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OCT/VOV

2015

www.thenewageparents.com

YOU ARE LOVED:

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Simple Acts of Love to Show Your Kids "AM I BEAUTIFUL?" Teaching Children the Idea Of Beauty

FIRST TIME MUM SERIES:

Why ‘Me’ Time Is Important Too

Teaching Our Children The Value Of… Staying Young At Heart

Coverpage Model: Ariadne Papaspyrou Photography: Photography by Yew Kwang


table of contents

Contents 04 Our Experts 08 Editorial Note 10 Health

Orthopaedic Conditions in Babies and Children (Part II) Pre-Trip Medical Check-ups For Kids

14 Dental No More Teeth?

16 Preschool

Cool To Go To School: Preparing Your Child For The New School Term

22 Children’s Day Special

You Are Loved: 10 Simple Acts of Love to Show Your Kids

24 The New Age Parents Coverpage Contest

26 Language

Fostering Language Development in Children

30 Growing Up

Teaching our children The Value of… Staying Young At Heart "Am I Beautiful?" Teaching Children the Idea Of Beauty

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38 For The Parent

Choosing Between ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ First-Time Mum Series: Why 'Me' Time Is Important Too

42 Home

Playing With Space Less Mess: Creating a Clutter-Free Room For Your Child


Our Experts PAEDIATRIC MEDICINE

Dr Tan Zhen Han Dr Tan graduated on the Dean’s List from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore with his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree in 2008. He attained his postgraduate qualifications with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (UK) in 2011, and was conferred Fellowship by the Academy of Medicine, Singapore in 2015. Prior to joining SBCC, he was an Associate Consultant in the Department of Paediatrics, KKH. PRACTICE ADDRESS: SBCC Baby & Child Clinic (Ang Mo Kio) Blk 721 Ang Mo Kio Ave 8 #01-2803/2805, Singapore 560721, Tel: 6456 8874 For more information, go to www.sbcc.sg SPECIAL NEEDS

Natasha Pereira Natasha is a Speech and Language Therapist working at THK Therapy Services - The Children’s Therapy Centre. She graduated from City University (London) with a Bachelor of Science Honors Degree in Speech and Language Therapy. Her passion is working with children, helping kids with a range of difficulties in their language and communication from children with autism to those with intellectual disability and language impairment. For more information, go to www.thkms.org.sg

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Dr Wong Chin Khoon Dr Wong headed the Children’s Emergency at National University Hospital when it started the service in 2002, before moving on to Department of Emergency Medicine, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital serving as Senior Consultant in 2006. He was also the Senior Consultant, Contingency & Scenario Planning Division, Ops Group at Ministry of Health from 2008 – 2010. He remains amongst only a handful of paediatricians who has received formal training in the field of Paediatric Emergency in Singapore. PRACTICE ADDRESS: SBCC Baby & Child Clinic Blk 26 Jalan Membina #01-05 Singapore 161026, Tel: 6276 5700 DENTISTRY

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 under the National Healthcare Group. Dr Chin eventually became the Head of Dental Services at one of NHG's Polyclinics and also held the portfolio of Assistant Head of Manpower. PRACTICE ADDRESS: One Orchard Boulevard, 17th Floor Camden Medical Centre, Singapore 248649 Tel: (65) 6733 1388 Email: t32@t32dental.com Emergency Dental Services: (65) 6398 5578 For more information, go to www.t32dental.com


PRESCHOOL

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

Jessica Teo Jessica has extensive teaching experience in the Early Childhood Education field. In recent years, she has channelled her passion into curriculum development and implementation. Her current position of Curriculum Executive with Kinderland Educare Services Pte Ltd provides her with the opportunity to share her love of teaching and learning with teachers and principals in centres in the area of curriculum support. For more information, go to kinderland.com.sg

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, go to leapschoolhouse.com.sg

HAVE A QUESTION FOR OUR EXPERT?

Comment and post your question on our Facebook, or drop us an email at mailbox@thenewageparents.com with the subject title "Question for TNAP Expert".

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contributors

The New Age Parents contributors: DOROTHEA CHOW Dorothea is a dedicated Christian homemaker who loves to plan fun learning times and read with her two darling little boys. You can also spot her at playgrounds, parks and shopping malls, in the company of fellow mummy friends. Counting baking, writing, scrapbooking and shopping as some of her favourite pastimes, she also runs a small home-business, Dottieshop creating customized paper cards and art pieces for birthdays, weddings and other occasions. Read more of Dorothea’s thoughts and motherhood experiences at her blog, A Pancake Princess.

SOM YEW YA A stay home mother while pursuing a Masters in Counseling course, Yew Ya has returned to the workforce last year. Working in a Swiss pharmaceutical, she enjoys her work in the clinical field as well as being a hands-on mother cooking and planning activities with the family.

RACHEL TAN Rachel was working as a scientist and a healthcare analyst in London before moving back to Singapore to deliver her daughter in 2012. Since then, she has been a stay-at-home-mother who loves to bake, cook, style and photograph the dishes. She enjoys sharing the ups and downs of life, marriage and parenthood, and write-ups on food on her personal blog, The Pleasure Monger.

JENNY TAI Jenny Tai is a freelance writer, fledgling cook, and mother to a self-assured, playful toddler. She makes postcards in her spare time. Previously Jenny worked in a publishing company in New York.

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editorial note

BE-YOU-TIFUL

Do you have any stories, tips or any feedback to share? We love to hear from you! DROP US AN EMAIL AT mailbox@thenewageparents.com CONNECT WITH US AT www.facebook.com/newageparents FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/thenewageparents

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We may think that children are too young to understand the concept of beauty, but in today’s media driven climate, it’s easy to get swept away and be defined by the beauty ‘norms’ set by what is portrayed in the media. We tackle this topic in Am I Beautiful? Teaching Children the Idea of Beauty and offer some ‘beauty’ lessons mothers and fathers can teach their young ones. Most parents put their child’s well-being before theirs. But is that always healthy and beneficial for the parent, child and family members? Rachel Tan shares her experience in our Frist Time Mum Series: Why ‘Me’ Time Is Important Too. How do you show your love and affection to your child? Sometimes love doesn’t have to be explicit. In You Are Loved: 10 Simple Acts of Love, we show you how you can let junior know you love them, in various forms and ways. What does it mean to be young at heart? In our ‘Value’ series, we encourage parents to get in touch with their inner child and fulfill their whims no matter how silly they are. To me, being young at heart is finding happiness in simplicity, to constantly ask why, and to continuously see new things, places and people with wide-eyed wonder. To all the kids out there, have a delightful and carefree Children’s Day! And to all the big kids, stay child-like, be yourself and know that you too are Beyou-tiful. May we all remain young at heart, no matter our age. My best,


health

Orthaopaedic Conditions in Babies and Children ( PA RT I I )

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In part one of this article, Dr Wong Chin Khoon, Paediatrician at SBCC Baby & Child Clinic (Tiong Bahru) explained two orthopaedic conditions Torticollis and Club Foot. In part two, Dr Wong explains two other conditions. SCOLIOSIS

What is Scoliosis? Scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine to either side. It is commonly detected when the child is screened by the school health service in upper primary or secondary school during the growth spurt of the pubertal years. The child may have uneven shoulders, waist or hips that give hint to the underlying problem.

What causes it? There are 2 types of scoliosis – Non structural (Postural) and Structural scoliosis. Non-structural scoliosis may be due to lower limb-length discrepancy, muscular spasm or poor posturing. It is usually mild and correctable. The cause of the majority of the structural scoliosis is unknown (idiopathic), which accounts for about

80% of the cases. Other causes include neuromuscular conditions (e.g. cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy), bony abnormality (e.g. hemi-vertebra, spina injury). Scoliosis affects both boys and girls equally but girls are more at risk of worsening scoliosis. There may be a family history of scoliosis although most don’t. Besides the appearance of a curve back and back ache, severe scoliosis may result in the crowding of the chest, affecting the heart and the lung function.

How can it be treated? Scoliosis is usually evaluated with X-ray and severity measured by the degree of curvature of the spine. For mild scoliosis, most children do not need treatment. The aim of management is to prevent progression of the curvature. This is achieved by regular reviews by the doctor until the bone growth matures at the end of puberty. Decision to treat will depend on age, stage in puberty, severity and the location of the scoliosis. Treatment includes observation, wearing a back brace or surgery.

ERB’S PALSY

What is Erb’s Palsy? Erb's palsy is a paralysis of the arm caused usually (but not exclusively) by birth injury to the arm's main nerves, specifically the stretching and/ or severing of the 5th & 6th cervical nerves (neck). This results in the inability of the baby’s arm to move and is observed to have the affected upper limb internally rotated and limp. It is commonly associated with a large newborn, breech presentation,

difficult delivery or instrumentation during delivery. Less commonly, there are also intra-uterine causes as well. Associated findings include collar bone fracture, facial nerve injury, torticollis or cephalohematoma.

What happens? The baby is unable to use lift his arm away from the body as well as rotating it outwards. Active massage and physiotherapy to prevent stiffening and atrophy of muscles should be started soon. Electrical stimulation may be helpful. Involvement of a pediatric neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon is usually necessary to provide early assessment, to determine any associated injuries and initiate necessary investigations.

What can be done? Prognosis depends on whether nerve is stretched or severed. High resolution MRI helps to see the extent of the nerve damage and electrodiagnostic tests (nerve conduction test and electromyography) give doctor information about the function of the damage nerves. Erb’s Palsy due to stretching of the nerves is usually transient and recovers within a few weeks. For the more severe ones, physiotherapy and occupational therapy are needed. Neurosurgical intervention (nerve re-attachment etc.) may be needed and long term outcome is guarded in such cases. PRACTICE ADDRESS SBCC Baby & Child Clinic Blk 26 Jalan Membina #01-05 Singapore 161026 Tel: 6276 5700

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Pre-Trip Medical Check-ups For Kids Planning to travel during the year-end holidays? Dr Tan Zhen Han from SBCC Baby & Child Clinic (Ang Mo Kio) answers some frequently asked questions from parents.

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It is truly a joy to be able to travel and share the wonders of the world with your children. However, it can take time to adjust to the food, air and water in a new environment. Children in particular are especially vulnerable to travelrelated problems such as diarrhoea and respiratory infections. With advanced planning and preparation, you can help keep the trip healthy and ensure an enjoyable experience for the whole family. Q: I’m travelling next month for holiday. What should my children get checked for? An appointment with your child’s doctor

about four to six weeks before your travel date is recommended as part of your travel preparation. This is so that your doctor can:  Review any existing medication conditions, determine fitness for travel, and provide a letter justifying on-board carriage of prescription medications if required.  Review your child’s routine childhood vaccinations, and discuss on the types of travel-related vaccinations that may be required.  Assess travel-related activities, identify potential medical hazards, and provide anticipatory guidance, including special travel preparations and treatment


health

that may be required especially for children with underlying medical conditions.  Assist with the preparation of a travel medication kit. Q: Does my child need additional travel-related vaccinations? It is very important that your child is up to date on their routine childhood vaccinations before travel, to reduce the risk of falling sick while travelling. Diseases such as polio and diphtheria remain a threat in other countries, and a visit to your doctor prior to your travel date will allow adequate time for any catch up vaccinations to be given before travel begins. Keep in mind that a vaccine's protective effect takes some time to develop following the vaccination, and that some vaccines may require more than one dose. Whether or not your child will require additional travel-related vaccinations depends on several factors, including the country(s) to be visited, time of visit, length of visit, risk of exposure to diseases, and pre-existing medical conditions. Always check if there are any vaccinations recommended for your travelling destination. Some examples of mandatory vaccines include yellow fever (if travelling to tropical South America or Africa), and meningococcal vaccine (if travelling to Saudi Arabia). Other travel-related vaccines to protect against Hepatitis A or Typhoid fever for instance, may be recommended depending on your child’s travel needs.

common symptoms should be included in a travel medication kit: Fever (Both oral medication as well as suppositories should be packed, in case that your child is unable to keep the medications down orally) Runny nose and cough Vomiting Diarrhoea Allergies and itch Skin infection

may also need to see the doctor after your trip in order to complete the series of vaccinations given prior to travelling.

Other first aid supplies which should be packed in the kit include: Oral rehydration sachets Hand sanitizer Alcohol wipes and antiseptics Dressing/bandages Digital thermometer Sunscreen lotion Insect repellent

Q: Any other tips?  Contact the airline to let them know if your child has any health concerns, needs a special meal or specialized equipment (oxygen, wheelchair), and ask for seats in advance.  Plan the travel day by practicing the schedule, and talking to your child about the security screening process in the airport and seating arrangement on the airplane. This may help make children less anxious. Happy travelling! Got a question for our expert? Drop us a Facebook message and we’ll ask them for you!

Q: Does my child need to see the doctor after our trip? Should your child feel unwell after returning from your trip, your child should see the doctor for further evaluation and treatment. Your child

PRACTICE ADDRESS: SBCC Baby & Child Clinic(Ang Mo Kio) Blk 721 Ang Mo Kio Ave 8 #01-2803/2805 Singapore 560721 Tel: 6456 8874

Q: What should be included in a travel medication kit? Medications that cover the following

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dental

No More Teeth? What happens if your child loses their permanent tooth? Are there any other alternatives? Dr Chin Shou King, Dental Surgeon and Director at T32 Junior shares his advice. There are 2 main ways a child can lose a permanent tooth – trauma and dental caries. Trauma is often caused by falls or accidents and usually results in the loss of one or more front teeth. Dental caries can affect both front and back teeth. If your child has crowded teeth, it would be prudent to consult an orthodontist to see if surrounding teeth can be realigned to ‘fill up’ the space that results from a missing tooth. Teeth that are too large or small or the wrong shape can be easily modified through bonding of composites (tooth coloured filling material), porcelain veneers or crowns to make the smile more symmetrical. If the teeth are already quite evenly spaced then orthodontics may not be useful. A replacement option is better in this case. The current gold

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standard in replacing a missing tooth is a dental implant. However, this can only be done when your child has stopped growing (usually age 21 for males and 19 for females). In the meantime, your child can wear a removable partial denture or a false tooth can be bonded to the adjacent teeth to temporarily replace the missing tooth or teeth. Other methods of replacing missing teeth include permanent bridges, which make use of adjacent teeth to carry false teeth. However,

this usually involves ‘filing’ down the natural tooth structure of adjacent teeth to create space to place the porcelain and metal of the false teeth and is generally not recommended when an implant can be done instead. PRACTICE ADDRESS: One Orchard Boulevard, 17th Floor Camden Medical Centre Singapore 248649 Tel: (65) 6733 1388 Email: t32@t32dental.com Emergency Dental Services: (65) 6398 5578


T32 Junior Dental Services •

• • • • • •

Consultation and Examination • First Visit: Appointment and Procedure • Diet Counselling & Preventive Advice • Early Childhood Caries Assessment • Oral Hygiene Instructions for Parents and Children • Growth and Development Prophylaxis and Topical Fluoride Application Fissure Sealants Pulpal (Nerve) Treatment Tooth Coloured Fillings Stainless Steel Crowns Extractions

For more enquiries, please feel free to contact us at 6733 1388 or email us at junior@t32dental.com.

www.t32dental.com T32 Dental Centre (Main Centre)

One Orchard Boulevard, Camden Medical Centre #17-00 S(248649) | T: 6733 1388 | E: t32@t32dental.com

T32 Dental Pearl At Marina

One Raffles Link #01-03 S(039393) | T: 6238 0268 | E: smile@thedentalpearl.com.sg

T32 Dental Pearl At Jurong

2 Jurong East Central 1, J Cube #B1-15 S(609731) | T: 6684 3833 | E: jcube@t32dental.com

T32 Dental Pearl At Bedok

208 New Upper Changi Road (Bedok Central), #01-661, S (460208) | T: 6513 2173 | E: bedok@t32dental.com

Consecutive winner of 2011, 2012, 2013, & 2014


preschool

Cool To Go To

SCHOOL Preparing Your Child For The New School Term By Esther Lim, Founder and CEO of LEAP SchoolHouse Parents of first time school-going children tend to have many questions and worries prior to their first day of school. And even as the first day at school concludes with hairs frayed and red eyes from crying, we wonder if we made the right decision to start school. To help children ease into school and cope with separation anxiety, here are some pointers to consider. Practice separation. Leave your child with a caregiver for brief periods and short distances at first. Let your child understand that being away from you is part of life. What is important is to ensure that whilst you are away, quality care is given to the child. Develop a “goodbye” ritual. Rituals are reassuring and can be as simple as a special wave through the window or a goodbye kiss.

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Keep familiar surroundings when possible and make new surroundings familiar. Transit your child into the new environment. One way during the first week of school is to ease the time away from parents gradually. For example, if the school hours are for a 3-hour block, parents can pick the child up in 2, then 2.5 hour blocks. When your child is away from home, let him or her bring a familiar object. Leave without fanfare. Tell your child you are leaving and that you will return, then go—don’t stall. Talk to your child. Prepare them in advance on some of the things that are going to happen in class by talking to them about it. Encourage independence in your child. When a child is able to see that they are able to ‘take care of

themselves’ whilst parents are away, they are less likely to become clingy. Try not to give in. Reassure your child that he or she will be just fine— setting limits will help the adjustment towards separation easier. Talk to the school teacher. Approach the teacher and gather feedback on how your child had performed for the day and focus on the positive. Praise your child for the things they have done well. Above all, parents must believe that our children are able to cope with being in school independently. Encourage your child to talk to you about the happenings in school. It will enrich, not only the relationship you have with you child but also empower your child to grow up confidently.


heguru education centre special

Right Brain Training for Your Baby and Toddler Why should we expose our little ones to harness the right brain more? Michelle Hon, a mum blogger finds out more about Heguru Education.

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I didn't think Heguru was necessarily the best fit for my kids. It feels a little wrong to start a child as young as a baby in an enrichment class, let alone right brain training. Honestly, I was also a little lazy - having to bring them to classes every week. But then I read a tiny bit more about it and came to my senses. A


child's brain grows rapidly in the 0-3 years old period, so it is in fact, the golden period for early childhood education. I admit there are some element of 'kiasuness' here, the fear of missing out on this window of time. But as a parent, don't we all want the best for our children?

So, what is Heguru or HEGL method? Heguru is an effective early childhood education method that was founded

in Japan by Hirotada and Ruiko Henmi, with over 30 years of extensive research and practicum. Its method focuses on enhancing children’s fundamental abilities to acquire education. It is believed that right brain training since infancy, will help a child develop a natural learning ability. And when a child is able to learn faster, it increases their confidence and develop a life-long interest to learn.

being the 'logic/rational' brain, and the right being 'creative/ideas' brain. They are both equally important. The problem with our formal education system is that, when the children go to school, most learning are done using the left side of the brain. Think about it, spelling, math equations and even science experiments require logical, step by step understanding which works the left brain. As you can see from the diagram

above, the right brain enables a child to learn subconsciously and has the potential to process large amount of

data at high speed. It also has great memory retention ability. I certainly wouldn’t mind some of those abilities. So why aren't we harnessing the right brain more?

Heguru Education Centre @ One KM and Sengkang This is where Heguru Education or right brain training comes in. It focuses on developing the right brain exponentially. There are two Heguru Education centres, located at One KM and Sengkang. The centres offer lessons for three groups - Infant and Toddler Course (6 months to 4 years old), Preschool Course (5 to 6 years old) and their latest programme – Primary Course (7 to 12 years old). The classes are grouped according to their age. My daughters, Lauren and Georgia are in Genius Bee (born in 2012) and Genius Owl (born in 2014) class respectfully at the Heguru Education Centre One KM branch. The classes are parent accompanied and there are usually 4 to 6 students and their parents in each class.

Why the right brain, I hear you ask? Well, I can't actually hear you but I had the same question. Here is what I found out. So basically, our left and right brain function differently. Left

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heguru education centre special

Like I mentioned before, I had some initial reservation. 2 months in, I'm still surprised every time we attend a lesson. My easily distracted daughters are engaged and seem to enjoy the lessons very much. Conducted by 2 teachers, the class is fast paced with little down time in between activities. Parents are encouraged to participate; I must say I get some serious brain workouts during class too! Some of these activities that takes place during the hour long class include link memory, flash cards, tangram, poetry appreciation, singing and dancing. I look forward to sharing my child’s learning progress with you in the next series! This is the first part of The New Age Parents and Heguru Education series. In the next part of the series, Mum Blogger Michelle Hon, explores what happens during a Heguru class and how it has improved her children’s leaning ability. For more information, visit Heguru Education Centre website at www. hegurueducation.com.sg MICHELLE HON is a mother of two, writer and founder of The Chill Mom Baby Planner & Maternity Concierge. A certified early childhood educator and carer, she has helped many busy mothers-to-be plan and manage the arrival of their babies. Michelle has been featured on The Asian Entrepreneur and Harper’s Bazaar Kids. Besides being a contributing writer at The New Age Parents, Michelle shares her motherhood tips and experience on her website at http://www.thechillmom.com

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Heguru Class Activities

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childrens day special

You Are Loved

10 SIMPLE ACTS OF LOVE TO SHOW YOUR KIDS When it comes to showing our love to our children, it’s not always about big gestures or lavish gifts. The smallest of things can make our children feel deeply loved and special. Dorothea Chow lists down ten acts you can do. ❶ LEAVE A SURPRISE

❺ WRITE A POEM, STORY OR SONG

Tuck a secret note into his school uniform pocket or under his morning milk in a cup. Stow a few of her favourite sweets or a pretty new hairclip into her bag to be discovered. Draw a picture of both of you and post it to your home.

You don’t have to be a brilliant writer to pen your thoughts. Just write from your heart - your child will love the effort that has gone into it, and it will be something both of you can treasure and look back on in years to come.

❷ PLAN A GAME

❻ MAKE A CARD

Plan a simple scavenger hunt for him, or play “Freeze!”. Have a couple of snacks on hand to do duty as prizes. Prepare a bento box or picnic basket which has all their favourite foods. Just this once, you can close one eye on having a balanced meal.

In today’s online world, a card-in-hand is rare, but it means so much more than just a digital page. Make a simple card – draw your child’s favourite flower or print and cut out pictures of his favourite transformers – and leave a short note. Of course, remember to sign off: Lots of love, Mummy and Daddy.

❹ PERSONALIZE THEIR MEAL

❼ TAKE THEM ON A SURPRISE DATE

❸ COOK ALL THEIR FAVOURITE FOODS

Make it a meal to remember by upping your ante on food design. For beginners, check out How To Make A Bento Lunch Box For Your Child.

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Whisk your child off to a surprise location for some one-on-one time with you, just for a meal or even for the whole day! If your child is in preschool,

you even have the liberty of letting him skip a day of school (not that we are encouraging you should make this a regular practice).

❽ INVITE THEIR BEST FRIEND OVER FOR A PLAYDATE

Liaise with their best friend’s parents and invite them over to play. It’s sure to make their day extra special.

❾ LET THEM SLEEP-OVER FOR A NIGHT

Arrange a sleepover at a friend’s place, or invite a friend over to stay. Just make sure there are responsible and caring adults around at all times.

❿ BEGIN AND END EACH DAY WITH A KISS AND A HUG

This is so simple, but so easy to forget in the mad rush of getting ready for school or for bed. Still, it’s worth remembering to begin and end each day with this familiar expression of love.


CHENGZHU MANDARIN CENTRE

Mandarin Holiday Programmes 华语假期班课程 30th November to 4th December 2015 For children aged 6 months to 9 years

Love to learn Mandarin? Don’t let the school holidays stop you! Motivating holiday programmes, facilitated by inspiring educators within a lively, positive environment welcome children from 6 months to Primary 3, helping them build their vocabulary, sentence structures, listening skills, expressive speaking skills and creative writing skills. At Chengzhu Mandarin Centre we’ll help you keep that love of learning alive when you join one of our exciting holiday adventures. See your child’s confidence to use Mandarin blossom! For registration please call 6737 5348 or email us at enquiries@chengzhu.net Visit us at Rochester Mall, #03-01 www.chengzhu.net

CHENGZHU

MANDARIN CENTRE

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T H E

N E W

A G E

PA R E N T S

COVERPAGE

CONTEST FIRST PLACE

Ariadne Papaspyrou


RUNNER UP

Leighton Kwan-Unwin

*Note: Our third coverpage winner, Sage Kwok Li Xuan was unable to have her photo shootThe in time this issue. Newfor Age Parents

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language

Fostering

Language Development in Children

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Natasha Pereira, a Speech and Language Therapist at THK Therapy Services (The Children’s Therapy Centre) lists down three simple strategies on how parents can develop strong language and communication skills in children. Studies have consistently shown that early language and communication skills contribute greatly to children’s success in school as well as their ability to develop social relationships with their peers and people around them. Language and communication skills include a child’s ability to understand others (receptive language) and express themselves (expressive language). This could be through the use of words, gesture and facial expressions. Children who develop strong language and communication skills are likely to arrive at school more prepared to learn as they are required to grasp math, science and social concepts and apply them in their homework and examinations. These children are less likely to have difficulties learning to read and more likely to perform better at school.

BUILDING STRONG BONDS Children pick up the skills of communication gradually, most often by spending time with important people in their lives, especially their parents. A parent and child have

a very special connection. It is a strong bond formed between them through communication since the child was born. This special bond is a great platform on which to build the language development in young children. Opportunities to promote language development can be incorporated into the routine of daily life instead of time being set aside specifically to work on language. Many of the strategies mentioned below were extracted from 'It Takes Two to Talk' by Jan Pepper and Elaine Wetizman, and can be used almost any time in a variety of settings.

#1 FOLLOW YOUR CHILD’S LEAD The first strategy is engaging children in interaction. When people communicate back and forth, they are engaging in interaction. The best way to encourage your child to communicate is to let her initiate more interactions with you, and for you to follow her lead. Do note that responding to a child’s communication can look different depending on the age and communication abilities of your child. Why do we do this? As adults, we

are inclined to leading or directing interactions with children, the idea of letting our child lead may not come naturally to us. You will notice that when you let your child take the lead in an interaction and you respond with interest to what she says, they will feel encouraged to communicate with you even more. Another plus point to this is when your child leads an interaction and you respond, you are giving them information about things that are already of interest to them. This means there is a greater likelihood for them to remember it and use it to communicate in the future.

#2 ADD LANGUAGE TO YOUR CONVERSATIONS For example, when walking in the park, your child points to the flowers and you say ‘Look at the flowers’, and then again when she sees flowers on television or in a book and you say ‘What beautiful flowers’ she soon begins to associate the word ‘flower’ with the object she is seeing around her. This adds meaning to the word and soon she will be able to point to flowers in response to your question ‘Can you see the flowers?'. There will be countless opportunities during a day that adding language can be practised. Another example is when your child finishes his water and says ‘no more’, you could add language by responding ‘No more water, let’s get some more’. Another way would be adding simple explanations for why things happen. Let’s say your child is trying to fit his hand in a bottle to get

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language

toy pieces out and says ‘stuck’. You could say ‘Rachel's hand is too big, it can’t fit in’. Adding language can also be done by expanding the child’s message to help her use longer sentences. Here’s another example: When she says ‘Daddy wear socks’, you could respond ‘Daddy is wearing his socks and shoes. He is going to work’. Why do we do this? First, you help your child understand what is going on around her. Second, she may be having thoughts as she experiences different things. By adding language, you can then express what is going on in her mind. As the child experiences the world around her and hears you say the same words again and again she begins to understand the meaning of words.

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#3 READ TOGETHER This is a tried and tested strategy. There are countless studies that have shown the benefits of reading for children. Reading books benefits a child's language in the earlier years of their lives, where they share books with adults and have stories read to them. Why do we do this? As children grow older, reading helps to build vocabulary and expose them to rich, complex language that they would not necessarily be exposed to in ordinary, everyday speech. It is also an activity that can bring parent and child closer together. A young child spends most of his time running around, doing all sorts of different activities. When you and

your child snuggle up and read a book together, it promotes a kind of closeness and can grow to be a special time for you both. Another benefit is that books can be read again and again, unlike speech which is no longer there as soon as we stop talking. And if you have a young child and have started reading with them you would probably notice they have a couple of their favourite books that they don't tire of re-reading. Children can go back to the words and pictures in books as many times as they like which makes learning new words and concepts much easier for children. What’s more, it is habit forming and it prepares them for a lifetime of reading which only does good for their language.


for the parent

TNAP VALUE SERIES

Teaching Children The Value Of‌

Staying Young

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Do you ever have “Remember When” conversations with your husband or friends? They usually go something like this: “Remember when we were dating and we’d walk for hours after dinner and get lost exploring new neighborhoods?” “Remember when the highlight of our childhood was playing with marbles and chapteh?” These nostalgic days of the past remind us of younger versions of ourselves: naïve, perhaps, but more spirited and carefree. It was a different kind of happiness. We longed for days at the park and the chance to spend our lunch money on candy. We had so much energy. There was always fun to be had, new things to try, and adventures to undertake.

Then and Now

One of the greatest joys of being a parent is witnessing that young version of yourself in your children. Them with their endless, ready supply of giggles. Them with their little bare feet running on the grass. Them with their eyes that grow so wide with wonder. It’s refreshing. And we wish sometimes that we could be more like them. Somewhere along the way we might have gotten jaded, bogged down with financial planning and stress in the “real world.” We have mouths to feed and bills to pay. We feel…old. And tired. But our age in years doesn’t have to dictate our spirit and attitude. When we’re handling heavy adult responsibilities, it’s more important than ever to stay young at heart.

and put on their own shoes. They want to know where rainbows come from and why there are snails after it rains. They ask all sorts of questions and don’t care if it’s the “right” time to ask. I could be halfjogging to a meeting I’m already late for when my three-year-old would stop and point at a fire hydrant, and demand to know how it works. She’s eager to learn all about it, right then and there. As parents and adults, many of us get complacent with the amount of knowledge we’ve accumulated over the years. We’re older and wiser and we have the experience to prove it. Mummy and Daddy know best. Ah, but we certainly don’t know everything. Staying young at heart is important because it tells us to keep asking questions and learning new things.

Do Something That Scares You

Stability and security become that much more important once you have your own

family. We’ve all read about people who ditched their prestigious jobs to swim with dolphins and manta rays on some remote island. Or who took out all their savings to go backpacking around the world. We think, “They can only do that because they’re single and don’t have kids.” How often do you use your family as an excuse to opt out of something you secretly really, really want to do? Perhaps dropping everything to pursue a big, life-altering dream just isn’t practical right now when you’re saving for your kids’ college tuition. That’s understandable. Jump on your grand dreams when the kids are older or you’re retired. Meanwhile, you can still get a taste of adventure by doing something that scares you every week. It can be anything: signing up for a zumba class, asking for a raise or promotion, getting over your fear of heights or eating locusts for the first time. Even on a smaller scale,

Never Too Old To Learn Small children want to learn everything. They want to know how to wash dishes

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you are achieving something brave every time you get out of your comfort zone.

Contentment in the Simplest Things

Every night, I ask my daughter what made her happiest that day. “Chocolate ice cream,” she’d say, or sometimes, “Going on the swings.” But she’d always end with, “Mummy and Daddy. And Grandma and Grandpa.” She never fails to count us in the list of her highlights. We make it on that list just by being a part of her life. When I think about what happiness means to me now, family’s definitely it. But there’s this pervasive,

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nagging desire for other things as well. More prestige, a new piece of jewelry, a bigger car, more vacations to exotic destinations. These “wants” are cluttering up and creating dissatisfaction. Being young at heart means finding contentment in simple things and maintaining a positive mindset. If we have our loved ones, everything else is extra.

(For Once) Forget About Acting Your Age

Don’t worry if something is “ageappropriate.” Do it if you want to. Parents already have so many responsibilities to keep up with that if we

don’t let loose once in a while, we’d be in danger of becoming stuffy or boring. Just because you’re a grown up doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. So wear more glitter; go down that slide; join the water balloon fight. Go dancing with your girlfriends. Pull a prank on your husband. And why should your kid be the only one who has a colouring book? You love to colour too. Get in touch with your inner child. Fulfill your whims, no matter how silly they are. Forget about acting your age, and just act yourself. Stay tuned for the next part of our ‘Value’ series as we talk about Teaching Children The Value of…Saying Sorry


Parents

The New Age Pa ren ting

w in the Ne

a Er

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growing up

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Children may not know they are beautiful. Even some adults struggle with that. Som Yew Ya shares how parents can let their young ones know there's beauty in being who they are. It is a common sight to see little girls dressed up in princess frocks, with princess or Barbie accessories, armed with similar merchandise. I even sighted a toddler in heels. What is it about these characters and accessories that enthral a child? Dressing up, identifying with a character makes them feel good. There is nothing wrong with being a princess - it can just be fun. But in the midst of these dress ups, parents need to keep a discerning eye to how girls (and boys) are interpreting all these messages about beauty. Is beauty merely about a person’s appearance? Here are six lessons you can teach. #LESSON 1 A Positive body image We all look different. It is okay not to be wafer thin, to have long hair or to have slender legs. There's nothing wrong by looking different from the average child. Parents can help by teaching children to appreciate their bodies and be confident of who they are. #LESSON 2 Beauty is not just physical Beauty is not defined by how a person

dresses. You can teach your child that it’s the inside that counts more. Affirm your child of their beauty by reinforcing their good qualities. For example when your boy forgives someone for snatching a toy or when your girl does something kind for her classmate. Encourage them to strive for their inner beauty to shine through more, by doing good and thinking of others. #LESSON 3 Beauty is not everything From a bigger perspective, don't put too much focus on beauty. It may give a misleading impression that beauty defines a person. Let your child know they are precious just for being who they are. She is the same valuable, loveable person to you in her PJs as when she is dressed up as Rapunzel. #LESSON 4 Use your words wisely Instead of using words such as ‘thin’ or ‘skinny’, steer the focus of losing weight to becoming more ‘healthy’ and ‘fit’ instead. For example, exercising regularly and eating well for the purpose of being healthy, as opposed to losing weight to become skinny. Also talk to your children how

health is more important than the size of the clothes they wear. #LESSON 5 Reduce the consumption of imagery We are influenced by what we see and hear. These young minds are pounded by so many images daily through the media, books and games. Assess the level of such exposure for your child and be aware of how beauty may be ‘normalised’ through these platforms. Just because most of the princesses and Barbie have long hair does not make that the average ‘beauty’ standard to compare oneself to. #LESSON 6 Talk about it When an inappropriate cartoon scene or advertisement is being played, take this chance to engage your children by asking questions to get them thinking. “Is this the way to be happy? Do you think the people on TV are really happy?” Or when they are engaged in play, you can ask them how do they think their dolls should be dressed for a certain function. If there are inappropriate clothing, toys or games that portrays a strong image on beauty which you do not wish to instil in your child, use them as tools for discussion before dismissing them. Then, offer alternatives which you feel will be more suitable for your child. Our children have awareness of their body and self-image at a young age. It is vital to guide them on the definition of beauty and empower them to love themselves and honour their bodies.

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growing up

Move That Body! 5 REASONS TO GET YOU AND YOUR CHILD MOVING

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Children love to move. Jessica Teo, Curriculum Executive with Kinderland Educare Services Pte Ltd explains why children should be spending more time moving their bodies. Different types of physical activity - whether it is purposeful (structured) play or spontaneously (unstructured) free play - serves as a channel to allow their energy outburst in a meaningful way. Their engagement in physical activity is essential to their healthy growth and holistic development. Being physically active from young lays the foundation for a healthy lifestyle in future, so why wait now? Let them move! Even helping out in simple house chores can be considered as a physical activity. Here are five reasons to get your child moving. 1. Sweat it out (Healthy fitness) Moderate to high intensity active play activities and sports such as chasing games, running , cycling, swimming, roller-blading, soccer and basketball makes your child sweat , which is good for the body system. Sweating helps to release toxins, improve blood circulation and speed up metabolism. It enhances your child’s immune system and is associated with improved heart and lung functions. According to the National Physical Activity Guidelines (2013), your child is likely to maintain a healthy weight as regular physically active burns calories and fat more easily.

2. Think aloud (Cognitive stimulation) Research shows that physical activity and fitness contributes positively to academic achievement. Physical fitness may enhance children’s concentration, classroom behaviour, brain and cognitive functioning which leads to better academic performance. In fact, when your child is engaged in physical activity, they are constantly thinking of creative

ways or strategies to better their body coordination or skills. Your child’s social speech will also be improved as the need to converse with other participants during active play activities is involved. 3. Laugh it out (Mental relaxation) Allow your child to engage regularly in physical activities of their interest. When they are having fun moving

around, they will be happier a relaxed mind. This will gradually improve the quality in your child’s sleep. Moreover, regular physical activities help to relieve stress and anxiety. So if your child has been participating in physical activities on a regular basis, chances are it will serves as a healthy outlet for proper release of negative emotions energy. 4. Strengthen it out (Physical strengthening) Locomotor, object control and stability are some of the key movement skills that are necessary for your child to perform and enjoy the wide range of sports and other physical activities pursuits in their growing years. Your child will develop high self-esteem when they confidently perform these skills. Moreover, when your child moves their body more often, not only will the bones and muscles structure be strengthened, the ability in controlling and coordinating body movement will also be improved. 5. Playing with peers (Psychological growth) Keeping fit by engaging in physical activities that involves other participants is a great way to boost your child’s social skills. When your child works out together with other peers, they will have the opportunity to develop self and social awareness, recognise their own strengths and weakness, and other’s needs and feelings too. Your child’s social competence will increase as they learn to take turns, resolve conflicts and play by rules. At the same time, new friendships may be forged.

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for the parent

Choosing Between &

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It’s not always easy to say ‘no’ to our children. Fiona Walker, Principal Of Schools and CEO from Julia Gabriel Education explains how setting clear expectations help children understand your choices for them better. Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler studied the effects of different parenting methods on children and society in the early 20th century. He concluded that when adults continuously respond negatively to a child’s requests, with no follow-up explanations, the child is likely to develop an inferiority complex. Conversely, repeatedly giving in to a child’s demands is likely to result in an inflated sense of superiority. Both complexes, in Adler’s opinion, are ‘compensation strategies’ - behaviours that enable children to cope - but at a cost, since they have the potential to damage cognitive, mental and emotional development. So what is a happy medium? It’s not always easy to say no and it is hard not to cave in to endless demands for that bar of chocolate or new toy, especially when the anticipated outcome is a tantrum in the middle of a busy mall. No parent relishes knowing their child feels sad or disappointed. Sometimes saying “yes” is far less stressful. But if we don’t allow our children to face challenges or take responsibility, feel disappointed and experience failure from time to time, we rob them of vital learning opportunities. We prohibit their ability to think, feel and choose independently and, to learn gratitude or empathy. So how do we guide our children to ensure their physical and emotional wellbeing whilst

avoiding, as the saying goes, ‘making a rod for one’s own back’?

Setting clear expectations There are times when we have to stop our children in their tracks. If we foresee harm to them or a younger sibling they are about to hit, or when the cat’s tail has been pulled one too many times. Young children act up because they feel frustrated, they don’t understand expectations, and they are still learning to manage their feelings. Growing up is tough sometimes and children do need to learn appropriate behaviour. They can’t always get what they want when they want it and it’s far better they learn this when young. It’s a learning curve for parents too! Our role is to love, guide and protect our children. We cannot teach them how to feel but we can set limits and clear expectations that help them understand appropriate behaviour in different situations, allowing them the freedom to express themselves as they choose, even if this leads them to struggle or make mistakes. But when parents rush in shrieking, “No! Don’t do that!” or “No! You can’t!” - what happens next? Consider the language you use to ‘stop’ or ‘prevent’ an action? Does it help your child learn positively? Does it help them build confidence and selfesteem? Or is it based on your own fears, prejudices and desire to control?

Persistently negative language can desensitise your child, which may lead to resentment and rebellion when older. If we really want to convince our children about something, we must show them we care. We must listen to their point of view. As Richard Bromfield, Ph.D., author of How To Unspoil Your Child Fast? writes, ‘The most powerful and natural motivator will be the reward of having her words, feelings, or requests heard and responded to.”

Using a different kind of ‘No’ ‘No’ does not have to be a negative reaction, providing it is reinforced with an explanation and used respectfully. But why not try to find alternative words and non-verbal communications instead? A concerned facial expression followed by an explanation that states how you feel as a result of your child’s behaviour: “I love you but when you do that I don’t like it. It makes me feel sad!” Or try using dynamic words that are more descriptive than ‘no’, such as ‘hot’ ‘sharp’ or simply ‘stop’.

Making your expectations known If you want your child to understand your expectations of their behaviour in any given situation, you have to be clear about what those expectations are beforehand. A young child’s understanding is limited so establish clear and realistic boundaries. Prepare your child before entering a situation, accepting that they may well forget, by explaining what things are for and not for, or who they belong to. Help set your child up for success – and remember, always praise and reward respectful behaviour afterwards. A cuddle and a tickle go down well too!

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for the parent

FIRST-TIME MUM SERIES

Why

‘Me’ Time IS IMPORTANT TOO

Is it important to look after your emotional wellbeing in the midst of taking care of your child and family? Rachel Tan believes so.

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A

s a new mother, I was stuck in a rut for the longest time. I was absolutely clueless as to how to take care of a baby, and I spent my days with unwashed hair in spit-soaked grubby pyjamas. Most days were filled with mundane


tasks - changing leaky diapers, getting projectile-vomitted on, pacifying a crying baby who wouldn’t stop no matter what I did - and whilst I love my firstborn, it was hard not to feel isolated and lonely. Many a times, I felt like I had lost my identity. I didn’t have time to do the things that I used to enjoy doing and it was no surprise that I got unhappy very quickly during the tougher times. It does not make much sense but I even felt resentful towards my husband at times, who had opportunities to leave for work, do something for himself, and even get distraction-free lunch and toilet breaks however transient they were.

SETTING ASIDE ‘ME’ TIME

My husband picked up on my feelings and urged me to spend some time on myself, but it was difficult to free up pockets of time in the first place, and of course, I had to get over the mental hurdle of leaving my baby behind. After my daughter slept through the night, we did manage to go out for a few dinner dates whenever we could get someone in the family to babysit. I did feel guilty about indulging my own needs initially; it felt wrong and counterintuitive to what I thought was parenthood, but things started looking up after that. Those stolen moments away rejuvenated my weary being and it was lovely to connect with my husband and engage in conversations that do not revolve around poop, breastfeeding and sleep. It also took me nineteen months before I really did something for myself; my daughter had just started pre-school then, and suddenly, I had six hours of me-time every week.

At first, I didn’t quite know what to do with all that time, but a few weeks later, I found myself doing what I loved most before I became a mother. I was finally baking again. The excitement of coming up with and tweaking new recipes, the familiarity of churning out old favourites, the satisfaction of making people happy with my bakes, made me feel whole. Whilst I missed my daughter whenever she was in school making memories without me, I looked forward to those few hours of baking and to picking her up from school after that, so we could spend the afternoons together. I became a much happier person, and that changed how I parent my daughter and how she reacts to me.

DOING THE THINGS YOU LOVE

I have not looked back since. Every now and then, I make time to do the things I love - writing, honing my photography skills, baking, cooking - because I know I need that occasional dose of chicken soup to nourish my soul. The sessions may be short and far and few between, but they are more than enough to have me bounce back into the parenting game

with a more positive attitude and that rubs off on my daughter. I am far less grumpy, more enthusiastic and patient when the going gets tough. The activities that I engage in help broaden my perspectives on how else to teach my daughter too. Having been on both sides of the fence, head-down-elbow-deep in caregiving on one hand and occasionally getting up for air on the other, I cannot begin to emphasise how important it is to look after one’s emotional well-being before one is well-poised to take care of others. Even if it means taking ten minutes to read your favourite novel over a cup of tea, or a quickly running out to the grocery store to stock up on those crisps you have been craving for, it really does make a difference to how you feel as a person, and ultimately, the vibes that your child picks up on when he or she is around you. So if you ‘gave up’ a hobby or something your enjoyed after becoming a mother, reunite with your it again and set aside some personal time. The results might just surprise you. Stay tuned for part four of our ‘First Time Mum’ series in our next issue!

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home

Playing With Space

Ng Shu Ping, Principal at EtonHouse Bilingual Preschool shares with TNAP five ideas how parents can create inviting and innovative learning spaces for children at home.

The environment as the third teacher. This notion of using the environment to extend and challenge children’s learning was first introduced by Reggio Emilia. Other educators such as Maria Montessori emphasized on an environment that nurtures children’s independence through child-sized furniture and thoughtful placement of materials at the child’s level, readily accessed when needed to. All of these values have helped shaped many of the classrooms in early childhood environments. At EtonHouse, great emphasis is placed on the planning and development of respectful, engaging, meaningful and innovative learning environments that reinforce our inquiry based philosophy of teaching and learning. There has been a conscious effort to include elements of nature, light and reflection in our learning environments. All of these served to deepen children’s thinking and create complexities in their learning. Taking the values from above, how can parents create innovative learning spaces for children at home? 1. DECLUTTER. It is great for children to have choices but overwhelming when

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from multiple perspectives. Create a hanging drape with fabric to partition a cosy nook. Throw in a string of fairy lights to illuminate the space. When a learning space is lovingly and meaningfully set up, children can certainly be engaged in purposeful play for long periods of time. Give these ideas a go in your home and catch your child learning from their new spaces! Photos: EtonHouse Bilingual Pre-school, Singapore

children have too many. Create a storage system with clear plastic containers. Label the containers and sort all the different resources you have. It may be an intensive one-off exercise but definitely worth the effort in the long haul. 2. OBSERVE AND LISTEN TO YOUR CHILD. Find out what their interests are. What are they curious to find out about? Then create learning spaces that are responsive to these interests and curiosities. Be prepared to make changes to learning spaces that are not working out as planned. 3. BE INTENTIONAL. Every learning space and every resource should serve a purpose. Ask yourself, “What is the purpose … (of this or that)?” Our respect for spaces and materials serves as a role model for children. Similarly, clutter communicates the lack of it. Support your child as they help to clean

up the space after use. It is important for children to know where things go. At EtonHouse Bilingual Pre-school, our Mandarin cultural room features a strong learning environment for children to experience the beautiful Chinese culture and tradition. Art pieces, pretend play props and other learning resources are specially curated for children to be immersed in the Mandarin culture.

Ng Shu Ping began her professional career in business development and marketing communication but with a strong passion for working with children, she moved on to obtain her Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education from Monash University, Melbourne. She started as a teacher but soon rose up to a leadership role in EtonHouse Vanda in 2008. In 2014, she headed the preschool to achieve the Outstanding Centre for Teaching and Learning Award from Singapore’s Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).

4. USE OPEN-ENDED RESOURCES. Let children’s creativity and imagination fuel the play. Be inventive with recycled materials. In Reggio Emilia, the placement of resources in a thoughtful way is called a ‘provocation’, because it provokes wonder, imagination, amazement and curiosity in a child. 5. MAKES SPACES MAGICAL. Add a mirror where children construct with blocks to allow children to view

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LESS MESS

CREATING A CLUTTER FREE-ROOM FOR CHILDREN A grand spectacle of dirty clothes in heaps with toys strewn all over the carpet. Sounds familiar? Here’s how you can fight against the war of clutter in your children's room.

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1

The Four ‘S’ - Sort, Simplify, Store and Sustain Sort your children's items and group them into various categories Simplify the things needed by purging outgrown items and setting them aside for recycle bins or for donation Store the things which are still in


use in various storage compartments or boxes Sustain the housekeeping routine by getting your children involved in the tidying up process. By proactively involving them, they will understand and appreciate your tidying up system and help you maintain their rooms.

2

Organize from Bottom to Top Bear in mind that during the housekeeping process, your children's most used belongings should be placed in the lower shelves or drawers. Seasonal items should be stored at the higher levels.

3

Go for Multi-functional Furniture Using multi-functional furniture offers a fantastic way to reclaim storage space while avoiding clutter. A storage bench can double up as a toy chest and using a storage bed means that all the toys, clothes and knick-knacks can be hidden away from sight.

4

Label Everything Children are usually more visually inclined. Use photo labels or pictures of toys, socks and books for your storage compartments to remind them of where these items should belong to. Such practice means faster identification of the contents too. You can make this a fun process by playing "match the label" games with your children.

5

Color Code If you have children sharing a room or closet, you should consider delineating the space and storage set

aside for each child with color codes. For instance, you can use pastel pink for girls and blue for boys. Such approach should help keep peace and designate ownership of each area and identification of each kid's domain.

6

Inventorise Make it a habit to create an inventory in your children's room to keep track of your children's personal items. Knowing everything makes it easier to declutter in future and also saves you the hassle of searching through the entire room for your children's items. Additional Tips: Keep your toys at a kid-friendly level. This is easier for children to put their toys away on their own. Use the floor space for shoes, socks or laundry hampers and so on. Clear stack-able plastic boxes or totes are recommended for storage needs as you can see the contents at a glance.

Invest in double hanging clothes rods. These can fully maximize the closet space as children’s clothes are typically smaller in size and do not take up much space. Child-sized hangers will also not clutter up the limited space. Invest in modular, flexible closet solutions so that the closet storage grows with them. The configurable components can be easily rearranged to accommodate to your children’s body as they grow taller. Drawers can be reassigned and hanging baskets can also be added to accommodate different types of accessories. This article is contributed by Renonation.

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editorial team

EDITOR Michelle Ang EXPERTS SBCC Baby & Child Clinic, T32 Junior Dental Centre, Kinderland Educare Services Pte Ltd, Julia Gabriel Education Centre, LEAP SchoolHouse & THK Therapy Services (The Children��€™s Therapy Centre) WRITERS Dorothea Chow, Som Yew Ya, Jenny Tai & Rachel Tan CONTRIBUTORS EtonHouse Bilingual Pre-school & Renonation

Art & Design ART DIRECTOR Michelle Ang

Marketing & Advertising BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Elaine Lau

Web Administration WEB DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Seow Poh Heng

If you wish to contribute to the magazine, we will love to hear from you. Do email us at mailbox@thenewageparents.com For advertising enquiries, email us at advertise@thenewageparents.com While every care is taken in the production of the magazine, the publisher, editor and its team assume no responsibility for any inaccuracies and omission, which might arise. Opinions by the contributors and advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher and the editor. The articles in the magazine are for references only. If you have any queries on any health condition for you and your child, you should seek professional medical advice.

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The New Age Parents Oct Nov 15