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Posts Tagged ‘parenting

How to use the real estate concept of Joint Tenancy & Tenancy-in-Common to explain your love to your children?

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Recently, I use the concepts of Joint Tenancy and Tenancy-in-Common to help Annie makes peace with her childhood.

About Annie:
She was the eldest in the family.
In her childhood,
she sometimes happily shared her (relatively little) toys with her younger siblings.

Sometimes her younger sister would forcefully took it away from her
and their parents always seemed siding her sister’s.

In her teenage years,
regardless of Annie’s good academic results,
Her father told Annie that he had money to send her to a university,

but he generously supported the tertiary education (including post-graduate) of her younger sister and brother.

After many challenging years,
Annie eventually managed to complete her tertiary education well (without her father paying for her college fee),

secured a well paying job,
and get married.

She has been understanding that the economic situation of the family was different before and then.
However, she subconsciously harbors an anger to her father,

and she only realized it through an incident where her father forced her to surrender her hat to her sister.
Looking back,
she laughed at it,
it was like a little girls fighting for a toy.
Annie was gracious enough to buy extra hat for her sister,

but she was hurt by her father’s action.

Annie has always worked hard to be successful in all her endeavors of life.
From her stellar academic performance to her high commitment for her career,
she is a role model for her sister and brother.

However, her life is not easy.
Looking for an outsider’s perspective,
her life seems the toughest one among her siblings,
because she had and has to fight alone much earlier than her siblings.

Being raised in a traditional Eastern family,

Annie has been instilled with the concept of filial piety since early days of her life.
Her rules include:
"It is wrong for children to be angry to their father."
"Being angry to your parents is unfilial."

While her rules create a filial child for her parents, but it is not healthy to her.

What Annie can do now include:

Acknowledge her feeling of angry.
Anger helps us to assert our rights.
It is OK to be angry as long as one does neither suppress nor express it*.

It is OK to be angry for a short period of time. After all, our time on earth is too short to be wasted on things that we can do nothing about (e.g. those happened in the past).

Expressing anger only creates a vicious cycle.

Nobody likes angry man / woman.
In short,
suppressing anger hurts yourself.
expressing anger hurts others.

her parents (and her siblings).
According the Florence Scovel Shinn, the law forgiveness can overcome the law of cause & effect.

Perhaps (in her speculation), in her past life, Annie had been unfair to her own children.
Her father was also perhaps a victim of his mother.
Louise Hay said, "We are all victims of victims".
Forgiveness allows you to release you from the past unhappiness.

Do not let your unhappy past determines your presence.

Affirm herself positively.
In a children book by Louise Hay and Kristina Tracy, af-fir-ma-tion is defined as words that you think or say, and believe to be true.

Examples of good affirmations:
Those who hurt you in the past can no longer hurt you now.
I am a worthy individual because of who I am, not because of what I am capable of achieving and earning.
I do not need the approval of others (including Dad’s approval) for me to feel worthy.

I seek no approval of other people.

How is about setting boundaries?
Annie shared with me that she feels better with less interactions with her father.
As long as she knows that her father is healthy,
she is contented.

Honestly, I am still trying to figure out if this is the a good strategy for her.
After all,
no single approach works for everyone.

From Annie’s life story,
I learn the importance of explaining our undivided share of love to each of our children.

According to Lucy Beresford in her book Happy Relationships at Home, Work & Play,
your 1st child may feel ‘dethroned’ with the arrival of his younger sibling.

It is important to let your first child understand that

your Love is infinite.
Your love to each of your children is whole of what you are capable of loving.
This is like Joint Tenancy,
in which 2 or more owners are seen as ONE entity.

But attention & time are definite.

The more children a family have,
the smaller (but ideally equal) share (of attention & time) that each of the children receive.
This is like Tenancy-in-Common,
in which for equal share of ownership,
the increase in the number of owners,

will reduce the percentage of share of each owner.

However, unequal share is also possible in the co-ownership by Tenancy-in-Common.
The same goes for family,
although parents try to be fair,
and say that they are doing their best to be fair,

human beings are biased.

That’s why parental’s favoritism ^ exists .
This sounds unfair!
However, living means learning to endure injustice (when you cannot fight it) and fight for justice that matters.

^ Parental’s favoritism may exists because of e.g. a father / a mother may favor a child (over another) because the child is more similar to him / her in look / characters / personalities (e.g. personality clash).

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Written by blueroselady

July 31, 2013 at 1:29 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

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?
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.

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.

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.
“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

How to trim / cut baby's nails without bleeding?

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"Little fingernails grow so fast you may have to cut them several times a week."
A newborn has little control over his flailing limbs and can easily end up scratching his own face / your breasts.

Use baby’s nail clipper.
Trim / cut while babies are asleep and after a bath (a bath soften finger nails).
Use magnifying glass if possible (some nail clippers have magnifying glass).
Good lighting, please!
Press the finger pad away from the nail to avoid nicking the skin.
Keep a firm hold on baby’s hand while clipping.
Apply baby oil after clipping to remove the crease.

Do not bite baby’s nail as germs may be introduced.

Tentatively, file baby’s nails with the soft side of a file.
Skip clipping and rely on mittens (but sometimes mittens may fall off).

If bleeding occurs, clean with soap and water.
Do not put anything (ointment / bandage) on his / her fingers,
because babies put their fingers into their mouths,
and rub their eyes,
and to avoid risk of choking bandage.
Mothers / fathers, do not feel bad,
just be more careful next time.

Practice makes perfect!

Written by blueroselady

March 7, 2013 at 4:14 am

Posted in baby, motherhood

Tagged with , , , ,

Taking a survey from baby center : a cherished first smile

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When did your baby first…
> Smile?
> Wave bye-bye?
> Roll over?
> Sit up?
> Clap?
> Crawl?
> Say mama or dada?
> Cut a tooth?
> Stand alone?
> Walk?
> Run?

When did your baby smile for the first time?
Newborns can zap the energy right out of you, but that fatigue will turn into waves of love when you see your baby smile for the first time.

24% Younger than three weeks (including baby L)
31% Three to four weeks
32% Five to six weeks
10% Seven to eight weeks
4% Older than eight weeks

Baby L 1st smiled on his 1st day.
He was delivered in the afternoon,
and his father managed to photograph him smiling while laying on his mother’s chest.
How old was your baby when he first clapped?
4% Younger than five months
15% Five to six months
43% Seven to eight months
27% Nine to ten months
11% Older than ten months

How old was your baby when he first said mama or dada?
14% Younger than five months
15% Five months
19% Six months
16% Seven months
12% Eight months
24% Nine months or older

How old was your baby when he rolled over front to back?
16% Younger than two months
15% Two months
28% Three months
22% Four months
9% Five months
9% Older than five months

Lift head up?
Baby L started to lift his head between 1 & 2 months old.

Written by blueroselady

March 1, 2013 at 7:38 am

How to pump breast milk hand free?

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Use dual pump for faster result.
Wear nursing bra.
(optional) Put napkin beneath to prevent leakage into your clothes.
Use (a min of 2) clothespin to clip the pump part to bra,
use more cloethespin if necessary.
must ensure that the lower part of breast shield has no room for leakage.
Use a (baby) bolster / pillow at the base of the collection bottles so that the heavy breast milk filled bottles do not sag your breasts.
Use a sling bag to put the motor for body motion of mother.

This idea of Blueroselady is inspired from Medela freestyle :—how-to-pump-hands-free?prodsearch=463

Written by a user of Medela, UniMOM, NOK.

Written by blueroselady

February 28, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Different expectations from children to parents

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As a new Mom,
naturally …
I strengthen my friendships with friends who are Moms,
I make new friends with other Moms.

A good friend of mine,
J shared with me on the different expectations from children to parents.

J’s husband has a sister who lives with the parents of J’s husband,
and the parents of J’s husband are taking care of the children of J’s sister (the nieces-in-law of J).
it seems that J’s family have the expectation that "grandparents must take care of the grandchildren."

A conversation between J & J’s husband
(well, I do not know what their exact words, so I just share based on my memory talking to J).

J : Honey, let say in a hypothetical scenario, if Daddy & Mommy (refers to J’s husband’s parents) want to take time off to go holidays seeing the world for e.g. 3 months, do you think my sister-in-law will allow?

J’s husband : I don’t know. May be not because nobody will take care of her children.

J shared that when his parents went overseas for J’s wedding,
his parents could only come for 3 days,
because they must take care of J’s nieces-in-law.

J’s husband grew up in a family in which parents are taking care of their children a lot,
for example,
his parents wash his clothes,
cook his herbal medicine,
cleans his room,
irons his office attire,
bath the grandchildren,
instead of letting J’s sister-in-law to do it,
while his parents give a lot of comfort to their children,
they may somehow deprive some opportunities to be independent from their children.

J does not think that this is wrong,
it is just different way of parents expressing their love.

J’s husband once remarked : Your parents seem to love their children less than mine.
J gently replied : Honey, our parents love their children differently in their own ways.
Your parents give you comfortable lives,
help with a lot of little things and house chore.
My parents teach me how to survive in the world on my own,
simply because they cannot take care of me forever,
so they gave me an early training.
(Note : like me, J has led an independence life away from her parents since her teenager days.)

Of course, as a woman and a friend of J,
I side J more than J’s husband,
this is human nature.

Personally (in the opinion of Blueroselady),
parents are responsible of taking care of their children until the children turn 18 or 21 years old.
children are responsible of taking care of their parents (till the end of the parents’ lives) once children start earning an income.

As an adult, we should not expect our parents to take care of our children.
Of course,
if our parents want to do so,
they are welcome,
but we must not insist it.

My opinion is influenced by Asian concept of filial piety,
yet is modern enough by taking account the freedom concept of the West
(For example,
have no expectation for our parents to take care of their grandchildren).

Written by blueroselady

February 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm