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Friday October 25, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday October 25, 2013 MYT 6:47:01 PM
by charis patrick
Way to go: We need to model and teach our young to live a healthy lifestyle. — Reuters
The writer concludes her fortnightly column in Star2
with an apt finale.
LIFE is the ultimate endurance sport and being a parent can be the most strenuous training, especially during their child’s teen and tween years. All great races require incredible organisation and planning. They do not just organise themselves.
Best-selling author, the late Stephen Covey, in his well-known book The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People describes the second habit as, “Begin with the end in mind”. This habit is based on imagination – the ability to envision what we cannot at present see with our eyes.
It is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There is first the mental creation, then a physical creation, just like before any building is completed there is always first, an artist’s impression. The physical creation follows the mental process.
The truth is, if we don’t make a conscious effort to visualise how we want our teens and tweens to turn out and know the most important things we want to impart in them, then we inevitably empower their peers and life situations to shape our child’s life by default.
In this final piece for my column, I would like to share the five pillars I think would be important to consider in order for our teens and tweens to finish well in life:
Abraham Lincoln said: “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
Our character is much more than just what we try to display for others to see, it is who we are even when no one is watching.
Good character is doing the right thing because it is right to do what is right. This is a high call because if we desire our teens and tweens to have a good, solid character, it starts with us, being a good role model.
Many great leaders past and present have fallen because of poor moral character. Ultimately, it is our teens and tweens’ character that will carry them through their success.
2. Emotional quotient (EQ)
Simply put, EQ is the ability to manage oneself and others. In this Internet age, nearly everything is just a click away. The huge challenge is to teach our young about the value of delayed gratification and exercising self-control.
EQ deals with both intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. For example, a teenager may have a creative idea within him but lack the self-confidence to express himself or not know how to communicate in a succinct manner. This will impede his ability to succeed and will minimise, instead of maximising, his potential.
3. Adversity quotient (AQ)
I remember working with a brilliant 14-year-old years ago in a counselling setting. I must admit it was rather stressful working with the boy because he often asked difficult scholastic questions of which I did not know the answers. In fact, I built rapport with him by picking up encyclopedic knowledge from him.
You might wonder why a brainy boy needed counselling help. He was scoring As for most part of his life and the day he fell short of an A, he became depressed and even suicidal. This is a classic presentation of someone who may have very high IQ but very low AQ.
AQ measures how fast and well one can spring back from failure, learn from it and move on. In fact, high AQ is one of the key determinants of a person’s success, clearly evident in many stories of successful entrepreneurs.
The question is: “Do we allow our teens and tweens to fail? How do we respond when they fail?”
4. Financial aptitude
We often hear people complaining that the young today do not know what is hardship and therefore do not appreciate the value of money. To a great extent, it is true. Hence, it is important for our teens and tweens to be financially literate.
The school only teaches mathematics but does not focus on financial aptitude. The end result? They will end up like most of us who will work hard all our lives for money and never know how to let the money work for us.
Furthermore, gone are the days of “iron rice bowl” and “pension schemes”. Job security is almost non-existent. If we teach our teens and tweens to study hard so that they can get a good and secure job, they may be in for a rude shock.
5. Live healthy
Health is wealth. Holistic health includes the physical, psycho-socio-emotional and even spiritual aspects.
Imagine our teens and tweens growing up to be very successful but are unable to enjoy their success because of ill health, it will be such a pity.
We need to model and teach our young to live a healthy lifestyle. Eat right, exercise or take up a sport and learn to manage stress.
Like a friend of mine once said: “If we do not take care of our health, one day we will become the greatest charitable organisation who will donate all our wealth to the health organisation – hospitals!”
As the saying goes, it is not how we start but more importantly, how we finish. May we all finish well and help our teens and tweens do likewise.
Charis Patrick signing off: ‘'Ive really enjoyed sharing my thoughts and speaking my mind through this column in Star2 on alternate weeks for over two years (from May 25, 2011). Treasure every moment with your teens and tweens before they fly solo.'
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Opinion, Lifestyle, Teens And Tweens, Charis Patrick, finishing, final article
The writer concludes her fortnightly column in Star2 with an apt finale.
It’s bewildering to parents when their preteen girls are no longer sweet and everything nice.
Boundaries help teens and tweens define what they can and cannot do, says Charis Patrick.
Parents, steer your impressionable children through the bewildering array of information and choices that they face every day.
Be strategic in your fights with the kids.
Entering your kids’ ‘monosyllabic zone’.
Are your unmotivated teens or tweens causing you sleepless nights? Now, stand back and take a good look at your child, advises Charis Patrick.
A father’s love strengthens the family foundation.
Spot the signs and help youngsters afflicted with eating disorders find help.
Anorexia and bulimia usually develop during the teenage years, and sufferers should be given help without delay, writes Charis Patrick.
Charis Patrick is a trainer and family life educator who is married with four children.
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