Brain Boosters For Kids Does Your Child Get Lost in Dreamland All The Time?
Children's Day Special Children Around The World Name of Model: Nur Nyla Qamelia Photographer: Photography by Yew Kwang
Are You A Type A Parent?
Special Small Spaces:
Mummies share their tot's room
table of contents
Contents 08 Editorial Note 10 Your Baby Special Small Spaces
14 Health Time For A Check Up: Making The Clinic A Less Scary Place For Kids
38 For The Parent
Are You A Type A Parent?
16 Dental My Child Pearlie Whites Are Turning White! Tooth Decay In Children
18 Growing Up Lost in Dreamland Talking To Kids About Sex And Porn
22 Childrenâ€™s Day Special Children Around The World
26 Photogenic Children Contest 28 Activity Come Fly With Me The New Age Parents
More Than Just Singing
My Child, The Late Talker
Top 10 Brain Booster: Brain Food For Kids
Speaking Singlish Is Really That Bad *Meh?
Year By Year: Fun Birthday Traditions
42 Finance Personal Accident Planning For Children And Adults
44 Sexology Overcoming The Red-Eyed Monster In You
Our Experts PAEDIATRY
LANGUAGE & LITERACY
Dr Kenneth Chua Dr Kenneth Chua graduated from the National University of Singapore with his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree in 2001. He subsequently underwent his further training in KK Women's and Children's Hospital and Singapore General Hospital in various Paediartirc departments. While in KK Women's and Children's Hospital, he was awarded the Service from the Heart Award in 2011 and was actively involved in teaching medical students from Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. He is also a happy father of two lovely children.
Suzanne Khor Suzanne Khor has been practicing as a clinical dietician for the last 11 years. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Dietetics with honours from the National University of Malaysia and postgraduate degree (Masters of Health Science Education) from University of Sydney Australia. Prior to this, Ms Khor was working as a senior dietician in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital for 7 years. Her special interests are nutrition in feeding difficulties, diet therapy for neurological disorders, eating disorders and weight management.
Esther Lim Esther Lim is the CEO and Founder of LEAP School House. Born and educated in Singapore, she holds a Master Degree in Education (NTU/NIE), Bachelor Degree in Arts (NTU), Diploma in Marketing – Top student for the year 2000 (Chartered Institute of Marketing). Esther has more than 10 years of teaching experience and has taught widely in both Secondary and Primary schools. For more information on LEAP SchoolHouse, go to leapschoolhouse.com.sg
Practice Address: SBCC Baby & Child Clinic Blk 805 Hougang Central, #01-112; Singapore 530805 Tel: 6386 3688 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Practice Address: Thomson Paediatric Centre (The Child Development Centre) 10 Sinaran Drive; #09-04 Novena Medical Centre Singapore 307506 Email: email@example.com Tel: 6397 6627/ 6397 6966 (hotline
FAMILY & sleep
Tammy M. Fontana Ms. Fontana has resided in Singapore for over nine years and has worked with both the expatriate community and the local Singaporean community. She provides both individual, couple therapy, and has specialized training to work with children and their families. She is dedicated to improving the lives of others through well researched interventions. She is also the founder and therapist for Babysleepfairy, helping parents manage their children’s sleep. You may contact Tammy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 9030 7239.
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Dr Martha Lee Dr Martha Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching in Singapore. She is a certified sexuality educator with AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists), as well as a certified sexologist with ACS (American College of Sexologists). She holds a Doctorate in Human Sexuality from Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, as well as certificates in practical counselling, life coaching, and sex therapy. She is available to provide sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conduct sexual education workshops, and speak at public events in Asia. For more information on Eros Coaching, go to www.eroscoaching.com
Yu Wanling Wanling received her Masterâ€™s Degree in Science (Speech-Language Pathology) from the National University of Singapore in 2010. She is currently in working at The Childrenâ€™s Therapy Centre (THK Therapy Services), providing speech-language therapy services in both clinic and the community. For more information, log on to www.moraltherapyservices.org.sg
Dr Chin Shou King Dr. Chin graduated from the National University of Singapore, Faculty of Dentistry, after winning two scholarships from Singapore Press Holdings. He served his bond as a Dental Officer in the Ministry of Health and became the Head of Dental Services at one of National Healthcare Group Polyclinics. Dr Chin enjoys and is proficient at treating and managing children, having spent one and a half years at the National University Hospital Dental Centre. He also has a special interest in dental phobias and is adept at managing fearful patients and making them feel at ease during treatment.
Selene Diong Selene Diong is the Principal Instructor of Gymnademics Early Enrichment Centre. The centre focuses on children from five months to five years old. As the Principal Instructor, Selene is responsible for creating a fun and engaging curriculum, to help young children learn through play. She also promotes a strong engagement with parents, working with them to develop a more meaningful and fun time with their little ones. For more information, go to www.gymnademics. com. You can contact Selene at email@example.com.
Tan Ooi Sim Winston Winston is a Chartered Financial Consultant, with 11 years of experience in Financial Planning. Being a new dad in May 2013, his business is focused on Insurance Planning and Retirement Planning for young families and individuals. For any queries, you can email him at tanooisim _ firstname.lastname@example.org or reach him directly at (65) 6228 8311
Practice Address: One Orchard Boulevard, 17th Floor Camden Medical Centre Singapore 248649 Tel: (65) 6733 1388 Email: email@example.com Emergency Dental Services: (65) 6398 5578
Fiona Walker Fiona Walker joined Julia Gabriel Centre in 1991 as a teacher and is now the Principal of Schools / CEO of Julia Gabriel Education. She holds a Masters in Early Childhood Education and is a qualified Montessori teacher with more than 20 years of experience in providing quality education for young children. She is committed to the ongoing development of teachers and curriculum in Julia Gabriel Education. For more information, go to www.juliagabriel.com
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The New Age Parents contributors: Dorothea Chow Dorothea is a dedicated Christian homemaker, mum to two darling little boys and wife to a wonderful and supportive man. She loves to plan fun learning times with her toddler, read to her sons, and hang out with them at playgrounds, parks and shopping malls, in the company of fellow mummy friends. Baking, writing, scrapbooking and shopping are some of her favourite pastimes. She also runs a small home-business, Dottieshop (dottieshop.wordpress.com) creating customized paper cards and art pieces for birthdays, weddings and other occasions.
Som Yew Ya Married with a young son, Yew Ya recently completed her Masters in counselling and is presently working in the clinical field. Ever since she became a mother, she has been relishing many books on parenthood. Her love for writing was nurtured at a young age and she believes writing with The New Age Parents is great way to connect with other parents.
Yvonne Chee Yvonne is a devoted homemaker, Social Worker and a mum to two beautiful children. She believes in the importance of building a strong marriage and investing in a child’s foundational years. She loves to read up on the different parenting books to help herself in her parenting decisions, and also aims to raise her children to become confident and emotionally healthy individuals. She also runs a small online home business ‘Imperfections Made Beautiful’, (www.facebook.com/ImperfectionsMadeBeautiful), creating personalized and customized plushes and buntings for any special occasions.
Words To Inspire Where Do The Children Grow When you see a smiling face Their happiness all over the place Singing, laughing, cries of glee, Come they say, Play with me The slide, the swing, the monkey bars. Look at them close to see who they are. Lots of races, Ready, Set, Go. This is how the children grow.
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If you watch them everyday You'll see they learn as they play They'll do what they see, and say what they hear. You're their teacher though out the years. Their ideas and thoughts in their eyes shine. Imagination is a glimpse of their mind When you’re not looking, don't you know This is when the children grow. Watch them as they learn to walk
Listen to them when they talk Keep them safe, away from harm Wrap them gently within your arms Teach them to share and how to take turns. Set good examples from which they will learn. At home, at school, wherever they go This is where the children grow. C h r i s t y
D aw s o n
TO BE YOUNG AT HEART What do you miss most about your childhood? I believe this differs for each and every one of us. For me, it was growing up with tons of outdoor play with random children whom I befriended on the spot in the public sand playground at Clementi Block 449. Growing up was playing catching at the void deck in my flats and dresses with my two brothers. Conversations were centred around the latest cartoon shows on TV and discussing about our favourite characters. What if one day, your child starts to ask you about ‘adult’ topics? Truth is, we never know when our children may ask us such questions. Tammy Fontana from All in The Family Counselling shares with us some ideas how we can approach the topic in Talking To Kids About Sex And Porn. We also look at the plight of children out of Singapore in Children Around The World. While we hope to help retain the purity and innocence of our children, it’s important for us adults not to lose sight of our own inner child. Remember the child-like qualities we once had when we were 5 or 6. How did we view the world? How did we respond to strangers? How did we learn? Frank Sinatara sings, “Don’t you know that it’s worth, every treasure on earth, to be young at heart.” I believe even as the number of candles we blow off our birthday cake increases through the years; there deep within our hearts, still lies our little self. Here’s to our inner child. Maybe it’s time we let him or her roam freely again.
Have a Happy Children’s Day. Yours sincerely,
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Special Small Spaces
If your baby has been rooming in with you for the first year or more of his life, then moving him to a room of his own can be an exciting yet daunting prospect. Thereâ€™s also the question about how to go about putting together a room that is charming and cosy, comfortable and attractive. Looking for inspiration? We have three mums share with us about the special small spaces they have created for their tiny tots.
Vintage Charm Mummy: Rachel aka The Pleasure Monger (thepleasuremonger.wordpress.com) Bub: Faith, 12 months old
Rachel has an eye for detail, and a love for all things vintage. For her, this translated into a distinctly vintage feel to her little girlâ€™s room, with lots of white tones to brighten up the space. She spent much time slowly sourcing for the various elements that make this space so special, and her sense of class and simple charm is evident in her selection of the various items in the room. Of Underground by Blanca Gomez (framed poster): My husband and I lived in London for about five years before moving back to Singapore. We miss everything the city has to offer, and this poster just about sums up a typical day
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in London - it is almost always rainy and we often explore the nooks and crannies of London via the Underground. We hope to take Faith on a holiday to London one day, but for now, this poster will do to remind us of our lives back then. I love food styling and have amassed a fair bit of wooden props. The wooden textures give a nice, grown-up vibe to the room and are perfect platforms for everything else that we would like to show off, such as Faith's favourite teddy and her initial spray-painted in gold. We also love using hand-printed fabric from Fictive Fingers: Patterned fabrics are a great way to add layers to a room. The best thing is we can wash them and rotate the different ones we have as we wish! The striped Malid Trad lamp shade is from Ikea, and offer a cheap and chic way of adding more colour to the room. The chalkboard signage, we picked this up during a holiday in Perth, and thought it would
be a perfect easel for Faith when she starts doodling. For now, it remains an avenue for us to pen inspirational quotes and scribble daily reminders. And last but not least, one of my favourite pieces in the room is this Eamesinspired chair for children. We thought this makes a stylish, yet cute addition to the room. We plan to add a table to this, for when she is ready to sit at one!
Away from home Mummy: Eeleen Bub: Shannon, 14 months old
Home is a one-storey house in Pasadena, California, where the family is living for two years. The family has only been there for a couple of months, but Eeleen and her husband, Ian, have been hard at work setting up their home, especially the room for their daughter. Shannon means “wise little owl”, and so you can imagine
that OWLs feature quite prominently in the overall décor! Here’s a peek… Shannon's room was literally thrown together in a hurry because we moved into our empty apartment in the States 10 days
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before school commenced. Limited to our student budget and no-fixtures rental home, we created a cosy space with basic furniture and some colorful touches. The centre piece of the room is a basic white shelf, with some decorative cloth boxes that serve as drawers she can explore. She loves to sit in front of this
space and help herself to whatever interests her - it's the perfect height for her to reach for things! We used a sofa foot rest with some cushions as a nursing chair by the window, creating a bay window effect on a budget. My husband cleverly hung store-bought curtains on the blind rod so we could black out the room for longer sleep in the Californian summer! These pretty but classy wall decals (easily removable!) brightened the bare white walls and helped personalize the space. We love owls because Shannon means "God is gracious" and "wise little OWL". More decals are placed strategically for me to point at while changing her diaper, which makes for a good distraction during a fussy change.
For the boys Mummy: Dorothea Bub: David, 3 years old & Daryl, 14 months old
Managing two active, expressive and curious little boys is hard work! Thankfully, the boys enjoy spending time together in their room, which means the energy is ‘contained’ within those four walls for at least a couple of hours each day! Dorothea intentionally integrated all their favourite things into the room, so that there is always something to occupy them meaningfully. The boys love to read (didi flips picture books) and play with blocks, when they’re not joyfully screaming the house down, that is.
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Ever since we knew our number #2 was on the way, we decided to move our older boy, David, to his own room. That was when he was about 15 months old. Thankfully, he adjusted very quickly to his new 'big boy
bed' and surroundings! Over the months, we've been adding bits and bobs to his room, to make it more child-friendly and fun, especially when he’s now got his very own 24/7 playmate to wreak havoc with! This is the view when you enter the room - on a neat day. We put a mattress next to his bed in event of night-time tumbles. It's also handy when I'm playing with both boys in the room, as the mattress doubles up as a play mat for Daryl to roll around on! Pretty soon, we hope to move Daryl over to sleep here with his kor kor as well (he sleeps with my hubby and I), and he’ll likely be on the mattress for a couple of years before we transition them to a bunk bed. As you will see, most of the furniture in the room is from good old Ikea. The chest of drawers which serves as the boys’ wardrobe. Each boy has a drawer, and the bottom drawer holds bedding, towels, swim diapers and a few other odds and ends... Their bookshelf is pretty full at the moment. It fits snugly under the window. We love to read! Against the other wall in the room are their toys. Stuffed animals, mostly inherited from their dad and I, go into the mesh cylindrical containers on the floor. Duplo blocks take up one container on wheels, and the other is filled with anything transportrelated, including an aeroplane, several cars and a train. The cupboard holds David’s art materials, while the shelves above contain more toys! Last but not least, we have some precious items for the wall. The otter picture was beautifully illustrated by the clever Dawn Tan of handmade-love, the birdcage print is a gift from a good friend, and the colourful masterpiece was one of David’s first attempts at finger painting!
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make you stronger” rather than “The doctor is going to inject you with a needle”. Parents should also note the timing of the appointments – it would be best not to schedule an appointment for vaccination at a particular time in the day when their child is typically sleepy or cranky. At the clinic itself, a parent’s calming demeanor can also help their child to relax in a foreign environment. For children, ideally the clinic itself should look friendly and cheerful with bright colours and toys to distract and set the child at ease. The child should also be given time to warm up to the environment and to the doctor.
Tips From A Doc
Time For A Check Up Making The Clinic A Less Scary Place For Kids By Dr Kenneth Chua, Paediatrician, SBCC Baby and Child Clinc The doctor’s clinic is often the dreaded destination for children. The unfamiliar environment, the foreign faces and memories of terrifying experiences all add to the ‘fear factor’ of visiting the doctor. How often we hear parents telling their children, “Continue to misbehave and we will get the doctor to inject you”. This role of the boogie man or punisher of bad behaviour is what pediatrician’s try to shy away from as much as possible. So how should a visit to the clinic be made less frightful for the child?
Visit to the Doc
Parents play an important role. Parents can read books together about going to the doc-
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tor or even role play with doctor toy sets to get the child used to being examined by the doctor. For scheduled vaccinations, parents should think about the age of their child before deciding on when to tell the child about the upcoming vaccination. One or two days would be appropriate for the preschool age child. School-aged children can be told a week in advance. This should be done in a simple, honest way and with a calm demeanor. To the older child, parents can use ‘gentler’ words as opposed to ‘hard’ words as some words would sound scarier to the child. For example, parents can say “The doctor is going to give a medication in your arm to
Personally, I try to play and interact with the child in a way that is appropriate for his/her age. I have some brightly coloured toys, picture books, rattles and hanging toys that I use to distract the younger children while examining them. For the older ones, I try to engage them in cheerful conversation or I may also give them some toy cars or toy animals to play with. Often I end up playing with the child before doing anything else as this really helps to set the child at ease. It is also important for me to establish good rapport with the parents so that each visit is made to be as calm and friendly for the child as possible. All in, doctors should be viewed as trying to help the child stay healthy or fight off each infection that is making them feel unwell. Creating positive experiences at the clinic will make each visit to the doctor more like an excursion rather than something to be dreaded. Practice Address: SBCC Baby & Child Clinic Blk 805 Hougang Central #01-112 Singapore 560805 Tel: 6386 3688
ood For F K n i a
By Suzanne Khor, Dietician, The Child Development Centre
Top 10 Brain Boosters FOOD
Our brain needs nutrients to grow and develop. But what sort of food does it exactly need? Letâ€™s get brainy with the food below.
The essential omega-3 fatty acids - found in oily fish are high in DHA, a fatty acid crucial to the health of our nervous system. DHA is present in the nerve endings in our brain. Research has linked intake of fish to higher IQ and better vision.
Lean meat (beef/ pork)
Meat is rich in iron, an essential mineral that helps kids stay energized and concentrate at school. Lean meat is one of the best absorbed sources of iron. Zinc in meat may also aid memory.
Choline is found in egg yolk. It is a nutrient that is essential for brain development and may help in memory function.
Dairy foods are packed with protein, and B vitamins -- essential for growth of brain tissue, neurotransmitters, and enzymes. Yogurt also contains vitamin D and calcium.
Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA), which are important for good health. It also contains tryptophan, an amino acid which helps your body create serotonin, a feel good chemical.
Rich in anthocyanins, a phytochemical which may possibly help the brain make new neurons.
Corn is rich in thiamine, which is involved in enzymatic reactions central to energy production and is also critical for brain cell and cognitive function. This is because thiamin is needed for the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential for memory,
Broccolli is a cruciferous vegetable, along with cauliflower and cabbage. This family of vegetables are found to be rich in anti oxidants which have been linked to better memory and reasoning.
Rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps to keep the brain cells healthy and has been linked to better memory and reasoning.
Wholegrains e.g. wholegrain bread
Rich in B vitamins, which nourish a healthy nervous system. Choose a bread enriched with iron, which is essential for formation of haemoglobin. The fibre in wholegrains helps regulate the release of glucose into the body.
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My Child’s Pearlie Whites Are Turning Black! Tooth Decay In Children
While baby teeth are only temporary, cavities can cause pain. Baby teeth are also vital for mouth movements such as speaking and chewing. Here are some ways how parents can prevent tooth decay before junior starts complaining about that toothache. By Dr Chin Shou King, Dental Surgeon & Director, T32 Junior (Kid's Dentistry) Q: My 21 month old son has a white patch on his tongue from breastfeeding and his two front teeth are starting to decay. How can I prevent his teeth from further decay? Is there a way to fix the decay? Once decay starts on a tooth, it will continue
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to spread until the decay is removed and a filling is placed on the tooth. Certain chemicals like topical fluoride or Recaldent can help to slow down the rate of decay. To prevent further teeth from decaying, you should brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day and wipe the surfaces of his teeth with a soft damp cloth
after nursing. You should consult your family dentist to formulate a treatment plan on how to manage the cavities. Do not breast feed your child beyond 24 months and stop bottle feeding after 18 months. Q: My girl is 6 years old but her baby tooth is still not shaky and there are signs of decay. What is the estimated age for new adult teeth to start growing? The front teeth will start falling out at 6 years old and this will continue all the way until to the back teeth at about 12 to 13 years old. Thus it is important to maintain a healthy set of primary teeth free of decay as premature loss due to decay can lead to a host of problems such as inability to consume solid food, impairment of speech development and poor positioning of the succeeding adult teeth as the primary teeth hold the spaces for them. Q: Will untreated decayed teeth affect a person's overall health? Yes untreated decayed teeth do affect a person’s overall health. As mentioned before, losing teeth early leads to problems such as inability to consume solid foods, which in turn leads to poor nutrition. Untreated tooth decay also causes pain and sensitivity which can affect a person’s emotional state too. Q: Should pre-schoolers have their teeth flossed? Is it fine to floss after brushing or must flossing come first? The molars in a pre-schooler are usually close together and this is a potential food trap, so parents should floss their children’s teeth. Some children’s front teeth are also close together, touching each other so those need to be flossed daily as well. It is ideal to floss your and your children’s teeth once a day, before brushing.
: My child seems to daydream all the time when she is doing her work. Just to answer a few questions, she will take one hour. How can I help her to stay focused?
By Fiona Walker, Principal Of Schools and CEO of Julia Gabriel Education
Ensuring children remain focused during certain activities, such as homework, is worrying for many parents. In fact, it can be very frustrating and stressful but it’s important to recognise that daydreaming is part of your daughter’s nature, part of who she is - and no doubt causes more anxiety for you than it does for her! The positive news is that when she does drift off, she may actually be thinking about many different things at once, even creating or inventing in her own mind. Scientific research indicates that this kind of brain activity, known as ‘working memory’, allows individuals to retain and recall information, despite distractions. We tend to assume that the daydreaming child has switched off, when it’s actually quite the opposite. While understandably you don’t want your child’s daydreaming to go on for too long when a homework deadline is looming, try not to see her daydreaming as something negative. Another possibility is that your daughter simply feels bored. Does she daydream at school too? When
Children can be easily side-tracked by siblings, outdoor noise and an array of high tech gadgets, so it’s important to manage misleading distractions from the start.
children do not feel stimulated enough or intellectually challenged, they lack the motivation to get involved or complete tasks. Discuss your daughter’s approach to work with her teacher at school and keep them aware of your concerns. Work together with them on a solution that compliments her learning style. Your daughter however needs to understand that she has a responsibility to complete her work, as we all have to, and there are a number of steps you can take at home to help her to focus better on the task at hand.
Set her up for success Children can be easily side-tracked by siblings, outdoor noise and an array of high tech gadgets, so it’s important to manage misleading distractions from the start. Ensure that unnecessary gadgets or games are out of reach or out of sight for a given period and ensure that other family members do not disturb her. It may be that your daughter needs shorter periods for doing homework. If she is challenged to complete a question in less time, this may suit her better.
Create the right environment Create a homework environment such as allowing fresh air and natural light to keep your child healthily stimulated and that is conducive for her to concentrate. Research has proven that even very young children concentrate better when listening to classical music, so a little Mozart or Beethoven in the background may help!
Establish a routine If your child knows that she has to study or complete a task at a certain time of the day e.g. before dinner or before visiting friends, she will acquire the habit of doing so more easily. At the same time, set specific goals for her to focus on, such as completing her writing practice within the hour as neatly as possible. This gives her a time limit and a standard to feel good about once she has achieved it. Ensure that your expectations for her are realistic. If a child is tired or upset, their concentration and desire to do homework will be affected. Don’t force it. Allow her some time out and revisit the task later.
Encourage and praise Everyone benefits from positive reinforcement, so remember to praise
every effort your daughter makes. Avoid any form of punishment if she does not conform to your expectations, this will only demotivate her more. Let her know how proud you are of her progress no matter how small! You may need to create a reward system that encourages your daughter to complete tasks within a certain time and that increases her selfesteem too. Ensure the reward is something that she has to work towards rather than a quick-fix bribe. Create a star chart with your daughter, establishing ground rules and setting goals together. Help your child to feel in control of her own achievements. Choose rewards that give her an incentive to do something well and on time and which gives her something to look forward to. This could be a family outing to a theme park, movie night or play date with a friend.
Be a role model One of the best ways to encourage your daughter to focus on her work is to let her see you doing the same. Schedule your own ‘homework’ (whatever it may be) at the same time as her routine. Let her see you concentrate and complete a task with no disturbances before you move on to something else. Helping your day dreaming child to focus better on homework requires a great deal of patience and understanding. However, if you can establish and persevere with the above practices, the effort on both your parts will be worth it.
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Talking To Kids About
Sex And Porn 20
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Nothing makes parents more squeamish than thinking about talking to their kids about sex. Truth is, we never know when our children may ask us that question. How will you reply them when that day comes? We can start by slowing introducing and talking to their children about the different body parts, including the female and male genitals, using the proper terms.
By Tammy M. Fontana, Lead Therapist, All in The Family Counselling
ow imagine you need to talk to your kids about porn. With the arrival of smart phones, porn can be accessible within the palms of your child’s hand. Whether we like it or not, our kids are going to encounter or hear the word one way or another, intentionally or unintentionally. It is not ideal that kids watch or consume porn, but if they happen to, they would need adult guidance. Clearly, you don’t want the first conversation you have with your kid about sex to be about porn. Therefore, talk to your kid about sex NOW. With young children, sex talks involve identifying their body parts by their correct anatomical name. Reading books about the human body can also help to get the conversations going. These are body parts that all humans have, and there is a reason behind each body part. It
may be very awkward at the beginning. But the more experience you and child have, the easier it will be to talk about it. As a family counselling therapist, I have many parents calling me with their concerns, who seek for my advice when they realize their child has been surfing pornography online. Working pre-emptively about porn is a parent’s best strategy. You want your child coming to you to learn more about sex, and preferably not
through friends, the internet or pornography. Dr. Marty Klein, a Sex Therapist and Marriage counsellor from the US sheds some light about pornography. Parents can educate their children about the points below when they are old enough to understand. It is not real. Porn is a group of professional actors and actresses who follow a written script and play characters, just like in other movies. Porn is like a video game, designed to entertain. It is not a documentary. It has a lot of editing and it is designed to thrill. Porn does not portray sex the way it really is. It leaves out a lot of what most people like about sex— the emotional aspects such as laughing, talking, and feeling close. Instead, porn is mostly physical, and show bodies rubbing against bodies, which is sex without feelings. Porn features unusual bodies doing unusual things. Your body doesn’t, and probably will never look like the bodies in porn. If you need additional help or guidance for your child, going to your health counsellor or psychologist will be a great place to get accurate information and advice.
Children Around The World By Yvonne Chee Photos by Michelle Ang
“You better finish your food! People in other countries don’t even have enough to eat and you are complaining about your food!” My mom will always say that whenever I took a long time to finish my food. My eyes will always roll at that statement because I really didn't like the food!
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For the past 30 years of my life, I have never needed to worry about food and lodging. My mom has always provided for us and made sure that we will always have enough. We will always have enough to eat, sometimes the best food, a nice comfortable bed and aircon to sleep in. Even though my sisters and I grew up in a single parent family, we had plenty of pretty clothes to wear, toys to play and school to attend. We even had the privilege to attend enrichment classes at the community centre that was near our home. When I became an adult, I had the freedom to decide what
children's day special
I want to believe in, and what I want to do when I graduate from school. All in all, we never really had to worry much about our basic needs and had the freedom to decide on our values and beliefs. Depending on the country in which a child resides, he or she will enjoy different levels of rights and conditions of life. Not every child will get to enjoy the same privileges like what my sisters and I have gone through. There are many regions and countries that face great disparities in the issues they struggle with, and whether they are political, economic, social, cultural, ethnic or religious issues, these can have a different impact on the children living in the country.
Poverty and living conditions Children living in countries like ours, though more prosperous and developed, are not excused from facing issues such as poverty or even child labor. We can easily find families within Singapore who struggle with poverty and challenges in providing and raising their children. Many of these children are at risk of becoming victims to family abuse due to the constant financial stress and frustrations within the family. Some may even be coerced into working at a young age so that they can bring in some income for the family. In comparison to children who live in developing countries such as Africa or the poorer states of India, these children living in the developing countries will have it tougher. Many of them do not have sufficient finances to buy staple food and water, no roof over their heads and are forced to live in slums where sanitation is poor. Many die silently due to poverty as their parents struggle to
bring in finances to sustain their household. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. Around 27-28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted. The two regions that account for the bulk of the deficit are South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. 1 Unlike the children in Singapore, going to school will be a privilege for those who can attend one in the developing countries. Many have lack of access to education due to poverty or the location of their homes to school or gender discrimination. In many countries such as India, Turkey or Yemen, the attendance of females in schools is generally lesser than the males. It is generally believed that females are often discouraged from attending school especially in less developed countries for religious and cultural reasons. 2 1
Although the countries may face great disparities or degrees in the issues they struggle with, the issues will have a significant impact on the children living in the country.
Child Labour and Prostitution Some countries face severe poverty and it is not an unusual sight for them to see children as young as 10 years old working on the farms or factories. Some of the families had to do so, so that they can bring in extra income to support their impoverished families. An estimated 211 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are working around the world, according to the International Labour Organization. 3 Of these, almost half of the proportions are working full time to help support their poor families. In fact, we see a lot more child bonded labourers in the other poorer states and coun-
Shah, 2013. “Poverty Facts and Stats”, http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
hah, 2013. “Poverty Facts and Stats”, http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverS ty-facts-and-stats
J amie Frater, 2009, http://listverse.com/2009/07/06/top-10-terrible-issues-facingchildren-worldwide/
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children's day special
tries, where children are coerced to work as they are sold as payment or to clear a debt. Some children are kidnapped to work in brothels as child prostitutes. Or some are sold away to be married at a young age.
Violence through indoctrination While our children can have the luxury of dreaming and deciding about their future, many children such as the ones living in the Palestine or Afghanistan do not. These children are brought up in environments where they are constantly exposed to hostility and aggression among the adults. Many of them such as the ones living in the mentioned states are indoctrinated to display violence and to be used for military purposes. Some are also brought up to go through intensive political and armed training, where they are taught to fight and engage in violence with the use of military weapons and guns. 4
Setting the right perspectives It is interesting how news and statistics on the state of the children around the world can realign our perspectives in life. Many times I can be so caught up with life and the worries of the world that I forgot there are people who are less fortunate than us. News reports on the conditions of children in the other parts of the world (such as the recent ones on how the children have to be forced to eat their meals in the toilets such as the primary school 4
Jamie Frater, 2009, http://listverse. com/2009/07/06/top-10-terribleissues-facing-children-worldwide/
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in Sungai Buloh, Malaysia and the death of 23 children due to poisoned free school lunches in India due to poverty ), have always given me life wake up calls. While it is good for parents like me
to be focused on providing the best for our children, it is also critical for me to remember to not be overtly absorbed with providing them with the tangible things on earth. It is of better value to educate
Congratulations to the Finalists of the
Nur Nyla Ethan Qamelia Alexander Mclean
2nd: Kayla Aw
Come Fly with Me By Poppletots Duration: 45 minutes – 1 hour Age: 3 years old and above
Step 1: Bend the metal hook backwards � Bend the metal hook of the wooden peg backwards. The hook enables you to hang the completed airplane up and to give it a flying illusion.
Introduction An affordable craft gift idea for children to make for their love ones for different occasions. This can be used as a paper clip for notes and photos or magnets. Purpose: Creativity and imagination Parent and child bonding session Improves fine motor skills Materials Needed: Wooden clothe pegs (with or without hooks) Wooden ice cream sticks Plastic gems Glitter glue UHU glue Stickers Felt pieces Marker pen Scissor
Step 2: Preparing the tail of the airplane � Get your child to identify the colour of the ice cream stick in which he/she would want to represent it as the tail of the airplane. � Use a pair of scissor and cut the ice cream stick into half. Parents please assist in the cutting of the ice cream stick.
Step 3: Attaching the tail of the airplane � Apply glue onto the back of the wooden peg. � Paste ½ of the ice stick onto the top of the wooden peg. � Apply glue onto the bottom of the wooden peg. � Paste the other ½ of the ice cream stick onto the bottom of the wooden peg.
Step 4: Creating the wings of the airplane
Step 5: Creating the airplane propeller
� Apply glue to the front of the wooden peg. Refer to
� Cut a small piece of felt into an oblong
picture � Paste 1 ice cream stick onto the top portion of the wooden peg. � Flip the wooden peg to the other side and apply glue to the back of the wooden peg. Refer to picture � Paste the other ice cream stick onto the bottom portion of the wooden peg.
shape. � Apply glue to the center portion of the felt. � Paste the plastic gem onto the center of the felt.
Step 6: Attaching the propeller to the airplane
Step 7: Decorating the airplane
� Apply glue to the back of the felt piece. � Paste the felt piece to the front of the wooden peg but
� With the glitter glue, marker pen and
avoid sticking onto the bottom of the opening.
stickers, allow the child to decorate his/her airplane. � Complete your airplane with a little note or Polaroid photo clipped onto it.
About Poppletots: Poppletots was started in 2010 by a mom who left her job to be spend more time with her child. Poppletots aims to provide unique, fun and useful children related products such as educational kits and apparels. Within 2 years, Poppletots has become a fun-going cosy community for reviews and parents to exchange ideas. Find out more about Poppletots at www.facebook.com/poppletots
spatial awareness and enhanced abilities in recognizing pictures and words. Music stimulates a child’s left-brain abilities such as sound discrimination, timing, numeric skills and expressive language. Here’s how music develops the brain and the types of music you should expose your child to.
Music and Reading
By Selene Diong, Principal Instructor at Gymnademics The parents and staff of Gymnademics often beam with pride whenever we hear the children singing lines to the songs they have learned in class. Beyond the joy of hearing them croon, music stimulates a child’s right brain as they attempt to recognize the melody, understand language and rhythm. This helps them to develop
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Watch your child as they sing “the wheels of the bus” or “five little monkeys” in sequence. Were they able to identify the beginning, middle and end of a melody and a musical phrase? As they do so successfully, it marks the development of their ability to store sound sequence and analyse complex sounds, which are essential skills for reading. A research conducted by the University of London has shown that children who are able to recall tones started reading earlier. So as you decide on the types of songs to introduce to your child, consider some songs that require the use of their sequencing abilities.
Music and Speech
Have you heard your child sing the song “ABC”? Ever noticed that many of them often have problems singing the portion M-N-O-P? Many times, we speak too fast for a child to decode the sounds of
speech. If a child fails to perceive the full length of a word and the vowel sounds that lie between the consonants, they may end up pronouncing or spelling the word wrongly. A word such as refrigerator may be spelled or pronounced as “regerator”. Singing some songs has the effect of slowing down the sounds of speech that may help your child identify the syllable in each word. “Bingo” or “Apples and Banana” are examples of songs that you may want to introduce to your child. Singing such songs gives your child time to decode the sounds of speech. You can also print the lyrics on paper with large fonts to help them identify the syllable and words they are singing.
Music and Rote learning
Using music to memorize important tables such as the alphabet, days of the week, months of the year and multiplication tables is also beneficial to the preschoolers. This is a time where the right hemisphere of the brain is slightly ahead of the left in development. While it is near impossible for them to grasp difficult mathematical concepts, they are most receptive to rote learning at this time. Using music to enhance their abilities to memorize these tables makes it easy and fun! Moreover, singing also enhances one’s short-term memory as it is often done from memory and practiced by repetition. Music is an effective medium to help develop a young child’s brain and it is one that we use heavily in our centre to learn and play with our little ones. But beyond cognitive developments, singing is a great way for parents to bond with your children. So start today, and sing along with your little ones!
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The Late Talker By Yu Wanling, Speech Therapist, Childrenâ€™s Therapy Centre
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Listening out for the child’s first word is what every single parent will do, and they can typically expect this important milestone by their child’s first birthday. Hearing their child utter the first word can be an exciting and emotional moment. On the contrary, if the much anticipated first word is late, it can create anxiety and unease among parents. A common phrase parents come across when looking for an explanation for a child’s delayed development is “Different children develop at their own pace”. Hence, parents may adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach. Others may suggest that they seek help immediately “just in case”. In this age where information is readily available at our fingertips, simply type in a search for ‘late talker’, plenty of information from professionals and parents would be generated. Furthermore, parents will have to manage information from their family members and friends who share stories and experiences. Given the influx of mixed messages and advice from various sources, it can be very difficult for parents to come to a decision on the next course of action. So, how can parents determine if “late talkers” truly need the extra help?
Who Is A “Late Talker”? A “Late Talker” refers to a toddler (aged between 18-30 months) who has a limited spoken vocabulary for his or her age. The late talking child’s difficulty lies specifically in his or her expressive language. In other words, the child has difficulty with spoken language. However, the child demonstrates good receptive
language- that is, he or she is able to understand what you are saying and follow simple commands. The late talker also has typically developing play skills, motor skills, and social skills. Do note that in this case, we are not referring to children with developmental or physical delays such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, or children with a specific difficulty with both producing and understanding language, known as “language delay or disorder."
What Are Typically Developing Toddlers Saying? Indeed, children develop at their own pace to a certain extent. However, it is important that their progress is steady and that they reach certain language milestones within accepted time frames. In the first few years of life, children’s spoken language typically progresses according to the following stages: By 9 months, children can use lots of different sounds when babbling (e.g. ba, ga, da) By 12 months, children begin to imitate sounds and say their first recognisable words (e.g. mama, bye)
By 18 months, they can use adultlike intonation and at least 20 words, including different types of words, such as nouns (car, baby) , verbs ( eat, go) , adjectives (big, hot) By 24 months, children have about 50 -100 words and combine 2 words together. These word combinations are spontaneously produced by the them (e.g. “car go”, “bubbles there”, “big ball” ) They can refer to themselves by name and say “no”. By 36 months, children are able to use 2 to 3-word sentences. They are able to use some prepositions (e.g. in, on), personal pronouns (e.g. you, me) as well as ask simple questions (e.g. “Where is mummy?)
What Are Some Risk Factors? As late talkers are progressing well in other areas of development, parents may assume that they will catch up on their own. Research has shown that 70-80% of late talking toddlers will outgrow a language delay if it is an expressive delay only- meaning the delay involves only spoken language. The toddlers exhibit no delays in their understanding and/or social use of language. Whilst this figure may appear to be promising, it is prudent to consider the flip side of the coin: 20-30% of late talkers do not outgrow the delay and will continue to lag behind their peers. It can be difficult to predict which children will not outgrow their language delay. Olswang, Rodriguez and Timler identified a list of risk factors, which suggest that children who exhibit certain characteristics are more likely to have continuing language difficulties. These characteristics include a child who;
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Was quiet as an infant and used little babbling; Uses limited number of consonant sounds (eg. p, b, m, t, d, n etc.) Does not imitate words Uses mostly nouns (names of people, places, things), and few verbs (action words) Does not link pretend ideas and actions together while playing Has difficulty playing with peers (social skills) Has a history of ear infections Uses few gestures to communicate Has a family history of communication delay, learning or academic difficulties Exhibits a mild comprehension (or understanding) delay for his or her age Ellis and Tha in their research indicated that children who demonstrate the final three risk factors listed above (use few gestures, positive family history, comprehension delay) are at higher risk of ongoing language difficulties.
Why Is Intervention Important? Late-talking children may have lingering language-related problems and develop learning difficulties in school. Some studies are showing that this group of children do not perform as well as their peers in certain areas such as language complexity, grammatical development, reading and spelling and social interaction with other children. We do know that oral language and vocabulary are the foundation for all academic areas, including reading, writing, and math. Hence, it is crucial that the necessary intervention is
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put in place in order to support this foundation on which future learning will be based.
What Can You Do If Your Child is at Risk? If your toddler has a limited vocabulary for his age, and any of the above risk factors, consider seeking help from professionals. We know that the earlier we start to help children, the better their outcomes. You can consult your paediatrician or have your child assessed by a speech-language therapist. If a hearing problem is suspected, an evaluation by an audiologist is warranted. Meanwhile, parents can support their child’s language learning by providing a language rich environment. You can:
Talk to your baby and young child throughout the day, across different activities (e.g. during bath time, while changing diapers, and during meals) Comment and talk about what you are doing ("Look, I'm opening the box", “Push the yellow car”) Give your child specific word(s). Avoid using words that are general: “Take this one”, “Do like that”, “put over there”. Instead, you can say “Take the blue ball”, “swing the bat”, put it on the table”. Use the same word for the same thing each time Use a variety of words such as objects (book, car), action words (jump, run) , describing words (wet, big) , social words (hello, bye) , location words (up, on, in) , feeling words (happy, sad) when talking to your child
REGISTRA NOW OPEN TION FOR Y 2014 INTA EAR KE!
g n i k a Spe h s i l g n Si t a h T y l l a e R s I ? * h e M Bad We have all spoken, used it or even tagged ourselves to it- Singlish, Singaporeâ€™s very own colloquial English. *meh is a Singlish term used at the end of a question. Normally used as an exclamation at the end of a question to express oneâ€™s surprise or disbelief.
By Esther Lim, Founder and CEO of LEAP Schoolhouse
t’s a means for us to connect and communicate, make meaning when the ‘conventional’ means of using ‘standard English’ is not quite accurate (I mean, how do you tell someone that the nasi lemak is ‘lemak’ and well worth the 3-hour wait?). Yet, there is a level of distinction that sets Singlish to be a less than perfect language to be associated with especially as a language for communication on a formal platform. Here’s my little take on the above already confusing issue.
What Is Language? Personally, I feel that language must first be acknowledged that is a medium for communicating our ideas and thoughts. If people can understand it, then it is good no matter what matter whether it’s Singlish or not. That said, all languages have their distinct nuances and for Singlish it is the peppering of our communication with ‘nongrammatically correct’ sentences, lehs, lahs and arbitrary self-made pronunciations. Hence to draw the line and make the littlies understand what is English and what is not is no rocket science. Point directly to the nuances. What is equally important to highlight is that the context of use as well as who we are using the language with is just as important as the form of use of the language. For example; if I were to meet the president of the United States in my living room, I will still greet him formally as ‘Good day to you, Mr. President’ versus ‘Hey yah! It’s very hot hor!’ Even IF he were my best friend, we don’t say things like that.
So Is Singlish A Good Form Of Language To Pick Up? I feel it is not whether it is good or bad. It is a language we cannot avoid picking up and knowing because fundamentally language is a culturally fixated entity. It is a means of which we can culturally identify ourselves to others and with each other. The issue as pointed out by an article I read by Chng Huang Hoon (National University of Singapore) could possibly be that Singlish lacks is ‘international intelligibility”. Whilst there are many arguments on whether Singlish is boon or bane, fundamentally there is this need to still let our little ones know the distinction of when ‘English’ is ‘Singlish’. As parents, how can we convey that message to them in a comprehensible manner that can be accepted by our kids? Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist,
Be good role models As parents, set a good example. Learn to speak with the right tone, choices of words and content to be used. Kids pick up the easiest of things through modeling. Speak to them in the proper language tone and they will respond accordingly.
Correct and explain why Research shows that a child typically needs to have a mistake corrected at least 20 times before he/she can internalize a concept. Don’t instill punishment as a means to correct the use of a language. I know it is hard and will test one’s patience to the extreme but it does take time to undo a learning behavior and that includes language use.
Let them hear what they are saying It sounds strange but it is true that recep-
Don’t instill punishment as a means to correct the use of a language. logician, historian, political critic, and activist. He once mentioned, “Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation.” So let’s tackle this from the following angles when we are talking to our kids on language use.
tiveness to change becomes greater when one purposefully makes the effort to dive deep into the issue at hand. With language, listening and speaking works hand in glove. You will speak as how you received the information. Be purposeful in listening to the language use out there with your child and clarify their doubts on what’s the proper way to use the language in the given context. Have fun unraveling!
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Are You A
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for the parent
What is the Type-A Parent? A new generation of well-educated and informed parents is emerging, armed with the ambition to do everything on schedule or even before schedule for/with their child. The Type-A parents are high achieving, competitive and well-read on various parenting topics. Along with this comes the need to do everything according to the book and the ambition to be a perfect parent raising a successful kid. It is easy to be a Type-A parent considering the amount of resources available now. There are books for training your child to be on a fixed schedule, sleep training, potty training. Milk formulas focus on brain and IQ development, baby toys are marketed with making babies more intelligent. There are programs out there to condition the brain of young babies. Even DVDs and apps exist to make baby the junior Einstein. Secondly, our society does feed on the rise of Type-A parents. This is a systemic issue which is unfortunate. Preschool enrolment queues, balloting for that coveted primary school, extra tuition to make that A- to A+,
Are you upset if your baby does not follow specifically to a schedule? Become very concerned if your fellow mummy’s toddler reached a milestone before yours? Are you constantly thinking of ways to stimulate your child towards success? By Som Yew Ya
anything to give the child that competitive advantage over the rest. Average is never enough, not if you want to be successful. So what’s the good and bad of being a Type-A Parent?
Discern better choices Being well-informed and knowledgeable is well and good as it helps us make better informed choices. Planning ahead Parents put in great effort with good intentions for their kids to have a bright future. Enrichment, brain foods, toys, best preschools and multipronged programs sure help to aid in that direction in some way.
Over-regimentation The cons come when one follows books and schedules to a tee. There are so many legitimate educational resources out there written by professionals teaching parents how to discipline their child, how to wean, what to expect at different stages, how to sleep etc. For the well read followers of these gurus, sometimes it can be baffling and even disheartening when things don’t work according to plan. Some methods do not work or those that work make your child uncomfortable. There must be something that must be done wrong you think. Scheduling is good, but not over-organization. There is a need to distinguish what is a good guide and what is a necessary rule. Child overload Surrounded by a wide pool of resources, parents face no lack in en-
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gaging their children. Flashcards, media, books, tables, puzzles and classes abound for different age stages. Toddlers enrolled in two enrichment programs are not something new. Even young kids may have quite a schedule going at home – otherwise the time would be wasted, won’t it? While the desire to educate and spur the young ones to greater levels of learning is well-intentioned, there is a danger of overloading the child. According to a recent source, studies suggest that when kids have freedom to play, their innate curiosity results in greater discovery. With direct instruction, this creative process is hampered. Route training becomes the norm and children get used to following instead of thinking. It is recommended to leave a section of the
child’s day unscheduled. Play does not have to be productive. Play is a means of developing self-regulation and cultivates language, cognition and social competence through exploration. Over Ambitious It is important to match what is suitable to not just the age but also the stage of development of your child. Development and learning advance when children face challenges. However, if the task is beyond the child’s capacity, it creates frustration and is ineffective. Learning progresses in stages and the experience matters. Early experiences impact profoundly how the child develops and learns in the future. Try to create positive learning experiences by assessing the readiness of your child for the learning tasks allocated.
The Verdict It is easy to get overly focused with training your child to get a desired outcome or wanting your child to be successful so that he or she has that edge over his or her peers. Give yourself and your child some grace if things don’t work out accordingly to plan or expectations, after all every child is unique. Sometimes it is important to let go and let the child learn his or her own ways. When all is said and done, the tools and classes are extras, ultimately they learn most from their parents through relationship and role modelling. In the quest to spur the young ones towards success, we may well be messing up the very core of parenting we are working hard on – which is nurturing good children and watching them grow.
example, sitting on your sofa in the living room. Or holding a prop, like the family cat or a signboard with his age. Or lounging against a favourite wall. Don’t just ask him to ‘stand there’ – get him to think of a fun pose or facial expression to make! Just make sure he’s prepared to do this for many more years to come… #3 Give a gift
By Dorothea Chow
Year By Year
Fun Birthday Traditions
irthdays come and birthdays go. The years fly by in the twinkling of an eye when you have little ones to care for. And with all the hassle and organizing that is part and parcel of organizing a birthday do for your tiny tot(s), it’s often difficult for us parents to stop, take a breath, and just enjoy the moment, before it flashes us by… Here are four meaningful and fun ways to find that breather for yourselves and your child. Make them a tradition for your family, to be repeated every time his birthday comes around, and you’ll be surprised how precious these times become many years down the road when you look back.
#1 Breakfast surprise Surprise your child with breakfast in bed. Tie a helium balloon to the side of his bed, so he sees it when he wakes up. (You can even decorate his room while he sleeps if you’ve got the time and energy for that.) Prepare a tray with some of his favourite foods – pancakes, waffles, toast with peanut butter or a bowl of fruit loops and milk perhaps – and “deliver” it to him in bed. Don’t forget to add a nice wake-me-up smoothie, juice or glass of ice cold milk! #2 Snap! Take a photo of your child every year in the same place, in the same position. For
Your child will probably receive many presents each year, but life isn’t just about getting – it’s about giving! Find out and discuss with your child ways in which he can give back to society, as a birthday gesture of goodwill. It not only blesses others, but it also teaches your child to appreciate and value the things that he does have, and encourages him to step out of his comfort zone, sometimes sacrificially, to help someone else who is in need. For more ideas, go to www.give.sg. #4 Bake a cake together These days, fondant cakes are all the rage. And many of them are definitely exquisite, delicious and easy fodder for picture frenzies. Yet, there’s still something extra special about a homemade birthday cake. It might not look as presentable or taste as grand, but it bears testament to a mother’s love. So why not try it for yourself? You can easily find a recipe online from any number of baking blogs or websites. Or scour through your recipe books to find something that would work. Involve your child in the whole process – from selecting the cake to purchasing the ingredients, preparing the mixture, and decorating the finished cake! Prepare for a load of mess, but also, a lot of fun! And, most importantly, a precious memory for safekeeping.
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Personal Accident Planning For Children And Adults By Winston Tan, Chartered Financial Consultant
n accident may occur anytime, anywhere and without any warning. MOH statistics have consistently shown that Accident, Food Poisoning and Violence is the most common cause of hospitalisation, ranging be-
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tween 9% - 9.5% of all hospitalisation cases between years of 2009 to 2011, ahead of Cancer, Ischaemic Heart Disease and Pneumonia. http://www.moh.gov.sg/content/ moh_web/home/statistics/Health_ Facts_Singapore/Top_10_Condi-
tions_of_Hospitalisation.html Some of my clients have told me, “Winston, I am a very careful person, I will not get into any accidents.” In which I will always tell them, “I am not afraid that you will get into an accident, I am more worried about other people causing an accident that involves you.” This same rule applies to our young children. Being young, carefree and raring to explore the world, children do not know the exact boundaries that we adults observe, and may unknowingly put themselves in harm’s way. Harm may come in their way without them or the parents knowing. This is why
insurance is still around after centuries, to cover any unforeseen circumstances. And that is why I cannot emphasise more the importance of Personal Accident plans for young children and adults.
Definition of an Accident In a Personal Accident plan, an accident is defined as: “An event or occurrence which is unintended, sudden, fortuitous and unforeseen.” Personal accident plans have reimbursement benefits (like Hospitalisation & Surgical Insurance plans, a.k.a. Health Insurance, Shield plans), which means the insured have to pay for their treatments and claim from the insurer with the original receipts from the treatments, lump sum benefits and cash benefits.
Scope of Coverage Coverage for a Personal Accident plan typically covers the following important sections. Death due to an Accident (Lump Sum Benefit) Permanent Disablement due to an Accident (Lump Sum Benefit) Is an injury to a person’s body that is permanent and lasts a continuous duration of 12 months and is beyond any hope of improvement or recovery. Most of our major physical body parts are covered under this section, i.e. Toes, Fingers and Eyes. Loss of speech and hearing, and 3rd degree burns are
also covered under this section. Temporary Total and Partial Disablement (Cash Benefit) This benefit pays a weekly income for a temporary physical injury that prevents them from engaging in their business or occupation (aka Long Medical Certificate). This benefit typically pays up to 104 weeks, depending on the insurer. Medical Expenses (Reimbursement Benefit) This benefit will reimburse a person for the medical expense they have paid for the treatment of their injury. Increasingly, insurers in Singapore are improving their coverage to include “infectious diseases” e.g. Avian Flu, Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever, Hand Foot Mouth Disease, Malaria, SARS. This benefit is typically for outpatient treatments that need not warrant a hospital visit. As costs of treatment for hospitalisation should be claimed from their personal Health Insurance first. Traditional Chinese Physician & Chiropractor Expenses (Reimbursement Benefit) This benefit reimburses medical expenses incurred from Traditional Chinese Physician & Chiropractor due to an accident. Do note that the Chinese physicians and Chiropractors need to be licensed in Singapore.
Recommendations Typically, I advise my clients to take up between S$100,000 to S$200,000 worth of Personal Accident coverage.
Note that each individual is different, the best would be to consult your Financial Consultant on how much Personal Accident coverage you require. Do note that there are Personal Accident plans for families, take advantage of this as it offers a cheaper premium when bought as a family, compared to buying individually. Last point to note is Hospitalisation and Surgical insurance do not cover outpatient treatments, e.g. seeing a General Practitioners for an accident. Hence, Personal Accident plans still do have a place in our Financial Planning needs. Have any ideas to share or need further clarity on Education Planning? Please do share your thoughts, ideas and questions on The New Age Parents Forum or you could simply drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Overcoming The Red-Eyed Monster In You By Dr Martha Lee, Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching
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There is a saying, “A hungry person is an angry person”. You probably haven’t had a moment’s peace to yourself since your baby arrived. You feel like a human cow. You feel ugly, tired and grumpy all the time now. When everything happens at once, and poop hits the fence, indeed it can seem that the red-eyed monster is unleashed! Just what can you do about it? I would like to recommend some tips relating to anger you might like to consider: Wa k e u p You could be unleashing your anger and frustration on those around you because you feel overwhelmed by all that is going on around you. This might actually get you what you want - immediate attention and help. Unfortunately those around you always tend to be your close ones including your hubby. Like a double-edged sword, this can kill all goodwill, compassion and empathy, not to mention, the passion in your primary relationship! First of all, notice what happens when you complain, or shout and their corresponding reaction. D o n ’ t wa i t f o r t h e build-up If you have always had difficulties asking for what you want including support out of fear of imposing on others, this is probably a good time to break out of that habit. Instead of waiting for negative feelings to build up, often all you need to do is
ask. However this might not occur to somebody who already has issues with assertiveness and would only ask for help when there is a big enough force to propel action – think volcano eruption. Break that habit by asking the moment the idea for help comes to your mind – this way the urgency and tone would already be more toned down. Pr act ice a sk i ng When you practice asking for support with small things that of little consequence, you are not invested and therefore, not emotional about if you do not get what you want. The practice is asking is that… a practice. You ask first so that your ability to ask for as well as receive because more habitual and comfortable for you. When you can successfully verbalise your needs, wants and later desires, it will further your confidence when you do get what you ask for, making it easier to ask again – and for bigger, more important things. Be i n t h e now There is no perfect in life. When we were dating, we began to desire
marriage. And once we were wedded, to start our own family by having kids. And perhaps on the onset of your first baby did the irreversibility of the years ahead as parents truly sink in. Even when their baby in their arms, I would hear parents lament about how they wish their child could grow up quickly and they could have their freedom back. My issue with all this is: your now will never come back. Rather than living in the future and what could be, would be, might be, how about being grateful and being in the here and now – because it will all pass in a blink of eye – and you might well be wishing you had lived your past more fully? Exercise patience I know of women who remain angry and upset with themselves and the changes in their body, despite the continued reassurance of their spouse. While probably easier said than done, this whole process of motherhood can be viewed as your time to surrender in just being, being connected with your baby, and being patient with your body. Meditation might be one way you can stretch your ability to stay in the moment, and just accept instead of remaining in struggle and strive. I hope these five tips will help you manage the red-eyed monster and be on your way to practising mindfulness and living more in the moment. All my best wishes. Want more tips and resources? Subscribe to www.ErosCoaching.com
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Editor: Michelle Ang Experts: SBCC Baby & Child Clinic, The Child Development Centre, T32 Junior Dental Centre, The Childrenâ€™s Therapy Centre, Gymnademics, LEAP SchoolHouse, Julia Gabriel Centre, All In The Family Counselling, Eros Coaching & Winston Tan Regular Contributors: Dorothea Chow, Yvonne Chee & Som Yew Ya Contributors: Poppletots
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The New Age Parents