Tuesday, December 15, 2015
1. Success is more about contribution than it is about achievement.
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
This guy should teach Good Parenting 101.
If there’s one universal cultural constant, it’s fathers being overprotective of their daughters.
Unfortunately there’s one other universal constant too: dads being bad at being overprotective. The usual “don’t do this” and “don’t do that” will at best elicit little more than a smile and nod with fingers crossed behind her back, at worst turn into endless frustrating arguments.
But one Japanese dad seems to have figured it out.
In a tweet that has racked up over 40,000 likes from Japanese netizens so far, this father explains how he went about showing his daughter how to stay safe in an unsafe world.
Here’s the tweet that introduced the story to the internet. (Translation below.)
▼ “I think good parents are the ones who teach their kids how to stay safe, rather than overprotective parents who just forbid their kids from doing things.”
‘When I was younger I was a bit of a rebel. I hung out with some “bad” kids and did some stupid things, but nothing that could get me in trouble. When I hit the drinking age, I think my parents were worried about me but didn’t know what to do. They knew that no matter what they said I’d just do what I wanted anyway, so they were stuck.Finally, one day my dad said this to me:“Hey Reiko, let’s go out drinking together sometime! I’ll take you wherever you want and you can order whatever you want. We can go to some fancy places, it’ll be great.”As any young person who gets invited out to drink with their dad would probably feel, I didn’t really want to do. But, at the same time, back then I was interested in seeing what nightlife was like. I’d only just barely gotten a taste of it.So, we went out, just me and my dad. Once we were on the town, he said this:“All right! Drink all you want, Reiko. Drink until you can’t anymore. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure we get home. You feel free to go crazy.”It felt really weird being told my dad to “drink all I wanted.” Wouldn’t Mom still be mad at me if I came home drunk? But, I didn’t worry about it too much. I’d already come this far, and Dad said he’d treat me to whatever I wanted, so I decided to take full advantage of the opportunity.The first stop: a meat-grilling restaurant. The hostess thought I was Dad’s new girlfriend, which he was happy to play right along with.The second stop: a nightclub. I had some drinks, and the people there saw through Dad’s ruse of pretending I was his girlfriend. But that just made him even happier. He jokingly blamed them figuring it out on my eyes, which he claimed looked just like his.The third stop: a sushi bar. The chef was nice and had a hint of jealousy in his voice when he talked to my dad. He said that for parents,hanging out with their kid like he was doing with me was a dream come true. My dad was thrilled and encouraged me to keep eating and drinking, since this was a rare opportunity for the two of us to be out.The fourth stop: a pub. I don’t remember much at that point. I don’t really remember what I drank… what we talked about….The fifth stop: a “snack” bar. Don’t remember a thing. Pretty sure I just collapsed on the counter.After that, Dad called a taxi and helped carry me home. I remember briefly regaining consciousness during that time:“Oh wow. Hey, sorry, Dad. I got kinda drunk.”“It’s okay. You just go to sleep.”The next morning when I woke up in bed I felt awful. Not only from the hangover, but also the embarrassment of having drunk so much last night in front of my dad. I didn’t really want to face him after my drunken display last night.But when I went to the living room, Dad was already gone. My mom gave me a note he’d written for me on the back of some advertisement. It read:“To Reiko. Last night was fun. We should do it again sometime. Also, Reiko, do you know how much you drank last night to get in that groggy state? You had two beers and five chuhai (shochu high-ball). That’s your ‘limit.’ So from now on, when you go out drinking with friends, be sure to stop before you reach that limit. The world has some bad people in it, and some of them may want to take advantage of you. I can’t be around to protect you, so that’s why we did this, so you can know your own limit and protect yourself. I know you can do it. Love, Dad.”And I proceeded to eat my breakfast in tears.Mom told me that she and Dad had been worried for a long time how to best tell me all this. Rather than forbid me from doing things they knew I’d do anyway, Dad decided to show me how to take care of myself.And for that I thank you, Dad. Because of what you did, I never went past my “limit.” I never had any problems with alcohol. I had fun out drinking with friends and never get hurt, thanks to what you taught me.Now, years later, my dad isn’t as cool as he used to be. He’s an old man. The guy who took me around town drinking is gone. Instead he just spends the days in his garden, growing vegetables for me and his grandchildren to eat.I am who I am today because of you, Dad. And I can’t think you enough.’
The story is quite straightforward and a little on the nose, but at the same time, it’s one that perhaps many parents could learn something from. It’s so easy to see your child as the same little kid whose diapers you used to change and would yell at when they stuck their fingers in the electric socket.
But once they get older, the same yelling and forbidding tactics don’t work. There comes a time to treat them like adults, no matter how hard that may be, and let them make their own choices. By then all you can do as a parent is help them make good choices, not forbid them from making bad ones, and this story lays out one way of going about it.
The story seemed to have a profound impact on Japanese net users, many of whom were moved to tears. Here’s what they had to say:
“Well, now I’m crying over my breakfast too.”
“I cried, then my friend asked what was wrong, and now she’s crying too.”
“I wish my dad did this. I’ve made so many alcohol-related mistakes….”
“What a cool dad.”
“As a father I worry about my daughter too. I hope I can do the same for her.”
Remember all you parents and might-someday-become-parents out there: if you truly love something, set it free. Or, in this case, set it free after a wild night on the town together.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Maria Montessori is one of the small number of pedagogues who helped revolutionise how we think about raising children during the twentieth century. She was well known for formulating short but memorable commandments for parents. They are all essentially straightforward, but nevertheless contain a huge amount of wisdom. We recommend reading the following at least once a year.
- Children learn from what surrounds them.
- If a child is often criticised, it learns how to condemn others.
- If a child is often praised, it learns how to evaluate others.
- If a child is shown hostility, it will learn to fight.
- If you are honest with a child, it will learns the meaning of fairness.
- If a child is too often derided, he becomes shy.
- If a child feels safe, it learns to trust people.
- If a child is too often made to feel shame, it will learn to always feel guilty.
- If a child is given frequent encouragement, it will have high self-esteem.
- If a child is condescended to, it will learn patience.
- If a child is given support, it will be confident.
- If a child lives in an atmoshpere of friendship and feels that others need it, it will learn how to find love.
- Never speak badly of a child, in its presence or otherwise.
- Concentrate on nurturing the good in a child. That way, there will be no place left in it for the bad.
- Always listen to and answer a child’s questions or requests should it approach you.
- Respect a child even when it makes a mistake. It will be able to correct its error soon enough.
- Always be ready to help a child who requires assistance, and to stand aside when it’s found everything it needs.
- Help a child to master things early. This can be done by making sure the world around it is filled with affection, peace, and love.
- Always display the best manners to a child. Show it how to be the best it can be.
Thursday, August 6, 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
NEW YORK — Parents are often at fault, directly or indirectly, when children and teenagers become hooked on electronic media, playing video games or sending texts many hours a day instead of interacting with the real world and the people in it. And as discussed in last week’s column, digital overload can impair a child’s social, emotional and intellectual growth.
This sad conclusion of many experts in child development has prompted them to suggest ways parents can prevent or rectify the problem before undue damage occurs.
“There’s nothing about this that can’t be fixed,” said Dr Catherine Steiner-Adair, a Harvard-affiliated psychologist. “And the sooner, the better.”
As Ms Susan Stiffelman, a family therapist, put it in The Huffington Post, today’s parents are unprepared “to deal with the intense pull and highly addictive nature of what the online world has to offer. As parents, we have an opportunity to guide our kids so that they can learn habits that help them make use of the digital world, without being swallowed whole by it.”
Two experts at the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr Steven Gortmaker and Ms Kaley Skapinsky, offer a free guide, Outsmarting the Smart Screens: A Parent’s Guide to the Tools That Are Here to Help, as well as healthy activities to pursue to counter the weight gain that can accompany excessive screen time. Young children should not have their own cellphones or televisions in their bedrooms, they say, adding that even with teenagers it is not too late to set reasonable limits on screen time.
Dr Steiner-Adair, author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age, cited two common parental behaviours that can strongly influence a child’s tendency to abuse electronic media. Some parents are perpetually tuned into their own devices, responding to every ping of their cellphones and tablets, receiving and sending messages at times that would enrage Miss Manners. Other parents fail to establish and enforce appropriate rules for media engagement by their children.
Young children learn by example, often copying the behaviour of adults. I often see youngsters in strollers or on foot with a parent or caretaker who is chatting or texting on a cellphone instead of conversing with the children in their charge. Dr Steiner-Adair said parents should think twice before using a mobile device when with their children. She suggests parents check email before the children get up, while they are in school, or after they go to bed.
One girl among the 1,000 children she interviewed in preparing her book said, “I feel like I’m just boring. I’m boring my dad because he will take any text, any call, any time, even on the ski lift.” A 4-year-old called her father’s smartphone a “stupid phone”.
Dr Jenny S Radesky, a paediatrician at Boston Medical Center who with two colleagues observed 55 groups of parents and children at fast-food restaurants, noted that 40 of the adults immediately took out mobile devices and used them throughout most of the meal. Often more attention was paid to the devices than to the children.
The researchers also found that when parents were absorbed in their own devices, the children were more likely to act out, apparently in an attempt to get their parents’ attention.
Dr Steiner-Adair is especially concerned about parental failure to pay full attention to their children “at critical times of the day, like when taking children to and from school. This should be a cell-free zone for everyone — no Bluetooth for parents or devices for the kids. The pickup from school is a very important transitional time for kids, a time for them to download their day. Parents shouldn’t be saying, ‘Wait a minute, I have to finish this call’ ”.
Likewise, she said, when parents come home from work, “they should walk in the door unplugged and use the first hour they’re home as time to reconnect with the family. Kids hate the phrase ‘just checking’ that parents frequently use to justify a very rude, infuriating behaviour”.
Nor should parents or children be using devices when the family dines out, the psychologist said. “The art of dining and the connection between delicious food and nourishing conversation is being lost, not just in restaurants but at home as well,” she said.
Dr Steiner-Adair attributes a recent 20 per cent increase in accidental injuries seen in paediatric emergency rooms to caretakers’ failure to pay full attention to those they are supposed to be watching, like infants and toddlers in the bathtub or children on the jungle gym. “Your reaction time and attention is not the same when you’re texting or talking on a cellphone,” she said.
Ms Stiffelman, author of Parenting With Presence, realises that attempts to change digital behaviour can meet with resistance. But, she said, it is important to be fearless and decisive, and to avoid negotiations.
“Acknowledge your kid’s upset without delivering long lectures about why they can’t have what they want,” she said. “Children grow into resilient adults by living through disappointment. It’s OK for your kids to be mad, bored or anxious about missing out on what their friends are up to online.”
She and other experts urge parents to establish device-free times of day, like the first hour after school and the hour before bed. Cellphones and tablets should not be allowed at the dinner table.
Ms Stiffelman suggests parents “make time for real-life activities with your kids that let them know that they’re worth your time and undivided attention. Do things together that nourish your relationship”.
As for controlling the time children spend on digital media, the Harvard guide states emphatically that it is the parents’ responsibility: “Since the devices can be turned on anytime, you as a parent need to monitor their use, keep track of time, and then make sure the agreed upon rules are followed.” THE NEW YORK TIMES
Monday, July 13, 2015
Sunday, June 14, 2015
It's the time of the year to be busy. Will be registering my son for Primary One Admission in 2016. Check out more information using the link right below this post.
Details of the different phases are shown below.
|Eligibility||Primary One Registration Phase||Registration Dates|
|For children who are Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents|
For a child who has a sibling studying in the primary school of choice
Thursday, 2 July 2015
Friday, 3 July 2015
(a) For a child whose parent is a former student of the primary school and who has joined the alumni association as a member not later than 30 June 2014.
(b) For a child whose parent is a member of the School Advisory / Management Committee
Announcement of Results:
By Thursday, 9 July 2015
Tuesday, 7 July 2015
(a) For a child whose parent or sibling has studied in the primary school of choice
(b) For a child whose parent is a staff member of the primary school of choice
Announcement of Results:
By Thursday, 16 July 2015
Monday, 13 July 2015
Tuesday, 14 July 2015
(a) For a child whose parent has joined the primary school as a parent volunteer not later than 1 July 2014 and has given at least 40 hours of voluntary service to the school by 30 June 2015
(b) For a child whose parent is a member endorsed by the church/clan directly connected with the primary school
(c) For a child whose parent is endorsed as an active community leader
Announcement of Results:
By Friday, 24 July 2015
Monday, 20 July 2015
Tuesday, 21 July 2015
For all children who are eligible for Primary One in the following year and are not yet registered in a primary school
Announcement of Results:
By Wednesday, 5 August 2015
Wednesday, 29 July 2015
Thursday, 30 July 2015
Friday, 31 July 2015
Phase 2C Supplementary
For a child who is not yet registered in a primary school after Phase 2C
Announcement of Results:
By Tuesday, 18 August 2015
Wednesday, 12 August 2015
Thursday, 13 August 2015
|For children who are not Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents1|
For a child who is neither a Singapore Citizen nor a Singapore Permanent Resident
Announcement of Results:
By Monday, 30 November 2015
Thursday, 27 August 2015
- Children who are Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents and who are still not registered in a school after the earlier phases are also eligible to register at this phase.
Monday, May 11, 2015
An interesting letter written by a Daddy for the kid...
Dear Z, this list is dedicated to you:
Dear Z, this list is dedicated to you: