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Parenting : ‘My Child is Too Small To Do THAT’!

25 July 2014 – 8:30 pm |

“I don’t think my child can do it just yet”
“How can my 2-year-old do THAT?”
“Ah, he’s still so small. It’s okay, let me do it for him!”

Somehow I hear such sentences quite often when it …

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Parenting : ‘My Child is Too Small To Do THAT’!

25 July 2014 | Posted in: Parenting | No Comment


“I don’t think my child can do it just yet”

“How can my 2-year-old do THAT?”

“Ah, he’s still so small. It’s okay, let me do it for him!”

Somehow I hear such sentences quite often when it comes to adults’ views of little children.

ie. Small children cannot do many things and therefore they need to be helped a lot by adults.

We parents often ‘underestimate’ young children’s potentials and capabilities While of course it is true in many ways (eg. A one-year-old cannot prepare her own breakfast, a 1.5-year-old cannot yet thoroughly shower himself from head to toe, etc), I personally feel we parents often ‘underestimate’ young children’s potentials and capabilities.

We have this tendency to do most things for our young children (and rarely give them the opportunities to do things for themselves too), because we assume they’re not able to do the tasks.

For example:

> FOR SURE a 2-year-old can’t just yet put on her own shirt and pants? So we adults need to always put them on for her.

> FOR SURE a 1-year-old can’t feed himself? So, adults need to always spoon-feed him.

> FOR SURE a 1.5-year-old cannot put on her own shoes? So, we need to always help her with her shoes (even slip-on sandals!)



They all eat on their own (at least 75% of their meals) before they turn twoWhen it comes to doing things for themselves, all my three kids learn quite a few tasks since young.

eg. They all can put on their shoes by the time they’re 18 months old. They all eat on their own (at least 75% of their meals) before they turn two.


[Eating out together, just the three of us back in Singapore : Anya was 4, and Vai was 22 months]


When we’re all getting ready to go out, our 3yo Brie (like her two older siblings when they were her age) would get dressed all on her own, ie. Put on her shirt, underwear, pants, button it up, put on her socks and shoes. All ready to go out.

(Actually, what mostly happens is, I ask her to get her clothes ready, after telling her ‘where’ we’re going. She then picks what she’d like to wear, ask me whether it is appropriate for the occasion, and put them on when I say it’s okay)

The main issue is more about whether or not WE LET OUR YOUNG KIDS try and do things ON THEIR OWN.Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to brag about my kids, because that is totally not the point.

All I’m trying to say is, any normal kids would be able to do what my kids do.

IF, only IF, they’re given the chance to do the tasks by us adults, and IF they’re guided by us.

The issue here is not about whether or not our young kids COULD DO THEM.

The main issue is more about whether or not WE LET OUR YOUNG KIDS try and do things ON THEIR OWN.

[Our second child, Vai, when he was 13 months: Learning to use the fork and self-feed some banana pieces]


Do we LET our young children TRY and brush their own teeth, towel dry their own body, comb their own hair, fold their own clothes, etc?

Do we let them try to do things on their own even when it means :

> They get it wrong in the first 50 tries

> They make a mess unintentionally

> They do the tasks in a much slower speed than WE do

> Us spending extra time and effort to guide and teach them especially in the beginning

> Us spending extra energy in cleaning up after their mess when they first learned to do the tasks



What usually happens is, adults simply TAKE OVER without thinking much about it.

Especially, because we do things faster and with less mess, right? (applies to parents, grandparents, nannies, helpers, friends of parents, etc)

Well, … to me, I believe … whenever we TAKE OVER, and hardly let our children do things on their own, we actually are ‘crippling our children’.

We are stopping them from being able to do things that they otherwise could do.

Let your children do really simple tasks first, and let them experience ‘success’, over time. So, what should we do then, you may ask.

Hmmm, if I could make a suggestion, this is what I’d share with you:

> Let your children do really simple tasks first, and let them experience ‘success’, over time

eg. Allowing a one-year-old put on his own sandals. Yes, even when he ends up wearing the left sandal on his right foot (After he puts both on, we then come in and teach him which one goes on to which foot, and how to identify the left and the right sandal, etc)

> Once he has more confidence (from our verbal encouragements too), he could then move on to other tasks. Gradually getting more complicated as he gets bigger.

Food for Thought:

The more tries, the more opportunities of practice, the more able he’d feel, the more successful attempts he’ll have.

ie. When children are allowed to explore and attempt to do simple tasks on their own since small, they’re more likely to have the confidence to explore and attempt bigger tasks when they’re older.


[Anya : Self-feeding at 3yo]



Is this all easy to do?

I’ll be honest with you, … no.

It’s not that straight forward. And just like us adults, learning a skill takes time.

Plus, don’t forget that they’re still in the process of coordinating their eyes and hands too.

Some kids may take longer to learn something than others.

And, it does require patience and consistency on our part.

But really, it is worth your while.


Let’s not underestimate our small children’s abilities and potentials.

Let’s not hinder them from learning and knowing and doing many things since young.

Any thoughts to share?

Things Children Say : Air-Filled Mommy!

23 July 2014 | Posted in: Daily | No Comment

As two motorbikes swooshed past our car, my 3yo Brie saw the riders and their ‘air-filled’ jackets, and said,

Look! Mommy! Why are the men fat?

Oh, there’s air in their jackets …

*3 second pause*

They’re like YOU!

*patted my tummy*

Fat. Fat. Fat. Mommy.

Wonderful honesty.

Birthdays : That Thing about Aging

20 July 2014 | Posted in: Daily, Inspirational | 4 Comments

[A shot with my 71yo Mom and 90yo Grandma!]


I turned 38 some 3 weeks ago.

And it was like, gee … THIRTY EIGHT?

Somehow, some 15 -20 years ago, when I looked at those who’re in their late thirties, I thought, they are … old. Haha.

And you know what?

Now that I AM in my late thirties, it’s kinda interesting how … I actually don’t feel ‘old’ =)

Okay, let me elaborate a bit and share my thoughts about ‘aging’ =)

The drive to learn or make a change or difference comes from within, doesn’t it?> When I was 19yo, I couldn’t wait to turn 20.

My reason?

Well, I just wished for people to start seeing / treating me like an adult (I’m the youngest amongst 4 sisters).

I wanted to be ‘older’. I was excited to be OLDER.


> When I was in my early twenties and working, I wished I had some grey hair.

My reason?

Hmm, basically just so that I could look OLDER and hopefully have more ‘weight’ when I deal with people at work.


> When I was 29yo, it was more like, ‘Eeeek, I’ll be THIRTY! The first digit is THREE, already!?’

The feeling was definitely different to when I was 19 turning 20 =)



When I was in my early twenties and working, I wished I had some grey hair.> Roughly after I turned 34 or 35, I sometimes ‘forgot’ my exact age. Haha. Seriously.

If someone asked about my age, it’d be like, hmm wait … then I had to do a quick count in my head : This year minus the year I was born … errr …


> When I was already in my thirties and grey hair started to appear, it’s like, “Gah. These strands are everywhere!”

The possible reason for not quite welcoming the grey hair that I wished I had when I was in my twenties?

By now, I don’t need THAT extra weight =) I already hit my “mid-thirties”, and being a Mom of three naturally adds to THAT weight, I guess =)

So, the ‘grey hair’ part is actually no longer necessary, though unavoidable. Haha.

(Thank God my husband is not bothered about the gradual appearance of grey hair on my head. He said, it IS part of life and aging, and it is NOT the most important thing in life, so why should we be bothered? Ah, bless him.)

I no longer like super crazy rollercoaster rides like I used to.So. Now. Hello, 38.

It sure is a ‘bigger’ number.

My knees are now weaker. I no longer like super crazy rollercoaster rides like I used to.

I don’t have as much energy as when I was in my teens and twenties, and my wrists are more prone to pain and swelling when I lift heavy stuff.

But, apart from the ‘gradual physical drop’, I don’t feel that this ‘aging’ thing hinders me from progressing or learning or doing anything new.

And, as much as I sometimes find it still hard to believe that I’d be FORTY in less than two years, … I feel blessed.

No, I don’t wish to turn back time and be in my teens or twenties again.I’m thankful to God for watching over me, for showering me with His mercy, day in and day out.

And I’ve thought about this long and hard : No, I don’t wish to turn back time and be in my teens or twenties again.

I’m happy with how God is leading and molding me all these 38 years. The ups and downs and all.

And I look forward to the future, to learning more from life, to appreciating life and its everyday things … however more years God is giving to me.

we should never use our ‘age’ as an excuse for not wanting to learn or develop ourselves further.My final thoughts?

Yes, there’ll be more and more ‘physical limits’ as we get older.

But, there’ll always be something that we CAN still do.

I feel we should never use our ‘age’ as an excuse for not wanting to learn or develop ourselves further.

Because, the drive to learn or make a change or difference comes from within, doesn’t it?

You can be 32yo and feels / tells people that you’re ‘already old’. Too old for many things, too old to do this and that.

Or, you can be 75yo and refuses to be ‘stuck’, and instead continually contributes and shares with others.

If you ask me, I think it’s more about our heart and soul.

(And I  believe, our soul don’t ‘age’)

It’s more about our mindset, and our attitude to life.

What say you?

Have a fruitful week ahead, everyone.

Easy and Yummy Meal Ideas with Kraft Cheese

16 July 2014 | Posted in: Advertorial | No Comment


What kind of a Mom are you when it comes to cooking or baking at home?

Are you the ‘thorough type’, the kind who could spend 1-3 hours on meal preparations?

(I’m always wowed by such moms’ dedication! Kudos!)

Well, I’m the kind who prefers cooking / baking that’s easy, yet nutritious and yummy (and, fast please =)

Now. It’s been a while since I last shared about what we baked and cooked at home. So today, I’ll share two easy and yummy meals with you yeah! =)

I got the recipe from this Kraft website:

(Saw the web URL when I was about to stock up on my usual Kraft cheese at home)

Lots of recipes there, btw.

From breakfast ideas to main course and snacks!



So first thing first.

I made this “cheesy omelette” for the everyone over the weekend!

(Click HERE for the recipe page)


4 eggs
1/4 teaspoonful of pepper and salt
Carrot pieces (I cut half a carrot into small squares)
Macaroni (boil about 3 handfuls)
Kraft Cheddar Cheese
Margarine to grease the pan



- Mix eggs, pepper, salt, carrot pieces in a bowl
- Pour in the cooked macaroni
- Grease the pan with margarine
- Pour in your mixture, spread some Kraft Cheddar Cheese (I sliced it into small, thin layers)
- Lower the heat
- Fold the omelette, flip it so it’s cooked on both sides.

And that’s it!



We munched it all with some tomato ketchup. We like that added sweeter taste! =)

This one is fast and easy to make.

Just mix and pour, flip and that’s it! =)


Here’s what we had for dinner the other day : Cheesy Broccoli Macaroni

I kind of mixed THIS recipe (Cheesy Broccoli) with THIS recipe (Spaghetti Carbonara) from =)

(As usual though, I keep it simple and fast)

- Macaroni
- Broccoli
- 25g Plain flour
- 300ml milk
- Half of a new block of Kraft Cheddar Cheese
- Olive oil
- 25g Butter / Margarine


[Tips: Involve the kids whenever you can, as it allows them to learn and be a helpful member of the family. Plus, if they contribute, they usually like the 'end-products' better, hehe. As for us, Anya cut the broccoli pieces that day]


- Boil Macaroni and Broccoli (in the final 4-5 mins, until tender). Then, drain it all.
- Heat the Butter, stir in the flour. Cook for a minute, add in the milk. Bring to boil, stir for about 2 mins. Add in the cheese.
- Pour in the cooked macaroni and broccoli into the sauce (I added some olive oil too. Personal preference =)

Now, this is actually done already!

But if you wish to get that nice, grilled taste:

- Spoon everything into an ovenproof dish, scatter remaining cheese
- Place under a hot grill (just into the oven) for about 3-4 mins, until the top is golden brown / bubbling

The kids and Daddy loved this dish a lot, btw! =)


The other day, I had a casual chat with a few friends about whether our kids drink milk everyday.

Well, our kids drink some fresh milk everyday. About 1 – 2 mugs a day.

But, other than milk, I believe, our calsium and vitamin D intake can also come from others.

Like, from consuming cheese (which adds taste and nutritional value to the 2 simple meal ideas above =)



And I don’t know about you, but when we do our grocery shopping, I somehow automatically head over to the Kraft shelves whenever I need to get some cheese =)

Perhaps, it’s because I’m just used to having Kraft cheese since I was little? =)




To my Muslim readers who are celebrating Ramadhan soon,  go and check out the many different recipes on the Kejumooo web yeah!

Many easy to make, and nutritious, meal ideas there from Chef Marinka =)



Oh one more thing, I was asked the other day : what do I think of Ramadhan?

Well, to me, Ramadhan is very similar to how our family spends time with the bigger family during the Chinese New Year!

Gatherings over food, and catching up with families and friends! =)


In Singapore, during Hari Raya, I love seeing families dressing up in similar colour tones and patterns when they go and visit their bigger families. A nice tradition to have, I reckon.

And here in Indonesia, usually those who celebrate Hari Raya (Ramadhan) would go back to their villages / home towns, to enjoy some get-together time with their families too. Which I feel is a must as well.


To close the post, here’s a video to share with you, on the importance of caring for the family and those who are dear to you:


Food for Thought : Tips on Being a Good Dad

19 September 2012 | Posted in: Inspirational, Parenting | 2 Comments
brie daddy

We all know, Daddies are usually less ‘available’ in a child’s life because they most likely need to be at work, for many hours in a day.
The question is, given the limited time a man …

Parenting : Curiosity does not always kill the cat

1 July 2009 | Posted in: Parenting | 4 Comments

An interesting food for thought.
When we are curious about something and go all out to find out MORE about it ourselves, the chance of us REMEMBERING what we’ve just found out and learned is HIGHER, …

When kids are allowed to do things for themselves …

10 October 2009 | Posted in: Daily, Parenting | No Comment

… interestingly, I find, they’d most likely be more determined and excited about what they’re supposed to do.
And in this case, … finishing up their milk *smile*
As for the spills, well … I guess that’s …

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 …

‘Looking after Ourselves’, especially AFTER We’re Married

When it comes to ‘looking after ourselves’, especially AFTER we’re married, there’s this one tip (shared by some ‘seniors’) that I often keep in mind.
They said:
Wives, later on … when you’re busy looking after the …