Anyone who’s ever known a toddler probably knows what a “meltdown” is – you know, when that sweet and adorable little sweetie pie morphs instantaneously into a red-in-the-face, screaming and kicking ball of fury? Psychologists will tell you that this is considered quite normal behaviour for most 2yo kids – but what about when the meltdown isn’t your child’s but yours? Mummy meltdowns are real, and I’m speaking from personal experience.
There’s a song I love which begins with these words:
Make my heart tender and pure,
Make me strong, help me endure.
Recently I’ve been thinking about that – the cultivation of a tender heart.
You know, so many parenting articles these days focus on building grit and resilience in our kids – hey, even I have blogged about that in the past! We want our children to be able to stand strong amidst the storms of life that will come their way; we want them to learn the value of hard work and never giving up, on getting up from failure and trying again.
I want that for my boys too. But how do we do it?
It’s been a few weeks since our Ergoworks desk and chair arrived, and the boy has settled down nicely in his new workspace. Nowadays, he certainly has a better posture when he’s doing his work, and sitting properly also seems to be helping him to focus better on his work. I’m pleasantly surprised that he’s also managed to keep his desk fairly clean and neat for these few weeks, and it’s far less cluttered than his previous table was – thanks to the shelves on the wall-end. Thank you Ergoworks!
The other day, I was walking behind the boys as they trotted hand in hand down the corridor to the lift, and it dawned on me that they have grown quite a fair bit this year. To be sure, they are both still on the (very) small side, but I distinctly remember those too-long school shorts reaching below David’s knees on that first day of Primary 1 that now seems like such a distant memory. Those same shorts are a clear 2 cm above his knee now. And I marvel at Daryl’s newfound swagger and style of walking that he only picked up sometime this year too. How my heart ached in that moment of realisation that my boys are growing up right before my eyes…
When David told me some months ago that he wanted a science-themed party for his seventh birthday, I think my first thought was “Oh no.” Not because I didn’t like the idea – I’m thrilled the boy is curious about a million and one things – but because I had NO CLUE how to plan a science program! I did google for some experiments that we could do, but just couldn’t envision how that would work out with a group of at least 10 kids. Crowd control is my weakest link.
Then I discovered Mad Science, the team which makes science come alive in fun and engaging ways for children with their collection of interesting gear and interactive programs. David and I watched some of their experiments online, and he was hooked! When the Mad Science Singapore team offered to sponsor us with a Mad Science program for his birthday party, he was over the moon – and so was I 🙂
Nobody ever said parenting is easy, but it wasn’t until I became a parent that I realised how hard this parenting business can be.
David has been so excited about getting his new workspace from Ergoworks, ever since I posted this some weeks back. And during the September holidays, we finally managed to make the trip down as a family to check out their extensive range of ergonomic products! Of course, somebody had to bring along his current Geronimo Stilton book to test out his new table 😉
During a recent conversation with a mummy friend, we were sharing our thoughts on how the world today is a pretty scary place to bring up our kids in. Stories of kidnapping, child abuse, pedophilia and school bullying abound, not to mention the very real threat of terrorism that is always closer to home than we think. And on a more personal level, the fact that our kids are now at the age when they spend close to half of their waking hours in school, and that is a huge chunk of time when we parents have no control whatsoever over who they will meet, what they will talk about, what they will see and how they will choose.
“It feels like he isn’t just growing up – he’s growing away,” I said to my friend. And it’s true – he makes so many little decisions on his own now – what to eat at recess, for example, and whether to play ball with A or watch fishes with B – and sometimes, just sometimes, he pulls his hand out of mine when we are reaching the school gate.
“I can walk by myself, mummy,” he says. Cue mummy heart break.
The word “ergonomic” has become part of our regular vocabulary today. We see it sprinkled generously in newspaper ads and furniture showrooms, promoting bags and shoes, desks and chairs, computer keyboards and even pillows! The problem is that, while many brands and manufacturers may claim to be ergonomic, their prices can vary quite a lot. How’s a parent to make a discerning choice when it comes to picking out the best option?
Thanks to the world wide web, the answer is not so hard to find, if we would be willing to take the time to look. 🙂 My motivation? I wanted to find a workspace solution that works for my older boy, who spends a significant amount of time at his table these days – be it on school work, Berries homework or his own art. Due to his small size, he has this (bad) habit of kneeling on his chair in order to get a good view of his work. Or sometimes he slouches on the table and writes with his head leaning on the table, because he is tired of kneeling. We know that such a posture is bad for his still-developing body and certainly poses a strain on his eyes, and we want to stave off the possibility of wearing spectacles for as long as possible.
Of course we’re tried nagging at him to “sit properly”, but it hasn’t worked very well thus far. We’d also been feeling that maybe a better chair with a back rest might be more comfortable for him than his previous and current backless stools.
So I decided to read up on some possible workspace solutions for his posture, and along the way discovered some misconceptions that many (including us) may have about how ergonomic products work. Here are three things you should know:
On our living room, we have this piece framed up, to remind us that hard work matters. There’s a verse in the Bible that goes “… suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5: 3-4)
Hard work doesn’t always translate into success and achievement, but hard work has value in and of its own, and that’s one of the values we try to intentionally inculcate in the boys. And when school is the topic, there’s definitely lots of room for talking about what hard work looks like and why it matters.