10 Life Skills To Teach Children

By the time our kids are five years-old, many of them are proficient at finding their way around smartphones/tablets, computers and game consoles. Many of them, though, are ill equipped with the life skills necessary for their daily lives.

We fall into the trap of doing everything for them, and when they reach adulthood, are lost on how to do the most basic things. But it’s not just learning how to do their own washing, it’s also about giving them their independence. And starting them off early will give them a head start later on. read more

Dealing With Back To School Blues

For much of the southern hemisphere, and here in Singapore, it’s that time of year when our kids are starting a new school year. Going back to school is a time of stress and concern, not just for the children but also their parents. How we deal with the first few days can effect how they deal with the year ahead. So it’s important that we start before the school year does in preparing both ourselves and our children for what is to come.

One of the first things we can do is to reassure them that what they are feeling is normal. Being nervous about what is to come is not only alright, it’s the normal reaction. And if we, as parents, are feeling anxious too, it’s a good idea to share that with them. We can also use this to let them know that it’s going to be okay, and try to find things that they can get excited about. Whether it’s a new class they’re interested in, or seeing their friends again, it can help create a sense of excitement for the new year. read more

Should We Tell Children The Truth About Santa

It’s getting close to that time of year again when children are visited by Santa. At least, those who still believe in him are. For the others, maybe they get a visit from him with a nod and the wink of an eye. Or they get the same presents with a card from the person who actually bought them.

I’ve actually got a fair bit of flack over the years because SO, my wife, and I decided to tell Jay, our son, the truth about Santa. Well, actually, we never told him Santa was real at all. From his earliest days, we’ve let him know that Santa is a traditional Christmas figure, but that he doesn’t actually exist. read more

Helping Children Be Good At Math

I read recently that children with good mathematical skills are more likely to grow up to earn more, stay in school longer and are more employable. It seems logical then that we as good parents should be encouraging our kids to be as good as they can at math.

The problem a lot of us have, is that we weren’t that good ourselves, or at the very least didn’t enjoy it that much. Okay, I don’t actually fall into that category, I actually did enjoy math, but I’ve known plenty of other parents who didn’t like it. read more

Am I A Bad Parent For Letting My Son Eat Fast Food

This past weekend I was the designated parent to take Jay, my son, to his weekend classes. To help him with his Chinese studies, he attends extra classes. On Saturday, he has a group class with about ten other kids his age. And on Sunday, he has a one-on-one session. Both classes are two hours ling and end just before lunch. Normally SO, my wife, takes him, but this weekend she was busy with work, so it fell to me to be his chauffeur, or at least accompany him since we don’t have a car.

On Saturday as we left the school he asked if we could have McDonald’s for lunch. It’s a fairly typical routine. Since we walk past it to come home, we quite often have lunch there on the way. When we arrived though, it was too crowded and Jay decided we’d just eat at home. read more

Maybe We Should Stop Trying As Parents And Have More Fun

Do you ever have the feeling that the more you try, the less you accomplish? We put so much effort in, only to fail time and time again. Then we just give up and go with it, and what do you know, we’re all having a good time. I’m talking, if you haven’t already worked it out, about entertaining our little ones.

There’s been plenty of times, whether with my son, Jay, or one of my nieces or nephews, where we’ve planned an activity. Everything is in place. We have everything we need. We’re there and ready for it. And it bombs. They’re not interested. And we didn’t really want to do it in the first place. read more

5 Ways To Help Your Child Make Friends

It’s difficult watching our little ones grow. Sending them out into the big bad world of school. Hoping they’ll have fun and make friends. Don’t we all want to help our kids make friends like we did at school? Let’s look at some of the things we can do to help them.

1. Trust Them

It can be difficult to let go, but we can’t actually force our kids to be friends with who we choose for them. Kids, in general, have good instincts. And if they say they don’t want to befriends with someone, we should listen. It also works the other way. If we don’t like someone they do, maybe should back off and give it a chance. After all, if we force them to stay away from somebody, it’ll most likely backfire and they’ll want to be friends with them even more. read more

Should We Push Our Children To Be Perfect

Let’s face it, we all want our kids to be the best they can be. Better than all the rest. Top of the class. Best on the sports team. Outstanding in every way. In other words we want them to be perfect in everything they do.

The question is, is it really a good idea for us to push our children to be perfect? Or are we sabotaging them by doing so?

Unfortunately, by pushing them to perfection, we may actually be pushing them away from it. See, when we tell them, or show them, that we want perfection, and they fail to reach our goals, it demoralises them. The result being, they don’t even want to try because they know they can never do good enough. read more

How To Handle A Crying Child

From the moment we bring our baby home from the hospital, there’s crying. At first it’s simply a process of discovering what they need, a change, food, sleep. But over time the reasons our kids cry change and develop. When they cry it may be because they’re sad, angry, scared, anxious or even happy. How we respond to them is important both in stopping the crying and to help them to develop ways to deal with the emotions in the future.

One of the things we shouldn’t do is to tell them not to cry. I know I’ve done it, and in retrospect it’s counterproductive. What we’re doing when we say, “don’t cry,” is that we don’t understand or don’t care about them. It may seem to them that we’re saying their emotions are invalid or unimportant. Even if the reason seems trivial to us, it’s not to them. Plus it takes away an opportunity to help them deal with their emotions in a helpful manner. This can have ramifications for a life time. read more

How To Stop A Child From Getting Angry

I’ve talked before about what to do when a child gets angry. How to deal with it and what to say. If you want to check it out, you can find it here. Today though, I wanted to talk about preventing our kids from getting angry. First I’ll show how it works, and then we’ll talk about how we got to that point.

It had been a long day for Jay, my son. He’d started the morning with a tuition session. It was only two hours. Normally he’d come home afterwards to play games and relax at home. Perhaps he’d have lunch out first, but not always. read more