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Thoughts : Trust and Respect are Built over Time

2 May 2015 – 6:36 pm |

Recently I had a chat with a few friends, … and as we talked, some thoughts crossed my mind.
Here’s sharing them with you …
Nearly everything today is about being ‘instant’.
Instant messaging.
Instant noodles.
Instant printing.
Generally, the world …

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Parenting : Learning to Use Our ‘Strengths’ to Help and Bless Others

28 February 2011 | Posted in: Daily, Parenting | One Comment

Now that Anya is in Primary One, she has weekly spelling tests. Usually one for English and another one for Chinese. Prior to each test, she’d learn and prepare herself at least a day before and she usually does really well for English and makes one or two mistakes in her Chinese tests.


Sometime last month, Anya said to me, ‘Mommy, why do I find English spelling tests easy? It’s so much easier than Chinese spelling tests.’

And I said to her, ‘It’s because you’re so much more comfortable with English and it’s something that we’ve taught you since you’re little. As for Chinese, we can’t speak Chinese with you, and so you need to learn the language yourself from school and your Chinese teacher.’

I didn’t stop there though because I feel she needs to learn about being responsible with her God-given talents.

You see, Anya has this love for learning and writing. She looks forward to our bedtime story and book-reading time. She knows how to read before she was five. She loves to read and write stories.

So that day (and at other instances when I feel the timing is right), I share with her and remind her of these:

- You find reading and writing ‘easy’ because it’s your strength. It’s a God-given talent. And if we’ve been given something extra compared to other people, we have to use it for God’s glory and as a blessing to others. Not to ‘glorify’ self.

- If writing is your strength, then perhaps you can inspire others through your writing and reach out to many. Pray too that those who read your writing will be blessed by this God-given talent that you have.

- If you know how to read / write / do something else much earlier than others, then God wants you to help other people, and not to be impatient or to look down on those who have yet to learn what you already know how to do.

- I shared with her how everyone is unique, how everyone has different strengths and how we need to share and use our strengths to help and bless others.

I then used the example of her and her little brother.

I told her how she could read and write better than Vai when she was at Vai’s age (ie. He’ s 4.5yo right now). BUT, Vai already knew how to ride a two-wheeled bike since he was around 3yo, while she is still NOT yet able to (and she’s 7yo next week!).

[Yes, that's a washing machine box that we 'converted' into a 'board' before we threw it away. It stayed in our living room for a few days, but it was pretty 'well-used', which was the good thing about re-using recyclables =) ]

So you can see how glad I felt, when I saw Anya teaching Vai how to read the other day. She slowly went through simple 3-letter words with him, and taught him how read them in phonics. At other times, she’d also take out some simple chinese storybooks, and teach him how to read them =)

At times like this, I just feel … happy.

And I guess, it’s not really because I now have an ‘assistant teacher’ in teaching Vai how to read.

But it’s more about the joy of seeing our children gradually grow in their characters, in their understanding of what’s been ‘given’ to them, and in their love for each other.

And I hope and pray that they (me included!) continue to learn to be a blessing to others too.

Parenting : Encouraging Kids to Help Out around the House (Part 2)

25 February 2011 | Posted in: Parenting | 3 Comments

[Other than brushing his own teeth most of the time, Vai also brings dirty clothes from the bathroom to the laundry]

Okay, finally, I managed to complete the second part of my blog post.

[Click HERE to read Part 1 of my earlier post : 'Encouraging Kids to Help Out around the House']

As promised, here are some quick tips that I’d like to share on how we can encourage our kids to help out around the house :

> Begin early.

I believe teaching our kids about helping out around the house should start as early as possible (eg. from the simplest things, like joining us in putting their lego bricks back into the box after play could start as early as one year old). And, if you have one simple song that you sing along together every time you both tidy up the toys, it’ll even be better. It makes the routine more fun.

> Always try to say positive words to further encourage your child.

This helps in building their sense of responsibility and encourages them further in becoming a helpful member of the family.

[Btw, sometime ago I wrote a post on 'HOW we utter our words of encouragement'. Click HERE to read it yeah]

> Make sure WE do our chores too.

If our kids see us clean up the house or do all sorts of housework as well, they’ll be more keen to help out and do them too. After all, it’s always better if we set the example for the little ones and walk our talk too.

> Be specific in our instructions, and demonstrate.

This is especially necessary if the child is still young (eg. 2 years old).

Instead of saying, ‘Tidy up your toys, please’, I learn that kids will understand our instruction better when we tell them exactly what we ask them to do, eg. ‘Please pick up your crayons and books, and place them back into the box.’

For younger children, it works best if we do it together with them.

[One of Anya's responsibility at home is ensuring that the 'shoe area' is neat and tidy]

Oh btw, I feel I should share this one last thing.

In my personal opinion, I don’t think giving our children money for helping out around the house will do any good in the long run. I know some ‘experts’ do recommend such an approach, eg. ‘I’ll give you 20 cents each time you take out the trash’, or ‘If you keep your bedroom nice and tidy for one whole week, you’ll get $3 at the end of that week.’

I know I’m no parenting expert. I still have SO many things that I have yet to learn (and change).


I strongly believe that when we use the approach of rewarding our children with money (however little) when they help out around the house:

… We are NOT teaching the child to look out for the interests of others, ie. The child does NOT learn what it means to be responsible, eg. To care for the neatness in one’s room.

… We are ‘training’ our child to be ‘greedy’, to look out for self interest and to simply obtain monetary rewards in what he/she does.

…  We are teaching our child to do things with improper motives, ie. If there’s a reward, I’ll do it. If there’s none, I’m not interested.

Really. Should a child be rewarded for fulfilling NORMAL responsibilities? ie. Tasks that a child ought to do / contribute as part of his responsibility, and as part of being a helpful and caring member of the family?


I’m sure there are HEAPS more tips out there, and if you can share your tips or thoughts on this, it’ll be awesome! I’d love to learn from you too!

[Parts of this post is inspired by the book 'Shepherding a Child's Heart' by Tedd Tripp. An excellent book btw, which has changed and influenced many of my thinking and approaches towards parenting my children. This book constantly reminds me too of how I'm so in need of God's grace and wisdom to be a parent, because I'm still SO far from being the kind of parent God wants me to be]

Blogger for Estēe Lauder CyberWhite Brilliant Cells!

23 February 2011 | Posted in: Giveaways, Awards & Reviews | 8 Comments

[Tiny freckles here and there]

Hey everyone!

I’d like to share this exciting news with you! =)

Thanks to Estēe Lauder Singapore and, I’ve been selected to be one of the 10 bloggers for the new Estēe Lauder CyberWhite Brilliant Cells product launch and campaign! =)

And errr, interestingly, I’m the most … ‘mature’ out of the 10 bloggers! =) The youngest blogger is 19 years old! Nice skin and complexion!


Here I am, a thirty-something soon-to-be Mommy of THREE, going against the other 9 ‘much younger’ bloggers!

But hey, I know I’m representing many of you out there!

I personally believe ‘beauty’ does not equal to 100% spotless and taut skin. THAT is just unrealistic, if you ask me. Age WILL catch up on us, but it’s OKAY.

And, ‘to feel good and beautiful’ is not just for the teens or early twenties, but it’s also for the late twenties, the early thirties, the mid thirties, the forties, for EVERYONE!

If you’re beautiful on the inside, the outside will shine too!

And, such ‘external beauty’ is just a added plus to what’s actually MORE important in a person (Btw, this was what my hubby said to me me the other day)

[Are you with me on this one?]


I’ll be writing blog posts on the blog and Estēe Lauder blog for the campaign.


They need you to VOTE for me! Yep, I’d really need YOUR support yeah!

I’ve written my first blog post HERE (on’s Estēe Lauder blog site)

And, to vote for me, basically you simply need to :

> Go to the Estēe Lauder Singapore Facebook Page

> VOTE for me! (starting from Friday, 25 Feb!)


I plan to share up to $100 worth of Estēe Lauder products – that I’d be getting IF I won – with five randomly chosen voters!

YES, a total of about $500 will be shared with you! How’s that? =)

Hope you’re as excited about it as I am!

Will share more updates soon!

PS: Add me on Facebook and Twitter, if you haven’t already yeah. I share more updates there, and often, we discuss day-to-day topics too (eg. When I felt the pressure from school expectations, or when I asked if it’s normal for Vai to feel hungry again just 30 mins after finishing his meal =)

Parenting : Encouraging Kids to Help Out around the House (Part 1)

21 February 2011 | Posted in: Parenting | No Comment

[Anya's washing the rice grains and Vai's rinsing the vegies]

Recently someone asked if our kids help out around the house. And when I said, ‘Yes, they do help with some simple chores everyday’, the next two questions were, ‘Including the boy?’ and ‘When did they start helping out?’

I feel this is something that families face everyday. And so I thought of writing a little bit on this topic (I’ll split it into two blog posts).

For today, I’d like to share with you these related blog posts which I wrote in the past:

> December 2005 – Getting Kids to Help Out

[Anya was 21 months old at the time, ie. 3 months away from turning 2yo]

Blog extract :

Someone once said, ‘A spoiled son makes a terrible husband.’

Many parents unconsciously ‘train’ their children to become ’spoiled ones’ by doing everything for the kids, giving in to all their requests and wants and failing to rebuke their misbehaviours.

One way of introducing a sense of responsibility to kids, I think, is by getting them involved in our day to day chores and tasks.

> May 2008 – Getting Kids involved Around the House

[Anya was 4yo and Vai was 21 months old, similar to Anya's age in the post above]

Blog extract :

Now that we have two kids in the house, it’s nearly impossible for us to keep the house nice and tidy.
Look under the sofa, and you’ll find a crayon, a piece of paper or a toy car. Storybooks can sometimes be found in the kitchen, or under the kids’ beds too!

As much as possible though, when it comes to helping out, we always try to get the kids involved around the house.

> May 2009 – When Kids can Help Moms Stay Sane

[Anya was 5yo and Vai was 33 months old here. He was basically 3 months away from turning 3yo]

Blog extract:

When kids are actively involved in helping around the house, moms will end up having ‘more time’ to do other things (or, more time to relax and read the papers, eg.)

For our case, we try to get our kids involved as much as possible since they’re young.

> January 2010 – Parenting : Kids in the Kitchen

[Anya was 2 months away from turning 6yo, and Vai was about 3.5yo]

Blog extract:

When I grew up in Indonesia, we had maids to cook and clean the house for us. And so as a little girl, I didn’t spend much time in the kitchen, I must say.

Boys generally are not expected to be in the kitchen too.

Things are run rather differently at our home though.

Before I end today’s post, I thought I should say that in reality, both Anya and Vai don’t ALWAYS welcome the idea of helping out.

I mean, they don’t always go, ‘YIPEE! I now get to tidy up the shoe rack and take out the dirty laundry!!’

Kids are kids. Even us adults (at least, I do!) often feel like NOT doing any chores =)

There were times when Vai, for example, said, ‘Urgh, why do I need to bring the dirty clothes to the laundry?’

[But usually after he sees that Mommy does so much more, and EVERYONE ELSE helps out and contributes in different ways too, he's happy to help out again, ie. Doesn't see any reason for complaining and not helping =)]

Well, anyway.

I’ll share some tips (that work in our family so far, at least =) in my next post yeah!

In the mean time, hope you all enjoy the rest of the week!

Parenting : Letting Children Do Their Own Stuff

20 September 2013 | Posted in: Parenting | 2 Comments

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen these in person:
… A maid putting on the socks, for a TEN-year-old child (and no, he’s not injured or anything)
… A Dad waiting by the tennis court side …

When kids can help Moms stay sane

4 May 2009 | Posted in: Daily, Parenting | 3 Comments

Some three weeks ago I wrote a post on ‘How to Stay Sane’ if you’re a Stay at home Mom. Practical tips that I hope will help us manage our days as fulltime moms.
But as …

What a Difference a Daddy Makes : A Daddy who’s there

29 December 2009 | Posted in: Inspirational, Parenting | No Comment

[An old photo I found! Taken in February 2008! Kids LOVE it when Daddy starts to doodle. Anya was close to 4yo, and Vai was just 1.5yo]

Last August, I was very ill for a few …

Marriage : staying together, staying happy (Part II)

6 September 2008 | Posted in: Marriage & Relationships | 3 Comments

We all know when it comes to marriage and keeping the relationship going for a long time, being ‘in love’ alone is not enough.
Because as much as two people love each other, they’re two individuals …

Book : First-time Mom

2 May 2008 | Posted in: Marriage & Relationships, Parenting, Video | One Comment

Here’s one parenting book I’d like to recommend today.
First-time Mom, by Dr. Kevin Leman.
Getting off on the right foot – from birth to first grade
After a friend of mine shared how insightful the book …

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 …