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Posts Tagged ‘motherhood

How to read story books to children? 13 fun loving tips

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Strickland Gililan (1869-1954) in the Reading Mother:
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be –
I have a mother who read to me.

@~@ Read with love
When we read to our children,
we are sending them a message of love:
“I love you and give you one of the most valuable gifts I have —
my time and uncompromising attention.”

@~@ Easy way : tell a story out of a book.

@~@ Reserve a regular time and place for reading together.
For my children, I set aside a minimum of 10 minutes per day (no matter how busy I am) for reading together.
This way, you can make reading a habit.

@~@ Allow your little ones to sit on your laps, to snuggle up to you.

@~@ Read s-l-o-w-l-y.

@~@ Read with animation : e.g. use different voices for different character.

@~@ Point to the / parts of the illustrations / visuals. Follow the text with your finger as you read.

@~@ Ask (stimulating / inspiring) questions. Remember that there is no right / wrong answer.

@~@ Allow your child to re-tell the story, can use the illustrations as aids.

@~@ Recreate the story through activities such as drawing, drama, music or role playing.

@~@ Reward your children when they identify good values, emulate / copy good behaviors from the characters in the stories.

@~@ Use the illustrations / visuals in the books to trigger imagination in storytelling.

@~@ For Chinese comprehension, insert a space in between words in sentences, just like white space in English sentences.

@~@ Visit library / attend storytelling sessions.

@~@ It’s OK to repeat. Children love stories that they wills still love them even if we read to them for more than 10 times.

More:
# email “2013 Parent-Child Reading & Brain-based Reading Strategies”
# Reading for children

Good luck!

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Written by blueroselady

June 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Apprenticeship, fatherhood and expensive college education

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Today, a salesperson approached me on my way back to home.
The friendly salesperson was promoting a union membership.
However, I just signed up online for the membership last month.
His son was sitting nearby, playing a toy car by himself.
The salesman sadly said (while looking at his son), "Nobody takes care of him, so I have to bring him here."
The weather was not that hot when I met this salesperson, but I imagined it would be tiring to sit under the hot sun if he had to do his work since this morning or even afternoon.

One may feel sorry for the boy, however if we try to reframe our perspective positively, the boy is actually doing "apprenticeship."

The father is also enjoying both an opportunity to work (hence earn an income) and to accompany his son.

I wish I could help this salesperson to earn a commission, but I can only offer my prayer quietly in my heart. I pray that he will earn sufficient to raise his family, that his son will grow up appreciating his father’s hard work.

@~@

J was sharing with me that in the near future when she is going out to be a salesperson, she is going to bring her toddler.
Her toddler has a talent to make people happy through his charming smile.
J said, "this is not a child labor, this is nurturing her child to prepare for the future competitive world".

J was concerned that her child would grow up to be a spoil brat so she wants her son to respect and value hard work (and of course smart work) and everyday people who do hard work, through apprenticeship under her.

Not every child is the same.
Indeed, every human being is unique.
Yes, you are unique.
So are your progenies.
Today education system has been inspired from the Industrial Revolution,
when efficient and relatively submissive trainees are desirable.
However, our world is evolving;
our learning and education systems must evolve too.
I strongly agree with J on 因材施教^.

^ 因材施教 means to educate someone (a learner / a student / a child) according to his / her personality, aptitude and merits.

Moreover, the constantly increasing cost of college education is worrying and driving us to find alternative avenues to develop the knowledge and skills required for employment or self-employment.
To quote Hannah Seligson of The New York Times, some employers complain that many colleges don’t teach the kinds of technical skills they want in entry-level hires.

Is it worth for parents to sacrifice their retirement funds after they worked all their sweats, tears, and even blood, to fund for their children’s education?
This was what going on in the mind of Steve Job when he quit colleges,
but how many adult children do think like him?
Sadly, there are cases where children do not care about their parents after being funded for college education.

Although apprenticeships has been offered as alternative to college, my personal belief (as of this summer of 2013) includes:

1. it is essential for our trainee / progeny / children / protege to attend colleges where they can interact, network, build long-lasting relationships with their peer and lectures.
Completing a college education has been strong social economic enablers for many people with previously disadvantage backgrounds.

2. it is also essential for our trainee to undertake apprenticeships and to train under a master, if possible the best master.
There are things that one cannot learn merely by reading, one must experience the real world.

3. It is also essential for our trainee to undertake online courses / MOOC such as Coursera, edX, Udacity. This initiative is geared toward developing one into an independent learner and thinker.
As Stephen Covey mentioned, only those who are independent (not the dependent) can be co-dependent / cooperate / collaborate to perform complex tasks / projects.

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Written by blueroselady

June 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Safety in pregnancy

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NO to caffeine.
Caffeine (found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) readily enteres the baby’s bloodstream and accumulates in the brain.
When I knew that I was pregnant in my 1st pregnancy, I started to abstain from cofee, tea and soft drinks.

NO to alcohol. Beware of food with alcohol, e.g. tiramisu.

NO to chemicals.
Organic solvents used in dry cleaning can pass through placenta.
Pregnant women who are exposed to organic solvents at the workplace (e.g. laboratory technicians, factory workers, professionals artists / chemists) may also place their developing baby at a greater risk of developing birth defects.
Avoid chemical finishes e.g. stain repellents, flame retardants, paint / DIY products which emit fumes.
Avoid chemical air fresheners.
Avoid heavily scented cleaning products e.g. dishwashing liquids, floor cleaners, washing powders, pesticides.

NO to hair dyes / perms.
Remember that pregnant mothers are blooming beautifully, you do not need to change the color of your hair to feel beautiful.

NO to cigarette.
Avoid smokers. Exposure to as few as 2 hours a day of 2nd hnd smoke also significantly increases the risk of having a low-birth-weight baby.

NO to deep-tissue massage e.g. foot reflexology, Shiatsu.
No to sp treatments that raise pregnant mothers’ body temperature e.g. body wraps, sauna.

YES to exercise.
Walking is highly recommended for at least the 1st 2 trimesters.

When in doubt, always consult your doctor.

Related:
How to achieve pregnancy (Billings method) in the Dragon year?
Early signs of pregnancy
Challenges in pregnancy
Stay positive, be protective in pregnancy
Improve your lifestyle in pregnancy.
Checklist for week 20 scan during pregnancy.
Insurance.

Food for pregnancy:
soup of Beet root, Carrot, and Dates

Written by blueroselady

May 11, 2013 at 4:57 am

Soft spot on baby's head

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You will notice that the spot pulses in time with your baby’s heartbeat (like a mini-rhythm section) or bulges out a bit when your little one strains to poop.

Your baby’s soft spot is actually two spots called fontanels — one toward the front of that sweet little head; another smaller one toward the back — and they’re gaps between the bones of your baby’s skull.
After a baby’s born, they stay open to accommodate your baby’s growing brain.

The fontanels are well protected by a sturdy membrane. So go ahead — it’s okay to touch them (gently of course).

Eventually, the bones in your baby’s skull will build up enough minerals to completely fuse together and those gaps will close.

The back fontanel will close first — typically when a baby is between two to four months old.

The front fontanel stays open well into your baby’s second year (to give that amazing brain the space it needs to grow), though by the time your little one turns 19 months old even that fontanel should be closed.
This soft spot may close as early as nine months of age or as late as two years. The average is between 12 to 14 months.

Normally, a baby’s soft spot is firm and curves in just slightly.

But call your doctor right away if you notice these two (rare) signs of trouble:

1. A fontanel that is dramatically caved in.
This is a sign of dehydration.

2. A bulging fontanel.
This can be a sign of head trauma, an infection in the brain, or a buildup of fluid around the brain — especially if your baby has a fever and is excessively sleepy.
But don’t panic if the fontanel just pooches out a bit when your baby cries or vomits — if the fontanel goes back to normal when your baby is sitting up and calm, then all is well.

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Written by blueroselady

May 10, 2013 at 10:21 am

Posted in motherhood

Tagged with ,

How to prevent the arrival of premature baby? progesterone

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I wrote this post few months ago.

In the 34th week, I experienced pain while walking and went to ob-gyn to do check-up.
My condition has 50% risk of delivering premature baby.
In the 35th week, I was prescribed progesterone which made me so drowsy.
I remembered how I dropped the pen I was holding half-an-hour after taking progesterone.
Then I did not feel my baby moving too, perhaps he suffered from the drowsiness as well?
As a rule of thumb, if I feel 5 baby’s movements every 2 hours, it should be ok. My ob-gyn has more lenient rule, at least 12 baby’s movements per day.

Though progesterone caused my drowsiness, progesterone helps to prevent premature baby, so it is ok to endure the short term discomfort.
The financial cost of having premature baby is large, amounting to ~$1,000 per day of hospitalization until the baby is mature.

Written by blueroselady

May 1, 2013 at 7:14 am

Posted in health

Tagged with , , , ,

How to read? 10 tips for children that are also applicable for adults

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Reading & comprehension are essential skills for learning of all subjects.

To be an independent learners, our chidren / we
# must read CAREFULly.
# must have a good command of VOCABulary.
# must be able to make INFERENCEs.
# must minimize errors in GRAMMAR, SPELLING, & PUNCTUATION when writing review / reading journal / 读书心得.

Good readers are able to
# UNDERSTAND the text.
# THINK CRITICALLY about what the author has said, as the saying by Mencius goes "尽信书不如无书." We need an analytical mind.
# make CONNECTIONS / relate between the text and our own background knowledge / real life events.
# REFLECT upon the ideas given in the text.

Since reading is so essential,
how to read effectively, efficiently, and happily?

1. Reading must be meaningful.
Read with a purpose,
a question in mind,
then our children / we will be motivated.

2. Make reading a daily habit / routine / practice at home.

3. Visit libraries / book shops to get food for our minds like visiting market to get daily food for our bodies.

4. For young readers who have little background knowledge, unlike we adult, choose diverse, enjoyable, readable books.
Readable books refer to books that our children are able to read, not difficult books.
If the books are too difficult, children may get discouraged to enjoy reading.
When I was a little children, I made the mistake of trying to read tough classical books, and ended up not reading them because the rich vocabularies were too much for my little command of language at that time.

5. For your readers, parents can read aloud to them.

6. Consider also audio books / pre-recorded text in voicenotes.

7. STORY TELLING helps to develop listening & oral skills. Encourage our children to re-tell parts of story read, without making it sounds / feels like a hard test.
Soothing / angelic voice(e.g. J’s voice) helps.
Characters come to life when they have a voice, and sound effects are more compelling if they are convincing and audible.
Slow down at the key part.
The storyteller Neil Griffiths advices "Read aloud to them stories they love again and again!" I agree that repetition works.
Neil thinks that children can start listening to stories since they are in the womb!
In other words, unborn babies are never too young to enjoy listening to stories.
I also think that children never become too old for story time;
there is a child inside everyone of us.
If we can be child-like again,
even if our body has matured and aged, our soul will be happy!

8. Visualize the story.
Use photographic memory
to remember & recall the story / lesson.
A story can empower us with the ability
to dream, to dream imaginatively, to DREAM BIG.

9. Diarize our reflections / opinions / favorite parts from reading because developing both writing & reading skills does support each others.

10. Quiet room and peace / tranquility. If this is not possible, we can use ear pieces to listen to music that is suitable for reading. Supportive environment: neither too hot nor too cold.

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Written by blueroselady

March 31, 2013 at 12:29 am

How to soothe baby to sleep? An understanding of light sleep vs deep sleep ; 4+6 essential tips

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What are the differences between light & deep sleep?
LIGHT SLEEP:
aka REM (rapid eye movement),
our brains wake up,
dream and stir, turn over,
adjust the covers without fully awakening.
Babies have twice as much active, or lighter, sleep as adults.
Light sleep helps the brain develop because the brain doesn’t rest during REM sleep.
During REM sleep the body increases its manufacture of certain nerve proteins, the building blocks of the brain.

DEEP SLEEP:
quiet sleep,
mind and body are quietest,
muscles are loose.

About dreaming while sleeping:
Baby has more dream sleep than adult.
I find it funny when my first son chuckled in his sleep, his tummy vibrating on me and his mouth making a large grin.

How to induce babies to sleep?
1. gentle rock.
2. nurse / breastfeed.
3. sing lullabies.
4. ensure that babies are not too hot.

Blueroselady: I personally find that latching my first son is the most effective,
possibly because it quenches thirst and relieves hunger,
gives warmth and secured feeling through close body contact.

Since my spouse has no breasts,
he sings the soothing Ave Maria and it works.

More modern version:

Unlike adults who can usually go directly into the state of deep sleep,
infants in the early months enter sleep through an initial period of light sleep.
After 20 minutes or more they gradually enter deep sleep,
from which they are not so easily aroused.

Babies have shorter sleep cycles than adults.
About an hour after a baby goes to sleep,
he begins to squirm,
he tosses a bit,
his eyelids flutter,
his face muscles grimace,
he breathes irregularly, and
his muscles tighten.
He is reentering the phase of light sleep.
The time of moving from deep to light sleep is a vulnerable period during which many babies will awaken if any upsetting or uncomfortable stimulus,
such as hunger, occurs.

SOLUTION:
When your baby enters light sleep,
and you are sure that baby is not hungry / breathless,
1. do not move him e.g. from your lap to his cot within the 1st 20 minutes,
2. lay a comforting hand on your baby’s back,
3. hold his hand,
4. sing a soothing lullaby,
5. play soothing music / pre-recorded voices of your singing / saying prayers,
6. be there next to baby if he is in your bed (beware of the risk of pressing into him);
you can help him get through this light sleep period without waking.

Do not force your babies to sleep deep for too long.
Why?
“Nightwaking has survival benefits.
Tiny babies have tiny tummies,
mother’s milk is digested very rapidly.
If a baby’s stimulus for hunger could not easily arouse her,
this would not be good for baby’s survival.
If baby’s nose was stuffed and she could not breathe,
or was cold and needed warmth,
and her sleep state was so deep that she could not communicate her needs,
her survival would be jeopardized.”

But, here is a good news for tired parents:
“From three to six months, most babies begin to settle.
They are awake for longer stretches during the day and some may sleep five-hour stretches at night.
Between three to six months, expect one or two nightwakings.”

A piece of for parents:
“Remember that your baby’s sleep habits are more a reflection of your baby’s temperament rather than your style of nighttime parenting.
And keep in mind that other parents usually exaggerate how long their baby sleeps,
as if this were a badge of good parenting, which it isn’t.
It’s not your fault baby wakes up.”

Personal note:
When our first son was 2 months old,
he loves to wake up at night and needs someone to chat with him.
Oh my goodness!

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Written by blueroselady

March 27, 2013 at 6:06 am