Archive for the ‘Reading Pleasure’ Category

Allow Our Children To Face “Those Challenges”


Lately, I have been spending time reading.  Mainly books on self-improvement which include parenting.

I came across these which provide useful “food for thoughts”.

[It is extracted from the book "Children Are From Heaven" by the author John Gray who authored "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus".]


Children cannot learn to be forgiving unless there is someone to forgive.

 Children cannot develop patience or learn to delay gratification if everything comes their way when they want it.

Children cannot learn to accept their own imperfections if everyone around them is perfect.

Children cann0t learn to cooperate if everything always goes their way.

Children cannot learn to be creative if everything is done for them.

Children cannot learn compassion and respect unless they also feel pain and loss.

Children cannot learn courage and optimism unless they are faced with adversity.

Children cannot develop persistence and strength if everything is easy.

Children cannot learn to self-correct unless they experience difficulty, failure or mistakes.

Children cannot feel self-esteem or healthy pride unless they overcome obstacles to achieve something.

Children cannot develop self-sufficiency unless they experience exclusion or rejection.

Children cannot be self-directed unless they have opportunities to resist authority and/or not get what they want

  - From the book “Children Are From Heaven” -


As parents, we thought we could express our deep love for our children by providing them ready solutions to life problems.

Many times, we hate to see our children fail or being rejected and there are other times when we scream at our children’s slightest mistakes.

As parents, we hesitate in disappointing our children and do our best in providing the best for them.

We are ever so eager to protect them from negative encounters in life.

We dread to see our children fall.

Yet in doing so, we might not realise that we are preventing them from the exposure to life challenges, from developing the skill to overcome life hurdles independantly, and from the true reality that life is never a bed of roses.



It is true.

As doting, protective and even high self-esteem parents, we may be directly affecting our children in their mindset of facing challenges/failures and hindering their abilities to overcome life obstacles.


Some parental behaviours to ponder over…..

Don’t we rush into solving the problems for our kids when we hear that they are being ’bullied’ in school, without giving them enough opportunity to develop the social skills to resolve the issue themselves?

What is our tolerance level and how often do we not put blames on our children when they make mistakes in life?

When our children face difficulties in school assignments, don’t we sometimes help them complete it?

Aren’t we always trying to pave an easier path for our children to minimise the difficulties that they face in life?



To a certain extent, we need to learn how to let go and close an eye to allow our children to harness the strength to battle life’s challenges.

There are so much more I have to learn to be a better parent in allowing our boys to grow out of their comfort zone, be independant and prepare them for the future.

As parents, it is so true that we play such an important role in influencing our children’s control of life.

Learning To Read



I learn the hard way that it is not easy for our children to pick up that first step to word recognition and then reading unless we provide them with the relevant aids (whether from teachers in school, enrichment classes, CD-ROMs, reading materials, online interactive programs) and of course inject that reading interests in them.


A teacher recommended this website to me, a site “Where children have fun learning to read” and I couldn’t agree more.  If you are also parents of young children learning to read, you may wish to check out this website at

Reading Made Easy

educationDarren’s inability to read has been a MAJOR concern for us especially when he is just a few months from being admitted to his Primary School.  Teacher’s feedback on his poor reading skill has added more pressure.

 Picking up the skill of reading was easy for his elder brother and I just cannot re-apply the previous technique used on Brendan. This reaffirms that every child’s learning ability and interest is different.  Parenting approach is definitely a “concoction of different formulae” for different children.

More in a panicky mood, I explored different methods to enable him to read, which include exploring different learning schools, PC softwares, exposing him to reading aloud from story books and the most drastic action was changing his school!  The result was “NO RESULT”.  Many reasons behind the failure: he could not catch up with the reading standard of his peers in the new school and was merely memorizing the statements in the story books or guessing the statement from the pictures.

Darren is definitely a bright boy but was just unable to grasp the correct reading technique. I was undaunted by the failure.  I went on to experiment Mummy’s Home Based Reading Programme  for Darren, combined with a 1.5 hour weekly tuition at a neighbourhood  centre.  I am so glad that the result pays off!

1)      Teaching him step-by-step the letter sounds, words with vowels, consonant blends, words ending with different sounds. Have stacked up my home book shelves with different phonics books but my own preferred reference is Phonics Picture Dictionary by Judith Sim, published by Newton Publications Pte Ltd. It gives me a good guide to structure my teaching and what to teach.


2)      Exposing him to commonly sighted words like conjunction and pronouns.
3)      Giving him a twice weekly spelling list of mummy’s self-determined useful words
4)      Planning useful sentences and letting him copy them and in the process gets familiar with their meanings and also it turns out very meaningful as he can now also write simple notes to us without referring.
5)      Lots of reading as he gets competent in steps 1 - 4


There is no OVERNIGHT MAGIC but once he picks up the concept of step 1, reading, creating and writing sentences have become easier. We are still in the BASIC stage but as long as we are adopting the correct learning technique on him, I am sure our efforts will yield brighter results.

Moral of the story is never give up on our kids and believing in their strength. Give them a chance to experience a suitable learning technique on them.



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