What struck me most about the talk this morning with Kak Jamilah and
her husband was the statement that Bro Ahmad (Kak Jamilah's husband)
said about "fathers facing extinction". When it comes to attending
parenting talks, 80% of the attendees would be the mothers. Where are
fathers? Do they expect mothers to learn everything and take the sole
responsibility of parenting the children? Do they think that being a
breadwinner is enough to qualify them as a "father"? Many fathers
don't realise that it takes more than that to be a "father".
The topic of the talk was how to nurture "Cool Boys Super Sons", which
is also Kak Jamilah's latest book.
Statistics shows that over 90% of drug addicts in Malaysia are male.
Juvenile cases involving boys are also on the rise. For parents with
boys, this is surely a cause of concern.
Why do children misbehave? According to research, it is because
- they are bored
- they want attention
- they lack discipline.
When the children are bored, they would seek activities which
stimulate them. Some of the activities could be against the law. One
may wonder why would they risk their lives by getting into illegal
activities (drugs, mat rempit, etc)? It is for the attention. They
would rather face punishment to get attention, rather than no
attention at all (if they do "mundane, legal" things). So, after one
has given the attention, what happens next if the child still
misbehave? That is when discipline needs to come in.
Discipline is about requiring a change in the behavior and showing how
to change it.
Boys between 6-12 look up to their fathers. At this stage it is
important for the father to play a more active role in the child's
life. The son is seeking a role model to emulate. When the son is in
his teens, he needs a mentor in his life, which could still be a
Thus, we see that for boys, fathers need to be there for their sons,
not just in a "touch and go" fashion. Spend one on one time with your
son, one son at a time if you have more. Share their interest. Listen
to them. Understand their needs. Guide them to the right path. Put
aside TIME to be with them because if you don't, they will not wait
for you to have the time. Remember the "Cats in the Cradle" song?
With statistics showing that boys are in dire need of attention, where
are the fathers and what role are they playing in their sons' lives?
it is not enough to simply say "I will do what my father did in
bringing me up, so I should be ok" because the challenges that our
children face now are far different and more dangerous than what we
did when we were growing up. And some of the "traditional roles" are
not suitable for our children's times.
Bro Ahmad suggested a session entirely for fathers, to talk about
parenting, marital relationship and such. Any takers?
Anyway, no worries if you missed the talk. You can get the book at