The Tween Years – How to talk to tweens

The Tween Years

As my kids grow up, I am gaining interesting experience by and by with each day. Someone told me the new teen years are between 10 to 21 years old. I prefer to refer the years of 8-12 as tween years when the kid is not so much a child anymore, yet not exactly qualify as a teen.

As a FTWM, I only have weekends and holidays to spend good bonding times with my children. It doesn’t have to be outdoors and excessive treats to MacDonald’s or spending on entrance fees to qualify as good bonding time. Many of our good bonding times are quiet times spent at home, so I realized. With the kids’ homework increasing by the level, sometimes they may even ask if our weekend programmes can be shortened so that they can have enough time to finish their homework. The first time my girl requests for homework time, I was pretty shocked and reminded myself that I need to plan around their schedule and cut down blog events or be more selective in our weekend places to go. Kids are growing up fast. At this stage, they need more down time and private time to do their own stuff. That indoor playground or art museum may not be their thing anymore. I need to be sensitive to their growing up preferences. Continue reading

When Mum Reads, Kids Read

You would have thought that if my kids were read to every night when they were young, they would be avid readers when they grow up. I can tell you that in our family, we are living proof that this is a myth! When my little ones were one year old and fidgeting about, I would bring a book to him and try reading out loud in the most interesting way to capture his short attention. Then, I found out the best time to read quietly to babies and toddlers was when they were drinking milk. I made it a habit to read to them every night and even had to negotiate with my kids on the number of books. They love my reading even up till today. While I thought once they reached Primary 1, they should be reading a book on their own. Reading chapter books. But Primary 1 came and went, they were still not so interested in Chapter books and hardly followed a series.

Most kids around us are reading, some voraciously. Their cousins finished Harry Potter series at age 9. I was so impressed! I was getting worried about my kids who were not so interested in picking up books. Most of all, I worried for their English language. The only way to improve English is only to READ, READ and READ! No shortcuts!

I tried all sorts of methods to get them to read. Mind you, it was hard work and futile work! I printed reading charts, gave reward stickers, allowed redemption for a small gift upon reading X number of books, brought them to the library every 2 weeks, nagged at them, cajoled, encouraged, left books lying around, did book exchange, and many more. All these failed to get them to read. Sometimes, I wondered whether I was such a good story teller that my kids refused to read by themselves.

Finally, one day, I started to realize there was one common thing these avid reading kids have! They all have mums or dads who love to read! Maybe that is it! Continue reading

Mizuno Ekiden 2016 – Great experience


My kids asked me,”Why do you have to go for run events when you can run in the park by yourself?”

Even the hub could not comprehend why I have been waking up as early as 530am to attend run events on Sundays when I could have slept in or run on my own as the time suits.

I replied,”Kids, that’s because it is very fun to run with my friends. We motivate each other and it has become a healthy hobby for us.”

Approaching 40???

You know what? Maybe it is like a recent article that said it, as you approach 40, you begin to find new hobbies, exercise regimens, diet plans to keep minds and bodies in shape. And “as you reach your 40s, you settle down into your own skin and begin to feel comfortable in what you do, what you look like and what others think of you.” Haha! Maybe I am like this, as I tilt towards the wrong side of 35, I am beginning to feel comfortable in what I do, and being finally have some time to myself to do something I like and a new focus to stay fit and healthy.

So, together with 3 other mum blogger friends for a common love for our new found interest, we took part in Mizuno Ekiden. Mizuno Ekiden is a unique race of 4 friends completing either a half or full marathon in combined effort. We took part Continue reading

June wrap up – what goes on in our lives

June obviously flies by in a jiffy just like how we read out this mono-syllabus word. I even had problems writing this post on time and before I know it, it is almost halfway into the month of July!

I took several days off in June from work to be with the kids. One very tough mommy moment I experienced in June was separating from my girl for 1 week when she went for a cultural immersion trip. I was quite surprised by how much I missed her. Everyday seemed so quiet without her chatty voice. Each car trip seemed so empty without her by our side. I wonder if I am ready to face an empty nest when the time comes. Have you ever felt the same as me? When she was back by my side, I really hugged her tight. I can already foresee how it will go for my other 2 kids when they leave my side for school trips.

Pororo Park and Tayo Meet and Greet


While the sister was not with us, one of the days, I took off to bring my 2 boys to Pororo Park and Tayo The Little Bus Meet and Greet! It was certainly the little one’s day. My elder boy was a tad bored after some time but still kept his brother company and took good care of him. We drank Starbucks Matcha Latte while we swayed to Tayo song. Continue reading

Train the kids to handle failure? Let them be raised by the Dad

A few weeks back, I attended a parenting talk by David Seah, Family Life Educator and Counsellor, engaged by my kids’ school for parents. The topic was on IQ, EQ and AQ. I really took away some very interesting points that made me think hard about our parenting style at home. He said,”If you want your kids to have adversity quotient (the ability to deal with failures), let them be raised by the father.”

Before you go all out to protest against this seemingly racist statement like how we mothers felt at the talk initially, you must give a chance for the humorous speaker to make his stand.

1) Mothers are protective by nature

Have you seen mothers throw up babies in the air for fun? Usually the image of fathers doing it will surface when you think of it. In fact, we mothers are good in churning out academics due to the fact that we are competitive by nature. Think of how we react to exam results vs the fathers. Once the child comes back with less than 100 marks, mothers’ first reaction is probably to furiously flip through the pages and scrutinize those questions with marks deductions and then do a fast calculation and conclude that without such CARELESS MISTAKES, the child could have gotten so and so marks. So well-observed and that’s ahem saying about me too…

When our child runs or cycles or moves at fast speed, or any actions that risk falling on the pavement, we are the ones who shouted instructions from behind like “Watch out for the pillar!”, “Beware of that little dog’s tail in front!” Fathers are rarely the ones who shouted warnings or maybe they do, under their breath. But you get it, the Fathers are usually the cool ones. They are less inclined to fret over small injuries. Similarly, kids’ cry harder when they see Mothers rushing to their aid than when they see Fathers strolling towards them.

2) Fathers are natural risk-takers

Get Dad to be involved more if you wish to instill some toughness and the ability to handle adversity in your child.

I guess this is hard for mothers like me to teach adversity toughness. When I saw how my son at the age of 1.5yo, my hubby allowed him to walk up and down the overhead bridge by himself with him being an arm’s length away, I almost freaked out but decided to cross my finger and watched in fear. I trust my hubby to be taking controlled and supervised risk but I definitely would not risk it myself. I am often been chastised for doing too much for the kids. Hence, I certainly agree that with the Dad around, Continue reading