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parents to be GOOD parents? Does it work?
personal accounts by real parents
THe following are testimony by real parents on
how they gain from the "Parenting with Confidence"
workshop organized by Focus On The Family and
which is supported and heavily subsided by MCDS.
“Parenting with Confidence” workshops
are designed to equip and encourage parents of
children in age groups 0-5 and 6-12 years.
This course is designed by Dr James Dobson, who
has written many parenting books. Dr. Dobson’s
90-second commentary is aired five times a day
on NewRadio FM 93.8, a national secular station
that caters to professionals and businessmen.
And a one-hour program is hosted weekly on the
same radio station.
here for more information and registration info
on the course.
by Kenneth Ho
As a first-time dad, there are many things that I do
not know and expect from raising a newborn baby. Being
practical and having sourced around for some parenting
courses, my wife and I decided to enroll in this Parenting
in Confidence course as it is made really affordable
due to the subsidy from MCDS.
I am very satisfied after attending this course as
it is well-organised with structured course content.
There are discussions and advice not only from the facilitators,
but also from the other couples; and these give us really
useful and practical examples. Both Roger and Wendy
are well-trained, approachable and very helpful; even
calling us during the week to find out how we are coping
Some of the course highlights which impress me are:
1. When we discipline our kids, don't sweat over the
small stuff; and we should try to encourage the thinking
process in children and not think on their behalf.
2. We must learn to be always calm whenever all kinds
of situations arise and not panic or get angry immediately.
by Ginny Chan
1. Sleep problem
Our 5-month old baby Joshua has been having difficulties
in getting to sleep at night and will usually cry and
thrash around for about 1 - 2 hours before falling asleep.
As my mother-in-law will rock him to sleep but which
I and hubby Kenny don't agree in this method at all,
we were at a loss as to what to do.
So after sharing our problem with Wendy, she advised
us to put baby to sleep earlier and let him try the
crying out method too. Our normal routine was to put
him to bed at 10pm and we tried the first 2 nights,
but gave in after about 5 minutes of him crying as my
mother-in-law would always come into our room to want
to carry him whenever he cried. As such, this made it
very difficult for us in implementing this method as
Joshua knew that he can cry until his grandma comes
to carry him. However, I managed to try it again when
Kenny went overseas to work for a few days and his mum
had an appointment one night.
I gave him his last feed at about 7.30pm, then cleaned
him up and put him on my bed by 8.30pm. This was followed
by a routine of playing/singing/talking/praying with
him, which is usually about half an hour until he started
thrashing and making noises. After doing that for quite
awhile, I just spoke to him in a firm voice, "Joshua,
you're not going to make so much noise and cry every
night before sleep. It's now sleeping time' and he suddenly
stopped and just looked at me and smiled. I also hugged
and reassured him after that that mummy loves him but
after awhile, he was back to his cranky old ways.
So I just let him cry out till he fell asleep in less
than 15 minutes and he slept from 9.30pm – 8.00am
the next morning without waking up for any feed or crying
at all! In fact when he woke up, he didn't cry at all
for food but just smiled and smiled when I said good
morning to him!
That was really like a miracle and I tried it again
the following night. The same thing happened but at
a shorter duration, after I spoke to him again in that
firm voice and he recognized that mummy didn't allow
that kind of behaviour. And when Kenny came back from
overseas, he was so amazed at what he was seeing that
he gave me the thumbs-up sign many times as Joshua was
asleep already and we didn't want to make any noise.
It's now much faster to get him to sleep than before,
from nearly 2 hours of thrashing initially to 1 hour,
then half an hour, and 10 minutes to 5 minutes now!
Both of us are really happy that he now falls asleep
fast without much thrashing, but of course on some nights
he would be thrashing longer again as he's testing his
boundaries. So we've just got to be firm and continue
the hard work.
This parenting course has been a very useful guide
to us and also mentioned that we must be consistent
and firm in our parenting skills. And we realised that
when we try out one method, we can't just give up after
1 - 2 days but should try for at least 1 - 2 weeks.
As Joshua's been sleeping with us most of the time
because he would cry whenever we put him in his cot,
Wendy also advised us to carry him back to his cot after
he's slept for about 15 minutes. This is because the
first half an hour when baby sleeps is the deepest sleep
and even if we move baby, he won't move at all. So we
tried this out too and it worked! But of course we sometimes
moved him a bit too soon after his sleep and he would
wake up and cry, so we still need to fine tune. Our
next challenge is to put him in the cot in his own room.
2. Back-Bone Parent-Coach
3. Creating a childhood
Both of us are really glad to have joined this course
which has been so helpful in guiding us to be better
and knowledgeable parents. There are quite a number
of topics which are eye-openers to us eg. Backbone Parenting:
being firm but yet flexible, 5 love languages of kids,
the different disciplining methods which will still
keep our child's self-esteem intact, and even creative
play activities like making play-dough out of some cooking
ingredients rather than just buying the ready-made Play-doh
off the shelf!
It has been a very fruitful and enjoyable time with
the other couples as we learn and share with one another
our different experiences of bringing up children. And
this is really beneficial as they are real and practical
We are indeed very fortunate to have Roger and Wendy
as our facilitators because they share with us many
other important principles which are over and above
those taught in the course book. This is made possible
as they have attended other good parenting courses and
from bringing up their 2 children too. They also generously
lent us some parenting books which are useful in letting
us know what to expect from our 6-month old child and
how to handle the many issues which will arise in due
Overall, it has really been a fun time as the various
presenters in the course materials and videos always
bring out the topics in a humorous manner. And this
helps lighten the mood incredibly as parenting is actually
supposed to be a joyful role, rather than a dull and
So we are looking forward to more of such relevant
parenting courses at affordable prices because parenting
is a lifelong process. With all these, we are then able
to raise our child(ren) up to be happy, confident and
well-mannered individuals who will be good citizens
respecting other people and property too!
Testimony by Stuart &
4 things I learnt at the workshop:
1: Self control - staying calm as a parent is important,
especially when I want my on children to be able to
stay calm when facing difficulties (in other words be
what you want them to be). Easier said then done.
2: Caning is OK -- that’s great I'm now going
to bring out my golden cain. haha no just joking.
3: Talking about it and thinking about it means nothing
about it. What I mean is, if I want to encourage my
child towards a certain behavior, I've to plan and act
upon a means to encourage the desired behavior. And
track this performance using a chart or so, so that
we all can see the improvement and have confidence that
what we're doing as parents work.
4: Harmony among the controlling factors at home is
important to reinforce and cement my children’s
1: The food was good.
2: The meeting moved on at a good pace.
3: The breadth of knowledge of the facilitators was
beneficial to the members.
4: I would recommend any parent or parent to be to
participate in this class, as the lessons and experiences
shared in the class are invaluable to raising a child
with good self esteem. I believe that the root of a
good life is strong self esteem and confidence. Without
these no one would proactively do what is needed and
right in this world.
Testimony by Roslin Chua
I am a busy working mother with 2 sons, aged 3 and
5 years old, in the family. Due to my busy work schedule,
I do not usually have the luxury to spend a lot of time
with my 2 sons. Coupled with my heavy household chores,
I always felt guilty not able to spend enough time with
them. However, through the Parenting course put up by
MCDS and through sharing with our coach, Wendy and Roger,
I have learnt:
1. Quality time
To spend quality time with my sons. I have learnt to
involve them and giving them simple chores while I do
my housework. Not only that they have learnt to be responsible,
they have also enjoyed the task assigned to them which
contributes to the well-being of our family.
2. Back-Bone Parent-Coach
With the limited time that I have every night, I have
also learnt to communicate and be a backbone parents
to them, understanding their needs and explicitly expressing
my love to them. This includes learning to praise and
showing them their positive traits, thereby encouraging
them. The lesson on positive reinforcement has also
helped to build up my elder son’s confidence.
3. Family Mission Statement
In one of the course on “Rules setting”,
the greatest achievement is that my husband and I are
able to sit down to brainstorm our family mission statement
and values for the family. This has greatly encouraged
our family bonds and I really thank MCDS for making
this course available.
Testimony by Wendy and
Roger and Wendy with their 2 beautiful
Our stay at Riveria Bay Malacca was fantastic. Here’s
our testimony. The apartment was huge. There were 3
bedrooms with attached toilet each. The size of each
bedroom is equivalent to 1 hotel room. Plus there is
a living hall, dining area, complete built-in kitchen
equipped for cooking and a balcony that faces the sea
without any blocking. We ate kampong durian at the balcony
with the sea breeze blowing through our hair. Shiok
right? Of course each room has got either 2 single beds
or a king sized bed. My parents took one room, we took
the room with the king sized bed and there’s one
more bedroom left. Guess who took the 3rd room? Was
it left empty as most parents would want their children
to sleep with them, or rather the children are not able
to sleep on their own separately in a strange environment?
Since we are conducting parenting classes, we must practice
what we preach. So we tried out the 1st night. Introduce
them to their own room and bed. Do the usual quiet bedtime
ritual, said good night and close the door. I stood
outside the door to see what will happen, expecting
to hear crying and the kids coming down and running
out of the room. Bearing in mind that they are only
2.5 and 4.5 years old. After a few minutes, nothing
happened. So I went back to our bedroom and had a wonderful
quiet evening together alone. The same thing happened
the 2nd night. It works! All the hard work training
them to sleep through the night on their own in their
own bedroom since 3 months of age is worth it. Isn’t
that great! We were truly blessed to have this quality
family time and together with our parents. Now we see
the fruits of our labour. We are so glad to have attended
such parenting courses even before our first child was
born; it really helped prepared us and made parenting
such a joy!
To all parents out there, keep up the good job and be
encouraged with what you are doing or trying to do.
Remember that it takes 21 days to cultivate a habit,
good or bad. Yes, parenting is hard work, but it’s
worth it! Great parents and great kids are made, not
Reproduced with permission. Contribution by Wendy and
Roger, facilitator of "Parenting with Confidence"
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