Talkative Thursday – Parenting with Grace

As parents, we all have certain expectations of our children, whether they are expressed or unspoken. And some of these expectations may be a product of how we’ve been raised and some may even be our own agenda of our unfinished aspirations or dreams.

As a mum to a 5-year-old, I don’t have any high and lofty expectation of Sophie. My greatest desire is for her is to a young lady of character, one who is confident, self assured with a teachable spirit and a good attitude in life.

But lately, she’s been morphing into a spoilt brat which a capital B which I’m so bewildered because I do not tolerate such behaviours at all. Just how bratty? She can kneel on the pavement demanding for something, use her tears and cry for what she wants, raise her voice and even once shouted at me in public.

For that last one, she got a mean caning from me when we got home where I totally lost my cool and any patience with the little lady. I think I was almost screaming into her ears that we don’t shout in public, especially not at her parents and went on to say that only ill-mannered kids with no mummies will behave so badly. Little did I know that right there I was contradicting myself with my very own behavior with all the shouting as I meted out my discipline. Talk about setting a good example. I felt so crushed and questioned if I’ve not been doing my role well as her mother, her guide.

And as I reflected it about while picking up the book, Shepherding a Child’s again, I felt so guilty stricken as I realised that it’s my own insecurities of how others view me as a mum that I reacted. Society expects us to raise well-behaved children who posses social grace and and behave appropriately. But like adults, kids too have their bad days and they don’t always behave in a way that pleases everyone.

I have known all along that Sophie can be very head strong and stubborn and the last thing to do is to do hard on her. So today, I changed my tactic when she started crying in the MRT because I told her I can’t accompany her on her class excursion with her. My usual reaction is to usually stop her crying by hook or by crook that means threats may even come up. But today, I took a deep breathe, stooped down and look her in the eye and explained that I know she’s disappointed but there’ll be other opportunities for her to take her out. She wouldn’t have it any other way and continued to cry with big fat tears rolling down her face and by then the evening crowd on the train were all staring at the commotion.

But I know that if I want to calm her down, I have to first be calm myself . So I stood by my decision and explained why I couldn’t go while handing her tissue after tissue to dry her eyes. It always helps to crack a joke and it lighten the mood and kept her mind off the topic.

That night, I told her that even though she didn’t behave well, I didn’t scold her because I know she was very tired (she didn’t take her afternoon nap again) and she was disappointed. But I also expect her to be understanding and promised her other opportunities to go out.  I think she appreciated that I didn’t scold her like I normally would.

But more importantly, I reminded that we all need grace in our lives.

Grace, that undeserved, unmerited favour that says, it’s okay, I I know this is not really who you are and I still love you.

Grace to accept that even as mums, sometimes we don’t have it all altogether. Grace to say, it’s okay, let’s not beat ourselves up, pick ourselves and move on. Grace towards our kids too because it’s still a learning process for them and mistakes are inevitable. This grace can only come when we know that we ourselves have been given much grace from our heavenly father and we can extended it to others. And like our kids, we parents are as much a work-in-progress like them.

The days are long but the years are short

Other mums have been sharing this quote  and it does help mums like me with the perspective that this trying period will soon be over before you know it along with the sweet moments of this growing journey. Let’s endeavour to make the long days, the best grace bound days.


 

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SANses.com's Talkative Thursdays

Motivational Mondays – Reeling in the KS mum in me

It’s a funny thing how peer pressure can bring up the sleeping kiasuism in me. To me I’ve always thought that it’s important for Sophie to have a carefree childhood. And that means no enrichment classes, lessons like art, dance and swimming don’t count because they are non-academic.

But early this year, when we started to shortlist a primary school for her at five, we got worried about her Chinese language ability as we think we might be sending her to a SAP school (only because it’s the closest for us). To help gain her confidence and interest in Chinese, we’ve started speaking and reading to her more in Mandarin, only to have her reply that she don’t like Chinese.

I asked around and Berries was like the default or rather most popular Chinese enrichment centre and signed her up. But to my horror, they had a long waiting list… Granted that I was looking at a weekend morning class, the waiting still took more than half a year to get her into a class! So if you’re looking at sending your kids to Berries, you’ve been warned. She’s taking well to the class and recently just switched to another branch at our preferred timing and thankfully she’s likes the teachers there.

Another incident that got me worried was when my group of mummy friends started to post what they kids were learning in school. When I saw the words they had for spelling, I was shocked! Ambulance, motorcycle, aeroplane for a five-year-old? Don’t even get me started on their Chinese spelling list. But wait, are they already supposed to know all this?

I know that Sophie is given spelling in her CC but don’t really know what’s on her list as they do it all in school. In fact, her Chinese homework stopped for a while and I was starting to question if maybe the teacher should bring it back so that she’ll learn to be disciplined to finish her homework before play on weekend.During the next few days, reading to her was like a test when I got her to read on her own and even write down words to learn and spell.

Yes, I was starting to sound like a typical KS mum and I didn’t like it one bit. I know that it’s important for our kids to learn at their own pace and it’s okay to encourage them to learn more. After all they are like sponges and able to absorb quickly. But it was my attitude that shocked me because I was getting frustrated when she still couldn’t differentiate between ‘b’ and ‘d’ and my words were less than kind to her.

I had to remind myself that she’s only less than one and a half years ago from primary school and by then she’ll have a lot more learning to do and less play to enjoy. As a mum, encouraging her to learn is one thing, but to try to impose and force it upon her is a sure way to kill her interest and motivation.

So I’ve learnt to loosen up a little and just enjoy our bedtime reading together with no other agenda. Let’s hope that this mum her don’t get into her KS gear soon…

 

Do you also have a child who is entering primary one soon? How are you keeping a balance for them between play and school?

 

Link up for Motivational Mondays

Do link up every Monday on what motivates you to be better be it a fitness goal, parenting, marriage, etc. Share your recent posts and encourage someone. Share your recent posts and encourage someone. Don’t forget to grab my badge and include it in your post after you have linked up and leave me a comment too.

I host Motivational Monday every week and I hope that you can join me every Monday. Have a great week ahead!

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Travel Mini Album on the Go with LG Pocket Printer

On my last vacation to Bali, I made a travel mini album on the roads during my trip. When I’m on a holiday, my mind tends to take a break and I’ll end up forgetting some of the details of the trip, like some of the funny things someone said, the weather that day or the people we met. So scrapping on the go allows me to record all these memories of our trip while they are still “fresh” in my mind.

To do that, I had to get some preparation work done in advance. I got my supplies of travel themed papers, journaling cards, and stamps and compiled it into a mini album that was secured with ring binders. In my travel mini album, I also added pockets and paper bags so that I can slip in items like our boarding passes, name cards, luggage tags, brochures, maps.

All that was needed was a printer.

And on my recent trip to the Gold Coast, the people at LG loaned me their latest LG Pocket Printer for review which fitted the bill for printing on the go.

The LG Pocket Printer is a niffy-looking gadget that measures 76 x 126 x 20mm with just 20mm in width. At 221gram, it is lightweight and fits well even in small handbags, making it one of the smallest mobile photo printers around.

If you see the comparison, it is no bigger than my Samsung 5.

As a portable photo printer, it provides wireless connectivity with NFC and Bluetooth for you to print customised pictures directly from smartphones via an app. So to get started,you have to first download the free Pocket Photo app from either the Google Play store or the App Store. The set up is relatively easily and the app allows for various editing functions like the basic crop, brighten and even has filters, frames and allows for quick sharing.

The Pocket Photo prints with ZINK Technology, which stands for Zero Ink Technology, which means that the ZINK printing technology utilises heat to activate the necessary color-forming. pretty much like how polaroid pictures works. And because if that, the printer requires special ZINK® paper, which are pretty pricey starting from $15 for 30 paper sheets.

So the big question is, how do the photos measure up?

With a 313dpi resolution, the prints are surprisingly good. Photos that are printed measures  50mm x 76mm and is slightly smaller than a name card. 

What I do wished that can be improved is the colour quality.

Photo on screen and in print

I noticed that photos taken in the day will give you the best photos. whereas those taken indoors tends to make it look darker than it already is. Because of it’s no ink printing technology, the colours tend to be a little dull but that can be cheated by adjusting the brightness and using the sticker printer to print.

Overall, I do like the convenience of this petite printer and can foresee it being a hit at parties and makes a perfect travelling companion especially if you’re planning to make a travel mini album on the go like me.

 

The LG Pocket Photo 2.0 is available at S$229 at LG authorized retailers and comes in white or candy pink.

 

* A Juggling Mom was loaned the LG Pocket Printer to write this review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Paper Monkey Theatre’s Looking for Mama 小蝌蚪找妈妈 {Tickets Giveaway}

Are you looking for ways to develope your child’s interest in Mandarin? I know I am. As a family that speaks more English, Sophie finds it hard to express herself in Mandarin even though she can understand and even read Chinese.

And where I’m concerned is because we’re planning to send her to a SAP school where she’ll need a better command of Chinese to appreciate what’s taught to her. That’s why I’m always on the look out for fun and interesting way to introduce the Chinese language to Sophie.

If you’re in the same shoes as me, you’ll be glad to know that Paper Monkey Theatre will be rerunning their sold-out performance Looking for Mama in September 2014.

剧情简介 SYNOPSIS

小蝌蚪诞生了!

咦,怎么不见妈妈呢?小蝌蚪于是四处寻找妈妈。

但是,它不晓得妈妈是什么模样,怎么找呢?在途中遇到了大眼睛的金鱼、白肚皮的乌龟,可全都不是小蝌蚪的妈妈。它们告诉小蝌蚪,它的妈妈有一双大眼睛、白肚皮、四条腿,长得一点也不像黑漆漆的小蝌蚪。妈妈到底在哪里呀?

猴纸剧坊另一部成功作品 –《小蝌蚪找妈妈》将以人偶同台的呈现方式,为孩子们讲述小蝌蚪在找妈妈的过程中,所闹出的笑话和惊险万分的遭遇。千万别错过这场即温馨,又富有教育意义的人偶剧!

快来和小蝌蚪一同寻找妈妈吧!

Little tadpoles were hatched and started their journey Looking for Mama. One of them left the group and met different creatures in the pond while asking around, “Where’s my Mama? Are you my Mama? ” Every creature replied with different answers. Little tadpole felt confused but discovered more about itself along the way.

A re-run production by Paper Monkey Theatre, Looking for Mama, tells the adventure of a brave little tadpole in search for its Mama. Come and join us at this heartwarming journey as we show-and-tell with drama, handcrafted puppets and popular sing-along children’s songs such as 一只青蛙一张嘴,猜对了and so on.

Shadow puppetry will be featured during the performance. After the performance, children are welcome to interact with the actors and puppets too.

About Paper Monkey Theatre 

Paper Monkey Theatre has been around for the past 6 years and are dedicated in producing young audience puppetry performance. Their performances reflect the core values and morals of Asian culture. Hence, they often adapt our stories from Asian folktales, fairy tales and children stories. Their shows are mostly family friendly and suit audiences from as young as 3 years old to the young at heart.

 Looking for Mama

Date: 12 and 13 September (Friday and Saturday)
Time: 2:30pm & 7:30pm
Venue: Goodman Arts Centre. 90 Goodman Road
Block B #01-05 Singapore 439053)
Tickets:  $15 each

 

Please take note that the performance will be in Mandarin without English subtitles. The show is approximately 40 minutes without intermission and is suitable for children aged 5 and above .

 

- - - – - – - – - – — – -  GIVEAWAY FOR A JUGGLING MOM READERS - – - – - – - - - – - – - – - - 

A Juggling Mom has 2 pairs of Looking for Mama Family tickets to giveaway (A pair on 12 Sept 7:30pm and another pair on 13 Sept 7:30pm). Simply take part by filling in the Rafflecopter widget and increase your chances by following the rest of the steps. This show makes for a great parent child date over the school holidays.

Giveaway ends at 27 August midnight. All the best!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note that winners will have to collect their tickets 30 minutes before the show commences on the day of the performance.

 

*A Juggling Mom received complimentary tickets to Looking for Mama, however I am not financially compensated for this post. 

 

Travel Tuesday – Sunny Gold Coast, Australia

There is nothing more that I look forward to than a holiday to get me away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Shortly after our getaway to beautiful Bali in May, we jetted off to Gold Coast in July after we snagged a good Scoot offer. Although it was supposed to be winter, you can always count on the sunny state to bring lots of sunshine where the July weather was between 9 to 20 degrees.

We took the red eye flight at 10:25pm and was hoping to catch some sleep on the flight.  But with food being served, people walking up and down the aisles on a full flight, the constant chatter and the lights only turned off after midnight, sleep eluded us and I felt a little dazed from the lack of sleep when we landed .

Day One in Gold Coast

After a quick breakfast at the breakfast, Alexis went to buy a data plan so that we can navigate ourselves when we drove.

The convenience stall in the airport that sold data plan

We figured that since Gold Coast wasn’t that big, we’ll be be able to get from one place to another faster by car. We did some research and Apex topped the list for having the most competitive rates where we paid AUD$42 a day for 9 days. The car also came with a child seat for Sophie.

But for those who don’t drive, you’ll be glad to know that Gold Coast just started their their Gold Coast Light Rail , which takes you to Surfers, Broadbeach and Main Station just to name some of the 16 stations that it runs through.

We had initially planned to visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the first day. But thankfully we changed our plans as we exhausted from the flight and decided on a more leisurely day. So we headed to the famous Surfers Paradise beach.

It must be something in the air, but it felt so refreshing to see the vast expanse of sky and sky collide , to hear the crashing of the waves and see the golden sandy beaches that all our tiredness melted away under the warm sun rays as we strolled along the beachfront. Sophie was running around and chasing after the sea gulls after she mustered up her courage even though there were so many of them around. And while it might be winter and we wee cladded in our jackets, there were locals who were sun bathing in their bikinis and surfing.

Since we were already at Surfers Paradise, we thought we’ll go for the Aqua Duck tour. Besides the Aqua Duck, there were a few other companies that offered the same tour, except Aqua Duck gave the kids an opportunity to be steer the boat like a captain which I knew Sophie would enjoy. We paid AUD$35 for adults and AUD$26 for Sophie (kids 4-16 years).

 The tour departs hourly throughout the day and it took us to pass the streets of Surfers Paradise, along the beautiful coastline of Gold Coast with a bit of a bump because of it’s wheels and then later took a swim into the spectacular Broadwater. We managed to see the magnificent Versace and Marina Mirage Resorts as well the homes of the rich and famous and even caught a glimpse of Sea World, where we’ll be staying.

The Aqua Duck Captain for all of 5 minutes

A very proud moment for Sophie with her Aqua Duck License

If you don’t mind the cold or lame jokes from the driver on your tour, this was a rather fun activity for the family especially so for kids since they get to be captain for a while.

By late afternoon, we were all feeling sleepy and went for dinner before heading to a nearby Coles to grab some groceries for our breakfast and went to check into our hotel at the Crowne Plaza at Surfers Paradise.

We were initially given a room on the fifth floor but staying at Surfers was all about having a view of the beach so we upgraded to the 12th floor. Not the highest but it did give us a view of the beach and I was looking forward to catch the sunrise.

The room was pretty big but could do with some refurbishment as the furniture looked a little dated. We had a kitchen area where there was a microwave oven, fridge, stove, dishwasher, toaster and kettle which is useful especially if you need to prepare simple meals. The toilet was also spacious and came with a washing machine and jacuzzi much to Sophie’s delight!

The beds were comfy enough and for the first time we were all sound asleep before 10am. It’s good to be in Australia where it’s all about chillaxing and taking it slow.

I’ll be back to share more about our Gold Coast holidays, where we visited the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and all the themeparks!

Car Rental – Apex Car Rental
Hotel – Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise

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