Enforcing Bedtimes

I’m IN another a little more-crazy-than-usual period right now. Thus the delay (in the already sparse) posts. Eeps! But still, I’ll continue to keep this blog going.

Why? Simply because I love to. It’s a great hobby for me. My outlet. Note the I, me, my. Yes!! That’s the whole point. A “I-Me-My” space.

Anyhow, I’m running out of time to write more… so I’ll cut to the chase. Here’s an article I came across recently on the old topic of children’s bedtimes. Enforcing them is good for their health (and ours!)! It’s not new and it’s not rocket science but, it is a useful read if you’ve not read one of these and, if you have it’s a good revisit. So go ahead and click on the link below.

Enforcing bedtimes improves kids’ health by Madison Park, CNN

P/S: I keep a very strict bedtime routine in for my kids. That’s what keeps me not-lunatic-yet.

Birth Order Personality Traits

Did you know birth order affects all aspects of a child’s personality? Well according to psychologists it surely does. A child’s (and even yours) personality is affected by whether he/she is the first born, middle child, only child or the youngest in family.

First borns tend to be natural leaders. They also tend to be reliable, conscientious and perfectionists who don’t like surprises. Although, firstborns are typically aggressive, many are also compliant people pleasers. They are model children who have a strong need for approval from anyone in charge. 

Middle children can usually read people well, they are peacemakers who see all sides of a situation, they are independent and inventive. If a firstborn is a company’s CEO, the middle child is the entrepreneur. 

Only children are firstborns in triplicate. They are even more responsible and even bigger perfectionists. They usually get along better with people older than themselves. 

Last Borns are social and outgoing, they are the most financially irresponsible of all birth orders. They just want to have a good time. 

I’ve “heard” about this before and recently I discovered this article. By the way the article is dated 2002! Talk about old news eh? Oh well, if you’ve not read about it yet, it is rather interesting. The psychologists even have a brief guide on how to parent kids by their birth order. 

It has given me some insights to my children especially Hubby-jr, the first born personality fits him like a glove. I’ve to go a little easier on him and be aware of not giving him too much pressure AND affirming him whenever befitting.

My no.2, Little Missy, is definitely more social and outgoing and yeah, she sure knows how to have a good time. I’m working hard on keeping her from becoming a spoilt brat (she’s TWO plus, so it can be tough going at times…) Can you imagine I’ve already had many “arguments” with her? Sigh. (Yup, no speech delay in this fiesty, strong willed one. PHE-EW and SIGH. We can never have it all, can we?)

What about your children? Do they exhibit these personality traits according to their birth order?

Read This

Respect Your Husband = Not Nagging

A while ago I wrote Submit = Respecting Your Husband and that post was quite popular. I suspect I’m not the only one struggling with “submission” issues. Well if you are one of “me” I want to share with you a must read article I chanced upon today, I’m Not a Nag … Am I?

“I have a need, and it’s not being met when and how I want it to be.” For a long time, I couldn’t figure out why my husband didn’t understand this. I thought of nagging as “reminders” or “motivation.” But when I asked David for his explanation, he agreed with the more descriptive definition in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary: “To find fault incessantly.” Ouch!

Sounds familiar? That’s an excerpt from the article. Sabrina, the author, also shares four ways to be nag free! She quotes,

“Scripture tells us that wives are to respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:33), and nagging shows a lack of respect.”

I don’t know about you but those words hit me and I’ve some pondering to do. My nagging seems to have increased proportionately to the number of years hubby and I’ve been married (almost 6) and the number of kids we have (we only have 2!). Me think it’s time to reverse it a little… OKAY maybe more than a little…

Sigh… anyway… don’t miss the other great reads on the topic of marriage from the same site:

God, Why Don’t You Fix My Husband?
What Every Husband Needs To Know

P/S: I found these articles by way of Raising Five where she quoted from the “What Every Husband Needs To Know” article.

P/P/S: Have a blessed Sunday!

Behavioural Problems… NOT!

By recognizing that every child is different and matures at a different rate, I hope you will begin to see his behaviour from a new perspective. What you previously considered as “behavioural problems” is simply actual behaviour that does not meet your expectations of what a child his age “should” display. 

I read this in The Straits Times’ supplement Mind Your Body dated 11 July 2007. Kenny Toh, a life coach was addressing a reader’s bewilderment with her son’s behaviour in kindergarten. While at home he’s active and participative, in school he’s quiet and reserved. She asks, “Is he simply shy or is he socially phobic?” and adds “I am lost and upset about my son’s behavioural problem in school.” 

I love Kenny’s response above as he tells this mom that the child’s behaviour is normal for his age. I can identify with the mom and I had to learn the above lesson a year and half ago the hard way. One I still have to remind myself time and time again. 

You see Hubby-jr was unexpectedly unique. Beginining 2006 I started him on playgroup. It was only a one and half hour session in the morning, Mondays to Fridays. While it took other kids a week to adjust to playgroup, my son took 2-3 weeks!

When I had to leave him alone at playgroup after the first week of being with him, he’d stand in a corner and scream, and I mean REALLY scream!. He would scream on and off (taking breaks only to garner his energy) for the entire session. Yes, for one and half hours! This continued for a WHOLE week (he almost lost his voice). During that time I would come home and cry. It was heart wrenching. I seriously wondered if I should pull him out but decided to wait and see. Thankfully the teacher was patient, understanding and really loved kids. The second week, the screaming continued but one day, he stopped and observed when they sang songs. Another day, he stopped and actually walked near the teacher to look at something before walking away to his corner. Slowly, very slowly we started seeing minute improvements and finally one day he just stopped crying and slowly began to participate. 

I was greatly distressed when he was doing the screaming thingy. I was also very disappointed when he was the ONLY child that was still crying (more like screaming!) when ALL the others had settled in. Initially I tried my best to assure him but when the disappointment got to me one day I lost my cool and scolded him and… I actually told him, “Mommy’s disappointed in you”. The second those words came out my mouth I was filled with regret. When I told hubby, he said, “Oh no! Is he going to be emotionally scarred?” I couldn’t sleep that night.  

Next morning after dressing him up, I looked him in the eye and told him…“Mommy is very sorry to have said you were a disappointment. Mommy didn’t mean it, you are not a disappointment. Mommy’s very proud of you. Please forgive me.” Then I taught him to say, “Yes, I forgive you mommy.” After that I told him, “Mommy cannot make you brave. You have to find it in your own heart to be brave and I know you can do it. You take all the time you need and mommy will be here to support you.” 

I wasn’t sure if he’d understand me but I felt I had to say it to him. Well at some level he must have because it was very shortly after that, that he started to adjust to playgroup. 

My attitude changed that night I couldn’t sleep. I realised I was disappointed because he didn’t meet my expectations of him. I revised my expectations, accepted him for him and became more supportive. I think he sensed the change and it helped him adjust. 

Today, Hubby-jr’s still “unique”. There have been more incidences where I had to take stares from other mothers and kids while he screamed (Hubby-jr’s doesn’t handle change or new things very well). I’m happy to say that I’ve never repeated the words “disappointment” and I’m definitely more supportive. God has and is definitely using him to teach me patience! 

I’m also very proud to say that Hubby-jr’s grown by leaps and bounds. He’s matured a lot this year and is learning to cope with changes a whole lot better. 🙂

Why?

It has been a weird week for me. Weird in a sad, tragic way. Last Sunday I bumped into an old friend I haven’t seen for a long while. We chatted, catching up with what’s happening in our lives, yadda, yadda, yadda, exchanging information on friends we both know, yadda, yadda, yadda. Then suddenly he pauses as he realizes something.  

“You remember so and so?” he asked. “Yeah, she was my classmate back in secondary school. Big eyes, pretty girl.” I replied. 

He then hesitated and there was something in his body language and facial expression that made my heart skip a beat and sent a chill down my spine. In my gut I knew, although I was desperately hoping otherwise, what he was about to say… “she committed suicide”… 

Those words hit me hard (much harder than I realized then). We carried on chatting for a little more, exchanged contact numbers and went our way. Apparently my girlfriend from school suffered a bad marriage, her husband had an affair. Depression drove her over the edge. She left behind kids too. 

Tragic isn’t it? It’s the second time in my life that I’ve received such news and both times it left me with a very heavy heart. Suicide. It’s so tragic. Why? I keep asking myself why?  

I lost contact with my friend a long, long time ago. We went our separate ways after “O” Levels (secondary school). I remember her, for the whole of last week faded memories came sporadically. We were quite close in fact. She was pretty and a very nice girl. 

Ironically as I find out from my old friend, she lived only ten minutes away from my current home. All this while and I didn’t know and our paths never met. If only… 

I went through a gamut of emotions the last 7 days trying to process the news. The Psalm of Life was how I wished she had lived. I am so sorry that she felt her life was no longer worth living. I wish I was there for her or that someone was there for her. Someone who could’ve helped her. 

I am acutely reminded not to be too inward looking and to take time to notice and care for the people around me. To get to know our neighbours and to stay in touch with family and friends.

A PSALM OF LIFE by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

WHAT THE HEART OF THE YOUNG MAN SAID TO THE PSALMIST.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real!  Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,–act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;–

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

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