Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How to not get angry with your kids.

*Deep breathe*.... Well it's not easy for me to write this. "I'm angry!"

Earlier today, Tristan didn't eat his snack in school, came back home and deliberately ate chocolate when I repeatedly told him it's for after his lunch!
At dinner time, he refuses to eat his rice and kept asking to eat his Kinderjoy-chocolate!
( I don't normally buy chocolate but we just came back from Shane's birthday and got a bag of goodies. He can eat them as long as he eat some dinner.) So there was a big drama, throwing tantrum and crying at dinner. At last he ate some dinner and had his dessert. I haven't got angry till this point...
But... I couldn't keep my cool for long... I just burst out with Tristan for not listening to instructions and waiting in bed while I get his milk. He was talking loudly and making noises, walking around and jumping on the bed AND woke his brother from his sleep!! Trevor is still recovering from runny nose and it's difficult for him to get to sleep with stuffy nose. This pushed the button!

I took his hand and slap his palm real hard.. he started crying...

I feel really terrible. I'm angry with myself for getting angry with him... I have been angry many many times for an extended period of time. I really need to stop being angry!

I looked online and found this...

When Moms Get Angry - Anger management tips for moms

When you get angry with your children

Greene's Release-Why you get angry with your child & what you can do about it

Answers-yahoo: How do you cope when you get angry with your kids?

A Video by Dr. Arnold Nerenberg of The Nerenberg Graduate Institute.

I read up on the above and realised this hit me: "Angry responses may be a familiar strategy, or something quite new and surprising – people often say their anger heightened after the birth of a child, starting a new job, death of a family member, or some other life change."

I realised that there's just so many changes in my life in the past 2 months that I need time to rejuvenate and to recover from. Which I never got the time to do it... All the emotions built up over time...

1. We moved out from my in-laws and to our new home... had to dealt with leaving them and setting up and managing our own home.

2. My close aunt passed away from cancer after a 5 year long fight. This happened very quickly, didnt expect her to go so soon... She was still walking and talking and planning for her holidays a few weeks before her death. I kept feeling sorry and guilty that I never visited her enough in the last few weeks... and for not calling her enough... But I'm happy that I made it there at the hospital and held her hands, said prayers with her till her hands turned cold and the pulse machine beeped... This was the first time someone so close to me has passed on. I'm happy that she's gone to a better place, but miss her terribly. It was an emotional roller coaster for me... I had to be strong for my kids, my grandmother and for my aunt to go peacefully. I didnt have time to greive... or to forgive myself for the regrets I have... I guess it takes time and prayers will heal.

3. Chris got a new job... with this comes changes with routine. He use to work odd hours gets weekdays off and this meant that he could take care of paying the bills, sending cars for servicing...etc.. But now that he is on 5day week and weekend off, I have to take over all this. And whinthin the last month, my car broke down twice and it costed me a fortune to repair it. But then again, with this new schedule, he's timing is more predictable and he gets weekend off to spend with us. Just need time to get use to this change.

4. Financially... We used up our savings to set up the new home and with the car break down and repairs... and everything else cause a bit of strain on our finances. Hope in months to come, we can start up our savings again.

5. Both kids sick for past 2 weeks with high fever and flu... sleepless nights for me, grumpy kids, super fussy eater....etc...

All this plus I still need to manage my business and prepare for Kindermusik classes..
Oh well... I guess all these was enough for me to burst out in anger.
I'm writing this blog because I just need to write down and clear my thoughts. Not saying that I have a reason to get angry... but I just lost control of my emotions.

I really don't know how exactly I can step out of this rage towards my kids and family.... ( my innocent victims... *sign*...) but I'm going to take things step by step and take deep breaths before I do want to break out again. I pray everything will heal and I pray for forgiveness.

Please share with me if you have similar experiences.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

How your baby and toddler will benefit from music?

Dear Mummies & Daddies, or if you know a parent with young children :)

Many parents ask if it is too early to start music class? Babies...Toddlers... what benefit will they get?
What babycenter says about music and baby...
What Supernnanny says about music and baby...
Nestle Grow your baby's brain with song...
Babycenter malaysia: When will my baby be old enough to start music lesson?

It's never too early to start introducing music to your child. In fact, the earlier the better. I'm sure you are aware of how prenatal musical experience benefit the child even before he/she is born. AND the building of the brain continues after birth, music being proven to stimulate the brain in every way is the best you can use to stimulate your child and encourage development of the brain. It helps in development of language skills, physical development, social & emotional, and cognitive development..etc

More than just a music class, Kindermusik Class is a music and movement program that provides a whole child development! The child is introduced to different music from around the world and each activity has been planned to stimulate the child to learn in many different ways. This class trains listening skills, builds self-esteem, attention span, fine & gross motor skills, creativity and so much more!

This is speaking from personal experience, as I see the results on my own son and others that I teach! And most of all, they love the class and it's such a great bonding session with mummy and child OR even daddy and child! ( I have daddies attending the class with their 2 year old... doing pretend play and everything!)

So don't wait! Come and observe and see for yourself what we do in class!
(You can just come in and join us one of this weekend, email at shirintan@gmail.com/call me to let me know) and if you and your child like it join us! If not in your own way introduce so form of music to your child!
Our exciting new class is starting on 14 Nov 09. See the previous post to find out more.

Pass the message on!

Click here for more information on Kindermusik Classes.

Happy Parenting!


New Kindermusik Class Starting in Nov 2009!

"Family Day at the Zoo -- Let's Take the ZOO TRAIN Together!"

Your toddler and the train make a natural match - always on the move. Bring your own stuffed animal for the petting zoo. Wear long white socks on your hands for polar bear paws. Sing songs for clapping time and use music to help children regulate emotions.
**Early Bird enjoys 20% discount on Lesson Fee!**
Last Enrollment Date for Early Birds: 10 October 2009 (Saturday)
Lesson Dates: 14, 21, 28 November and 5, 12 December 2009 (Total of 5 sessions on Saturday)
Lesson Time: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Last Enrollment Date: 4 November 2009 (Wednesday)
Lesson Fee: RM 200
Home Materials: RM 140
What you and your child will get:
1. Hardcover book
2. Funky chunky animal shaker - in elephant or giraffe shapes
3. Home CD includes the slip-in lyric book
4. Certified Kindermusik Educator conducting the class
5. Fun & Exciting learning environment!
Please email me at shirintan@gmail.com to register today! Limited places only.
Only enrollment with Full Payment received within the said dates are considered
If your child is of a different age group please drop me an email so that I can keep you updated when we start a class for other ages. Kindermusik have age appropriate classes for each level. Click here to find out more.

To learn more about Kindermusik, please go to

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

It's been a while...since we painted!

It's been a while since I last blogged and since Tristan and I last did a art & craft at home. So here's a little art that we did for 'YeYe'-my father's birthday yesterday. I cut out a nine pointed star out of a rough paper and ask Tristan to help me stick it ( just on the corners of the star) on a drawing block. Then we use tissue, crushed paper, paint brush and cotton bud to put paint all over.After painting, we remove the star to unveil the master piece :) Yeye love it!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Tristan wrote his own name!

Tristan & I were at Kinokuniya Bookstore last year browsing and trying to get a gift for a friend. Tristan made me buy him a 'Lightning McQueen Annual book' which cost me Singapore $25 ( for a magazine?!?!!) Oh well...what's a mother to do.. when he flashed his smile and said: 'please...' Or was it whining & fussing until everyone was looking at us..??hhmm.. cant really recall was 8 months pregnant then.

I read the book to him everytime we opened the first page- which writes "This book belongs to:____" I tell him this is where you write your name. But I never got down to writing his name.

About 2 weeks back, he quietly went to his cupboard of stationaries and picked up a pencil. Lying down on the floor and started writing. I thought he was scribing on his 'expensive' book... wanted to scream at him! But I was pleasantly surprised... wow.. he started to write his name without help!
Cool huh? Just 6 months in school and he barely turned 3 years old!
Thanks to the teachers at Clover Learning Centre. They taught him well! (Free promotion for the school.. haha.. I should be paid!)

Monday, June 08, 2009

Kindermusik in Johor Bahru!

I've finally completed my Kindermusik assignments and submitted to be a licensed Kindermusik Educator! I'll began teaching in July09!

Brief introduction on what Kindermusik Class is about:
-Music Class for 0-7 year olds (click here to see what are the curricula for each age group )
-More than just music, this class will help your child develop Physically, Intellectually, Literacy,Emotionally, Socially & Musically
-Curricula is well planned and based on Child Developmental Experts. So each activity and song that is taught is purposeful and stimulates your child in more than one way.
-Bonding with Parent as parent attends class with child and continue to bond at home with a take away Home material (include CDs with songs featured in class,Books and a Musical instrument)
-Enkindle a lifelong love for music: joyful experience rather than pressure to perform.
(I was one of those private piano lesson child who dreaded practicing and learning just to pass the exams, as a result I don't touch the piano much after I completed the exams. I think I associate the fear and stress with piano, sadly. I still love music but I still cant enjoy and play piano as well as I wish. So Kindermusik is really different and I personally experience it with my 2 sons :)

More information visit this website to find out more: Kindermusik Asia OR Kindermusik International

There'll be 2 exciting classes in July09
Kindermusik Village 0-1.5 yr olds
Kindermusik Our Time 1.5-3yr olds

If you are interested to find out more email me :)

Just to share some of my personal experience with Kindermusik and the effect on my 2 boys! Here are just some of their progress Tristan n Trevor's progress...

My 3 year old Tristan

Tristan is the type that only participates in class when he wants to OR when he is more familiar with the people in his class, but he sure is alert and learning throughout the class. I'm pleasantly surprise with his memory and how much he actually remembers! I took out the Kindermusik Our Time (Kindermusik Class for 1.5-3yr olds) - Away We Go activity booklet and he can remember the hello song, goodbye song, tommy thumbs up, jingle jingle go the car keys, ...etc so much more.. and all this with right tunes and almost 95% of the lyrics! And his fine motor skills with the tommy thumbs up is good. We did Tommy Thumbs up with our toes! We call it Tutu Toes and tried to let our toes touch our head and shoulders. Had a great laugh.

In the home material activity booklet ( by the way great book! and great ideas for mummys to connect and play with child) there's a page with picture of racing car, train, aeroplane and boat. The suggested activity ask mummy to ask child if they can remember any songs with each of the transport. I thought... wah... this is tough, but gave it a shot. I asked Tristan and gave him an example of boat.. I tot " Row row row your boat.." next Train... Opp.. cant think of any.. I was going to skip it when Tristan sang.."Thomas and his friends". And for Racing car.. his favourite car show" Roary the racing car".. and last was a rhyme about plane- probably from his ABC Music & Me (aKindermusik Lesson in a Pre-school without parent attending) class.

So wow! just 2 classes and he learns so much. AND.. he still remembers most of the songs from all his ABC Music & Me (he started in Jan 09) and Zoo Train songs (we attended a Kindermusik Adventure- 5 lessons holiday camp in March, we both love it) . Children learn so well when they enjoy the experience and when they get to share their experience with their mummy and daddies at home.

My 5 1/2 month Trevor
I conducted a Kindermusik Village trial class 2weeks ago and I started singing to him after a few bath time with 'Tell me why' song while I did some baby massage.. and Skinnamarink - a song where we both dance and say I love you... And I think he remembers them cos he look so calm and happy whenever these songs are sung. and I'm surprise he is pretty cooperative in class too. ( or just my luck that he is in a good mood... But I think it definitely have something to do with the music.) Will monitor and see how he goes in weeks to come :)

It's never too early to start introducing music to your child. The earlier the better. I'm sure many are aware of how prenatal musical experience benefit the child even before he/she is born. AND the building of the brain continues after birth, music being proven to stimulate the brain in everyway is the best you can use to stimulate your child and encourage development of the brain. Not being 'KIA SU' but giving your child the best possible start in life and maximising his/her fullest brain potential is one of the greatest gift for your child. All this while having fun and enjoying your time with you child. No pressure or stress to perform.

So don't wait, join the Kindermusik class or start introducing some form of music for your child!

Monday, April 27, 2009

4 Months at Clover

Tristan has been in School for four months already, here's quick update on how's school so far.

So far so good :) the school kept up their promises and I must say they did a good job at that. Thanks to the committed Directress Chaz Yee and her team of teachers at school.

Environment: Overall Clover offers a good learning environment with just enough numbers. Not too many and special attention from the low teacher student ratio is very good. I like how they mingle the older and younger group in some of the sessions so the young ones can learn from the older ones and the older ones can help and lead the younger ones. Place is well kept and clean,well ventilated.

His progress: His fine motor skills has improved, in terms of colouring, pouring, cutting, glue-ing things. And gross motor skills such as throwing and catching ball has improved too. He learns some alphabet and numbers but teacher says sometimes he seems to know it but sometimes not sure if he knows or not. So we are yet to confirm if he can recognise numbers and some alphabets. He's starting to speak some chinese words randomly and seem to be able to understand when people speak to him. But everytime when I start speaking to hi in Mandarin, he look at me and say "Mummy..." with a weird look. I noticed he will start speaking pretty fluent chinese under stress. e.g. like the last hair cut at the saloon, he screamed " Wo Bu Yao"- (I dont want) & "Pa Pa" (scared)

One small thing : I wish there's more update on my child's progress from the teachers. I noticed that pick up time is the best time to ask the teacher how has he been in school. But if no ask, no update. So parents have to take a more active role to ask. But there's a 3 monthly (1 term) report on Tristan progress which is great. I see his work in school improving and can see his work progress. He is more attentive to things around him and he loves singing all the songs he learnt. (apparently he used to not participate in class, but he observes and learns and then sing to me when he is home :) depends on his mood I guess.

There's a show and tell session once a week, that helps him to stand up and speak up, public speaking. He use to be quite shy and whispers to teacher and but now he can talk more, sometimes is good sentences.

So far no complains, and Tristan loves going to school.And the things they do there is different and well thought of with special attention to what activity helps in e.g. motor skill, language, social...etc... I enjoyed the 'birthday walk' he had on his birthday few weeks ago.

See Photo on right.

I'm going to sit in and observe the school in action one of these days. Stay tuned :)

My favourite book on Montessori :)

How To Raise An Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin

Like any DK published books, this book is well illustrated, to the point and easy to read. It covers all areas enough for a person who has little or no knowledge on this subject. For people like me who is not much of a reader,( I can never get through big fat thick books!) it's great, I enjoyed it so much that I borrowed from the library again.. and hhmm maybe I might end up buying one for my own collection of books :)
It has great simple ideas where you can incorporate in your daily life with your child, things to do to stimulate their senses and games: they call it "purposeful" play, where they learn so much through simple non-competitive games.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We're no longer 3 but four !

Wow time flies when you have 2 kids! The last I wrote was before I gave birth. Well that explains my life for the past few months!

Dont ask me why I'm awake at 4am in the morning... heheh.. suddenly remembered I had a blog and miss blogging :)

Well being a mother to number 2 is somewhat different, chaotic sometimes, blissful at other times. It's back to sleepless nights, endless feeding and changing diaper sessions, learning to multi-task parenting 2 ->e.g. breastfeeding and chasing after a toddler who just peed in his pants and running all over the place with his wet pants!

Many things happened and changed the way I looked at things.
Back to when I gave birth to Trevor... -> I prayed and thank God that Trevor came naturally on Sunday 21st Dec 2009, 3.45KG, instead of being induced, overdue by 5days. My labour was shorter, but I felt it was more intensed. It started at 8am with some 'stomachache' and was admitted at 10am. 2pm baby was out! This time round I kinda know what to expect and could focus and did a better job at relaxing during the contractions. Probably explains the shorter labour. I didnt take the 'gas' as I didnt want the nausea feeling, so I was awake and conscious the whole time, therefore i could feel everything. Dont know whether good or not:) The last time I was 'high' on gas so didnt exactly remembered what when on. But I'm just happy the labour was over!

After Labour
After breastfeeding Tristan for 26mths, I thought.. should be no problem with no.2. I'm a breastfeeding counsellor so should set a good example, total breast milk all the way! And so I thought...
Every baby is unique, so is every labour and every breastfeeding experience.
I didnt prepare any nursing cream as I thought nipple should be 'season' already but I was wrong. The first feed was good, Trevor latch on pretty well and sucks very strongly. But hhmmm.. he is a hourly feeder! I was super tired and nipple sore like crazy. I was paranoid and keep asking Chris to check on baby make sure he was not fed formula as it may compromise the success of breastfeeding. So I was bit stressed up and exhausted, couldn't rest properly. The next day the Pediatrician came in and was concerned that Trevor has not peed or poo since birth. I cant remember the exact words but he said something like this: it is great that I choose to breastfeed, but I need to exercise balance and put baby's health as priority. He said it in a very nice way that I didnt feel that I was reprimanded for insisting on Total breast milk. I thought about it, worried for baby + sore nipples + every hour feed + super exhausted... I decided to top up with formula. Fill with guilt, but I knew I had to make a decision there and then.
I continue to feed directly and top up with some formula after every feed for about 3 days until the milk came in. I was surprised that this time round I have engorgement and too much milk. (didnt know too much milk will be a problem too)
-> that's a whole new story and topic..
On the 4th day, I'm happy and lucky that I manage to switch back to total breast feeding without nipple confusion and other problems. And I'm still happily breastfeeding now. :)

Thinking about it now, I realized that there are ideals and sometimes we give ourselves a hard time for trying to match these ideals and forget about our priorities and what is more important. I learnt that in life we have to strike a balance in everything and my view of things changed. I admit I was paranoid and went the other way of 'blaming' formula companies and their unethical marketing for being the cause of many lives in 3rd world countries. I was angry with formula for a while. I'm not saying that I forgive their act, it's still unacceptable but I have come to terms with it. It has changed the way I counsel as a breastfeeding counselor. Every effort that a mother makes to breastfeed is great and should be praised and encouraged. No mother should be made to feel bad that when they have failed. I'm sure the decision made under different circumstances has been thought about and is not easy. However amount of breastmilk that a mother manage to give is good for the baby.

Of course I still stand by that knowledge gives strength and together with will power and perserverance, every mother can succeed in breastfeeding. My role is to encourage and provide information so that mothers can breastfeed successfully and breastfeed longer.

Here's part 1 of my life after Trevor's born... will write again on
1) Tristan's reaction to new baby brother
2) Tristan going to school
3) Tristan entering toddlerhood
4) Our first holiday to Port Dickson as a family of four
5) Changes in our family dynamics
6) Managing 2 + Business (MummyHugs) + Studies (Kindermusik)! (or so I try)
7) How's Trevor different from Tristan.
-> Trevor growing big and fast. He seems to do everything faster than Tristan :)

Stay tuned.


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