April 30 is International SpankOut Day

My own picture. Words added using Paint.

April 30th is International Spank Out Day. This day actually started in
1998, and the purpose is to promote non-violent discipline of
children. During this period of time, you can find many parenting
websites or blogs providing alternative ways to help guiding our
children without using the physical punishment or other punitive
techniques.

 

I think no one deserves to be hit or spanked, and no one
has the right to harm others too, not even a parent. Children are
not our belongings, they are individuals, they belong to
themselves, not us. I just can’t imagine how a parent teaches a
child to be kind and not to harm others, but the parent hits or
spanks the child. To me, it’s even worse to hit or spank a child, as the
little one is so helpless and the child can’t even say NO to the
spanking. It also teaches the child “violence” is the only way to solve the problem.

 

I have to confess that I did yell at my children and still scold them sometimes, but I believe this is not a good way to bring up the children. There are more gentle or peaceful parenting methods for us to guide our children, with love and warmth. I am still learning and hopefully I will be a peaceful and joyful mom one day. I think meditation does help me to improve a lot.

 

I actually learned this SpankOut Day from Parenting Beyond Punishment. This parenting site is having this annual Peaceful Parenting noSpank Challenge since 2 years ago. You will gain a lot of information about the peaceful parenting ways, instead of using spanking, swatting, yelling, screaming, shaming and other punitive attempts. I think this is a very good online event, and it’s free. If you have missed it this year, perhaps you can check it out next year.

 

I would like to commit to not even get angry or scold my children, and I have been learning that. Though I haven’t been able to do it NOW, I know I will be there SOON.

 

Would you like to commit not to spank or hit your children?

Pregnancy checkup

It’s very common for a pregnancy woman to go for a monthly checkup in my country. Usually, we will have urine test, ultrasound scan and perhaps at least one or two blood tests throughout the whole pregnancy period.

 

Going for pregnancy checkup is always a joyful experience, though we always need to spend time waiting for our turn. It’s just so happy to see the baby is growing healthily in our womb from the ultrasound scan. I am always amazed of how the baby grows from the size of a tiny seed, to the form of a baby which is more than 2kg in the womb. It’s great to hear the heartbeat of the baby. It’s wonderful to see the baby moving.

 

Though this is already my third time pregnancy, I am still very happy to go for the checkup, and see how my baby in my womb from the ultrasound scan. Moreover, now that I have two children with me, they are always excited to see how the little brother is doing. It’s more joyful for me now, as I always enjoy seeing my children being excited or happy. I just went for pregnancy checkup yesterday, and my little girl told me she really likes to go to the hospital, she likes to see the baby brother.

 

Besides seeing the baby’s growth from the ultrasound scan, it’s always great to hear that the baby is healthy, and I am healthy as well. I am always thankful for not having much complications during my pregnancies, and I am always healthy as well. This is really a blessing for all pregnancy women.

 

There is one more month to go before my little baby coming to join the world. There may be one more pregnancy checkup coming soon, and I will be holding my baby very soon.

 

If you were pregnant before, did you go for monthly pregnancy checkup? How was the experience?

 

 

Cooking with kids

My little girl cutting cucumber

I have heard some mothers complaining they can’t really do the house chores or cook as they need to attend their children. But, I always think it’s good to involve our children when we are doing the chores and cooking, it’s a good activity for the children and good time for connection as well. There are many activities the children can help in the kitchen according to their age and confidence level as well.

Washing

When my children were younger, they liked to spend time washing the raw food, as I guess children always like to play with water. My children still like to wash the raw food, such as vegetables or meat, and the rice too.

 

Cutting

When they are older, they would want to help to cut. I started to let my children use the butter knife to cut something soft, such as apple. When I think they are more confident (or I am more confident with them), then I let them use the real knife I am using. I think my little girl started to use the knife when she was over 2 years old. I am confident to let my children use the knife because I know they are caution and they do it safely. I am quite surprise that my little girl can now cut the carrots. I always think it’s hard to cut the carrot, as it’s very hard.

 

Cooking

I haven’t let my little girl really cook yet, as she’s not yet 4 years old, but sometimes I let her stir or hold the spatula or turner while I am holding her hand. Sometimes when she insists on doing something which I think she’s still too young to do so, I’d hold her hand and do it together with her. She is happy for that, as she thinks she is doing it together with me. As for my son, as he’s already 7 years old, he can cook something simple, such as cooking the rice, frying pancake, cooking the pasta, etc.

 

Though it might take more time to prepare and cook while involving the children, it’s certainly worth to do so. Not only the children will learn, and they will be more confident, but in future it’s definitely saving us time to do these for them, as they will prepare and cook by themselves. And now, we have little helpers in our kitchen. So, I always encourage my friends to involve the children in cooking. 🙂

 

Do you like to cook together with your children or your parents?

Are your children jealous about the baby?

My son loved spending time with the little sister
My son loves spending time with the little sister

I got this question quite often when I was pregnant with my second child, and now with my third child. It seems like many people here think kids naturally will be jealous of their siblings, especially the younger ones. Though I do not really understand why, I assume this is caused by some adults keep telling wrong or fake information to scare the kids when the mother is pregnant.

It’s for sure the mother will be busy with the newborn baby, but that doesn’t mean the mother doesn’t love the other children anymore. The love will not be divided. Mothers’ love is always enough for all the children. I have heard many adults say these to the children: the parents will love the baby more and no time for them, all your things have to be given to the baby, and she’ll take all your food, toys and clothes, and love from parents. When the adults keep saying these or frightening the children, they will feel insecure, and that’s how they started to dislike the idea of having a baby brother or sister. I always stop others say these negative comments to my children as well, though they said they were just joking or having fun with the children, I told them it’s not funny at all, and I don’t do that.

 

I always think kids generally like to have young siblings, as they are proud of being a big brother or big sister, and they like to take care of the baby just as how mother does. They also like to have someone to play with them always. Both my children are like that. They are always looking forward to the baby, and they have been telling me how they will take care of the baby when he is born. I always tell my children how much I love them, and when the baby is born, the baby will love them as well, we all love each other as a family. Love will not be lessen because of an addition to the family, love will be multiplied.

 

Did you hear people saying those negative comments to the children while their mother is pregnant?

Watching the ants

Just now I saw my little girl sitting in the front yard quietly while eating biscuits. I wondered what she was doing or looking at, as she has been sitting there for quite some time.

I went near her and found a few ants walking by, and four of them were carrying a small piece of biscuit. She has been watching the ants! When she saw me, she told me the “story” of the ants carrying food.

It’s so nice to see the young children spending time observing and exploring. I remember when my son was young, there was once after we turned off the ceiling fan, we stood there and watched until the fan totally stopped. He wondered how long it took the fan to stop. I can’t remember how long it took, definitely more than 5 minutes, because we didn’t check the time spent, we just stood there and watched. Time doesn’t mean anything to young children.

How many of us would stay there, watch and observe? How many of us would spend the time to do such things? I guess we would think this is wasting our time.

 

I guess while we were brought up in this fast forwarding society, we are requested to do things fast or efficiently, not to waste time on “nonsense things”. I have been taught by my mom to be more efficient. But, are these really wasting time? I have learned from my children, especially my elder son when he was young, to just stop and enjoy the nature, the moment, the life. We are here to live our life.

 

It’s always said young children do not need to learn to be mindful, because they are already living in the moment. It’s them to teach me how to be mindful and live in the present. So, I am always grateful for my children being my teachers.

 

Do you always stop and observe?

Kids are good at finding the fun

kids having fun
My own picture – kids having fun

Kids are just so creative and imaginative. They are really good at finding fun anywhere with anything, or even without anything. They are so good at creating their own games, making their own toys just based on their creativity. Even though they sit down or lay down quietly, they might be having fun as well.

 

My two young children are playing at home almost all day long. They can always find something to play with from morning till the night. They can just use papers to create their games, or turn anything at home into their toys. They also like to create some obstacle games or treasure hunt for themselves, jumping here and there, climbing up and down, running in and out. They also like role-playing games, such as setting up their own stores, writing their own currency notes and creating their own products to sell. Even when it’s bedtime, they still can find some fun in the bedroom, without any toys.

 

Last night, I was already late to the bedroom as I was rushing for my software project. When I went into the bedroom, I found them playing a new game. They were climbing up the window grill, and jumping down to the bed (We have removed the bed frame, so just the mattress on the floor). They were having so much fun, even my little girl can climb up without any help, and jump down with confidence. I just had this thought in my mind when I saw this scene: These kids can really find fun anywhere with anything!

 

I have always heard the sky is the limit. Yes, when we encourage our children to explore and create, they can always be creative and they will learn from all these experiences as well. I think all children have this gift to create fun with their creativity, imagination and their body, hands or legs too. Just let them be kids, and they will be great!

Never underestimate the children

Well, I know we should not underestimate everyone, including ourselves, but I think most of us always underestimate our children. We might not know they actually can do a lot of things, much more than we expected.

 

I learned this from my elder son. Since he was born, I slowly found out this truth. It’s so amazing and wonderful to know that even baby can do so much. This is the human instinct that lets us explore and learn even though being taught. There were many times I wanted to help my son when I saw he might not be able to do it, but I always reminded myself to hold on first, and many times he was able to do it by himself. If he really couldn’t do it, he would ask me for help. So, I always stayed beside him, and just let him explore on his own. He would be really proud if he could do it on his own. Same things happened to my younger daughter as well. Hence I learned not to interrupt so much, and let them explore and learn on their own. But, I am always there to guide or help if they need me. They know about this, and I think it’s also making them more secured as they know dad and mom are always there for them whenever they need help and support.

 

Of course, though I think we should not underestimate the children, we should not expect too much from them as well. I always like the say, let our kids be kids. They can only enjoy these precious childhood time in these several years, they will have plenty of time in their life to be adults, so now, just let them be children. Or I should say, let the children be themselves, be whom they want to be.

 

Do you have any similar experiences that you would like to share?

 

 

I love being a mother

I am always grateful for being a mother. I think my children are my precious gifts, and they are here to guide me and allow me to learn to be a better me.

 

I always love being a mother. Though it might not be easy during the pregnancy, it’s really joyful and grateful to be able to feel the baby growing up in the baby’s room in my belly, as I always told my children. I am happy to prepare the bed for the baby, for him to get ready to join the world we are in.

 

I am not a good mother yet, or I am not whom I want to be yet. There are still more for me to learn and grow, and I am happy that my children are always here with me, learning and growing together with me, forgiving me when I am not doing things right. Children are really like angels, they are always so forgiving and always giving us chances to learn and improve.

 

Here, I would like to share about my parenting journey, about the joy I have as a mother, about the lessons I have learned throughout the journey as well. I believe being a mother is my calling, my purpose in my life and this is really what I want and love to do.

 

I would like to introduce my three lovely children as I will be writing about them a lot. My elder son is Little Fish and he is 7 years old now. My younger daughter is Little Coco, and she is 4 years old. I have another baby boy joining us in the coming May, and we have named him Little White. These are all nicknames I call them in Chinese.

 

I am thankful for these three little angels being here with me, and also my supportive husband as well.