SINGAPORE: A School Fiasco

SINGAPORE: A School Fiasco

My Little One started school during the New Year, and it was with great trepidation that we approached his impending education. And this was for many reasons…

For one thing, he knew no other language but our native tongue. And we were very concerned about how he’d interact in school. In fact, we were more concerned about how the teacher could understand him as there was no one who spoke or wrote the language at his school.

Second, this was truly his first foray into the outside world. He has lived a very sheltered 4 years, and was always at home with nearly no interaction with peers of his own age. This wasn’t intentional, rather, it just happened that everywhere we lived, the kids were always much bigger than him; and, he was also very shy.

Third, was for ourselves. We really had no clue on how to go about educating a little child. Both of us remember our mothers teaching us, but that was when we were much older. How does one go about getting a 4 year old to hold his pencil and learn the alphabet? What does one do when he says he wants to play now and study later? Do we force him to learn, or just let it go?

Despite our misgivings, our son started school on Jan 2nd, and the first day went okay. The school permitted parents to sit with kids on the first day, and we had a nice time watching the proceedings. The second day was when the waterworks started, and that lasted till last week.

Every morning, he’d wake up even before the alarm, and ask me if it was time for school. It is heart-wrenching to hear that plaintive tone in his voice…but as advised by many, we were not taking no for an answer. Come rain or shine, he had to go to school.

Then came the homework – for the first time, he had to write “A,B,C”,  and we weren’t really sure how to tackle it either. Since neither my husband, nor I, were too endowed in the patience department, we didn’t have such a great time these past 2 months. Most days were filled with screams and cries as we forced the little thing to hold his pencil and write. And you know the funny thing – after we had screamed at him for inverting his Bs or not getting the right slant for his As, he would come up to us after an hour or so, and write a perfect A and B.

I know, we were horrible to him – and our only excuse is that we didn’t want to appear to be too lenient and that he get the impression that it was okay not to want to learn. And I don’t know if it was the terror of the home classes that made it doubly difficult for him to adjust to school, where everything was foreign to him.

You see, we feel like we are living a race now – once we get back home after work, we just have time for a bath and to eat, as Little One must be in bed atleast by 10, so that he wakes up fresh at 7 the next day for school.

But two weeks ago, we made the decision not to pressure him so much – because we were also distressed on seeing his pitiful face every time he had to learn something. We decided that any homework would be finished off speedily by holding his hand and helping him write it, while learning it would be done during the weekends, when there was no pressure on any one.

And I don’t know if it was this decision, or as Little One has made friends and adjusted to school – but since last week, he hasn’t cried at all when going to school. He seems more happy about school, and he keeps singing songs they sing in school. He tells me about the kids in his class (he is already interested in girls) and what he ate and the general happenings in school.

And the atmosphere at home is also different now, with him being happy about school and life in general feels so much more lighter and happier. The lesson I’ve learned from the school fiasco is not to pressurise kids so much that they lose all zest for life. His sad face, and moping around all evening was so depressing, and frankly, I was dreading the years up ahead.

After all, he is just 4 years old, and he is a bright little spark. Let him have his fun and the learning will come slowly.

Have you ever faced a situation like this? What do you do to get your kids to study?

Fire Crystals (India)

Fire Crystals, born in the Middle Eastern country of Kuwait, is now a techie living in the state known as God’s Own Country in India. Her interests are books (her favourite!), blogging and computers. However, with the arrival of her little one, sleep is another activity that is fast making her top 3 list! On another note, this mother dreads her kitchen like the plague! She hates cooking, especially Indian cooking due to the large variety of spices and things that need to go in to make it palatable, though she has no qualms over devouring any product from the cooking range. However, the thought of having to do any major cooking still makes her all flustered and anxious.

Fire Crystals has an 11-month old son and a wonderful Hubby, two of her favourite people in the world. (Awww, how sweet!) Both support her writing initiatives: her Hubby by reading her work when she pesters him enough, and her son by helpfully hitting all the keys on her PC. She has recently become a rejuvenated writer since starting a personal blog and then letting it rust away in some unknown corner of Blogger. After her son was born last March, Fire Crystals had an epiphany in the form of a blogger friend who had discovered her under-used blog and encouraged her to write again. So, after a hiatus of 2 years, she transferred her belongings to WordPress and began blogging again. And, this time she was reeled back in -- hook, line and sinker!

Fire Crystals came across World Moms Blog soon after it’s launch, and admits to being addicted to the articles in it. Now, she is thrilled to be a World Moms Blog contributor, too! She hopes her bevy of experiences as a newbie mother will add variety to the blog and enrich it, and sends out a “Namaskaar!” (salutations) to all our readers! You can also find Fire Crystals on her personal blog, Merry Musing.

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SINGAPORE: Celebrating Fatherhood

SINGAPORE: Celebrating Fatherhood

DSC_2005_2We continue honoring the fathers out there, even after Father’s Day! Today, Veena writes about her thoughts on the roles of fathers, and their unique hallmarks. 

Motherhood and Mother’s Day are celebrated the world over – but  how much does the world really realise a father’s sacrifices for his family?

According to Merriam-Webster, a father is :

fa·ther  (fär)

n.

a. A male person whose sperm unites with an egg, resulting in the conception of a child.

b. A man who adopts a child.

c. A man who raises a child.

As mothers, we all know the amount of work involved in raising a child. So, how many of you would agree to the first definition of a father – sperm uniting with an egg? Or even the second?

A father – in the truest sense of the word – is one who begets a child and stands up for the mother and child through thick and thin. He is there during the sunny times and rainy days, during happiness and sorrow. And through sickness and health.

I am a full-time working mother – made possible only with the complete support of my husband. When I have to travel on business trips, or stay late at office, he is there for my Li’l One.

India (where I am from) is a patriarchal society with the men taking the upper hand in most spheres of life and work. When a girl gets married, she is usually expected to resign if her husband (or his family) doesn’t want her to work (often with no regard to her wish to continue working), she may have to move to a new city if her husband is located there, and more often than not, she is expected to give up her job once she has a kid. Or if the husband gets a posting abroad, the wife just has to drop everything and follow him there.

Sometimes when I go home, there are relatives who look askance when I say I have to attend a call or a meeting, or that I have no time for some thing. According to some of them, I should be devoting more time to womanly pursuits – like cooking, attending Church or some such activity.

This is quite funny, because my paternal Grandfather was a person who believed in a girl’s right to education and managed to get all 3 of his daughters educated and in government jobs. And he had just 2 granddaughters (me and a cousin) from a brood of 10 grand-kids, and both of us are full-time working mothers. Needless to say, none of the women who married into the family are working outside the house (for various reasons).

I have nothing against home makers – my Mother is one herself – and I am eternally thankful to her for her decision to stay home and look after us. All I am saying is that no one has any right to judge whether a woman should work or not, and decide what should be her priorities in life.

Now, I have a tremendous opportunity to move to Singapore, and my husband is again there for me – completely supporting my decision, and ready to move over as a family – not heeding any unwanted voices that may whisper about the inappropriateness of a husband moving because of his wife’s work priorities.

So far, I have just seen a single friend who moved abroad because his wife was transferred there on a project. And here I am – honoured to have such a caring person as a partner. He is always there with a helping hand in the kitchen (one place I detest). He has a bad back, and yet refuses to let me carry the heavy stuff. Every time I am back from my business trips, he insists on driving over with Li’l One to the airport, so that I don’t have to worry about getting a cab late at night. And no matter how worn out he is, he always has a smile for Li’l One and me.

In fact, it is all there in the little things – the way he always slows down the car to allow a person to cross the road, or a car waiting at a U-turn to take the turn. Or the pains he has taken to win over my family, in spite of us having an intercaste marriage (a terrible taboo in India) and even after having been subtly snubbed by some of my extended family (something that could very well result in cutting ties with the wife’s family forever).  Or even the times he has packed up the house during the umpteen moves we have had ( 6 in the last 7 years), and let me go to a friend’s place or my home (and yes, I offered to stay and do the packing, but he was insistent that I leave it all to him).

Here is a salute to Fathers all over the world!

What makes your partner the best in the world? How does he help you out in your day? 

Fire Crystals (India)

Fire Crystals, born in the Middle Eastern country of Kuwait, is now a techie living in the state known as God’s Own Country in India. Her interests are books (her favourite!), blogging and computers. However, with the arrival of her little one, sleep is another activity that is fast making her top 3 list! On another note, this mother dreads her kitchen like the plague! She hates cooking, especially Indian cooking due to the large variety of spices and things that need to go in to make it palatable, though she has no qualms over devouring any product from the cooking range. However, the thought of having to do any major cooking still makes her all flustered and anxious.

Fire Crystals has an 11-month old son and a wonderful Hubby, two of her favourite people in the world. (Awww, how sweet!) Both support her writing initiatives: her Hubby by reading her work when she pesters him enough, and her son by helpfully hitting all the keys on her PC. She has recently become a rejuvenated writer since starting a personal blog and then letting it rust away in some unknown corner of Blogger. After her son was born last March, Fire Crystals had an epiphany in the form of a blogger friend who had discovered her under-used blog and encouraged her to write again. So, after a hiatus of 2 years, she transferred her belongings to WordPress and began blogging again. And, this time she was reeled back in -- hook, line and sinker!

Fire Crystals came across World Moms Blog soon after it’s launch, and admits to being addicted to the articles in it. Now, she is thrilled to be a World Moms Blog contributor, too! She hopes her bevy of experiences as a newbie mother will add variety to the blog and enrich it, and sends out a “Namaskaar!” (salutations) to all our readers! You can also find Fire Crystals on her personal blog, Merry Musing.

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Saturday Sidebar: What is the age difference between siblings in your family?

Saturday Sidebar: What is the age difference between siblings in your family?

This week’s Saturday Sidebar Question comes from World Moms Blog writer Karyn Van Der Zwet.  She asked our writers,

“What is your theory on spacing births within a family, and what age gaps did you end up with?”

Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…

Dee_Harlow with her twins.

Dee_Harlow with her twins.

Dee Harlow of Laos writes:
“When parents of a single child see me with twins, they always ask what it’s like to have two? We always tell them to make sure that by the time the second child comes, the first one is old enough to pick the baby up. Believe me – you need the extra pair of hands and eyes.”

Documama of USA writes:

“When we weren’t trying, I got pregnant, and when we were trying to, I didn’t, yet we ended up with four kids spaced almost evenly 2 years apart! It looks like it was a plan, but we learnt pretty quickly that we only had so much control of how things worked out. I have to say the two year gap seems to work well, they are close enough to play together but when the baby is born the toddler was also young enough to forget quickly that they had just been usurped. A bit chaotic when you have a mess of babies on your hands, but I did feel like my 30s would be my child bearing decade, and then in my 40s I could get back to me a bit. Getting there!”

(more…)

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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Saturday Sidebar: How much of TV time for the kids?

Saturday Sidebar: How much of TV time for the kids?

World Mom, Mom Photographer's daughter watching TV

World Mom, Mom Photographer’s daughter watching TV

This week’s Saturday Sidebar Question comes from World Moms Blog writer Alison Lee.  She asked our writers,

Do you allow your children to watch television? If yes, how much and what kind of TV programs?

Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…

Ana@StumbleAbroad of Indonesia writes:
“We are very lucky to have very limited commercials on the kids’ channels so whenever Evan (my 2.5) year old watches Disney Junior or National Geographic he’s not at all drawn to the toys. We watch TV with him and change the channel if we think it’s inappropriate for his age (violence) or too scary (creepy animals). I try to put movies for him in Spanish so he practices the language, too. El Rayo McQueen is very funny in Mexican Spanish!”

Carol @ If By Yes of British Columbia, Canada writes:
“We had a no TV before age 2 rule, in accordance with the recommended guidelines by pediatric associations, although we made exceptions occasionally for watching sports with his father. Now that he’s two we are starting to think about letting him watch children’s programs, but he saw one episode of Sesame Street and didn’t seem to learn anything from it, so we’re not in a rush.”

(more…)

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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INDIA: My Birth Story

Today, I am going to share the story of how my son came into this world.

Warning: this is an ultra long post, so please make your self comfortable, curl up with a tea or a drink, and read on.

Ahem,  one more thing – the post below may get quite graphic, so please read at your own discretion.

Okay, now those still with me, please continue.

As I entered my 9th month of pregnancy, I went for the routine check-up, which were now weekly. The doctor found that the baby was underweight, and that I had some serious feeding to do. (more…)

Fire Crystals (India)

Fire Crystals, born in the Middle Eastern country of Kuwait, is now a techie living in the state known as God’s Own Country in India. Her interests are books (her favourite!), blogging and computers. However, with the arrival of her little one, sleep is another activity that is fast making her top 3 list! On another note, this mother dreads her kitchen like the plague! She hates cooking, especially Indian cooking due to the large variety of spices and things that need to go in to make it palatable, though she has no qualms over devouring any product from the cooking range. However, the thought of having to do any major cooking still makes her all flustered and anxious.

Fire Crystals has an 11-month old son and a wonderful Hubby, two of her favourite people in the world. (Awww, how sweet!) Both support her writing initiatives: her Hubby by reading her work when she pesters him enough, and her son by helpfully hitting all the keys on her PC. She has recently become a rejuvenated writer since starting a personal blog and then letting it rust away in some unknown corner of Blogger. After her son was born last March, Fire Crystals had an epiphany in the form of a blogger friend who had discovered her under-used blog and encouraged her to write again. So, after a hiatus of 2 years, she transferred her belongings to WordPress and began blogging again. And, this time she was reeled back in -- hook, line and sinker!

Fire Crystals came across World Moms Blog soon after it’s launch, and admits to being addicted to the articles in it. Now, she is thrilled to be a World Moms Blog contributor, too! She hopes her bevy of experiences as a newbie mother will add variety to the blog and enrich it, and sends out a “Namaskaar!” (salutations) to all our readers! You can also find Fire Crystals on her personal blog, Merry Musing.

More Posts

Saturday Sidebar: The morning rush hour

Ever feel like some mornings are a crazy rush to get out the door no matter how early you got up?  Today, World Moms Blog writer Karyn Van Der Zwet asked our writers,

“What time do you have to get up most mornings and what time do you leave the house?”

Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…

Alison Lee of Malaysia writes:
“Before the baby came, I used to be up by 7 am. Our new normal? I could be up anytime between 4:30am – 6 am! And, we don’t get out much :)”

Hamakkomommy of Japan writes:
“Up by 6 to make breakfasts/lunches and do laundry, leave at 9 when I take Sister to preschool.”

FireCrystals of India writes:
“Since I am now close to my office, and have a live-in maid, I wake up around 7:30, have breakfast, and leave for office by 8:45.” (more…)

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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