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Book Review — The Intuitive Parent

When I read the front flap, I immediately know that I must borrow this book, another book for parents.

“(Children) don’t need flashcards, educational videos, or the latest iPad app to help speed their development.”

Title: The Intuitive Parent — Why the Best Thing for Your Child is You

Author: Stephen Camarata, PhD

I do not want to be a tiger mum but I cannot be a laissez-faire mum either. In competitive Singapore, either style does not fit me. I have bought books and flashcards in sets, even the toys must serve a purpose for the child to learn.

Even when the playgroup teacher told me that my child is advanced for her age, I was sceptical. Did she just say it to make me feel happy?

Though I cannot define my parenting style, I know it is somewhere between tiger mum and laissez-faire mum. After reading this book, I know I am on the right track. I parent on as what my intuition tells me. If I am too tired for a bedtime story, I just tell her a two-sentence story. All flashcards can wait if she is more interested in toys.

Intuitive parenting emphasizes focusing on your child, enjoying the moment, and reacting naturally to whatever the baby is doing.

 

The book is very thick, including a chapter on brain science. If you are too busy to read the whole book, each chapter ends with a summary of the chapter.

Have you ever wondered how to be the best parent? What is the best for your child? Read this book and you might just realize that you are the best person for your child. Happy reading!

 

 

* * ### Thanks for reading! ### * *

Book Review — 孩子,我留什么给你

In 2014, I borrowed a book, 《学习方法》, which is suitable for students and learners. In 2017, I borrow a book,《孩子,我留什么给你 —— 一定要留给孩子的7大能力》, which is suitable for parents.

孩子 = child or children

留什么 = pass down what

能力 = abilities

书名:《孩子,我留什么给你 —— 一定要留给孩子的7大能力》

作者:谢淑美 (Carol)

《孩子,我留什么给你 —— 一定要留给孩子的7大能力》 has a long title. The title in English is “Children, what do I pass down for you? — The 7 abilities that must be passed down to children”. The writer is a mother to two daughters. As a parent, she has wondered what to pass down to her children. I have wondered the same too. Is it money? Is it important moral value, such as honesty?

If you are wondering the same issue, this is a good book. From the title of the book, the author writes about the seven important abilities (to be exact, six abilities and time) that she wants to pass down to her daughters. While there might be controversy whether a child needs us since birth or later when they are children, I strongly support “since birth”, rather than “later when they are children”.

The first thing that newborns need is sense of security. Once they have the sense of security, they are good with whomever, whether a domestic helper or a grandparent. Time is precious, growing up is only once and you can’t turn back time.

 

Child

The book cover

 

 

For each chapter, one or two children books are recommended for you and your children to read together.

It is also a parenting book. For example, in Chapter 13: 小孩吵架,大人不要插手 (When children quarrel, adults do not intervene).

I like a sentence from Chapter 2 the most:

“孩子的力量让我们可以谦卑地接受生命中的一切安排。”

(The power of children allows us to humbly accept all the circumstances in life.)

The author writes about her father-in-law passing away in Chapter 2. Her two daughters have given her the power to give her husband the necessary support.

Have you ever wondered what to pass down to your children? If yes, this book will answer your question. Happy reading!

 

 

* * ### Thanks for reading! ### * *

The Power of Hugs

In the society where I grow up, we do not usually hug each other on a daily basis. I still remember my first hug when a friend was going overseas to further her studies. My hands were “frozen” half way in the air as she happily hugged me. I feel awkward; maybe hugs are not for me.

Time passes by quickly and now I have a child. Thus, I have been reading a lot on parenting. There is one that catches my attention: “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth”, as quoted from a respected family therapist, Virginia Satir.

How do we count a hug? How long should a hug last? How do I hug my child when I am not used to being hugged?

More research is done. As it turns out, physical contact that lasts at least 20 seconds has the same effect as hugs, for example, patting and touching. Now, it is something that I can do.

On one particular night, my toddler was having a nightmare. Remembering the benefits of hugs, I patted her lightly. In under a minute, she became quiet and fell asleep peacefully again.

Wow, that’s amazing! I am going to hug pat and hold my child more.

Note: The healthiest hugs must come from someone you trust. Strangers, please do not simply hug anyone.

* * ### Thanks for reading! ### * *

 

 

I Don’t Know Babies Burp

*Burp*     “Excuse me.”

“It’s ok. Everyone burps, even babies.”

“I don’t know babies burp.”

It was the conversation between me and an 11-year-old girl who just burped.

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Before I was pregnant, I told my future baby that I am ready for him or her, physically, mentally, physiologically, psychologically, financially, you name it. I read up books on pregnancy, articles on how to raise a child, save money, exercise to keep myself fit and healthy, etc. Yes, I thought I was ready. But I was wrong. The labour was a horror even though I had attended the antenatal class and learnt how to “push”. Despite knowing that breast milk is little but sufficient for baby on first few weeks, my baby keeps crying for milk every hour, 24 hours everyday. Three months after the labour, things slowly get better with an exhausted mum, thinking how arrogant I was when I said I was ready.

joyfulyue.com_baby_preparation

Preparation for baby

You can never be ready enough. Self-confidence is good. But over-confidence will take you by surprise. Even if you have studied diligently and done all the homework, you still need to do revision before the examination. For students who are in Primary 5 this year, it is never too early to start preparing for PSLE next year. Happy preparing and getting ready!

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Book Review — 小王子

The Little Prince is a famous book, but it has never been in my bucket list because of my education background. During school, we have a long list of Chinese story books and novels to read that I have never thought of reading The Little Prince.

One day, my friend lends me the book. Maybe it is time for me to read the book?

小 = little, small

王子 = prince

书名:《小王子》

作者:Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

译:艾柯

图:曾铭祥

joyfulyue.com_book-review_Little-Prince

The Little Prince

This is a bilingual book. I read the Chinese language section while referring to the English language section once in a while. After reading the book, the impression I have on The Little Prince is only one word: sad.

The Little Prince, whom we do not know his age, has his own views on the universe. He seems pessimistic at times, but he is optimistic at other times. I believe people at different ages read with different perspectives and gets different conclusions. As a mum-to-be, I think about my child’s future while thinking about the philosophy that I would teach my child in future.

I like the words from a three-petals flower the most:

“They have no roots, and that makes their life very difficult.”

他们没有根,活得很辛苦。

Literally, the flower is happy that she has roots that help her not to be blown away by the wind. On the other hand, we can think of roots as our traditions and cultures that define us. I start thinking about what types of “roots” to give to my child.

Have you read The Little Prince? If no, please have a thought at reading it, at least once. If yes, please consider to read it the second time or the third time or the n time. The simple story is sure to give you some surprises even you have read it before.

For children, I would recommend this book to be read as a story book to learn new vocabulary and learn two languages at the same time. For the philosophy part, we leave it to the adults.

Happy reading!

 

A Story After PSLE 2013

Now that PSLE is over, what is the first thing that you, the P6 students, want to do? What is your next plan?

For some students, the first thing that they want to do is to take out the calculator and calculate what is the T-score that they can get. They are sad if the score is under their expectation, even by one mark.

Stop right there!

The T-score that you calculate is only an estimated mark. It is highly dependent on overall P6 students’ performance for the year. Thus, keep the calculator, relax, and read the story below. The story is on parenting, but it gives you a thought on why you should keep the calculator now.

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A boy got 0 marks in the exam. He took the exam paper back to his mum and asked for signature. The exam paper was empty with only the boy’s name on top of the first page. The mum, though shocked by the result, asked whether the boy understood the questions.

The boy said he understood the questions and he would be able to answer all the questions. But, during the exam, the teacher said if they handed in the exam paper, they were allowed to play at the school field. It was a fine day during the exam and the boy did not want to waste the time on answering exam questions. So, he wrote his name on the top of the first page of the exam paper, handed in the exam paper to the teacher and went to play at the school field.

The mum did not ask further questions. She smiled and happily signed the exam paper.

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I do not remember whether it is a true story. If you are a parent, you would say: What was the boy trying to do?! Was the mum out of her mind? She did not even scold the boy for playing instead of answering the exam questions.

Isn’t it obvious that the reason for not answering the exam questions is to play on a fine day? So, there is no need for scolding or beating.

On the other hand, if you are a student, you would say: I wish I have a mum like the boy’s mum.

The mum is smart. What is the main purpose of having an exam? It is to test whether the children understand the concepts and knowledge taught. Thus, the mum only asked one question. As long as the child understands the concepts and knowledge taught, why not let him enjoy himself on a fine day?

It really takes a lot of courage to let your child do such a thing. Moral of the story: The marks are only a value. What is the most important thing is to understand the concepts and gain knowledge, and able to apply the knowledge in life. The PSLE T-score is important, but it is not the ultimate goal in life. You have a long way to go, by the time you are 50 years old, PSLE will not be one of the most memorable events in your life.

There are (less than) three months before you start your secondary school. So, keep the calculator, relax, and plan your next move. Where do you want to go for holidays? How do you want to prepare yourself for secondary school? Is there any interesting thing that you would like to do, but put off because of PSLE? PSLE is over, do it now!

Typical Singaporean Parents?

The 9 pm show {The Dream Makers} shows different types of typical Singaporean families (parents). Though there may be some exaggerations, but generally you will see similar patterns even at countries other than Singapore. The families and parents affect the children most, whether it is in a good or bad way.

Let’s discuss about different types of parents:

1. The working dad and mum

We need to be realistic: with Singapore high living standard, it is very difficult to have only one parent working and still able to support the whole family. With both parents working, the responsibility of taking care of the children is on the third-party; normally they are the grandparents, the maid and/or the eldest child.

You can see that children nowadays are pampered, the so-called spoilt children (spoiled children in American English). Why? It is because the third-party can only take care of the children. To teach them the basic virtues, children learn from their parents and the parents, out of guilt-driven, always give in to the children.

There is no “authority” to stop them from misbehaving; the spoilt children will not listen to grandparents, the maid and/or the eldest child. They always complaint, sometimes twist-and-turn the incident, to the parents when parents come back from work. The tired parents, who want to get a quick solution, often scold the third-party and the matter rest in favour of the spoilt children.

In the 9 pm show, although NaoNao is not considered a spoilt child, his lack of love from both parents has caused another problem. Luckily, his condition improves (Do we always have happy ending in real life?).

2. The single parent / divorcee

It is difficult enough to have both parents working, it is even more difficult with a single parent is trying to make ends meet and take care of a child. The single parent needs to work and he/she may not have the resources to find a third-party to take care of the child. The child is left on his/her own and the effect is more detrimental than category 1.

Again, in the 9 pm show, we see another happy ending that we may not see in real life.

3. The working father and stay-at-home mum

This seems to be the better version of a family structure. The responsibility of taking care and nurturing the children is on the shoulder of the mum. Nonetheless, the father should also try to spend time with the children so that the mum can rest sometimes.

Comparatively, the children from category 3 are more obedient and polite than the children from the other two categories. Though we cannot choose our family, parents are advised to spend more quality time with the children. Childhood is the most important time for children to learn, whether academically or non-academically. Thus, putting in effort in raising a child is worth the effort and is more important than any other things in this world.

Happy parenting!