Parenting Tips

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Optical Illusion

It's me again. If you want some fun, then log on to:

and try out the Senses Challenge.

Parents, after you have tried out, get your children to answer the 20 questions too.

For my 1st attempt, my score was 9/20.

For the 2nd attempt after 2 days, the score is 17/20.

On the last screen, click on "Senses". The website will take you and your family on a journey of how our senses function and react. These are really good tips and learning points.

Have fun!

Charity Project (2)

It's another week and below is the message from the Charity Project team:

Hello everyone! Due to project vibrant colours, cedar team YELLOW, will be selling things to raise funds for SPECIAL OLYMPICS. If you are interested to buy anything, you can email or contact us (especially Cedarians). We are selling many 2nd hand goods. Below are some things that are hand-made by us. You may know how to make these too, but afterall this is for charity- Special Olympics. Please give us your support(:

Hand made dice.
2 for $1

A ring of 5 hearts. The hearts are folded from paper clips.
3 rings for $1
(Free to choose your own colours)

Pebbles 3 for $1

Colours and words can be choosen.

2 for $1

Pegs with decoration.

2 for $1

Interest parties, please log on to or email to:

Sun Meng:
Yu Sin:
Wan Ping:

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Charity Project (1)

Hi, it has been a busy week for me. Besides work, I also forked out time to help my youngest girl in her Charity project – Vibrant Colours.

The team of 10 Sec 3 girls have chosen to sell things at flea markets to raise funds for The Singapore Olympics or also known as Special Olympics.

What is Special Olympics?

It is a worldwide sports and physical training programme for all intellectually disabled people above 8 years old with a mission to:

· provide year-round sports training and athletic competitions in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities

· give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy

· participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, fellow athletes and the community.

Special Olympic was established in 1968 by Mrs Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of the late President John F. Kennedy. Today, more than 140 countries have adopted the program.

Summer Sports include Aquatics, Athletics, Basketball, Bowling, Cycling, Equestrian .
Soccer, Gymnastics, Roller Skating, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball.

Winter Sports include Alpine Skiing, Cross - country, Skiing, Figure Skating, Floor Hockey, Poly Hockey, Speed Skating.

Demonstration Sports include Badminton, Golf, Powerlifting, Table Tennis, Team Handball.

The Special Olympics program in Singapore started in 1983 as a joint committee of the Association of Educationally Sub normally Children and the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore. In 1991, it was registered with the Register of Societies as a independent voluntary welfare organization. In 1994, as a charity with Commission of Charities, it is affiliated to the Singapore National Olympic Council and the National Council of Social Service.

However, it is not a beneficiary of the Community Chest. Therefore, it has to raise funds for its operation. The program provides ongoing sports training and competitions to some 2500 intellectually disabled athletes from 20 centres. To find out more about their activities, you may click on to:

Preparation for this charity event includes collection of saleable and used items from friends and relatives. Besides being their temporary financier, I also look for stuff at home to be ‘disposed’ off or recycled items (bags of all kinds).

The first flea market activity was on today at Blk 329 Bukit Batok. Although only $77.50 was collected, the girls are still in good spirit. They will be selling again from Dec 1 – 3 at SMU.

Friends and parents who have logged in, look out for more details in my next blog. Come on down to SMU during the 3 days. Do your bit for charity. Will also share with you what has been learnt and tips to make such events a success . . .

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Helping Teens Cope with Homework

Teens nowadays want to feel independent as they grow older and become more mature. However, they still parents to continue to show interest and involvement in what they are doing. This is especially so when school matters are concerned. Survey shows that when teachers and parents work closely together, teens do better academically. Unfortunately, parental involvement in school tends to drop off as soon as students are in the upper secondary level.

Singapore parents, no matter how busy you are, make sure your adolescent is focusing enough time on schoolwork and still trying to do his or her best. A little encouragement and communication can go a long way in motivating your teen to succeed and develop the necessary skills while still leaving plenty of time for fun.

Setting the mood

While younger kids may sit down with Mom and Dad during homework time, teens often prefer to retreat to their private quarters - their rooms. Let them be, just check periodically to make sure that he or she is focusing on the task at hand, rather than talking on the phone, chatting online, playing video games or watching TV.

Also, make sure the study area is well-lit and distraction-free. The chair, desk, and computer space should be comfortable.

Many teens like to study with music but parents should have some say about the volume. The TV should be off when your teen is doing schoolwork. Finally, limit phone calls or computer usage until homework is completed.

Where do parents come in?

The parent role is a supporting one. You should encourage your teen to think, evaluate and respond on his or her own. Avoid doing the work for them. This will help your adolescent know the sense of achievement and learn from the assignment. It will also reinforce the idea that teens need to be independent in many aspects of life and have to take responsibility for the work they do.

However, make yourself available for questions about the assignments which may mean helping your teen understand instructions, listening to ideas, or reviewing the final product. Remember, your teen values your opinion, so be a supportive resource when needed.

Here are some tips to help you make homework easier for your teen:

  • Sit down and draw up a schedule with your teen. Help your him/her prioritize by rearranging time slots, where necessary. Emphasize that studying should be a high priority and should not end too late every night.
  • Ensure that the necessary supplies are readily available to do his or her homework. Example, folders to organize assignments; appropriate calculators for more mathematics; a wall calendar or personal planner to record assignment due dates, tests, extracurricular practices and rehearsals.
  • Encourage your teen to voice out, should there be a need for clarification and further help is needed.
  • Suggest that your child check with teachers or other classmates for help. School teachers are usually more than willing to give advice. With classmates, group studies will also help clear doubts.
  • Engage your teen in thought-provoking discussions about classes, homework assignments and school projects, focusing on the positive aspects of school. Your perspective can help your child apply what is being taught in school to the "outside" world.

With a little support from parents, homework can be a positive experience for your teen. It should be one that enriches learning, reinforces daily classroom lessons and fosters lifelong skills.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Dolling Up with My Girls

Last Sunday (29 Oct 2006), my niece got married. The wedding dinner was held at Marina Mandarin Singapore, Vanda Ballroom.

Me and my girls had gone shopping for the appropriate clothes and shoes to put on 2 weeks before the occasion. It was both tiring and fun. We combed Bugis Village and People's Park.

On the actual day itself, 3 of us had our hairs done at the salon downstairs. And here is the outcome . . .

Oh boy, am I proud to be the parent of these girls. Aren't they lovely??? So, who is the fairest of them all??

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Developing Self-Esteem in your Child

In Singapore, the emphasis on children to is develop their academic skills and talents. While is it important to do that, more often than not, the emotion aspect is being ignored. By that, I am referring to Self-Esteem or Emotion Intelligence.

In this technological era, children are already exposed to computers at a very young age. While this may be good in some ways, the human relationship aspect can be lacking. So, it is important to develop self-esteem in children for them to interact with others.

Here are some activities that parents may role-play with their children:

1) The Way You Walk - this game aims to identify emotions

Example 1 -
Father storms into the room angrily
Example 2 - Mother hums a tune while doing her chores
  • Ask the children what each of this scenario signifies
  • If they are able to tell you, then you are half-way through
  • Go on to explain that if they notice someone else in this manner, what should they do.
Involve the children to role-play as well. When they are able to relate, they may share their experience in school with you. Recognize each emotion and discuss what possible action(s) can be taken.

2) What's NOT wrong - this game aims to identify ups and downs of life
When things go wrong, focus on the positive aspects instead.

Example 1 - The car broke down
  • Take a bus or MRT instead
  • It has been a long time since the children last had such a ride
  • It is a totally different experience and most kids love it
Example 2 - There is a heavy downpour outside
  • Tell them this will bring down the haze
  • Play some indoor games
  • It is a good time for bonding.
By focusing on the positive aspect, it also signifies that there is always the bright side of things, no matter how bad the situation is.

3) Musical Drawings - this game aims to express emotions
Play different types of music - lullaby, classical, rocky, jazz, etc
  • Get the children to draw when the music is on
  • Note what kind of picture comes out after the music stops
  • If the drawing constantly depict a different mood from the music, it is an alarm call
  • Talk to your child and find out what is bothering them
As the saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words

4) Listening Game - this game aims to develop inner strength
When your child approaches you and wants your attention, spare him/her the time.
  • Try not to interrupt when they speak
  • Even when you have doubts, let them finish before drawing any conclusion
  • Seek clarification at the appropriate moments
More often that not, they just want a listening ear. Being willing to listen helps when you offer advice later.

Parents, hope you will find the above tips useful.

"Children are our most valuable natural resource." By Herbert Hoover