Thursday, October 24

Our children ain't our puppets

2 comments :
Disclaimer: This post has no intention of offending any particular breathing individual. I speak my mind, I write what needs to be known (and ponder about).

Just the other day, I overheard a parent saying something (I find disturbing) to her child.

"You better don't waste the money I spent on you for your education."

Like seriously? Did your child put a knife at your throat and force you to spend money on her? Which child wants to be forced into doing something they don't like?

C'mon be honest now, which child will tell you that they thoroughly enjoy going for tuition, enrichment or whatsoever classes the godamn society has for them now? Maybe in the preschooling age because they are not fully aware of the societal demands YET. I understood where the mother was coming from. However, there was definitely a better way of putting that message across to her child.  Words are murderous. Once words are spoken, they can never be taken back. Imagine if the child brings that sentence with her for the rest of her life, and rebels to punish her mother. Again, the fingers will be pointed to the child, and not the mother.

As mothers, we have to be very careful with what we say, do and how we behave infront of them. They look upon us as the very first role models (ok, I won't leave out the daddies here now..) Being in this world ain't their choice to even begin with. I am guilty of not being on my best behaviour when BunBun is around me. I do reprimand and smack her as well. But at the end of the drama, I will explain why I behaved in that manner. Yes, I could have "hurt" her feelings during the commotion and she won't understand why I would have such a reaction. But the point here is the explanation. She may be only 4 years old, but she is able to understand why I would be angry and hence the punishment. I will constantly remind her to not do certain things and I will repeat myself like a broken recorder until it eats into her that certain behaviour isn't acceptable.

My child may be a preschooler but I have dealt with primary school children for many years. They have a common "problem". They never really understood the meaning behind all these academic competitions and why their parents would spend so much time and money on them, just to ace academically. I don't blame them, because when their parents explain, they will say the wrong things. I have heard it myself, and I get disgusted. Let me share a few common "reasons" of their actions.

1. Because I love them.

Now, if you really love them, listen. Listen to their cries in their hearts. Listen to what they really want and guide them if they are swayed in the wrong direction. Love is not enforcing your goals on them. Love is listening to them and assure them that you will be there at every step of the way. 

2. They need the qualifications to feed themselves when we parents die next time.

Ok, let's get it clear here. You want them to feed on paper and live happily ever after? We all know about life cycle. Why not enjoy their growing up process and make learning an enjoyable one? Even if you want them to do well academically, work the brains a little harder and be in the process with them and let them know that you're there for them at every step of their way. The point here is not throw money on their behalf and reminding them not to waste your money. They will feel that you're not willing to do it.

3. How to face the society when they are not at par with it?

Why do you worry about that? They have to understand (as they grow older) that they are responsible for their actions. If they do well, good for them. If they don't, ask them how they want to make things better in that situation, and walk thru with them. 

4. They will not get what they want in the future if they don't do well now.

Whoever gets everything they want?! Did you? I didn't for sure. My mom always tell me "work hard for what you want" and if they want something, constantly encourage them. Motivate them. Not throw them into the dungeon and make them crawl their way out. Our kids are in a different era now. They cannot understand life of the past. They can only learn the lessons taught in the past (like in History class). 

5. This was how my parents brought me up therefore I'm using the same methods because it works.

Ok, my question is, did you enjoy how your parents enforced certain things you didnt like growing up? If you did, then good for you. If you didn't, what makes you think your kid is enjoying it? My theory has always been putting myself in another person's shoes. Be selfless and see the situation in a different perspective altogether.

I'm not judging anyone's parenting style but seriously, give your child that little break he/she deserves. Don't start making them do tuition/school homework in public places. Don't scream and yell at your kid if he or she doesn't understand their homework. Don't force them to understand your objectives as a parent because it's not their job to understand. It is OUR job to make ourselves understand our role and not overdo it. Love plays an important role in the entire parenting. Yes, I agree I give tough love to BunBun but I make sure she understands and is aware of the reasons behind it. She may not fully get the point, but she will get it eventually. She has shown me she understood certain things, but still, she's only 4 and the innocence of a child is still apparent. 

There's nothing wrong for wanting the best for our child. But when will we ever call it a day? Now we're worried about their studies, next will be their jobs, then their marriage, then their kids, then what? The cycle never ends. But if we start the objective by telling them that we will walk it through with them, through all successess and failures, the process will be meaningful and they will grow up with a different mindset towards life. If we judge them, how will others look at them too? We all want our kids to be successful individuals because it is for their own good and future. But we have to bear in mind that the process is equally important. 

Every household has a story. Behind every closed doors has tales of joy and tears. As parents, we are responsible for our child's emotional well-being, not just academic needs. They did not ask to be in this world. God has a purpose of bringing each and every child into this world and selecting their parents. So it is our duty to give them all the love the deserve. Do what your child wants you to be; a role model. 

A Primary 6 student once told me this.. 

"All I want from my parents is for them to understand me and enjoy what I like to do as well.   
I'm their child, not their puppet."

These words from my ex-student never left my heart. Till today, I remember what she said. I feel sorry for her because all she wanted was something so pure and simple, like a child. I'm not sure if she ever gotten what she wanted back then. 

Every child deserves their childhood because all they want is to have good memories. Make their memories worth remembering. We are in control.

SANses.com's Talkative Thursdays

Linking Up with Sandra

xo, Ashley.

Friday, October 11

Affirmation #9 | A choice to voice out

No comments :
Herro ladies on Mothers' Avenue...

Voicing out your opinions is definitely a choice of every individual. I know many many MANY people who would rather keep mum about their feelings than ruffling another person's feathers. I'm still struggling with voicing out my opinions and feelings, a personal struggle I go thru every single day, be it at work, home or with friends. It's ok to struggle with it, but you must try to walk out of it. 

Especially mothers with kids, we struggle with our kids in their growing years. It's something we can never avoid. People around us may not understand how we parent our kids, and we may drown into other people's comments and unnecessary opinions on how to look after OUR children. Been there? 

What I want to say is, there is always a first step to everything. Our babies take their first step to walk that one jiggle wobbly step and we clap with so much pride as if they ran a marathon so why can't we take that one step too? It may be uncertainty within, but we have to let others know that we take charge of our lives and not live in others' shadows. 

Sharing with someone you can depend on is the best way to start. It can be your spouse, mother or even your best friend. (I would recommend not talking to your beloved puppy because poor guy would be pissed off that you're feeding information that it does not require from you.) You may not need their advices, just a listening ear. If it is about work, speak to your superior on how you feel towards a certain task. Truth always hurts because it is reality. It's better to speak the truth rather than conforming with everyone else and be given a chance to start a lie. When the truth is spoken, there will be a group of people that will not support your voice. That is okay! You are answerable to your life, you are in control. Live life with clear conscience and you will be a happier person inside out. Our children look upon us as role models from Day One so we have to keep it together for the sake of our sanity.  

Have a fantastic weekend ladies! Sending you all the love and virtual hugs!

Pomaika`i

xo
Ashley



Sunday, September 22

Sponsored Advertorial : De Hygienique Mattress Cleaning/Sanitisation + Giveaway

2 comments :
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review. No monetary rewards were offered in any ways. Promotions were professionally discussed between owner of Mothers' Avenue and De Hygienique. All reviews are 100% honest. 

Herro.

Two Sundays ago, I had the team from De Hygienique over at my home to clean my mattresses. Yes, you heard me right, CLEAN MY MATTRESSES! Many may wonder if it is absolutely necessary to clean out our mattress and my answer is yes. I would personally get my mattresses cleaned once every few months once I move into my new home next year. 

It is definitely beneficial to get the professionals to do the job that we can't do. Well, it's not like using a normal vacuum to suck every darn dirt out or a steam vacuum for that fact to kill the germs with high heat. For the record, using steam vacuum for mattress cleaning in our ridiculously humid island is gonna breed more bugs and you might find a nation of moulds inside your mattress. I am a freak when it comes to cleanliness, of course, I know I cant kill every single darn germ or wrap my whole family up in bubble wrap but I do my best to keep the germs at bay. 

So, before they started the whole cleaning process, their manager Mr Fendi Zhang, had his team to show me a little demo. They cleaned a little small area of my mom's mattress. It uses their 3-step treatment (Pulverisation, Extraction & Sanitisation).




Saw the light? 
It's actually the UV-C light in-built which acts as sunlight. Olden days, we will use the natural sunlight to sun our floor mattresses right? It's quite impossible to sun our queen/king sized mattresses now, duh....


JENG JENG JENG!!! 
This was sucked out over a small area of my mother's mattress!!!


The cleaning process starts for this queen size mattress.
The cleaning suction is actually able to suck out dirt/dust mites/nation-full-of-whatevers as deep as 4inches! Once the top part of the mattress is fully cleaned, they will flip your mattress over and the process starts again. Each mattress takes about 10 mins on each side to complete the treatment. 

My bedroom (pardon for the mess!!)

That's actually my mattress protector over the top of my mattress.. I was lucky to have both cleaned out! 

This AMAZING Potema spray contains alcohol and pure orange oil.. smells like heaven!

A seal to certify sanitisation completed!! 

HITS:
Their team comes in the minimum of two specialists. They will not waste time and stand around waiting for each other. They answer your questions professionally and they have their product knowledge. I like the fact that they flip the mattress and sanitise both sides. They finish the treatment with an absolutely heavenly scented spray for your mattresses and pillows as well! Besides mattress cleaning, they do carpets, upholstery and hard floor cleaning as well! 

MISSES:
A minimum charge of $80 per trip is applied. I feel it's quite pricey because the treatment is done in the house itself, they are not cleaning the mattressess in a specific place that requires to lug our single/super single/queen/king sized mattress out. However, with that being said, after seeing what their machine can do and the excellent service they provide, I'm sold. 

Overall, I was absolutely pleased by the service. Fendi was very patient to tell me what his team was going to do for me and all that jazz. We also chatted about mattress maintenance and it is actually beneficial if you want to prolong the "life" of your expensive mattress. Let's get real, we want to sleep on quality mattress, but we are not willing to pay for maintenance. I'm convinced that mattress sanitisation is very essential especially when it comes to families with children and elderly. 

De Hygienique doesn't guarantee 100% clean-free mattress, but they assure more than 90% of clean mattress which can be used  immediately after the treatment. My favourite part of the entire process is the Potema spray which contains alcohol and orange oil.

My mom told me the next morning that for once after a long long time, her mattress felt very clean and she slept thru the night without feeling itchy or anything. Perhaps it was all in her mind? My little girl didnt experience any bites for more than a week and I was thrilled! Hubby didnt feel itchy for many nights (till date). Mind you, I never had my mattress sanitised in any ways before in my entire life! I'm currently using the same mattress my late grandma slept on until the day she passed on, until now! Can u imagine, how many trillions of dust mites have gathered in there ready to attack?! 

For the prices, please check their website ! 

The kind team at De Hygienique is very kind to have offered my wonderful readers 10% discount and a 100ml Potema Spray (while stocks last). To enjoy the promotion, appointment bookings must be made by 31st October 2013. Readers will have to inform their Customer Service when booking appointment, that you got to know De Hygienique through Mothers' Avenue.  

Thank you Fendi and Jack for everything, esp Fendi for being so patient with me! Kudos to De Hygienique!

xo
Ashley


Pomaika`i


De Hygienique

Cust. Svc : 6749 1950
Email : fendizhang@dh-asia.com
Web : www.dh-asia.com


Friday, September 20

The Controversy of Good & Bad Parenting

No comments :
Disclaimer: I use the term "parenthood/parenting" because it applies to both dads & moms.
Herro.

How do you rate your parenting style? Do you think you're doing a good or bad job parenting your child?

All of us have a fair shair of taking the baby steps in parenthood and it usually begins with your firstborn. Let's not include your nieces or nephews but your very own flesh and blood. We were not born to master the art of parenting. Some of us will surf the life out of ourselves finding parenting answers in the web, while others will buy mountain high of books to hopefully "teach" them how to be better parents. A handful will seek advices from experienced parents, their own parents, friends, etc. I havent heard any dads or moms who would confidently say that they know how to deal with their firstborn without any sort of reference. For me, I am lucky I have my mother and godmothers to guide me through. However, my mother will never insist her style is right. She often reminds me (till date) that every child needs to be handled differently therefore I need to take advices as a guideline, not following them blindly. 

In this entry, I aint gonna tell you the right steps but more to share my perspective on parenting as a whole. First and foremost, I have a four-year old daughter who is starting to have a mind of her own and it's starting to eat into my mind that she is growing up day-by-day. My style has changed over these four years and I believe it will keep changing. I have my meltdowns too, major ones in fact. I have reprimanded my four-year old as if she can understand whatever I was saying. In my opinion, she will only understand 50% of everything I said then simply ignore the remaining 50%. U know, simple things like taking the tissue to clean out the nose booger can be a daily yelling affair. It started off nice and even with full demo on how to do it and explaining why it is important to do it in such manner. It's been like....10 months and she still defies me. So is it my fault? I did my positive reinforcement on a simple habit like that until my voice tuned up to the max. To many parents, they will say, "Oh, be patient, she is still a little child." while others may say things like, "If that was my child, I will cane her until she learns!" (OKAY, i get ur point but I don't want to be charged for child abuse over nose booger issue!!) 

Does it sound familiar when parents you know say such things? How do u feel when u hear them making such comments? Do u feel beat up? Do u ignore? Or do you strike off that friend off your playdates roster? 

I see many different parents dealing with their kids and that look of stress.. I feel for them because I feel the same. I'm neither a good nor bad parent. I am human and I have the right to display my plethora of emotions on my face, period. Everyone, friends and family can label me as a bad parent or even a perfect parent, but I will never admit to myself that I'm what you think I am. My bff Goldie always tell me this,"Even if you know you cant give the best, at least settle for better, not good enough." I understood what she meant. 

I don't deny giving my daughter real tough love 80% of the time because I will be in trouble if she has a little sibling in future. I do reward her, I dont pamper her, I am stern with her, I'm a clown when we play, I do not say 'NO' for no valid reason, I don't let her get her way all the time and I don't change my mind unless absolute necessary. Serious parenting some would say, like I'm a mad mother. No, I am not.. I love my daughter so much that I can die for her. But I want her to grow up with the kind of strength I grow up with. I want her to know life is not a bed of roses. I need her to know she needs to work hard for what she wants, and not just put two arms out and get everything under the rainbow. I have to teach her to be firm in her own beliefs and believe she can do whatever she wants with perserverance. Even if in future she doesn't go to the university, it is not the end of the world and she needs to know that. Yes, I'm not a superficial person that she has to be top in everything and above everyone. She has to learn to fall and stand up on her own, no one will hold her up. When I'm gone, she has to fend for herself. The one thing I don't do : cane.

Do u think I'm crazy? She's too young to understand? No... little things that goes on in her life teaches her what I want her to learn. Picking up her toys, eating on her own, telling me how she feels, not to whine over broken skin and bruises and crying for attention. I constantly remind her that that's not how life works so get over it. Some of you may think I'm not doing enough and some may feel I'm overdoing it. Every child grows up in different environment so I cannot use your method towards my child, vice versa. 

Parenting books give us guidelines to help us "plan" the way we may want to deal with our kids like the way we put our message across to our child. My advice is not to follow what these books tell you, but use it as a guideline to help you execute your parenting style appropriately.

We are humans. We are not meant to do everything right (tho we wanna be perfect). It's a gift to be a parent, but we're not God. Don't be afraid to say sorry to your child if you made a mistake and they are aware of it. It shows them that saying sorry is normal. Don't compare them with another kid, especially their siblings. It will burn their ego and confidence level. Yes, kids have stress too alright? Don't think they do not have any forms of stress! I hate it when I hear parents saying "kids doesnt have any stress like adults!" Of course, u clown! Their stress comes in a different form, it comes majorly from their emotions and innocence. They do things innocently and sometimes it's wrong! But do they know it? Nope! Do they repeat their mistakes? Yes! ALL THE TIME! That's because their level of understanding is not there. Don't force them to live with YOUR standards or the society's. 

Share with me what is that one thing you have to deal about when it comes to ur kid and how do u overcome it? I would love to hear from you, and learn something. I tweak my parenting style to suit my child who happens to be a tough nut. Even if you feel you need to say something in regards to my topic today, please do. I'm open to everything but of course, if you want to say something nasty, you may want to drop me a personal email. 

Thank you for taking time to read my entry. Coming up soon will be a sponsored review! 

xo
Pomaika`i

Sunday, August 18

Book Review + Giveaway - "Today I Am" by Mies Van Hout

No comments :
I received an email many weeks back on whether I was interested in doing a book review and hosting a giveaway on my blog. For once, I was interested because Sophia loves reading. Some of you mommies out there may already know this book, however some of you may not. For those of you who are trying to get your hands on this book, enter my giveaway (details towards the end of this entry).


Author Mies van Hout (google.com)

The original book in Dutch (google.com)

I loved the illustrations but I was a tad disappointed when I only saw a word on each page. I was actually expecting like a little descriptions of the emotions. So due to my absolute insane work schedule, my mom managed to read the book with her and she shared with me on how Sophia reacted to the book. Ultimately, we enjoyed the book as a family. 




"Today I Am" is a Southeast Asian English version of the award-winning Dutch children's book. It was first published in June 2011 in The Netherlands. "Vrolijk" has since garnered numerous accolades, including a nomination at the prestigious German Children's Literature Award 2013.

"Vrolijk" has since been translated into many different languages including German, Italian, French and Basque. In time, it will be translated to Thai, Tagalog, Mandarin, Bahasa Indonesia and Vietnamese. 

This book promotes emotional awareness to little kids who are well along that line learning how to differentiate day-to-day emotions. It is very healthy for children to be aware about their feelings so that in time to come, they will learn how to cope with it. It is also the parents' duty to let your child show their emotions and guide them throughout their growing years and that it is okay to feel a certain way. Of course, most children are visual learners, second that would be auditory. Read with them aloud, show them the facial expressions (and act like a clown if you have to) and prompt them whenever they are portraying a particular emotion. This will help in future when they need to express themselves if they are unable to speak up. This positive reinforcement will also help us parents to understand their body language as well. 






My favourite?

BRAVE 
No matter how tough something seems to you, just keep going.. 
Just Keep Swimming.

GIVEAWAY!

I have 5 books to give away to 5 lucky readers. 

This giveaway will be opened internationally for the next two weeks, ending 1st September 2013.
All you have to do is:

3) Leave me a comment on what topic you would like me to talk about next.

Winners will be notified by via Facebook
Good luck guys!

xo
Pomaika`i

Wednesday, July 31

Happy 4th Birthday Baby! - Part 2 | Reviews and Everything else!

No comments :
Oh! It's August tomorrow! How fast time flies?! HELLO? 

As promised of a Part 2 of my Little Missy's birthday, it wasn't even a huge bash to even begin with. It was a cosy affair with family. This year, Sophia had two celebrations, one at home, the other in school for the first time. I ordered Sophia's cakes for her classmates from Delcie's and I had mixed reactions from adults and children. 


I asked Delcie's to customized a rainbow swirl icing for the 35 cupcakes I ordered. They did it very subtlely and it was beautiful, in my opinion tho. Let's break it down to hits and misses..

HITS:
The cupcakes were not sweet as it's a healthier choice range and for me, I'm not a fan of overly diabetic induced cakes/pastries. 

Chocolate cupcakes with Rainbow Swirls 
35 pieces @ SGD238
(Self-Collection)

See the facts?

When one hears about all the facts, the instant reaction? "Then it's not cake anymore!" I beg to differ though. It actually tasted good. I enjoyed the rich chocolate flavour and right in the middle of the cupcake, there's this chunk of chocolate piece, feels like dark chocolate! It wasn't overly sweet and the icing was very light with a tinge of sweetness. It was very well done. I know not many people will agree with me but well, one man's meat is another man's poison. Good service from Lam, the one who corresponded with me via email and the service staff at the outlet itself (Upper Serangoon Branch) was polite and helpful - which is very important to me! 

MISSES:
Because I had to collect it myself (delivery charges is not worth for 35 pieces of cupcakes) so they had to bake it in advance and freeze it for me. I had to "thaw" it in the fridge for the next day's mini-party. The staff at the outlet did mention to warm it up in the oven if I can so that the cake will be moist and it will taste better. I recently tossed out my oven cos it died tragically on me so I couldn't warm it up. I took one to eat when it was still cold and the cake was a little crumbly and tasted a little weird. However, the next day, after taking it out 3 hours before the mini-party, the cake taste much better and richer and it didnt crumble. So I guess if it was warm, it would have been awesome. 











Overall, Sophia's birthday was a success. I am very pleased with everything. From the customized tee from Vainpots Apparel to the Delcie's cupcakes. Also, the Pocoyo designed cake my sister for the family gathering, thank you to my family who made this birthday a memorable one. 

Let's countdown to her 5th birthday!

xo
Pomaika`i

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