The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree a simple yet meaningful story. The tree unconditionally showered its love to the “little boy” who then became a man but still a “little boy” in its eyes. When the boy was young, he simply enjoyed the company of the tree. As time passed by, the little boy grew up and the tree aged. The “little boy”started making demands to the tree, who in turn fulfilled all his demands without hesitation – the apples, the branches, and the trunks. At the end of the story, the little boy (now a old man) was tired and only wants a quiet place to rest … The selfless tree left with its stump readily obliged. The tree was happy. Doesn’t this reflective of the unconditional love parents have for their children? Parents’ love for their children is perpetual no matter how old they are. These children might be the parents of their own kids, but in the parents’ eyes, they are still “their little kids”. Parents provide for their children unconditionally, not asking for any return. Yes, that’s how parents love their children. However, parents….. we may need to pause and think, is this “no boundary” love the right way of expressing our love for our children. In the story, the little boy never appreciated what the tree had done for him. He took the tree for granted and show no empathy and gratitude for what the tree had done and sacrificed for him. While we love our children, wouldn’t it be wrong for us to just shower them with love But isn’t right for us to just shower them with love, without teaching them what they need to know ? Aren’t we doing them harm if we as parents overly protect our children – when they make mistakes, we cover for them; when they face with difficulties in life, we clear the hurdens for them; when they face a problem, we readily solve it for them? Is this type of unconditional love right? Shouldn’t we as parents teach them what they need to learn in life while showering them with our love at the same time. Gratitude, empathy, respect, integrity, honesty, perseverance are some of the values we as parents should teach the kids … This is the way, I feel, as parents should do to show their unconditional love for their children. For we love you, we want to teach you well so you can stand up straight and be proud of yourself and live your life with no regrets.

My little giant…

I remembered the day when you were born
I say hi little angel welcome to the world
You answered with your loudest cry like saying I prefer to stay inside

Day goes by and how much you have grown
From my little angel to my little man and now my little giant
Almost as tall as I am, I no longer got the strength to carry

Just remember my little giant
We love you for who you are
Today, tomorrow and forever …..

Haze rings the registers for some business

The recent haze started our shopping spree… First the surgical masks, then the N95, next the air purifier.

This shopping spree is no fun (trust me). Everything that used to be readily available seems to be running out of stock soon. Much tries, we managed to get the masks… but the real challenge was finding an air purifier.

Air purifier seems to be an essential item in any household. Freaky out, I tried to shop for one last weekend but I left the malls empty handed….. “Due to overwhelming response, all air purifiers are temporary out of stock.”

So yes, we do not have an air purifier at home … Not yet. Just today, my friend showed me a pic of the dirty filter of her air purifier … For only 2 weeks, the filter was filled with dirt !!!! My god, I was shocked !!!! She told me, “see, I told you right… You need an air purifier especially if you have kids at home.”

This weekend, I will be out hunting for a purifier again… Some told me Honeywell is the best, some said Novita while others said Sharp. So what’s your recommendation ???

PSLE Science Guide for sale

I have few PSLE Science Guides for sale. All in good condition and at half price. If you are keen, please drop me a liner here and I will let you know the titles I have. Also, if any of you wish to discuss anything re: PSLE, please feel free to comment in this blog too. Happy to share my experience :-p. cheers!

非常班级 – 月亮"亲吻"地球之Girl Girl,Go Go!

A chinese book review done by my genzkid …

非常班级 – 月亮"亲吻"地球之Girl Girl,Go Go!

作者 – 伍美珍

主人物 – 晓豆

哓豆的班有两个歌唱组合。 一个是 "E girl", 另外一个是 "帅 boy"。  "E gi r l "是他们的死对头,都叫"帅 boy"为"衰boy"。

晓豆,唐阿祺,严若琳和敏魏依是"E gi r l "的组员。  一天,敏魏依求晓豆写多一点歌,因为"帅 boy"已完成了两首歌了。在讨论该怎么办时,她们碰到了"帅boy"的两大"美男"。他们对"E girl"投来冰冷的眼神。若琳气得马上喊到:"站住!两头。。。。猪!"晓豆接着说:"他们也可以做豪猪,花猪,笨猪,白猪,野猪,等等。。。。"这可气坏了两位"美男"但"E girl"可乐得象盛开的花。这一战暂时看来是"E girl"赢了。

一天下课后,由于晓豆的父母亲要补度蜜月,她怕一个人在家,所以晓豆哀求其他"E girl"的成员去她家住一个星期。成员们回家问了各自的父母亲,都得到了他们的同意。这个天大的喜讯乐坏了晓豆和组员们。一个"无家长"的日子就快开始了。。。。一个早上,"E girl” 成员除了阿祺一起从晓豆家去学校。到了学校却怎么样都没见到阿祺。难道阿祺失踪了?要是让阿祺的家长知道了,那还得了!放学后大家都决定去找她,可一到家就见到了阿祺。大家都请她好好解释到底是怎么回事。原来当阿祺一早到学校时就被叫去校长室。校长告诉她一个好消息和坏消息。好消息就是校长决定让她们在学校的艺术节开幕之前上台演出。坏消息就是。。。"”帅boy” 也会参加演出。"若琳抢答道。阿祺因为太兴奋所以在校长的同意下去每个”E girl” 的家把这消息告诉她们的家长。

表演当天,帅 boy 客气的让 “E girl” 先表演。当到 “帅 boy” 时,他们每个人的手里都拿着一个装满了小布娃娃的篮子。原来他们准备了超可爱的手机链送给大家。可恶!”E girl” 们都气得说不出话来。当其中一名 “帅boy” 的成员不小心被电线绊倒时,”E girl” 们都乐得哈哈大笑.不过帅boy卖力和精彩的演出却不得不让”E girl” 们佩服。

时间过得很快,班上又要举行班会了。作为总策划员的晓豆在头痛应不应该让 “帅boy” 参加表演。如果不让他们参加,他们一定会向老师告壮她公报私仇。但如果让他们参加又有点对不起自己。晓豆最后还是让他们加入因为他们上一次的表演还真的很不赖。"帅boy"这次表演的节目是刘心武的"话堵话"。他们的演出不但精彩,有趣还非常搞笑。表演在欢乐的笑声中结束。大家都对晓豆投以欣赏的眼神。那眼神好象是对晓豆伟大的决策表示肯定。


Building Your Child’s Character

One of the most important jobs you do as a parent is build the characters of your children. Building your child’s character ensures your child grows up to be a hard worker, caring individual, and honest person.

Implementing these ideas can help you successfully develop good character in your child

1. Provide specific verbal encouragement. When you give comments specific to a character aspect you wish to develop in your child, you’re providing your child with some subtle directions about how to behave.

* For example, if you want your child to value friendships and being a good friend, you could offer feedback such as, “You’re a very good friend to Sam because you let him go first when he comes over to play.”

* To reinforce your child’s efforts to be polite and understanding, let your child know you notice his polite and understanding ways through comments such as, “Wow, that was really nice of you to keep your cool when your sister took your candy.”

* When you want to instill honesty in your child, you could say something like “I like the way you were honest about not brushing your teeth. Let’s go brush them now.”

2. Volunteer together. Even young children can be taken to the homeless shelter to hand out sandwiches. Instill the value of helping others by introducing your child to volunteer activities. When you help others in the presence of your child, he sees that volunteering to help others is important.

3. Give separate consequences for being untruthful. Parents often struggle to figure out how to encourage truthful behavior. One way to extinguish lying behaviors is to issue a separate consequence for the act of lying itself.

* Technically, there will be times when you’re providing 2 consequences: a consequence for the untruth told as well as for the unacceptable behavior. For example, if your child told you he got his homework done and an hour later you discover he didn’t, you’d give 2 consequences.

* One consequence would be for telling a lie and the other for not getting his homework done. This suggested parenting technique discourages lying and encourages truth-telling.

* You can explain that “If you would have told the truth about not getting your homework done, you would have been grounded for 2 days. Now, since you lied about it, that’s another 2 days of grounding.”

4. Briefly discuss important traits. As a parent, you can teach patience by talking about how we all must occasionally wait in lines. Give examples like how you wait your turn at the grocery store or the doctor’s office. Explain it’s the normal way of things whenever there are a lot of people involved.

5. Model character traits that matter to you. Of course, the best way to build character is to demonstrate positive traits in the company of others. If you want your children to have good character, keep in mind you’re their best model. In everything you do, vow to “be the lesson” that’s best learned through observation.

6. Assign tasks regularly to each child. Set up tasks for your kids to complete on their own so they learn self-reliance. Then compliment them on how well they did. Reinforce their efforts with a look, a pat on the back, or a quick hug. Couple these things with your positive verbal feedback, “I’m so proud of you for sweeping the kitchen. That really helped me out.”

As you practice these methods, recognize you’re instilling a sense of morality in your kids, so they know how to determine what the right choice is.

You have the awesome power to build your child’s character. Take advantage of this power by using it wisely and your kids will enjoy these values and skills for their entire lives.

Help Your Kids Pick Constructive Heroes

Heroes play an important role in a child’s development. They can be a source of inspiration and support as kids work to acquire for themselves the qualities that they admire in others.

These are some suggestions for how you can you help your children to pick worthy role models and learn from them.

Helping Your Kids Choose a Hero

1. Expect young kids to stick close to home. Small children are likely to regard the people they know best as hot stuff. Parents, teachers and baby sitters are likely candidates. Enjoy the adulation and live up to their trust.

2. Be prepared for peer influences among tweens. Around the middle school years, peer influences become stronger. From Beatle mania to Justin Bieber fever, this will be the age when many kids get attached to celebrity icons. Watch TV and listen to music together. Talk about the effects of advertising.

3. Welcome your teen’s independence. As your teen struggles to assert their own identity, they may become attracted to unconventional entertainment personalities and other figures. Respect their need to explore while looking out for their safety.

4. Talk about your own heroes. Share your own experiences. You and your kids may laugh about the outdated haircut on your old matinee idol and grow closer over family stories about the kind and courageous things your parents did when you were growing up.

5. Read great literature. Classic fiction is full of characters that deserve our esteem. Give your kids a copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

6. Be a good role model. Your example will have a big impact on the kind of heroes your children choose. Use your powers for good.

Helping Your Kids Learn From Their Heroes

1. Accentuate the positive. Even if your child goes wild for a celebrity who seems famous for just being famous, you can find a bright side. Look into their background or charitable activities to discover hidden assets.

2. Examine the consequences of actions. Guide kids in making the connection between causes and results. Look at how much practice Olympic athletes and concert pianists need to succeed.

3. Encourage compassion. Superheroes and ordinary mortals all have their weaknesses and strengths. When the person your child idolizes gets caught up in a scandal or has a bad hair day, talk about the importance of learning from your mistakes.

4. Discuss media stories. Society today is saturated with advertising and celebrity news. Go online or watch TV with your kids. Discuss the role of the media and commercial pressures. Share your opinions and listen to your children’s concerns.

5. Point out every day heroes. Look around your own community and home for the small acts that are actually heroic. Maybe your school has an outstanding teacher who really knows how to communicate with kids. Ask your kids to describe what makes her special.

6. Offer targeted praise. Take advantage of the hold that heroes have over kids. You can reinforce positive behavior by noticing similarities between your child and the person they want to be like.

7. Discuss values. Most importantly, approach the subject of heroes as one part of a larger discussion about values. Your kids want and need your guidance to sort out the things they hear in the media and at school. Help keep them on the right path.

By looking up to people who set a good example, your child will have more opportunities to observe and emulate life choices that will increase their happiness and well being. Talk with your kids about the effects of celebrity culture and help them pick heroes who are notable for their good deeds.

Allow Your Children to Make Mistakes

We all learn from our mistakes. Every situation is an opportunity for growth. Obviously there are certain mistakes you want to protect your kids from, such as playing on a busy road or sticking their hand on a hot burner. But in other situations, they’ll learn more if left to discover the consequences themselves.

You probably remember a time as a kid when you were corrected by an authority figure and wondered what the big deal was. After all, wouldn’t you have figured out the situation on your own? As a parent, you can learn from this and assess when to step in and when to stand back.

Consider these points to help you be more patient and accepting of your children’s mistakes:

1. Children are children. Because of a child’s age, coordination, lack of judgment, or simplified thought processes, kids are not going to be able to perform a task the way a teen or adult can.

2. Children are works in progress. Because children are developing, learning and growing every day, each new day provides them with opportunities for success.

* Children grow and mature at their own speeds. One child may be able to make his own bed when he’s 5 years old, while another will struggle with this at age 7.

* Depending on the task, a child might be unable to do a job one day, but can do it successfully the next. For this reason, a parent’s patience is required when a child is attempting to complete an assigned job.

3. Sometimes when children err, they have a natural tendency to want to try again. Because this behavior shows perseverance and great effort, parents can reinforce these positive characteristics by simply allowing them to try the task again.

* Showing that you recognize they want to perform goes a long way toward building your child’s sense of self. Applaud your child’s perseverance in this case and tell him he can try again later.

4. Learning from trial and error is still learning. If you observe your child trying a task over and over again without frustration, he’s probably learning something on each try.

* Think about your own experiences of trying to tie shoes or learning to ride a bike without training wheels. The more you did it, the better you got at it.

5. There are other things more important than doing a job “right.” So what if, when your child is done making the bed, the bedspread is crooked? If you consider what matters most, you’ll come up with some characteristics your child demonstrates that you can be proud of.

6. Your child’s self-esteem depends on your reactions. How you react when your child makes a misstep shows him what you think and believe about him.

* When it comes to a child’s self-esteem, allowing him to err at something while at the same time, accepting him the way he is, sends powerful messages of unconditional acceptance and love to your child.

7. Provide encouragement when your child struggles to perform. Since most tasks have various parts to them, look for the portion of the task that your child did well. Tell him he did a good job on that aspect. Acknowledge the task is difficult and that he’ll eventually catch on and do the whole task well.

8. Avoid generating or expressing strong emotions related to your child’s blunder. It’s wise to remain neutral and objective when speaking to a child about his performance of a task.

* If you find yourself feeling frustration or anger about your child’s mistakes, it’s best to give yourself a “time out.”

* Later on, it will be helpful to examine within yourself why you’re experiencing such strong, negative feelings about your child’s actions.

Making it okay for your child to err will go a long way toward solidifying his sense of self and building his self-esteem.

If you consider and apply these ideas when parenting, you and your child will be more comfortable when they experience errors. Because of your approach, they’ll embrace life with optimism, perseverance and feelings of confidence.

This blog post is published with the permission from Personal Development Master. For more Personal Development Guide visit

A Parent’s Guide to Defusing Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry is natural and this healthy competition among siblings is unavoidable. However, the fighting and tension can wreak havoc on family time and bonding if allowed to escalate beyond the occasional boundary dispute.

Brothers and sisters have a precious opportunity to bond even if they get into competitions and fights. Consider these steps to increase the bonding and reduce the fighting.

Preventing Conflicts

1. Give each child special attention. Sibling rivalry is often just a struggle to get noticed. Spend separate time with each of your children regularly and share their favorite activities. Show equal enthusiasm for piano recitals and soccer matches.

2. Recognize your children as individuals. Avoid comparing one sibling to another. Treat them as individuals and acknowledge their personal abilities and strengths.

3. Teach conflict resolution skills. Having a brother or sister is a valuable training ground for learning many life skills. Teach kids to compromise, treat each other with respect, and take turns.

4. Discourage tattling. Let kids know that telling on each other is against the ground rules. The only exception is when someone’s safety or well-being is in jeopardy.

5. Be sensitive to potential triggers. Milestones like bringing home a new baby or starting school can escalate tensions. Even every-day factors like getting too hungry or tired can make it more difficult for kids to stay on their best behavior.

6. Encourage positive interactions. Give your kids opportunities to talk about what they like about each other. Discuss the positive aspects of having brothers and sisters. Creating lots of cherished memories and shared experiences will help them to support each other during rough times.

7. Hold regular family meetings. Family meetings make it easier for everyone to work together as a team. When kids get a chance to provide input, they feel validated and more invested in family activities and routines.

8. Be a good role model. Give your kids a peaceful environment. If you’re calm and free of anger, your kids are more likely to feel the same way. Engage the whole family in activities to lower stress, like taking a long walk or listening to music.

.. reading the full personal development article

Home Tutor

I have met quite a number of home tutors but have only come across few whom i would consider as “qualified”. In my dictionary, a “qualified” tutor is not only one who just have paper qualification but one who is passionate and teach with the child’s interest in mind.

Of course, I am not saying that you teach free of charge .. You need to make a living too right? However it should not be a “how much you pay me = how much effort I will put in”. I have seem tutors who just teach top “clock the required hours” and when times up, he will vanish like superman.

I am really keen to start a database of those good “qualified” tutors. If you think you are one of those “qualified” tutors and really like to help the kids to excel, please drop me a note.

Wondering if you are really qualified? Ask yourself this question – if your student is performing badly in school not because he is lazy but because he is a slow learner, what would you do to help him. Touch your heart when you answer this question, and if your answer touches your soul, you may be one of those tutors we are looking for.