The Playful Parents

Love at Play

Living With Squirts

January 24, 2014 by theplayfulparents | 0 comments

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A mom who lives with two young ‘uns finds it necessary to head outdoors, every now and then, armed with a squirt bottle or two. Oh! A big empty bottle would be an invaluable addition to the fun. Encourage brotherly love and sibling partnership as they endeavour to use their squirt guns to knock that Big Bad Bottle over.

Home’s Tea-rrific

January 22, 2014 by theplayfulparents | 2 Comments

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One reason why I just love the luxury of playing chef, nutritionist, teacher and parent of two bouncy boys is that I get to have indulgent teas with my children. For no apparent good reason except that we are all in need of some sweet smackeroos.

January 20, 2014
by theplayfulparents
4 Comments

Breaking Free of Addictions: Update

Since my last post where I mentioned that I was going to go on a self-imposed unwiring challenge a.k.a. cyber detox diet, I have been continuing my battle with my social media and Internet addictions.

In November 2013, I felt as if my need to attend to virtual responsibilities had overtaken my desires to attend to the daily realities of my life, my children and home.

I was spending far too much time
online in the name of personal growth, homeschool research, maintaining
relationships, building networks and what-not compared to just living the life
I have.

I was escaping the mundane and the undesirable portions of my life ( a large portion had to do with maintaining a decent home. I rather google and ogle at immaculate Martha Stewart and Apartment Therapy homes than get off my bum to sweep.
Then I was that Mumster who shrieked at her kids for asking her for help to fix a Lego toy all because I was trying to post my comment on someone’s FB status.

I
Simply
Couldn’t
Didn’t
Want
To
Continue
Like
This.

I cannot say I have finally broken free of my self-indulgent affair with the virtual world, but as my other self-help book I am reading terms it, I am making ‘imperfect progress’.

And imperfect progress is still progress, yes?

And we ought to celebrate every little
Victory, yes?

I didn’t faithfully stick with my 14 day Unwiring challenge. But instead those 14 days have stretched out to 40 days it seems, but I sure hope I don’t need 40 years to get out this destructive desert.

Now, while I may not have a completed challenge to boast of, I am pretty pleased that I still did manage to do key unwiring challenges such as:

1. Intentionally schedule personal meet-ups with friends. I had several one-on-one dates with girlfriends, playdates, group meet-ups with longtime friends I haven’t seen in a while, and of course, trying to revive individual dates with my husband and boys. We also hosted two Christmas parties.

2. Find accountability partners (all three whom I still keep in touch with and give an account to them of how I am doing)

3. Wrote down my desires for how I want my children to remember me 15 years on ( and as you can rightly guess, none of that includes a mom who spends more time obsessing about a screen than her children’s toenails)

4. Reducing my aimless cyber-wanderings per day ( calculated by a total monthly hours / 30 days, that is. I still fail miserably and fritter away hours in a single night. Not proud. But let me focus on the little victories, eh?)

5. Listing down the things I need to get done on the computer before I switch it on. And refraining from opening my Facebook and email when I need to work. This helps to greatly reduce distractions. I am ADD. I AM HIGHLY DISTRACTABLE! And sometimes I lie to myself with the ‘this is my research!’ excuse.

I still haven’t made this a habit yet so I need to continue intentionally remind self to do so.

But those times I mistrust myself enough to write down the laundry list, I am really much more effective and disciplined in my Internet usage.

Lesson here:
When rehabilitating self, it pays to NOT trust self.

6. Restrict handheld gadgets to scheduled times of day. I tried to limit myself to when kids are napping or sleeping. But I struggled a lot with this. So what I ended up doing was to leave my iPhone at home when I took them
out for playground or sports time.

7. Selective use of iPhone: only calls, IRIS bus checker and emails ( forgot passwords to some so cannot access from laptop). But now with my laptop infected with some malware I am trying to fix, it looks like I am going to need even more boundaries set up to prevent myself from lapsing back to my bad habits of constantly having iBalls instead of using my natural eyeballs. And yes, I am currently blogging from
my iPhone.

I need to not just make a list of things I need to use my iPhone before I pick it up: I likely need the next tactic.

8. Control usage with a timer. As one who has burned multiple dinners and pots because of my indiscriminate Internet usage, I cannot overemphasise
the absolute importance of using a timer.

Now, my timer is going off on me.
As I ought to respect the boundaries I am setting up to protect myself and my loved ones, I am finishing off here.

Before I do, I wonder if you would share any tips on how you prevent gadgets and anything virtual from intruding and overshadowing your real life?

If you have yourself broken free of a similar social media or Internet addiction, please do share how you achieved victory.

I so do need the encouragement.

Resized Organic Play Logo 1

November 25, 2013
by theplayfulparents
6 Comments

Organic Play Co-op: Now Open for Sign-Ups

In 2014, I’m embarking on yet another exciting journey to bring the Wonders of Nature & Play to more families with young children (aged 8 and under) in Singapore.

By the grace of God, I’ve received a wonderful opportunity to pioneer a community-based project in North-East District of Singapore. Our Organic Play Co-op aims to use Play to promote opportunities for authentic family bonding as well as nurture the creativity and resource-appreciation in our children. We’re due to launch by Feb 2014.

After some weeks of much thought, prayer and ‘testing of water’ with parents and industry professionals through various networks, I will like to present to you my latest baby – Organic Play Co-op.

Inspired by foreign networks like Children & Nature, Play England, Playgroup Australia, I am proposing a bold approach to bringing the benefits of Play and Playful Family Bonding to our local communities.

I have already some 10+ families who have expressed interest in joining this group. I’m currently working with two industry partners with solid Early Childhood Education experience to develop a pilot structure for us to start with. A community organisation has also expressed interest to support this. But more about them when things are finalized in the next month or so.

So, What’s an Organic Play Co-op?

Why This Co-op Initiative?

Being from a single-income family, raising two young children in one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in, I know what it means to feel ‘financially inadequate’ to provide my children the ‘best possible learning experiences’. I know what it feels like to be excited over what seems like an amazing programme for my young ones, only to be a little more than dejected when I see that I cannot afford that $20/hour class and $300 camp fees. Sometimes, I wonder if I would make a better parent if only I had more disposable income on my hands.
I know, from speaking with other parents I meet, that I’m not alone in feeling like this.

I do not believe good nor great learning experiences should come at such hefty price tags.
I do not like to see children denied of beneficial growing-up experiences because they cannot afford it.
I would like to see every child and family, especially those with financial disadvantages, having the opportunity and access to  Play.
Most of all, I believe that EVERY ONE – yes, YOU and I – have something we can offer to each other.

What Happens At A Co-Op?

1. Everyone Has A Gift to Share. Everyone matters.

My hope is that this will be a group that thrives on every parent’s contribution of time and/or expertise. By expertise, I do not mean you need to possess an ‘official certification’ of that expertise. Your hobby interest in bugs or baking? That’s an expertise already!

And if you don’t know what ‘gift’ you can share yet, no matter. Join us! And we’ll be sure we can help unearth your hidden talents.

2. Every Family Can Join.

I want to keep activities going on a ‘Maximum Fun on Minimum Budget’. This means, as far as possible, I’m going to keep costs as low as I can. Ideally, I would like to see no financial barrier to people joining. There are so many ways we can do this. And with your brains and resourcefulness, I’m pretty sure we can do this. And if you know anyone who could really benefit from participating in such a programme, but lack limited means of either time or cash, let us know! We can always think of ways to make things happen.

3. We’re A Community.

This means, we’re not about doing fun stuff just once and then goodbye. I will like to see this co-op as the gate to us meeting new friends and forging new friendships. I hope we can become a network of support, inspiration and encouragement for each other. Parenting can be so lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Sure, making new friends can be scary. But I invite you to come with the courage to share. However, if at anytime you feel that we’re not meeting your needs, you’re also welcomed to leave. No hard feelings.

What Do We Do When We Meet?

Similar to playgroups or parent-child programmes, we will have a rough schedule of activities for each session.
However, being an Organic Play Co-op, these activities will often be more open-ended in nature to allow for participants to develop their own possibilities for play in a way meaningful to themselves.

Here are some ideas already pinned onto my inspiration board:
1. Messy play
2. Loose parts play. (See Teacher Tom and Let The Children Play)
3. Outdoor & Nature play ( Fancy jumping on log cookies or building a tent out of vines? See here)
4. Culinary Life Skills
5. Woodworking
6. Ropework e.g. knotting, lashing

For 1 – 3, I’m working with two industry partners I mentioned earlier to design the first series of activities.
For 4 – 6  I’ve on board two fathers who are professionals in these fields.

We’re about letting this co-op grow organically. So there is the great likelihood that our activities will change and morph along with the members ( like you!) of this interest group.

Who Can Join?

  • Families( Parents and their children. Grandparents are also welcomed!)
  • Educators who will like to contribute their time and expertise to lead programmes (useful for an action research project, perhaps?)
  • Organisations who believe in nurturing families, children, creativity and Nature-rich experiences
How To Join?
Please do sign up to join our mailing list. We’ll be sending out updates through the email channel for easier co-ordination.

You’ll find the sign up form on the right-hand side bar of my blog.
Alternatively, this is a link to sign up too.

An Important Sidenote
I’m doing this on a voluntary basis, and do not receive any form of remuneration for this.
I am also a Homeschooling mum with no domestic helper. As such,  I do seek your understanding if I do not reply to your queries as promptly as you like.

Don’t forget to SIGN UP for our Organic Play Updates before you leave here!
And if you know friends who will love to be part of this, do share this with them.

Looking forward to sharing joyful and playful times with your families real soon.

November 23, 2013
by theplayfulparents
0 comments

It’s Oh-So-Quiet

It’s been a while since I’ve actively updated my blog or my blog Facebook page.
Because you’ve been such wonderful supporters of me and the causes I support here, I thought I should let you know the reasons why.

I’ve forced myself to go on this tech rehab programme to break my internet addictions.
It’s not just Facebook. It’s everything related to the computer and iPhone and iPad.
I think I need major help.
And so, I’m reading this book, The Unwired Mom, by Sarah Mae, and doing her 14-day Unwiring Challenge.
Well, except that the 14 days on my time is really on a more rubbery clock. I embarked on this last Monday, and I’m still pretty much stuck on Day 4! Though, I must put  in a little word of encouragement to myself for doing the more advanced challenges like scheduling real meet-ups and dates with important people in my life – like my husband, kids and friends.
The internet and the computer are like my personal black holes.
I cannot seem to pull myself away from it as often or easily as I like.
Why does my 5-minute often turning into 500 minutes instead?!
Okay, 500 mins is a little of a stretch, but you get the idea.
I feel like the internet has become some form of escapism for me, and I DO NOT LIKE THAT.

I turn into a monster too often, trying to protect my ‘me’ time when I get caught up reading something interesting on the net and my boys are trying to get my attention for something that is in reality far MORE important than the ‘comment I need to type NOW’.
So for someone who really believes in the importance of low-tech, hi-imagination and connectedness play… I’ve fallen a far, far, faaaaaarrrrrrrrr way down to the cesspool of Cyberdom.
Or for me, CyberDOOM.

Please do not misunderstand me. I’m not saying that the internet and all the technological advancement that has placed such wired connectivity into our palms in the form of iPhones and iPads is evil.
It’s just that I’ve come to realise just how little self-control I’ve lacked in this area.

So for now, I’m going to be trying to go on strict, as strict as I hope to get, sort of cyber diet.
I’ve been tempted in the last 10 days to disable my Facebook account- but that would prove too scary for me, just thinking of how I would manage to get all my contacts over into the regular modes of communication like phone or email or snail mail. And how in the world will I manage my blog FB page?
I’ve been tempted into taking down my entire blog just so I will have this ‘uncontrollable urge’ to indulge myself in writing and doing stuff I want to do, instead of stuff I NEED TO DO for my family and *bleah* household chores. (Yes, seriously, I rather be working on my projects than on housework. That is NOT something I’m proud of admitting but I have to in order to begin breaking down these bad habits of mine.)

But well, it’s not that I need to totally disable all my internet access accounts.
It’s MY self-control and boundary issues.
It’s MY internal compass that needs to be re-examined and calibrated right.

So that I can live more aware of what’s important, what’s vital and what’s non-negotiable.
So that I can live a more intentional life to focus on these things that will last for eternity.
So until I can get myself sorted out over my tech-abuse tendencies, I’m going to have to restrict my computer and iPhone/iPad usage a lot more.

Meanwhile, if you really need to contact me, you can still email me OR call me. However, I’m also trying not to be that obsessive about checking emails ever so often. But you can be sure I will check emails at least once a day, and reply as soon as I can.

November 3, 2013
by theplayfulparents
1 Comment

Love Gifts 2013: Kids For Charity {KFC Project}

What Is Love Gifts?

Last year, I held a ‘Love Gifts 2013‘ series as a lead-up to the year-end Christmas & New Year festivities. We had 12 solid low-cost but beautiful, meaningful handcrafted presents suitable for all ages, all gender and even for our spouses (one that involved ZERO dollars). Hop over to our Love Gifts Registry after you’re done here to check it out. You’ll be inspired, I promise!

With Love Gifts, I wanted to encourage us to return to the tradition of making gifts for our loved ones. Handcrafting presents seem to be somewhat of a lost and dying art in our modern day life filled with busyness and plethora of ready-made gift offerings. While handcrafting presents may take a lot more time, effort and sometimes, more money, than buying from the store, I believe the entire process is profitable not just to us, as the giver and maker, but also to the recipient.

As makers of gifts, we enter a quiet time of introspection and meditation on the goodness of life – the blessings of the friendship or familial relationship we share with the other party, and very often, the re-discovery of our own creative talent re-energizes us for life.

As recipients of handcrafted gifts, we receive not just a present, but a unique token reminder of how special we are, how much we have meant to another person enough. Sometimes, it can even surprise us because we never thought we meant so much to the other person. And sometimes, it can even encourage us to continue showing kindness and love to those who do not seem to reciprocate our affections.

So What About This Year’s Love Gifts Challenge?

This year, I’ve got a different spin on what we could do for this year-end season of festivities.
Instead of our loved ones, we’re going to focus on showing love to familiar strangers.
Yes, familiar strangers.
Familiar strangers like that charity we always see or hear doing a charity fundraiser.
Familiar strangers like the old lady or man, with the bent-over back, whom you see pushing a trolley to fill with cardboard or peddling tissue, rain or shine.

In short, we’re going to be crafting things for sale to raise money for charity.

It could be raising money for an organised charity, you know the ones with proper names and registered charity numbers etc.
Or it could be just about raising money for

You decide with your child who you would like to raise a love gift tor gifts for.

Why Craft For Charity?

This inspiration for this comes from my 5-year-old son, Lee.

And this is the nutshell story about how this whole thing got started.

Son Wants To Give Money To The Poor. What Does Mummy Do?

Make him find ways to get the money to give to them, of course. BECAUSE… taking money out of Mummy and Daddy’s wallets isn’t the right thing to do.

The Whole Story in the full and glorious, moving, entirety is over here.

How To Join? {A Mini Organisational cum Learning Possibilities Plan}

  1. Pledge your support & commitment here. As soon as you decide that you will like to join this project, please do leave a comment here to encourage others to do the same. If you blog about it, do also link up and leave your blog link here. (Sorry, I haven’t figured how to fix my linky button here.)
  2. >Decide who. Discuss with your child/family who you would like to raise funds for. Is it an elderly neighbour who lives alone and survives on handouts?
  3. Set a target. The target doesn’t have to be a huge amount. Even $10 is a worthy goal.
  4. Make a plan. How will you raise the money? What do you like to make/do? What resources do you have? How will you price and sell the items?
  5. Start making. Set up a project timeline to keep you on track.
  6. Market your stuff. Put your heart on your sleeve and brave the world to sell your ‘heart’ work.
  7. Go Out & Bless! Finally, with the fruit of your labour, package it in a meaningful way to the recipient and then bring it to them.
  8. Come Back & Share. It’s not about boasting but really to share your journey of love. What did you and your children gain from doing this? Will you do it again? Why or why not? How will you make it even better if you do it again?

Come on, end this year with love.  

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” 
Mother Teresa

November 3, 2013
by theplayfulparents
1 Comment

Raising SNABs

Heard of Sensitive New Age Guys?

Well, before they were SNAGs, they must have been SNABs.
Sensitive New Age Boys.

Of course, I don’t believe in New Age anything. But it’s the closest term I could think of that would help you more quickly understand what I’m about to share.

So, perhaps, I would like to rephrase and say I’m raising:
Sensitive
Nurturing
Activist
Boys.

Boys who will grow into strong, compassionate men who see the needs of the community, and will rise up to be part of the solution to those needs.

You see, I would like to ask you to indulge me in a time of ‘proud mama’ boasting sharing.

Proud Mama Sharing Starts Now…

I’m just reflecting on how blessed and honoured I am to be entrusted with the task of being mum to two boys with such compassionate and generous hearts. The eldest really has a heart for the less fortunate as he always notices the old, weak and poor whenever we go out.

My Son Has  A Heart of Gold

Once, not too long ago, after he saw an elderly person in the midst of a crowded street peddling tissue, he said, “Mummy, why don’t we go home now and take all my money from my piggy bank and just give it to her?”

Now, THAT piggy bank of his has been heavy and full for more than a year and he has NOT allowed me to touch it. NOT allowed me to take it to the bank IN SPITE of my repeated explanations of how he could earn from rolling interest ( though pathetic, still money, ya?).

But for that old lady, he would gladly give her every single cent. And you can be sure I was not the one to suggest it to him because, erm, that old lady looks frail and pitiful for sure, but why does she have a mobile phone?

Being the jaded adult, I stopped him from doing so.

His Questions & Concern For The Less Fortunate Doesn’t Seem To Stop

But months passed, we see the same elderly and infirm peddling around the interchange. His questions are still the same – Why are they poor, Mummy? Why do they have to do this? Why can’t we give them money?

So How, My Dear Boy, Can We Help The Poor?

In order to help Big Boy fulfil his desire of giving money to the less privileged, I suggested that we use our hands to make things to sell to raise money (cos cannot just let him take money he hasn’t earned to give away lest he develops the wrong understanding of money).

This is how our Kids For Charity (KFC) started.

You’re Not Too Young or Useless To Make A Difference

Since I decided to homeschool. I’ve decided that I would try to make as MUCH of our daily activities and experiences count.
I don’t really like to do things just because, or for the sake of doing.

And since, we’re starting a 6-week long literature study around the famous Madeline classics.
And since, I’ve been wanting to teach him more handicrafts like, ahem, sewing, knitting.
So why not french knitting and finger knitting?

The very same day he learnt french knitting, he made 2 whole Christmas wreaths by himself.


It takes him about an hour to complete wreath, and with a whole lot of cheering and reminding from me to keep on task.
It’s not easy for me to be patiently cheering him one when I can really knit much faster than he can. Though, surprisingly, his handiwork is finer than mine.

Precious Life Lessons Being Learnt & Practised

On Friday, we started making bookmarks too. We have about 80 of them. He helped to trim the paper, punch the holes and stick the ring reinforcers around the holes. At one point, he was really tired. He began,”This is really hard work.”

But then, he suddenly popped upright from his slouched posture, eyes brightening, and pulled both fists downward and exclaimed, “But I CAN DO IT! Right, Mummy?”

I smiled at him and said, “Yes, you can!”

He continued with a renewed sense of purpose and energy.

And all because he knows that money is not easily earned, and if he wants to find money to help the poor, there is hard work to be done.

But this sort of work is all worth it…because it takes us beyond ourselves, and helps us live out what it means to be salt and light in this world.

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.
Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'”
Zechariah 7:9-10

I cannot say enough how proud I am of my two boys. I pray that I will have the wisdom, courage, and integrity to be able to live such a life of example to my children. That the words of the God I worship are not mere words I read in the Bible and regurgitate only in speech, but that I live the life that truly please God, even if it offends the sensibilities of men.

And oh, in case you were wondering what my little one was doing? He helped decorate the bookmarks with stickers.

You Have Compassionate Angels In Your Home Too

And you know, I’m betting you too have children like these in your own home. 

Perhaps, it just takes an opportunity like our Love Gifts: KFC project to help fuel their compassionate hearts for the weaker, poorer and less privileged in our society.

Will you consider doing something meaningful to bless someone less fortunate than you are this Christmas season?

If so, do hop over to our Love Gifts: KFC to find out more.

October 25, 2013
by theplayfulparents
1 Comment

The Journey of Voyage of Dreams 2013

Voyage of Dreams 2013: The Journey from The Playful Parents on Vimeo.

The story of how Singapore’s 1st Cardboard Creativity Festival for the Family came to be, and the adventure that awaits us.

Voyage of Dreams invites all in the family, young and old, to come together in a glorious time of creating, bonding and loving. The festival has been in many ways my ‘dream baby’.

This year’s installment was made possible through the generous support of NLB-Public Libraries Singapore and countless other small businesses and individuals.

Special thanks also to Xiang Wei, a final-year NTU student from WKWSCI, for her invaluable help filming and editing this video, and her Little Captains at Play teammates. Little Captains at Play is their final-year project to promote the value of play in the early years.

I hope this video will inspire you to continue seeking new ways to love your children, teens and spouses through play.
Because, yes, we never grow old for play.

If you have enjoyed this video, would you also show us some love and encouragement by leaving a comment and sharing this video?

Love Hard. Play Hard. Live Well.

 

October 22, 2013
by theplayfulparents
1 Comment

SG Education: A Survivor’s Tale

In response to my recent post, What’s Wrong With The World’s Best Education System, a reader left me this powerful story of his journey from despair and desperation to hope in my comment  box.

I am republishing it here as a post because I believe that he is not alone in what he has suffered.

Regardless of your opinions of our society and education system, you should read this young man’s sharing.

As I’ve mentioned before, the education system survives in a larger ecosystem influenced by politics, culture and economics. While I do not think his traumatic experience is the mere fault of an imperfect education system, it does make me want to re-examine the reasons for how schools can get so menacing, and to see how we can make school less so.

Some of you may read this and think that his parents probably placed undue stress on him and so on. But for what it’s worth, in my own experience with friends who struggle with their children’s depression sparked off by school stress, I am inclined to think that given the increased emphasis on academic excellence and long hours spent in school, away from home, societal factors and school can overwhelm and subdue even the best of parents.  

And because depression seems to be a growing disease – not just among our youth in Singapore, but also in the world.
The WHO estimates that “by the year 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability throughout the world”

So perhaps, like Davin and I, you too have your own story into freedom and hope to share. If you do, won’t you take that step of courage to share your journey so that someone else struggling with the same issues may too find some light in the midst of darkness.

Please remember that you are precious. Your life is precious. No one or nothing should ever make you feel that you are otherwise.

<< One Young Man’s Story Of His Experience With The Singapore Education System>>

I agree with you that Singaporeans in Singaporean society have long been turned from human beings into… things. Throughout my childhood in Singapore I constantly felt like I was just a thing, or some kind of cattle being reared for the sole purpose of becoming an economically productive cow. The grading of my cattle-worthiness started with streaming at P4 and it would never cease in never-ending periods of 2 years.

“When will it stop?!” I exclaimed to my mother when I was 12, on the eve of taking my PSLE exams. “Never,” she pointed out, at how I was going to be arts or sciences by Sec 2, then again with the O Levels at Sec 4, and again and again. That cattle-like feeling never ceased even after I emerged from the years of being in the Singaporean education system and enlisted with the SAF, but that’s another tale for another day.

Dear Author, you hit the nail right on the head. The Singaporean system of education constantly strives to dehumanize us and forces us to submit to the system. What really scarred me the most was the way my teachers reacted to being told of my condition of Asperger’s Syndrome – which placed me on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. Even though I attended high-ranking and “elite” schools like Pei Hwa Primary or ACS (Independent) the teachers would publicly humiliate me by announcing to the entire class that I’m some kind of spastic child which led to neverending waves of bullying. I ended up being told by my teachers that people of my condition would never amount to anything and all I would ever be good for was to reassemble and clean airplane headsets for Singapore Airlines at $1.50/hour.

You can imagine my despair and anguish even though I knew myself and that I was capable of so much more. It got bad enough that I nearly blew my own brains out with my mouth wrapped around the muzzle of my rifle whilst on guard duty in NS.

Then I found a solution: I decided to start my life in a different country. It’s been 3 years in the US so far and I’ve become a much happier human being. The most shocking to me was that my school and professors were treating me as if I was an actual person, not some cattle to be whisked through the bloody system. I received so many opportunities for me to shine… it’s something that would never have been afforded to me in Singapore. I helped a professor with research material on a future book. I clinched an internship with one of the best defense think-tanks in the world in London. I have never felt more valued before in my life. In Singapore, I was scum. In the US, people respect me here and appreciate what I have to say.

With all that said, why would I want to go back to my birthplace which harbored nothing but scorn and abuse for me? I hate the Singaporean education system, and I don’t think that any loving or ethical parent would want to put their child through the meat grinder that it is. I would rather die than to let that happen to any future child of mine.

 Do you have a similar story to share? 
If you do, I would like to encourage you to share it.
You can email me your story, and I am glad to keep your identity anonymous  for republishing. 
However, I would like you to write to me using your real name and a legitimate email so that I am able to verify the authenticity of the story source.

October 21, 2013
by theplayfulparents
0 comments

Talking About Marriage To A Kid

Photo credit & Source: hands with love on Free desktop backgrounds

 

How early do you begin teaching your children about dating and marriage?
And how early should you start discussing the criteria for a good spouse with your children?

My eldest just turned 5, but in a surprise turn of pillow-prayer-talk last night, we had our first official discourse about dating and marriage.

At bedtime on Sunday night, my 5-year-old asked me to pray for him to find a good wife.
This is how it happened.

I was discussing with both my boys (3 and 5) about the story of Samson and Delilah in the bible because that was the bible story from children’s church.

Me: So what did you learn from the story of Samson?

Kor Kor: Do not lie.

Me: Yes… but more than lying, do you know why Samson got into the trouble he did?

(Silence)

Me: Because he disobeyed God, and probably his parents, and fell in love with the wrong girl. He liked a girl who did not love and obey God. This is why God tells us to be careful who we become close friends with, and who we marry.
So next time, you must only choose a girl who loves God, okay?

K ( with a sense of urgency): So how do I know which girl likes Jesus?

Me: Not likes, LOVES.

K: So how do I tell which girl loves Jesus?

Me: Have to pray and ask God the Holy Spirit to show you.

K: Can you pray for me now?

Me: You want me to pray for you NOW to find a girl, a wife who loves Jesus?

K: Yes. Can you pray for me now?

And so we prayed together for my sons to find a good wife each – one whom has her heart set on God, and whom God has chosen for them.

Kor Kor was very earnestly praying while Di Di was kicking up a whole load of fuss in the other side of the bed, screaming for me to stop praying. Wonder why. Humphf.

But my firstborn’s simple and innocent request touched me much.

Oh! And by the way, I took the opportunity to talk to him about 2 Corinthians 6:14 about equal yoking in marriage.

AND… this may be controversial, but I prayed for them both that they will not need to waste time dating to find which girl to marry.
Just like how Isaac had his bride chosen for Him by God, may the Lord choose the wives for both my boys and they will be content in marriage to those wonderful women of God all the days of their lives.