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Parenting : 3 Basic Principles of Mannerism We Instill in Children

1 September 2014 – 12:45 am | 2 Comments

The other day, I was listening to an audio sermon on Chinese Philosophy (by Rev. DR. Stephen Tong), and this statement caught my attention:
The younger generation today tend to IGNORE basic mannerism.
Well, I have to …

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Parenting : 3 Basic Principles of Mannerism We Instill in Children

1 September 2014 | Posted in: Inspirational, Parenting | 2 Comments

The other day, I was listening to an audio sermon on Chinese Philosophy (by Rev. DR. Stephen Tong), and this statement caught my attention:

The younger generation today tend to IGNORE basic mannerism.

Well, I have to say, I totally agree.

Stand up while shaking hands with others, especially if they’re older than youYou see, I am an Indonesian of Chinese descent. My grandparents were born in mainland China in the early 1920s.

And since I was 14 years old, I mostly lived away from my family, spending 9 years in Australia, 13 years in Singapore and the last 2 years back in Jakarta.


Looking at the different ‘phases’ of my life and the kinds of cultures I was exposed to while growing up, I must say that, by now, I have consciously chosen to adopt a mixture of both western and eastern cultures (as much as I possibly and consciously can, the better ones of each culture =)


Ever since I became a mom 10 years ago, I realise I’ve consciously passed down these values and principles to my three children too.

What kinds of values, some may wonder.


Here are three basic ones that I’d like to share with you today.
(I hope to share the others in a different post =)

1. Stand up while shaking hands with others, especially if they’re older than you

When someone older than us says ‘Hello!’, approaches us and extends his arm towards us, be sure to stand up while shaking hands with him.

Because it’s a way to show our respect.


2. Always, always, look at people in the eye when you shake hands with them, when you talk to them, when you say thank you, when you apologise, etc.

No matter what you’re doing at that moment, if you’re shaking hands with people, smile and look at them in the eye. It’s our basic gesture of respect and appreciation towards others.

The same applies when we say thank you or sorry … look at them in the eye, because it means you mean what you say.


3. Always say ‘Hello!’ and greet others (family or friends), especially those who are older than you, when you meet them for the first time that day (enter their car, their homes, etc)

Like, when someone is giving you a lift, and you’ve just hopped into the car, you must greet everyone, eg. ‘Hello Auntie XYZ!’ (and always say ‘Thank you’ before getting off)

Or, when we’re visiting other people’s homes, or when people are visiting our home, as we / they enter the home, … greet and say hello. Even better, greet them by name, eg. ‘Hello Uncle ABC …’

Another example, if you can extend it further and politely greet the bus driver as you hop on, … it’s even better.
(You never know if you’ve just made someone’s day just by doing a simple gesture of appreciation)

we’re now living in an era where there’s a strong tendency to disconnect with those around usYou may wonder, why so much emphasis on ‘greeting others’ and teaching the kids to look at people in the eye?

Well, because I feel , we’re now living in an era where there’s a strong tendency to disconnect with those around us, to feel more comfortable when interacting with machines than with other human beings.

And, it is somewhat easier (and regarded as ‘normal’ by many, too) to focus on ‘my own world’ than appreciating the presence of others in ‘our world’.

Anyway. While we’re on this topic, I remember how someone said to me the other day,

‘Children these days are so different. They are not as polite as before. When they meet people, when they’re called, when people say hello and want to shake their hands, these days, it’s common to see children / youngsters who continue to play their games, not lifting their eyes off the screen!’

To the above statements, my thoughts are: it all comes back to the parents, their main caregivers, the kinds of exposure they receive everyday, and the kinds of values and principles instilled in these children since young?

I mean, children’s basic behaviours are inevitably influenced by ‘how’ they’re brought up and their surrouding, yes?

They need to learn important values and principles from us parents, while we too walk our talk everydayIf you ask me, I say, all children need guidance.

They need to see genuine living examples.

They need to learn important values and principles from us parents, while we too walk our talk everyday.

The thing is, we are all far from perfect ourselves.

So, what should we do?

Well, I believe, as long as we try and struggle everyday to do what we believe as right, … that is the start we all need.

Also, when our children see how we too genuinely struggle, just like them, everything becomes more real for them, … and together we learn to depend on God’s help even more.

Food for thought.

Any thoughts to share?

Featuring : Water Resistant ‘Squids Sunglasses’

29 August 2014 | Posted in: Daily | No Comment


Here’s one of Anya’s must-bring items when we go out and about : her Squids sunglasses =)

They fit so well, and guess what?

They come in different colours and in smaller sizes too, like, for children 0 – 3 years old!



And, here are some of their featured highlights:

> Comes in 2 sizes : 0 – 3 years (Mini Squids) and 3 – 10 years (Squids)
> 100% UV protected lenses
> Water Resistant with high flex frames that FLOAT in water (great for beach and pool plays!)
> Comes in 6 vibrant colours: Blue, Pink, Yellow, Green, Red and Silver
> Comes with PVC pouches in different colours
> Australian design

Personally, I love the ‘water resistant’ feature the most, because it practically means, Anya can continually wear her sunnies even when we’re on the beach and during water-plays (without me worrying if they’re going to be ‘damaged’ by the waters).

(Read and see more photos HERE!)



Where you can get these:

Singapore :
> Liferacer

> Ken Mum Shop
> Milk Baby Shop

PS : They make great gifts too, I reckon =)

Making: ‘Sewing’ Activity For Three-Year-Olds

27 August 2014 | Posted in: Crafts & Activity Ideas for Kids | No Comment


Our three-year-old Brie saw me did some sewing the other day.

And she was curious.

She saw the needle and thread going in and out, yet she knew (read: was taught) how she couldn’t touch them just yet.


I thought, why not make a simple ‘sewing’ activity for her?

The idea is, to basically allow her to put the ‘thread’ in and out the different holes.



And, I made this for her! =)

A recycled cardboard with holes PLUS a string (I used our pink wool yarn, since Brie loves pink so much)


One simple and almost free ‘toy’ that allows the child to concentrate, create different patterns, and exercise her hand-eye coordination skill!



Ah. Feels good to create and recycle at the same time!

Have fun making your very own ‘sewing board’!

PS: When making your own, the shape can always vary, depending on how you’d like to have it done, eg. If your child loves fishes, why not make a fish shape using the cardboard? Happy creating!

Brie : 3 Years, 3 Months

25 August 2014 | Posted in: Daily | No Comment


Four days ago, our little Brie turned 3 years and 3 months old.

Here are some quick updates on her:

She speaks quite fluently in Indonesian.

She knows her colours, and is learning the alphabets.

She loves to hug and shower us with her kisses.

She loves to dance and jump around when she listens to music.

She loves to cut paper and doodle.




Just like all other three-year-olds, she goes through periods when she strongly asserts her wants.

She’d frown, whine, throw tantrums and cry to get what she wants, eg. An extra candy, or simply wanting the book that’s in her sister’s hand right NOW, etc.

Question is, what do we do when it happens? =)

Well, it varies.

Some of our responses would be:

… Ignoring the act till she’s over it minutes later because she gets no response from us.

… Distracting her and asking her questions, that she forgets what she’s crying for.

… Giving her our unhappy look and asking her to stop.

… Asking her to tell us what she wants nicely (because otherwise we can’t listen to what she’s saying).

… Sometimes the big sister comes into the picture, and manages to calm her down (by playing with her, distracting her or something)

… At times when the crying gets worse (and we know it’s because she’s asking for something that she can’t have), she does get moved to a separate place, eg. A corner somewhere, where she needs to calm herself, stop screaming, before we asks her to come back to us.

(In all cases, we don’t give in when she throws her tantrums. Our basic principle is, ‘B’ doesn’t happen when ‘A’ is not done, eg. She asks me to read her a book, but that won’t happen, until she calms down and stops the tantrums)



Ah. Three-year-olds.

They can be tough at times, but alas, aren’t they so little and cute too?

While we stay firm in raising her, we do enjoy her little-ness.

I mean, Brie is going to be THREE only this once. And time will pass real fast.

We love her little hands and feet.

We love how she can sit on our laps and her body fits so nicely within our arms.

We love her laughter and giggles.

We are counting our blessings.

And we thank God for entrusting her into our little family.


Mothers and the Everydayness of Life

9 May 2010 | Posted in: Inspirational, Parenting | 8 Comments

[Drawing by Anya]
As I sit and think about mothers today, one of the first things that comes to mind is the everydayness of life that mothers face. Day in, day out.
The dishes piling in the …

Parenting: Loving Two. Loving Three.

19 October 2010 | Posted in: Inspirational, Parenting | 7 Comments

I must admit.
One of the questions I asked myself after Wilson and I discussed about trying for baby no. 3 was: Can I actually divide my time, attention, energy and love to THREE kids?
You see, …

Kids and their views

6 November 2007 | Posted in: Parenting | No Comment

Lately I’ve somehow been thinking about kids and the way they value and view things around them.
And here’re some of my thoughts.
Little children heavily depend on adults, especially their parents and their main caregivers, when …

Thoughts : Mothers and Wives – Privileged or Victimised

11 October 2007 | Posted in: Inspirational, Marriage & Relationships, Parenting | 2 Comments
Thoughts : Mothers and Wives – Privileged or Victimised

Some food for thought I’d like to share. From today’s Women’s Fellowship.
When we know the ‘price we need to pay’ for doing something and yet we still are willing to do it, it’s called ‘sacrifice’.
On …

Marriage : staying together, staying happy

4 September 2008 | Posted in: Marriage & Relationships | 6 Comments

My grandmother got married in mainland China when she was sixteen years old. No it wasn’t pre-arranged by their parents, and yes it was based on love.
That was in 1941.
Then 60 years later, in 2001, …

Yes, Kids. Daddy Loves You.


You may read this years or decades from today, but I feel I need to write about this for you.
Did you know that Daddy loves you?
Did you know that when you were all little, and …