Parenting a 7.5 year old

Clearly, I had not been up to speed with the game.

Too authoritative and too fierce, you take away the child’s confidence.

Too sweet and soft, the child becomes incorrigible.

I have to constantly remind myself that Z has opinions of his own, ideas of his own and preferences of his own. Sometimes, he doesn’t make the best decision and I bite my tongue to see him learn the lesson.

Even if it’s at the expense of him losing his favorite possession, I see him feel the heart pain, and so do I. He’s a really forgetful boy so he doesn’t remember his lessons.

Everything resets to zero when he has too much fun. That happens really often. 

Rules and boundaries – Reset to zilch 

Math, English and Chinese – Reset to zilch 

Drive, motivation and discipline – Reset to zilch 

Imagine my horror when I searched “Why are boys forgetful?” I get results telling me that this problem will peak during teenagehood and may never even be solved when the boys reach adulthood. That explains why I have a very forgetful Mr H on hand too!

I like this particular suggestion of turning a statement into a question and will try to practice the next time. Instead of telling Z to do something, I should ask him how he plans to do it. 

And finally, I must also remind myself on the little moments worth celebrating. In theory, it was good to boost the child’s confidence. On the flip side, it was shielding the child in a bubble world. 

Tough call, tough judgement. 


PTM @ P2 1H

We managed to get a 815am slot but I forgot about it and setup a 9am meeting. These were definitely times when work took precedence over kids. 

To my horror, the session before us overran and I was watching the time earnestly. As Z’s form teacher was on maternity leave, it was just us and the Chinese teacher. She impressed me with her creative teaching style and how she appealed to the kids. 

She remembered what Z liked to do in school, the little knick knacks. Previously, she had messaged me about how Z was playing with erasers in class and she confiscated those. I liked teachers who went the extra mile in guiding the kids. 

Z was a sharp boy and could even spot her mistakes if she wrote wrong stuffs on the board. Funny though, because he was so careless in most things.

What I liked about this year’s report card was a segment on character grading and if the students were in line with the school values. Z aced that, so I hoped it meant he was a good and kind boy. 

Familiar places for holidays

This article, with its click-bait headline, sent people off in a frenzy of discussion. I thought this explained why Z and X always asked us to return to the same few places. 

By now, they had repeated visits to Tokyo, Paris, London, Seoul, Bali and Hokkaido. However, when we started on new places, it wasn’t like they could not adapt too. 

They had never explicitly expressed if they liked or disliked a holiday. However, in order for the adults to enjoy the trip, I tried my best to plan for a family-friendly holiday such that there was something for everyone. As best as possible, I planned ahead to minimize nasty surprises. For instance, I made sure I knew the train timings, the range of dining options and whatever I could book in advance, I did so.

Do more research, make the trip more pleasant. It’s not necessary to always stick to the same place for familiarity, unless for personal preferences. For recall’s sake, that was why I made photobooks which the family, including me and especially the kids, love. 

A holiday wasn’t just a holiday. It was part of our memory milestone. 

Last week of school

It was as though it was the start of school holidays. The boys were in a party mood. So were the parents who were counting down to sleeping in. 

I did not recall school being so fun in my days. 

I also did not recall having parents so heavily involved too. 

Are we around too much? Or do the kids love it? Sometimes, it seemed we did not give them a choice.

Plans for the holidays:

1. Mega zip

2. National gallery’s children biennale exhibition

3. Southern ridges

4. Cars 3 movie 

5. Army open house 

Bedtime story 

Admittedly, we were less hardworking in this area with X. I took inspiration from a friend and asked Z to read to X. They were so quiet in the room that I thought they were sleeping and did not disturb them.

When I finally got to checking on them, Z was still reading to X. He was reading the 7th Thomas the train book to X. I was impressed by how sweet and patient Z was and how adoring X had looked upon his brother’s face. 

Heartwarming. Sweet. Lovely. 

Blessed with help and love

When the incident happened, I was lucky on many counts.

  1. The car behind us stopped. There were 2 men and 1 lady who alighted promptly to help X and I. Without them, I would not even know what to do. The car horn went on and on, like someone pressed on it infinitely. It was a blur for me because Mr H was at a school camp with Z and I did not know the right number to call. These lovely folks helped to calm me down, looked after X and even got a toolkit to disconnect the car battery just so that the horn stopped. They stayed with me under the hot afternoon sun and helped as much as they could.
  2. Another car drove by and this lovely lady passed us an ice-cold bag of bottled mineral water.
  3. Mr H got back to the school and headed over to take over the situation.
  4. My in-laws drove down to where we were and sent workshop assistance ahead of their arrival.
  5. My friends drove over to offer assistance and some also advised us on what to do.
  6. Our X-rays showed that we were fine. I would have been devastated if anything were to happen to little X.
  7. To have awesome neighbors who could help us to send both kids to school till we sort out our current arrangements…

These were among many things to be thankful for… like the car not exploding in our face with all that smoking and burning smell!

Progress of Z’s tennis class

You know how we as parents would always soften the blow when the kids don’t win. In soccer’s context, if the kids lose a game, they feel bad and we will go, “It’s alright. You have tried your best. That’s all that matters.” 

We say that because it’s a kind thing to say. We say that because we don’t want the kids to feel bad or worse, scarred emotionally for life. 

However, that also means that the kids don’t feel the pressure or urgency of numbers. At least in our case, I know Z is oblivious to game scores but when it comes to sudden death, I have seen him having difficulty in coping. He was stressed and unable to play normally.

The best lesson from his tennis coach is now how he teaches the strokes but how he gets him to feel comfortable with scores. He plays little games like poison ball (for footwork) and challenges Z to score 10 points. If he defaults, the coach gets the point.

During one of these mini games, the score was 6-2, 7-2, 8-2, 9-2 against Z. Even though it was not in Z’s favour, the coach said, “Believe in yourself. Anything can happen.”

Then the game became to reverse 9-3, 9-4 and all the way to 9-10.

I could see the coach helping him but above all, I was impressed with the lesson.