If you have a kid at home, chances are you’ve probably watched Zootopia. It’s a story about how an unlikely bunny, became the first female police officer in a male dominated environment. But this is not about the movie itself.
This is about the movie’s theme song; “Try Everything”, by Shakira.
When the school term started, I pinned up motivational quotes and growth mindset visual reminders on my daughter’s notice board. I’m big on inspirational quotes and I believe that positive reinforcement helps to shape our thinking and behavior.
Since she was so hot about the song “Try Everything”; I printed the lyrics and made it her theme song for the year. She promised that she’ll similarly have a, try everything attitude and not give in or give up easily.
Sounded promising doesn’t it?
However, barely a month into the school term my 8 year-old was all ready to throw in the towel and decided that she’s done with trying because school work is so difficult. When I questioned why she didn’t attempt to do her assessment books which I bought as a supplement to her school work, she answered nonchalantly, “I have no idea how to do it”, and ended it at that. So much for teaching her about having a growth mindset and where’s that try everything attitude that she promised?
What made me furious was not because she didn’t know how to do it which is acceptable if she’s not learnt it in school. Rather it’s her lack of efforts in trying because she assumed that I’ll dish out the answers to her. That to me is simply unacceptable and I ranted about it on Facebook.
Turns out I was not alone and many parents had similar struggles with their kids.
So what’s a mum to do?
We lead by example by not giving up on our kids and trying different approaches to see how best to get to them. It can be a tricky balance between encouraging and pushing our kids finding out how we can change their attitudes and how they have to be responsible for their own learning.
These days, I’m also teaching my daughter that there’s no shame in failing because now she has discovered what is wrong. She can be one step closer to what’s right. And in the process, I’m reminded to praise the efforts she’s taken rather than the results themselves so that she is undeterred even when she has to take on more demanding tasks.
How do you encourage your kids to try tackling a new or challenging task?
With the rise of dual income families, the roles of mums and dads have become less conventional where roles are no longer confined to one gender. What used to be a typical arrangement of dads shouldering the financial responsibility of bringing home the bacon and mums staying home to be the main caregiver of the children have evolved over the years.
It’s undeniable that fathers bring another dimension of parenting in the family and while they do things very differently from us mums, they hold a very important role in raising and shaping the kids. A recent conversation with a girlfriend made me even more appreciative of my husband and led me to think about how as wives, we can give them a hand to be a more involved and active dad at home.
Biology is the least of what makes a father
Recognizing our differences
I used to complain about why my husband thinks and acts so differently from me on many matters, especially when it comes to parenting; but I’ve come to recognize that our diversity is what allows my child to have a broader perspective and richer experience from her interactions with both of us. Now I no longer jump to conclusion about his way of doing things and am also more open to other possibilities, a trait that I want my child to embrace as well.
Dads impart confidence
I could be stereotyping, but in our home, hubby is the one who taught my child how to cycle, ice skate, attempt wall climbing, amongst other sports. Dads tend to encourage kids to go faster, higher, further while mums tend to be cautious and protective.
When I found out that my daughter learnt how to paddle on her two wheel bike by going down a slope, I almost flipped and was about to lecture my hubby on the potential dangers when my daughter interrupted and assured me that she had her helmet on while she mastered how to cycle on her two wheel bike that afternoon.
Dads think differently
As mums, we build relationships by being open to our problems, showing empathy and being caring. While dads are all about loyalty and trustworthiness when it comes to friendship. These are all important qualities and both spectrums teach our kids how to develop healthy friendships with their peers.
Anyone can be a father. But it takes someone special to be a Dad.
Dads show affection differently
Dads may not be big on hugs and kisses but they demonstrate love nevertheless with acts of service like ferrying the kids to school, taking the kids out for their favourite dessert and giving them high fives.
And speaking of affection, did you know your man is more likely to be a more involved dad when they’re in a loving and supportive marriage. Marriage like parenting is a partnership where both parents have a role to play.
Practical ways to support your man
Here are some practical ways on how to get your man more involved with the kids
- Encourage one on one time: Go for a car ride to pick up dinner on weekends, read a bedtime story together, build the craziest Lego creation. Discover what common interest your child and hubby has and nudge them to spend time together without you hovering over.
- Attend a school event: Suggest that daddy takes a day off to attend that sports meet or school excursion that your child has been looking forward to.
- Do chores together: What’s even more sexy than a man helping with household chores is getting the kids involved, like washing the car together, hanging the laundry or setting a challenge to see who fold the dried laundry the fastest
- Be a teacher: Give dads a chance to help kids with their homework too. They may not have as much patience as us mums, but they may fare better than us when it comes to maths and science.
- Recognize their efforts and praise them: Dads need all the encouragement they need to be a more involve parent. If they’ve taken efforts to do so, praise them for it and they’ll more be more likely to do it more often.
How do you help your children’s father be a more involved dad? Tell us in the comments so we can get to know your family.
This is an original article by World Mom Susan Koh from Singapore.
“Please join us in the 2016 #Heartfulness Meditation Conference in the USA. If you are a World Moms Blog contributor, or reader, or fan, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a free pass.”********************************************************************************************************************
Below is the experiential journey of our #WorldMom, Ruth Wong from Singapore, where she talks about the benefits of trying meditation as a tool to improve the mental and holistic aspects of her life. Her earlier experiences led her to #Heartfulness meditation on the Webinar workshops conducted by #WorldMomsBlog
Before I started my training to become a life-coach, words like “Mindfulness” and “meditation” were just the latest buzzwords on the internet and social media. Little did I know that they would soon become an integral part of my life.
During my training to become a coach, I was taught how to use conscious breathing, guided meditations and visualizations as powerful tools to facilitate my client’s transformation with more ease and readiness. Of course, before we can become the teachers, we are first the students, and that’s how my meditation journey began.
In the beginning, all I did was to sit by myself and do deep breathing exercises. I began to research and learn about different breathing techniques and meditation.
Then over time, I listened to my heart and allowed myself to be guided by my intuition. Some days, I would do affirmations during my meditation session, other days I would be contemplating an issue and seeking answers to it, from within my own heart.
A journal would be by my side so that I can jot down the insights and ideas received during meditation.
Then there are days where I would do guided meditations by listening to recordings by my coaching mentor. What is meaningful to me is the fact that I’ve found my way to calm, and created a special, sacred space for myself where I can go inward into my heart, to find balance, get grounded and discover answers to whatever is going on in my life. And I’m thankful for this.
So I was delighted when I found out that this beautiful #WorldMoms community has started on its meditation journey too.
We have two heartfulness meditation trainers among us who have come together to facilitate meditation sessions for our world moms. I had the chance to join the session quite recently and enjoyed the experience.
It felt good to be meditating together, all of us from different parts of the world connecting online and in spirit. I appreciate the opportunity to try a new way of meditating and continue learning more about this ancient practice.
Our founder, Jennifer Burden, wanted to use the meditation session to focus on world peace; I thought that was such a wonderful idea! If you would like to try out Heartfulness meditations, begin with this relaxation video. If you would like to go to an advanced stage, drop up us an email or mention in the comments of this article.
If you’ve not tried meditation, I would say, go try it! There’s really nothing to lose and everything to gain.
I am no meditation expert and won’t say one is better than another. In my own meditation journey, I’ve done different things at different moments, and found that my changing needs has taken me across the spiritual path, as I tread it.
Are you interested to try out Heartfulness meditation? Or if you have already been meditating, what type of meditation do you do?
Picture/Infographics Credit: Author/www.Heartfulness.org
Being a working mom is not an easy feat. You are constantly on your toes both on the work front and on the home front where you need to give both your 101%. But while it may have it’s fair share of challenges, I’m glad to be a working mom in Singapore where the marketplace recognises the value of what women can bring to the table.
In the past, it’s not uncommon to hear how employers will show gender preference towards men who are perceived to be go-getters, sharp and gets things done. And what’s unsaid is that men will not disappear for a good four months when a baby comes along. And their hesitation to employ women doesn’t end there as the mother is usually the one to drop everything at work if anything happens at home, especially when there are young kids at home. And even with female employees, they often get by-passed for promotion and get lower salaries than their male counterparts.
As a small nation whose only resources lie in our human capital, we simply cannot afford to allow this bias to prevail in our society where women take a back seat when they start to have a family. The journey to overcome this gender discrimination at the work place has taken a long time. With efforts from both the state as well as employers the results are encouraging with 76% of women in their prime working ages of 25 to 54 years are in employment in Singapore.
But what really worked was the mindset that women can have their place in the workforce and are equally capable and dedicated to their work as well as their families.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, I hope that all women will have equality in employment opportunities as we continue to strive for gender equality in the workplace to transform the society to be fair and inclusive.
Picture credit: https://www.tafep.sg
Last fortnight we met a few #WorldMoms from Asia and Australasia.
This week on the blog, we meet these exciting bloggers from Asia. They are funny, kind, inspirational, and most importantly moms who are here to make a difference and change the world!
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She blogs about Family and Lifestyle. She tells of her blog as a ‘timecapsule of all the fun stuff that she gets to do, and all of the wonderful family memories she makes.’
Patrician Cuyugan from Philippines
Her favorite post from last year is “2015 in 12 Photos” and it pretty much sums up what her blog is all about. That is a a collection of all her best memories of 2015.
In her own words, she loves hanging out at World Moms Blog because
“WMB makes me feel like I matter as a mom and as a woman 🙂 “
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Ruth Wong is from Singapore and she blogs on World Moms Blog at http://www.worldmomsblog.com/author/ruthwong/
Ruth & family from Singapore
She is an inspirational blogger. Yet at the same time, her writings are authentic and real in a simple way. Her writings come from her heart. Ruth Wong is an introvert, champion of living life on purpose, a big believer of dreams and on a mission to support women to create a life they love and become the best version of themselves.
Her favorite posts of herself from World Moms Blog is ‘Motherhood Is Not a Competition‘ and ‘Letter to an Imperfect Mom‘. She is writing these as a reminder to herself.
Ruth says, from the bottom of her heart, “It’s cool to be a part of WMB because I’ve made some true friends here and it’s wonderful to be able to connect so deeply with moms from all over the world!
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Piya Mukherjee from India
Piya loves to tap into the little moments of motherhood to explore the rich feelings that they often evoke.
She wrote “My baby is Growing up
” to show the myriad of feelings of motherhood – there is joy, pride, fear and even some regret for missed moments…
What Piya feels about World Moms Blog is –
“In a world that can be seemingly superficial and even violent at times, talking on WMB feels like being a part of a strong sorority of mothers, where we all are working towards a better planet for the next generation.”
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Susan Koh is from Singapore and she blogs at ajugglingmom.com. She is a parenting blogger trying to remember that she is more than just a mom.
Susan Koh from Singapore
Her blog AJugglingMom was birthed in 2011 to share her journeys as a mom as well as to share resources that are close to her heart like parenting, marriage, health and fitness and activities for kids.
She once wrote a letter to her daughter, Sophie, after she accepted that she might be her first and last child. It was not easy to write it as she was battling with the many whys even though they tried for years. But it brought peace and a great sense of gratitude. Another was to her ‘boring’ husband whom she is happily married to, for 10 years and why sometimes boring works!
She says, “Being a part of WMB has been an incredible experience as we mums are making a difference to raise issues like education for girls, social good and human rights around the world. At the same time, we also share our personal parenting stories from around the world and learning how to be more than just moms 🙂 “
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Is there any #WorldMom you would specifically like to know more about on the blog? Tell us in the comments and we would feature her soon! Meanwhile, say Hello to today’s featured #WorldMoms from Asia!
Stay tuned! Next week is a complete surprise!
As parents, we desire to raise successful kids. But often the measurement of success can be so vastly different depending on our backgrounds, experiences and expectations. In Singapore, academic success is one of the top measures. Parents will sign up their kids for every enrichment and tuition centre in a heart beat, if it promises to improve their child’s grade.
For some, it could be developing their kids’ full potential in the area of music, art, or sports, and sending them to take every class to discover their talents from a young age. For others, it might be simply equipping their kids with the life skills to get them through whatever life throws at them, the kind of smart I prefer, “street smarts.”
Over the years, Singapore’s education system is slowly steering it’s direction from just developing book smart students to being more holistic, realising that there is more than one way to recognise our kids’ abilities.
I’m really glad about these changes as my daughter will enter formal education next year, and to be honest I wasn’t an ace student. Many times I felt that I was judged by how well I scored on my exams and if I disappointed my parents and myself when I didn’t achieve fantastic results. But over the years, I discovered that I have other talents and gifts that are just not related to how book smart I am.
Though I think my daughter’s pretty smart (okay, I’m a biased mom ), I know these changes to the education system gives me greater assurance that she will thrive when she starts school. But as a parent, I also have an responsibility in shaping who she is and my role is to give her roots and wings.
Roots and Wings
Just like a tree, in order for it to reach it’s fullest potential and stand strong to withstand the different elements, its’ roots must go deep and be firmly planted. These are the qualities I wish most for and I try to instill in her:
1. To be rooted in her identity
I want my daughter to be deeply rooted in the knowledge of her own identity. I want her to love herself for who she is and not strive to be someone else. I want her to recognize that she’s uniquely her, complete with her vivacious and vibrant personality, her sense of humour, and heart of gold.
2. To be rooted in character and values
Peer pressure will be a very real issue in school and that’s when our kids’ character and values are put to the test. As a parent, we have to ingrain values of honesty, compassion, integrity, kindness, responsibility, perseverance, and the list goes on. The best way to teach these to our kids? To model them ourselves.
3. To soar on wings of exploration
Besides having deep roots, I hope that my girl will develop wings to seek out the world. To be filled with curiosity and awe with a hunger to know more. I want to be the parent that says, ” That’s an interesting question, let’s find the answer.” and never to stop her from asking questions.
4. To have wings of independence
Our kids will grow up no matter how much we wish for them to remain cute and small. And the key is to ensure that they are equipped with life skills to see them through their days. As a young toddler, I’ve roped my girl to help around the house from picking up after herself, clearing her plate when she’s finished her meals, or loading the laundry.
As she gets older, she knows she has to be responsible for her belongings and pack her own bags. We’ve taught her what to do if she ever gets lost, and now she’s learning how to count money, an essential skill needed at the school canteen soon.
I also intend to teach how to manage her time wisely, budget and save, and maybe even cook. We can start from frying an egg!
As parents, it won’t be easy for us to let go of our kids when they eventually grow up, have their own ideas, friends and all. But when that day comes, we’ll be glad that our children are ready to soar high with their wings, knowing we’ve provided them with the skills to navigate the skies!
How do you help your child(ren) develop roots of responsibility and wings of independence?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by contributor, Susan Koh from A Juggling Mom in Singapore.