Mother to five, parent in progress and occasional kitchenista cookerella

Category: Family & Parenting Page 1 of 5

The Teenage “Textbook”

Parenting Teens…

I’ve moved on to a new and seemingly terrifying stage of parenting – parenting teens. The world tells me this is intimidating: after all, you’re fighting against raging hormones, moody swings, irrational outbursts with emotional hypersensitivity and the clincher: somebody that’s starting to remind you exactly of …you. Your bad habits come throttling back full circle if you don’t model it right. This special breed of adolescent humans also detect hypocrisy like a GPS radar. You better walk your talk or they might bite back.

Nonetheless, you forge ahead, take a deep breath and make the most of it, while trying to demystify the teenage human staring back at you.

An Opportunity…

This afternoon was good training for me to practice relating to my teen.

But first, a little crisis…

Said teen came back and spent more than an hour gaming in the toilet. Again.

My rules are: No gaming in the toilet. No gaming without asking for permission and letting me know. No gaming till your homework’s done. No gaming more than 30min.

Essentially, he had broken all the rules.

This boy. Rarely disobeys.

But he has disobeyed me three times on this issue for the past three months.

What changed?

Before I reared my ugly mother- monster head, I thought of what I would do. Usually I would start thinking of kicking in with punitive measures: delete his app (AGAIN), give him a piece of my mind, remove his access to the phone. But wait, I’d already done that previously. And it hadn’t worked.

I had to work at parenting his HEART.

Parenting the Heart

So we sat down. And he obviously knew he was wrong. He apologized and started looking sheepish.

“Why did you do what you did?”

I could see a tear at the side of his eye. He was remorseful but silent.

I repeated my question.

“Am here to help you understand, why you did what you did, so you can do better.”

Then it started slowly…the trust knowing I was not there to condemn him for what he already knew was wrong.

We talked more freely from there….about why he did what he did. He shared with me that he had to watch his friends play during recess and he held back and did not play coz he had limited data and didn’t want to blow his plan. That’s why it was hard to resist when he came home and there was WiFi.

I empathized and commended him that he had the ability to restrain himself in school.

We then proceeded to discuss why it was a lure. We also discovered this particular game though harmless in content, didn’t have a depleting lifespan. So basically, you could play on and on.

I shared why it was important to learn how to run from something that might have a unhealthy hold on you and why it was of greater importance to master control over it rather than let it control you.

We also talked about how self control needs to start with the will- a personal choice to say I will choose not to go “there” because it is not honoring and it’s not right.

Naturally, we also discussed about the potential temptations online or otherwise there might be in the future that would need him to build and exercise this muscle of discernment and self control.

He shared some thoughts about how he felt and ways I could help him manage that better.

We prayed and read a bible verse together to guide us to understand our whys. And we decided to put in some processes to let him try to manage again- to practice making the right choice.

I felt we had connected. Parenting teens is hard work but it is worth the investment. I learnt many times over it is important to not just parent them just to control or change their behaviour but to parent them deep- from the heart. That also means we need to not condemn but CALL out the potential of what we see IN them OUT of them.

John Duffy, clinical psychologist and author of the “The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens.”

“Conversations also shouldn’t center on lecturing. “The occasional conversation may be a chore, a bit of a lecture, or a focus on behavior we as parents do not favor. But the lion’s share of the discussion has got to be connecting, talking, laughing and sharing,” Duffy says.

Connecting, talking, laughing and sharing. That’s the Lion’s Share. Definitely working towards that in the days to come!

Is there any room this Christmas?

We have just returned from our holiday in Penang two weeks back. We had planned for 4 days in Penang before taking a domestic flight to KL for the next 4 days.

Despite the big family logistics, all went well for our trip until the 4th day when we received news that MFA had just issued a travel advisory for all Singaporeans to cancel all unessential travel to KL in preparation for potential security/safety threats as a result of a convergence of about 300,000 Malaysians in the city centre for a political protest/rally.

After some research, we realised roads would be closed and our accommodation was barely 1km away from the rally site.

With thoughts of travelling into a potentially dangerous and hazardous situation the next day, with 5 young children and while expecting, it soon became clear that we were not prepared to take the risk. We decided to stay in Penang and change our plans.

Happy holidays busted?

The next few hours was a mad scramble of trying to book a returning flight home for 7 without much access to the internet and without OTP access to verify any legitimate credit card transaction. This led to several failed attempts to secure plane tickets at a favorable price.

As the hours ticked by, the calm dissolved into stress. We had checked with the hotel if we could extend a night but due to peak season traffic, they couldn’t accommodate us and it was hard to find room within our budget that fulfilled either of two criteria: a whole apartment with enough room or two interconnecting rooms that could accommodate 7. We called a few hotels to hear they were full. The other hotels, were selling their rooms at a high premium we couldn’t afford.

Hours turned to minutes and by 10pm we had barely resolved our air tickets nor accommodation for the next day. I remember my feelings then:

Frustration: Why did this have to happen, at this time, and to us? What a terrible holiday…

Loss: Our insurance policy stated that unless the rally turned violent and became a riot, we would not be able to claim anything much. We had lost a few thousand dollars in a few days.

Fatigue: Tiredness and stress had chaffed off every remaining bit of good humour, patience and calm over the situation.

Fear: The reality had sunk in; the next few hours were uncertain and we were not sure where we would lay our heads the next day.

As I lay in bed wrestling with all these negative thoughts, selfish emotions and praying to God for a solution, something within prompted me to consider the familiarity of my “circumstance” with the birth of Jesus.

A pregnant Mary and Joseph were in a rather familiar situation with us. I had only begun to realize how much more muted our condition was. As I closed my eyes to contemplate Mary’s journey to deliver Jesus’s birth, my heart became flooded with the grace to accept the things that were not within our control.

The Saving Journey of Faith

(Flickr: Jeff Weese, CC BY 2.0)

Like us, Mary and Joseph too had to prepare for long travel due to Ceasar Augustus’s decree for a census registration in the whole of the Roman world.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Unlike us, this couple had no luxury of modern travel comforts, and made arduous journey on a donkey or possibly on a caravan with other travelers, returning for the census for the safety and companionship of traveling in numbers.

We don’t know exactly what route they took—it was certain though that they had to climb up mountains and on foot through the Jordan River Valley. Regardless of the route, the approximately 100-mile trip would have taken them 8-10 long days of walking. This must have been a scary journey for young, pregnant Mary.

Like us, she too, was rejected with no room to stay. The innkeeper, not knowing, could only tell the tired and hungry couple that they were sold out and offer her a hay stable for smooth delivery.

In our modern equivalent, even Airbnb had failed her; no clean linens or freshly laundered towels, possibly not much opportunity for a bath or to freshen up.

It was a lower than one-star treatment for the baby that was destined to bring Hope to the world. The “room” that welcomed the Son of Man and the Saviour King was but an animal stable; not a sanitized hospital nor a warm home. His first smells would have been of the rancid odours of a filthy stable. Anyone on Trip Advisor would have given it an awful review.

In exchange, however, the world was infiltrated with the heavenly aroma of Peace, Hope and Salvation.

God, despite being God, had not prepared an easy journey for His own son’s inauguration nor reserved special treatment with the best service and accommodation to lay his head.

2000 over years apart with seemingly similar plights within our own contexts; yet devastatingly stark was how our family without a doubt, had fell upon immeasurably more grace.

Because this couple has pressed in and pressed on, it enabled our fates to be lovingly exchanged. Love came down for us; travelled long and hard; delivered us from eternal peril through a divine exchange at a humble stable.

It was only the beginning of Jesus’s arduous journey of bringing those who would be willing, to everlasting joy and redemption.

Immanuel means God with us.

On the night Jesus was born, that had finally became a reality.

It suddenly became a reality to us on that stressful night and gave us the Grace and Help through beloved friends and family who came alongside to help us resolve the situation; making calls, booking tickets. Bonus: we managed to find a nice, new cozy accommodation that fit us all at 2am for the rest of our days in Penang!

It’s still a reality today. God is still with us- for every heart that’s willing to open and embrace His presence.

The Christmas spirit is synonymous with Giving. But the real Christmas gift didn’t come prettily packaged as we would have liked to imagine in the midst of our merry making.

God came down to be WITH us despite being on the sour end of a very sucky gift exchange. In His sorrow, we exchanged Joy, in His trouble, we gained Peace, in His brokenness, we became whole. In his death, we became forgiven and reconciled.

There was little revelry, feasting nor merry making on the night Jesus was born.

It was shrouded in the silent and holy love of the Father and the glorious promise of his infant Son.

Angelic voices penetrated the hearts of those who knew Him.

It was a miracle in the highest that is still unfolding today.

My prayer this Christmas is that many other Christmas miracles will continue to unravel; that many other hearts, including ours, prepare Him room and receive the miracle of Immanuel with us ❤️.

Krabi 2018: Panan Krabi Resort Review

We almost didn’t make it for our June 2018 vacation….but we’re glad we finally did!

Work has simply been crazy and pooling together our schedules combined, has made this getaway a hard knot to unravel. In the end, we could only travel on dates when our older girl was away at camp. It wasn’t the best arrangement but we were looking forward to having some time to rejuvenate with the younger ones in some sand, sea and sun!

Thanks to Beautiful Krabi, which offered the best bang for our budget: pristine beaches, magnificent national parks, outdoor and water activities all rolled in one — and ONLY an hour or so plane ride away!

As usual, we were looking for a family -friendly resort that could accommodate the “truckload” of us and offer us a convenient yet contained base for which to explore all our activities — we were excited find it in Panan Krabi Resort.

A view of Panan Krabi Resort

A Little Corner to Chill in Ao Nang

We booked our entire 6 day, 5 night stay at Panan Krabi Resort, which is a fairly new resort snuck in the corner of busy Ao Nang.

Tucked inside away from touristy streets, yet right in the heart of town, Panan Krabi Resort offers both location and privacy. A 5 -min walk and you get to Starbucks, McDonald’s, Subway and tons of eating and food outlets, intermittently stacked between tour booking services and massage parlors.

Panan Krabi Resort is not a beachfront resort nor does it have a private beach but it makes no apologies for it with a gorgeous view of a huge mountain and TWO pools –one on the rooftop with a gorgeous view and one with a kids pool and slide on ground level!

It is however, a 10min walk to Ao Nang Beach but we didn’t need to troop there as the resort was self-contained with enough to do. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time there and the newly furnished kids club!

**Side note: Look at that gorgeous mountain….Krabi is full of these…the naturalist in me is “drooling” from an overdose of polished urban spaces that are missing ruggedness.

When we were there, the resort was still undergoing some renovation work in certain wings in certain blocks and it felt slightly raw depending on which wing or block you stayed.

It’s understandable to have teething issues but the hotel makes up for this with with genuine hospitality and sincere service. The staff are friendly, warm and welcoming, and nothing is too small to ask for. I approached them to arrange dinner and a external massage and the staff were ever obliging and warm.

One of the staff Bean, was so cool to share with us his experience and advice regarding tours and whether we could safely kayak in the given weather and helped on several occasions to get us where we needed to go. *Grateful* always…for cool service!

Ok, let’s cut to the chase. Our favorite things to do during our stay. Let us “show” you around the Panan Krabi experience…from our family’s perspective!!

Reception & Welcome

We arranged for pick up once we landed and were swiftly brought to our resort about an hour’s drive from the airport.

Once we arrived at the hotel lobby, we had our luggage swiftly taken aside and brought to the welcome lounge where we were handed…

…Cold towels to freshen up!!

We were invited to partake in the small bites and drinks at the lounge.

The open lounge is accessible like a central “living room” where guests are welcome to relax with some free-flow biscuits, snacks and traditional lemongrass drink. The kids visited this area many times during their stay ? for obvious reasons!! And I was happy for obvious reasons—no need to feed them!!

My favorite part of the lounge, the floor tiles. Love black and white on the FLOOR. Who else agrees??

Look at those happy no longer hungry faces!!!Check in was smooth and we were taken to our rooms.

Our Room Experience

We booked a suite for our stay which came with a small but separate living area, a large king bed and a warm welcoming jacuzzi tub. The kids had their own deluxe interconnecting room.

We were thrilled to be able to have our own private cordoned space yet be within reach from the kids! Can’t you hear me screaming ….”FINALLY?!”.

The rooms were also tastefully decorated with a modern garden theme.

We enjoyed the comfortable beds, fresh clean sheets and the luxury of having our own ensuite jacuzzi tub to relax in.

Loved that the room provided beach slippers AND bedroom slippers to convenience our use of casual footwear outdoors.

The view from our room was partial mountain and sea view. We spent many hours in this super power jacuzzi bath. Such a treat for the fun-loving babies and for all my aching muscles!!! Behold the view from our room…

Food & Feasts

Breakfast was inclusive of our stay and it was served at the main hotel restaurant international buffet style. The hotel was pretty well occupied for the last three days of our stay but we never had to contend with queues or crowds for peak hour breakfast.

The spread was a satisfactory mix of local and western flavours. More of an American buffet breakfast style with some local fare. Most days we skipped lunch!

The kids had fun assembling and constructing their “self-made sandwiches” from different stations. “Subway” experience, case they wanted to work there one day ?.

There are many dining options in and around Ao Nang. Plenty of restaurants on the street just 5 min away but with four kids in tow it was easier to eat in and we did for at least two of the days.

What we really enjoyed though was our in-room dining experience or room service. Room service was priced very satisfactorily at $180 baht (about $10sgd) for a good sized burger/pizza. And we would order some to tide over dinner considering most days we were abit too full after breakfast to eat lunch and only needed a nibble at dinner! The portions were generous and meaty!

Look at that huge chunk of meat!

Well divided by the four hungry kids, gone in 50 seconds.

Newly Furnished Kids’ Club

The kid’s club was also where we hung quite a-bit while we were there. The kids club is newly furnished and appealing more to preschoolers and toddlers —which was perfect for us! It’s facing the pool, so if the kids are ok, they could even play behind the glass doors and you can have a dip in the pool!

The colourful room is brightly decorated, has an indoor toddler playground and age-appropriate puzzles and toys. A majority of the books were in Thai and hopefully they would include more English titles in time.

Here’s a glimpse of how the little ones spent their time there, while we went for massages and sorted out our tours.

I spent some time trying to solve this wooden puzzle! ? I do wonder sometimes what motherhood has done to me.

The girls could engage in simple guided craft. Here they are attempting a paper flower with the help of the kid’s club staff. I like that they were usually the same staff so the kids saw their familiar faces and could warm up to them over our stay!

Finally, the best part of our stay…

Splashin’ Good Fun

We spent so much time this holiday relaxing by the pools and it was a real luxury to…just looking at the 2yo lounging in this first shot cracks me up!

The ground pool had jacuzzis which the kids enjoyed, a pool bar with super cheap cocktails and a simple kids slide and water feature.

We even spotted a resident monitor lizard by the pool side area which the kids were playing “hide and seek” with for a few of the days we were there!

The pool bar where you can order nibbles and get cheap mock tails.

The rooftop pool is small but boasts gorgeous views and it’s my favourite spot in the hotel. The backdrop of the pool is this fantastic looking mountain which tips towards a view of the sea. Super cool and relaxing.

Our serious and fun shots…

Reality check: Ok this next photo is me looking a tad worried my phone will drop INTO the water…but the hubs looks cool enough to buy me a new one if it happens, right?!?

We are parents first, then heavyweight champions after this shot. Putting it down in my resume.

Don’t we look like we’re having fun? I love that gorgeous mountain. Can’t. Stop. Gushing.

All in all, we were grateful for a relaxing time away to chill, bond with each other and have a little something for everyone to enjoy in our short stay.

Loved reconnecting with nature, sunshine and the great outdoors. Thank you Panan Krabi Resort for making us feel welcome.

Stay tuned for our next blog post on what we did in Krabi and the activities we explored.

Disclaimer: We were sponsored a complimentary room for the purposes of this review. However, the opinions expressed in this blog are our own.

A Science Escapade!

A MOBM Review

The Enrichment Conundrum

We’ve always been rather selective about what enrichment programmes our kids participate in.

Why? You might think…

Firstly, LOGISTICS. In caps. That can be a nightmare. Period.

Second, budget (in a large family, that’s pretty obvious too).

Third, time. We usually try to guard our time. We tend to leave spaces during the holidays (which usually manages to rapidly fill itself) for downtime, rest and sheer boredom. Yes, we’re not too afraid to have the kids home with us…doing nothing very exciting and hanging out.

Fourth, we are pretty chill (maybe lazy) parents…so unless a child expresses rabid fascination or an utter desperate need for a particular activity, we fill our time in with our own chill (or lazy) things to do.

Fifth, as educators, we do really look forward to seeing that “something special” in the programme curriculum that our kids might enjoy, before we send them anywhere.

Science Escapade by Cognitive Whizz!The last holidays though, we did send the kids somewhere! TA-DA!

This blogpost today is on one such holiday programme which we encountered, with that X factor.

In fact, we didn’t think very hard about whether to send our 5 and 8 year old to the four day Science Escapade – a holiday Science program for 4-8 year olds, by Cognitive Whizz.

Led by founder Denise and her team and jointly organized by BrainFit, Science Escapade focuses on teaching science creatively through storytelling, songs, play and simple hands-on experiments.

Image courtesy of Cognitive Whizz
That piqued my interest. Science and storytelling make a charming pair.
I had some reservations though, to be honest, Physics and Chemistry unpacked for kids as young as four sounded a tad intimidating.
After all, how would such abstract concepts be pitched and clearly communicated to a bunch of little kids?

Escape to FairyLand!
Step into the “Land of Fairy Tale Emergencies“, the backdrop for their exploration. Science themes are explored within the familiar narrative framework of fairytales. In fact, each day’s theme is helmed by an interesting story/tale. No prizes for guessing which my girls were really excited for.

And hardcore science made digestible through literary tales? Now this interdisciplinary invitation got this literary mum’s heart a thumping!

I trailed my girls into Day 1’s mission with much anticipation to bring you our FIVE Behind-the-Scenes Observations about Science Escapade and what the children were engaged in:

1. Problem Solvers on a Mission!
One of the great things about Science Escapade is how it endeavors to teach so called “abstract science concepts” through practical and simple problem solving.
What do I mean? Well, think this.
Children are exposed to big concepts in the pure sciences like atoms and molecules, protons and electrons and static electricity in ways that are easily relatable.
I don’t think this is meant to be or should be taken in the spirit of hot-housing but on the contrary, the heart of the programme lies in desiring to throw out the big questions to little people!
When children are immersed to learn through new experiences and critical inquiry, Cognitive Whizz believes, they make neural connections of great impact.
Image courtesy of Cognitive Whizz

Learning is made fun, and accelerated while the children are encouraged to share their hypotheses, validating them through hands-on experiments, and evaluating the data to form their own conclusions!

The mission of the day began with an intriguing proposition:

How could we use electricity to help Cinderella turbo charge through her chores in time to rush to the ball?

We saw the kids excitedly buzzing and connected to how they would be learning something that would be part of the solution on several points of the problem solving process!

2. Social-Emotional Awareness

Through the course, there was a constant and regular attempt to get children in touch with their emotions and feelings for the day. I thought this was particularly commendable.

After all, we don’t want to send the message that we are only after information and knowledge as an end but as a means to relate with and help others.

The kids were taught a range of complex feelings; ecstatic, alarmed, downhearted, jealous, and what they meant.

During Storytime, this was brilliantly reinforced:

E.g. Cinderella was ecstatic when she learnt about the ball! She was however downhearted when the unkind stepmother did not allow her to go, despite how hard she worked. Her stepsisters were jealous of her, as she was very attractive. When she finally got to go to the ball, and met the prince, she was ecstatic and got carried away! She was alarmed when the clock struck 12!

3. Role playing is Fun!
Role play was also one of the definitive highlights of the program, complete with singing, dancing and definitive props that would make children beam.

The reenactment of Cinderella was carried out with simple placards and dramatized by teachers and student volunteers. This made the classroom come alive with participation as even the “audience” had roles to play.

That’s E and F with their fairy wands in their bid to help “wish” the tinsel dust away!

However, instead of a “bipparty boppity boo”, the kids had to figure out how to use static electricity on a balloon to pick up “dust”!

Children use science not magic to deliver Cinderella from her household chores and zip to the ball.

Immersive storytelling…enraptured the children and was the real magic of the day!

4. No Limits to Curiosity!
This is actually the best part of the programme:  the experiments. In the 3 hour course on Day 1, the kids did and watched a total of 8 experiments. Yes, you heard right. 8 whooping ones!

The experiments were fun, exciting, relatable and concrete enough to engage young learners.

Check out these highlights:

(A) Science concept: Static Electricity

Cinderella was exhausted after all the laborious hardwork. She found a rainbow duster which cheered her up! She became downhearted when she realized that the duster was unable to trap the tinsel. How could the children help her?

With the aim to solve Cinderella’s headache, the children get off to work. They explore rubbing tinsel with cloth and discovered after the rubbing, the tinsel got attracted to the static duster!

That’s E smiling her way through her brilliant discovery- think her excitement says it all.

Expt (2): Hair-raising experience!

Cleaning the house, Cinderella caught a glimpse of the photo of the Scientist, Albert Einstein. She loved his hairstyle – all the hair was jutting out! She found some balloons. What should she do?

The children had fun rubbing the balloons on their hair to create the new hairstyle for themselves!

After that, they tried using the balloons to pick up the tinsel, it worked too!

Here are more sneak peaks at what went on that day:

Little “electrons” huddling together to visually see how protons and neutrons respond to one another in a little nucleas.

F looking satisfied at how many styrofoam beads her “charged” hands could pick up all over Cinderella’s house!

A visual demonstration of static electricity through a charged balloon to create dancing bubbles!

As we moved the “charged” balloon around above the bubbles, the children were amazed to observe “dancing bubbles!”

Exploring a simple circuit
The kids learnt what was a closed and open circuit and the children connected the wires to form a closed circuit to light up the bulbs!

The younger children were tasked to fix the batteries in torch lights in the correct arrangement (positive connected to negative), to help power up Cinderella’s house.

When every group is done, the lights were switched off. The children saw how they have helped to light up Cinderella’s house with the electric circuits they made!

Fun with an energy stick to examine what conductors would cause it to light up! Children made their predictions based on simple objects!

Here’s my girl’s favourite activity. Creating an electric cleaner for Cinderella!

5. Learning & Creativity Ruled the Day!

The entire programme of Science Escapade blew us away with tons and tons of opportunities to explore and create.

The pacing of the workshop was intense but everything well-connected and meaningfully planned to enrich the children’s exposure to phenomena and offering good experiences towards scientific curiousity.

Certainly, Cognitive Whizz has prepared a worthwhile programme for 4-8 year olds who want a primer into the fascinating world around us! Do check it out during the next school holidays!


Promotional Offer for MOBM Readers:

*Discount Code*

Keen to expose your children to intriguing Science concepts through holistic joyful learning? There’s good news!

**Readers who cite MOBM are entitled to a promotional rate of $290 (U.P. $330, 12% discount) for sign-up before 31 May!!!**

For enquiries:

Contact Denise@9009 7086 or email Cognitive Whizz on Facebook

Disclaimer: We were invited to attend the 4 day programme in exchange for a review. Opinions of programme are my own.

{{Giveaway}}:Hassle-free Baby Weaning with Haakaa from Mama Warehouse!

A MOBM Review & Giveaway 

I’m a busy mama, like the rest of you reading this and the busiest hours of our day have got to be mealtimes, hands down.

I mean, meal planning and grocery shopping are already mentally and physically exhausting.

Throw in prep time for ingredients, cooking early (so we can clear up early), and then the actual “peak hour” where hungry little ones start hovering earlier that you expect…boy…you need several handfuls to feed these many mouthfuls!

Our kids have rehearsed their “Mum, I’m very hungry” cue-pitiful-look line to the T and some days, it is enough to make me warble at your stove, while I desperately scavage for a cracker or two to divert them from swooping in too soon!

At this point, I haven’t even begun to describe the mealtime “carnage”.

Reminders to the kids to eat neatly, even the older ones are still in order. “Eat with your mouth over your plate please.” is on repeat mode. Nonetheless, drips and drops are still inevitable.

And then, we have the one year old who is currently keeping me on my toes in her self weaning, food exploratory stage—read utterly, completely, messy dining.

Sometimes I swoop in to collect the spills but most times, I have to pick up half a ton of food which lands in her bib and on the floor, dig out sticky  rice on her clothes and food bits wedged between her legs.

Not sleek at all. 

Imagine the “yays” in my head when MamaWarehouse sent the Haakaa Silicon Cloudmat and Haakaa Silicon Breast Milk/ Baby Food Freezer Tray our way!

If you’re a busy mama, you know what I mean when I say we constantly look for TOOLS that actually HELP us get better at our mothering jobs – tools that help us be nifty, quick and actually help to make our life easier!!!

Let me start first with the Silicon Cloud Mat:  

1. Haakaa Silicon Cloud Mat 

If you have a baby or toddler who’s started self-weaning, the silicon cloud mat is quite a dream.
These handy little placemats have suction cups so they stick to the table and the perfectly positioned food tray hangs off the front catching all those bits that drop down.

Suction cups work really well as they stick to most surfaces very well and baby can’t pull it out like they tug at bibs.

My 1 yo loves touching and exploring her food and the textures with her fingers. The silicone cloud mat really pairs well with this stage and minimizes the hassle for me.

The mat is perfectly contoured to fit the perpendicular groove at the table edge and the catch-all bin is deep and prevents food bits from falling out.

Dishwasher safe and heat proof this handy little placemat allows you to put warm food on a slip free surface and chuck in the dishwasher when you are finished.

What I like: 

  • Large surface area…catches 90% of the food bits especially if you pair it with a bib with a pocket.
  • No more wiping off rice or food bits on the table. Just peel off the whole silicon mat to wash at sink with all the food bits on it, leaving your clean table surface.
  • Portable: You can roll this tightly into a tube and slot into your baby bag to use outside on high chairs when you eat at the food courts especially when you’re not sure if table surfaces are clean.

Finally, our trusty silicon cloud mat taking up no additional space and making our kitchen sink “pop” with colour!

2. Haakaa Silicon Breast Milk & Baby Food Freezer Tray 

The next kitchen tool that has really helped is none other than the Haakaa Silicon Freezer Tray. 

Each tray has six compartments where you can make-ahead soup stock,  purees, homemade baby food and portion them out to freeze for a rainy day.  Breast milk too!!

Before this came along, I was using a plastic ice cube tray and a silicone IKEA ice cube tray where I had to waste additional cling wrap to protect the food.

Needless to say, it didn’t work well with soups and thin liquids. I tried this on the ABC soup that I wanted to save up for no-cook days and I loved that I could pour the warm soup right in without worrying about  letting it cool down first.

The compartments come in three different sizes (125ml, 50ml, 35ml) (with the deepest being most versatile , in my opinion) and is made 100% food grade silicon! I was able to even put the potato and carrot bits into the deep pockets of the tray.

As you can see, the Haakaa tray makes baby food storage safe and practical with a customized cover.

It is also totally heat proof, microwave safe, BPA, PVC and Phthalate free, dishwasher safe and free of any leaching nasties. You can keep food fresh up to 6 months.

The best part of it is the easy pop out silicone body makes removing cubes a breeze.

Just watch how easy it is: no frantic knocking…just gently twist and the crack line will appear…

Effortless easing out of its shell. And this is rock hard immediately out of the freezer!

Neat!! The good quality silicone saves me time and effort than it would normally take! Love this sooooo much.


Here’s the good news…

Mama Warehouse is giving away 1 Haakaa Silicon Cloud Mat (worth $32) to ONE lucky winner and 1 Haakaa Baby Food Tray (worth $29.90) to a SECOND lucky winner! {one different winner per product}

Click here to enter the giveaway!


Winners of Giveaway! Congratulations! 

Winner of Haakaa Silicon Food Tray

Yin Shian

Winner of Haakaa Silicon Cloud Mat

Karen See

Thank you all for participating! We will be contacting winners via email shortly! 

Terms and conditions

1. This giveaway ends on 15 July 2017; 12am. The winners will be randomly selected from Rafflecopter and announced on this blog post the following day. 

2. Winners will be contacted via the email address provided and will have 48 hours to respond; failing which a new winner will be selected.

3. By entering this giveaway, you agree to release your email address to the sponsor for verification, contact and marketing purposes.
This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.

Disclosure: We received a Haakaa Silicon Cloud Mat and Food Tray for review purposes. All opinions are our own.

Learning Math with Slime! – LearnersEd Openhouse 2017

Media Invite  

Last weekend, we were invited to attend a workshop with an irresistible offer- an opportunity to make slime and learn math all at the same time. 

For the kids it was a no-brainer. Make slime? Sold. For mummy me, it was a no brainer too, make slime …without getting the house messy and gucky? For sure! 

So off we trooped to LearnersEd, a Math learning centre, nestled in the cosy neighborhood of Potong Pasir, ready to get our hands mucky and our brains some mathematical exercise.

 The “Discovering Math with Slime” Open House 2017 looked promising to boot.

Greeted by the clean and welcoming premises, the kids went about to their respective classrooms for the day’s programme. 

The aim of the activities of the day: 

• To instill hands-on learning and creativity in children through the process of making slime and butter.

• To bring about an experiential learning process where Maths and Science concepts are infused in the making of slime and butter.

First up, the kids explored the concept of density by observing how oil floats on water. Food dye and salt were added next which would sink through the layer of oil.


They recorded their observations eagerly as they watched the effects of the elements interacting.  It was an interesting science appetizer before moving on to the real deal–making butter and slime. 

DIY Slime

Children were given DIY tools to do simple measurements of the ingredients. 

Along the way, they were encountering Maths in real life through the process of making slime and butter. Very cool. 

The verdict was in: “Best Day Ever!” declared little Miss as she rolled and squeezed the green goeey ball of slimy satisfaction, gleaming from ear to ear. 

What we loved: 

  • Integrating fun with learning. 

Honestly, I was curious to see how math would be introduced into the greater scheme of things through an activity like making slime. 

Turns out the way they did it below was meaningful: through concepts of measurements and fractions. 

  • Hands-on experience 

Many times learning is dry and formulaic with rote methods that bore rather than excite. 

So I truly appreciated the centre’s efforts to make learning so energizing with real ingredients at play (the kids earlier made their own butter with marbles and whipped cream). 

The kids also took home practical applications that would lock in their impressions of what they were learning thereby making it more impactful and memorable.

  • A Learner-Centric Program 

Learners Ed has a well-thought curriculum designed by skillful teachers who are familiar with the demands and rigor of Mathematics at the Primary and Secondary School levels. 

The centre runs small group classes (maximum 6 per class) as they value a cosy student-teacher ratio. 

Recognising that every student has different starting points and varied interests and abilities to learn Mathematics, LearnersEd breaks down and simplifies Mathematics concepts into “bite-size” portions so that the students find learning of Mathematics manageable and enjoyable. Lessons are crafted to build in rigor and fun elements. 

Check out their timetable of primary and secondary math classes here! 

LearnersEd truly lives us to their motto of “Taking Math to New Heights” judging from the smiles on these little faces! 

Disclaimer: All opinion for the purposes of this review are my own. 


Giveaway Promotion to  MOBM Readers!

LearnersEd is giving away: 

ONE free class + 15% discount for the 1st month of sign up (applies to all levels) 

for the first 10 lucky readers who make a booking with them. 

{Quote promo code: blog27}

Contact LearnersEd now to claim this exclusive offer for a limited time period only and subject to vacancies!

Our Family Outdoor Shoot with The Nice Photo Man!

A Memoirs of a Budget Mum Review 

We recently had the pleasure of doing a family outdoor shoot –like finally! This has been a long overdue affair …like waaaay overdue I would say! Our last official photo shoot was from our wedding, gasp. However, I’m glad we all finally found the right occasion to do it –on my fifth child’s first birthday celebration!!

We started sourcing around for a good photographer we would be comfortable to work with: aka good with kids, reasonable budget etc. We were glad to find him in Asher Ong, the young and budding lensman behind 6 Kids and a Pop Up Camper

As some of you might have read in the media, Asher, only 17 years of age, is the eldest of six siblings, who manned the camera throughout his family’s epic six month family road trip in the USA. 

Covering 43 out of 50 states, the trip  yielded some stunning photography, now published in their family travelogue “Six Kids and a Pop Up Camper”. The book was a storybook adventure for the family of eight and more remarkably, a fantastic testbed for the keen photographic direction of their eldest child, capturing some breathtaking moments of their adventure there. 

We love supporting local talent and as a homeschooling family, local homeschool  talent particularly! Asher is a wonderful example of how passion can be pursued at a young age when given time to blossom. 

Now a freelance photographer, Asher, also known on Instagram as @thenicephotoman, is really a nice photo man (boy). During our shoot, Asher was cheerful, totally at ease directing the shots with our large family and particularly nifty and friendly with the kids. 

These are some of our favourite shots of our family shoot; humorously titled 5 Kids and a Photoshoot, with credits to Asher?.

We caught up with Asher recently in an interview: 

1. What or who first kickstarted your interest in photography? 

It all started when I was 12 and given a small compact camera as a gift. During that same year, my family of 8 (2 parents + 3 Boys + 3 Girls) flew to Australia on a holiday. I shot a lots of photos, and my Mom showed it to her photographer friend when we got back. He was extremely encouraging, commending me for being one with an eye for composition. Together with my mom’s encouragement I continued to shoot with that little camera, always  bringing it with me to wherever I went.

Before we embarked on our U.S. road trip in 6 Kids and a Pop Up Camper, my parents purchased a mid-pro DSLR to capture our adventures. After finding out about our buy, our Straits Times photo journalist church friend offered me lessons on how to use the camera. He is an amazing sensei- I only had two lessons and it was enough to get me started on my journey. Six months of shooting on the road, saw my skill level advanced at a phenomenal rate! 

2. Do you foresee yourself pursuing photography as a career? 

I never want to come to the point where I find myself saying, “sigh… have to take pictures again…” Hence, Lord willing, I hope to make my photography a “weekend job”, so as not to suck all the love out of my passion. 

3. Who or what are your favorite photographic subjects and why? 

My creative direction is still rather broad.  Each picture communicates a unique story. However, I do have an inclination toward architecture – and it is heavily published on my Instagram. You may say that I have a love for organised and mathematically constructed visuals! 

I also love portraiture. People are so amazingly fun to work with to make beautiful moments. As I continue to grow as a “people photographer”, I always am delighted to see the intricate story that I am able to capture! 

4. What is, by far, your favorite photo(s) from your portfolio? Tell us it’s backstory.

One of my favourite pictures features my friend’s family in a park that they love to hang out at. It is significant to me because it was one of the first portrait shoots that I did. Besides that, I love how organically the whole scene plays out. 
Being the eldest of 6, there has always been a baby / kid in the house. Hence, I work well with children as they can sometimes be nervous or overly excited when the camera is pointed at them. This photograph shows the loving and crazy side of a fun family with 4 kids, 3 of them being boys…

5. Three things most people don’t know about you: 

1. My age! I believe it is due to my friendships with adults that have matured me, such that many people take me for a 20 plus year old. You know those people at the MRT handing out pamphlets? I normally expect them to attempt to sell to me insurance, and other adult stuff… 

2. I cut and style hair- my brother’s hair to be specific. 

3. I play the cello and guitar and sing the Bass section in choir. I love music. 

6. The edge you possess as a young homeschooled entrepreneur: 

I have the opportunity to invest time to hone my skill, giving me an edge above others. I get to choose how I want to allocate and section out my time, be it to prioritise education or projects and work.

7. Three things on your Bucketlist for 2017

1. I hope to get a strong network of companies and services to enable our family to go on a second trip. Be it to finish the last 7 states of America, or to explore other countries like New Zealand or Iceland! 

2. Lord willing, to get into Temasek Polytechnic, Communication Design.

3. Run a Half Marathon. 

Photography Services by Asher Ong, thenicephotoman


Use the special promo code “BUDGETMUM” to get 10% off a family photo shoot only valid for BOOKINGS during the Month of June! 

For enquiries, contact: 

Asher Ong

+65 9787 6527

Instagram -> @thenicephotoman

{{No More Reluctant Readers!}} Giveaway: Magazines for Children & Youth!

{{Giveaway & Sponsored Post}}

Is Your Child Reading Well?

Does your child read and how much time does he or she spend time reading in a given day? 

It may appear that I’ve asked a redundant question: our children go to school don’t they? Shouldn’t they be reading something and reading enough?  

Perhaps cursorily so- with the obligatory 5-10 minute “silent” reading imposed before the typical school day starts. 

Apart from formal English lessons where they comb through the requisite Stellar books in the classroom and the occasional series from the library,  time for reading may in fact be short.

A good part of the day is easily spent clearing homework set from school, or rushing between tuition, extra-curricular classes and activities. For most, it could be hard to find downtime just to read amidst all these nagging priorities. 

Has reading for pleasure become a lost art? 

What really has become of it?

Reading in Jeopardy 

It isn’t surprising that reading has faced some stiff competition from an onslaught of digital entertainment and the rise of smartphone use among the young. 

Distractions, distractions.
The headlines are depressing and statistics don’t lie. A large proportion of people are preferring online pursuits to reading. 

“Children’s reading shrinking due to apps, games and YouTube” a Nielson Book Survey of 2000 British children reports with a staggering 50% of family households now owning at least one tablet. 

That was in 2013, mind you.

Our very own local broadsheet, The Straits Times declares a similar toil on reading: “Low reading rate: Lack of interest, time cited as factors”, according to a 2016 National Arts Council (NAC) Survey. 

Of the 1,015 Singaporeans and permanent residents surveyed, 56 per cent had not read a literary book between March 2014 and March 2015. And it does not help that a large proportion of people prefer online pursuits to reading books.

So how should we encourage children to read and to be excited to do so? Magazines 

My kids have always been fairly motivated readers and manage to sneak books in between their daily routines. I do notice their preference for comics and reading magazines and they tend to pick these up and devour them easily. I believe this is true for most children.

First, these are bite-sized and colourfully illustrated. Next, they contain puzzles and activities to make reading fun! 

Recently, we had the pleasure of reviewing a suite of reading magazines in that category by, a Singapore-based enterprise, where reading is regarded serious business.

 With their tag line “Cultivating Minds”, the publisher hopes to partner parents in providing good content and reading material for children and young people, in hope of inspiring all to read. 

Content is pleasantly packaged into assorted themes and topics that appeal to various age groups. Articles are presented in various genres and text types in bite-sized portions with huge illustrations so reading doesn’t look tedious. 

Here’s what is recommended for different age groups: 

1. Storytime (From 7years)

For young readers and lower primary school children, Storytime is a kids’ magazine packed with fairy tales, myths, poems – all beautifully written and illustrated, with kids activities like puzzles, games and colouring too! 

Every issue of Storytime comes with five classic stories, one or two poems and an extract from a favourite children’s book.

My younger kids enjoyed the activity sections and filled those in quickly! 

2. “I” (From 10years)

“I” is pitched at learners “who have little interest in the English language, see no reason why they should mind their commas, who cannot seem to get past the first page of anything they read”. 

Wow. It is hard to find a magazine catered to woo reluctant readers!

Word bank at the bottom of the story.

True to its name, ” I” , is all about the learner. 

It features  articles and comic strips of various sub-themes such as Chow Down (food), Line of Work (career), Music & Drama, among others.  

Articles are youth-centric and deal well to serve adolescent’s growing pains: from life hacks of becoming a confident person to managing anger and stress in a smarter manner.

3. INSPIRE (From 11years)

INSPIRE is an English Language magazine targeted at young readers between the ages of 11 and 14. 

This magazine hopes to present “fascinating stories, both fiction and non-fiction”.

 The range is comprehensive in INSPIRE with human-interest true life accounts, to opinion pieces, travelogues, narratives and descriptive texts. 

Texts are authentic and realistic with a good emphasis on general knowledge issues which promote good issues for discussion and debate!

4. iThink (From 14years)

iThink is specially designed for the readers between ages 14 to 16 years old. iThink symbolizes the magazine’s focus on critical thinking. “Is Pop Music Trash Now?, for example, presents a critique on the pop music industry and stories provoke critical evaluation in the reader. It is good companion magazine for advanced readers in Secondary school. 

iThink was nominated Best Educational Title in 2016 by Singapore Book Awards 2016.

Why we like magazines:

  • Exposure to text types : The magazines, in particular, I, INSPIRE and iTHINK closely follow the standard and format of texts outlined in the MOE English Language syllabuses, while maintaining the quality and concept of an interesting non-academic magazine. Readers get adequate exposure to text types and writing styles, that are crucial for expanding the breadth and depth of their language skills. If your kids, are not reading widely enough, the magazines will ensure you do. 
  • Engage: There is always an intention to engage the reader with post-reading activities such as language games, crossword puzzles, word search and anagrams. The ” I” also contains a generous sprinkle of spicy info bites (Now You Know), tickling brainteasers (Tease Your Brain), YouTube videos, SEL questions and word banks. Engagement in reading is essential. It allows the child to process content and reflect on their reading, making it more intentional. 

    • Educate: Post-reading follow up is critical and the more advanced magazines have dedicated worksheets that mirror the school exam format to provide readers with additional practice on exam-type questions that assess listening, oral, reading comprehension as well as writing skills. At the end of almost every article, there is a word bank that immediately helps the reader tune into contextual vocabulary and expand it fast and effortlessly. They also welcome student essays which are tweaked and given a makeover.

    Disclosure: All views are my own. A subscription of the above magazines was sponsored for the purposes of this review. 


    {Giveaway Alert: Get Your Free Copy of Storytime/I / Inspire /iThink Now!}

    The good folks at are giving away 1 FREE issue of a magazine of your choice for 20 lucky MOBM readers

    To participate in the giveaway, click here! 

    Terms and conditions

    1. This giveaway ends on 29May 2017; 2359hrs. The winners will be randomly selected from Rafflecopter and announced on this blog post the following day. 

    2. Winners will be contacted via the email address provided and will have 48 hours to respond; failing which a new winner will be selected.

    3. By entering this giveaway, you agree to release your email address to the sponsor for verification, contact and marketing purposes.
This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.

    ***All the best!!**

    Congratulations to these 20 lucky readers!

    1. Karen 

    2. Carol Mei Mei Lim

    3. Robert Sim

    4. Ann

    5. Joyce Ong 

    6. Sue Tan

    7. Dawn Lim

    8. Shirley Chin

    9. Michelle Lim Yan

    10. Christy Wong 

    11. Jazry Chan

    12. Evonne Lee

    13. New Siaw Hoon

    14. Jessie Lee

    15. Winnie Lam

    16. Rebecca

    17. Angelina Joelyn Lee 

    18. Stephanie 

    19. Chua Huay Wen

    20. Joanne Soh  

    The publisher will be contacting you shortly. 

    Keep Calm & Mother On

    It is nearly 13 years ago since I became a mother. 

    That feels like a very long time. It probably is. It feels like I had a sudden past life which doesn’t really seem to exist anymore…and an alter ego. It’s hard to explain, but if you’re a mom right here reading this, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

    Sometimes that alter ego makes you want to do wild and crazy things, like go undercover, escape on a plane or hatch a rendezvous escapade that involves a swanky beach hat, a divan and a martini, doing nothing but twiddling your manicured toes.

    You need to feel sizzling hot again…and not because you’re slaving at the stove and hanging out the clothes in freaking 35 degree weather. You wish you could wear those stretch marks like a tattoo and not have be conscious of the jiggling jelly fat under your arms.

    It doesn’t help matters that you still feel like a girl in disguise…you remember those young, carefree days but now you’ve got to up your game. You have to try to exercise every good muscle of patience and virtuous living.

    This “motherhood” module feels like one of the most difficult modules to get an “A” on.  There’s no real textbook or manual and you can truly only learn from Experience- which is the “mother” of hindsight. 

    The hardest thing about motherhood is being wise. Or at least acting like you are. When you’re in corporate Mom gear, you get into business and do your job; pull a serious face, give orders and tend to official pressing matters concerning  little people. Every single day. 

    These people are hard to please; they bicker, compare, complain and push your boundaries incessantly. Yet, that get away with mostly everything in your books. Yes, you’re probably biased.

    Motherhood is such hard work it feels crazy. It’s also a little cheesy-especially when you make a fool of yourself to squeeze out those cherubic giggles that make every second worth it. 

    You also didn’t know you had it in you to be a drama queen; to snort silly animal sounds and scream like a rockstar in the 120 decibel range when you step on Lego.

    As a mom, I’ve got my clowning act together, and also my juggling one. Somehow these routines get more and more complicated as the years go by and the best way to deal with it is really to have a very, very, very good sense of humor. 

    You also need to have a bad memory. So you don’t have to kick yourself hard in the foot when you make stupid mistakes or say stupid things that you regret the moment you utter it. Tomorrow will always be better somehow. And in the worst  scenarios, there’s always chocolate and ice cream. 

    Also in your Motherhood Survival Kit, should be the notion that this life, is THE best life. Here. Now. Tantrums. Spills. Messy. Sleep deprived. We are not going to start wishing it away because deep in our hearts we know that this thing called Motherhood–we wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s probably one of the best things that ever came our way. 

    Getting The Kids Involved at Home – A Labour Day Post!

    It’s Labour Day today and I really had no intention of timing this follow-up post specially to coincide with it. However, since Labour Day is the only day this harried mama enjoys some downtime to expound on how we do chores in this family—it’s probably a sign that the heavens are in agreement!

    I used to cringe at home management. For someone organizationally and administratively challenged like me, I genuinely shuddered at the thought of setting up a spreadsheet for everyone’s chores…AND maintaining it.

    It sounded like I was setting myself up for failure: when things are put in a box within a scheduled time and you didn’t manage to put a check on it, it just wears you down slowly but surely and soon you’ll discover that you’re in a rut.

    Because of that, I literally dumped the idea of having a chore roster and chose to implement chores  according to the flow of what we were doing that day:  whether our day was a fluid one (running groceries, after-school activities) or a structured one (lots of seatwork), we tried to impress on the children to render help where it was needed. The idea was to simply invite the children to be involved in age-appropriate tasks/ chores as we went along. It went with the grain of simply encouraging them to be helpful! If you’re organizationally-phobic like me, there’s hope! 

    I discussed my chore philosophy in this earlier post but to sum it up, we felt teaching children to become cooperative members of a household is one of the best ways to teach them responsibility that would naturally lead to them being caring and considerate adults. 

    So how do we go about the process of assigning chores? 


    Firstly, hubby and I believe that girls and boys alike should do chores. There’s not really a need for differentiation at this point.

     Essentially, boys who learn to help at home and do household jobs will eventually grow into men who contribute actively in the household and ready to partner their wives through seasons of life—which goes a long way into making marriages work! All moms say “Yes!” Their future wives will thank you! 

    Boys need not be taught to do only typically “manly” tasks such as “cutting grass, and taking out the garbage.” Author Anne Roiphe puts it in more dramatic terms: If we raise boys to know that diapers need to be changed and refrigerators need to be cleaned, there’s hope for the next generation.”


    While learning the alphabet and learning to read are important, knowing how to run the laundry, make the bed, dusting and basic kitchen work are also skills sets that are equally laudable. 

    The former are milestones while the latter are not  milestones per se but habits of the mind! Unlike milestones, which focus on achieving a certain skill,  good habits need to be cultivated and reinforced through time and practiced over and over till they stick.


    It may be surprising to some parents but many young children can do lots of helping around the house.  As Jean Ross Peterson observes: “Chores begin when your child can pick it up, put it away, fold, sort it, or carry it out the door.”

    The picture above is a guide so don’t feel restricted if you haven’t got this started. Expectations as to what jobs children can do will depend on family circumstances, numbers and ages of children and whether both parents work outside of the home. Whatever the circumstances, set aside time to train them in appropriate tasks. Give them space and communicate the expectation that they will soon grow into it! 

    My then 3 year old used to whine and cry when she was made to pack her toys. She used to take books off the shelves and throw them all over the floor. She found it difficult to return the books back on the original shelf as she couldn’t manage the load of the other books while trying to slot the one she had in. 

    The easy way was to pick up after her. But we reminded her each time to keep trying, offered some help and left her on her own. Slowly she realized how to lean the books one way and to put books in with their spines facing out. She still litters the floor today but doesn’t whine when told to pick up. It’s clear she’s acquired some confidence in this and she knows she’s expected to take care of her “library”.

    Just like we take time to master any given skill and to be good at it, giving our children room and sufficient grace to grow into the rhythm of help, takes the pressure off them. 

    A few months should do the trick and select one or two skills to reinforce at any given time so there will be focus. 


    Most children at a school-going age are eager to participate in doing things around the house. They are usually capable helpers and you can scale up adequately with some  harder chores.

    In our home, when grandpa goes on holidays, he assigns the 7 & 10yo  to help him water the plants in his garden while he’s out of the country. 

    This includes the front garden, the back garden, and two balcony patios and feeding the fish in the small pond. They were taught the specific methodology of watering : which species needed less, and which more(my dad is Mr Green Fingers: plants are as important as grandchildren hehe.)

    When they first started out, there were a few plants that were “slain” in the process and starved of water but slowly the kids got better. Given the ownership and responsibility, they surprised us one day by figuring out how to unlock and lock the padlock to the back door.

    Incidental learning is one of the great plus points of doing chores too…they end up picking up more than you intended to teach.


    This charm of helping out may last for a spell. To be honest, I have faced resistance  from older children in doing chores especially when they are NOT as eager to please and there’s competition with school activities, homework, and time with friends. During transitional phases like these, enforced schedules may not work. 

    According to Fred Gosman’s “How to Be a Happy Parent”, kids can come up with ingenious ideas for avoiding their chores.  One teenager whose job was to make sure there was always toilet paper in the bathroom piled 42 rolls next to each toilet. Another left the pan unwashed because he was only supposed to do “dishes”. 

    To avoid power struggles and get chores done:

     Negotiate negotiables & non-negotiables 

    • It is ok to feel tired and ask for help if you don’t feel up to it. As family, we can help to chip in.  It is NOT ok to show an attitude and be calculative. Almost always, it is likely to be a heart issue rather than a task issue and it may be wise to get to the root of it. 
    • Focus on the task at hand; rather than say “That’s so inconsiderate of you,” say, “I don’t like that I have to do my job and yours as well.”

    This is our journey in chore training. Do you have any helpful handles to share? 

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