Archive for the ‘Bonding : Family building’ Category

Have Fun With Kids (1) : Act It Out!

In our previous post, I mentioned about joining our boys for PLAY has helped in boosting our family bond.

In an earlier post in 2010, I blogged about “Have Fun As A Family - Immersing In The Kids’ World”. Read about it here.

I am a strong believer of having fun AS A FAMILY and doing activities TOGETHER, even when the parents could seem crazy and kiddish in those moments.

I believe the key to establishing a strong family bond is not only about being physically there to encourage our kids, to mentor or play the guardian or audience roles.

It is also about….

“Building that rapport - Join in the kids’ fun

“Bridging that generation gap - immerse in the kids’ world“.

- Parent Times -

It is important to start early to shape it into a family culture and continuing process. Our children grow up faster than we could imagine and once the opportunity to strengthen that bond slips past, it might become an impossible mission no matter how hard we try after that.

[So, here I am starting a series of posts on "Have Fun With Our Kids" and hopefully we could share with other parents some family activities, especially those that we could stay active with our younger ones."

We welcome other parents, who have more tips on healthy family activities, to share your ideas too. Let's boost our family bond from here!]



An activity that we have always enjoyed tremendously with our boys is “ACT IT OUT”.

It started during one of our birthday… years ago when we decided to make each of our birthdays a “Family Fun Day“!


What it Involves

- For each family member’s birthday, the organisers will think of a theme.

- The older boy and mom will prepare the story plot and the script (note: will be tough for younger kids).

- The younger boy will usually take charge of preparing the props, together with mom and papa.

- Every single family member plays the role of an organiser (except for the birthday star) and actor/actress.

- Then there will be rehearsals to perfect the acting and script.

- Of course, we take turn to also manage the sound and lighting effect.

Most importantly, the “Birthday Star” will usually act out a character that he adores.


How It Helps?

- Build team spirits

- Exercise kids’ creative skills especially when it comes to scripting and making the props. Allow our kids to be as imaginative as possible.

- Boost kids’ confidence

- Create a space for kids to make mistakes and constantly seek improvement  [after a few years of practice, our script and acting have become more professional:)]

- Bridge the gap between parents and children

- Prepare kids to be responsible for their roles in the team

- Create hilarious picture and video moments that will serve as precious memories in years to come

- Train them to be sporting [eg. our kids can dress us up in their self-created pirate attires (even if it is out of the norm of typical pirate attire) and we must be sporting enough to put it on:)

Most importantly, having that much laughter together - IT IS PRICELESS.

Look at the smiles on their faces and one could imagine how much fun they have


We have played the royal family, warriors, the pirate family, TITANIC lovers and others …and next will be the SUPERHEROES.

If you are also keen to “ACT IT OUT” with your kids, it will take some preparation time. So, get ready early.

Our boy’s birthday is in August and one good way of spending his school holiday is he is already preparing his props once the Family Board has unanimously agreed on a common theme.

Really looking forward. Can’t wait:)

Oh yes! Stay tune to read about our other series of posts on “Have Fun With Our Kids”.

Being More Than A Parent - Be A “Friend” To Our Kids

When I shared with a friend that I still receive love messages from our boys, she expressed that it seems unusual that a teen would continue to be expressive of his love for his mother.

When I told others that my teenage boy would travel to the vicinity of my office to have lunch with his mother every week, they expressed surprise that a teen could still be so thoughtful.

Generally, is it really a norm that teenagers would likely start to distance from their parents?

When asked whether this close bonding is associated with the fact that I had been staying at home for a fulfilling 2 years, my sentiment is:

It takes more  effort from the parent than just being there full-time and merely playing a dutiful parental role

Seriously, having gone through a teenage phase myself, I do not think I was sensible then to appreciate when my mother played a dutiful parental role.


Why Are Parents’ Good Intentions often Being Misinterpreted When We Try to Play That Dutiful Parental Role?

See what happens when a parent tries to play a dutiful parental role to a teen…

1. Ensuring proper food and lodging for the teen

Parents’ good intention:  Ensure the best well-being for our kids

Teen’s response : “Isn’t it a given?”

2. Make decisions for the teen

Parents’ good intention : Protect our children from risk

Teen’s response : “I have grown up. You are not respecting my rights to decide.”

3. Finding out more about our teen’s daily lives and social circle

Parents’ good intention: Protect our children from risk and understanding our children more

Teen’s response :”Please respect my privacy.”

4. Solving problems for our teen

Parents’ good intention: Facilitate a smoother journey in their lives

Teen’s response : “You are creating more mess in my life and you embarrass me by interfering.”

Certainly, the list could go on (probably I could consider writing another blog post on this topic) but what I wish to highlight is - “Is playing the dutiful parental role sufficient to create that magical touch in our relationship with our kids?”



I choose not only to be a parent but also a friend to our boys.

“Friend” meaning …

Learn to be a little more Open-Minded, avoid using the parent trump card unless necessary, hide the superiority and seniority notion, accept freedom of speech and a little nonsense sometimes, shelf our ego, share at least a common interest and let the hair down and play along…..


Are you ready to be friends with your kids?

My Typical Day as A Mother After Resuming Worklife

“Ring…..Ring……..”. The incessant ringing of the alarm clock was messing with my sleepy head.


I dragged my reluctant body out of the bed, brushed my teeth and started the first but most onerous routine of my day - HOUSEHOLD CHORES.

So, as quiet and fast as possible, I ZOOMED and ….washed and dried the laundry, prepared breakfast, boiled the water, cleaned up the toilets, cleared the garbage, watered the plants, swept and mopped the floor, sent the kids off to school.

[Our family members have allergy conditions and that gives me little excuse not to clean on a daily basis.]


After a shower and dressing up, I am ZOOMING off to start my next routine - WORK.

[Yes folks, I have returned full-time to the workforce... finally after a good two-year break from career as a stay-at-home mom. That partly explains why I have been missing from blogosphere since I was standing on crossroads, getting ready for my new paths, and cherishing every minute I had as a SAHM. ]


So, as the typical working day continues….Time passed by quickly as I got truly occupied.

ZOOMING home to start the next routine…ENSURING TIMELY DINNER for and with our boys.

[With less time spent with our boys, I try my best to ensure that I at least sit down with them for one meal together as a family. I am sure most working parents in Singapore, with kids in childcare, would also be rushing to fetch their children since most childcare/daycare centres close at 7pm. ]


Next, I ZOOMED to wash up after dinner, hoping that I could then have more time to bond with our boys and have my own ME time.

Then to my horror, I went upstairs and I didn’t like what I saw!

Board games, accessories and paper were spread all over the floor, toys were unkept, floor was dirty, toilets stank, unfolded clothes were spread all over the bed ….

I started to breathe hard, keeping my calm. Then I remembered promising our boys that I would avoid scolding them during the shorter span of time I spend with them now.

“Where was the level of responsibility our boys used to have when I was a SAHM? They would at least keep their own room organised and cleared up mess when I was around.”

So, trying not to look at the speeding past time, I summoned our boys and they were commanded without second thought to tidy up their mess amidst some nagging on “responsibilities”.

[This mess often happens when we have children at home and I guess the fact that I have boys perhaps have made it worse.]

Next, I ZOOMED to wash up the stinking toilets for the second time in a day, mopped the floor for the second time in a day and took a shower.


Then, I ZOOMED to join our boys for “Aeroplane game” and a quick chat.

Oh! How Time flies.

Enough bonding for the night and it was almost 11pm when my personal hours really started. That was when I could afford the time to do some reading it news or work materials or even catching up on movie with Papa Ed in the comfort of our home.

It was past midnight before the routine of the previous day has ended.

Not forgetting that the next cycle of my typical working day was almost starting in the next 4 hours. I was really exhausted. Also, I felt like a programmed ROBOT.

These are my daily routines and struggles - a typical working mother, who tries to strike a work-life balance, without a full-time domestic helper.


By sharing this post, I am not trying to share my schedules like an open book because that is usually not my style. What I am trying to share is the pain and happiness of a working mom who aspires to devote herself to both family and work.

“KUDOS to Mothers because we know no typical day is seamless or without multi-tasking!”


I remember how stressful it could become if we had to also multi-task in guiding our children for the exam preparation or bring work home when we have to also do the household chores without any other family member or domestic helper to rely on.


If you have noticed, I have repeatedly used the word “ZOOMED” or “ZOOMING”.


I have been zooming in and out of my routines since I started to work. It ’s amazing that I could still have space to breathe and usually I try to do that during my 1-hour lunch break.

I guess mothers have limitations as we age. I realised that I can’t appreciate life if I continue ZOOMING on like this.


I finally raised my white flag.

I need a full-time domestic helper. I have my second thought that problems might re-surface after having a live-in helper (like how it used to be for us in the past).

However, I weighed my priority and decided that I wish to spend available non-office time catching up with at least a 6-hour sleep and BOND with OUR BOYS.

After over-stretching my shoulders in the past, living life like an impossible superwoman, I have learnt to value my health.

I don’t wish to live life like a HURRICANE. I wish to live it like a BREEZE

Embarking on a journey of which I could enjoy and at the same time pause and reflect.

~Parent Times~

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