Lessons From A Broken Cup...

~ Posted on Friday, September 5, 2014 at 7:20 AM ~

A few months ago, we were having our dinner at a Japanese restaurant. Our 5.5 years old boy was pretty stable with using the porcelain cup to drink the green tea for a few outings already. All of a sudden, the cup slipped (water stains at the bottom causing it to still move when you placed it on the table surface) and fell onto the floor, breaking in 2 pieces.

In this situation, we can choose to react or respond.

According to this article, there are differences between reacting and responding.

"React in action

When people react, it seems to be defensive. We seem to be at a disadvantage. We are uncomfortable with what is being said or done, and we react. In our reactions, our emotions take a central role. The hair on our neck stands on end. We feel our stomach turn. Our face heats up and our defenses are on red alert.

We know reactions when we see it. In fact, some people on the other side will intentionally stoke the fires, especially when they know we will react. They know if they poke we will coil up and be ready to react in a full way. There is a downside to reacting. We let emotions without reason drive us forward. We lose control. Reacting is sporadic and emotional. The upside may be passion, but our passion needs to be centered on purpose, not an unexpected, unproductive stimulus."

"Respond in action

On the flip side is respond. There is still an external spur to our response. Responding, though, is more thoughtful. Responses contain reasoning. The difference may be this: Responding is guided less by emotion and more by logic. Responding may be passive in nature, as we are going second in a series. However, a response is more active, and it can change the direction of an interaction. The upside of a solid response is an engaging conversation, all positive and all civil. We learn. We grow. We listen. We respond. We act forthrightly and from within."

Being a parent with few small children, our first reactions automatically will be shocked of a cup falling onto the floor, "Is my child hurt?", "Will he be terrified?", "Will there by any tantrums?"

 Our boy's reactions was pertty obvious. He was scared, guilty and then he got defensive.

Scared for breaking the cup.

Guilty for breaking the cup.

Defensive as he does not mean to cause that incident and was afraid we are going to blame and scold him.

We then proceeded to calm him down, spoke to him in gentle voice, assuring him it is okay, mummy and daddy are not angry with him, that accidents happen and most important is he is not hurt.

He apologised after he calmed down and tried to pick up the broken pieces and even tried to put the pieces back together again. I had to stop him as I feared he might cut himself. I told him again, it is okay, as long as he knows he did wrong and feel remorseful and promised to be extra careful next time. Happy to say no more accidents since then :)

I think other than a lesson for him to be more careful next time (and that accidents happened though we must admit and take responsibility if it is our mistake), it is also a lesson for us parents as well. How we react and respond to a situation will affect our kiddos and surrounding.

** Read: Ecclesiastes 7:9 (NIV) ~ Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.

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Why We Pulled Our Almost 3 Years Old Out From PreK...

~ Posted on Monday, August 25, 2014 at 7:26 AM ~

On 20th August 2014, our almost 3 years old Alyson started her 1st day in K1 (that is 1st year in preschool). We had registered her name last year after we did the same with her older brother (who is now 5.5 years old) as we understand it is not easy to enrol kiddos into the preschool. In fact, when we registered Benjamin's name in August last year, we were told that the waiting list is very long and for Ben's class (K3), the earliest available slot for him would be 2016 or if we do not mind, we were recommended to enrol him into K4 instead since the number of children in that class is lesser (as some would be going to primary school or international schools) With that in mind, we decided to put in Alyson's name as we were thinking maybe by the time she is offered a spot in the preschool it would be when she is 4 or 5 years old!

Praise to God, Benjamin got in for K3 this year as a few children left the class to go on to private schools. We were very glad and happy that he got in and so far, we can see changes and improvements in him. Sometime in March this year, I found out that to be considered into the preschool, all the children needs to be potty trained first and so I got onto training Alyson so that she could be ready (her brother took about half year to be potty trained)

I was caught by surprise when Alyson took the potty training seriously and she was successfully off diapers within a month! And early August this year, I got a call from the preschool's person in-charge that we can send Alyson in as they have a slot for her. I immediately felt sad as all of a sudden, our girl is ready for preschool.

My MIL told us to reconsider as Alyson was not 3 years old yet and it was a bit too early for her to start preschool considering we only started Ben at almost 5 years old this year. MIL also said we all think Alyson is all grown up just because we are comparing her with Carolyn who is 10 months old now. Which I personally agree too... MIL said that it is better to let her start in beginning of the year instead of August (few months left for the year) as her opinion is everyone in the class already gone through almost the whole syllabus and Alyson is just starting.

Anyway, hubby and I discussed about it and we thought to let her try it out and see how it goes. We thought if Alyson is to start preschool, it is better to do it now when the rest of her classmates are already settled in and the teachers have more time to focus 1 to 1 with Alyson despite her classmates going through whatever syllabus they have for 3 years old.

20th August 2014 - Day 1 of K1 ~ I dropped her off at the preschool entrance. Alyson hesitated for a while but after a gentle talk from the teacher in-charge, she walked in like a trooper, not even looking back to say bye to mummy. I was so sad. My girl is suddenly all grown up! Sob sob sob... I was told to pick her up an hour before her class ends since we are in the trial phase.

So at 11am, I waited for her and realised her class were in the playground nearby, playtime and I walked over quietly and saw her playing happily there. I was told to wait for her in the office to collect some forms for detailed registration. When an assistant walked back to the preschool with her, I noticed she was more talkative and expressive, not shy at all and was told that she did not cry or had any tantrum or whatsoever. She called out 'Oh mummy!' as she ran towards me when she saw me in the office room. As we left the preschool, she excitedly pat her school bag and was excited to go home with me.

21st August 2014 - Day 2 of K1 ~ I dropped Alyson off at the preschool entrance again and she walked in without any fuss. I went to get her at 11am again in the playground and she was excited to see me as well.

The same day, I was praying and asked God for directions. I just felt a nudge and as if my heart is being tugged to reconsider putting Alyson in class. I kept asking hubby whether we should let her continue and hubby asked whether she is crying or anything when I left her, which so far is not at all. What makes it harder was Alyson is not really communicating properly still, sometimes she babbles at us, sometimes her words are clear to us. I asked her 'Do you like class?' she says 'Class'. I asked her 'Do you want to go school?' she says 'No!' then I asked her 'Do you like school?' she says 'School' so it was pretty tough to gauge her feedback on attending K1.

22nd August 2014 - Day 3 of K1 ~ Alyson is having delayed reaction to attending preschool. When I dropped her off at the entrance, she stood at the staircase, not crying, not saying anything, not budging at all until one of the teacher had to carry her in. Hmmm… praying for God’s will, should we continue? This is the first negative reaction from her after 2 half days in K1… 

I got home and prayed and prayed and prayed and chatted with a dear sister in Christ (*thanks Darla!) sharing out my concerns and worries and she prayed with me over this. I also discussed with hubby and we decided to pull Alyson out. You know, the moment we both decided to do that, I felt a great sense of peace over me. Burden lifted. No more worries and heart tugging feelings.

When I went to get Alyson in her preschool, I asked to talk to the person in-charge and explained to her our decision. Just to cut story short, I was told that pulling her out will mean her slot will be passed on to the next person in queue. I said we are totally aware of that and will try to enrol her again in 1-2 years time, but in the meantime, we feel that she is better staying home with me and to enjoy her childhood a wee bit more like her brother (who only started preK at almost 5 years old).

After leaving the preschool area, I took Alyson to the playground while babywearing Carolyn.

As I watched Alyson skipping and hopping around enjoying herself, I can't help but to think this is what God intends for us to do... for us to let Alyson still enjoys her much deserved freedom in her childhood years.

I did took a recording in the playground asking her 'Do you want to go class?' this time she says 'no!' then I asked her 'Do you want to go school?' again she says a stern 'no' so it was pretty clear and obvious to me.

For those who might want to comment that children need time to settle in a new environment, yes, truly agree with that. It took our 5.5 years old boy a few weeks to settle into his preschool but the point in our decision to pull out Alyson from her preschool has got nothing to do with her needing time to adjust or settle in, it is more because we feel she should stay on and enjoy her childhood a wee bit more, learning things from me, being home, playing and having fun with her baby sister and us all instead of being rushed through to grow up so fast.

I'm glad we have the privilege to pull her out of preschool and let her enjoy her childhood more.

I trust that our decision is backed by God and I pray and pray for God to give me the strength and courage to teach our kiddos one day, no fears, no doubts, no worries.

** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost everyday) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.

Random Act of Kindness

~ Posted on Friday, July 18, 2014 at 8:07 AM ~

We were out for our family dinner when our 2.5 years old Alyson suddenly wanted to go to the restroom to pee. I took her to the restroom in the restaurant and the moment we walked into the aisle towards the restroom section, I saw a pregnant lady waiting for her turn outside the female's restroom. There is only 1 room for female and 1 room for male.

I thought of asking the lady whether we could jump queue seeing our girl is getting restless (she really needs to pee) but I looked at the heavily pregnant lady and remembered I used to be like that - 3 times... and every single time I wanted to use the public restroom when I was pregnant, was kinda urgent and if I have to go, I have to go. I mean, if you have been pregnant, you would certainly know that our bladder can't store much pee when your baby is pressing heavily on you as you get into the later pregnancy stage.

Yes, I do know that little children's bladder are small too and they can't control their pee long but looking on at the pregnant lady and remembering back my pregnancies experiences, I hesitated asking the pregnant lady. And so I carried our girl and gently whispered to her to hold her pee, I kept distracting her so she won't think about her strong urge to pee until her turn to use the restroom.

Then the person in the female's restroom got out and I told myself 'Okay, okay, we just gotta wait through this pregnant lady and prays I won't get peed on so fast!' when suddenly, the pregnant lady looked at me and said 'You guys go first!'

Oh my...

I am stunned.

What a random act of kindness.


Totally and deeply appreciated.

I thanked her profusely and quickly brought our girl in and helped her out. All done in less than 1 minute.

When we got out, I thanked the pregnant lady again for her kindness.

May God bless her and her loved ones!

** Further reading:

  • Luke 6:38 (NIV) ~ Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

  • Colossians 3:12 (NIV) ~ Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost everyday) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.