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Instilling Responsibility Since Young

27 March 2015 – 1:52 pm |

Are our children given the chance to help out and contribute to their home?

In our family, we believe all children need to know how they are important members of the family.
And we believe, it is …

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Time with the Bigger Family : Opportunities to Learn Basic Courtesies

30 March 2015 | Posted in: Daily | No Comment


One of the things that I appreciate about living in Jakarta, is the opportunities to see my bigger families more often than when we were back in Singapore.

(Back in Singapore, we went to Jakarta for holidays about once or twice a year. And, at times we had relatives visiting us too, once in a while)



I guess, most importantly, I appreciate the fact that my children get to spend time with their great grandmother, grandparents, aunties and uncles, as well as cousins.

Such interactions also give them a sense of identityBecause to me, I think it’s important for my children to know that they are part of a bigger family who cares for them.

They need to know their background and culture, in a bigger picture.

Plus, I feel when they spend time with the bigger family, such interactions also give them a sense of identity.



And, guess what else do I appreciate?

Opportunities for my children to learn and apply basic courtesies towards the elderlies (including some basic table manners).

Approaching seated elderlies and verbally greeting themI mean, basics like:

- Approaching seated elderlies and verbally greeting them (eg. When we’ve just arrived at a restaurant or at my parents’ home)

- Say, ‘Makan dulu ya’ (ie. I eat first ya) to others before you yourself start eating (This is especially said to those older than you)

- Allow the elderlies to take the first scoops of the food served on the table



- Before spinning the turn table (to get to the dish we want), we need to check and see (and wait) if others are about to scoop or are in the middle of scooping some food onto their bowls / plates.

Keep our elbows closer to our sides- If we have a lot of people sitting on one table, then we should keep our elbows closer to our sides (instead of care-freely spreading our arms on the table and taking up a lot of space just for ourselves)

- If we dine together, say ‘Thank you for the meal’ before we go home (and if someone paid for the lunch / dinner at a restaurant, eg., then the children would need to approach the person, and say thank you)

Okay. Gotta stop here.

There are too many to mention one by one =)




Simply put, I’m just grateful that we get to spend time with the bigger family.

We are blessed.

PS: Photos were taken when we celebrated ‘cap go meh’ together over dinner (ie. Fifteen days after Chinese New Year)


Instilling Responsibility Since Young

27 March 2015 | Posted in: Daily, Parenting | No Comment


Are our children given the chance to help out and contribute to their home?

In our family, we believe all children need to know how they are important members of the family.

And we believe, it is never too early to instill a sense of responsibility.

Return books after reading.

Place dirty laundry in the basket.

Wipe away spills.

Tidy up after play.

And in Brie’s case this morning, … she swept away the mess she created after play :)

Sometimes, I get asked, ‘Did she btw clean up properly and leave the floor spotless?’

Err, no.

I mean, she is afterall 3.5 years old.


To us, ‘being able to clean and sweep like adults do’ is NOT the point.

Especially, not expected of them when they are not even 5yo.

‘Being able to clean and sweep like adults do’ is NOT the pointIt is more about creating a habit since young.

An understanding and a willingness to help out and to look after their home, and to be a responsible member of the family.

(And we hope, when they are all grown-ups, they become responsible members of their own families, and the society too)


Do just playfully sweep and clean up?


They still do need to do things properly, as best as they can.

And then, we’ll come and help out too, when needed.


The habit just needs to start from the family, we think.

PS: Our intention to instill such a value is somewhat made ‘easier’ with the absense of a fulltime domestic helper at home.

Water Play Photos @ Waterbom PIK, Jakarta

Managed to spend a good 5 hours at Waterbom PIK the other day!

And it was greatttt! So good to be in the outdoors! =)

I guess we all needed that good break from our everyday routines!

We got there at about 2pm, and it drizzled a bit.

But soon after, it was all good.

Cloudy, but good.

(Click HERE to watch the video and read my earlier post on Waterbom PIK)



A friend said that Waterbom PIK is more for teenagers. Bigger kids and adults.

It’s true in a way, because other than the safer yet fun slides for the younger kids, there are quite a few ‘adventurous’ rides here, which require you to climb lots and LOTS of stairs! =)



Having said that though, Anya and Vai (11yo and 8.5yo) really love the thrill of going down the tall slides.

(Actually, me too, haha!)


Here we’re again, our second time! =)



How about our 3.5yo girl then?

What did she do? Did she go down the crazy rides too? Did she get to enjoy the water play?



Hehe. Yep she did have fun together with us!

Other than floating across the ‘lazy river’ on a yellow tube, she did go down (countless times) the ‘meant-for-younger kids-slide’, alone.

And, of course, she went down the other slides, including some ‘scarier’ ones, together with us too!

(Naturally, she didn’t go on ALL the ‘super scary’ slides lah. Not allowed too, anyway =)




Here are some quick tips and info to share:

1. Go on a weekday, if you can. Less crowd, shorter queue!

But, on weekdays, some rides are closed at certain hours. Check their website for the details!

2. Grab their promotional deals!

Check their website for promotions!

We got an awesome deal, btw!

All 5 of us went, and we only paid for one adult ticket and one child ticket! (Because there’s a promo of ‘Pay for 1 and get 3 tickets!)

3. Bring along your underwater camera, if you have it! =)

Have fun!!


Here’s a one-minute video I made of the trip:

Relocating to Jakarta, and Coping with the Change!

6 March 2015 | Posted in: Daily, Inspirational | 2 Comments


‘It’s okay. Jakarta is okay too. You’ll do fine living there.’

Out of nowhere, a friend who lived in Singapore said that to us to ‘cheer us up’ after seeing how we faced the big flood last month, and deal with daily traffic jams here.

The thing is, yes we live in Jakarta, and we have to face all that, … but, no, we didn’t feel ‘trapped’, ‘disadvantaged’, ‘wanting to leave’, or anything.

I mean, we ARE doing fine here.

Many do wonder about us, our family and HOW we’re coping with everythingNow. I know of many who have relocated to Jakarta or who are still thinking of relocating to this busy city.

And many do wonder about us, our family and HOW we’re coping with everything.

Well, by this month, we have officially been in Jakarta for THREE years.

And, yes … we are doing fine =)

[THIS was what I wrote back in 2012 about our big move to Jakarta, and THIS was how it felt on the day we left Singapore for good]

Here are three common questions we get from others when they ask about us living in Jakarta :

How can you cope with everything?

Are the kids doing alright?

Do you miss Singapore?


And here are our thoughts on them:

How can you cope with everything?

Well, every country has its pros and cons. There is no ‘perfect’ place to live (gotta wait till we’re all in heaven one day! =)

To Wilson and I, we believe we can always choose how we wish to move forward.

We believe we can always choose how we wish to move forwardWe can choose to feel thankful for what we’ve been blessed with, and live with whatever inconveniences we happen to face daily, without complaining about them incessantly.

Or, we can focus on the many ‘negative’ things about Jakarta and live unhappily everyday.

Right now, we believe God wants us to be in Jakarta and that He has a purpose and a calling for us, so we are of course fine with it.

If one day, perhaps years from today, we are to move and relocate again elsewhere, then we’ll just see how things go =)

Wherever we are, as long as we stick together as a family, and as long as that’s where God wants us to be, that’s what matters most to us.

It’s all in the mind and heart, I guess.


Are the kids doing alright?

We believe young kids will naturally follow their parents and learn from their ‘adaptability’ in the new country.

If BOTH parents are fine with the move, stable, settle down steadily, and help the children in adapting with the new environment … I truly believe the children will do fine too.

[A good stroll along Orchard Road]


Do you miss Singapore?

Of course I do miss loads of things about Singapore.

The convenience of public transportation, the cleanliness and orderliness of everything, the wonderful libraries, the many free play areas for kids, the many fun public events organised, etc! =)

(Including its coffee- shop’s Teh-Peng, sugar cane, Char Kway Teow, Katong Laksa and boneless chicken rice!)


[East Coast Park]


Anya and Vai still have loads of memories of their growing up years spent in Singapore too.

But, having said that, this is what we do and what we’ve also shared with the kids :

Yes, we treasure our memories, but if we are now in Jakarta, instead of always looking at what we had in the past and NOT have today, let’s value what we now have, especially things that are NOT available in Singapore.

Things like:

- We can now enjoy more seafood, dessert and authentic Indonesian cakes, etc (because food naturally is more affordable here)



- We get to see our big family more often (Back in Singapore, the kids hardly spend time with their grandparents and relative, because we fly to Jakarta only 1-2x a year)

- We can travel and explore the mountains and beaches more during holidays without leaving the country

- The kids can now have piano and tennis lessons!



- We have a part time helper coming three times a week!

- They can attend a good Christian school, that focuses on the integration of their christian faith into everything that we learn in life, instead of just focusing on academic achievements

- We are exposed to more opportunities to serve God and be involved in the ministry

- We get to see more smiling people who happily tolerate and welcome the existence of playful children and families in the society



- We can now see Daddy everyday!
(He was a ‘weekend Daddy’ in the last one year of our stay in Singapore)

Okay, I’ll stop here.

The list can go on and on.

There are lots of things that we now can enjoy, which we didn’t have before.

And we choose to focus on this, instead of what we don’t have.

We choose to learn and count our blessings everyday.

And this, I must say, helps a lot when we first relocated to Jakarta three years ago.

Did you go through a big move with your family?

How did you cope? Any tips to share?

OUR CHANNEL : Skilled and Smart, but … Empty-Hearted?

15 June 2012 | Posted in: Parenting, Video | No Comment
vai may2012

Recently I posted this ‘Food for Thought’ on my Facebook :
Instilling integrity and righteousness is far more difficult than merely teaching a child academic knowledge. Ironically though, parents in general focus more on filling the …

Parenting: Dangerous Online and Offline Games Children Play

19 May 2014 | Posted in: Inspirational, Parenting | 2 Comments
Parenting: Dangerous Online and Offline Games Children Play

Dear parents,
I have this heavy burden in my heart, and I feel I should write about it and share it with you.
It’s about OUR children, and the kinds of games created and made available to …

Baby Brie : 2 Months – Updates and How It’s Been So Far

21 July 2011 | Posted in: Parenting, Pregnancy & Babyhood | 4 Comments

Before Brie was born, people used to ask how I’ll cope with having 3 kids, and I used to reply, ‘I don’t know … I’ll just do it day by day and we’ll see how …

Baby no. 3 : “What Husbands Do to Make Pregnancy More Enjoyable”

5 November 2010 | Posted in: Marriage & Relationships, Pregnancy & Babyhood | 2 Comments

[At 9.5 weeks pregnant]

The other day I had a message from a male reader, and this was what he wrote:
I really am happy that men are unable to ‘give birth’ =)

Having said that the …

Parenting : Preventing Children from Playing Parents against Each Other

dad kids

[Daddy is often 'more fun' than Mommy, but as parents they must always be on the 'same team'!]
Have you heard or come across a situation like this :
> A child ASKS one parent for something
> …

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 …