Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Hj Mohd Ali being accompanied by Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail and Dr Anjli Doshi-Gandhi at the launch of the Positive Parenting Phase III programme in Kuala Lumpur.
Positive Parenting is asking Malaysian families to shut their electronic gadgets down and spend more quality time together.
The Positive Parenting Programme has launched a nationwide campaign to encourage parents to disconnect from their digital gadgets – TVs, game consoles, smartphones, computers – for an hour a day to prompt more families to reconnect and find other ways to spend quality family time and have fun together. This is believed to be the first campaign of its kind in Malaysia.
The rise in the number of parents who are over-reliant on digital devices to pacify their kids, or those who are addicted to it themselves, is extremely disturbing. More and more parents are using these gadgets to occupy their children’s time to compensate for their absence.
This new online pledge initiative by Positive Parenting was launched in conjunction with the Positive Parenting Phase III programme, which was graced by guest of honour Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Hj Mohd. Ali.
“Society is spending more time with their gadgets and some parents are resorting to digital nannying. We hope that young Malaysian parents will take up this pledge and commit to spending more quality time with their children as this will impact their children’s emotional wellbeing in the long run,” said Dr Siti Hasmah.
During the pledge duration, participants can visit the Positive Parenting website or Facebook page to share their stories about the impact of technology on their lives, their successes or struggles with going or staying unplugged, plus tips on technology-free activities.
In addition to the pledge, Positive Parenting is encouraging the public to submit photos of what spending quality family time mean to different Malaysians, and to post it on Positive Parenting’s Facebook page with the hashtag #100qualityfamilymoments.
“Parents are relying on these gadgets to entertain their children. We are in danger of losing the essence of family togetherness. We hope that through this pledge, we would be able to revive the tradition of family togetherness and also to raise children who are more emotionally connected,” said Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail, chairman of the Positive Parenting Programme and president of the Asia Pacific Paediatric Association.
Positive Parenting, initiated by the Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA) in 2000, is Malaysia’s most authoritative parenting educational programme, driven by key healthcare experts bodies such as Nutrition Society of Malaysia, Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Malaysia, and Malaysian Mental Health Association.
At the core of Positive Parenting is the delivery of credible expert advice and guidance to young parents on a myriad of topics relating to child health and development, nutrition, and maternal and family wellness. Key highlights among the new initiatives include Positive Parenting’s presence on social media platforms and the commencement of an improved and expanded website, including a live ‘Ask the Expert’ section.
“For the past 13 years, Positive Parenting has gone through an amazing journey of advocating to young parents in maternal, child and family care. This year, Positive Parenting will be charting a new chapter as we explore newer avenues to reach out to all young Malaysian parents,” Dr Zulkifli said.
After the launch, a parenting seminar themed “Eat Right, Play More, Be Healthy” was held. Prof Dr Norimah A Karim, a nutritionist and lecturer from UKM, spoke on how to entice kids to eat healthily, while Dr Rajini Sarvananthan, a developmental paediatrician, shared the importance of incorporating playtime in children’s daily lives to optimise their development. Food artist Samantha Lee also demonstrated ways to come up with interesting looking meals for kids. The seminar was from a four-part series being conducted in Kuching, Penang and Johor Baru in April and May.