new emotions that come with it. Remember to continue communicating with your parents and other family members as you go through the emotional journey. As you make new friends, keep in touch with the old ones.

I shall leave you with my best wishes for your future undertakings. Remember, no matter how big or small an achievement is, it is still AN ACHIEVEMENT! Allow yourself to feel proud. After all, you have completed 6 years of formal foundation education! Aces matters but you matter most to your parents. Always remember that 🙂

~ Alice N.


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Who Says…….

“Who says, who says you’re not perfect, who says you’re not worth it, who says you’re the only one that’s hurting. Trust me, trust the price of beauty, who says you’re not pretty, who says you’re not beautiful, who says”. That, everyone knows is a hit song, sung by Selena Gomez.

Well, since when we care so much what people say about us? Yea right, you’re going to say since the day you were born. You are not wrong, actually. That’s why you notice babies and little tots keep doing the same act knowingly that they can draw more attention and praises from other people. You can see that they enjoy being the centre of attention and at the same time, showered with strings of praises.

There you go ; Human beings, of any age, are continuously seeking to hear good words about themselves from people around them, known to them or strangers alike. Of course, everyone tries to avoid, as much as possible, listening to negative ones.

When you think or believe you are smarter/good/charming/etc. why do you care so much when others say otherwise? Could it be that the person is telling the truth or wait a minute, could the person aim that hurtful statement just to spite you? Nonetheless, it is always good to find out more before you decide to give in.

I have heard and seen people brushing away compliments for a another person by saying something “hurtful” in the person’s presence, without realizing how bad it sounded. I mean like, a child did very well in his studies. When someone else praised the child, humble parent(s) would be quick to dismiss it and said that “it’s nothing“, or “my child is not that smart“, or “my child is actually very lazy“, or “it’s pure luck!“. I can understand when parents choose to be humble and not wanting to boast such excellent achievement. But, to the extent of belittling that young person, who deserves none other than a compliment, is just not cool! Please parents, just graciously say “thank you“, if you don’t want to say more. It’s good enough for all.

If it is not corrected this instant, over time, it would leave a permanent mark in the receiver (in this case, the young child) e.g. loss of self-confidence, lower self-esteem, lack of self-worth i.e. started to believe that he/she is never good enough or maybe simply given up altogether (because no matter how well he does, the parents just won’t notice or feel proud of them)! It could happen to adults too, anyone and anywhere. So watch what we say to others, as well.

We have no control over other people’s action and speech. What is within our control is, when you know that is not right, don’t let it get to you. Don’t for a minute be doubtful about your capability. Stick to your ground by choosing to believe in yourself. If you are not strong enough to counter that, look for someone who can boost your confidence and who is more respectful and objective about it.

I must qualify that not all remarks are made with bad intention. There are times when the remarks are true! This happens when we are over-confident that we disregard everyone else, when we are in denial and refuse to face the truth. Here, we should pause to re-assess the statement, honestly. It could be one spoken by a trusted friend, spouse, parent, sibling, employer, colleague, etc. This kind of remark is spoken with good intention, by someone who cares about you, who takes the effort to speak to you about it, risking your friendship/relationship. If you know, at a corner of your mind, that he/she might be speaking the truth, it is worth listening and find out why he/she thinks/feels that way about you. You might re-discover your true self, who knows?

When you face such challenges with an open mind, you’ll learn more about yourself. Through all these “psychological trainings”, you’ll only grow stronger. As you grow older, you’ll realise that you don’t need approval from everyone in everything that you do or say! This is because you are more mature and you know yourself well enough to recognize what a genuine judgment is and what is not. If it is not, you can choose to dismiss it altogether. If it is true, you will allow yourself to bask in the limelight. And if the negative statement is true, learn from it. Make necessary changes to have a more meaningful life. The only thing that is constant is change! We have to keep changing to adapt to our environment, agree?

Finally, you must love yourself first before you can afford to love someone else, and to have a meaningful and lasting relationship. No one can hurt you unless you allow it. Always remember that the final choice is always yours. What you choose to believe and accept. You are what you think you are….so do your best to make the right choice!

Now, tell me again, who says you are not perfect, who says you are not worth it? Who says….

~ Alice N.

Dear Children,

I have always wanted to be your friend. To speak words which are soothing to your ears, words you like to hear. To agree with you, to please you. To do things your way. To agree instead of disagree. To earn as many star ratings from you. But…..

My wonderful children, as much as I wanted to be your best pal, I am also your mother. I don’t want to choose either one. I want to be both with you; I choose to be your MOM and your FRIEND. There is no hard and fast rule which comes first or second. Depending on the situation, my role will switch from one to another, where applicable.

By being your MOM, naturally, I shall set some boundaries. I don’t enjoy being strict on you, but I have to, sometimes. However, I do allow certain degree of freedom as long as you can handle it. I shall always discuss with you when I decide to take away any benefit. It is only temporary, my precious. When I feel that you’re ready for more freedom, rest assured, you will have it. Please don’t rush to grow up. Every bittersweet experience you go through now will form the firm foundation to your adult lives. I shall hope that you would cherish every single day of your life.

As your FRIEND, when you are hurt, upset, angry, disappointed, frustrated, afraid or in doubt, I shall always be there for you. Just call and I’ll come to you; lending you my ears to listen to your troubles; offer my shoulder to lean your tired head on; a warm bear hug to comfort you; sitting next to you, accompanying you in silence till you are ready to talk about it; or to brainstorm the issue together, if you wish. I shall first allow you space to handle the situation on your own, unless you ask for it and when I feel that my intervention is appropriate, then I shall step in. Of course, the mother in me would do anything to chase away the blues to see that sweet, heart-warming smile and listen to the lovely tune of your laughter again. But, I must prevent myself from jumping off my skin and start taking over from you. You must at least try first, okay?

As your MOM and FRIEND, when you are wrong, I must let you know and give you the chance to make it right. You will surely learn from the experience, my sweethearts. Please understand why I choose not to be too protective over you, for your own good. Also understand why I want you to learn to be independent. As I’ve said before, I won’t be with you forever. For as long as I’m with you, I shall guide you as walk along your path of life. In short, I shall teach you to fish, instead of fishing for you. That way, you’ll Learn to survive well with or without me.

Children, all parents wish for the best for their young ones. Likewise for me. There will be times when you are confused or even puzzled over some actions or decisions I made. Please feel free to ask; no question is silly when you seek further understanding. It is best to get the right answer than to make a wild guess. You may get it right, you may not. If not, it may cause unnecessary misunderstanding. We don’t want that do we?

So my lovely prince and princess, always remember that you can count on us to be there when you need us, your Daddy and I. We love you always ❤

Love always,
Mom

A Little Bit of Kindness

This afternoon, my colleague complained to me that it is pointless to be kind. When he showed a little bit of kindness, people will take advantage of him. All I can say is that he is not alone. We face this everyday in our lives, children and adults alike.

My children are not spared too. There were times when they came back disappointed over what their friends did in return to their act of kindness. It hurt me seeing them so disappointed and sad. Wished I have a magic wand to erase that bad experience to bring back sweet, happy smiles on their faces again. I may not have the right words to say at that moment. What I know is, I must be there for them to lean on, each time they need emotional healing. Most importantly, to help them deal with these unpleasant events as they emerge.

I feel that being able to deal with it is the best solution. Face it instead of running away from it. For parents reading this, I’m sure you would be nodding in agreement. How did you try to mend that wound? What did you say or do, to make sure that they continue believing in their good deeds?

We must understand and accept that there are some people who still have not learnt how to appreciate kindness. There just are! They are only interested in taking; never in giving, unless they get something in return. Some don’t even aware of what they are doing! It’s such a pity actually….

Nonetheless, we shouldn’t let that put us off from being kind to others. Sure, there are some rotten apples in the world, who enjoy taking advantage of friendly and honest parties. Let’s not become a number to that, shall we?

Personally, I feel that when you act in kindness, it makes you feel good and makes you love yourself more. You don’t have to bother keeping score because I truly believe that the universe is with you. When you do good, your positive energy will become stronger and it will attract good energy from the universe to you. As I told my friend, even if you have to fall, or going through a rough patch, the universe will support you by making it less painful, and temporary.

If you have been kind but life gives you lemons, have faith in yourself and the universe. One of my mottos in life is, “If life serves you lemons, make lemonade out of them!” Just keep doing the right thing, don’t despair. You’ll be surprised that there is always “someone” watching over you.

I hope this brief post manages to convince you to continue showing a little bit of kindness to yourself and people around you. Be less judgmental and be more forgiving. Be less calculative and be more generous in sharing.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful weekend and enjoy more fulfilling days ahead!

~ Alice N.

Posted with WordPress for AN’s BlackBerry.

BFF vs WFF

In the Sunday class yesterday, my fellow teacher talked about Friends and Friendship. Everyone has friends and most, if not all have BFF (Best Friend Forever, a term made popular by Paris Hilton, I think).

What makes a friend a BFF? He/she must be one who likes you for who you are, respects you and your differences, not afraid to voice out when you are not right, loyal to you even in your absence, a good counsel to you, be there when you need someone to lean on, sympathises with you, is a ‘helpmate’, etc.

As opposed to BFF, there is the WFFWorst Friend Forever. Who are these people? These are the ones who used to be your friends or once upon a time, your BFFs. They know enough about you but have either betrayed your friendship or hurt you deeply, which resulted in them being your WFF now.

Who are WFFs? They are :
#1 The ‘leach/robber’ – who appropriate a friend’s possessions and give less but ask much,
#2 The sweet-talker – who talks how good he/she was in the past and future, tries to gain your favor using empty promises,
#3 The flatterer – praises when you do evil, disapproves when you do good, speaks well in your presence but bad in your absence,
#4 The ruin-bringer – indulges in intoxicants (alcohol and drugs) and worthless activities (gambling, “lepak”) hanging out till wee hours of the morning (clubbing constantly).

When you are judging your friends whether they are BFF or WFF materials, look at yourself too. Are you a BFF or WFF to your friends? We cannot be a TAKER all the time. We must balance it by being a GIVER to our friends too. Then, you’ll enjoy having a harmonious friendship with your friends. No one likes to be taken for granted, which we unintentionally do sometimes. It is alright if you realize it soon enough and make it up to your friends.

Friendship is such a beautiful relationship amongst friends. Let’s not be ‘fine-weathered’ friends only. Let us be ‘all-weathered’ friends to our buddies. Meaning, we’ll be there for them through good and bad times. We need a friend most when we are down, to share our sorrow or disappointment. Who will be objective to help us see the truth and think with us for a solution. Someone who understands our sorrow and sympathizes with us. During good times, we enjoy sharing the joy with such good friends too.

If you have such BFFs, treasure that friendship and grow with it. Take care if it, nourish it with love and attention. Life is little bit more difficult without friends, especially quality and genuine ones.

Cheers to Good Friendship and BFFs!

~Alice N.