Monthly Archives: November 2013

On the mend

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With the month of November coming to an end, I hope we have to the end of bad viral spells at home.

After 3 major ailments, X has lost some of his chubbiness. I do not usually fret over children losing weight due to falling sick. As long as they have ‘reserves’ which means room to suffer the hard knocks, I will take it as a ‘market correction’.

However, falling sick three times in 6 weeks is triple market correction! I doubt such an instance could be observed in our local property market.

Nevertheless, we see it as building immunity but still hope little X would be well and about for the upcoming birthday parties.

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New tech accessories

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With the new retina MacBook Pro, I was tempted to get a new sleeve case or laptop bag. The shopbop discount code was timely.

I ordered a iPad mini case too because it was 50%+15% off. I had only planned the purchase and not received it yet.

Lastly, a new phone case for the iPhone 5s…

Education myth or a paper chase

For the last few years, my train of thoughts had changed drastically.  I used to think that I would be a kiasu parent and I would send my child to all kinds of enrichment programmes so that I could train him to be a prodigy.  I had even gone up to the Shichida office, took a look at the programme and was ready to place a deposit to secure a place.  Midway, I took a step back.

I took a step back to review the whole situation.

I decided that was not the way to go.

I knew that by exposing my child to such programmes, I would meet more like-minded parents and I would become more and more anxious about my child’s progress or lack of progress.  I was a very competitive person and I had to conscientiously moderate this competitiveness.  I knew that I could not force my child to study and if Z were to fall short of my expectations, it would be a difficult parent-child relationship.  I could be very driven and motivated but that did not mean that my children would take after me.  His learning curve, his mental development and his attitude were external factors which I could not control or would be very aggrieved trying to do so.

Besides, taking a step back had made me see and observe other societal problems in developed countries such as Korea, Japan and Europe where graduates were aplenty.

Last week, I had shared this NY Times article(http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/11/15/world/europe/voices-of-the-young.html?_r=0) on Facebook.  This quote tugged my heartstrings the most.  “I grew up being told that I could become anything I wanted, as long as I worked hard and educated myself. I did all of these things, but even after receiving my master’s degree two years ago, it is still hard to find a job that really suits my interest.”

Would I want to give this white lie to Z & X?  Given my wide perspective, my experiences and my social circle, I knew that quote ring a bell.  It was true that no matter what you studied, it would be hard to find a job that really suited a person’s interest due to the job market, the rapid shifts in economy and trends and even the person’s preferences.

Since I knew it was a white lie, would I really want to dive into the academic rat race?  Had anyone played the cash flow game?  It imparted a very good concept and I knew how to beat the rules of the game.  As long as luck was not a factor, I could win most board games.  My children’s advantage would not be about attending enrichment classes or excelling in academics.

Their advantage would be to have both Mr H and I to teach them the ways of life, to think, to analyze and to have an interest in everything around them.  Their advantage was to have a mother so driven and motivated to gather information and to pass it down to them in the manner that they could comprehend.  Their advantage was to be able to talk and discuss with us, and received a well-thought reply.

It might be bold to say this but parents should snap out of the education myth and focus on how to help their children to survive for the future challenges.  What worked in the past would not work today or for the future.  The paper chase and qualification would not shield them from recession or other challenges ahead.

To clarify, I did not mean that education was unnecessary but education was only meaningful if the person valued and maximized the benefits.  I had opted in to do my MBA by virtue of interest and strong self-motivation.  I was glad that I took it up because it changed the way I analyzed and taught me to view everything on a broader perspective.  I valued the MBA because I chose to do it and had invested time, money and effort.  Would I have valued it if I was simply told to walk into it and had it fully paid for by my parents?  I reckoned we all knew the answer.  That was the same principle and consistency which I applied at work too.  For record’s sake, I actually had to get a pretty decent GMAT score and cleared rounds of interviews before getting into the program.

If anyone wanted the paper chase, it had to be the child himself or herself, not the parent to push or drag the child through the chase.  Nor should the parent fill the child’s head with promises of a better life with paper qualifications in hand.  Remember, the world was flattened with the introduction of internet.  We were no longer limited by missing puzzles of information.  If you asked me, bilingualism was important.  We would be doing ourselves and our children a favour by expressing interest in our mother tongues.

Whenever I read in the papers that parents had written in to ask for reduction in the importance or syllabus for Chinese language, it was actually a disservice to our children.  I only recognized the importance lately and I believed it was up to me to reiterate the importance to my children and show them that I embraced the language proudly too.  A lot of good information was available in Chinese on baidu.com.  If your child was poor in Chinese, how would they be able to mine through tons of information on baidu?

Could you see the contradiction in our society – the lack of balance on enrichment classes versus interests versus examinations?  We could blame the government for all we want but we could think for ourselves and decide on the best route.  The government could only provide the best of what it could and the rest was up to us.

Every parent wanted the best for their child but following a template formula was not the best solution.  Lastly, if a child was meant to be a prodigy, he or she would be.  If your child was not a prodigy, welcome to the club!  Most of us were not anyway.

Z poked my eye

A few weeks ago, Z played rough in school and was dealt with by Mr H at home.

He was pretty well behaved till Saturday. He apparently startled his cousin by scaring her. He also smacked his grandma too hard. On both occasions, Mr H had already told him off very firmly and even punished him.

This morning, I was cuddling him and savoring a sweet moment when he reached out and poked my eye!

I was pretty mad with him. Since I was supposed to play the good parent, I told Mr H who was to act on it.

I felt his behavior was as a result of playing with other kids who tended to play rough. It seemed like he was trying out how it felt like to bully other people. He had this oddly curious expression, like the look of a scientist peering at the results of his experiment.

Unfortunately, in this household, rough plays were not tolerated. Though I really did wonder for very long how we ought to teach him? Girls could cry when people bully them. What about boys? The politically correct answer was to walk away. When they were so young, I reckoned it was a lot to take that in.

Well, one step at a time.

I decided to put across a very strong message that he should not be causing anyone bodily harm. I told him that while I loved him very much, since he wanted to behave violently (exaggeration on my end), I would have to lodge a police report and let the policemen arrest him to keep the streets safe.

That got his attention.

Okay, resolved for today… So far.

Till the next episode, hopefully not.

Some advice, please?

New cutlery on the go

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Not only do Z and X have their own on-the-go cutlery, I also have my own.

BPA free too!

When X decorated his Christmas tree

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Such a precious looking scene.

It made me laugh when I received the email last week.

Signing in at Ikea

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We were at Ikea on a Saturday because I wanted to buy some storage boxes. It had been a long while since we had been there. Z used to be below the minimum height but now that he had qualified for entry, he wanted to go into the play area.

Me H said Z wrote his own name for registration. How cute! Well, another month to his 4th birthday.

Before long, he would be helping us to fill up lucky draw forms.