O kids!

I'm taking my little snippets over to 

the book, the page, the hope & hopefully, the mo ~for a new world for our kids, where being happy is truly worth it!

Join me there!


: Jenni's Big Thoughts about Kids :

1 / Sibling Chilvary, not rivlary

SIBLING chilvary instead..

we come to expect it --selfishness rude mean words, looks of annoyance, impatience and kill...

I remember my mother often mention how important it was to her that we got along - and there were nine of us to learn the fine art of getting along! 

Days are aplenty my frustration piles high because i simply cannot fathom how --

  • my children raised in a much more thoughtful and intentional environment still go at each other's throats
  • my children seem less able then i was to read parental cues and be sensitive to how tired, disappointed i was...the way i believed i was towards my parents..
  • my children seem totally unable to perceive good in each other and appreciate having a sibling
I won't take it.

Love must win the day.

So i muster everything I have and go at it all over again.
I refuse them the chicken they bickered over.
I talked calmly with them - separately and together.
I paint possibilites.
I write out scenarios.

Sometimes there were tears.
Sometimes there was genuine sorry-ness.
Many times, things improved and then it lapsed again.
The gains come slowly.
But i sow the truth and dig up the fallow ground. 

We are family. 
We are together. 
We rise and fall alongside each other. 
We are each other's cheerleaders. 
We can speak life or ill and death into each other's hearts. 
We must forgive and forge another day in hopes of newness.

let in the Light

We are Kingdom people - who have a King who has crushed the enemy and brokered a new way for life - and in the family, a way for ancient rivalry to give way to chilvary. 

Today, my daughter turns thirteen and yes, she is kinder to her kid brother. He, has learnt to give her the space she needs, to respect their difference, to laugh off the snarky remarks... and I, the mom, am learning to forgive them for letting me down and to embrace them for being who they are.

2. In but Not of this world (system)

Singapore is getting into my veins! (and i want a transfusion)
What you breathe – the little air bubbles – eventually enters your bloodstream and become you!

I worry about the air I breathe; the PSI – Personal Security Index is worryingly low.

Well I guess the PSI has always been a concern. In my parents day, scrapping by and eking out a living must make for a weak sense of security. Hence they tended to cling to their material security: an HDB flat, filial children, as signs of success and personal affirmation.

But decades later with much more school, it seems we still fight the PSI.

Is it the years of hearing the rhetoric that we mustn’t be left behind, that the world has no place for those who slow? A reasoning that has perhaps become an unspoken mantra which weaves web in our systems holding it captive?

I have breathed this air for years. But I have not realized it effects until now, when as a parent these thoughts actually cross my mind:

I hope my daughter’s friends are bright, smart and influence her to aspire and study..
What am I missing out on for my child?
Is my child’ teacher capable, committed, heck, is she driven?
How is my child faring compared to that kid?

These thoughts trouble me.

My desire for my children to live a full life beginning with a rich and enjoyable childhood; and to be shaped into responsible and resilient beings clash with the values percolating the system.

The system has given my no other barometer besides raw test scores, bridging classes, school reputation, and a whole trajectory that means I should envision university and work back to plan for each move.

If I do not have a personal compass, I have no other recourse but to be swept by the currents of the system; thereby reinforcing its validity in turn.

Thankfully, I have other thoughts. 

But even then, my thoughts and values seem to need a an ancient wall of defense thick enough for four chariots to ride astride in order to withstand the continuous onslaught. Otherwise, it needs the fortitude of a battering ram when I want to engage in a constructive dialogue leading to a collaborative effort, because I am quickly designated ‘parent = kiasu + kancheong” which kills the conversation for me.

This seem to make parenting a harrowing, narrow, un-enjoyable experience to be endured. Falling fertility rates? It's in the air folks.

Beware FAST AND FURIOUS Parenting Singapore-style !

3/ Under one roof: the art of living together

FOUR GENERATIONS under one roof? Yes, that's what I have!

My two children are born nearly six years apart. I sensed God's love and humour lay behind this arrangement.  The older is a girl and the younger a boy. They also have totally different personalities and preferences...we will come to that another time. Today, let us just look at the physical age thing.

With the rate of change happening, sociologists say a generation lasts about 3-5 years.

So my two kids belong to different generations! (add to that how my hubs claim we belong to different era [he thinks it's funny..help the man!]...my household actually spans Four Generations (ok, it's tongue-in-cheek).

But, armed with this new perspective. I can now take all that occasional flare-ups, communication break-downs, empty space vacant look like 'what are you talking about?!" ...in my stride. I should expect it when there are so many differences colliding in one space.

Well, for the artist (spelt  m-o-t-h-e-r) who tries to build 

- it's working with mixed medium which you are told don't go together ! 

So it's been a bold experiment...and one I may not have chosen (hence chosen for me). I ding-dong between whoops of glee at the potential, and near-collapse at the tiresome, often repetitive strain (pun intended). What I fully know is, art requires a lot of Light and Love. 

Still frame moments, drawn out episodes (soap), 3D configurations... I need the 

These are of course in short supply but not easy to stock up once you know Who to go to get it from.

4/ Trusting my Intuition

a mother's intuition - sung by Kanga {link} - sings Kanga; the sweetness of every mom as she scrubbed a terrified Piglet. The backstory is that Kanga was new in the hundred acre wood and the others had thought her monstrous. But after a good bath, Piglet would be the first to find out the truth! 

Instead of trying to correct the erroneous view of the rest, Kanga reached out to love Piglet (and clean it) and changes the hearts and minds of Pooh and friends.

The song resonates with so many of us moms. Sometimes we just know. As my son once famously said, "mom will know what to do.." - the glowing words I am ready to let grace my tombstone - I often surprise myself at what I do know to do. Like -

- giving my daughter time to return my hug
- signing off and trusting the light bulb will come on in my son's head for his way-behind Chinese lessons
- waiting for the beat and the groove to sync when at first fingers, head and heart all clash together over those ivory keys

Most of these 'know-what-to-do' moments have been gifts. On my own, my 'know-what-to-do' veers towards panic + raised heartbeat leading to an corresponding change in the tone and volume of the voice.

But the present Whisper sometimes find a small space to say
"it will turn out ok",
"let it go",
"don't kill the joy"
....and the power of this penetrating light stirs and steers me away from my otherwise doggedly wrong insistence; and the day is saved!

5 / Jesus & children [not the usual stuff]

In the gospel, Jesus reverses our normal ideas about greatness by saying :

children epitomize the ethos of his kingdom.

Three different times in Mark's gospel Jesus warned his disciples about the tragic end that awaited him in Jerusalem — betrayal, condemnation, suffering, rejection, violent death, and then resurrection.

All three times the disciples responded to Jesus with objections, disbelief, fear, and ignorance.
They repeatedly demonstrated how badly they misunderstood the true nature of his redemptive mission.

Somali girl laughing.

After his first "passion prediction," Peter objected: "Lord, this shall never happen to you!" But Jesus rebuked Peter for trying to prevent his sufferings: "You do not have in mind the things of God but the things of man" (Mark 8:33). After the third prediction (10:32ff), James and John asked Jesus for positions of glory. The ten other disciples indignantly objected, clearly worried that James and John might gain some advantage over them.

After Jesus's second prediction in the gospel for this week, the disciples argued among themselves about who was the greatest (Mark 9:34). There's a tragic irony in this because in the previous paragraph the disciples were unable to heal a little boy. Whereas in predicting his death Jesus signaled that his kingdom was characterized by self-sacrifice, the disciples were intent on self-aggrandizement.

Jesus responded to his disciples in two ways. First, he gave them a teaching: "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all'" (9:35). Second, Jesus dramatized a parable. In a piece of street theater that illustrated his teaching, he placed a little child before the disciples. He then embraced the child and said, "Whoever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me" (9:37).

Matthew's parallel account of the same story makes an interesting editorial change. Jesus says, "unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3). Just one page later in Mark's gospel the disciples rebuked people who brought little children to Jesus so that he would bless them. "When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it'" (10:13–16).

To welcome a child is to extend the simplest of acts to an individual whom society dismisses as perhaps cute but ultimately insignificant, someone who lacks any accomplishments, greatness, status, or pretensions. By extension, Jesus invites us to welcome every person in the same manner, without regard for external measures of their worldly importance. The simple act of welcoming another person in that way, Jesus says, is to welcome him, and in turn to welcome God the Father who sent him.

Two boys laughing.

Similarly, to imitate children is to understand our own selves in the same manner. Instead of striving for significance in titles, honors, and success, as if those might gain us favor with God or man, we enjoy the knowledge that we are simply human beings loved by God. To live as a child is to live free of the self-justifications that adults use to prove their worth, and the heavy burden of self-consciousness about our status. To live like a child, says Jesus, is the only way to enter his kingdom.

If you enjoyed these thoughts, there are more over at the blog. Simply type 'parents' in the search box on the right at the home page and you will find them!


Something about going higher... launching off...and taking flight - yes! 

That's all our hearts' longing!

Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/44345361@N06/6978711371/">VinothChandar</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>

So, this is what Play-Doh is made of!

  watch recipe ! {click here}


"i love you!" 

I'd like to share about this simple book that takes children deep into something they all know: love!

Children's books continue to mesmerize me - the depth, wisdom, beauty and truth in quality children's books can shape souls, move mountains, melt hearts!

Read to, and with your children - for your own good!

Such a beautiful picture of a baby ENJOYING his bath! Notice how the baby looks for the eyes to assure him, senses and enjoys the water - and feels absolutely safe with the confident hands.

click & marvel at this: just warm water and love!

Photo Moments... 

Slip Sliding away!

soft nose of horsey

If i were a sultan...

What do blessed little boys do in school these days?
 -- this is Aquafest at Anglo-Chinese School (Primary): Boys at organised play! {click}


A Poem


Let the children join our dancing.
Only then, can we be free.
Take to heart the words of Jesus:
"Let the children come to me."
We must live among the small folk,
not just simply watch them play.
Like a child, let us connect with
what they think and what they say. 

Love your neighbor - love God's new saints.
This at first might seem quite odd.
Little ones are Christ among us.
Welcome children - welcome God!
They own nothing - seem dependent;
we see kids as ones in need.
Things are different in God's timing.
Soon a little child shall lead. 

Look no further than the young for
insights into Jesus' ways.
Doubtless, they will be our model
as we give to God our praise.
Humble humans have great value.
This is not at all by chance.
To be holy, wholly holy,
let the children join the dance.

(c) Rusty Edwards September 3, 2009
Yale University Institute of Sacred Music
New Haven, Connecticut
suggested tunes: NETTLETON, BETH
Can also be sung to the tune of "Joyful! Joyful! We Adore Thee"
written for Dr. Sunny Tan
Academic Dean, Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary
Penang, Malaysia

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