Monday, April 30, 2012

What I learn from 'one quiet weekend'

Alwani is in need of an artsy activity. She is high with nasi lemak breakfast meal, which includes 3 hard boiled eggs. So yes, she needs an activity where she can sit down and not pester others (which she loves to do when she's high on energy!)

Very lady-like, isn't it? hahah

Since it was a nice breezy morning, next to the clean and dry drain we sat. Crayons and scrap papers out. And I taught the kids what I learned during an art class in Convent Seremban (decades ago!). Shading and tracing different surfaces. Simple and very easy!

Even Yusuf was intrigued and excited to join in!

Since Abi's birthday is coming up very soon, we used Alwani and Yusuf's artwork as a wrapping paper. Creative, useful and meaningful activity (and extremely easy)!

Present wrapped!

I'm happy when they are happy! =D

WARNING: You can do this activity outdoor/indoor, but please make sure you (or your landlord) wont get angry if the tiles are stained if you do it indoor!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

What I learn from 'girls running away from home..'

Reading the newspaper early this morning, I was alarmed with the news, '126 kids missing so far this year'.

And it is only April!! 

I feel saddened as I read on. It was reported that the bulk of the amount missing were girls... girls just like Alwani. It really distraught me, that girls, as young as 13, could really leave their own home, the security of family, for whatever lame the reason might be. 

On the other hand, the reason might be the insecurity of their family...
Maybe the kids are not respected as they should (physical, verbal abuse, neglected); 
Maybe the parents are too busy in fulfilling their kids' material needs (and working most of the time); 
Maybe they face a stressful situation at school (being bullied, scolded, punished etc); 
Maybe they have a fear of getting consequences for something they did; 
Maybe they did not perform as well as you wished (academically, socially);
Maybe they despise going to school because they're harassed by teachers or seniors (or even at the bus stops); 
Maybe the kids respond better with people who are not family members (by sharing their troubles). 
And surely, there is a need for an in-depth study on this phenomenon.

Yusuf & Thomas. What's your planned adventure?

Running away is like any action. In order to do it you need three things: the ability, the willingness and the opportunity. And let’s face it, kids have the opportunity and ability to run every day—so all it really takes is the willingness to do it. The source of willingness are some of the 'maybes' stated above.

What I learn after reading this article is that we need to learn to recognise the signs of stress that our children shows... sad faces, slumped shoulder, red eyes from crying, bruises, irregular mood swings.. and try to do the following.. (which are rather very general but I believe it can make it easier for the kids to grow up happier...)

  • Instill confidence in them.
  • Dont make them feel small.
  • Don't confuse our children by making promises that we can't keep. This will make them distrust us. 
  • Don't correct them in front of others. Talk to them in private. (If bad things happen over at a friend's place, excuse yourself, pull him/her aside (or outside). Talk to them there and then so that our children know that they don't have 'the chance' to misbehave away from home.... and try to do it away from others, please).
  • Don't preach and nag. It is easy for us moms, but the message can't get through.. trust me.. been there done that! haha
  • Don't be put off when our children ask honest questions. They have the right to have honest answers from you!
  • Use guidance, not force. Rationalise why they have to do certain things (i.e brush their teeth regularly or not too much TV). Reinforce your guidance.
  • Apologise when you are wrong (and they'll learn to do the same!)
  • Respect their teachers (yes, us too, as parents!) Once they know that even us, adults can respect their teachers (by thanking them with small thank you notes etc.), why can't they? (and when teachers know that we are proactive parents, they'll surely try to perform their best!)
  • Be consistent and persistent when disciplining our kids. They need routine. 
  • Hold them accountable for their actions... all of their actions, good or bad. Praise/Guide or both.
  • When doing so, be respectful. Respects are gained, not claimed.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

What I learn from 'a lying incident...'

'What happened to my wall, Yusuf?'
'I don't know. Alwani did it!'
'Alwani did what?'
'Alwani took a 'koko' (brown) marker pen and she did like this..' (while demonstrating how the graffiti was done)
Background noise: Alwani's whimpering, denying the accusations which was rather annoying, noisy and not needed!
'Was it fun?'
'Yes!...... eh.... I want bread please....' (Trapped & diversion.. yes, this child can be very cheeky!!)

Should he be punished? How?

So, as parents, what will you do?

I must admit, addressing the problem of lying isn’t easy, as there’s no one thing you can do to make the problem go away, including using punishment. In fact, punishment will only make things worse. HOWEVER, it needs to be addressed, as early as it happens.

1. Ask instead of accuse.

If you catch your child lying, work on figuring out why she felt like she couldn’t tell you the truth. You can gently say, “That sounds a bit far-fetched. You must be worried about telling me what really happened. Let’s talk about that.” By opening the conversation this way, you’ll get the real story — and information that can clue you in on how to get her to demonstrate honesty in the future. 

p/s: Try not to get other children to join in the conversation, she/he might get embarrassed, angry and annoyed, which make it hard for him/her to be honest. Make this conversation private and personal.

2. Observe how us, parents, respond to our kids when they misbehave or make a poor choice.

Even adults will lie to protect themselves from punishment or an unpleasant outcome when they do something wrong — so why should we expect anything different from our kids? True isn't it?

So, try to work on using a "calm voice" (which is not easy when you're angry!) to address bad behavior and avoid lectures and 'physical torture'. Our child will feel safe telling the truth when the mommies are not behaving like wild tigress!

3. Make the most of mistakes.

Kids who aren’t yelled at or punished for messing up will be more likely to admit it when they do (next time). And when they fess up, turn the mistake into a learning opportunity. Use this chance to teach your child the 'better ways' to tell Ummi and Abi what happened,  
'Kakak and Abang were using the white boards, and Yusuf hasn't got one, and I really need to write..' (and at this time, he nodded furiously!! hahah!) 

And, I used this situation to teach him that it's not nice to lie and accuse others, 'Do you like Adib (his friend at school) to say, "Ustazah, Yusuf messes up the toys" when you didn't?' (he shook his head)' and what would you feel?'
'I feel bad...' (eyes drooping like puss in boots!!! Sheeeshhh.. this drama king!)

Insya Allah, he'll react honestly when he messes up!

4. Encourage honesty.

Whenever our child tells the truth about something difficult, commend her. “I bet it was hard to tell the truth. You really showed some courage. Thanks for taking responsibility.”

note: Praise our (guilty) child in front of the other children since they will know that Ummi & Abi love people who tells the truth.

Telling the truth is not easy, but we need to instill it!

5. Love unconditionally.

Our children need to know that while sometimes, we don’t like their behavior, we’ll love them no matter what kind of mistakes they make. Make every effort to show them they are loved (hugs are good, easy and free!) and they’ll be more likely to open up. 

Cuddles help! (but you don't have to make that kind of face, Azza!) haha!

 6. Watch our own “white lies."

'Oh.. I was busy yesterday, the twins were crying all day, that's why I didn't pick it up' but your child knows that the twins were fine yesterday and you were actually busy completing your photobook! 
When we let a “white lie” slip, our kids think they’re acceptable. We’ve heard it before: set a good example!

By creating a safe environment for the truth in our household, we’ll see a lot more honesty. Better yet, we’ll be helping our children develop the kinds of character traits that will serve them well throughout her life, insha Allah.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

What I learn from 'Alwani's visit to the skin specialist'.

Going to the hospital for any reason or even just going to the doctor for routine vaccinations isn’t fun for a child. Alwani was a happy lassy as we entered the hospital, she was determined to get rid of the big wart on her right thumb. She has complained a few times, saying that the wart made it quite uncomfortable for her to write and to use the colour pencils. 

But her happy facial expression changed dramatically when the MD pressed the wart with liquid nitrogen. A single tears at the beginning, then changed to a stream of uncontrollable cry. 

Alwani's wart after the treatment, before, it was triple the size.
For momsies, this is what I've learned from Alwani's get-rid-of-the-wart experience..

Don't Say "This Won't Hurt" When It Will

It is important for parents to tell the truth in an age-appropriate way without overwhelming your child. If you smile and tell her “This won’t hurt,” and then it does hurt, your child will have evidence that you lied and begin to wonder what else you’re lying about. You will have lost some credibility at a time when you need it the most. What I told her, 
“Alwani sayang, in a few minutes the doctor will press a cotton bud on your wart. On it, the doctor will put some very cold liquid called nitrogen. It will be very cold, and it will sting. I know you don’t want to, but there are no choices about that. But we need to get you well so that your thumb wont hurt when you write.'

Telling the Truth Without Scaring Your Child

Emphatise to your child who is sickly.  Offer her choices  in a loving tone. Here’s an example from our experience:
Ummi:  'Since you are putting a huge effort to be a brave girl, you have five/six other choices though.
  1. You get to tell the doctor when to begin. After saying bismillah and the count of three?
  2. You get to decide if you want to cry or not cry. Either way is fine with me.
  3. You get to decide if you want to squeeze my hand or squeeze the sheet.
  4. You get to decide if you want to keep your eyes open or closed while the doctor does her job.
  5. And you get to decide which flavor of ice cream you want when it’s all over.
  6. Or you might want to think of which book do you want to buy at the book shop. The princess colouring book, maybe?' (This keeps her calm until the doctor is ready to do the procedure.)
Make sure to bring activity & reading books during hospital visits. It takes a while....

Depending on the age of the child, I try to be truthful about the body, the medicine and how it heals, my way (and it might not be the best way scientifically! haha). I told Alwani that pressing the cold nitrogen will kill the root of the wart that is planted in her thumb, just like stomping hard on the roots of Ummi's mini roses (Yusuf just did exactly that a few days back). The doctor need to kill it so that it will dissapear and it will be easier and more comfortable for you to enjoy your colouring activities, insha Allah. Why not let a child use his or her imagination to do the same? After all, no one is better at using his or her imagination than a child.

Telling the truth and giving many choices allows a child to trust you enough to summon up her courage to better deal with the situation. Once courageous, she’s more likely to be empowered enough to do whatever is needed to get well, insha Allah.

Gambar hiasan, tiada kaitan dengan ketuat ataupun hospital, haha..: Alwani's home made birthday cuppies


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What I learn from 'conflicts'.

'I disagree with you! We should aim higher than that, do better than that! We should prove to them that we are superior!'

'Hello?!! We are not here to show-off, but we are here to help other friends, who has just arrived in Edin. We should work together as a team, not to compete with each other.'

'But if we can't show the newbies that we are better, they will surely join the other group..'



Conflict can be defined as a struggle between opposing forces, such as a clash between opinions, values, interests, or goals. Without exception, every  group or organization experiences conflict.  

Conflict is a fact of life.  And, so are the feelings that go along with conflict: anger, frustration, resentment, disappointment.  Because conflict and the feelings associated with it are unpleasant, people try to avoid them or pretend that they don’t exist.  

Most people are conditioned to believe that conflict is bad, that it is wrong to argue or disagree. You are wrong!

Conflict in and of itself isn’t “bad”, what is “bad” is how most people handle it. 

I. Where/Why Conflict Occurs

A. Where?
  1. Within the individual: internal conflict; personal choices
  2. Within the group: interpersonal conflict; inevitable and invaluable
  3. Between groups: most visible and most difficult to resolve

B. Why?
  1. Values
  2. Goals
  3. Perceptions
  4. Status
  5. Roles

II. Attributes that Help Resolve Conflict

A. Clear goals and purposes: articulated, understood and accepted by all.
B. Openness in communications: to secure understanding, not necessarily agreement, between those involved.
C. Fair and clear procedures: organization; structure.
D. Acceptance: accept not only other people and ideas, but their right to be different.

III. Techniques to Resolve Conflict

A. Look for and stress common ground.  Emphasize points of agreement rather than points of differences.
B. Treat contributions as group property.  Forsake pride of ownership and handle ideas as if they belong to the entire group.
C. Restrict communication until points in conflict are thoroughly understood by all participants.
D. Compartmentalize the issue in the conflict.  If the problem is too complex, break it up into subparts and deal with them one at a time or in small groups.
E. Try role playing.  Can create understanding and empathy with the other person’s position. 
F. Ask questions.  Clarifies issues and exposes real nature of the conflict.
I. Postpone the item until later.  Taking some time to “cool of” can be useful.

IV. General Tips

A. Stay calm.
B. See the “big picture”.
C. Discuss the “head”, not “heart”.
D. Enter conflict with the idea that it will be resolved to the satisfaction of most participants.
E. Be willing to compromise.
F. Show respect for other’s opinions.
G. If you are wrong, admit it graciously.
H. Be an “active” listener.

Let's try to be a leader who can resolve conflicts, and not one who creates more! 


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What I learn from 'cooking shortcuts'

My super wise Mak and I.

Mak has taught me a lot of practical things. This is one of the most practised, ever since I became a mom myself. Spending less time in the kitchen daily is the objective - in order to spend more quality time with the children when they are at home. And so, these are some of the shortcuts I've been making use of...

(p/s: Alhamdulillah for having a husband who is not a fussy eater.. Love you more and more, Abang!)

 Cook a “Big Batch” Recipe Weekly

I make big batches of food, like bolognese sauce, curry, masak lomak cili api (without the yoghurt/coconut milk), soup, stocks, tom yam soup (add in more veggies and chook/prawn/squid later) so there are lots of leftovers to be heated up for dinner for the rest of the week. One of my favorite ‘big batch’ recipes to make is home made sauce for pasta. My kids actually thank me every time I make this, which melts my heart. 

Frozen batches for this week!

Freeze, Freeze, Freeze

Then I'll freeze them in my ever-so-faithful tupperwares in small batches, so it is easy for me to heat them up. I label my tuppsies on top, so that I know what's inside. Then a small list to be placed on the fridge, so that I know what is there and has been chomped!
To save time, I always marinate a big batch of ground beef and chicken with the normal tumeric and salt, and sometimes with the satay paste. So, when one of the kids are in need of ayam goreng 'Upin Ipin' style (fried chooks), I can make it in 3 steps - open the freezer, thaw, fry!

Mak taught me to make a big batch of cupcakes/curry puffs/sausage rolls/samosas on the weekend with the kids (fantastic fun activity here, moms!). Parbake them. Then, they can be stored in the freezer for months. It's fab if you love to entertain (surprised) guests as well!

What's left freezing in the freezer?

Pre-Chop Veggies

Onions, chillies of all sorts, garlic, tumeric.. I pre-process them to make my life easier. Then I store them in colourful tuppsies in the fridge, which look pretty and are enjoyable to use, instead of plastic bags, which can get kind of sticky. This really cut off your prep time, which means more time for the familia!

Since we love our chillies, I even pickled my chillies for fried noodles/kuey tiaw and chilled a tupperware of sambal belacan! Yes, I confess that I dont like to stay in the kitchen too long! =D

My pickled chillies, half empty! And other sort of pre-prepared shortcuts chilling in the fridge!

Use Pre-Packaged Pastes as Bases

A true confession of a studying/working mom  - 'I cheat in the kitchen!' (<---- it's ME!!)
Hey, if it makes my life easier, just half an hour (MAX) in the kitchen, and the result is delicious, why not?!
Since I love this product so much (Seri Tunjung, uolls!), I do sell them to other busy momsies like me! Sharing is caring (and it can be a wonderful side income, too!)

Wide range of VERY TASTY products (<-- promo!! hahah).

And you know what, short cuts or long drive, it is important for us moms to try to cook for our husband and children most of the time. It's crucial since you know the ingredients you are using are halal, clean and fresh (ish).. and when you cook, you always put the extra ingredients that you cant buy anywhere, LOVE, ZIKR and DU'As. Remember, stir in your food with them... insha Allah, you'll get healthy family filled with His barakah.

And always make du'a for Mak.. many of them!


Monday, April 16, 2012

What I learn from 'Alwani's 5th Birthday!'

"I have so much I can teach her and pull out of her. I would say you might encounter defeats but you must never be defeated. I would teach her to love a lot. Laugh at the silliest things and be very serious. I would teach her to love life. I could do that."

Author: Maya Angelou

A daughter is the happy memories of the past, 
the joyful moments of the present, 
and the hope and promise of the future.  ~Author Unknown

'She's honey and the bees don't know it!'
A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart.
~ Author Unknown
I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection.
~ Sigmund Freud


1 daughter + 1 mother = 2 best friends
What I wanted most for my daughter was that she be able to soar confidently in her own sky, whatever that may be.
~ Helen Claes

We love you, girl!! Happy 5th birthday...
May Allah grants all our prayers..

Ummi & Abi.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What I (am still) learning from 'Ummi vs PhD' - 3

This clip says it all. Keep a Kleenex nearby!

Remember.. when you don't give up, you won't fail!

What I (am still) learning from 'Ummi vs PhD' - 2

There is much that I have learned from experience, most often, the hard way. My PhD life is an experiment itself!

  • Plan - organize what you need to do. Make a list. Prioritise your tasks, just in case a child gets sick or some other crisis occurs. Leaving things till the last minute is a recipe for disaster. Sort out which topics most need your attention. 
  • Get a calendar, and USE IT! This is to help you to keep track of all the datelines assigned to you in the midst of keeping track of when to pay bills, helping kids with homework, making grocery lists and other random household tasks that fall under your domain.
  • Keep life simple. Personally, I plan the family menu and make one trip to the grocery store every three weeks. I cheat during cooking (by using cooking paste). 
  • Yes I cheat, but's its tasty!
    • Get your family on board in cleaning up - clearing the toys, kitchen counter, table top etc.
    • Process your laundry at night, so that you can hang up the clothes early in the morning, then forget about it till late afternoon. Teach your kids to fold their own clothes.
  •  Set priorities. When you are doing your research, it can consume your life. You eat, sleep and breathe your research. But for me, it is more important to be there for my family, and particularly, to be a good wife and mom. Sometimes, the choice is between my child's needs and my own need to study, and each situation is assessed differently. I try to do special things with my husband and children, like an outing to the nearby beach, an ice cream trip or a movie night in the dark living room, or just chit-chatting with them. 
    Photo sessions - an activity enjoyed by all!

  • Don't be too hard on yourself. There will be days that is not as productive as others. But there are other days that you can triple your work when the momentum is on the high. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going! We can do it!
    • Dont forget to take a break. Sneak out to a coffee shop with your lap top. Do your literature review in style!
  • Set your study area - wherever you are, make sure that your study area is comfortable and has what you need close by. Get the books you need, laptops, pens, highlighters, calculator, a water bottle (filled!) etc. That way when you have time to study you won't waste it sorting out your study area or getting distracted.
  • Short and sweet - Don't rule out half-an-hour study sessions. You may feel that you need a long session to learn, but you'll be amazed what you can learn in 30 minutes. Thirty minute blocks of study here and there soon add up.
Semi-cranky Fawwaz on the lap while Ummi's trying (her very best) to do her content analysis.

May Allah eases our journey to capture some tiny bits of His sea of knowledge.
Ya Fattah, please grant us overflowing ideas in making our research right and meaningful.
Ya Salaam, please bestow us peace and help us to make this journey as stress-free as possible.
Ya Razzaq, please provide us great blessings and more rezqi in our lives.
Ya Hafeez, please protect us from being lazy, protect us from being depress.
Ya Baasit, please expand our knowledge and let us think outside the box.
Ya Ghaffuur, please forgive us...

Aamin Ya Rabbal 'aalamin.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What I (am still) learning from 'Ummi vs PhD' - 1

Today and tomorrow will not be the same, for us moms, especially studying moms out there. Our motivation is always up and down. Self-discipline is another HUGE issue to tackle. Health issues, not just ours, husband's and kids' contribute to our studying momentum.

I have a unwavering respects for Moms who are studying. It is not easy... but it is NOT IMPOSSIBLE!

Dr, Shafis, a wonder-Mom (of Alya and Amir) who can proudly say, 'Been there, done that!' I'm proud of you, babe!

Of course, I am not one of the moms who has clutched a PhD scroll (just yet).. but I'm going to, insha Allah, however hard and long (not too long, I hope =D) it takes...

To the mommies who are consolidating on furthering their studies out there.. before you embark on this journey, please think about this...

  • Do my husband and family support me, mentally and physically? 
    • Remember, at times, you need to be away to the library, collect your data, meet your supervisor, attend seminars/courses - you need others to support you, to attend to your kids. It is essential that you have strong support at home. 
    • You need your husband's approval. Talk about it. Discuss... really take time to discuss.
    • Get the kids on board, too! It's a family effort. When they see Abi helps out Ummi running errands and doing chores, trying to make life easier for Ummi while she's studying, insha Allah, they will too. Don't forget to explain to them the importance of you studying and them helping out, even though they are young.

  •  Do I really want to know about the topic/title that I've chosen? REALLY?
    • If the answer is YES, go on ahead, because remember, you have to eat, pray, love (ahaks!), sleep, wake up, drink, type, read, drafting, re-drafting the topic you've chosen for at least another 4 years of your life. And if you're really 'pro' in it, you are actually opening up a fantastic new chapter in your life. Hey, being a 'specialist' in a field is something extraordinary, masha Allah!
    • You need to have fun in reading, writing, listening and speaking about your topic. When you have fun, you'll be passionate about your topic. That's crucial.

Bottom line, going back to school and being an Ummi at the same time is a tough, challenging job. What we can do is to execute our plans at our very best, strive to achieve the finest result.

PRAY. Allah is there for you.. to listen to your anguish and anxiousness.

HAVE FUN. Your kids will not enjoy stressed-out Ummi. And YOU will not enjoy your kids too (and that's a pity!!)

Don't be too hard on yourself. The time will pass whether you push yourself or not, and I strongly believe that in the long run, you'll be more grateful to look back on this time and you be satisfied, for you have done your best, and have fun while doing it.

Happy studying, momsies! You are superwomen! And as asserted by Shafis (2012), 'We do what we have to do and pray we'll do it well...with His blessings'.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What I learn from 'reward vs bribe'

Teaching our own kids to memorise Al Quran is a challenge. My husband and I have to find more and more ways to motivate Al Fateh (just him, for now) to enjoy the hafazan session. 

At the moment, rewarding him is the best motivation. 

But my husband once asked me, 'Is this a good way to teach him? Is not a bribery?' Good point..

So, after consolidating with the notions of reward vs bribe, these are my definitions of the two variables (eh.. bunyi macam research paper lah pulakkk...)

REWARD - gift(s) given AFTER a goal or an objective has been achieved.
BRIBE - gift(s) given BEFORE the task even started.

For this reason, I continue on the 'reward system' that we've been using, so far, it has been proven to be successful - a boy who is highly motivated, have longer concentration, persevere (though Ummi asked him to repeat nearly 50 times!). 

Good boy, Al Fateh! Masha Allah.
After completing his monthly review, he merrily received his reward.

May Allah give us the strength, perseverance and time to teach our children the Quran.
May Allah eases Al Fateh's (and his siblings) journeys in memorising and keeping the ayatullah in tact in their minds.
May Allah replenishes and sparks our ideas in teaching our kids to be great caliphs of Allah.

Aamin Ya Rabb...

Al Fateh hafazan checklist.. need to be done frequently so that the memory retains, insha Allah.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What I learn from 'Sabarlah.... I love you so...'

As I listened to the song, trying to figure out the lyrics.. the soothing saxophone tunes made me relaxed while feeding the twins on my lap. I remembered my brothers and sisters who attended the forum, 'Sabarlah Hati..' in UMT last week. This should be the perfect 'theme song' for the event... 'I love you so'.

"I Love You So"

I pray to God
With my heart, Soul, and body
Every single day of my life
With every breath I solemnly promise
To try to live my life for you
O Allah, You did revive my soul
And shone Your light into my heart
So pleasing You is now my only goal
Oh I love You so

Now I know how it’s like
To have You precious love in my life
Now I know how it feels
To finally be at peace inside
I wish that everybody knew
How amazing it feels to love You
I wish that everyone could see
How Your love has set me free
Set me free and made me strong
O Allah, I’m forever grateful to You
Whatever I say could never be enough
You gave me strength to overcome my uncertainties
And stand firm against all the odds
You are who did revive my soul
You shone Your light into my heart
So pleasing You is now my only goal
Oh I love You so
I love You so


My love, my life, my days, my nights, my wealth, my prayers – all for You [x2]
And I swear that I will never put anyone
Or anything before You
My love, my life, my days, my nights, my wealth, my prayers – all for You


Kudos to Maher Zain and his production team for another extraordinary work in making meaningful and upbeat Islamic melodies. May many will learn from your tunes. 

Ya Allah.. please guide me all the way..
Ya Kareem... please be pleased with us..
Ya Raheem.. please don't let us go astray.. we need You.
Ya Fattah.. please let us amongst the chosen ones that You love...
Aamin ya Rabbal 'Aalaamin.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What I learn from 'Alwani & the Flip Flop'.

Do you have a child who loves to help out around the house?

I do (and luckily my quality control standard is not that high.. haahha). As long as she's happy and willing to help (and not making a bigger mess out of a small mess), I'm game.

I found a tool to make her life easier. A tool that helped her enjoy house work. A tool that wouldn't make me do double work (as in to refold the my husband's clothes).

Introducing.. Alwani's Flip Flop!!

Cool, kan?

What I learn...

1. We need to introduce house chores to the kids as early as possible. It teaches them to be responsible. We teach them as early as they can understand simple instruction, i.e. Please place your cup/bottle in the sink (which is more practical than you and the whole family hunting for the missing bottle later!)

2. When they know how easy it is to clean up small mess, and how hard it can be to clean up big mess, they will be more responsible by not making big mess... they will tell each other to clean up before it becomes massive (and before Ummi turns into monster!)

3. Tools (the not dangerous ones) can help you to make life easier. Tools can actually train your child to be independent in finishing their chores. I left Alwani to fold her clothes on her own while I can finish other things. She is a responsible girl, masha Allah.  

4. Praising your child after finishing each chores is essential. A simple hug is a HUGE reward. By telling your husband (in front of your child) of her/his good deeds will surely boast her confidence and motivation in helping more. 

5. Don't complain if their work is not up to your standard! He/She is only a child! Remember, practice makes perfect! 

6. If you have more than 1 child, don't burden the child that loves to help (or the child which can do the work fastest or the one which lives up to your standard) with everything. Division of work is important. She/He would feel unmotivated quickly if being buried with house chores while others are having fun playing blocks. Sharing house chores creates the feeling of togetherness... (and to remind the unhelpful ones that there's no escape!!)


Sunday, April 1, 2012

What I learn from 'a note in their Tupperware...'

Yesterday, I purposely put a tiny note in Alwani's Tupperware. Her teacher then approached me saying that she did very well in spelling her shapes! The small note motivated her to do well! Alhamdulillah

I learn that notes are great for your young ones who are new into reading because they're short, they're fun, AND they're from mom. I keep my notes short and sweet. Something like:

I tend to write things that they enjoy, not instruction based notes i.e. finish your lunch, eat your veggies. I want them to look forward to my little notes because when  they learn that reading is fun, they'll look forward to reading.

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