Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Say It Nicely

June 7, 2011 3 comments

** Moments **

Yanna screamed and said, “That is mine! Give me that!”

Daddy said, “Say it nicely.”

She toned down her voice and said, “Nicely” ūüôā

Categories: Moments

Should We Raise Our Kids As Bilingual Speakers?

April 30, 2011 18 comments

It is naturally a common practice that Filipino expats or immigrants choose to rear their children in the language used in the foreign country they are based.¬† Like many others, English is our¬†first choice since we live in¬†a country where this is¬†an¬†official and commonly spoken language.¬† Furthermore,¬†it is a familiarly spoken language in the Philippines and a form of status symbol (deny it or not it is in Philippine context).¬† Hence it is never a difficult decision for us and many.¬†Even then, I¬†personally value the Filipino language and wish that my daughter would¬†be able to speak¬†it fluently as she grows up.¬†¬†It is¬†our native tongue and it represents¬†our cultural heritage.¬† Come to think of it, how come Chinese, Mexican and Indian families whose children were born or raised in a foreign country¬†are able to speak their native tongues? Isn’t it probably because they value their¬†ethnic identities?

Having lived in Singapore for two years and living amidst other cultures outside of the Singaporean blend that is already present, I have learned from other parents that raising children in bilingual atmosphere is quite possible.

Although we speak to her in English, my wife and I speak to each other in the vernacular.¬† We instructed her nanny to speak to her in English but¬†did not force her as we figured her nose will bleed trying to do so ūüôā .¬†¬†And finally we have subscribed to The Filipino Channel (TFC).¬† As such,¬†Yanna was quick to pick Filipino words.¬†¬†¬†We would hear her say words like ‚ÄúAyaw‚ÄĚ (verb for not liking) or ‚Äúakin na‚ÄĚ (Give it to me) out of an¬†outburst.¬† But could also switch to the English equivalent when we speak to her in English.¬† One time in a party, the host said in Filipino ‚Äúang init‚ÄĚ referring to the weather and she was quick to interpret in English ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs hot‚ÄĚ.¬† Now that she is attending a playgroup school, her English was enhanced.¬† So perhaps slowly, we will eventually be able to teach her Filipino.

I guess it’s about time we open our minds and consider, depending on the child’s ability, bilingualism.

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Family Bonding with Your Camera

March 26, 2011 4 comments

Bored on weekends with nowhere to go? Simply too lazy to get out of home? Relaxing at home is also something to look forward too.  Do not think that having to spend time with the family means having to go out and spend so much money. There are tons of things to do that you and your family will enjoy. How about taking out that camera in the chest and play with some poses with your family?

That’s what with did one weekend night when Yanna¬†was starting to get hooked on Iphone.¬† Hmmm, I noticed the three of us were together but each one of us on¬†our own¬†gadgets. Not a good sign. So I called for a casting.¬† My girls love it: posing in front of the camera.

It does not look like I did well in taking these indoor shots. But we had fun!

Although Yanna loves to pose, she is always playful. It takes sometime to get her attention.

Warming up

Getting into the mood

Do-it-yourself studio poses

I used the auto-click mode and had to run in 10 seconds.  We also had to prep Yanna in the limited time. Well, it takes some practice.

Home-made family picture

So what are you waiting for? No matter what type of camera you have, grab it and play with your family! Enjoy the weekend ūüėČ

Categories: Parenting

Sending Yanna to a Playgroup School

February 5, 2011 4 comments


I never imagined sending Yanna, my 2 year old¬†daughter, to a pre-nursery thing because I did not think it was necessary-¬†in the same way that nursery was a luxury 20 years ago.¬† Nursery was supposed to be a pre-school thing and now you have a pre-nursery thing-¬†so what’s next? But I guess things have changed and so were the circumstances.¬† Yanna¬†is growing up fast and¬†I¬†did not want her to grow up getting used to just being with her nanny all day.¬† There’s gotta be a way to play with some kids in the playground on a regular basis.¬† I wanted her to develop social skills at an early age. Hence, we toyed on the idea of finding an informal playgroup-¬†something that moms organize in Singapore-¬†some by locals, some by expat wives. That did not prosper as it seemed difficult to find one and organize one.¬† further,¬†being an informal¬†group-¬†it’s unpredictable-¬†people may come and go and you may not like eveerything¬†that comes out of it.¬† Hence, better get into an organized playgroup.


Looking for that organized playgroup¬†is not easy if you don’t have the right leads.¬† First, playgroup¬†is not a clearly defined classification.¬† By playgroup, my wife and I wanted to jus send Yanna¬†to some place where she could¬†play and socialize¬†with other kids, learn some new things and managed by a professional.¬† We did not want a day care center.¬† and so we searched the Net to see what’s out there.¬† I checked websites Pinoysg¬†and Singapore Expat to see what people would recommend in the communities.¬† what i¬†got was the likes of franchise schools-¬†Apple Tree and Mind Champs.¬† The latter does not have playgroups¬†while the former did not have a place close by our area.¬† We surfed the Net and found a number such as NTUC¬†First Campus brands (My First Skool, among others) but mostly offer day care services. Finally, we decided to walk around the neighborhood because I realized that I’ve seen quite a number and maybe we were missing something.¬† True enough, there were about three around the area-¬†and we found Star Tots Playgroup¬†most perfect for our needs: it was only a 2-hour programme where kids could play and learn at the same time.

We were two weeks late from the official school calendar but since this is just a playgroup, it was flexible.  Initially, the slots were all filled out, but one backed out so we got a slot after a week.


My wife and I were excited about it.¬† On her first day, we were curious to see how Yanna would take it being left in the care of the school.¬† Surprisingly, with her mum bringing her to the school, she just plainly said goodbye, hugged and gave her usual flying kiss.¬† As if she just said goodbye when mummy’s¬† leaving for work.¬† On her second day, she might have noticed what she was at.¬† With her nanny bringing her to school this time, she cried so hard as if her nanny was leaving her in the night before she goes to sleep!¬† True enough, whether it was mummy or nanny bringing her to school, she would cry the following days .¬† The teacher managed to stop her, but oh, I could feel what’s inside her when my wife was telling me how she would try to stop from crying – first stop from screaming but her eyes still with tears and trying to control her sob.¬† This scene stopped after 5 or 6 days.


Yanna started learning new things with other kids.  I guess this kind of environment makes her appreciate things in a better way where she could relate.  Things like opening your pack of snacks and eating on her own, washing her hands, throwing rubbish at the waste can- when she starts seeing it in her little world with little people, she is more keen and excited to learn.


One day, the class did some artwork where they printed some fruit into a piece of paper. Yanna was so excited about it that she did not keep it in her bag.  She met her mum with her artpiece on her hands and walked home still holding it with her! How beautiful it is to see how my little girl got so excited and engrossed with this little work of art!

Yanna walking home holding her piece of art

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