Loving Your Child

Friday, May 23, 2014


Dylan at 21 months, wearing nothing but Pampers Baby Dry hahaha


I think this post is gonna start off a little bit emotional (can't blame me having the raging mother hormones in me now either, hehe. If you don't know what I mean, read THIS POST!) because even before I am pregnant with Dylan, the husband and I have already decided on our way to love our children.

The Background

Before I go on to why we choose to love our children in a particular way and not the other, here's a background story I'd like to tell.

I was born in an era when the ladies are beginning to be encouraged to work. Initially, most mothers are stay-home wives who would cook, wash and take care of kids. They are also not very highly educated to be out there working alongside with their fellow male counterparts. However, from the beginning of 1980s, most ladies are encouraged to work and it is perceived to be confident and independent to be working.

In short, that is when the Chinese phrase 女强人 (strong woman) started emerging and used with pride.

My mother, is such a lady. Just a year or two before I was born, my parents took over my family business from my grandfather and at that point of time, it was the pinnacle of their lives. My parents were only in their 20s, full of vigour and energy to chiong.

And then of course, my mother got pregnant with me. She worked through her entire pregnancy and never once complained about being tired. After giving birth to me, she merely rested for her confinement period and then she was back to work with my father, leaving me with my grandmother.

Growing up, of course, was very comfortable for my sisters and I. We are not extremely rich, we don't live in a landed property, but we always had more than enough. My mother could groom us, with me attending piano classes, abacus classes, speech & drama classes, art & craft classes, swimming classes... We could eat whatever we want, whenever we wanted, we could buy useless stationery sets and not get scolded for wasting money.

In my parents' point of view, they are loving us the way they can - which is to provide us whatever we needed and wanted. They give us a comfortable life so that we can concentrate on our studies and be outstanding in whatever we are interested in.

This, I am very sure most parents can relate.

LOL I think I may sound very ungrateful as you read on but at the receiving end of all these, I call, "monetary love", I was comfortable, yes. I was somewhat happy, yes. But I didn't really feel like my parents love me.

Or perhaps, it was the culture back then when parents give children hard love. We get punished and caned and nagged, all in the name of love, but we somehow never got to see it hahaha. To be honest, when I was young, I hated my parents for working long hours.

There was nobody there to listen to me when I wanted to tell someone about the happenings in school because my parents would be very tired when they get back home and my mom had to do housework still! Of course, the young me never thought of that. It was always me, me, me and me.

However, even though I "didn't feel loved" when I was young, I learned an important lesson. I want to love my children in different ways that will make them complete, so here's a short list among the many we have:

1. Always listen to your child


It is a quote that I've come across but it struck home immediately. I personally feel that a child will feel important, loved and protected if he seeks a listening ear and gets it. I also tell myself to listen without prejudice - some mothers will interrupt the children with a "You shouldn't have done that..." even before they are done with their narration. How would you feel if someone does that to you?

2. Spend time together


Sometimes, it is inevitable for mothers to work because of the hefty household expenditures these days, and sometimes, it is worse when mothers have to work for long hours without seeing their children.

That being said, I think the best time to bond with your children is to do activities together! It can be little children's activities, like we will bring Dylan to the zoo, balloon decorations, swimming, library or just play in our toy pen with him, but we will also bring him along to do our stuff too.

For example, when Nian plays soccer, we will dress him up in a cooling attire and bring a small ball so that when Nian is in the field playing, he is at the side enjoying the sunshine, mini picnic (we pack a lot of yummy food and drinks!) and friends that other soccer-wifeys brought along.

When I have events to host, we will bring him down too, if it is not too late. He would sit in the audience, watch me host and enjoy the magic shows and other interesting performances.. which I'd say it's something that we won't do together if I don't include him in my work.

Of course, I am blessed that I have a flexible working schedule. It will be utterly boring to bring your child into the office, I know! But perhaps by making an effort to do interesting things together, your child not only learn new things, but it will bind the family as a whole.

3. Be encouraging and positive

This may be the most "duh" tip among the list but you would be surprised how weariness can do nasty things to us as parents. Sometimes, when I am not feeling well, yet Dylan chooses not to cooperate with me that day, I will raise my voice at him and say things like, "DON'T DO THAT, WHY ARE YOU SO NAUGHTY TODAY?"

And then I will feel bad immediately because he isn't really being naughty, he is just being himself. It was me who was not up to standard that day to handle it. When I want to say something negative to my child, I will always ask myself, how will I feel if someone is being negative towards me?

Day in and day out, when we work, we watch our words. Even though some of our colleagues can really be a pain in the you-know-where, we will never be negative towards them, so why should we be negative to our children? Just because we are older than them gives us the right to do it?

I have a neighbour who screams at her child every, single, day.

When she teaches him Math and he can't seem to grasp the concept of certain things, she would go, "WHAT IS SO DIFFICULT ABOUT MATH? It's either plus or minus WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID?"

When she teaches him Chinese, specifically han yu pin yin, I will hear her scream, "CHI!! CHI!! (as in 'eat' in Mandarin), YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO WRITE THE HAN YU PIN YIN FOR CHI YOU MIGHT AS WELL GO AND DIE!"

Oh my god. I won't say that her parenting is bad; different strokes for different folks you see, but it really does seem terrifying and I'm quite sure the child doesn't feel love during these situations.

I read that kids thrive the best when you encourage them and be positive towards them. Afterall positivity breeds positivity. Whenever your child meets a problem, instead of screaming, perhaps you can take a step back and try a different approach to help him?

4. Hugs, cuddles and kisses


Ladies and gentlemen, my all-time favourite hobby. I'm sure this requires no teaching for all parents with young children because they are SO ADORABLE and irresistable to not cuddle, squeeze and kiss but I think that hugging and kissing should be continued to even when a child is all grown-up.

Being brought up in a traditional Asian family, most of our parents don't hug or kiss us on our cheeks by the time we hit our teenage years and that sucks cuz scientific studies have shown that a hug can help someone feel better almost instantaneously!

Don't believe me? When you're really, really angry with your husband or your child. Instead of exploding, walk towards them and give them a tight hug. Your heart rate will slow down immediately and you will feel less angry and agitated.

It works!

5. Give your best

I'm not saying things like you have to send your child to all sorts of classes to groom him, or send him to the best schools, have the best teachers kinda thing but I feel that you should give him the best environment to flourish.

For example, giving your child the best environment to grow up. Give him a loving pair of parents. Even though it is not proven that families with both parents do better than single parent families, I don't mean that, but a child will definitely not grow up well if he has a pair of parents who are always quarelling or fighting.

We should also always ensure that they have the best environment to learn. Sometimes when I see children not having a proper place to learn and study makes me sad. There isn't much they need actually, just a comfortable corner with suitable lighting and a quiet period of time to concentrate. Try not to let them study by lying on their tummies on the floor, or sit in front of the TV etc because it is not only bad for their posture, their concentration but their eyesight as well.

And finally, we should always give our child the best environment to sleep. By not having TVs and computers in the room will definitely help because these are considered as major distractions for children and even teenagers from sleeping well.

So! These are my 5 tips to loving your child in a different way. It's not about buying the latest toys for them, it is almost always never about money. What are the few ways you love your children? Do share them with me. :)

***

This post is sponsored by Pampers Singapore and their latest Pampers Baby Dry.



Every baby needs love, sleep and play, and that’s why Pampers helps them make the most out of all three. 

Pampers has been celebrating, supporting, and protecting babies for more than 50 years. In 1956, a P&G researcher, Vic Mills, disliked changing the cloth diapers of his newborn grandchild. He believed a better disposable diaper was possible, and assembled a team to help make it a reality. After a few tries, they came up with the original Pampers design in 1961. 

Since that time, Pampers has continuously innovated to become P&G’s biggest global brand, with products serving consumers in 98 countries. For more information on Pampers Baby Dry, do visit Pamper's Everyday Me.

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