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Choosing School Over Family

29 Jun

Our company offers opportunities for international assignments. I have said I wanted to stay put for now, so as not to uproot the kids when I feel like they have just entered grade school and adjusted.

I asked the kids this week, what if Mom and Dad need to work in another country again? You’ll have to go to another school in another country. The responses were quick, and reflective of their different personalities and priorities:

B1: You can just leave me with Lolo and Lola. (Ouch. He has too much of a good thing going with his soccer varsity and friends.)

B2: I’m ok with a new school. (What? But you’re just two weeks into your new school! The school did say you were as adjusted as an old student. The familiarity with B1’s friends surely helped.)

Trained to Read Labels

10 Mar

I was asking G3 yesterday about how his playdate went when he surprised me with this statement,

I ate Scottsberry. It has only 2g of sugar and it has vitamins and calcium.

Whoa. I showed him how to read labels months ago but never really tested him nor expected him to be applying the knowledge. Good job, kiddo.

Raising Wise Dads, Moms & Kids – Book Review

1 Feb

I’ve read a lot of parenting books, so I wasn’t expecting a lot of new information from Raising Wise Dads, Moms & Kids by Dr. Grace Shangkuan Koo, PhD. I picked it up for the Filipino context coming from such a brain-accomplished Filipina. She has a lot on her credentials, but I’m star-struck that she took post-doctorate studies with Dr. Howard Gardner – you know, just the guy who introduced the world to the theory of multiple intelligences – and others as a visiting scholar at Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Given Dr. Koo’s brainy credentials*, I did not expect a lot of the material to be centered around the Bible. I later noticed that the publisher was Church Strengthening Ministry. It was interesting to see how she combined psychological research and biblical teachings to support the parenting principles she promotes.

These two biblical quotes featured in the book struck me most –

1) I’ve read that mothers and fathers play different, and both important, roles in parenting. The mother generally provides more nurturing while the father toughens up the kids for the real world with their rougher kind of play. I thought this was a funny reminder for the fathers to not take the play or the teasing too far –

Fathers, do not exasperate your children… Do not irritate and provoke your children to resentment, but rear them tenderly… Ephesians 6:4

2) A lot has been written about the importance of teaching our children discipline. This is a really sobering reminder on the gravity of this responsibility –

Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death. Proverbs 19:18

Overall, Raising Wise Dads, Moms & Kids was an easy read. You’ll get the most out of it by going back to the end-of-chapter checklists, which provide helpful introspective tools on how you are doing with your child-rearing and can help you identify what you might want to change.

*Dr. Koo holds four academic degrees: Bachelor of Music, MA in Education, Ph. D. in Educational Psychology and Master of Christian Studies. She has also studied 12 languages.

Toilet Love

12 Nov

Toilet love is…

When your pre-schooler gets amoeba
And he’s sitting on the toilet,
And he’s doubled up in pain,
And you’re sitting on a stool in front of him
So he can hug you,
And you can hug him back,
And he’s crying and wiping his nose on your shoulder,
And you wish you could take away his pain,
But you’re happy you can comfort him anyway.

No, motherhood is not a glamorous job.

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