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Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Water Dragon Year 2012

Happy Chinese New Year to all the visitors of this blog. The kids will be off for a week and daddy will be off for two so mummy will be too busy to blog. So looks like mummy will be having a blog vacation too by default.  Will be back soon!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cliques and Ostracism in School

My girl is 10 years old. Yesterday she told me that she was shown a “set of rules” by a classmate. You must follow these rules or I won’t be your friend. The rules include…

  1. must have facebook account
  2. must be Chinese

My Goodness! What sort of rules are those! They are outright horrible. I told my girl that these were very bad rules and she does not have to follow them.

At the moment, the situation is not serious as she is not really being ostracised but the thought did cross my mind that it may be a potential problem because my girl is rather timid and straight.

What would you say to my girl if you were me?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Communicating with Children

Kids, especially young kids communicated differently from us adults. Sometimes they find it hard to verbalize how they feel. In this case, you have to find other ways to try to understand on they feel. For a younger child, perhaps you could give them a piece of paper and tell them to …

“Draw me a picture of how you feel today”

For an older child, you could give them a piece of paper and ask them to…

“Write down how you feel today”

You may be surprised or amused to see the results.

I remember, how quickly time has passed. Last year, my boy was sick and  hospitalized for a week after Chinese New Year. When he was discharged and came home, he was so happy but he didn’t say (verbally in words) that he was happy. He made little cards, stuffed them into angpow papers and gave one each to all the family members. In it, he drew pictures of the sun shining and birds flying in the sky and he wrote….

“I am happy today. The sun is out. It is a nice day.”

For my son, it is very easy to communicate with him because his love language is touch. All I need to do is give him a cuddle and he is happy.

For my daughter, her love language is quality time. To communicate effectively with her, I have to really listen to her with no distractions. Then she feels loved and contented.
I think we have to understand our children, listen and talk to them in the manner in which they are most comfortable in, in order to communicate effectively with them.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Popular Chinese New Year Songs

Since Chinese New Year is just round the corner, here are a few Popular Chinese New Year Songs to get everyone in the mood. These were listed on YouTube as Chinese New Year Songs 2012 but they are actually evergreen and very popular Chinese New Year songs that most Chinese are familiar with. The kids will surely love to hear this. Here is the song list and links to the pinyin version in case you don't know Chinese like me but still feel like singing along. ;)

1. 贺新年 (New Year Wishes) by Timi Zhuo/Zhuo Yi Ting - He Xin Nian PinYin Lyrics

2, 恭喜发财 (Congratulate You With Prosperity) - Gong Xi Fa Cai Pinyin Lyrics (or the Dong Dong Dong Chiang song as I call it) :P

3. 新年歌儿大家唱 (Everyone Sing New Year Songs) - Can't seem to find the lyrics to this Xin Nian Ge Er Da Chia Chang Song but the Chinese lyrics in the video is easy enough to follow if you can read some kindergarten Chinese. It has pinyin lyrics too.

4. 大地回春 (The Return of Spring) - Huan Ying Da Di Hui Chun Pinyin Lyrics

Lastly, for those who can read Chinese, there is this lovely printable Chinese New Year Songbook. The pinyin in it does not seem quite correct, that is why I am not recommending it for English readers but kids in Chinese schools should like this one.

One other thing, I love this list of most famous Chinese New Year Songs. Great list.

2016 is Year Of The Monkey.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Threaded Commenting is now available for Blogger Blogs

Threaded Commenting is now available for Blogger Blogs and my blog has a new look because of that. Yes, I'm crazy like that. Changed my look just to get threaded commenting up and running.

I was still using the old Blogger because I did not want to go through the hassle of moving and updating all my old customization. It is such a lot of work. Another reason is because this is my ‘best performing’ blog under Adsense for some reason which I don’t know so I did not want to do anything to change that! The other blogs earns almost nothing from Adsense.

However, its 2012. I can’t put it off any longer. More and more goodies are now available to Blogger users. I had all the while been sitting back in the side lines looking on unable to enjoy the updates. So finally, I have gotten round to doing it.

Now I can enjoy threaded commenting, turn on my blog for mobile view and a host of other things I could not do before. Adding scripts and other stuff is so easy now. However, I am glad that I started blogging before they made things so user friendly. That way, I learned many things. I learned some html and how to change my template and layout directly. It was a good thing, really.

In case you are interested, here is how to turn on threaded commenting for Blogger. While, you're at it, you might just want to turn on the mobile template for your Blogger Blogs. My blog looks great on the mobile phone now. Have a look at it from your mobile and check out the look.

Now all I have to do is keep my fingers crossed Fingers crossed that my Adsense earnings will not be affected. In with the new and out with the old. Did a little spring cleaning for my blog while I was at it. Happy 2012 and Happy Chinese New Year to Parenting Times and to all readers of this blog. Thanks for your support. It's been a blast and still is. I enjoy blogging now as much as I did when I started in 2004.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dealing with a preteen or tween


My preteen or tween as they call it, the ages before turning into a full fledged teenager or teen has been driving me crazy.

Kids these days do grow up really fast. My preteen at home is showing signs of growing into a teen fast! Dealing with a preteen or tween is becoming rather challenging.

At the moment she is on a confessing spree. After confessing to me about how she had stolen my small change recently. She has gone on to confess about more ‘crimes’ she has done. Worse still, she picks the most inappropriate times for her confession.

I may be absorbed in doing something else when all of a sudden she will go “mummy, I………… last year.” Yes, the crimes she confess to did not happen an hour ago or not even yesterday or last week. Most of them happened a year or two ago!

So far she has confessed to rubbing off her brother’s homework, copying a friend’s spelling, checking the answers in her workbook when doing work, looking at answers in the reference book during spelling, stepping on a classmates artwork……

I find it really challenging to deal with this. It makes me fume up. When she does this, I can feel my stress level shoot up, not to mention my temper and frustration. Help!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Standard 4 workload

My girl is in Standard 4 this year. She’s got a brand new school bag to carry her books to and from school. She used her old one for three years. Not bad considering the weight it had to carry and the way she dragged it up and down the stairs. Bumpity. Bump. Bump!

My girl is fond of taking her books to and from school. She does not like to leave her books in her desk like most other kids do because she is afraid she may forget to bring work home.

She has 10 sometimes 11 periods of lessons in a day. Some of the lessons are double lessons i.e. back to back periods for a subject. She may have up to 6 textbooks and workbooks to carry for 1 subject. Then there are the exercise books. Each subject may have 3 or more exercise books.  Some teachers tell them which books to bring on which day. For those which don’t, she will bring all of her books in a given day.

In standard 3, she had to study the three languages, Chinese, Malay and English plus Maths and Science and Moral besides Art and Physical Education. This year she has 3 new subjects. They are Kajian Tempatan, Kemahiran Hidup and Pendidikan Sivik dan Kewarganegaraan. She tells me she has to carry 6 more books for these 3 subjects.

Then there is the Maths and Science in English books. Last year she was handed the books, then told to return them and later was given the books again. Altogether, another 6 books. She will now learn Maths and Science in English AND Chinese for a while longer. Her class teacher will teach her Maths and Science in English ‘when she has the time’.

That’s it then. Good luck school bag. I hope you can withstand the extra weight and burden this year. Good Luck dear girl. I hope you can take the extra lessons in stride. Good  Luck teacher, I hope you will not be too stressed up and take it on the kids. Good Luck Parents, I hope you won’t have more white hair guiding your kids.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Back to School

The kids go back to school yesterday. Lots of back to school dramas. The girl suddenly remembered her school crime last year when she saw her wallet. She remembered that she had stolen mummy’s small change from mummy’s coin box and bought some forbidden drinks with it at school (not less than 5 times! according to her) and confessed in fear and tears.

Naturally she got disciplined for it. Stealing is a No-No! It also makes us wonder where we went wrong. Were we too strict with her? too lenient? We questioned ourselves. Then we went through the other worry stages that a parent goes through.

Anyway, that's been resolved, I hope. She knows its wrong. She won’t do it again. She was honest enough to confess. She got punished for it but at the end of the day, she knows that we are very unhappy with her but we still love her despite our unhappiness. Hopefully, we got all the right messages though to her.

As for the boy, he said “Mummy, I’ve got a lot of naughty friends in school but I won’t become naughty if I mix with them. I will teach them not to be naughty when they are doing bad things.” When the girl asked him how he will teach them, he said “When they are doing bad things, I will say “HEY…..”

On the first day of school, the girl discovered that she had the same strict teacher from last year and the boy cannot remember his new teacher’s name.

The school came up with all sorts of parking and picking up kids rules and regulations.

The kids received more new books and their new time table. So on the second day, their bags are back to the weight of a tonne of stones again. They got a notice about Chinese New Year holidays and the girl has homework on the first day of school.

Yup! Back to school… Back to drama.

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