Thursday, July 31, 2008

Life-long Learning


By Rachel Goodchild

BY the time children reach school age, they are usually either pretty well behaved most of the time, or they’re brats (read demons) who think they rule the world and won’t pay attention to adults, such as teachers, who are trying to help them.

Are parents to blame for this? Not completely, but how children are treated at home has a profound effect on how they are able to cope with school and the outside world, too.

Nobody wants to live in chaos, and children, in particular, want rules and guidelines, although most of them would deny this.

Much of the time these days, both parents must work in order to make ends meet. Also, there are too many children growing up in single-parent homes, either because of divorce, or because their mother was never married.

This makes it difficult to have enough time to nurture children and teach them ways to be successful.

Though parents are not saints, somehow they must find it in themselves to ensure that their children are their number one priority and quality time must be found to spend with them.

Children need to feel loved and supported. They need to know they can communicate any problems they have with their parents.

They should also learn from an early age that school is important, and good attendance is the key. Parents should not allow their children to stay home from school unless they are running a fever or really seem ill.

Poor attendance is a major reason children don’t do well in school. If the child is allowed to stay home, there should be no fun activities allowed. If they are too sick to go to school, they are too sick to fool around and should be in bed.

Rules must be set and enforced. Homework comes first – before video games or television. Parents should check their child’s homework, and help them with it if necessary.

If the child gets a poor progress report early in the school year, parents should make an appointment with the child’s teacher to see what the problem is.

Parents need to emphasise to the child from an early age how important education is. The ability to read and write will be important all their lives.

Just as when children were toddlers, the family needs to have clear rules and consequences.

Children need at least eight hours of sleep at night, or they won’t be able to concentrate the next day. Turn off television at least half an hour before bed, and read with your child, or discuss how the day went.

Also, set a good example by going to bed at a reasonable time yourself.

Children are usually not reluctant to go to school if they feel they are being successful. It’s also great if you can get children involved in after-school programmes such as sport or other extracurricular activities.

Teamwork is a wonderful feeling and studies have shown that children who engage in extracurricular activities are better students.

Children must also be taught morals and values such as sharing and being kind to others. Whether through a formal church programme, or from modeling at home, values such as kindness, respect, and problem solving in a peaceful manner are important in avoiding resistant behaviour.

Nobody really wants to be the class clown, the bully, or the quiet child who can’t seem to make friends. It’s the parent’s job along with the teacher and school counselor to find out what’s going on. Problems that start in elementary school will only escalate if not monitored carefully.

In this busy, hectic world, it’s hard to find time to give our children all the attention they deserve, but we owe it to them, and to society, to raise responsible children who will one day be in charge.

Families, big and small, need to have rules, limits, and the desire to help one another, their friends and their community.

The art of parenting
Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

I can’t wait…

(Jordan’s milestones)

1st anticipation – No more burping session
I couldn’t wait for Jordan’s burping sessions to end. We didn’t need to burp him after 6 months. I didn’t like to see the sight of him throwing out his milk.

2nd anticipation - Crawling
Next, it was the crawling stage. Yes, Jordan started to crawl before he turned 7 months old. He also started to stand (holding furniture) around that age but he hardly cruise.

The funniest thing was that he crawled on 3 ie. 2 hands and 1 leg for about 7 months or so.

3rd anticipation - Walking
Finally, he decided to walk after 14 months! What a long wait!

4th anticipation - Talking
Jordan babbled a lot when he was a baby. He has a small mouth and his lips look sharp, and according to some people, it is a sign of a good talker. I think his first word was “bread”. Then, it was “car”. He was about 1 year old.

He started to talk more after he turned 2 years old. He spoke his first sentence early this year.

He is really talkative and I love it. He often asks questions like, “Where”, “What”, “How”, “Who”. He doesn’t know how to ask “Why” yet. So, I am waiting for that stage now.

5th anticipation – Story Telling
Some parents have been telling me how their child relates stories of the daily happenings to them after work. I have been trying to get Jordan to tell me what he did and what he ate at the babysitter. Most of the time, it’s a Question and Answer session.

Mummy: What did you eat?
Jordan: Rice
Mummy: Did you eat biscuit?
Jordan: Yes

Occasionally, he would tell me stories about the babysitter scolding one of the kids there. He also told me that the babysitter would ask him to eat faster. I hope to hear more stories from him. I would love to hear him telling me stories from the school in future.

6th anticipation – Obedience
Last weekend, I screamed at him and spanked him countless times. I have been using a wooden chopstick as a spanking instrument. He just refused to listen to us. He didn’t want to wash his hands. He touched things he was not supposed to touch even after countless warnings. What to do? Spank! He would purposely throw things around and seem to be expecting you to scold him after that. He was tired but refused to sleep.

We don’t like to spank him or scream at him. We want to teach him to obey. This is tough. Reasoning with him doesn’t seem to work. What to do? Spank!

7th anticipation – Sit still
I am still waiting for the time that he could actually sit still during worship. It seems that at this moment, the only thing to keep him sitting down is food. He ate quite a lot peanuts and pistachio yesterday during worship. Thankfully, he drinks a lot of water too. But after half an hour he was restless and started to bug everyone.

Every Sunday is chaotic. I hope that one day, he could sit down on his own – do some colouring, reading, and not running all over the place, demanding this and that non-stop.

Other anticipations…
I hope he doesn’t grow up too fast. I should enjoy every milestone. There are more challenges as they grew older. I hope that he would continue to stick to me.

This weekend the church will be having a prayer retreat at Kundang. I have decided not to leave him at the babysitter for the weekend. I know that it will be tough to take care of him but I want to spend as much time as I can with him. I hope to scold him less and not to spank him at all. Seng Chor will be attending training for the weekend.

Mummy will always love you, Jordan.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cravings During Pregnancy

Craving for ice cubes?
I did not have any craving during my pregnancy with Jordan. I could eat very well after the 1st Trimester. However, for this second pregnancy (or rather third because I had a miscarriage before Jordan), I still feel like vomiting at night and I am approaching the end of the 4th month. I long for ice cubes when I’m home. It’s very easy to satisfy – easily available any time. Is it craving? I don’t take a lot of ice cubes. I just want the vomiting feeling to go away. Seng Chor is probably thankful that I don’t ask him to drive out in the middle of night to buy food.

Since I’m eager to find out more about cravings, I did a search on the web and I learned something about cravings during pregnancy. Below are some of the points that I’ve compiled…

What are pregnancy cravings?
Food cravings are powerful urges (unquenchable longings) to eat particular cuisine or unusual food product that you may not have previously desired or dream of eating. The most commonly reported cravings are for sweets and dairy products, sour fruits and spicy foods.

What do cravings mean?
There are many reasons that women experience food cravings during pregnancy. Perhaps the simplest explanation is your body is working twenty four hours a day seven days a week to grow a healthy baby. Some cravings are simply the result of your body's needs for additional calories during pregnancy.

Other cravings may signal nutritional deficiencies. Some women for example, even vegetarians, might experience unusual cravings for steak and red meat during pregnancy. This could simply be a sign that their bodies need more iron to help support their growing baby. Many women will crave food they will loath or wouldn't dream of touching when not pregnant. A desire for salty foods -- such as pickles -- may indicate a need for more sodium as blood volume and body tissues are increasing.

Many women describe their pregnancy cravings as overpowering. While scientists haven't yet established why cravings are so strong among pregnant women, they certainly acknowledge that food cravings during pregnancy are the norm rather than the exception to the rule.


Where do cravings come from?
The extreme hormonal changes women go through during pregnancy can have a powerful impact on taste and smell. (This would help explain why women going through menopause can also experience strong food cravings and aversions.) But the bottom line is that no one really knows for sure. Some experts are skeptical that food cravings can be attributed simply to hormones.

What types of cravings are unhealthy?
A more serious type of craving, called pica, in which women crave nonfood items, like dirt, laundry starch, toothpaste, clay, cigarette buds, can be dangerous and even fatal. Several theories have been proposed as to what causes pica, from a deficiency of calcium or iron, to the ability of certain nonfood items to quell nausea and vomiting. However, there has never been any medical reason determined. Needless to say, cravings of this nature are not to be indulged.


Ways to curb unhealthy cravings?
In the end, experts consulted agreed that you should pay attention to your pregnancy cravings -- but not necessarily give in to them. Usually a healthy diet can meet all our nutritional needs but some experts think food also satisfies an emotional need. If we are not feeling emotionally fulfilled, maybe we need a hug rather than a hamburger.

Eat breakfast every day (skipping breakfast can make cravings worse), get plenty of exercise and make sure you have a wide ranging and healthy diet.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Movie Night = Miss Jordan Night

Movies that Seng Chor and I have watched this year
(January – July):

Street King
Forbidden Kingdom

Iron Man
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Kungfu Panda

The Dark Knight

Tonight, we are watching The Dark Knight. I’m going to miss Jordan again.

Happy Birthday, Mama!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Science of Kitchen


By Rachel Goodchild

CHILDREN enjoy learning new things, and the kitchen can be just as instructive as the classroom. Turning your kitchen into a makeshift laboratory doesn’t have to involve test tubes and white coats.

Using everyday pantry items and with you playing the part of Laboratory Assistant, handling the hot and trickier parts, you can create fun, educational, spectacular experiments, which will wow your children and lay the foundation for an interest in science and problem solving. Here are a few you can try at home:

The Milk Trick
(milk, food colouring, washing up liquid)
Pour some full fat milk into the base of a dinner plate so that it covers the bottom. Using a couple of colours, drop a little food colouring into the milk around the edge. The kids can dot it around, making little patterns in the milk. Make sure the milk stays in drops, no mixing. Now give them teaspoon with a little washing up liquid on it and get them to dribble it into the milk at the edge of the plate, near a spot of food colouring. Watch the patterns swirl!

Kitchen Bubbles
(washing up liquid, cornflour, bendy wire or an old coat hanger)
Measure and mix together 6 cups of water, 2 cups of washing up liquid and ¾ cup of corn syrup in a large bowl. Let it sit for around 4 hours and then put it into a shallow dish. Bend the wire into any closed shapes to use as bubble wands (leaving a little handle for little hands to hold). At this stage it is advisable to move outside! Now get the kids dips their wands in the mixture and wave them through the air to make magical bubbles.

Melting Moments
(balloons, a large container)
Fill balloons with water to different sizes, adding a little food colouring if you have some, and freeze them overnight. Peel the balloons off the ice shapes and let your child play with them in a large container as they melt. You can experiment with ideas such as whether your child will think they will float and what makes them melt faster. When you are done, have a cosy hot chocolate together to warm those little fingers and talk about your experiment…

(4 cups flour, 1 ½ cup salt, 1 cup water and some food colouring)
Mix the flour and the salt together in a large bowl and add ½ cup of water and stir it together for a couple of minutes before adding the remaining water gradually while you continue to mix. Make the dough into a big ball and knead it for 5 minutes, adding food colouring if you desire. And now the fun begins! Let the children mould and shape the clay with their hands or with cookie cutters. Put the finished creations on a foil covered baking tray and bake at 120 degrees Celsius for approximately 5 minutes (for 3 cm sized pieces). Once the masterpieces have cooled down, let the children paint them with acrylics to make them really come alive!

That sucks!
(a hard-boiled, peeled egg, a bottle with a neck slightly smaller than the diameter of the egg, boiling water, oil)
This experiment will have your little charges believing that you a magician. Place the bottle on a tray for safety, and pour some freshly boiled water into it. Very quickly place the boiled egg over the top of the bottle and stand back! The egg should get magically sucked into the bottle, demonstrating how cooling air shrinks and catapulting you into Wizard status.

Now grab a book and a cup of tea and leave the children to work out how to get the egg back out without breaking the bottle.

The art of parenting
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Durian Feast (Photos)

Yummy Kampung Durian. Very sweet

Weekday dinner – everywhere

Because I still can’t eat the catered food, I have to think of what to eat and where to eat every night. I even feel sick just by looking at the catered food. Terrible, right?

Here’s what I had last week:

  • Monday – Dragon-I (Shanghai Meat Dumpling (xiu long bao))

  • Tuesday – Zuup Soup Bar (Pumpkin Soup on Bread Bowl)

  • Wednesday – Fruits (Apple and Pear)

  • Thursday – Hokano Japanese Restaurant (Potato Salad, 2 Unari, 1 California Hand Roll and Miso soup)

  • Friday – Durian at SS2, Apple and Persimmon

  • Saturday – Home cooked Hokkien Mee and Vegetables

  • Sunday – Kampung Durian, Mangosteen and small bowl of Hokkien Mee

According to Seng Chor, on average, I spent about RM 20 for dinner every night. Hmm…very costly indeed. Fruits, salad and soup are not cheap. What to do? I have to eat something.

I had a good but tiring weekend. Seng Chor was away almost the whole Saturday. We went out around 3 pm to run some errands – Bangsar for my skin care products and 1 Utama for his old car’s sports rim, and my sandals.

Then, we went to Damansara Utama to buy fried rice for our dinner with oikos (pre-believers) at the Chans. Our growth group had our first introductory session on the Adult Alpha Course with 4 oikos. Praise the Lord! Pray that they will continue with us for the next 10 sessions. It will take a lot of hard work and prayers.

The talks include:
• Christianity: Boring, Untrue and Irrelevant?
• Who Is Jesus?
• Why Did Jesus Die?
• How Can I Be Sure of My Faith?
• Why and How Should I Read the Bible?
• Why and How Do I Pray?
• How Does God Guide Us?
• Who Is the Holy Spirit?
• What Does the Holy Spirit Do?
• How Can I Be Filled With the Spirit?
• How Can I Resist Evil?
• Why and How Should We Tell Others?
• Does God Heal Today?
• What About the Church?
• How Can I Make the Most of the Rest of My Life?

The main speaker is Nicky Gumbel – the founder of Alpha. Basically, after dinner, we would listen to his talk on the VCD and end with a discussion.

It was a good start our Growth Group.

On Sunday, it was church as usual at Antioch. Jordan behaved quite alright. He played with Ryan and Reuel. It’s pretty normal for them to snatch from one another – part of their growing up. But we still need to keep on reminding them to share and not to fight.

After lunch at Home Taste, Damansara Utama, I showered Jordan. Later, he played with his toys and watched television. He didn’t nap in the afternoon. He was really excited when Yoke Kheng and Kevin came over to the house for dinner. He gladly tidied some of his toys before Yoke Kheng came.

We were blessed with durians and mangosteens from Kevin’s friend’s plantation in Raub. It was yummy! Jordan enjoyed them too. We also watched the F1 race together. Actually, I didn’t watch much. I was busy washing and hanging the laundry.

It was an interesting night indeed. The Teohs went to bed around 10:30 pm.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cherry Wood Furniture

I have been wanting to get a furniture for the entrance of my house. Finally, my wish came true - 3-piece Cherry Wood furniture from Aunty Helen's moving out sale. Though I may not be sitting on the chairs much, looking at them, gives me a sense of contentment and joy. It adds beauty to the home. :)

Thank God for this new acquisition.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Snapping kids out of sleepwalking


By Rachel Goodchild

WHEN you child sleepwalks for the first time, you might be scared and wonder what to do. But, many children sleep walk, and they also grow out of it. Your child may not walk around the room or house, but they might perform certain actions from their bed. All this happens while they are asleep, and you will find they have no recollection of what they did. If you talk to them, you will more than likely find they do not talk back to you.

Whatever happens you need to make sure your child is safe at all times. You might need to walk in front of them, moving anything that could cause them to have an accident. You should ensure all doors and windows are tightly shut, and if possible locked because you don't want them opening them and either falling from an upstairs window or walking out into the neighbourhood.

When your child sleepwalks you should try and move them back to the direction of their bed. Try and avoid shouting or talking to them, or making any movements that might wake them up.

Keeping your child safe is your highest priority, and getting them back to bed is your second priority.

In the morning, you might mention to your child that they were sleepwalking, talk to them about what it means, but don't make them feel like there is something wrong with them mentally or emotionally.

As a parent you might feel helpless as you are not able to do very much, but your role is very important.

You are the one who keeps your child safe during this time. It might be a table need to be moved, then you should move it, it might be something you child wants to drink but they shouldn't because it is poisonous.

If you child sleep walks on a regular basis, you should talk to your family doctor. They might suggest you keep a diary of events; because many sleepwalkers have a pattern and it can be seen at what time during their sleep they might start to sleep walk.

If this is the case, then you might consider waking your child up before they reach that point in their sleep.

Talking will reassure your child that there is nothing wrong with them, and that many children also sleep walk. They might wake up during this time, and be scared as to what they are doing, again you need to reassure them about what they are doing and learn how to help them through this stage of their development.

The art of parenting
Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Checking temper tantrum


By Rachel Goodchild

IT is believed that more than 50% of children will have a temper tantrum and many of them will have them weekly. It can be hard on any parent having to deal with a temper tantrum, but you need to look at ways you can defuse the situation before it happens.

If your child often has tantrums then you -need to recognise the signs, and deal with them before it gets to a stage that you can't do anything.

Again, you need to make sure you are not sending out mixed signals to the child. Many parents reward their child for calming down, and this will soon be something the child reacts to. They will have a tantrum knowing they will also be rewarded. If you have other children, they will consider it unfair that one child has a tantrum and gets a reward, while they behave and get no rewards.

You always need to evaluate why your child has had a tantrum, and if there is anything you can do to change the circumstances.

Maybe you asked if they would like to eat, whereas you really meant it is time for dinner. They have answered the question in their own mind, (No, I want to watch television or play with my toys), but then they are called to the table and suddenly pandemonium breaks out. Why?

Because the boundaries were set in the child’s mind that they were asked one thing, but in the parent's mind, they are thinking about something else. Do you see the difference?

Don't ask a child a question, when you already have the answer and expect that to be obeyed.

However much you want to shout at the child during the time of the tantrum, you must always remain calm and in control. Yes, it is easier said than done, but the child will be looking at your reaction.

It is easier to control a tantrum before it starts or before it gets out of control. Get down to their level and talk to them. Don't shout; don't bribe them, just talk to them. Keep talking until they tell you what they are feeling. It's important to know how they are feeling if you are going to make those feelings better.

There will be times you need to hold your child, especially if they are in danger of hurting themselves. Keep talking; it doesn't matter if they don't respond immediately. Keep the lines of communication open at all times, reassure them that you love them regardless of what they are doing. There is a difference between loving your child and disliking the way they behave.

There will be times that you have to give your child a time out. It is best for you to have a place for them to go, and they know about it before a tantrum happens: Explain that this is a place of safety, but one they have to stay in until they become calm again.

After the tantrum is over, talk to your child, ask them what they were feeling during that time, and how they now feel. Learn from what they say, and see if there is anything that you can do to help them.

The art of parenting
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Family Photos (4 July 2008)

Animals' our friend


By Anna Tham

MOST children love animals. From the time they start recognising things, we tend to point out to them animals we often see like the lizard on the wall, a stray cat or dog on the road, chickens, birds, and fish.

As parents, we feel good that our children take an interest in nature and are curious about the animal world. On the other hand, when they start asking to keep a pet, that's when our nightmare begins!

I've done time (and still 'am ) in 'assisting' my little pet owner in caring for her pets, simply because she is still too young to carry out some of the responsibilities involved in pet rearing.

So far, we have had fish and terrapins and they have been manageable.

My little pet owner normally starts with great interest in ensuring they are fed, sometimes too well-fed in fact! .

As for keeping them clean, she would alert us that the tank needs a change of water and happily assists in removing its inhabitants to a temporary container.

A few months down the road, she starts to forget to feed them, and neglect sets in while she moves on to other interests.

Lately, she has developed a keen interest in dogs and -has been hounding us to get one. Now, a dog takes pet-keeping to a whole new level as it is more demanding of care and attention.

As we currently live in a condominium, we have managed to help her understand that a dog is not possible for now. We have also pointed out repeatedly the responsibility one must take when committing to a pet

It was an opportunity for us to teach her the meaning of responsibility, commitment and caring for others, be it animals or people.

According to, parental involvement, open discussion, and planning are usually necessary to help make pet ownership a positive experience for everyone.

It says that "a child who learns to care for an animal and treat it kindly and patiently, gets invaluable training in learning to treat people the same way. Careless treatment of animals is unhealthy for both the pet and the child involved".

The choice of a pet is also important. We need to make sure that the animal is suitable for the family, home and lifestyle. If you have young children or babies especially, be sure that the pet is child-friendly, not aggressive, and easy to manage in terms of hygiene.

For example, if your child, like mine, has allergies, you would then need to ensure that the pet you get would not affect her condition.

And if you are pregnant, be careful if you keep cats. Handle their litter with care as cats' faeces could carry a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. This infection is not serious for you but could be dangerous for your developing baby.

Keeping pets is a healthy and educational activity and a great experience for both children and parents.

Children's social skills can be developed as they gain self-esteem and self-¬confidence, and develop compassion, trust and empathy. Their hands-on experience with nature will teach them responsibilities towards other creatures.

At the same time, they will learn about life cycles, reproduction, and animal health.

And when a pet they love is lost or dies, it is an experience and lesson about loss, death and bereavement.

Bringing up children
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A matter of timing

Parents need to help children to develop a concept and appreciation for time early in life

By Rachel Goodchild

A CHILD isn’t born understanding the concept of time; it is something they need to be taught. One of the problems a child has when it comes to learning about time is the different messages they are given. Many times parents tell a child to do something, while they do the complete opposite.

It is relatively easy to say to a child that when the big hand reaches a number and the small one reaches another number they have to be ready because they will be going out. It is harder for the child to understand how long it is between the present time and the future time.

Also don’t expect them to be ready, and then have to wait for the parent who is always late. It will not help them to understand the importance of time, and being on time. They will think: “Is there a good reason why I should be on time, when my parents are not?”

You need to ensure that you practice what you preach to your children. If you tell them to be ready by a certain time, then you also need to be ready by the same time.

If you take 15 minutes as an example, it is hard to explain how long that is to a child. Getting them to sit down or be quiet for 15 minutes may seem to them like a lifetime. Sit down yourself and see if you can be quiet for 15 minutes and how long that feels like. You might be surprised at the difference between what you think is 15 minutes and what is really 15 minutes.

Staying with the idea of 15 minutes, find a task they can do which will take exactly 15 minutes. As they do this task, they will learn how long this period really is. They will also learn how much they can do in those 15 minutes. Reading to a child for a quarter of an hour is another way for them to start to understand time.

But, the important part of this training will be showing the child how important time really is.

In the adult world everything we do is time oriented. We have a time to be at work, and a time to leave work. We have a time to cook a meal, a time when our favourite programme is on television, and even a time for our social calendar.

Can you imagine what it is like a child who hasn’t learnt about time, to be told dinner will be ready in 5 minutes? Well, you know how long 5 minutes is, but do they understand that they only have a few minutes left to play with their toys, and then be at the dinner table? Possibly not, and then the parents gets angry because the child isn’t sitting at the table when the meal is ready.

A child is told what to do, but they need to learn about time, and not just how to tell the time. They need to learn how important time is for everything they do. This is something a parent has to understand well, before they start to teach their children the concept of time.

The art of parenting
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Appetite, Lack of Sleep and Movements

It’s been a tough week. I thought I was feeling better last Wednesday when I could finally eat the catered food. But then, I threw up last Friday night. I vomited the dinner as well on Monday night. I had fruits (apple, pear, orange and custard apple) for dinner the next day. On Wednesday and Thursday, I had fruits and cream crackers with Milo for dinner. Last night, I had fruits, sweet potato and Oreo McFlurry. Hmm…overall, I think it is a healthy diet.

Jordan has been sleeping late. On Tuesday, he refused to sleep until 1 am. On Wednesday, he fell asleep between 11:30 pm to 12 midnight. Lights were off at 10 pm. He would climb over us, go up and down the bed, and even leave the bedroom. He would also push us. It was really annoying. Seng Chor and I gave him at least 15 smacks on the butt on Tuesday night. Jordan even said that I’m naughty but later he allowed me to hug him. We really need to give him proper spanking to discipline him. I have been reluctant to get a cane. But after reading the article on spanking, I decided that we can’t spare him the rod. Some children just need to be disciplined.

I thought Thursday night was really wonderful. I reached home at around 10:15 pm after the Ladies Discipleship Cell. Both father and son were soundly asleep. Unfortunately, Jordan woke up before 5 am the next day. Sigh.

On Friday night, we left him at the babysitter so that both of us could recuperate. Hehehe! I had to work on Saturday and Seng Chor had training on Saturday and Sunday.

Lately, I have been feeling more movements from my baby. It's a beautiful feeling indeed. I started feeling the bubbly sensation in the womb towards the end of the second month. Last week, I felt some strong movements. I didn't just dream about it but I felt it too. I hope to know whether the baby is Jemimah or Josiah end of this month.

Looking forward to rest more over the weekend.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Spanking – Why, When and How?


The subject matter focuses on the biblical topic of spanking. However, it is important to remember that spanking is only one important aspect of child training.

The Bible instructs parents to "train up a child in the way he should go,”' and spanking needs to be seen in the proper context of that training. The correct training of children involves four vital areas: love, discipline, teaching and example. As these areas work together, the training of children comes into proper balance.


Parents want their children to obey them to do something, yet many parents fail to get obedience. Some are so discouraged and frustrated they don’t believe obedience from their children is even possible.

What is wrong? Why don’t many parents get the results they so desire to see? Why do many parents often succumb to anger, frustration, despair or cruelty in their attempts to train their children?

The family is God’s idea. He brought it into being. In His Word He has given clear instructions as to how He intends it to function.

There are several hindrances which keep parents from receiving God’s wisdom and instruction in the area of discipline.


1) Humanistic Thinking
Often this philosophy carries the idea that parental authority and discipline are wrong, that they hinder true freedom. The concept that children are basically good and if left to themselves will grow up to be happy, fulfilled people is another plank in the' philosophy of humanism. Because this world's way of thinking has such a strong influence, even among Christians, many parents become skeptical of discipline and feel they will hinder their children's development and future happiness if they spank them.

The Bible tells us, however, that "folly [foolishness] is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him" (Proverbs 22: 15).

2) False Love
Another hindrance to discipline comes from a misunderstanding of the meaning of love. Some parents will say, "I love my children too much to spank them." On the surface this may sound good, but if falls far short of the kind of love God wants parents to show to their children.

God is love; His love desires the best and highest for every individual. Since real love chooses the best, it must bring correction to anything within an individual's life that will keep that one from the best. Without true discipline there is no true love, and without true love there is no true discipline. "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him" (Proverbs 13:24).

3) Child Abuse
Another hindrance that keeps some parents from spanking their children is the issue of child abuse. This is an area that has rightly been a source of grief for concerned people everywhere Child abuse can surface in various ways - sexual, verbal, physical and even emotional abuse.

No matter what form it takes - whether it be neglect and rejection, or assault and brutality - child abuse should be despised by every parent.

However in rejecting even the thought of child abuse, parents must be careful not to reject God's way of providing loving correction through spanking. This is not to be confused with child abuse. Parents must guard against the fear that loving discipline is a form of child abuse.

A spanking is not a time for parents to release personal frustration, tension or wrath. "For the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God" (James 1:20).

Though a spanking is not intended to be an enjoyable experience to a child or to the parent, if properly given it reaps positive and long-lasting benefits.

4) Laziness
Another hindrance to parents spanking their children is personal laziness. Spanking takes a full commitment of the will of both parents to make it an effective part of the training of children.



1) Childishness
A spanking should never be used to force something upon children they are not prepared to handle because of age. Children should not be disciplined for being themselves, for acting their age.

2) Lack of Ability
Parents must also guard against using a spanking to try to make their children duplicate someone else's abilities.

3) Accidents
Legitimate forgetfulness and unintentional accidents are also not reasons for giving a spanking. Parents need to be careful to differentiate between faultless and blameless behaviour of their children.

4) Incomplete Information
Another time when a spanking should not be given is when parents are not sure of all the facts surrounding a particular incident. Do not "rush to judgment" if all the issues are not clear. A parent should not rely only on "hear-say" information, but should be certain of what really took place.

5) Out of Anger
A spanking should not be given when a parent is responding to his child in anger. It is not for the purpose of releasing parental frustration, and should not be based on a parent's emotions. Child abuse is the result of this kind of discipline. Rather, spanking is providing loving correction on the basis of obedience to God's Word.

The specific areas that need correction within a child are the areas of disobedience and wrong attitudes

Willful disobedience and wrong attitudes are never acceptable and need to be corrected with a spanking.

1) Obedience
No place does the Bible teach that obedience or right attitudes are natural responses for any child. It is disobedience that is natural. Parents don't have to train their children to lie, to rebel, or get angry; but they do need to train them to obey, no matter what their personality may be.

In recognizing willful disobedience a parent needs to understand the difference between what a child is able to do and what a child will not do.

The Bible states that obedience must be complete. (This directive, of course, takes into account that parents will not be leading their children into areas of evil.) Children are not to obey their parents only when and if they feel like it. God wants them to respond to their parents' authority and to learn to obey them in every area.

Another important aspect of obedience is that of promptness. The classic injunction "Delayed obedience is disobedience" still holds true.

Children need to learn to obey their parents' word, even if another adult tells them something different.

Also obedience from children should he unquestioned; it should not be based upon how reasonable a command sounds to the child.

2) Attitudes
The other major area for discipline in children is the area of right attitudes. God desires not only prompt and complete obedience but joyful obedience that comes from the heart.

Children should be encouraged to come to their parents at any time and freely express themselves and ask questions, but they need to be trained to speak in a pleasant tone of voice, showing the respect and contentment that comes from a right attitude. Because right attitudes are issues of the will and not the emotions, a child can choose to be happy and content. The feelings, the emotions, are a barometer of the will. When a child chooses the proper attitude, the appropriate emotional response will follow. At mealtime, for example, a child may not like a particular food that's being served, but the child can be trained to eat it with a thankful heart.

Wrong attitudes in children often come to light during playtime with friends or siblings. Often these selfish attitudes will be expressed in arguing, grabbing, pinching or lighting. Children can learn to be kind to one another. When children protest or throw temper tantrums, this too is a manifestation of a wrong attitude. The loving correction of a spanking is needed in order to correct these attitudes.

A temper tantrum is not something a parent should ignore, or laugh at, or play along with in order to show the child how silly he looks. Children discover different methods for getting their own way. Some children will act cute, some will beg, other will throw temper tantrums. Some children will pretend they don't understand, while others will come up with the "I-forgot-to" tactic.

Children need to know that wrong attitudes are never acceptable. If these attitudes are not dealt with quickly and firmly, not only will the child become unhappy but the well being of the whole family is affected as well.


Parents need to understand the necessity God places on spanking and when a spanking should be given; but it is also important to know how to give a spanking.


1) The Right Instrument
God has instructed parents to use a stick, not a hand, when they need lovingly correct their children with a spanking. (A rod is a flexible branch or twig or stick.) The hand is a part of the parent and should be used for purposes of expressing affection and loving service.

God has instructed parents to spank with a stick because in His wisdom He knows this is the most effective way of providing the loving correction children need. The reason for this is that spanking, although an outward act, ultimately deals with the heart issue within a child. A spanking is not an enjoyable experience but rather a character-changing experience. Through the pain of spanking a child is to be brought to the place of repentance over what he or she has done wrong. A stick is the most effective instrument to spank with because its flexibility brings the greatest amount of stinging pain without the danger of physical injury. Stiff, hard objects like paddles or wooden spoons don't produce as much pain and also include the possibility of injuring a child. Belts, although flexible, are not as effective as a stick and also might cause injury.

Other forms of discipline such as putting a child in a corner, or depriving him of supper, or sending him to his room are not effective means of discipline because the issues of willful disobedience and wrong attitudes within a child's heart remain untouched. Often when children are put in corners or sent to their rooms, resentment and bitterness have opportunity to grow within their hearts. Harsh, unkind or belittling words such as "good¬-for-nothing" or "spoiled brat" are destructive to a child and must never be considered proper discipline. Even parents who would never think of spanking their children, regarding it as cruel and unjust, will speak words to them in anger, causing inner wounds that can take a life-time to heal.

2) Spanking Promptly
A spanking should be given as soon as possible after a child has done something that needs correction. A spanking shouldn't be put off by a mother "until Daddy gets home." On the other hand, a father needs to be sure to take his responsibility in providing the correction of spanking when he is home and not leave it only to his wife.

One reason why a spanking needs to be given promptly is that if delayed it would be easy for younger children to forget the reason for the discipline.

3) Find a Private Place
Spanking is a private issue between parent and child. Its purpose is correction, not embarrassment. Before a spanking is given a parent should take the child to a place where privacy can be insured.

4) Clarify the Issue
Before a spanking is given, it is important to make sure the child understands the reason for the spanking, in order to bring that child to a place of repentance for the particular issue involved.

Children need to understand that a spanking is not an attack against them personally but is correction for what they have done wrong.

5) Get Into a Good Position
Often parents are unable to give an effective spanking because their children are not in the proper physical position to receive one. A child over a parent's knee may work fine when the child is young, but it is better to have older children simply bend over a chair or a bed.

A proper position also reflects and attitude of willingness to receive correction. Children who fight a spanking by kicking or twisting or blocking the spanking with their hands need to learn to submit to correction.

6) Spanking The Proper Area
God has given parents the perfect area on which to administer a spanking - the child's bottom. It is a safe place because it is well cushioned, yet it is highly sensitive area. In order for a spanking to be effective, good contact is important. Parents, however, need to use practical wisdom regarding how much clothing to remove when spanking an older child. Remember, a spanking is not intended to embarrass or humiliate.

7) Wait For The Proper Cry
The purpose of a spanking is to bring a child's heart to a place of repentance. Repentance means having a change of mind towards the wrong that was done, having genuine sorrow over that issue. This is different from remorse, which often occurs in children when they are put in a corner or denied a privilege. This type of discipline generates a feeling of being sorry for getting caught instead of being sorry for what was done.

Swats or slaps are not spankings. They only create anger or resentment in children and will not only bring them to a place of repentance. A spanking needs to be hard enough and long enough to bring a repentant cry, a cry that says, 'I’m sorry." A parent will be able to discern in a child's cry when he or she has broken and come to repentance over an issue. A repentant cry is different from a cry of anger or protest, which usually occurs at the beginning of a spanking.

Exactly how long and how hard a spanking needs to be in order to bring a repentant cry is a matter for the parent to determine. It can vary, depending on the sensitivity of the child's will.

8) Have A Period Of Reconciliation
After correction, a parent needs to allow a child to cry for a reasonably short amount of time. Then a child should be told to stop crying and be brought under control. If parents leave the room immediately after a spanking and a child is left in tears, those tears can quickly turn into self-pity. When this happens children will usually go looking for sympathy from someone, most likely the other parent. This will not only hinder a child's repentance but create an opportunity for a child to divide the parents by working one against the other.

The period of reconciliation after a spanking provides a special time of love and intimacy to take place between a parent and a child. It gives comfort and reassurance to a child. It also helps to bring a child into self-control and freedom. The time spends with a child after a spanking assures him that the issue is dealt with and over. It is in the past and is not something that will be nagged about or held against him. This can be reinforced by the parent through loving, reassuring embraces and a brief time of prayer.

Also the time a parent spends with their children after spanking will help confirm to the parent that the child's heart has truly been brought to repentance. This can be done by instructing children to make any needed steps of restitution.

Extracted from “Spanking – Why, When, How?”
By Roy Lessin
Bethany House Publishers

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My Office...

Entrance - Guarded by Mashimaro

Desk and chair

(Guarded by 3 teddy bears)

Side table and drawer

DELL computer, books and CDs

The wall - Bible quotes and photos

Stuff on my desk

Close-up look

Another view of my desk

Cabinet and assignments lying on the floor

CF guitar and keyboard

View from my desk

A photograph of Wollongong

(The place where I obtained my Bachelor and Masters degree)

A - Z on Jordan

A – Adorable
B – Boy
C – Charming
D – Dimple (on the right)
E – Energetic
F – Friendly
G – Gentleman (occasionally)
H – Handsome
I – Inquisitive
J – Jovial
K – Kissable
L – Lovable
M – Mischievous
N – Nicknamed Xian-xian
O – Orderly sequence habit
P – Playful
Q – Quizzical expression
R – Restless
S – Super laughter
T – Talkative
U – Uncontrollable (sometimes)
V – Very active (not hyper)
W – Wriggly
X – XD expression
Y – Yappy
Z – Zany (sometimes)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Scouting for Child Care Center / Pre-school

Last week, my colleague and I visited 5 child care centers/pre-schools around Bandar Utama. Her son is born in the same year as Jordan.

For me, it was something interesting and adventurous. It was a learning experience too. I got to know about the various progammes offered and got a few advices here and there. I’m impressed with what they do.

Below is a summary of the centers that we visited and what I think of them.

1st Center

Web site:

CEC (Child Enrichment Centre) R.E.A.L (Result Enhancing through Active Learning) approach. CEC is the first kindergarten and school in Malaysia to be accredited ISO9001:2000 certification for the full range of its head office operations, kindergarten operations as well as its school operations.

Their programmes:
R.E.A.L TOTS is a Childcare Programme for infants and toddlers ages 6 month to 3 years old. This programme meets all health and safety standards in accordance to Australian standards. Their structured programmes include baby games, baby massage, songs and rhymes, story time, special theme days, show and tell and computer class.

CEC R.E.A.L Kids 4 to 6 takes care of the pre-school years. Their R.E.A.L programmes are written specially for Malaysian children. It incorporates the Multiple Intelligences [MI] approach amongst other well-tested pedagogies. Children will breeze into the school years with confidence. The standard curriculum is planned for half-day duration. However a full-day enhancement programme is also available at selected centres.

What I think?
The first impression was good. The teacher sounded very enthusiastic about their programmes and it made us felt welcome and excited too. Because of her enthusiasm, I almost wanted to send Jordan there immediately. Hahaha! I was also attracted to the swimming pool they have outside the house though it was an inflatable one.

2nd Center
Sri Cita Child Care Center


Their programmes:
Exclusive Early Learning Programmes:
Playgroup: 2 – 3 years old
Preschool: 4 years old
Kindergarten 1 (K1): 5 years old
Kindergarten 2 (K2): 6 years old

Reinforcement/Enhancement Programmes:
School Age – 7 and above

Enrichment Programmes:
English Language Programme –
A balanced reading programme from UK which provides children with opportunities to learn from a variety of teaching approaches.

Mandarin Classes –
Integrated and fun way of learning Mandarin through stories, songs, drama and poems.

Music course –
Start your child on an exciting musical journey.

What I think?
Well…the teacher didn’t sound as enthusiastic as the one in CEC. In fact, she sounded boring. The place looks fine. No swimming pool. The programme and schedule is fine too.

3rd Center
Smart Reader Kids (Bandar Utama)

Web site:

Primarily, Smart Reader® Worldwide Sdn Bhd markets three educational concepts, all based on the franchise business system. They are Smart Reader Kids Junior®, Smart Reader Kids® and Smart Reader English Language for Adults and Youths®.

Smart Reader® Worldwide Sdn Bhd launched its first franchise in 1999. The first franchise was introduced in Selangor, Malaysia, followed by launches in both East and West Malaysia in the year 2000, and internationally into the Philippines in 2001, Thailand in 2002, Brunei and Taiwan in 2003, China in 2004 and Syria in 2005. Smart Reader® currently has about 225 franchised outlets locally, and 144 abroad.

Their programmes:
• Smart Reader English
• Smart Bacaan
• Smart Mandarin
• Smart Maths
• Science
• Water Play
• Computer Moral
• Art and Craft
• Music movement
• Kinder-cooking

What I think?
The programme is good – well defined. The place is also fine. Overall, it is just ok – no strong feeling about it.

4th Center

Web site:

Their programmes:
Q-dees’ passion in early child development has led to the continuing dedication in developing unique, quality and innovative programmes to nurture young minds. At Q-dees, they adopt the En-Gedi™ approach (Environmentally-Guided Experiences Develop Intelligence™), which is a total learning system and environment that stimulates good learning attitudes in children.

Q-dees Hands-on Mind-on™ approach is another ingenious method of teaching, which allows children to learn through the process of exploration and discovery.

The Q-dees system has many more unique features, all wrapped-up in a totally Integrated and Modulated system™, which includes:-
• total development for a holistic learning experience;
• trilingual programme;
• the Q-dees Individual Child Monitoring System™ (ICMS™); and
• Q-dees’ carefully created role models to inculcate good character.

Q-dees Day Care programme:
Tea Break
Tutorial and Enrichment
Reading and story time
Indoor games

What I think?
Oh….I love the swimming pool. It is actually a proper swimming pool – ‘L’ shaped. Swimming lessons are provided every Thursday. The 3 year olds do mainly colouring to improve their motor skills. They were all seating down doing colouring when we visited the class. There seem to be proper order in the class. The programme seems interesting.

5th Center
The Star Children House

Web site:

THE STAR CHILDREN HOUSE has its humble start some 15 years ago with its first kindergarten established at Wangsa Maju, Setapak in Kuala Lumpur.

Their programmes:
Bahasa Malaysia
Moral Education
Art and Craft
Dancing and Singing

The syllabuses that they develop embrace the Malaysia Ministry of Education's curriculum, policy and guideline so as to ensure the children are well prepared and equipped to welcome their first step into the formal education journey.

What I think?
It’s like a Chinese school – very academic. 3 year olds learn the alphabets A – Z. For each alphabet, they do colouring, tracing and craft. The programme doesn’t sound interesting. The place is big – the biggest so far. It is actually two 2 and half storey houses combined. No chairs are provided for the 3 years old, only tables in the room because the teachers feel that 3 year olds cannot sit still. Well, they can be trained to sit still. They shouldn’t be allowed to roam everywhere in the room. We also discovered something rather unique – they have different teachers every half an hour. Hmm…we don’t think it is necessary or beneficial. We wonder whether the teachers would get to know the children personally.

The fees structure is similar for all centers. Their monthly fee ranges between RM 500 to RM 600 including day care services.

Miscellaneous fee include the following:
• Registration
• Books
• Uniform
• Insurance
• Stationery
• Photo album
• Sports and concert
(Transportation can be arranged)

School hours: 8 am to 12:30

My personal ranking of the centers:
1) Q-dees
2) CEC
3) Smart Reader Kids
4) The Star Children House
5) Sri Cita

When will I start sending Jordan?
Initially, I thought of sending Jordan to school this year. Well, after some considerations and views from friends, I decided to start next year. Seng Chor doesn’t agree to start so soon. Friends shared (from personal experience) that their children even get bored when starting school too early.

Basically, what 3 year olds do are mainly colouring, art and craft. I can do that with Jordan at home. On the socializing part, he is doing fine in that area. He socializes in church as well as at the babysitter. There are 3 other kids with the babysitter. The babysitter also teaches him. Let him have more freedom, after all, they will be at school/college until they are at least 21 years old.

I also realized another thing – children tend to fall sick more often when they are in school. Their immune system is still not very strong at this young age. Most of the schools are air-conditioned. So, the viruses spread really easily.

I find that all the programmes are good. The teachers are the ones who play a very important role in administering the programmes and the class. More importantly is that Jordan is able to adapt and learn, having fun at the same time. If he is not enjoying himself or adapting, it is no point putting him in the most expensive school or the ‘best’ school.

We shall keep praying and ask God for wisdom to put Jordan in a right school.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Hello, can I help you?

Children need to be taught good telephone etiquette when answering calls.

By Rachel Goodchild

How many times have you made a phone call, to have it answered by a child, and then wonder if he or she is listening to what you are saying?

It happens too often and people don’t want to hear the child talking away, when they are trying to reach the adult. It is important that children know how to answer the telephone and how to respond to any question that are asked.

Children love to answer the telephone, especially if they have a toy one that rings. They are used to picking up the handset and talking away about anything and nothing.

But at some stage, a parent needs to tell the child that the real telephone is different from the toy one.

They need to understand that there is a real person on the telephone and that it costs them money to make a call. It might even cost a lot of money depending on where the caller lives.

If children have a toy phone, then it will be good to use that to practice on. They can pretend to answer the phone when it rings.

The first thing they need to know is how to answer the phone. Now, you as their parents have to decide if they should ever give their name. Maybe, the caller has asked to speak to a certain member of the family, but the child is confused. There isn’t anyone called Mary in the house, only Mummy. What they don’t know is that Mary and Mummy are the same people.

They then need to take the message and pass it on. That might seem a simple formula, but it is a lot for a child to remember and get right.

The child might want to talk to the person. So, he/she must be taught that there will be times when the person on the phone won’t want to chatter with him/her.

But you must also remember that not everybody will be someone who you can trust to talk to your children.

What happens if your child answers the telephone and then says that Mummy and Daddy are not in? That they are being watched by the babysitter, and then go on to chatter away, unknowingly giving away lots of personal information?

This is all part of teaching a child how to use the telephone, and how some questions are best not answered. Not that the child is going to lie but that keeping safe is the important factor.

Children need to give as much information as they have been told to give and no more. If the caller doesn’t know your child’s name, then teach your child not to give it.

If the caller says, “You must be Susan”, your child must be taught not to say: “No, I’m not Susan. My name is Jane.”

Teach your son or daughter to just say no but not to give his/her name out. Anyone who knows the child will also know the child’s name.

Good manners and keeping safe go hand in hand when a child is answering the telephone. Make sure he/she understands both.

The art of parenting
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Page 20

Friday, July 04, 2008

Bedtime Routine

Seng Chor and I have been struggling with Jordan's sleeping habits for quite some time. I guess both of us have failed to establish a proper bedtime routine with Jordan. We find the article below from The Star useful. Seng Chor read it first and shared with me during lunch time yesterday. Coincidentally, my mum forwarded the article to me after lunch.

We have also heard positive comments from friends who have been practising regular routine with their children. Seng Chor and I have started to work on some of issues with Jordan. Last night was a good start.


A regular routine helps children to settle down for the night.

IF you are a parent with young children but physically resemble a character from Night of the Living Dead, read on. Parents tend to be more concerned about their child’s nutrition and learning abilities rather than sleep.

A recent international study involving 30,000 children aged zero to three has shown that many parents feel their children do not sleep well, especially Asian children.

Completed last year, the International Sleep Study on Infants and Toddlers was conducted in 17 countries. It involved 12 Asian countries (over 20,000 children) and five Western countries consisting of the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. In Malaysia, 997 parents and caregivers responded to the survey, which was conducted online.

The survey, jointly conducted by Johnson & Johnson and the Asia Pacific Paediatric Sleep Alliance (APPSA), is believed to be the largest of its kind.

“Sleep may seem like a natural process but many mothers neglect the importance of good sleep in their children,” said Joyce Lee, Johnson & Johnson Malaysia’s managing director.

Led by prominent US-based paediatrician Dr Jodi Mindell, the study showed that 26% of parents in Caucasian countries believe their child has a sleep problem compared to 54% in Asian countries. (Overall, results in Malaysia and the other Asian countries were very similar.)

Among the questions in the survey was whether parents practised a consistent bedtime routine with their kids.

“Only 53% of Malaysians practise the same bedtime routine with their child compared to 71% of Caucasians,” said How Ti Hwei, director of professional marketing with Johnson & Johnson Asia Pacific.

“In addition, 84% of Malaysian children sleep in the same room as their parents compared to only 35% of Caucasians,” said How, who was involved in the survey.

However, consultant paediatrician and paediatric pulmonologist at Hospital Serdang, Dr Norrashidah Abdul Wahab, advocates co-sleeping, but in different beds.

“The main reason for sleeping in different beds is safety. I also find that mothers do not really want to be separated from their young child.

“It is also easier to breastfeed a child who is in the same room and mothers can also tend to the needs of the child immediately,” she said.

The sleep survey also found that the average time children go to bed in Asia is 9.30pm but in Caucasian countries, it is 8.30pm.

“Caucasians have a specific, earlier bedtime for their children. On the other hand, most Malaysians are not aware of the importance of good (sleep) habits,” said Dr Norrashidah, who is a member of APPSA.

Dr Norrashidah believes that the time children go to bed is important.

“Malaysian children tend to sleep later and wake up late, at nine or 10am. They should sleep by eight or 9pm for the proper cycles of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep to take place,” she explained.

REM sleep is important for brain development while during non-REM sleep, physical growth takes place.

She said that non-REM sleep occurs from 8pm onwards; towards the early morning, more REM sleep occurs.

“The age between zero and three is a crucial period for growth, which happens during sleep,” she said.

To get children to sleep earlier, their afternoon naps should only be about one to two hours, she added.

Proven routine

Prior to the International Sleep Study, Dr Mindell carried out a clinical sleep study in the United States involving 58 mothers and their babies aged seven to 18 months over three weeks.

The study, conducted in 2005, involved practising a three-step routine before bedtime, which comprised a bath, massage and quiet activities like story time.

Results showed that babies slept faster and woke up in the middle of the night less. The longest sleep period in the night also increased by 23% and mothers reported that they were less tired.

“This study shows that a simple three-step routine can help both children and mothers sleep better,” he said, adding that the routine should not take more than 30 minutes.

Added Lee, “Many mothers know intuitively that a routine works. Now, we are sharing with them a practical and proven routine to follow.”

Asian parents who might not be open to bathing their children at night have an alternative – wiping them down with warm water.

“The warmness calms and relaxes the child,” said Lee.

Dr Norrashidah said a regular bedtime routine is important to teach the baby to unwind and go to sleep to maximise the restorative benefits of sleep to aid the baby’s cognitive, social and physical development.

“The lack of a bedtime routine and healthy sleep in the long term can affect a baby’s memory, learning ability and even well-being,” said Dr Norrashidah.

She stressed that the key points are to put a baby to bed early from the start and to continue practising a routine.

“Bathe or wipe them down, change them into their pyjamas, dim the lights, and spend time with them. Read them a book or sing a song. It’s also good to massage them because it is relaxing.

“A routine should continue until the child is about five years old,” she said.

She added that many Malaysian parents do not practise a set routine with their children due to their busy lifestyle.

“Understandably, most mothers work these days and come back late but they still want to spend time and play with their children at night,” she said.

Dr Norrashidah added that although a bigger study is needed, the clinical sleep study shows that a routine is effective in helping children sleep better.

Your one-stop information portal:
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Baby's Name

Seng Chor and I have decided on the name of our second child – Jemimah for girl and Josiah for boy. Both will have the same spelling for the Chinese name – Shang Wen but the Chinese characters will be different. I have asked my father to start thinking of the possible names.

Below are the meaning of the names:

Girl’s Name - Jemimah

Little dove
Arabic Name

Jemimah also a name in:
Jemimah (Hebrew)

Names with the same meaning as Jemimah:
Jemima (Arabic)
Jonina (Israeli)

je-mi'-ma (yemimah, perhaps a diminutive meaning "little dove"):
The first daughter of Job (42:14), born after his restoration from affliction.

The girl's name Jemima \j(e)-mi-ma\ is pronounced je-MYE-mah. It is of Hebrew origin, and its meaning is "dove". Biblical: eldest of the three daughters of Job (see also Keren and Kezia), renowned as the most beautiful women of their time. The name has been recorded from the early 1700s in England. It is now also familiar because of the "Aunt Jemima" brand name for pancake mix and syrup, and Beatrix Potter's foolish heroine in "Jemima Puddleduck".

Jemima has 8 variant forms: Jamina, Jemimah, Jeminah, Jemmimah, Jemmie, Jemmy, Mima and Mimma.

Jemima is a very rare female first name and a very rare surname
(source: 1990 U.S. Census).

Boy’s Name – Josiah

The Lord saves
Hebrew origin

The boy's name Josiah \j(o)-siah\ is pronounced jo-SYE-ah. It is of Hebrew origin, and its meaning is "Jehovah helps". Biblical: king of Judah at age eight after his father was assassinated, Josiah ruled well for 31 years. Porcelain entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood.

Josiah is the name of the 16th king of Judah. The book of Deuteronomy was rediscovered during his time as king.

Josiah has 3 variant forms: Josia, Josias and Joziah.

Josiah is an uncommon male first name and a popular surname
(source: 1990 U.S. Census).


More on Josiah from
Meaning: healed by Jehovah, or Jehovah will support

the son of Amon, and his successor on the throne of Judah (2 Kings 22:1; 2 Chr. 34:1)

His history is contained in 2 Kings 22, 23. He stands foremost among all the kings of the line of David for unswerving loyalty to Jehovah (23:25). He "did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father." He ascended the throne at the early age of eight years, and it appears that not till eight years afterwards did he begin "to seek after the God of David his father." At that age he devoted himself to God. He distinguished himself by beginning a war of extermination against the prevailing idolatry, which had practically been the state religion for some seventy years (2 Chr. 34:3; compare Jer. 25:3, 11, 29).

In the eighteenth year of his reign he proceeded to repair and beautify the temple, which by time and violence had become sorely dilapidated (2 Kings 22:3, 5, 6; 23:23; 2 Chr. 34:11). While this work was being carried on, Hilkiah, the high priest, discovered a roll, which was probably the original copy of the law, the entire Pentateuch, written by Moses.

When this book was read to him, the king was alarmed by the things it contained, and sent for Huldah, the "prophetess," for her counsel. She spoke to him words of encouragement, telling him that he would be gathered to his fathers in peace before the threatened days of judgment came. Josiah immediately gathered the people together, and engaged them in a renewal of their ancient national covenant with God. The Passover was then celebrated, as in the days of his great predecessor, Hezekiah, with unusual magnificence. Nevertheless, "the Lord turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah" (2 Kings 22:3-20; 23:21-27; 2 Chr. 35:1-19). During the progress of this great religious revolution Jeremiah helped it on by his earnest exhortations.

Soon after this, Pharaoh-Necho II. (q.v.), king of Egypt, in an expedition against the king of Assyria, with the view of gaining possession of Carchemish, sought a passage through the territory of Judah for his army. This Josiah refused to permit. He had probably entered into some new Alliance with the king of Assyria, and faithful to his word he sought to oppose the progress of Necho.

The army of Judah went out and encountered that of Egypt at Megiddo, on the verge of the plain of Esdraelon. Josiah went into the field in disguise, and was fatally wounded by a random arrow. His attendants conveyed him toward Jerusalem, but had only reached Hadadrimmon, a few miles south of Megiddo, when he died (2 Kings 23:28, 30; compare 2 Chr. 35:20-27), after a reign of thirty-one years. He was buried with the greatest honors in fulfilment of Huldah's prophecy (2 Kings 22:20; compare Jer. 34:5). Jeremiah composed a funeral elegy on this the best of the kings of Israel (Lam. 4:20; 2 Chr. 35:25). The outburst of national grief on account of his death became proverbial (Zech. 12:11; compare Rev. 16:16).

1st Pregnancy vs 2nd Pregnancy (1st Trimester)

About 1- 2 months ago, few friends have asked me this question – What is the difference between your 1st pregnancy and the 2nd pregnancy? At that time, my standard answer was, “Too early to tell the difference. I’ll let you know after 9 months.”

This week, the 12th week is the last week for the first Trimester. So, my baby is about 3 months old now. I can tell/feel some of the differences already…

2nd Pregnancy (1st Trimester)
Food and Drinks
  • More fussy with food

  • Have difficulty drinking milk

  • Eating more ice cubes every night

  • Prefer cold drinks

  • Dressed up more and preferred dangling earrings in the 1st pregnancy. Nowadays, I wear mostly stud earrings.

  • Watched cartoons from the Cartoon Network in the 1st pregnancy

  • Watching CSI and House (AXN channel) in the 2nd pregnancy

  • PhD research in the 1st pregnancy

  • Book writing in the 2nd pregnancy

  • 1st Pregnancy – boy

  • 2nd Pregnancy - ? but hoping for a girl

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Training Pants

With the increase in petrol price and many other things, Seng Chor has been thinking about saving the cost of diapers for Jordan and the second baby. Eventually, he came across Fresh Bots diapers and Fresh Bots training pants. Initially, he wanted to purchase them online but then he discovered that we can get them at The Curve in a shop called Little Haven – next to Mother Care. The training pants cost RM35.00. The diaper cost around RM65.

Last weekend, we bought 2 training pants for Jordan, and he will get to try them on this weekend. Actually, he is potty trained already. He doesn’t wear pampers at home anymore, and we had fewer accidents already. In fact, no accident last weekend. He was in church, The Curve and 1 Utama. Wonderful, isn’t?

We will probably buy the washable diaper to save cost.

Information from

About Fresh Bots Diapers…
Fresh Bots diaper is part of an innovative concept in the diapering world. It resembles just like a disposable diaper with the exception that it is REUSABLE, HEALTHY AND COST SAVING in the long run. Depending on the design, the diapers are made from either 100% cotton or imported polyester waterproof fabric. Its innovative design with aplix closure means that the diaper requires no pin, no folding hence, making it easy for parents to change their baby. Our pocket diaper has a layer of suedecloth that forms a pocket for easy customisation of soakers. Freshbots diapers come in myriad of colours and fun prints. Wear them as part of your baby’s layette for a very fashionable outing.

About Fresh Bots Training Pants…
With the use of disposable diapers over the past years becoming a norm, due to its ease of usage for both babies and parents, the age of potty training as gone up. If children were no longer using diapers at the age of 2 some 10 years ago, most children nowadays will potty train around 3 years old. Cloth training pants are designed for children who are ready to potty train and ready to come out of the diaper phase.

Training pants are child’s first pants, to be pulled up and which they will proudly put on themselves. Cloth training pants do not act as diapers and would not hold as much wee as diapers can. It is designed to catch the first two pee and small accidents. Once the child has told you they have wet themselves, you should change them as soon as possible, as these will only hold the first two wee.

Why use training pants?

When wearing diapers both cloth (with dry-effect layer) and disposable diapers, the child will remain dry and don’t feel really wet. However, the cloth trainers are designed without dry effect layer so that they will feel wet after peeing. It is this new and unpleasant sensation of wet which will make them associate the need of a wee with wet pants and help them in their transition from using diapers to not using them anymore.

The child would also feel proud to wear little pants and not diapers anymore, which will help them further in their potty learning process and ultimately building their self confidence.

The Fresh Bots training pants are made of 100% cotton with hidden layer of waterproof material with 2 layers of terry sewn inside to absorb wetness. A soft elastic is sewn at the waist for good fit.

The pants come in 3 sizes:

Small: 10 kg – 14 kg, Age 12 – 18 months
Medium: 14 kg – 16 kg, Age 18 months – 2 ½ years
Large: 16 kg = 20 kg, Age 3 – 4 years

Christmas Gift 2005

I have wanted to post photos of these handmade notebooks in my blog for quite some time. I gave them away as Christmas gift when Jordan was born in 2005. My sis and friend, Queenie helped to print a personalised message and paste them on each notebook. I really appreciate their effort.

I have already planned for this year's Christmas gift. Hopefully, everyone will be blessed by it.