Life, ongsisters, Parenthood, Rants, Reflections

Mental Health for Kids

Sidenote: Opinions are my own.

I chanced upon the two articles during the week and was discussing this prior to a quick Children’s’ Day celebration with the girls earlier.

The first article is about two 11-years old who had gone missing on 30 September 2019 and was found emotionally unharmed after a grueling 30-hours+ at where they are last seen.

The second article is about a mum who had complained to the Minister for Education on the purpose of setting tough PSLE questions.

And some, even went to the extent to commit suicide over bad grades and critics.

The conversation with the girls especially Sharanne set me thinking about the expectations from (1) Parents, (2) Childrens/ Peer Pressure and lastly (3) the Society.

From Kids’ perspective, they only see as Exams, Stress, Breakdown.

On a legit note, the girls always shared with me that the majority of their friends had super packed schedule for the week and near to 90% are focusing on academics, some took up the music schedules as parents assume that it was a form of de-stress and based on the instrument that the parents like instead of what the kids love. And the reason?

They are too young to make decision so as Parent we have the responsibility to plan out for them.

Precisely. And that’s also the point that they are young that they might not be capable enough to handle the stress and negative emotions.

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What we see from the external is different from what’s within.

So it set me thinking, what went wrong and what could we (as Parents) have done better?

I have friends who are on #TeamTuitionIsLife where Tuition plays a major big role in their lives and its everything they that do. The removal of tuition will make them “handicap” and unable to move on positively. Kids of #TeamTuitionIsLife normally have no much choices on their own and would need to obey the lesson plans crafted out by their parents, for their own good. Sounds familiar? Out of 10 friends, 8 of them fall into this category.

The remaining minority belongs to the #ChillMom where everything is possible and I belong to this category. Not even a single class of tuition/ enrichment and every weekend is just time spent with the kids.

I personally think that sometimes some kids will need enrichment to facilitate and motivate learning but don’t overdo it. Find a right balance. Keep the signs in check. Mentality is important for parents. Don’t yell and threaten on bad grades. It ain’t everything.

Kids felt more stress when parents compare as the (2) Peer Pressure is real. And just to be honest that kids are more sheltered as per compare to the kids 20-30 years ago. The latte developed grit to deal with things while kids of today need some parental grips, making them more vulnerable to critics.

I guess I focus on the different aspects – Soft Skills where I call it the EQ instead of IQ (Academics). The girls had been taught, social media skills, entrepreneurship, customer relations, product different and etc… Importantly I feel that parents need to teach kids how to manage failure or in nicer words, I call it, managing the not ideal situation. That’s why I curated Little Towkay Entrepreneurs Bootcamp for the kids, in order to give them a more holistic experience.

Acceptance is important. I do not have the greatest mind and will never do well in Maths in this lifetime. What I can do is to accept this weakness and hunt for my strengths. I can’t possibly force myself to be a Mathematician. Grades are not everything.

That’s why if I believed my kids can do well in Arts. The focus and the shift will be towards the SOTA direction. Afterall, who’s gonna teach the future generations the arty farty stuff if EVERYONE focus on the academics? Who’s going to teach ballet when everyone graduated as a lawyer or doctor? 😉

There’s always a Master in every profession, tio bo?

Afterall, I would rather spend the time and money spent on something that they love, so that Iwould get a positive ROI. Otherwise I’ll be waste my time and money on something that they do not even like/ love a teeny tiny bit and worst, do not learn from or make no change to one’s life.

Having 4 kiddos and to balance on that economy of scale is hard. Need to maximize the assets so I would emphasize on:

  1. Getting them to learn something that they love.

  2. Tell them Academics is not everything. Attitude is.

  3. Accepting failures (and not scoring more than 85/ 100 is ok)

  4. Enjoy their childhood. 🙂

Personally, this is what I would do and remind myself to do better than to surrender and join the #TeamTuitionIsLife.

No doubts, Society play a part too. We need more parents like this to overturn the mentality that focus strongly on grades and adapt more towards character development.

To parents out there, don’t let anything or anyone guilt trip you. The most important thing that you can provide to the kids is your time and love. 😊

Parents gonna walk the talk before a change is well-noted within the education system and system takes time.

Hey mama! 🙂

Hit me up if you are keen in the Children Bootcamp.

Life, ongsisters, Parenthood

Parenting 101: Lugging the 4 Girls to Swim, Alone.

Sometimes I think my guts are way bigger than what my mind, body and soul can contain but I guess, at extreme times, it will be a desperate call for everything else when things get… situational.

Over the weekends, the girls went for a stay over at D’Resort to celebrate joy and (my SIL) Joyce’s birthday (no pun intended). So as every kids would asked – Is there bathtub? Is there swimming pool? Is there…

And sometimes how I wished my answer is a flat, NO. But Google being the evil babysitter answered to all of the girls’ questions.

Well done, Google. Well done, Technology.

So the next question is – Can YOU bring me to swim? Can YOU bring me to… Horrifying indeed. Sometimes these Q&As turn me off to an extend where I wanted to just stuff everyone back to my womb. I kid you not.

And it happened when, no one is free to bring them and the only person available is ME. And swimming tends to be a hazardous activity down my list of “DO NOT”(s) especially the kids are the adventurous ones. And girls being girls, I always had this constant fear that bad stuff will happened to them (Read up those molest cases and etc…)… So the first tactic that I always pulled off?

  1. Clear Flat Rejections – Sorry, menses is here. LOL. (But having said that, the girls went to the extreme (and extra mile) to check me out and realised I lied. Damn.)
  2. So when Tactic #1 failed and if the request is still within one’s ability, just go for it lor.

And to ensure that the guilt trip trap will be a success. The girls emphasized on their “last” swimming experience and the lack of childhood physically exhaustive activities (because I was always the safe-mama who won’t appreciate rides…)

And ta-da here we go! A mother of 4 lugging 3 toddlers plus a baby. However I was thinking if in worst case scenario of drowning, who should I save first. HAHAHA. So in order to prevent that (other than NOT bringing them to swim), I set rules.

  1. Do not get out of my side/ sight.
  2. Only go for the baby pools if not, one shall forfeit the chance to go swimming ever again and embrace Rule #1
  3. If someone is close and made you un-comfy, come back to my side and tell me straight to the face (and point to that someone who made you un-comfy. Human nature to disengage from bad stuff if one can recognise…)
  4. 3 of them must stay together within close range and keep a look out for one another otherwise, there won’t be a next time, ever again. This rule facilitate bonding, keeping a lookout for one another and self awareness of the surroundings.
  5. And I need to place the barang barang within my sight because I bought cash and phone…

And ta-da, it works until the shower part.

The girls refused to leave and Sayge was all time as she’s feeling the drain and dozed off in the pool. So I did a dare and left the girls at the pool while I went to change Sayge out and changed out of my wet attire.

The issue is how, how to shower and change with a cranky baby in the arm and the 3 girls in the pool without adult supervision.

So this is what I did.

For Sayge and Myself:

  1. We showered together despite her cranky screams.
  2. Dried her up, wrapped her in the towel while I took off every single piece of clothing of mine (so that it won’t get her wet).
  3. Change her into warm clothes with me, being so bare.
  4. Use my master hand to carry her and the other to pull up the undies, then shorts.
  5. Did a full squat, put Sayge in between my thighs and put a world’s fastest challenge of bra wearing within milliseconds.
  6. Repeat the same world’s fastest challenge to pull over my top.
  7. Dump the wet clothes into a plastic bag.
  8. Ta-da, the deed is done (with a back ache) within 5-8 mins. LOL

And from this I learnt 4 things:

  1. Bring a dark color, one piece loose dress in near future.
  2. Ensure the bag is a waterproof bag.
  3. Take on Yoga during free time.
  4. ASK SOMEONE ALONG NEXT TIME.

And where are the girls? Went to play the slides on loop basis and the Lifeguard is such a nice guy to help me oversee-ing them. The showering part for the girls is easier. I just prepare the towels, their bathing necessities and clothes, they will just do whatever it is. And the best plan is the girls can cooperate to shower with Sayge’s timing altogether, because Sharanne can help to carry Sayge but well… Independence is always better than to rely on others. ^^

And during the session, I saw a few of the mothers who just changed right outside the room because they have toddlers who need to be within their sight. And this is why, kudos to mothers. 🙂

After all, it’s all worthwhile to put smiles on the kids’ face. ^^

Gonna end this post with a picture taken by Sharanne, the self-proclaimed photographer/ future Youtuber. :X

Me + Sayge = Happiness 😛

做妈的,果然需要3头6臂。

Appreciate mothers and those who are in service line. 🙂

Life, ongsisters, Parenthood

Parenting – Handling Three

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From L-R: Currently at 6 (Rayshirl), 8 (Sharanne) and 7 (Andrealynn) years old respectively.

I always get people commenting on how well I handled the kids. To be frank, it really takes a lot of efforts to create this, what I called a “network” especially when the girls are all 11-months old apart.

The most difficult times that I need to struggle through is the times when they are 2, 1 and months old. I felt depressed as each of them had their own feeding schedules and worst still, when they got sick together. But thank god for my supermom who helped me took care of these three hyper bunnies while I went back to work.

Also, family support is a pre-requisite to have more kids (Government can only help to pave ways but not much.). For my case, I am lucky to have a strong support of siblings, in-laws, extended family who are always there to assist when required. This network paved the ways and also demonstrated to the girls since young of a strong family nucleus and bonds. Also, they learnt the art of sharing and superb articulation.

As they grew older, things get easier.

I used to carry an Alibaba bag which could be equivalent to an army field pack. All the diapers, extra clothings (and my clothings), milk bottles for each individuals are packed respectively into this Alibaba bag. However as the youngest one becomes diaper-free, I just need to “force” everyone to carry their own water bottles and ta-da off I go.

Going out with these 3 hyperbunnies used to take alot of skill but I managed to create a buddy system/ network so that these three will take each of one another. The elder one will always be tagged to the youngest one and the middle child gets to pick who she wants to be with.

This instills:

  • Responsibility and Leadership Navigation Skills in the Eldest.
  • No Middle Child Syndrome for the Middle.
  • Learn how to respect and a role model to look up for the Youngest.
  • Looking out for one another and sharing is caring concept.
  • Communication skills and articulation.

Each of them will have one role when we are doing the activities/ sessions:

  • Eldest does the Logistics
  • Middle does the Planning
  • Youngest does the Execution

In terms of groceries shopping; Sharanne will pick up the trolley or basket. Andrealynn will command on what to purchase and Youngest does the pick up of the items. Sometimes, they switched the roles among themselves.

And indeed, time flies and they are now at 8, 7 and 6 years old. It just went in a blink of an eye for their childhood. And sadly, I was not with them during the majority of the childhood due to work but well, for the better of their future. ^^