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Showing posts from August, 2012

5 ways to calm down a toddler

So this week featured a mini-drama with the toddler which led to the historic moment of our very first time-out chair session.Despite the tears (both his and mine) I believe the ‘chair’ made its point. Since that episode, the time-out chair has remained unoccupied and the undesirable behaviour has not been repeated.Hail the mighty power of the chair!Saying that, I do think i is important though, to distinguish between actual wrongful behaviour or actions versus circumstances where a child is simply finding it challenging to cope with.Some examples of these situations could include:Overtiredness or lack of sleep Hunger or low blood sugar Feeling overwhelmed in a strange or new situation A boo-boo or hurt Frustration at not being able to explain their need In situations like this, I believe it’s best to first try and address the root issue, exercise a little more tenderness and empathy and try to do something to take the edge off.Here are 5 things I’ve found to be effective in helping to bri…

Time out

So on Sunday, hubby and I officially made the decision to start implementing the time-out chair for disciplining Nathan if the occasion arises.I think I have been rather indulgent with Nathan all this while. Granted he is not really a very naughty child. Most of the time he displays a very sweet and loving temperament – always eager to please others.He puts his toys away when we ask him to (sometimes on his own without being told), he enjoys helping to set the table, he will sit down to put on his shoes before going outside, he goes down for his nap and bedtime on the dot when we say so.But like any toddler… he too has his ‘difficult’ moments…I don’t know why, but it never even occurred to me to even smack him until another mum brought it up to me a couple of days ago.But I knew that sooner or later, when boundaries start to be tested, the ‘rod’ (whether we mean it literally or metaphorically) must come forth.Hubby and I discussed the time-out system at length. What chair should we us…

Linky treasures: Have a good weekend

Our photo moment of the weekWhat are you up to this weekend?Sunday trading starts this weekend in Perth (finally!) so we won’t have to be squeezing all our shopping errands on Saturday. So on Saturday afternoon we might check out The Reading Hour at our local library.I shall leave you now with these finds…Awesome video game covers for gamers to look like bookwormsA lovely idea for a book exchange partyAmazing travel pouch disguised as a book by my friend Pegs.Cool blog depicting awesome people reading including Spike Lee, Grace Kelly, Christopher Plummer, Orlando Bloom and ElvisAnd a great quote on books from our childhood“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond
― C.S. Lewis

Teen Reads

Since we’re talking books, here’s another one…Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High…Which were all the rage in my teen years. My friends and I were constantly sharing and swapping these with each other, devouring as many as these as we could.Novels were banned at our school back in those days, but we got away with it by wrapping the covers with paper so we could sneak a read at recess, between classes, and sometimes during class if we happened to be right in the middle of a really exciting chapter.Flipping through a couple of old these old novels, I couldn’t help thinking how cliché the plots and storylines were. The reading list soon expanded to Nancy Drew, R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike and the like. But every reader has to start somewhere I guess.Looking back, I think it was quite unreasonable to have a rule banning these novels at school. Granted they were not classical works of literature, but at least we were reading. It would make more sense to have a rule against reading nove…

Books to read to my children.

After that little stroll down memory lane on my favourite Enid Blyton book, I decided to make a list of favourite childhood books I would like to share and read with Nathan & Co. someday.Here’s my list…Images taken from various Google image sourcesRoald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, and The WitchesThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (seven books in the series)The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienMrs Frisby and The Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’BrienLaura Ingalls Wilder’s series of Little House books (eight books)The Railway Children by Edith NesbitAnd of course Enid Blyton’s The Wishing Chair and The Magic Faraway TreeGoing through let’s say around a chapter a day, I reckon this list should cover off a good five years at least.I’m not sure how my reading will be received by my little audience someday. I’m terrible at doing voices – and character voices are pretty essential to the whole reading aloud experience.Despite that I still am eagerly awaiting the day when I’ll…

My favourite Enid Blyton book

So I was rifling through some papers and folders in our study shelf over the weekend. As I was doing so, my eyes happen to drift across a row of old books on the top shelf…A familiar bright pink book right in the centre caught my attention:My treasured volume of The Wishing Chair series by Enid Blyton
My parents bought this book as a gift for me from the M.V. Doulos in 1990I’ve read so many Enid Blyton books that I can hardly remember them all. But this one is by far my absolute favourite Enid Blyton book.For those of you who have read it, I don’t know about you but somehow this book always made me feel hungry whenever I read it. There is just so much good eating in the book. I used to wish I was inside the story as well enjoying treacle pudding, chocolate blancmange and cream buns.There was even had a whole chapter dedicated exclusively to food – the one where Peter, Mollie and Chinky visited ‘The Land of Goodies’ which featured a chocolate biscuit tree, a jelly plant, hedges with gra…

Weekend linky treasures

Our photo moment of the weekAnd here’s the indoor version:For this weekend, I shall leave you with three awesome links:100 ways to be kind to your childPocket Princesses by Amy Mebberson10 wild newly-funded NASA projectsHave a great weekend everyone!
(and an nice extra long one for you peeps in Malaysia and Singapore)

My fall back toddler meal idea

There are some days when everything is all over the place and putting a proper and timely meal for Nathan is just not possible. I confess that I too have fallen back on (horror of horrors) the pack of frozen chicken nuggets for Nathan’s dinner.Of course I try not to resort to the chicken nugget stash too often, so my other favourite fall back plan is this…Baked Sweet Potato FriesThey’re the easiest thing to pull together and so healthy! Sweet potatoes apparently rank as the number one most nutritional vegetable.Just take one or two sweet potatoes, clean, peel and cut them into wedgesToss them in a little drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt/pepperThen bake in a 170-180° Celsius oven for about 15-20 minutesAnd into the tummy they go!This is Nathan’s absolute favourite way of eating sweet potatoes, for which I’m glad they are so simple to make.P.S.1 You can also try this with carrots or beetroot or vary the recipe by adding other spices or herbs for seasoning or some grated parmesan…

Thumbsucking: endearing or yucky?

So one of the current questions going on in the parenting department at our household is…Should we, and when, and how should we start actively weaning Nathan off thumb sucking?Yes. My son belongs to the tribe of thumb suckers.Nathan first discovered his thumb when he was around 3 months old, much to my relief at that time. It was the biggest breakthrough for him in being able to sleep fully through the night and having consistent naps.I must say that among his peers, he is considered a top champ in terms of sleep. He is able to consistently sleep through 12 hours through the night and over 2 hours at naptime and I think his thumb is a big key in helping him tide over sleep transitions smoothly by himself.We had tried other options before, like dummies/pacifiers and various loveys/soft toys but none of them ever caught on. He absolutely hated the dummy and spat it out every time (we have a whole stash of different types and designs of dummies now collecting dust in the cupboard).We acc…

Linky Treasures for your Weekend

Our photo moment of the week…The weekend is finally here! I thought I’d share some great linky treasures I found for you to browse through on a leisurely morning or a lazy afternoon or a quiet evening this weekend…A quote about toddlers/pre-schoolers that made me laughSome really rad ideas for wearing a scarfA beautiful ring that made start thinking of taking up crochetApparently how you hang your toilet paper says a lot about youThe inspiring story of the originator of the Take What You Need projectA great cocktail for a cross between afternoon tea and afterhours drinksFor a non-alcoholic version, here’s the secret ingredient to make the perfect sweet teaHave great weekend!

Celebrating Brother and Sister Ties

I just learnt that this week that just passed was the Indian festival of Raksha Bandhan which Nathan had the privilege of celebrating with his day care family.Raksha Bandhan is an Indian festival which involves the tying of rakhi (sacred thread) by a sister on her brother’s wrist. This symbolises the sister’s love and prayers for her brother’s well-being and the brother’s lifelong vow to protect her.When I arrived at day care to pick Nathan up on the last day of day care this week, the boys there all held up their wrists proudly displaying their rakhi bracelets. Nathan had one too taped to his worksheet (which I suspect was because he must have kept wanting to yank it off and pull it apart).
Craft rakhi made by one of the girls at day care for NathanOur carer told me that her husband received a rakhi from his sister all the way from India, and she herself had made one to send to her brother overseas. I had watched a documentary on this festival before and had thought how wonderful a tr…

In praise of our Family Day Care

It’s no secret that I adore the Family Day Care we send Nathan to on my work days. It’s a small-scale home-based day care where the carer takes in only a maximum of four kids per day.I never liked the idea of dumping my kid in a crowd of children at conventional day care centres with typical institutional issues like staff turnover. My own personal experiences with early childhood education as a little girl were far from ideal. I still have vivid memories of being bullied and taunted by other children from the age of 3-4.Some supporting information from the FDCA factsheet:The family day care home environment focuses on the connection to the natural world and the interconnection between people, places, animals and the community. Homes are places to explore, interact, discuss, express, involve, relax, connect, engage and be safe. Current early year’s brain research confirms that the single most important element in stimulating a child’s learning is strong relationships with significant …

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