Archives for September 2010


Obsession No.1 – Make Tight!

K has this extremely irritating habit to want his watch to be worn tightly on his wrist. It has to be of a specific tightness, tilted at an certain angle. Without that, he will be annoying me with his, "Make tight! Not tight enough…it is not the right way." I have been on the verge of throwing away his watch countless times.

The other 'Make Tight' obsession is with his sports shoes, he will always insist that the velcro buckle on his shoe to be pulled and attached very tightly. It's evil but I sometimes hope that that he will get to experience some cramps on his feet and realise that it is not wise to do that with his shoe. No amount of nagging works, so sometimes it is best that he learns the hard way.


Obsession No.2 – The GPS

DH recently got a GPS unit for the car and K is thoroughly obsessed with it. He wants the GPS to be used regardless where we are driving to. Even familiar places like his school, home, Nana's place. It doesn't matter even if we are familiar with the route to the location, he needs to see where the car is heading to on the map. 

I thought it was all for the novelty of having a technology item to play with in the car, but a recent experience made me realise that this bossy little guy is pretty serious when it comes to using the GPS.

We were heading home one afternoon after lunch when we were approaching the usual expressway exit that we usually take that leads us back home. The GPS system often has recommended routes to take, and it did not go with the expressway exit that we took that afternoon. It listed Exit 4 Bukit Panjang, while I took the Exit 3 Dairy Farm. When I turned into Exit 3, K exclaimed really loudly, "Mummy, why you turn into Exit 3, it is Exit 4!" My jaw dropped when I heard that remark from him. 

When we made the exit and approached the junction for us to turn right into our estate, the GPS system showed that we had to make a U-turn to re-route to the expressway to take Exit 4. He looked at the GPS and said, "There is a U-turn on the GPS." Then I asked him, "Do we need to make a U-Turn?" He answered, "No need, turn right." Looks like we will rarely get confused with navigating around Singapore with my GPS 'assistant' in the car!

But I still blame the gene pool for his obsessive traits, since we have some OCD individuals in the family.


"I want a beard, because I am going to be adult already!"

I had to remind him that even if he is a big boy now, he will have to grow into a bigger boy, then a teenager, before becoming an adult.

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Bright or possibly Gifted?

Thanks to a comment left by a new reader recently, who posed the interesting question to ask if K is a gifted child, I went to do a research online on the topic of gifted-ness.

It seems that the term "gifted" is rather commonly used these days and lots of parents are also much more well informed, looking at the popularity of schools and enrichment centres who advocate gifted education. These programmes constantly challenge the child to tasks that are more difficult; multiplying the child's intelligence, or stimulating the right brain to improve their photographic memory and overall encouraging giftedness in children.

How do the experts define giftedness? Some view giftedness as an unusually high level of development in abstract reasoning skills, while another view is to perceive giftedness as "exceptional potential for learning and academic achievement in relation to chronological age peers". There is also Renzulli's "three-ringed" approach which defines giftedness as the convergence of three traits (above-average intelligence, creativity, and task commitment), while others have used Gardner's multiple intelligences (linguistics, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal) to define giftedness as superior performance in any one of these areas. 

Each of them seem to have plenty of differences in their definition of giftness, but there seem to be one common denominator: Giftedness is regarded as a high level of performance or the potential for such performance beyond what is expected of typically developing individuals. For added interest, read this link on characteristics of gifted children and this link explains the difference between a bright and gifted child. 

Using these articles as a reference, there are lots of children who are very bright and some very likely gifted these days. I know of many kids who are able to understand instructions by 18 months, long attention span in interest areas by age 2, recognition of letters/alphabets, rote counting, of first word and interest in puzzles by age 2. Show extreme curiosity and asks many questions, ability to memorize and recall facts easily, ability to do one-to-one counting for small quantities by age 3 and ability to read easy readers by age 4. Generally, it seems giftedness can be observed in many areas, not just academic excellence alone.

According to Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D, 'gifted children would demonstrate development that is at least 30% more advanced than their peers. It seems that it is much harder to determine giftedness since many children are exposed to various activities by parents; these activities actually make them learn faster regardless of ability. All children are like sponges and absorb learning quite rapidly, and enthusiastic parents certainly help in their development. For example, a gifted toddler may learn to read at three, and so will a bright toddler. However, a gifted child would need much more stimulation and any learning activity needs to match their intellectual capabilities. If it does not, the child would lose interest in learning and may become disillusioned and probably disruptive. On the other hand, a bright child would do well in most learning environment and would usually be toppers. They adapt to learning quite easily and are viewed as "good, obedient children". Naturally, a bright child is easier to nurture compared to a gifted child.'

Interestingly, although not commonly known, gifted children are classified as special needs children as they need just as much attention and educational resources to thrive in school as do other students whose physical, behavioral, emotional or learning needs require special accommodation.

Regardles of whether a child is just bright or gifted, there are all blessings from God. I believe almost every child in some way gifted in the eyes of their loving parents. A parent's role is to nurture their interests and potential, and expose them to as many experiences as they can to maximise the child's potential.

I am also extremely thankful to have a bright and healthy child, however do wish he can be a little less manipulative at times. 

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Thoughts at 34


Birthdays these days aren't that fun anymore. Especially since I am getting nearer to the wrong side of thirty and closer to being middle age :(

But instead of dwelling on how old I am getting, I should be counting my blessings, there is so much to be thankful for.

Life have never been the same since the day I decided to leave my job in the corporate world 2.5 years ago and stay at home for dh and Kyle. The journey has not been an easy one so far, I had to first deal with my own insecurities of not being financial independent and the fear of being irrelevant to society. I remembered saying a little prayer that I drove out from my office carpark the last day of work, telling God that I will let go of the full control in my life and told Him to take over.

Just like the millions of people out there in the world, I spent the bulk of my life trying to get God to do things my way and I often wondered why things don't often go the way I want them to go. Then I could not understand why I was getting so frustrated being at work despite working in an exciting, well-paid job and being well-liked by my bosses. I often asked myself, why am I getting no joy or satisfaction from my job? And I wondered, what is my true calling in life?

I finally came to a point where I was worn out managing my own life, worrying about every single aspect and detail that I can possibly think of. Giving up control is a hard thing to do. Taking that step many years ago to be a Christian, God expects me to let Him be in control of all my decisions, but I was not willing to ever let go of the reigns of control. I did not want anyone telling me what to do with my life, even when He is my Creator and Saviour. Jesus understands my reluctance to let God take control. I now understand when he said, "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." (Luke 9:24).

To most, it sounds extremely pathetic to come to the end of oneself and decide to give up control. Society place a high value of being independent, but seriously I think independence is overrated. The ephiphany that I realised from this was what may seem to be a loser's solution or a problem turned out to be my life's greatest opportunity.

How wrong can this decision be when I am giving Him total control of my life? He is all-seeing, all-knowing and I am certain He is one that has and will never make any mistakes. He knows my thoughts, what I want, what I need, he knows my weaknesses. He already knows the solution and outcome to everything.  

Since the day I made the choice to let God take over, things have miraculously worked out. Sure, I made stupid decisions along the way, went through plenty of rough spots, but somehow everything seemed to have worked out really well. Life just seemed to have turned around the moment He took over, and I cannot explain the unspeakable joy that fills my heart knowing and trusting that He is fully in charge of my life. How bad can it be? I don't need to fret about all the details, stay awake at night worrying about the outcome and I never need to be in doubt of my final destination.

34 is probably one of the best year in my life, but I know I ain't seen nothing yet!

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