WITH the year 2017 about to leave us, I hope it has been a good one for you and that it has somehow brought your family closer together. All the joys and sorrows are now part of the family history. The priceless moments created will be valuable when the chips are down. It will be these which will bring back the smiles and laughter when recalled.

As the children grow bigger and taller, so will the challenges of 2018. And there’s no better time to be ready to face those challenges than now. No one can face them alone. It takes a great amount of teamwork, understanding and perseverance from all the family members. There’s a role for everyone.

Let’s begin with dad. As the head of the family, we should be a responsible leader and not a dictator. Our wife and children are God’s gift to us hence we should value them more than anything else in the world.

When things go wrong, we should look at ourselves first before blaming others. We must listen more and talk less. When we do talk, we should use only the best and most respectable language when communicating with them. They deserve our utmost respect and attention for they’re the best thing we’ll ever have.

As for mums, please continue the great work you have been doing. Continue to work together in the most effective manner while making sure that we’re on an aligned rather than conflicting path. As the kids are a year older, we need to be more patient when dealing with their antics. They’re also human beings with their own feelings and aspirations. Let them define their own success and let’s not impose our own version onto them. That said, never give up on guiding and nudging them with love, care and tenderness.


We can work together in more ways than we can imagine. For example, if family finance is a concern, don’t make it your worry alone. Involve the whole family, including your little ones, and brainstorm ideas on how to improve the situation.

Lay down all your worries and concerns and find the solutions together. Lead by example. If you have to make do without certain unnecessary luxuries, be the first to volunteer to discontinue it. Declare your objective. Work together to achieve your family’s financial targets.

If you’re able to do this, more than half of the battle is already won. You’ll find that the whole family will chip in to help you achieve those objectives. No matter how small their contributions, they go a long way towards achieving whatever goals you set for the family. The best part is that your whole family would also feel that those are their objectives too.

The key word is leveraging on each other. Let the family be your pillars of strength when things are getting tougher and you feel like giving up. In return, you should be their supporter too. By doing all these, we can look back 12 months from now without any regrets. By then, hopefully we’d have filled our calendar with lots of exciting events, bigger achievements and many more happy memories.

Happy New Year everyone! May 2018 bring us more love, joy, prosperity and happiness!

Zaid Mohamad coaches and trains parents to experience happier homes and more productive workplaces. Reach him at zaid@smartparents.com.my

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