What Should Your Child Know?

~ Posted on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 7:06 AM ~

I came across this article shared by a fellow mum in my SAHM group and just like it so much! Coincidentally, the title of the article is 'What should a 4 year old know?' and hey, my Benjamin is 4 years old this year!

Excerpt from the article on what should a 4 years old know:

1. She should know that she is loved wholly and unconditionally, all of the time.

 2. He should know that he is safe and he should know how to keep himself safe in public, with others, and in varied situations. He should know that he can trust his instincts about people and that he never has to do something that doesn't feel right, no matter who is asking. He should know his personal rights and that his family will back them up.

3. She should know how to laugh, act silly, be goofy and use her imagination. She should know that it is always okay to paint the sky orange and give cats 6 legs.

4. He should know his own interests and be encouraged to follow them. If he could care less about learning his numbers, his parents should realize he'll learn them accidentally soon enough and let him immerse himself instead in rocket ships, drawing, dinosaurs or playing in the mud.

5. She should know that the world is magical and that so is she. She should know that she's wonderful, brilliant, creative, compassionate and marvelous. She should know that it's just as worthy to spend the day outside making daisy chains, mud pies and fairy houses as it is to practice phonics. Scratch that-- way more worthy.

Now my point is, I do sometimes worry my 4 years old boy is slow in learning things (I'm guiding my kids by the way...) and although I keep reminding myself each child is different and unique, do not ever compare my child with others but you know, somehow you can't help it when you hear/see other parents sharing their kids' achievement in so and so (worse if their kids are younger than yours!)

There were times I was having doubts whether I'm taking it too slow and easy with my child's progress, or should I hurry him up or just maintain the pace, I mean, as a SAHM and teaching my kiddos, I am not referring to any syllabus yet (again, my children are just 4 years old and 1.5 years old) and hence the doubts and worries whether I'm too slow and etc. But if I'm following other preschools syllabus/guidelines, wouldn't I be forcing ourselves to stay competitive or on par with other children?

It doesn't help when you are staying in a country that is pretty competitive, where parents eagerly (or to put it in honest words, can't wait to) send xtheir kids to school so that they get an early head start on education. I once read an article (sorry, I can't seem to find that exact article anymore, the closest I got is this) that parents in our neighbour country send their children to kindergarten/pre-schools as early as 3 years old and their kids even have exams at that age! 3 years old!

Now that is definitely something I do not want to happen to my children. I want my children to play as much as they can while they are still young, not to be burdened by exams, syllabus, stress, competitions and so on. Not at that young age, no!

To be honest, I didn't even attend any preschools or classes or playgroups or music lessons etc... I started my kindergarten at age 6. Before that, I pretty much roamed around freely in my neighborhood area (back then it was really safe and we don't have any fears walking around alone or anything)

So what I would normally do is to on and off knock some sense into my head and keep telling myself to focus on what my kiddos are great with, well, in terms of other things other than academically wise. Be it manners, language skills, imagination, social skills and so on. And yes, I definitely need to increase more book readings to my kiddos!

Well, if you followed my Facebook page, you will sometimes see me posting videos (or Youtubes clips) I took of my kiddos showing me where is so and so countries on this world map of ours in our playroom. Don't get me wrong, I teach them the countries only because they are related to our relatives who stays in Sweden, Australia, Japan or went to Hong Kong for holidays, or Canada for further studies and to some of the shows my kiddos watched (Lilo & Stitch in Hawaii, Captain America in United States). You can watch some of the videos I took of my kiddos' learning using the world map here and here.

Now back to the question of the day... what should my child know? Well, like the excerpts from the article, I want my child to know that he/she still has loads of time to play and just enjoy being a kid for now! We'll take it one day at a time and learn through play and no pressure or stress in learning things!

(First time I jokingly asked Ben to draw a face on the balloon and he did it!)

So what do you think? What should your child know?

How Often Do You Go For Your Antenatal Checkups?

~ Posted on Monday, May 13, 2013 at 7:31 AM ~

I was just sharing with my mummy group in Facebook recently that my first pregnancy checkup for this baby is at 10 weeks and the next one will be when I'm about 28 weeks into pregnancy and some asked me why am I doing so.

And that leads me to writing this post today...

Well, firstly, do note that for my first 2 pregnancies, from 1st to about 7th month pregnancy, I went for monthly checkups and then fortnightly and then gave birth.

FPP Hospital Putrajaya

But for this round, the reason why I reduced the number of checkups are:

  • My 2 previous pregnancies and labors are normal and without any complications so my gynae is OK with this arrangement.

  • I'm tired. I cannot afford to lug my 2 kiddos along EVERY MONTH now.

  • The distance between my house to my hospital is 40 minutes EACH WAY. I really appreciate less travelling time now especially if 2 kiddos are tagging along everywhere I go (different story if we are going on holiday okay?)

  • My gynae is very busy (and so am I)

Don't get me wrong... I will definitely monitor my progress even though I'm not seeing my gynae every month. Just that, I feel this round, I am more relaxed and not too pressured to be going for my checkups every month. Of course, because of the lack of checkups, I do sometimes forgot how many weeks pregnant I was and had to keep checking on Babycenter website :P

As for antenatal pills, oh well, I buy my own vitamins and pills from the local pharmacy near my housing area. Just folic acid, Obimin and vitamin C daily for now. I've been taking the same thing for the previous 2 pregnancies anyway.

I also read one of my blog followers commenting that she is not going for so many checkups during pregnancy as too much ultrasound will affect the baby's foetal development. I googled around for more information as I'm not aware of this and yes, of course I am curious to know whether there are risks to having too many ultrasounds or not!

You can read up the articles I found here on why it is best to avoid ultrasound scanning during pregnancy and why nobody has ever found them to be harmful and another science-based article here. Of course there are a whole lot more articles out there for you to research and read up on and decide for yourself.

My personal opinion? I think ultrasounds are good where by it helps to alert us if there's any complications or risks to the baby or mum but if your pregnancy is normal and no risks foreseen (or no historical healthy risks on yourself or your parents' side) then it should be fine not to do so many ultrasounds.

So, how often do you go for your antenatal checkups when you are/were pregnant and do you think ultrasounds are risky?

Life Goes On!

~ Posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 7:29 AM ~

Life goes on dear Malaysians...

Sure, I woke up at 1am+ on 6th May 2013, and upon reading the barrage of comments and posts on Facebook about how the opposition parties lost in the 13th General Election of Malaysia, I felt like a big chunk of my heart has just been ripped out.

I can almost equate the emptiness and hollow feeling of my heart to the time when I realised back in early 2007, for the first time as I stood alone in my government flat I called house for 2 decades of my life, I have no more father and mother. I am like an orphan.

And I'm feeling almost the same as I read through how ballot boxes magically appeared after an eletricity blackout at some ballot counting centers, how vehicles bearing ballot boxes can still drive in and said they lost their way and are delivering the remaining ballot boxes to be counted (when the results has been counted for and unofficially announced) and more.

I felt like my beloved country has just died.

I'm sad throughout the whole half day of 6th May 2013. Sad not because democracy in Malaysia is dead. I'm not sad because the opposition parties have lost.

I'm just sad at the way we lost.

And sad how the racism card is still being used to stir up Malaysians.

Anyway, life really does go on.

Whether we like it or not, the results have been announced.

I just want to say we as citizens of Malaysia should be proud of what we did.

Even a miniscule of contribution in each and every one of us really did make a difference.

I'm actually happy to know some of my Muslim friends are sharing the same sentiments like myself.

I'm happy to know they too don't agree that religion is used to scare other races.

I'm happy to know many of the people in my Facebook network are frustrated and desire for change in the country.

Don't ever doubt that and don't ever lose hope.

Stop getting angry and move on with your life. Really... When you are calm and at peace, you are able to think more logically.

Of course, change does not come so fast.

Trust in God's timing.

And His will for our beloved country to be done according to His time and His ways.

Stay strong and stay united.

Push on dear Malaysians...