Monday, May 14, 2012

Revamped Bishan Park

We have been wanting to visit the new Bishan park. We brought our Striders (balancing bike) and had a great time there. The slopes in the park is very suitable for the bike and the boys just cruise around while we chased behind. Y went so fast that K and I couldn't catch up and we lost each other.

Getting ready for the ride. Got knee guards for them but it seem to restrict their movements so we still took them off in the end.

The river. We saw people fishing there. Seems quite fun but the boys were not keen to go down the river, maybe next time.

Nice chair for people to laze.

Hungry and thirsty? The yellow M is there to save your day but be prepared for a long queue.

There's a playground with sand and the boys made themselves at home. Took their shoes off and made some friends there.

Junction 8 is just a short ride away. Perfect place to have our dinner.

We enjoyed the park very much and love the space there for biking. It's crowded but not as crowded for East Coast Park. We only explored one park of the park, will explore the other side the next time round.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Chinese Learning: My Family 我的家人

It's still really hard to gain their interest in Chinese. It can be very disheartening when they reject the activities I planned for them once they see the materials in Chinese. Many times, I wanted to give up and just enrol them in a Chinese enrichment class. But my husband has been encouraging me to keep on trying and we are holding off the classes.

To look on a bright side, from totally not speaking Mandarin to being able to converse in Mandarin now, it's an improvement. Another improvement is accepting Chinese books. They are able to sit through long Chinese stories now. Come to think of it, I was still feeling very down and was complaining to my husband few weeks back when they refused to accept any Chinese books during story time. Thinking through, I think it's because I'm more fluent when I read in English. So, I picked out a more interesting book that I think they will like and practice reading it a few times before reading to them. It helped greatly. The story engaged them and they were more willing to accept other books from the same series.    

They are showing interest in reading but only English words. They will spell the words and ask me how to read the word. I'm hoping they can show the same interest in Chinese words and was trying to do more words recognition in Chinese with them. For this purpose, I have prepared some activities with the theme, My family, 我的家人 in mind.  I wouldn't say it's very successful as Y refused to participate in most of the activities.

Family Tree
First, I did a family tree to illustrate to them the relationship between each people.

Make Your Flashcards
Then I printed some photos of our family members and let them make a set of flashcards.
Matching Game
A matching game where we have pictures of family members on one side and words on the other side attached with velcro.

Hoola Word Game
Another word game we played with Twister Hoola Game. Got this from the Toy r'us clearance sale at $16 with very badly damaged packaging.

I don't know how much learning is done but there's sure a lot of laughter there. I almost got mad at Y for being the trouble maker but decided to take it easy. He didn't want to participate as he didn't want Chinese and kept distracting K.

This is how I play the game

(1) Put the word card on the floor and get the child to read, after he read, let him place the hoola over it.

(2) After placing all the word cards, say a word and the child find and stand on the word.

Didn't work with Y as he started taking away the hoola and putting it over his head. K thought that's super funny and joined in. Since it didn't work, I changed the game.
(3) Collect the hoola - Get the child to read the word, if he can read correctly, he collects a hoola and he can put it over his head.

Paper Plate Bingo
Got this paper plate game idea from No Time for Flashcards. Write the words on the paper plate, cut it and the child fold the correct word down when you call it out. So far, only managed to do this with K, my "I don't want Chinese" Y ran off once he saw the Chinese words.

 I have no idea why Y rejects Chinese so badly but I'm starting to hear him communicating in Mandarin. So, hopefully he can accept it more readily as he build up his confidence in the language.

Happy Food

My husband and I are quite strict with junk. For the first 2 years of their life, we were able to trick them into thinking that sweets are to hold when they come back with sweets that they managed to charm some aunties into giving. But once they enter school, it's getting hard with bags of sweets every month from birthday celebrations. Seeing their friends popping the candies, the "just hold it" trick don't work any more. So, when they bring back the goody bags, I will let them choose 1 item from it.

Y fell in love with lollipop. Just see how happy he was eating it and sharing it with his brother. I finally understand why sweets are happy food.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I don't want to be your friend.

I've observed that many parents would like to be their child(ren)'s best friend. Sometimes I hear parents saying jokingly to their kids, "I don't friend you already" when the kids don't do what they were told. My advice is, DON'T, don't try to be their friend.

Why? You may ask. The reason is simply because Obedience and Friendship don't come together. As parents, we need the respect and authority for the child to listen and obey in times of important decision making especially during the first 12 years when the child may be unable to make wise judgement and decisions. They will never take us seriously if the consequence of their mis-doing is "I don't friend you". And friends don't discipline. They find other friends if you no longer get along.

I think the best friend parents ideology came about especially for my generation due to our upbringing. When we were young, there's only 1 parenting method and that's the Authoritative Method. You probably will get one slap on the face if you dare to talk back to your parents. There was no choice offered to us in terms of the food we want to eat and we must always clean our plate. We just have to do what we are being told to do. If we don't, we may get the "you'll know it when you get home" threat. There's not much conversation between our parents and us. If we have problems, we will solve it ourselves because we are going to be in deep shit if our parents get to know about it. I'm lucky my upbringing was not this way but my husband was brought up with the "spare the rod, spoil the child" mentality.

It's from the Authoritative Parenting Methods from our parents that we longed for a "friend" figure in our parents. We wished we could talk to them like how we can talk to our friends. We hoped for that understanding from our parents. From there, we sworn not to be like our parents and to be the best parents when we become one, to be our child's best friend. But we didn't know the pitfall to be our child's best friend. Our child start treating us like a real friend, misbehave and disobey us with disrespect. We don't want to risk losing the friend and we don't know how to go about disciplining them. That's how we sink into the category of being permissive parents.

I don't want to be my child's best friend. I don't even want to be a friend. I want to be a parent whom he can rely on. He can come to me about his problems without the fear of being reprimanded. I want to be able to help him through his mistakes and guide him the right way. I want to respect him as a person. There are times when obedience is expected such as anything to do with safety but he is allowed to make allowable choices whenever possible. I'm not the almighty figure like our parents used to be, I don't have to be the know-it-all because I can't be and I am not. We are on a learning journey together, reminding each other of our mistakes.

We can choose our friends but we cannot choose our family. People change and friends come and go. Some friends are here to stay for life while most are just passerby. But no matter how family change, we stick together. This is the difference between friends and family. Friends can leave you but  family won't (under most circumstances). I want them to know the difference, that they have a dependable family where they can always come back to us for guidance or confide in us with their problems whenever they experienced setbacks in life, no matter how old they are in future. So, no, I don't want to be their friend. I want to be better than a friend.
Related Posts with Thumbnails