In Malay community there is this saying that goes ‘Raising a herd of cows is easier than raising a daughter’. Don’t over read the meaning. Raising boys are equally hard. No, girls are not cows. It is basically, raising girls has its set of challenges. And my parents has 4 of them!
I have to admit, I was a handful to take care of growing up. I have that sweet looking face (so I was told) but my character and action defeat all that sweetness. Not that I am a walking contradiction, I was just a curious one. From the smallest – I forged my mum signature to go for a school trip and my parents constantly getting calls from the principle to my encounter with wrong group of people. To a point my parents got me spiritual water of sort to ensure my safety. Looking back, those things made up who I am today and I was fortunate to meet my husband who finds all that amusing.
It’s a blessing that all 4 of us turn out alright. All went to university, have a family of our own and living life. Looking back, there are certain parenting styles us girls could learn from;
- High emphasis on education
My mum didn’t care if all of us girls can’t cook. To her, when you become a mother one day, you could not avoid the kitchen. Which is true enough. She wanted us to get good education for our future. We would be scolded and rewarded for our results in school. Studying got serious only in high school. Before that I remembered my mum stressing out, on enjoying our childhood. She grew up from a poor background and started working early so she sort of missed a fun childhood. We play a lot when we were little.
- They were highly nosy parents
We fought a lot when it come to this. They would drop by numerous time anywhere to check on us. From school, at work, at home with friends. Funny enough, it would be one of those thing that you would miss when you are all grown up. Those act was actually a security blanket over us girls, to remind us that they matter and to be mindful of our actions.
- Discussion / Confrontation
I know some people avoid this or what they call drama. But not in my family. If there is an issue or any kind of discomfort be it the tone of our response, expect a 2 hours phone call later in the evening. It resulted in knowing our limits and boundaries. Thinking about having a boyfriend before completing school? Here come a day and half lecture on responsibility, maturity and boys in general. When there are decision made, it is a normal scene for us to have some kind of round table serious talk.
- Lead by example
The most important subject of all and even Rasulullah SAW does this. When my parents pushed their kids to study, they would do the same. My father is a professor, from seriously dirt poor background he rise and pushed himself, and my mum has her PhD in her late 40s showing its never too late to pursue a dream. My parents urged us on having healthy financial habit and they show it on how they managed their saving and properties and how they would never waste money on lavish items.