May 12, 2009

What to observe in your child of 4-5 years old?

Listen to what your child says when she expresses her feelings, such as "I'm not going in there because there is a monster there!!" or "I don't want to go there because she never wants to play with me" or "Mama, what can I do to show you that I love you so much?" All these things show that your child is confident in expressing her likes and dislikes. Some children clam up and do things they don't like quietly. Some show their dissatisfaction but do not know how to verbalise them thus you end up guessing what the problem is. Watch your child. Which one is she?

Children pleasure in who they are and what they can do so give them the praise and attention and KNOW who they are and what they can do. Ask your child lots of questions to really get to know them. Ask them what their favourite food is. Ask them what they think they are good at. Ask them what their favourite colour, toy, book, person etc is. Ask them if they would like to try out new things like roller blading or diving, why and why not. If you were to make a list of your child's traits, both good and bad, can you make a list of fifty characteristics?

Observe how your child shows her feelings towards other people. Is she shy? Or is she confident when speaking to people? Does she take time to warm up? Or does she treat different people differently? Watch how she responds to other people's questions. Does she nod and shake her head or does she just glare back in silence? Does she respond with proper answers? This will give you a clue as to how confident your child is.

Teach your child about the different people around her, their cultures, their likes and dislikes, for her to understand that everyone is different. Then observe how your child uses this information in her day to day life. Does she pass it on?

Children are a blessing from God. They are not ours, just temporarily for us to take care of. So care for them with the best of your ability.

May 11, 2009

Pioneering a REAL Child Care Centre in Kuala Lumpur

That's what I'd like to do one day. Hopefully soon.

While doing research on child development, I've learnt some stuff that I thought I'd share with you. If your child is the same age as mine, that is 4.5 years old, then the following may be of interest to you. I've learnt from the British Standards of Child Development that for a child below 5 years old, they should be able to accomplish the following set tasks or have the following socio-emotional skills to be considered on par with his or her peers.

Self Confidence and Self Esteem

Your child should be able to express her needs and feelings in appropriate ways. If Tee wants a cup of water, she knows how to ask for it. She also knows how to express her dissatisfaction if the water tastes of chlorine!

Your child should be aware of herself and have pride in her own identity and her own abilities. Tee certainly knows who she is and what she's made of. She is proud of the fact that she wears mismatched Crocs and knows she can read better than many of her peers.

Your child should know how to respond to significant experiences, displaying a range of feelings as appropriate. Tee knows that birthdays are happy occassions and exhibits excitement before the occassion. She also knows when something negative happens and will feel sad accordingly.

Your child should not only have a developing awareness of her own needs, views and feelings but also be sensitive towards the needs, views and feelings of others. I would say Tee is still weak in this area because whilst she certainly knows herself very well, she can be insensitive to others whom she does not like.

Your child should have a developing respect for her own culture and that of other people. Actually, I'm not sure how much Tee knows about her culture apart from the fact that she's Malaysian! She knows that there are many celebrations in Malaysia and what each of them signify more or less. I'll ask her tomorrow!

Your child should feel comfortable in seeking comfort, reassurance and help from special people. Oh yes, she will definitiely ask for assistance when needed or get us to 'manja' her. She is not shy at all.

Your child should be able to approach adults with a degree of social skill. I suppose she can do this. She can go up to waiters (strangers) to ask for things......and certainly can ask adults she knows for anything she desires.

Your child should be able to express her wishes and needs clearly and understands when they are not immediately met. Hmm.....I'll say she can perform this with others but with us, her parents (and definitely her grandparents), she may whine if her needs are not met. She's just spoilt and can be manipulative.

Your child should be able to negotiate, argue point of view and accept other's perspectives. Tee has proven this by defending herself and holding her own without our presence. I am very proud of her in this respect. She is also understanding of other's views. It's just ours that she may choose to disagree with!

Your child should show compliance with social expectations. I think this really boils down to how parents set limits for their children and what the definition of social expectations are. Does she sit down and eat in public? Yes. Does she speak with manners? Yes. What else?

Your child should often actively seek sharing and fairness. Errr.....no. She only shares with people she likes and seeks fairness also in a biased manner.

Your child should have a strong sense of fun and humour and is able to engage others in pleasurable interaction. Oh yes, most definitely. Tee is a comedian, well liked by many people.

Your child should positively value playing with other children and joins in shared play. Tee, like any child, loves playing with other children but if for example, one child were to piss her off, then she'd not want to play with him. Which is perfectly normal, I think.

Your child should be able to approach new challenges with assurance in her own ability. Tee is open to new challenges and is generally quite confident. If she is not good at something, she will persist until she is good at it.

Your child should be aware of her own strengths and weaknesses. Yes, she is. She knows she is smart. She knows she is short. Haha.....

Your child should be able to describe herself in positive terms and talk about abilities. Oh.....she has absolutely no problem doing this. In fact, to the point of cockiness!!!

Your child should welcome and value praise for achievements. Doesn't every child?

Your child should enjoys talking about past experiences, the present and future plans. Tee loves talking. Period. So yes, that includes the past, the present and the future. She loves telling me about what happened at school, she talks about what we're doing at that very moment and she plans what she is going to do in the next hour, day and weekend. Nevermind what Mummy thinks. She has her own plans!

Your child should be able to identify with her own immediate family, relativess and family friends. Totally.

Your child should be able to enjoy taking part in family routines and chores. I guess, as long as it's fun! She goes to school everyday without complaints and in fact, goes with great enthusiasm. She doesn't like picking up her toys so much unless we make it into a game.

Your child should be able to take pride in her own appearance. Definitely. She wants to look perfectly pretty most times, especially when she's going out to meet certain people!

Your child should be able to practice good self-care, often without prompting. Hmm.....she has her moods. There are days when we do have to chase her to brush her teeth! And then days where she gets up and gets dressed all on her own accord.

Is Tee a confident child? Most definitely. In my next post, I shall highlight what you, as an adult, should take note in, about your child and her confidence factor. Watch this space.

May 4, 2009

How to make housework fun for your child

  1. Teach your kids a lesson in why the house needs to be clean. If they don't know why we need to pick up the biscuit crumbs from the floor, the motivation is less as they won't understand why they need to waste time.
  2. Start with a story - As long as it is something that your child can relate to, it will hold their interest. For us, we were the cleaning fairies helping some poor soul in a castle clean up their bedroom.
  3. Make up games - use your imagination to make up games incorporating your cleaning so that it is fun for your child. Challenge them in saying things like, I bet you can't fold the pillow case into four to make a pillow sandwich! Now what goes into your pillow sandwich???
  4. Blast the music - Dance to the music whilst you're working together. This will generate hilarious grooves and will give all of you a good workout at the same time. Plus, it's just more fun with the music on.
  5. Reward your child for a job well done.

Teaching children how to play RISK

RISK is a war game of strategy, and indirectly, a game of life. Although it may seem overwhelming at first, once you take the time to learn it, it is just so worth it because it forces your mind to think analytically.

Here, Tee is looking bored wondering when her turn is. Bear in mind, she only looks like this when it is NOT her turn.

RISK teaches a child patience, improves their maths as they have to count their soldiers through addition and subtraction (and higher or lesser numbers) for every turn plus the fact that they have to count the dice numbers as dice are used to win or lose the war and it teaches them how to think about getting what they want and how they are going to achieve getting what they want. Totally educational!


Here, Tee is happy because it is finally her turn and what more, she has helped herself to some chocolate brownies whilst waiting for Daddy to finish all his attacks on her soldiers. Tee's soldiers are the ones in green and Daddy's are in red.

If you have any problems playing or understanding the game of RISK by Parker Brothers, email me (mamapumpkin@gmail.com) and I shall do a post on how to play RISK in a very simplified manner.

Otherwise, ENJOY!!!

May 1, 2009

Help! I have a spoilt kid

Sigh.....yes, I do indeed. Despite Tee's many positive traits, I cannot deny the fact that she is a spoilt kid. Unfortunately, she is the first grandchild on both sides of the family and is our only child for now, so she gets a hell of a lot of attention from the entire family. And because she is the baby of the family on both sides as well, well......guess who rules the roost???

I know I have a spoilt kid because:
  • She doesn't like the answer NO. Whilst she doesn't throw a tantrum, she certainly displays her dissatisfaction clearly. Like, if she doesn't get to listen to her songs in the car, she would close her ears whilst I listen to MY music or she would talk loudly, just so I can't listen to mine. It's a case of if I can't get it then neither can you.
  • She is selfish in most cases and does not like sharing. Her sharing capacity is very limited to the people whom she likes only. Even if someone shares something with her, it doesn't mean she would share back her things with them. She is pretty self-centred.
  • She expects things to be done for her most of the time, the Hubs and I feel like her maid. As much as we try to break this habit, she keeps demanding and demanding and demanding. Well, we just have to keep at it. She will ask us to turn the fan on for her when she can very well get off her butt to do it herself. So now, we just make her do it.
  • She is incredibly impatient. People have to wait for her but she cannot wait for people. She will just nag and whine and complain......
It is not good when you have a spoilt child because you are not doing them any favours. Spoilt children eventually have low self-esteem as adults and do not know how to work for things. They expect everything on a silver platter and are so selfish that they don't make many friends, if any.

I say it's time for a complete Tee emotional behavioural overhaul. I'll keep you posted.

Apr 28, 2009

Toddler turns preschooler

My two year old is now four and a half years old thus I can no longer call her a toddler, can I? I should rename this blog Preschooler Management!

Just some updates on my 4.5 year olds' development:

Academic and Cognitive development
  1. She talks fluently with a good command of English, and knows how to get her wishes communicated and ideas across well.
  2. She thinks logically, which is good and bad. Good in that she can take care of herself and hold her own, bad in that she can hold a valid argument with us ADULTS.
  3. She can read fluently and independently and write correctly, and is now improving her spelling skills. She can effectively write simple stories which has one or two spelling errors along the way, and she loves writing.....
  4. She can also read Bahasa Malaysia fluently and is now picking up on her vocabulary.
  5. She cannot read Mandarin short of a few basic words but can understand a whole lot, although she doesn't get the opportunity to practise her Mandarin, nor does she want to probably.
  6. She can perform double digit addition and subtraction and knows how to count in 2s, 5s and 10s. She is able to count up to 200 and is able to recognise numbers up to 100. However, on rare occasions, she still gets her 6 and 9 mixed up, or writes her numbers backwards.
  7. She is very creative with ideas, drawings and stories and loves experimenting with different materials and new things.
  8. She has a talent for art and craft, creating lively stories in her art.
  9. She loves reading and is very happy in school, having not missed a single day of school unless we pull her out for a holiday.
  10. She has a passion for learning and is always asking questions.
Emotional development
  1. She is generally a very happy and contented child, always noisy, always bubbly, always bouncing, always mobile.......
  2. She has not learnt how to share and only shares with people she likes, in a discriminatory manner.
  3. She sometimes lacks compassion for her friends whom she does not like.
  4. She is extremely manipulative when it comes to getting what she wants, to the point of expressing dramatic theatre performances of oscar heights.
  5. She is very affectionate with those whom she likes and generous too.
Physical development
  1. She is of average height and weight (18kg and 105cm)
  2. Her last visit to the pediatrician confirmed that she was growing very well with strong bones and a healthy body.
  3. She can hop well on one leg and generally perform many physical stunts.
  4. She is still trying hard to cross the monkey bars at the playground due to lack of arm muscles, though she has very strong legs.
  5. She can run like lightning, which usually gets her into a lot of trouble.
  6. She has good balance thus the next step is to remove her training wheels on her bicycle.
  7. She will be learning to roller skate soon.
  8. She dances well and is musically coordinated, phew!
  9. She loves jumping on trampolines and beds because she believes it will make her taller.
  10. She is currently working on perfecting her pencil holding skills.

Nov 11, 2008

Spirituality in Children

Have you ever wondered about your child's religion? Is it an automatic process whereby your child takes over whatever religion you practise or would you allow your child to select his or hew own religion when he is old enough to understand?

Tee and I, we don't go to Church or really practise any particular religion per se but we do pray almost every night. It is so Tee understands that there IS a higher being that she could always call upon and that she should be grateful for a lot of things. I think that it is important to inculcate that in a child.

If you ever wondered, Does My Child Need A Religion? go to Mamapumpkin for what I think.

Oct 18, 2008

I have a toddler in my bed. Help!

The bane of most new families is having a little one invade your sleep space. But fret not, as the experts say that this is actually a good thing. It is called attachment parenting and results in a secure, well-adjusted child who will always be close to home.

Whilst I never planned to co-sleep, and in fact was very against it, I somehow fell into the trap and have never looked back. I have accepted the fact that Tee might very well still be in my bed by the time she is thirty. No, I'm kidding. If that happened, I'd send her to a psychiatrist!

If you'd like to read about our co-sleeping journey, then get yourself a cup of coffee with an hour to spare, as it's been one helluva journey. And to think that she's only four!

Oct 3, 2008

Extra curriculur activities for a four year old???

Hmmm......the ever raised question by unsure parents all around the world. How much is really enough? Should I impose music lessons so she can have something to fall back on should she not make it? Do I want him to be a professional golfer? My child MUST be the top 2 in his class because I need to be able to tell my friends that if asked. How come everyone elses kid is booked at every class? I think I'd better send Tyler to some classes.....

Sound familiar?

Before you sign your kid up for a new class, perhaps you should find out more about the consequences of children with overloaded schedules first.

I'm just saying......

Sep 16, 2008

Child masturbation - to stop it or not to stop it?

My Finnish ex-boyfriend told me that his 5 year old sister used to masturbate on her bed to sleep. She was completely innocent but just liked the feeling of rubbing her vagina against the bed because it felt nice. Then, I had thought, wow!!! So young!!! This must be a 'matsalleh' thing. I just couldn't believe that a five year old knew how to enjoy herself!

I think that as long as your toddler is taught not to do it in public, just to save some embarrassment, it is okay for him or her to carry on, as masturbation (as long as it is not excessive, like everyday ten times a day!!!) is a natural thing. We as parents should also advise our children that it is okay to do it. Just not in public, just like how we shouldn't lift our skirts in public or show boys our panties or pull down our pants etc.

So for all the talk about children starting to masturbate at five being so early, hop on over to my other blog to read about how my own daughter started her own journeys of discovery!!