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The Youngest in the Family Does NOT Always Get What She Wants

7 August 2017 – 9:23 am | One Comment

 
‘She’s the baby in the house, she always gets what she wants, doesn’t she?’
‘He’s the youngest out of 4 siblings, … must be spoiled by his parents, right?’

They say, the youngest in the family is the …

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The Youngest in the Family Does NOT Always Get What She Wants

7 August 2017 | Posted in: Inspirational, Parenting | One Comment


 
‘She’s the baby in the house, she always gets what she wants, doesn’t she?’

‘He’s the youngest out of 4 siblings, … must be spoiled by his parents, right?’

They say, the youngest in the family is the spoiled one. The one who gets away with crime, who doesn’t get disciplined for any misbehaviours, etc.

Err.

Not in our family, I hope.

Because I believe, when we spoil our children, when we give to them whatever they want, when they feel they are like ‘princes and princesses who get whatever they wish’, we are in fact ruining their lives.

How are we ruining their lives, some ask.

By NOT teaching them values like self-giving, working hard for something, thinking of others other than self, respecting other people’s wishes above own wishes, etc.

Anyway.

With Brie being the youngest in our family:

– she does not always get whatever she wants
IF she throws a tantrum when she asks for something and doesn’t get it, she definitely will not get what she asks.

– her siblings do NOT need to ‘give in’ to her wants
Basically it means, the youngest is not the ‘princess’ who gets whatever she wishes. In our family, everyone needs to learn to share, give and help.

Here’s one common situation:

On our way home, the middle-born says, ‘I’m going to shower in the bathroom outside once we’re home!’

Now what happens if the youngest suddenly say, ‘I want to shower first! I want to shower first in the bathroom outside!!’?

Well, Brie has to wait. Or, she can always use the bathroom inside the master bedroom. Whatever it is, just because she says she wants to use it ‘first’, it doesn’t mean she gets it.

– she also is expected to help out around the house, doing age-appropriate chores (eg. Washes her own dishes, hangs out our clean laundry together with siblings, etc)

Do all siblings in our family live in harmony all the time? Definitely … not.
Now.

Do all siblings in our family live in harmony all the time?

Definitely … not.

Tantrums and bickerings happen. Daily.

‘Love and care’ between siblings need to be nurtured, daily (because their natural tendency is to care for ‘self’ and ‘personal wants’)



 
As a parent, I find it NOT EASY to instill such values everyday.

Reminders need to be given patiently. Disciplinary actions need to be given wisely. And, walking our talks needs to be done consistently.

On top of that, other than being a Mom who looks after 3 kids, I have chores and work loads to do as well, and amidst my physical or emotional tiredness, I could lose my patience. I could utter unwise words. I could be grumpier than usual. I may focus on the wrong priorities.

Just like my kids, I need  to fight my own ‘sinful tendencies’, too.

Just like my kids, I need  to fight my own ‘sinful tendencies’, tooAs I always say, being a parent is HARD WORK. Raising children is not a walk in the park.

But at the same time, I know to have been entrusted with 3 children IS a special privilege God has given to us. And God always gives the needed strength to go through each day.

And for that, I’m thankful.

Sharing with the Kids that Daddy and Mommy are Husband and Wife

As much our kids need to see us as their Mommy and Daddy, I truly believe they also need to see us as husband and wife who need (and enjoy) time with each other, too.

The problem is, sometimes (and I’m sure you’ve seen it, too) a child gets quite ‘possessive’ towards the Mom, and would (seriously) stop/push away the Dad from hugging/kissing/cuddling with Mom, not allowing Dad to sit next to Mom, etc.

Many think it’s funny, or cute.

Some parents would even repeat the whole ‘I’m going to kiss your Mom’ action on purpose, just so they can see the ‘Mommy is MINE’ reaction from the child (the child is not joking btw, when he displays his ‘She is mine and you better not get too close to her’!)

Someone asked, how do we explain to our kids that we are not just their Mommy and Daddy, but we are a husband and a wife, too?

Here are some of the things we do over the years:

1. When making certain decisions (and Daddy’s not there), I often say to the kids, ‘Let me talk to Daddy about it first’, or ‘Wait for Daddy’s decision on this’

I purposely do this, so that the kids know that:
– I value their Daddy’s view and decision
– as a wife, I respect my husband’s opinion
– Daddy and Mommy are a team, and we discuss family matters together
– as the Daddy, he is the leader of the family and if he decides on something, we’d all need to respect it

And, I’d casually answer, ‘Of course I need to speak with Daddy. He’s my husband and we discuss things togetherI remember there were times when my kids asked, ‘Why do we have to wait for Daddy’s decision? Can’t you make the decision?’ (eg. Where will we go over the weekend?).

And, I’d casually answer, ‘Of course I need to speak with Daddy. He’s my husband and we discuss things together. Everyone must wait till Daddy replies his Whatsapp ya, … or till Daddy comes home.’

(By verbally referring to Daddy as ‘my husband’ when talking to the kids about him every now and then, I hope to instill the idea of us being husband and wife, not just the kids’ Daddy and Mommy)

2. We spend time together when the kids are asleep

When the kids were much younger, we’d watch movies at home together. And they knew about it.

Now, the kids are bigger, Wilson and I would sometimes catch a movie at the cinema.

Initially, the kids asked, ‘Can’t we come along?’

To that, we answered, ‘You have school tomorrow, so of course you can’t come along to the movies. Also, Mommy and Daddy need to spend time together as husband and wife, right?’

Wilson and I sometimes go out for our breakfast dates, too (after we send the kids to school). When they see both of us sending them to school, sometimes they’d ask, ‘So you are going out for breakfast after this?’ =)


[Photo: taken by Anya]

3. Show affection when kids are around, too

I know some couples feel uncomfortable about it, but in our family, the kids see us holding hands, giving kisses on the cheek, hugs or cuddles (eg. When greeting husband as he walks through the door, or while we’re in the car, etc)

Personally, I think it’s healthy for them to see such physical affection shown between Mommy and Daddy, a married couple.

I often say to the kids, ‘Let me talk to Daddy about it first’Now, here’s another question: Do our kids push Wilson and I away from each other?

Well, … the kids often want to be the ones sitting next to Mom, which means when we’re out and about, I’d have one child sitting on my left, and another on my right.

But it was not done in the name of ‘separating Mom from Dad because Mommy is MINE!’

To me personally, when a child is sincerely possessive towards one parent and blocks the other parent from being close to their spouse, however ‘cute’ it may look, it is not healthy and explanations need to be given (from the time the child starts to show any aggressive-possessive behaviour).

‘So what should we do if our child hits / pushes Daddy away because child wants Mommy for himself?’

I don’t know about other parents, but these would be some of our responses:

– Principles to be taught: Mommy and Daddy love each other and the children. Never tolerate any physical aggression (what more towards the family).

Eg. If the child is still a toddler starting to show some aggression, then when the child hits / pushes Daddy:

– Hold the child’s hands
– Squat to his level and look at him in the eye

It is OK for Daddy to give Mommy a hug. Okay? Say sorry to Daddy now please– Firmly say, ‘God gives us hands, so we can hold our food, ‘sayang-sayang’ people and do many other things [move the child’s hands to show the actions]. We don’t use our hands to hit/push Daddy like that. No. Mommy and Daddy love you, and Daddy loves Mommy. It is OK for Daddy to give Mommy a hug, okay? Say sorry to Daddy now please [let Daddy hug child while we ask child to say sorry. We could also say the word ‘Sorry’ on behalf of the child if he’s not yet able to speak the word properly]. Come and sit on my lap, together with Mommy and Daddy.’ Then, distract the child with something else.

– At the slightest show of aggression, the above must be enforced, consistently.

– Breaking any negative behaviour after it’s been nurtured over a long time (or allowed to happen several times) would be much more difficult.

I think it’s healthy for them to see such physical affection shown between Mommy and Daddy, a married coupleI guess, what we’re doing is, through our day to day interactions and conversation with each other, we try to naturally instill the understanding that ‘Daddy and Mommy are husband and wife who – despite their differences in opinions sometimes – love each other and enjoy each other’s company’.

And as our children, they need to respect that, too.

Oh well.

They never say parenting is easy.

But, it’s not impossible.

May God help us.

Being Extra Aware of What We Share Publicly

26 July 2017 | Posted in: Parenting | One Comment


 
In Jakarta, such ‘family’ stickers are commonly spotted on cars. Often, with names of family members printed for all to see😬

So much personal information is shared ‘publicly’ these days, and actually, even more on social mediaSo much personal information is shared ‘publicly’ these days, and actually, even more on social media.

Information on like:

– where I am right now (using the feature ‘check in’ and posting it on Facebook)

– which school the kids go to (known from photos of child in school uniform, recognisable uniform patterns, school logo on uniforms, posing next to school’s entrance, school stickers on car, etc)

– where the family lives (known from wide-angled photos inside the home or around the housing area with visible street names, answers to friends’ comments left on FB status asking about where they live, apartment stickers on car’s windscreen, etc)

– what vehicle we drive (photos of our car with visible colour, car model, plate numbers, etc)
 


 

If the privacy setting of our social media account is ‘public’, then EVERYONE can view everything that we post. And that’s everyone, including those with ‘bad intentions’ =(

Eg. Someone can view our public post on FB, go to where we are at that moment, spot us in the restaurant, follow our vehicle home, get more info about us from our car stickers, etc etc …

For the sake of our family’s safety, let’s review and be aware of the kinds of info we post onlineInfo we post online (and stickers on our car) can unintentionally create extra danger to our family (especially, our kids!)

For the sake of our family’s safety, let’s review and be aware of the kinds of info we post online and the types of stickers we place on our vehicle?

Because.

While we cannot avoid danger, wouldn’t we want to reduce the potential by exercising better care over our social media posts, especially if we live in Indonesia? (ie. Not making our personal info so readily accessible by strangers)
 

 
Quick tips:

– Post black and white photos of kids in school uniforms (yes, however cute they look like in their school uniforms). And, do ‘blur’ the school logo, or paste a cute ‘sticker’ over the school logo.

– Avoid using the feature ‘check in’ that tells the world your exact location at a particular time

– Avoid pasting car stickers that reveal personal info like names, where you work, kids’ schools, your residence, etc

– Avoid posting photos that reveal personal details like home numbers and street names, car’s plate numbers, etc.

– Avoid discussing private details on social media comments (eg. Stating personal phone number, home address, school details, etc)

 
Stay safe, everyone!

What Are We Teaching Our Children, Other Than Reading, Writing and Counting?

26 July 2017 | Posted in: Parenting | No Comment

These days, many children as young as 4yo-5yo are expected to know how to read, write and count.

When they’re not able to, some parents start to worry and send their children to ‘reading and writing courses’, so that they are ‘ready’ for Primary One.

While there’s a lot of emphasis on reading, writing and counting, unfortunately there’re LITTLE emphasis on learning about mannerism, respecting others’ opinion, independence, self-control, giving, queueing, persevering and struggling through difficulties, etc.

On this, Dr. James Dobson said,

‘Learning should be programmed at the age when it is most needed. Why invest unending effort in teaching to read when he has not yet learned to cross the street, tie his shoes, or answer the phone?

The best policy is to provide your children with many interesting books and materials, read to them and answer their questions.’

Food for thought.

Upcoming Parenting Tips and Thoughts

14 June 2008 | Posted in: Parenting | No Comment
Upcoming Parenting Tips and Thoughts

As parents, I feel we all are in need of good and positive parenting-related reminders.
Well at least I know I do.
There’s still so much that I need to learn and I’m always happy to read …

My ‘date’ with Vai

17 October 2008 | Posted in: Parenting | 12 Comments

Before Vai came along and joined our little family, we spent a whole lot of time with our ‘only’ child, Anya. We went out and about even when Daddy couldn’t join us. We’d do activities …

Anya & Vai : 20 months

20 April 2008 | Posted in: Daily, Parenting | No Comment

That was how Anya looked like when she’s 20 months old.
And looking back at how she was at that age, and how Vai is right now, I can list down more of their differences than …

Marriage: Making Time for the One You Love

7 July 2010 | Posted in: Marriage & Relationships | 3 Comments

Busyness.
It seems to be the ‘situation’ everyone faces today. Even amongst married couples.
But. It IS the reality, isn’t it?
We’re all busy with something, every day. And during most of our ‘waking hours’.
With kids. With work. …

Through thick and thin for the past eight years

7 July 2009 | Posted in: Marriage & Relationships | 12 Comments

This is my Facebook status today :
… and so today marks the day when I’ve gone through thick and thin with the same man for EIGHT years … and they say, it’ll only get better!
[and …

Thoughts and Tips for All Husbands

15 August 2013 | Posted in: Marriage & Relationships, Parenting | No Comment

 
My husband and I attended a 3-day parenting workshop last week, and it was such a blessing.
We learned and were reminded of so many things too.
Now, since I usually blog about motherhood and kids, this …