Are you discarding those empty Einmilk formula tins?
Hang on – they can be converted into a fun and educational learning tool for your kids!
This tutorial will take you through some simple steps on how to make an easy toy clock using formula tin covers. With materials that are easily available at home or from your local stationery store, parents and children can create your unique toy clock to teach the concept of time to your little ones.
Invite your child to decorate the various parts of his or her new toy clock too. Feel free to use other craft materials for little fingers to explore, including paint and stickers. This engaging activity which encourage parent-and-child bonding also allows your children to experience and observe the crafting process from start to end; and discover the opportunity of giving a nondescript item such as a plain cover a new lease of life! Upcycling ideas offer children a new perspective on creating their very own masterpieces, and they are definitely limited edition pieces too!
We hope you enjoy this meaningful and educational activity with your kids. Cultivating positive values goes towards raising world-ready children for the future! Click here for more family-friendly activities and free printables.
Parenting is an exciting life-transforming chapter.
It can unearth character traits or skills you never knew existed, and turn you into a new person you never imagined possible. Has becoming a parent changed you for the better, or for the worse? Let’s hear it from these mums in Singapore who share their earnest transformations and experiences!
The most obvious change after becoming a parent would be physical ones for mothers. After nine months of skin stretching to accommodate a growing baby and belly, some things may not revert to what they were before.
Mum of two toddlers, Jingyi Gab says looking at herself in the mirror and accepting those scars and stretched tummy are some changes that took some getting used to since pregnancy. This mama acknowledges that they are her badge of honour and feels that these physical scars portray the truth about unconditional love.
For Lup Wai who home-schools both her kids, she gamely accepts that the “haggard look” comes with being a mum who has witnessed the “ups and downs of looking after kids “, as “having children makes life even more colourful, interesting and exciting!”
Patience and temper – lost or found?
With children, situations may take unexpected turns which catch parents unawares. You may find yourself breathing through gritted teeth and struggle to remain calm when dealing with the kids. When that happens, patience run thin and tempers are lost, or found?
Mums agree that after having kids, they undergo self-discovery and revelation…only to learn more about themselves. Patience, or the lack of, is an understated hidden gem!
The worse bit for Joanne, mum of 2, is “discovering I have less patience and worse temper than I thought I did. Now, I (try) to be more patient, choose kinder words and generally being more aware of my “triggers!”
Andrea Kang Gruszka seconds Joanne’s revelation: “I go from Jekyll to Hyde in a matter of seconds – it takes VERY little to antagonise me now!”
While it takes a conscious effort to hold their tongues and minds before firing away, mums also realise that their children are mirrors of their teachings. For Yvonne Mardiana whose girls are in primary school, she admits that she “became more aware of how mean and how loud I can be from my children’s reminders.”
Days before children came into the picture, it might have been easy to judge other parents when their kids throw tantrums in public. After becoming a mum, Lai Xiuli who has two young children understands that some situations are trickier than others. She compares them to “infantry training” (as the kids) train my energy level, my patience and train me to see things with an open-mind. Guess that changes me to be a better person? Children definitely add lots of colours and laughter into our lives.
”For new mum, Nerissa Lewis, despite the sleep deprivation, she feels that becoming a mother has made a better loving person with the new perspective and meaning in life.
“You become more aware of what’s going on in the world just because you want “it” to be a better place for your children,” she adds.
As Andrea rounds it up, “Everyday I’m pushed to consciously choose love – love is not an emotion, it is a choice. Patience, self-giving, tolerance, optimism are thankfully by-products of having chosen to love.”
Making decisions and managing time
Naturally, decisions made are usually in the best interest of your children. That includes deciding to eat healthily, go for more vegetables and be the right role models in front of your kids. Mum of 3, Clarissa Chen shares that she has since become “more aware on food choices”. Late night suppers and date nights with the husband is also a thing of the past as part of their marriage! Turning into a picky eater no more because “the kids are watching me at meal times”, says Jessica.
Candidly revealed by mum of a toddler, Serynn Guay, “I’ve (become) better at multi-tasking and generally more tolerant of work, because nothing, NOTHING (including coordinating a 1000 pax event involving Ministers) at work is more challenging than getting a toddler to eat vegetables.” Suddenly, no mountain is too high to climb at work! Much have been said about time management skills being sharpened too, regardless of the size of your brood, right?
As Evangeline Yang, mother of 2, shares about motherhood, she has become more patient, more loving and more creative.
To that, Yvonne agrees that becoming a parent “improves my creativity in cooking, arts and imagination”, skills which might not been used to describe her prior to starting a family.
Creativity skills are also sharpened and used in unexpected ways as Jessica Kong shares.
“I gained the ability to tell smooth white lies without flinching when asked about the whereabouts of their pacifier, tv remote, kinder surprise egg…,” she reveals.
“Looking at my children with love, taking care of them takes so much effort and knowing you would do anything for them opened up my eyes to how my parents took care of me,” confesses Yvonne. “Be appreciative of the time spent with your spouse, your children and your own parents.” It takes a village to raise a family, just as it has been for our parents themselves.
After all the days are long, and the years are short. First time mum, Melissa Goh agrees wholeheartedly that she enjoys the positive changes in herself.
“The feeling that we give selflessly really applies here,” she shares.
At the end of the day, parents continuously strive to become better individuals and better parents. All in a bid towards loving our children more with each day, as we nurture and raise world-ready children with each tantrum, spice and everything in between!
Do you think you have changed for the better or worse after becoming a dad or mum? Share with us your thoughts too!
How can we raise our children to be ready for the world of tomorrow?
Parenting is a lifelong journey, and as we strive to offer our best to our children, we also wish to prepare them for their future.
Besides a safe and loving environment, we work hard at meeting their needs and support their holistic development. Family values are also integral aspects of one’s character, and parents explore ways to impart good values to nurture responsible citizens of the world.
Let’s find out what values are important to families in Singapore, and how do parents teach their children these great values!
#1: Values are part of our daily lives
In school where Civics and Moral Education (CME) was part of the curriculum, we learned about moral values through stories and examples. At home, parents appreciate the importance of imparting positive values at an early age, as they set the foundation of one’s character which translates into how they interact with others around them.
To that, Evangeline Yang, mother of two, shares her beliefs that her kids should be “man or woman of what they say”. Through speech, behaviour and actions, children pick up these values through those around them. Leading by example is an effective way of getting their children to understand and appreciate the importance of positive values.
Through interaction with others, children may also pick up the “wrong” concepts and ideas which they may not be able to differentiate during their toddler years. As Dominique Goh, mother of three notes, “… don’t put up with those adults or kids who refuse to exhibit such moral standards.”
#2: Learn to be contented, appreciate life and others
My boy is only two-and-a-half years old so he’s at the very self-centred stage. But, we are trying to teach him to share with others, and take turns. We also always stop to admire caterpillars or a yellow bird on our way to childcare, because we need to appreciate all these little things!
— Serynn Guay
To that, experts analyse that toddlers are at the phase where they are self-centred, and it is a normal part of their social and emotional development. During this period, parents can encourage autonomy, and allow toddler to have the feeling of self-control.
In the daily pursuit of wants and needs, we might forget to appreciate what we have, and lose sight about the amount of happiness accumulated. No thanks to the chase of ‘a better life’, or, ‘more things’, where it is always about the grass being greener on the other side, contentment becomes a moving goalpost.
As Andrea Kang Gruszka, mother of two under two-year-old, laments. “I just pray and hope that my kids do not spend their days comparing and always wishing and hoping… I guess I’ll just have to start with myself.”
Appreciate the simple things and being happy with what we already have allow our children to embrace the value of gratefulness and learn to be contented too.
#3: Effort and results are related
Citing examples of her five-year-old and two-year old, Janice Wong shares that as her kids watch her juggle work, home-schooling and parenting, she believes her actions speak for itself in allow her kids to understand that hard work is important. She hopes to instill in them that “nothing free falls down from the sky… don’t take anything for granted. Work hard but smart too.”
Like Andrea and Serynn, Janice is also a firm believer about having her kids dispel any sense of entitlement. The right working attitude has an impact on effort and results too. During the process, having the right manners is a behaviour Janice hopes her young children adopt.
Our P’s and Q’s are integral as they are an extension of how we treat others too.
#4: The value of love springboards to greater depth
Walking the talk is important and for Jessica Kong, she feels that children need to be respected too.
“We believe that when children feel respected and see us respecting others, they take on the same values too,”
— Jessica Kong
Furthermore, children are keen observers who learn values such as empathy and kindness through role model. As parents, what we do and say influences our children more than we might think.
She adds, “We show adequate care for them when they are hurt or when they get punished for a wrong doing. However, instead of asking my six-year-old son not to cry and be a ‘big boy’ when he falls, we offer suggestions to help distract him about the pain. When he gets punished for a bad behaviour, we will acknowledge his feelings after the incident and find out his reasons for his behaviour. We will always hug and remind him that he is loved but the behaviour is unacceptable, and soon realised that he adopts the same method when his sister gets punished. He would empathise and saying (care for her) her the same way we did to him.”
#5: Teaching children the right values need not be 100% serious work
In all seriousness, raising children with positive values may seem like a tall order, some parents find ways to do it through light-hearted manners.
Mother of two, Liang May, says of her husband “who wants to teach his children ‘others before self’ with the underlying virtue of kindness. He does so by example but is also quick to add that ‘your father is the most selfless guy! Why (are) you so selfish!’ when he speaks to our children!”
Clearly a sense of humour is a trait our kids could do with as they get ready to tackle life’s challenges.
“We do this by demonstrating it in the way we work, live and play. Being consistent in our parenting approach is also important. For example, if I tell my son not to spend too much time on his smartphone, I should do the same too.”
— Father of a teenage son, Walter Lim, sums up our effort in nurturing children with the right values
Wise words of advice indeed from fellow parents. After all parenting is a learning journey for both children and adults. When it comes to raising world-ready children, growing up with the right values help develop a person’s character and attitude, as they prepare to step into their future.
What are some values you hope to instil in your children? Do share with us too!