“Celaka” parenting tip

“Celaka” is a second class word.

If you are not familiar, “celaka” is a Malay word equivalent to “damn it”, or “shit.”

Although it is not a good word, the bad word taught me a powerful parenting lesson last Friday.

Last weekend was a long one as we had public holidays on Monday and Tuesday.

So there was no school for my nine-year-old J.

Due to the long weekend, the teachers gave a lot of homework to make up for the holidays.

While going through her homework, J was mumbling to herself and complaining about her homework on hand and suddenly she blurted, “Not only do I have to answer this, but I also have to color it. Celaka!”

My wife and I were shocked to hear what J had said. Because this is the first time she ever said the word “celaka.”

Though in shock, we laughed at it because J said it so lightheartedly.

But on a serious note, this is no laughing matter.

Where did J pick that word up? Who taught her the rude word?

As a matter of fact – and I’ll admit – she picked that word up from me!

I am the culprit. I say “celaka” a lot. It’s like it has become a habit.

I am not surprised if J picked it up.

So what’s the lesson?

Children pick up and learn whatever the parents do and say. They are like sponge and absorb everything that comes their way – good and bad.

It’s important that parents exert some kind of control not to display bad behavior when children are around… of course, unless you want them to pick up the bad things.

Better still, why not kick it up a notch?

Regard children as your moral and behavioral police to guard you off of negative behavior. Take this as a challenge for you to change and improve as a person.

(Yes children can be our teachers.)

On the other hand, by refraining yourself from negative behavior, your child will not pick up anything negative from you.

It works both ways. It’s a perfect solution.

Hope that when I meet you next time, I will not say the word “celaka” anymore.

P.S. I’ll be launching my new book “The Uncensored Guide to Parenting” soon.

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About Abel Cheng

I am a work-at-home father and chauffeur to my 2 children. I love simple living and my latest passion is healthy eating. Lastly, I am the founder of ParentWonder, which shares tips on becoming better parents.