Parenting Tips

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tell Me Again

The following story is a touching one which I want to share with parents, be it Singapore or elsewhere . . .

An 80 year old man was sitting on the sofa in his house along with his 45 years old highly educated son. Suddenly a crow perched on their window.The Father asked his Son, "What is this?" The Son replied "It is a crow".

After a few minutes, the Father asked his Son the 2nd time, "What is this?" The Son said "Father, I have just now told you "It's a crow".

After a little while, the old Father again asked his Son the 3rd time, what is this?" At this time some expression of irritation was felt in the Son's tone when he said to his Father with a rebuff. "It's a crow, a crow".

A while later, the Father again asked his Son the 4th time, "What is this?" This time the Son shouted at his Father, "Why do you keep asking me the same question again and again, although I have told you so many times 'IT IS A CROW'. Are you not able to understand this?"

A little later, the Father went to his room and came back with an old tattered diary, which he had maintained since his Son was born. On opening a page, he asked his Son to read that page. When the son read it, the following words were written in the diary :-

"Today my little son aged three was sitting with me on the sofa, when a crow was sitting on the window. My Son asked me 23 times what it was, and I replied to him all 23 times that it was a Crow. I hugged him lovingly each time he asked me the same question again and again for 23 times. I did not at all feel irritated but I rather felt affection for my innocent child". While the little child asked him 23 times "What is this", the Father had felt no irritation in replying to the same question all 23 times and when today the Father asked his Son the same question just 4 times, the Son felt irritated and annoyed.

So. . . If your parents attain old age, please do not repulse them or look at them as a burden but speak to them kindly. Be cool, obedient, humble and kind to them. Be considerate to your parents.

From today say this aloud, "I want to see my parents happy forever. They have cared for me ever since I was a little child. They have always showered their selfless love on me. They crossed all mountains and valleys without seeing the storm and heat to make me a person presentable in the society today".

Nothing in this world is IMPOSSIBLE because the word IMPOSSIBLE itself says


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Mixed Fruit Juices

Weekends are meant for relaxing. In Singapore, we are lucky to have many tropical fruits and vegetables available. So parents, try preparing the following juices for yourselves and your kids.

  • Tired body, Jetleg, Hangover - Apple + Orange + Carrot + Beetroot
  • Relaxation - Apple + Pineapple + Mint + Lime
  • Regulating Sugar Content - Pear + Banana
  • Reducing Stress - Tomato + Carrot + Coriander + Broccoli + Celery
  • Preventing constipation - Banana + Pineapple + Milk
  • Preventing Cancer, Reducing Cholesterol, Improving Stomach Upset and Headache - Apple + Cucumber + Celery
  • Increasing cell activity and strengthening body immunity - Honeydew + Grape + Watermelon + Milk
  • Improving Digestion - Apple + Beetroot + Ginger + Carrot
  • Improving Immune System, Anti Flu, Anti cold - Apple + Carrot + Lemon, Ginger + Garlic
  • Improving Skin Texture/Moisture and Reducing Body Heat - Orange + Ginger + Cucumber
  • Improving Skin Complexion and Metabolism - Papaya + Pineapple + Milk
  • Improving Skin Complexion and Bad Breath - Tomato + Carrot + Apple
  • Improving Skin Complexion - Apple + Cucumber + Kiwi
  • Dispeling Excess Salt, Nourishing the Bladder and Kidney - Pineapple + Apple + Watermelon
  • Detoxing Body - Apple + Grapefruit + Watermelon + Ginger
  • Decreasing Blood Pressure and Fighting Oxidization - Carrot + Apple + Pear + Mango
  • Cleansing Liver - Pineapple + Carrot + Beetroot + Lime
  • Boosting and Cleansing our system - Carrot + Ginger + Apple
  • As a Skin Tonic - Carrot + Capsicum + Spinach
  • Avoiding Bad Breath and Reducing Internal Body Heat - Bitter Gourd + Apple + Milk

Hope the above tips can help parents de-stress and rid some of the symtoms that they maybe facing. I tried some myself and it worked. HAPPY TRYING!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Why SEX?

In yesterday's "FRIDAY MATTERS", the topic was on "Best message? Know sex, no sex and safe sex"

Generally, the writer was trying to say that in Singapore, what we have gone so far is NOT SO EFFECTIVE to discourage sex activity in teens. She wrote: "With sex still a taboo topic in the community, what's to stop a teen from merely signing a pledge card to say "no" just to conform to his parents' or society's ideals, without really walking the talk? Is it likely that such a teen will stop having sex just because taxi drivers, religious leaders and parents say so?

The answer is obviously NO. What I would like to add on is by knowing sex, having no sex and practising safe sex is not enough. Teens should also ask themselves what is the right reason for having sex. Is it just for fun? Out of curiosity? Whatever . . .

Simply put, when a male and female LOVE each other, it is not just physically. They accept each other's good values and flaws too. When they are ready to commit to each other, that's when they decide to get married, have babies and raise them together.

At an age when they are still schooling, the element of love is still shallow. Teens should just concentrate on studies. Of course, they can still have fun. However, just bear in mind, engaging in sex should not be one of the choices.

In school, when the teens are given a project, they will explore the pros and cons before embarking on the best approach to be adopted. When attempting to have sex, they should also apply such logical thinking:

  • What is the real reason for wanting to have sex?
  • Are you ready for sex?
  • What are the likely effects after the ‘enjoyment’?
  • Are you ready to face the consequence should there be unwanted pregnancy and sex-related diseases?
  • Who will suffer most should any of the above happens?
  • Is it really worth it to try now?

Hope teens will bear the above tips in mind before trying. To sum up, life is more than just above sex. One can choose to live a more fruitful life in many other ways. The choice is yours.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Happy Family

In today's Forum, one parent wrote: "Don't put children on the balance sheet". He has 2 girls aged 3 and 2. Like many other Singaporeans, he and his wife have to juggle between work and taking care of the girls. Though life is tough, he has never allowed this to be a deterrent factor to consider having another kid. To label children as either assets or liabilites, he thinks is morally wrong. Why should parents see their children as some kind of investment with tangible returns? How could some parents also label children as liabilities who drain their resources, energy and spirit? Are we human or just items that could be written off, just like bad investments? In conclusion, he said that something would be very wrong with our society if parents and people start to put children on the balance sheet.

I fully agree with this parent. Children are blessings and not assets nor liabilities. When I got married in 1981, I already told myself I would have as many children as I could within the 1st 10 years of my marriage. By 1989, I had my 3rd child. Then, in 1991, I asked my husband if we should have one more. He said to wait till he is rich. I told him I will be too old by then. Any way, we tried and our youngest darling was borne in Sep 1991.

My eldest girl was borne in 1984, year of the RAT. My son is a TIGER, borne in 1986. No. 3 is a DRAGON girl. Youngest darling is GOAT. Tigers are classified under the cat family. So we have a cat chasing the mouse. Then Dragon and Tiger fight. Luckily, the goat is the amicable one and brings everybody in harmony. True to the horoscope, each of my children is different and they really add joy to our family life.

In my 22 years as a parent, I learnt a lot from my children and I am still learning . . .

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Advice for Teenagers

In his National Day Rally speech, our Prime Minister Lee has again urged Singapore parents to have more children.

While children can be a blessing, it is tough for parents to deal with them at times, especially teenagers. They are at an age where they want to be treated like adults. Below are some tips for them to get along with their parents.

10 ways to get along with parents

  1. Treat them as you want them to treat you
    Even though it sounds pretty basic, if teenagers want to be treated with respect and fairness, then you have to treat your parents the same way.

  2. Remember, parents are people too
    They want to do their best, especially in raising their children but they:

     are also human
     make mistakes
     lose their temper
     say things they do not necessarily mean

  3. Handle the ordinary and the special will take care of itself
    If you handle your normal curfews, chores and school responsibilities, when something special comes up, you have a better chance to have the rules relaxed.

  4. It’s all right to call time-out during family arguments
    If you or your parents get really emotional during arguments, that is when we say things we do not really mean. Call for time-out. Come back to the issue again when everyone has cooled down.

  5. At least once a day, talk to your parents
    Communication begins with a willingness to just talk. Parents get nervous when they feel out of touch with their children. So each day, just talk to them about things going on at school or with your friends or other activities.

  6. Plan escape routes
    Everyone gets into difficult situations, whether on a date, at a party or just out with friends. So think about your opinion, in case something happens. It is a sign or responsibility that you can handle yourself.

  7. Agree on the basics
    Talk with your parents about curfews, school, expectations, household chores and other issues, rather than relying on mind-reading. Perhaps, you can re-negotiate the basics on your birthday, so as you get older, you gain more rights and responsibilities.

  8. Tell your parents that they are doing a good job
    Parents get very little training on how to be good parents. It is more like trial and error. You will really surprise them by telling them they are doing OK.

  9. Try to become friends with your parents
    As strange as it sounds, when you get older, you will be friends with your parents. So begin being friendly, talking with them and sharing some time together.

  10. Learn how to say “I am sorry”
    It is a sign of maturity to admit when we are wrong about something or at fault. Also, you have a better chance of convincing your parents when you are right.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Having 4 Children

I refer to SM Goh’s message in the The Straits Times today – Help sovle the puzzle of missing babies. He is concerned that a population that is not replacing itself will severely affect Singapore’s future.

As a parent of 4 children, I would like to share with parents, parents-to-be and DINKs (couples who have Double Income, No Kids) how I raise and manage my kids.

I have 3 girls and a boy (no. 2), aged 22, 19, 17 and 14. For my first 3 kids, I foster them to a home. In 1990, when my eldest girl was 6, the nanny had to re-locate. I then took in a maid. In 1991, when my youngest girl came along, I foster her to my neighbour while the maid continued to take care of the 3 older ones. When she turned 2, she was in the care of my only maid, together with her other siblings.

All-in-all, we had 4 maids in a span of 10 years. In 2001, when my husband’s business failed, I sent the maid home after her contract ended. Since then, no maid. My youngest was in primary 4 then. I remember asking her can we do without the maid. She pondered for a while and requested to wait until she was in primary 6. I said no because we really need to cut cost. The car was also gone.

It was a great adjustment for the family but we managed. I wanted to try out the dinner caterer arrangement but my kids say no. They prefer to try cooking themselves. So, I started guiding them step-by-step simple meals and allocating household chores to them. Today, I am proud to say my 2 younger girls can cook better than any of their peers.

The working hours of my present job can be long at times. Of course, it is tough to juggle between work and raise 4 kids. However, I take each step as a challenge. Based on 22 years of parenthood, hope you will find the following tips useful.

Tips on managing your kids

  • Breast feed your babies if you can. The benefits are immeasurable.
  • Quality time spent with your child is more important that quantity time, eg engage in activities that involve both parent and child.
  • Follow the pace of each child, some may be faster, some slower.
  • Get them to share things (more cost effective when there is more than 1 kid).
  • Get support from family members and friends when you need help.
  • Try to get your kids to be present for family gatherings. It is a good way to stay in touch and know who your relatives are.
  • Train them to be independent, eg get them to wear socks/shoes themselves at a young age; clear dishes from dining table the put them in the sink.
  • Inculcate in them the importance of money, eg spend within your means.
  • Be involved in their school activities (they will appreciate that we take the time to do so).
  • Respect that kids do want private moments, like closing the door and talk to friends on personal matters.
  • Let them know that adults also need some private time, eg during anniversary, go for a show without them.
  • Be prepared to change with the times. Sometimes, you just have to learn things their way.

I do agree with SM Goh that having children is a personal decision and lifestyle choice. But children do add joy to the family. My encounter with each of my children is different. Will share with you some other time . . .

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Remembering My Dad

My dad (age 78) passed away on Vesak Day, 12 May 2006, this year. Today is his 100th day ritual prayer session. All his children, grandchildren and my mum were present at the temple this morning.

Since his death, my mum has not been taking it well. As her health has also been bad, she has been crying in private moments. As I pen this article, my eyes are also wet with tears. I still miss him dearly.

Dad was borne in China on 22 Dec 1927. At age 20, he went to Kuala Lumpur and spent 5 years there, in his eldest brother’s home. Every month, he would dutifully send half of his pay back to his hometown. Thereafter, he came to Singapore and worked. After 3 years, he married my mother and had since settled down here. My god-grandmother was their match-maker.

Dad fathered the 6 of us – 3 boys and 3 girls. For the first 8 years of my life, I was the only girl and the apple of his eye. Even after my 2 younger sisters came along, I was still his favourite. For most of his financial and personal matters, he would prefer me to handle them. After I was married, he would still call me up and talk about private issues concerning my mother and my other siblings.

I would not say my parents were a loving pair. They quarreled a lot. My mum is the domineering one and it was my dad who would give in to her most of the time. However, when it comes to monetary matters, both will discuss before making any hasty decision. After all, theirs were hard earned money from doing business and they would only spend on what is necessary. Because of their thriftiness and foresight in investment, they had some savings and passive income during old age. After his retirement, he relied on rental for his daily needs.

Like most parents, they wanted the best for us but never spoiling us. My mum is the one who would use the rod and dad would be the good guy. My 3 brothers got most of the spankings when they were young. I was always at ease in dad’s presence and he would accede to most of my requests. He had this positive attitude that things will turn out right. When my husband’s business failed a few years ago, he rendered financial help and moral support. Only last year, after selling my apartment, was I able to repay him. He had planned to return to China again some time this year.

Dad never drove any car. Instead, he rode motor bikes until age 65, all the while on a L-plate. He attempted the driving test but would go giddy whenever he had to make the ‘8’ turns so he gave up trying. Although no passengers are allowed for L-plates, I was a regular rider, hugging tightly behind him. He was a prudent rider, never speeding to ensure safety.

On 18 February this year, we celebrated the 50th wedding ceremony of our parents. My youngest sister had pieced together a cluster of black and while photographs of our parents and the 6 of us. It was a touching moment for them with plenty of recollections. The younger generation looked in amusement of how their parents were when they were babies. It was a happy meal together, followed by Karaoke session.

On 22 Apr 2006, my uncle in Kuala Lumpur passed away at age 88. Though my dad was not too well himself, I knew I had to bring him in to pay his last respects. Of the eight siblings, after my uncle’s demise, my dad was the only surviving one. The 2 brothers had not spoken to each other for the past few years over some misunderstanding. The trip was a fruitful one in that the mystery was finally solved and my two cousins finally knew what happened.

On the last week of Papa’s life, mum was away in Vietnam with my youngest sister (7/5 – 12/5). I was glad to have spent the last three days with him – buying him lunch on 9/5, staying overnight to keep him company on 10/5 and getting breakfast for him on 11/5. On the same evening, after work, my second brother and I were at his Ang Mo Kio flat until 9 p.m. before he ‘drove’ us home. My youngest brother stayed with him that night.

The next morning at around 7.00 a.m., my brother woke up and found him already cold and informed us. Other than diabetes, dad is generally in good health. We did not expect his sudden death at all. The doctor certified the cause as natural death. My mum and youngest sister came back only in the afternoon flight reaching Singapore after 6 p.m. The funeral lasted 5 days. During the wake, many people turned up to pay their last respects. One of my uncles even sang a song to him. Older acquaintances said they had enjoyed doing business with my dad as he was an honourable man and always prompt in payment.

On the last day of the funeral, my nephew of 7 asked me if “Kongkong” (grandfather in Teochew) is really gone. I told him although we may not see him again, he will always live in our hearts.

Yes, Papa, in your ordinary and simple ways, you have touched our hearts and make our lives pleasant. We will remember you always.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Learning Never Ends

Below are some wise tips from a 70 year old:

  • No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
  • One can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles 3 things - a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.
  • Regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.
  • Making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life'.
  • Life sometimes gives you a second chance.
  • One should not go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.
  • Whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
  • Even when I have pains, I do not have to be one.
  • Every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug or just a friendly pat on the back.
  • People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

On top of all these, she is still learning. Bravo to her!

So parents, no matter which age you are at, learning is a never ending journey. I have the following to share.

Tips on learning

  • Learn with your kids. You may not always be right.
  • Try putting yourself in the other person's shoes and see a different view.
  • Constantly upgrade yourself, be it computer skills, negotiating skills, others ...
  • Have a open mind for critiques and feedback. There is always room for improvement.
  • Treat your parents well. Children have eyes to see and will follow suit.
  • Learn to spare some time to listen to your spouse/kids. They will appreciate.
  • Adopt a positive attitude. It will make learning process simpler.
  • Finally, it is never too old to start.

In Singapore, the working environment is very competitive. Hence, it is important to upgrade oneself, be it degrees or soft skills.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Breast Milk is the Best

In today's mind your body under The Straits Times, Singapore, there was this article on Baby & Child - Mum's milk calms. For the benefit of those who have yet read about the good points, let me summarize what the researchers say:
  • Breast-fed kids handle stressful situations better later on in life.
  • Its calming effects seem to be long-lasting, even years after being weaned.
  • There is less of an association between parental divorce and separation and childhood anxiety.
  • Breast milk is full of nutrients, hormones, enzymes, growth factors and antibodies that are passed from mother to child.
  • Breast-feeding reduces infections, respiratory illness and diarrhoea in the child.
  • It also cuts the risk of after-birth bleeding in the mother.

As a mother of 4 myself, I had breast-fed all of them (from 1 to 3 months). Besides those points mentioned above, you may also consider the following tips:

  • It is a good way to slim down. By the end of 3 months when I went back to work, I could wear 50% of my clothes (did not go for any slimming course).
  • For the period that I breast-feed, I save on milk powder cost.
  • During the same period, I only need sterlize bottles for water supplements.
  • Somehow, you feel the bond between you and your baby is stronger.

My children were generally cheerful babies when they were young. After a good nap, they usually greet me with a broad smile when they wake up. I also find that their level of confidence is quite high, e.g. when they went to kindergarten on the first day, they just blend in with the rest of the kids, no crying.

With so many benefits, my advice to mothers-to-be: No harm trying, you have much to gain from breast-feeding.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Treasure what you have

"Dead baby found in staff locker" - this was one of the headlines on the front page of The Straits Time, Singapore, today.

This is not the first time such occurences has happened. While some babies do survive, many are not so lucky. For childless couples, they will wonder why mothers of these babies can be so heartless.

Just yesterday, there was an article under Review with heading "Time to legalise womb renting". On 13/8/2006, it was "How teens deal with unwanted babies". What an irony! Some couples are desperate to bear and raise children while there are those who choose to abort or abandon them.

Whatever reasons the mothers of these babies may have, it is still a sad thing that such events have to take place. I am thankful that I have 4 healthy children. I am sure many parents with children will agree with me that it is a blessing and the joy of raising them is beyond words.

I only have this to say - treasure what you have!

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I read with shock and sadness on the article in The Straits Times, Singapore, today titled: "How teens deal with unwanted babies - Abortion after abortion after abortion . . ."

The main reason is these teens choose unprotected sex instead of using contraceptives. They also prefer not to use condoms and rather take the risk, all for the thrill of sexual satisfaction.

What went wrong? Is it society's fault or parents' fault? Our education system surely failed terribly in this aspect. Most importantly, I think teens themselves should be responsible for their own actions. They know what they are getting into and still do it.

Sex is only part of one's life. There are many other things to thrive for in life. While exploring for pleasure, do spare a thought for after consequences. Every baby deserves a chance to be borne. By abortion, these teens are actually killing unborn lives. They are also doing disservice to their body.

So wake up you teenagers out there!
Have some discipline and respect on yourself! Have respect for the unborn too!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Loving Singapore

Aug 9 may be over but the celebration for Singapore's 41st National day is still on.

Here's a poem to describe my feelings for the occasion.

In 1965 independence we gain
41 years we have come
Six presidents we have had
Yusof Ishak, Benjamin Sheares,
Devan Nair, Wee Kim Wee,
Ong Teng Cheong and
the present S R Nathan
Though a small nation
Many achievements we are proud of
Singapore Airlines internationally known
HDB provided many a home
CPF serves as a security net for old age
Also reputed as a clean garden city
No doubt there are setbacks such as
1997 financial crisis
2003 SARS and now the bird flu
Still we braved and overcome these challenges
While we rejoice in the NDP celebrations
Let's also be thankful that
We are in a "fine" and safe country where
We are spared disasters like tsunami, volcanoes
and terrorist attacks

No matter what happens, I will always be a Singaporean. As a parent, I will also encourage my children to stay put here. There will always be green pasture to explore.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Simple Tips to Good Life

The front page of The Straits Times, Singapore, today has this ad "Love Your Face Campaign". While it is good to look nice, one must also be happy and live fruitfully.

Parents, below are 5 simple tips to stay happy:

1) Free your heart from hatred
2) Free your mind from worries
3) Live simply
4) Give more
5) Demand less and expect miracles in life

No one can go back and make a brand new start.
Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

Disappointments are like road bumps, they slow you down a bit
but you will enjoy the smooth road afterwards.
Do not stay on the bumps too long. MOVE ON!

When something happens to you, GOOD or BAD, consider what it means.
There is a purpose to life's events - to teach you how to laugh more and not to cry too hard.

You cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to the person to realize your worth.
It is better to lose your pride to the one you love,
than to lose the one you love because of pride.
We spend too much time looking for the right person to love
or finding fault with those we already love.
Instead, we should be perfecting the love we give.

Never abandon a good old friend.
You will never find one who can take his place.
Friendship is like wine, it gets better as it grows older.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Eating Right

Have you ever wondered what you eat will affect your organs in your body? Well, here are some food for thought advice that my friend, Linda (a nurse for more than 7 years), has to share:


LUNGS - if you are paled face, try taking white colour stuff like winter melon, almonds, white sesame and the like. To boost your lung energy, try long distance jogging.

HEART - if weak, usually has red face. Try taking red colour stuff like chilli, tomato, red wine, strawberries, etc.

GALL BLADDER, SPLEEN and LIVER - people with these weak organs will have yellow or 'green' face. Try dark green colour food such as spinach, brocolli plus other leafy greens.

STOMACH - for those with weak digestive system, avoid spicy food, milk, fish and seafood.

KIDNEY - the evident sign of weak kidneys is dark or 'purple' face. The remedy is to eat purple colour stuff like grapes, brinjal, mangosteen, etc.

INTESTINE - refers to constipation problems. Try orange and yellow colour stuff like orange, papaya, banana and the like.

BRAIN - for this vital organ, just maintain a positive attitude and have lots of laughter.

Besides food, the environment also plays a part. Green light helps to balance the body system while purple is good for the mind. So, for those having difficulty in sleeping, try installing purple light to calm yourself at day's end to have a GOOD NIGHT sleep.

In Singapore, life can be very stressful. So parents, with above tips, take note and try out some of the recommendations.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Coping with elderly parents

While parent focus has always been on how to deal with toddlers to teenagers, it is also important to know how to cope with elderly parents. The "Upfront" article in The Straits Times today on "Caring for the lonely as they grow old" sparkle some deep thoughts for me.
My own dad had just passed away on 12 May 2006. My mum is 73 and not copying well. Though my youngest sister is staying with her, she is still lonely during the day. The rest of us have tried to understand her needs and cope with her wants.
After some fact finding, we found some basic needs and wants that many old people yearn to have.

  • Basic bread and butter issues to fill their stomachs
  • Some pocket money to spend (it doesn't have to be a lot)
  • Affordable medical expenses (for those who are in ill health)
  • Care and concern (especially those with children)
  • Some activities to keep themselves occupied
  • Social gatherings (with friends, children/grandchildren)
  • Someone to talk to when they are lonely
  • Financial independence (the elders do not want to be a burden to their children)

Besides being a burden, many elders also want to avoid conflict with their daughters-in-law or sons-in-law. So, couples while caring for their toddlers and teenagers, do spare some time for your aged parents.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Bonding with your teen

Teens are at an age into adulthood and expect their parents to treat them like one. Parents, on the other hand, would still want to exert certain degree of discipline when they sense that something is amiss. When reasoning and punishment fail, they would then exercise their authority, i.e. Don't argue, just obey.

Hence, bonding is very important. Below are some tips to conflict resolution.


Conflict is a part of every close human relationship. When resolved respectfully, conflict is actually healthy because it promotes communication and yields solutions, which work for everyone. Working at resolving conflict also communicates to your teenagers that you take them seriously and respect their feelings and opinions.

Conflict involves 2 important dimensions: FEELINGS and CONTENT or the issue causing the conflict. Successful resolution fosters a ventilating of the feelings and a discussion of the issue.

The following suggestions will help you to “fight fair” as you work through conflict with your teenagers:

Rules for Fighting Fair:

  • Realize that your teenagers are no longer children and therefore they are capable of reasoning in a more adult way. So, start by stating your belief that together you and your teen can resolve any challenge.

  • Ask non-blaming questions to clarify the issue. An important step is spending time in naming or identifying the real issue.

  • Listen to your teen’s point of view and realize that we all see things differently.

  • Share your feelings honestly about the issue and encourage your teens to express their feelings but watch for “fouls”.

  • Stick to the issue. Do not dredge up past hurts or problems.

  • When you have been wrong, admit it. Ask for forgiveness.

  • Be willing to explore compromises. Avoid a win-lose resolution, which creates negative feelings and really does not create an effective resolution.

  • DO NOT give up until you have come to some resolution.

Fouls that block the process (MUST AVOID)

· Name calling
· Blaming
· Physical violence
· Yelling
· Threatening
· Obscenities
· Rolling eyes
· Insults
· Using the “Silent Treatment”