Parenting Tips

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Monthly Reflections 0703

This has been an eventful month for me.

So far, my achievements are:

  • Had 2 facials done in the month.
  • Attended several workshops - Parenting Strategies, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Exam Strategies for Parents.
  • Had the kitchen cabinet with ant hive fixed.
  • Taught Perseverance for Success to P5 and P6 students at Huamin Primary School.
  • Was at Bukit View Secondary School as facilitator for Perseverance for Success workshop.
  • Shared with P4 and P2 students on Public Sculptures at Balestier Hill and Fuchun primary schools respectively.
  • Had a booth in Bras Basah Complex Book Fair. Learning techniques were introduced to parents and children. Invitations were also made to them to go for complimentary study workshops.
  • Was at my mum’s place twice a week (except the book fair week) and kept her company at home.
  • Visited my mother-in-law who was having leg pain. Did Reiki on her but did not seem to help much.
  • Managed to enrol 12 children for the self-improvement courses, with much help from my colleagues.
  • Ordered a new set of sofa to replace the existing one which is wearing out with tears.

Task to be done in Apr 2007:

  • Must start brisk walking with my husband again.
  • Clear all the plastic bags which are piling in the room.
  • Apply the parenting and NPL strategies learned.
  • Have my regular monthly massage and facial done.
  • Continue to Reiki those in need.
  • Target to enrol 10 students for self-improvement courses that will benefit them in the long term.
  • Start gathering materials on parenting tips.
  • Settle web hosting selection and switch to wordpress for my new website.
  • Set aside time to train new maid for my mum as a companion and help with household chores.

Singapore parents, hope you did spend some time with your children or family during the one-week short break.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Learning The Fun Way

I read with interest the article in today's The Straits Times on page H9 - "NTUC Childcare gives its syllabus a makeover".

All childcare centres under the NTUC umbrella will be having new curriculum from April 2007 which include:
  • Exciting experiments and 'hands-on' activities like setting up a restaurant, mixing drinks with different ingredients and playing cashier, just to name a few.
  • Observing things around them and making simple deductions.
  • Step-by-step methods and activities for teachers to use (as opposed to general outline of a topic).
  • Incorporating art into the English language.
  • The last 10 weeks of Kindergarten 2 will be spent getting the children ready to enter primary school.


I really applaud this move by NTUC Childcare. To keep abreast with the ever changing times, I sure the other childcare centres will also be upgrading their programmes to entice Singapore parents.

What is important is that these organizations must recognize that learning should be fun. At their age, they should be enjoying life and do what kids should be doing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What is 100%?

Singapore parents
Want to share with you a small truth to make LIFE 100%

If A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
is equal to
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Then
HARD WORK is
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%


KNOWLEDGE is
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%


LOVE is
12+15+22+5 = 54%


LUCK is
12+21+3+11 = 47%


Then what makes 100%???
MONEY- NO!!!
13+15+14+5+25 = 72%

LEADERSHIP - NO!!!
12+5+1+4+5+18+19+9+10+16 = 99%

Every problem has a solution,
only if we perhaps change our attitude

To go to the top, to that 100%
What we really need to go further . . . a bit more . . . is

ATTITUDE
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

It is OUR ATTITUDE towards
Life and Work that make OUR LIFE 100%!!!

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
Change your attitude . . . and you change your LIFE!!!


Now that you know the answer . . .
WHAT WILL YOU DO ABOUT IT?

Well, the least you can do is to share this message with those your care.






Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Cucumber Minced Meat Soup

Goodness of Cucumber

The cool, crisp cucumber, which belongs to the family of courgettes. It was one of the first vegetables to be cultivated in the world. Although it has little nutritional value, its most remarkable quality is an exceptionally high water content - 96.4%, which makes it both refreshing and low in calories. It is a natural diuretic but not a particularly powerful one....

For beauty purpose, cucumber are also being used as ingredients for its cooling effect. One of the most effective ways to clear eye bags is to put one slice of cucumber on each eye and leave it for 15 minutes.

Now, I would like to share one recipe which is typically a Teochew dish - Cucumber Minced Meat Soup

Ingredients (serves 4 - 6):

1 medium to large cucumber

300 gm of minced meat

50 gm of soya beans

6 cups of water


Method:

  1. De-skin the cucumber and cut them in 3 cm chunks
  2. Scour out the seeds in the centre portion (see left picture above)
  3. Marinate minced meat with 1 tsp of cornflour and 1 tsp of soy sauce
  4. Stuff the minced meat into the cucumbers, ensuring that both sides are fully covered
  5. Put soya beans to boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes
  6. Put in the stuffed cucumbers and boil until cucumber begins to turn soft

Singapore parents, this is a simple dish that even the children can do it with guidance. Let them try it out.



Monday, March 26, 2007

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) - 2

Hi Singapore parents

Day 2 session on 23/3/2007 started at 9 am and ended at around 5 pm. The following areas were covered:
  • Getting the results that you want - the magic of rapport
  • Eye accessing cues
  • Chunking up/down
  • The driving force - values and beliefs
  • Alignment of your goals, beliefs, values and behaviours
I like the portion on Eye Accessing Cues. By observing one's eye cues, you will be able to tell if he/she is:
  • Vc = Visual Constructed
  • Vr = Visual Remembered
  • Ac = Auditory Constructed
  • Ar = Auditory Remembered
  • K = Kinesthetic
  • Ad = Auditory Digital
Other tips shared by the trainer on Beliefs include:
  • What is the key belief that is limiting you?
  • What price have you paid for having this belief?
  • How does holding on to the belief benefit you?
  • Why must you change this belief?
  • Why this belief is not true?
  • What would be a new alternative belief to help you?
  • Why is this new belief TRUE?
At the end of the 2-day program, the trainer wished that all participants are able to:



Well, I must say the trainer did his best in getting us to understand the NLP theories in simple ways. Our journey towards success has just begun . . .

Thank you, Kheng Mong!



Sunday, March 25, 2007

Delights and Woes of the Week 0712



It has been a busy week with lots of action. First, the delights:
  • Glad to be with my mum again on Monday and Wednesday. We even made a trip to Chinatown on Wednesday and paid my uncle and aunt a visit.
  • On Tuesday afternoon, was at Bukit View Secondary School as facilitator to Sec 3 students. There were 39 pupils in the class but 5 were absent. The remaining 34 stayed throughout the activities from 2 - 6 pm. One of the games required them to squeeze into the boys' toilet. The 9 girls were sporting enough and did as told. They remarked that it was smelly though.
  • For Thursday and Friday, attended NPL workshop with 11 others. Trainer shared many tips with us and also got us into action with lots of activities. We even got to watch glimpses of the movie "CRASH".
  • On Friday evening, helped as facilitator at West Spring Secondary School. This is in preparation of the big event coming up on next Saturday.
  • Yesterday afternoon, was busy again doing usher duty at Toa Payoh. In the evening, helped a parent settled his payment for his child's learning programme. In the night, managed to get 2 deals from the same family for 2 boys, one P6 and one P4, to sign up for the relevant learning programmes.
  • This morning, had Reiki II reunion at Cairnhill Circle. Good to meet and share with those present on happenings since January 2007. In the afternoon, was at Great World City to settle air ticket payment for my eldest girl. She will be going to Europe in May 2007.
Since going to all these schools, really get to know Singapore better. Although a small island, there are still lots of places I have yet been to.

As for the woe, sad that my mother-in-law has been unwell. Her legs were giving her so much pain that she has not been sleeping well. Paid her a visit this evening and did some Reiki for her. Hopefully, she can sleep well tonight.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) - 1

Hi Singapore parents

Want to know what is NLP? It is the art and science of personal excellence.


Today and tomorrow, 11 of us have the chance to learn some of the NLP techniques and apply them through activities.

Day 1 session started at 9 am this morning and ended at around 9 pm. The following areas were covered:



The Neuro aspects include our 5 senses such as:
  • Visual (see)
  • Auditory (hear)
  • Kinesthetic (feel)
  • Olfactory (smell)
  • Gustatory (taste)
The Linguistic aspects touch on language and other non-verbal communication systems through our perceptions.

For the programming part, it is how we organize our ideas and actions through the neuro and linguistic aspects to achieve our results. Isn't this interesting???

Below are the 6 NLP Guiding Principles To Success where the trainer elaborated with examples:
  • We already have all the resources we need or we can create them
  • There is no failure, only feedback
  • The Map is not the territory
  • The meaning of the communication is the response I get, regardless of my intention
  • If I am not getting what I want, I will change the way I go about doing it
  • Take 100% responsibility, no matter what happens
Other tips shared by the trainer include:
  • Ultimate success formula
  • Goals and outcomes
  • Modelling - strategies to success
  • Modelling physiology
  • Mental modelling
  • The secret to peak performance
  • Mastering your mind: how to run your brain (modalities and sub-modalities)
Of all the activities that we did, I like the negative experience best. I used to 'hate' one of my superior to the core. When I did Reiki previously, we were told to forgive our enemy which I did.

Tonight, when we were told to dispel negative thoughts, again, this person's name pops up. I thought I would give it a try again to see if I have fully forgiven her. And I did. Instead of the disgusting figure that I would have pictured, I saw a very different person. From head to toe, this 'enemy' don a totally new image, one that is cheerful and friendly.

I am now very sure I have forgiven her fully. The mention of her name no longer irks me. Isn't that great?

Well, will share more with you after I learn more things tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

MOF - My Izakaya



Hi Singapore parents
Today, instead of sharing recipes with you, would like to introduce a Japanese restaurant to you. It offers dishes such as:
  • Chicken char-siew bento
  • Tri-color bento
  • Chicken char-siew ramen
  • Sansai udon
  • Sansai soba
The prices are reasonable and it is located at:
6 Raffles Boulevard
#02-138E
Marina Square
Singapore 039594

BTW, MOF stands for Ministry Of Food.

So, the next time you are at Marina Square and there is a craving for Japanese food, do drop by this outlet.


Monday, March 19, 2007

EMO kids



Singapore parents, do you know this term "emo" kids? Well, I just learn it today from The Straits Times on H2. It stands for emotional. Emo teens apparently adopt the following fads:

  • They like to wear dark T-shirts, a little undersized or deliberately worn down to look old
  • Their choice of sneakers is Converse canvas shoes. On these sneakers, one can find words like "pain" scribbled in red ink or a drawing of a broken heart
  • They also like to don heavily lined eyes
  • Their hairs will be long fringed which cover half their face
  • They like to listen to angst-filled music from bands like Hawthorne Heights, Aiden, The Used, My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy
  • Some like to pen poems about suicide and dealth
  • Others opt to slash their wrists to "ease their pain"
Counsellors shared that there are more cases of girls attempting wrist cutting as opposed to boys. The age group is also getting younger and younger.

I agree with the author that while it is ok to follow the trend, one should not hurt oneself physically. It is very sad to know that our teens have such tendencies.

Parents, if your children are in their teens, do look out for any change in fashion, new interest in music mentioned above or other pecularities. If you do suspect something amiss, it is better to seek help early.
Don't wait till tragic happens.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Delights and Woes of the Week 0711

This week, most the delights came from the Book Fair at Bras Basah Complex. As in my updates of Book Fair Fiesta (1), (2) and (3), I got to meet all sorts of people, including tourists visiting Singapore. The best part is I managed to cheer many children with balloons and sweets.

In return, 4 families sign up their children for the programmes offered by MindChamps. Here, I sincerely wish these parents and their kids all the best in their new endeavours.

On Tuesday, my elder brother brought my mum down to town. They paid a visit to my booth at Bras Basah. Thereafter, we had lunch at Jalan Besar. It was good to see that mum had good appetite.

On Thursday night, the CPT Alumni meeting at Tung Ann Building at Cecil Street saw positive exchanges and sharing amongst my peers. Everyone benefited one way or another. Most importantly, we had fun with the games and enjoyed the 2 talks.

As for the woe, one parent was upset with me over some assessment arrangement. Need to do recovery in the coming week. Wish me luck!


Book Fair Fiesta (3)



Today is the 10th and last day of the Bras Basah Complex Book Fair. Well, it has been quite humid during the last 3 days:


Remember the little boy who came back repeatedly for balloons? Well, he did not turn up again. Instead, a pair of Indian siblings have been coming. Since today is the last day, whoever request for a balloon will get it, while stocks last. We had fun making the various ballon designs - from sword, poodle, flower, parrot, hat and swan.

The other popular item is sweets. Not only do children want them, adults also take them. I just love to see the delight on the children's face when they get a balloon or a sweet. Some older ones were shy to take initially but after seeing the younger ones having fun, they also ask for it. We even have some old ladies asking for the balloons for their grandchildren.

Overall, the turnout is not bad. Many of colleagues managed to get leads for parents and their children to go for the complimentary workshops. We also took turns to patronize some of the stalls.

As for me, I tried out about half of the outlets at the foodcourt. The food there is not too bad but a little pricey though.

So much for the update. Bye for now.






Saturday, March 17, 2007

Answer to Brain Teaser

Well parents, if you have yet tried out the teaser with your children, here it is again.


CROSS + ROADS = DANGER
Given S = 3, find the other numbers. Each letter represent 1 digit between 1 - 9.


Please do attempt first before scrolling down for the answer.





And the answer is:
D = 1
O = 2
S = 3
E = 4
A = 5
R = 6
G = 7
N = 8
C = 9

If you have gotten it correct, BRAVO!


Friday, March 16, 2007

Useful tips to share

Last night, we had our 1st CPT (Certified Professional Trainers) Alumni meeting after the formation of the committee. Although we had only 10 participants, all of us had fun.

Daya was the Emcee for the event. Besides getting all present to give a short description about themselves, he also shared 2 games with us. The 1st one was a word and number teaser:


CROSS + ROADS = DANGER
Given S = 3, find the other numbers. Each letter represent 1 digit between 1 - 9.
Try this out. Answer will be given tomorrow.

Then we had Henry Ng as the 1st speaker for the night. Before he started on his topic was on "How to Ace that interview", he shared a tip. If you need to "blank" out the screen of your notebook for a while when using Power Point, just press the "B" button. Simple enough.



Henry then went on to share pointers starting with "P" like preparation, process, post-mortem and . . .

Very useful tips indeed. This was followed by evaluation on eye/brain control,structure, energy, visual, question handling and instructional skills. Overall, he received positive feedback and areas for improvement.

Jessica also shared a tip on how to pronounce a particular word correctly. Just log on to www.m-w.com.


Next, we had the 2nd speaker and that was ME. I spoke on "Having POSITIVE attitude" - for details, please refer to my earlier blog dated 3 Dec 2006. I also did a demo on how to make a "poodle" balloon sculpture. My audience were impressed. At the end of my presentation, I gave it away. Upon further requests, I made another 3 more. Like Henry, I was being evaluated by my team mates. Generally, much improvement but still need to cut down on my non-words.

Finally, Daya wrapped the session with a Geography quiz. It's about knowing the country and capital city. We sure had to crack our heads to give the answers.

Singapore parents, do try out the 1st word and number teaser above.
Answer will be given tomorrow.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Book Fair Fiesta (2)



Today is the 7th day of the Bras Basah Complex Book Fair. Well, want to share with you folks on some interesting incidents over the past 2 days:

On Tuesday afternoon, around 1.40 pm, there was suddenly a huge crowd in front of our booth. My colleague was curious and followed the direction where all the eyes were watching. There, she saw a naked man. Of course, I joined in. Apparently, the naked man was doing some ritual praying. After every few steps, he paused and bent down to bow. There was a policeman next to him and he was following the clotheless guy closely. Shortly after this, another policeman came with a cloth to wrap up the attention-seeking man and led him away. I must say the Singapore police force sure is efficient for such "arrest".

Mr Lee, the man-in-charge of the book fair, arrived in time only to catch the policeman leading the man away. Someone had alerted him of the usual attraction so he came to take a look. I teased him that this is free publicity. He asked if we saw everything. When my colleague said she only the back of the man, he asked if we want to follow him and see the front. Of course, we had a good laugh and I remarked that it should be the same and nothing unusual.

Later in the evening, about 6.30 pm, it started to pour. We noted water seeping through the roof of the tents and decided we should pack up for the day. We put everything above the table stands, just in case water flowed through. To our surprise, the water just make its way else where and not out booth. Isn't the feng shui good???

On such book fairs, we would least expect repeated visitors. However, our booth having been getting the same customer over the last few days. It's a little boy about 8 years old whose parents have a shop upstairs on the 3rd level. He would diligently drop by and ask for balloon swords. Everyday, he gave different excuses. Yesterday, he came by twice saying his friend burst his balloon so he would like another one. We had to turn him down saying our stocks are running low.

I am sure we would be expecting this little visitor again today and the next few days. Would we continue to give the balloons to him??? Hmm . . . will update you again.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Going Bananas



Do you know that you should never put bananas in the refrigerator???

Well, bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just 2 bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.

But energy is not the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression:
According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS:
Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels that affects your mood.

Anemia:
High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure:
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power:
200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation:
High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers:
One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and with the help of honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn:
Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness:
Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites:
Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves:
Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Now back to question why??? Because the nutrients will be lost. So Singapore parents, do include fresh bananas in your diet for your children and yourselves too.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Book Fair Fiesta (1)



Today is the 4th day of the Bras Basah Complex Book Fair. Usually, I am the consumer, i.e one at the receiving end. For the past 4 days, it had been an entirely different experience, manning the booth and being at the giving end.

First, we get to meet all sorts of people, not just Singaporeans but also foreigners:
  • Old folks just walking around to pass time;
  • Grandparent(s) with their grandchild(ren) while their parents are at work;
  • Parents with their children scouting for books and other stuff;
  • Adults working nearby dropping by during lunch and after work;
  • Tourists who somehow found their way there for sale items;
  • Others who are book lovers and are there to catch good bargains.
And guess what, unless they are interested in what we have to offer, they will quickly brush us off and rush off. Nonetheless, I am glad that my team maintained good spirit and always don a smile on their face. The sculpture balloons are popular with kids. Some even came back for more. One Japanese lady even wanted to learn and ask that I teach her. Of course, I gladly did so.

Then, we were also being asked interesting questions by passers-by:
  • May I know where is the toilet?
  • Do you know where is the post office?
  • Where is UOB?
  • Do you know which book store sell a particular series of Chinese books?
  • Can you tell me where is the National Library?
  • Can you tell me how to go to Beach Road?
  • Do you know where I can get human skeleton model?
  • Do I make payment here? (Our booth happens to be next to Popular stalls)
I am sure the remaining 6 days will be equally exciting. Will keep you people posted. . .

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Delights and Woes of the Week 0710



This has been an exciting week for me. First, the delights:

  • Attended parenting workshop on 6/3 and 7/3. Sure got quite a number of tips from the speaker. One of it is the LOVE language which I found pretty useful and had it in my blog on 7/3 - FAMILY LOVE AFFAIR.
  • Gave talks to Pri 5 and Pri 6 students at Huamin Pri School on 6/3 and 8/3 respectively. The topic was on Perseverance to Success. Was glad to have taught them goal setting and some learning tips.
  • On Wednesday morning (9/3), went to Methodist Girls' Primary and shared with Class 4.2 on the 6 elements of fundamental art. The girls sure were a bunch of inquisitive ones, asking a lot of questions. It also makes me feel young again.
  • Got to participate in the Bras Basah Complex Book Fair roadshow. On the first day (9/3), managed to get one family to attend the complimentary workshop today. And guess what, they sign up their eldest boy (primary 3) for the learning technique programme.
  • Yesterday, held my monthly Reiki session at home in the afternoon. Good to see my Reiki kakis again.
  • Had fun making sculpture balloons and meeting all sorts of people at the book fair. Next to our booth, the stall was playing some Chinese oldies and I found it entertaining.
Now for the woe - sad that I could not keep my mum company during the book fair period. Luckily, the March holidays have started and my other siblings are helping out.


Singapore parents, the Bras Basah book fair is on until 18/3/2007. You have yet any plans, do bring your children down for some fun.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bras Basah Complex Book Fair



Today is the first day of the March school holidays.

Singapore parents, if you and your kids love books, do go down to Bras Basah Complex. It started its English & Chinese Book Fair cum Bonsai Fair yesterday. It will last all the way until 18 Mar 2007.

Besides assessment books, there are lots of other items you can pick up. Give yourself and your children a break. Make it a family outing and have fun.

I am manning a booth in front of Popular book stalls. If you do make a trip there, can come and look for me.

Cheers and have a nice weekend.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Process of Successful Studying



This afternoon, I was at Huamin Primary School to share with P6 students on Perseverance for Success. The following processes were discussed:
  • Setting of clear goals
  • Planning and scheduling
  • Taking consistent action
  • Mind mapping
On goal setting, got the students to:
  • Write down what each wanted specifically, especially prelim and final PSLE results
  • List down the benefits and reasons for achieving the goal(s) - basically it's the choice of secondary school that the student aims to go to
  • Write down what course of action(s) to take to achieve the goal(s) - basically recognizing their weakness(es) and drawing up a time-table to follow
  • Set a deadline and periodically review the goal
On planning and scheduling, explained to the pupils that when drawing the time-table, it is important to be specific, e.g. indicate the amount of time allocated for each task. Quite a number of them shared that they would cut down on TV watching and computer games.

On action taking, impressed upon them that "Action speaks louder than words". After setting the goal and drawing the time-table, results will only be realized if they take action. Also quoted examples of negative thoughts like "I don't know", "I am lousy" and urged them to stop using this phrases. Instead, use "Let me think about it" and "If others can, so can I". When playing the "Nose-Ear" game which stimulates both sides of the brain, also got the teacher to join us. They sure had fun.

On mind mapping, taught them how to use keywords, colours and pictures to design their own mind maps. Showed them some examples on hand.

Though it was a short 2 hours, I sincerely hoped I did boost their moral a little and wish them all the best on their exam taking end of the year.

Singapore parents, if you have Pri 6 or Sec 4 children, do encourage them to set goals and be focused.



Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Family Love Affair



The common saying is "Charity begins at home." So is LOVE! I attended a parenting talk last night and tonight. The speaker shared about the love language. It leaves me much WRAPS for thought:

Words of affirmation or appreciation
More often than not, we take things for granted. When was the last time you say "Thank You" to your child for a task that he/she did willingly? Or give him/her a pat when he/she did well in school work/project? If we could nag less or not nag at all and say "Thank You" or give them a pat the next time round, see what happens?

Reciprocation
Love is a two-sided affair. When one is giving all the time and the other does not respond, it just isn't going to work. Just as it takes both hands to clap, it's the same with love. This applies to all generations. How we treat our parents, our children will see and mirror. So if you want your children to treat you well, do the same for your old folks.

Action
Yes, action speak louder than words. By this I mean, physical touch. When our children were young, we hug and kiss them a lot. When they gradually gets older, somehow, all the hugs and kisses also gradually reduce. This is so sad. I am glad that my youngest girl (aged 16) still bids me good night with a kiss. I still hold my son's hand (aged 20) when we go out and I am glad he allows it. These may be little things but can mean a lot.

P
resents
Nothing beats getting gifts on birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions. It does not have to be of high value. I always treasure hand-made ones. So far, collections from my children include:
  • Hand-made cards with 'love' messages
  • A cushion with all their names hand-written on it
  • A framed puzzle with missing pieces but with messages on the empty spaces
  • Costume jewelry (some are hand-made by my eldest daughter herself)
  • Photo frames with pictures that tell a story
  • Clothings
Service
Last but not least, is doing something for your loved ones, like:
  • Cooking a meal for the family
  • Helping in household chores
  • Sewing and mending clothes
  • Planning an outing or surprise activity

Well, Singapore parents, hope the above WRAPS up the family love affair.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sweet Potato Porridge


Goodness of Sweet Potatoes

Research has found that sweet potatoes may be crucial in combating malnutrition and blindness in Africa. They are often overlooked by cooks, when they are among the most nutritious vegetables from nature's bounty:

  • The bright orange ones are high in vitamin A (beta carotene).
  • Besides vitamin A, a medium-baked sweet potato also contains vitamin C, some vitamin B including folic acid, vitamin E. magnesium and calcium.
  • Although sweet in nature, sweet potatoes are not any higher in calories than while potatoes.

In spite of its name, sweet potatoes are actually storage roots, like carrots while potatoes are storage stems. They come in variety of flesh colours and skin covers - from orange or red skins and flesh of pale yellow to orange or even purple.

When choosing sweet potatoes, select one without cracks, black spots and wrinkles. Exclude the soft ones too. Sweet potatoes can be cooked in virtually any way imaginable, be it boiling, baking, steaming, frying or micro-waving.

Now, I would like to share one traditional recipe eaten during the Japanese occupation - SWEET POTATO PORRIDGE

Ingredients (serves 4 - 6):

2 medium sweet potatoes (orange flesh)
2 cups of rice
6 cups of water


Method:

  1. Dice sweet potatoes into 5 cm chunks
  2. After washing the rice, add sweet potatoes and water into rice cooker and set to cook
  3. Best served with light dishes such as salted egg, pickles, century egg and the like . . .

Well, Singapore parents, after more than 2 weeks of good food during Lunar New Year, do give this simple dish a try. My children have enjoyed it and I am sure yours too.



Sunday, March 04, 2007

Delights and Woes of the Week 0709



It's another Sunday and today is the last (or 15th) day of Lunar New Year. Well, the delights for this week are:

  • On Monday, brought my mum for buffet lunch at The Straits Cafe, Rendevous Hotel. Yusheng included.
  • On Tuesday evening, attended a preview on Neuro-Linguistic Programme. Good to attend the course if I have the time.
  • On Wednesday, was at mum's place again. She finally agreed to take in a maid. Will arrange with agent to have the bio-data for selection.
  • On Thursday morning, went for complimentary massage at Body Wellness. This is one good thing when you have multiple credit cards with such promotions.
  • On Friday afternoon, attended the presenter audition at MindChamps. It was good experience.
  • On Saturday evening, helped my partner for a talk at De La Salle Primary School on How to maximize your child's EQ. The turnout was quite good with more than 50 parents.
  • This evening, had dinner with my husband, eldest and youngest girls. We ordered 4 dishes, one of which is Yusheng. After all the well-wishes, we dug in. Too bad, my son and 2nd daughter had to miss this moment.
For the woes:
  • My mum's giddy spells came back on Thursday and Friday and she is still afraid to be alone.
  • The Cedar school camp at Labrador was shortened on Friday as more than 50 of the students had diarrhea. I was scheduled to join them on Saturday as parent volunteer but was informed to skip it because of the diarrhea breakout.
  • Yet to get prospects to sign up for the children's programme. Must really put in more effort.

Singapore parents, hope you had a wonderful time during this Lunar New Year.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Essence of Time

Whether you are male or female, rich or poor, young or old, all of us have one thing in common - TIME.

When you say you do not have time, consider the following:


To realize the value of one year, ask a student who failed a grade.
To realize the value of one month, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of one week, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of one day, ask a daily-wage labourer with several children's mouths to feed.
To realize the value of one hour, as the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of one minute, ask a person who missed the train.
To realize the value of one second, as a person who just avoided an accident.
To realize the value of one millisecond, ask a person who won a silver medal at the Olympics.

Parents, life in Singapore may be hectic but you can still find time to what you like if you want to. So, the next time you decide to do something, just do it. Else, once the precious moment is gone, there is no re-winding back.



Friday, March 02, 2007

Presentation Audition

Yes. I attended the audition to be a presenter with MindChamps this afternoon. We were given the script about 10 days ago. Despite going through it quite a number of times, remembering it word for word was really a challenge.

As there were 30 of us, each of us were given about 5 minutes to do only the Introduction. The closing part was skipped. We were told to be there 15 minutes before our time slot. My scheduled time was 5.05 pm. As it was raining quite heavily, I arrived around 5 pm. Luckily, there was delay and I still had some time to over the script again.

As the minutes turn into seconds, it was finally my turn to go in. I did what I always tell my children, "Take 3 deep breaths before you start." Well, not too bad on the whole. I only paused for a while after 2 minutes, did a bit of re-collection and carried on. I think my Certified Professional Training did help.

The criteria for the presentation are:

Ability to create interest - 30%
Flow of presentation - 20%
Presenter's presence - 20%
Diction - 15%
Personal attire & appearance - 15%

Parents, this is a totally new experience for me. I look forward to more such opportunities. Of the 30 of us, only 5 will be selected and given more training. Wish me luck . . .

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Arithmetic



Came across this interesting poem by Carl Sandburg.

Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your head
Arithmetic tells you how many you lose or win if you know how many you had before you lost or won
Arithmetic is seven eleven all good children go to heaven
- or five six bundle of sticks
Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from your head to your hand to your pencil to your paper till you get the right answer . . .

If you have two animal crackers, one good and one bad, and you eat one and a striped zebra how many animal crakers willyou have if somebody offers you five six seven and you say No no no and you say Nay nay nay and you say Nix nix nix?

If you ask your mother for one fried egg for breakfast and she gives you two fried eggs and you eat both of them, who is better in arithmetic, you or your mother?

Well, Singapore parents, hope you like the above extract and share them with your children. Also, do encourage them to write poems, no matter how simple, is a way of their expression.