Boys Character Growth Spurts
Sitting in the Hall, going through the second round of P1 orientation struck a chord in me again. It was just this Jan2015 that I was learning to let go of my eldest. Now, KorKor A is guiding his not so lil brother to search for his class to settle down.
Eversince I returned to work, the ups and downs of adjusting helped stretch my capacity to savour my kids’ rapid growth. A seems so mature now with his quiet and steady confidence. I yell at him less often (not due to my increased patience) but to his credit- unusual spurts of self control at work. Not only does he restrain from retaliating, he is also learning to speak more patiently to his siblings. For J’s birthday, he took special care to buy a gift from his savings and handmade a pop up card with neat handwriting. These are really calculated efforts on his part! I took the opportunity to affirm his actions each time I caught him in the act of self control.
As for J? I marvel at the resilience and emerging motivation to learn more independently in the past 2 weeks.
Scenario for Learning Chinese Spelling.
Since I returned to work, I stopped reminding kids on their own responsibilities – namely when to learn their spelling…last time I will still hint ‘what are you suppose to learn?’ nearer the test.
J called me at work begging,’ Mama, today there’s Chinese spelling. And I don’t know the words, can you come back and teach me???’
Me: ‘ Aiyo, I can’t return to teach you, know? Never mind, this time round just take the test. Next time, you have to remember to tell me earlier when you have spelling test and ask me when I am at home ok?’
J: ‘But I will fail! And teacher will scold me if I fail?!’
Me:’ Yes, you’ll fail and just accept the scolding, it’s ok. Just apologise to your teacher and say you forgot to learn, and that next time you will remember ok? Do remind mama to teach you.’
J: ‘ Ok… so I have English spelling tomorrow, I go check if I know the words now! and can you pray for me now?’
(1 Week Later)
J: ‘Mama i have spelling today!’
He proceeds to take his exercise book to copy and learn before asking me to test him at 7plus am in the morning before I leave for work.
Scenario for Learning his Music
Music Teacher after demonstration of both hands for a music piece, asked them to repeat again before going around ‘testing’ them.
J became intensely upset and sobbed :’ Mama, I don’t know how to play…’
Teacher made some harsh remarks which caused him further distress. At this point, I calmly asked the teacher to skip him and give him some time to recover.
Me (a translation from Chinese) : ‘ J, you cannot let the teacher’s praise or criticism determine your mood. She praises you, you become happy and now she is displeased, you become so sad and fearful that you can’t learn anything. You need to refocus and learn from her even if you do not know how to play. This is the reason we are here- to learn from teacher. It’s ok if you do not know. Don’t let this stop you from focusing. Mummy cannot help you if you don’t try and learn from the teacher yourself. (since I also cannot catch the teacher’s demonstration!)
We said a quick prayer for Jesus to calm him and help him overcome his fears.
By the time she returned, her tone lightened up and J managed to follow her in between sobbing hiccups.
During the week after the incident, I reminded him to recall his lessons and practice on his own. To my surprise, he managed to practice on his own with minimum supervision the next few days and successfully played the piece in his subsequent music class.
J’s Birthday Celebration
We had a simple and cosy family gathering to celebrate J’s birthday. Despite having only 2 gifts on this birthday, he was chirpy and delighted. After a good lunch and a colouring activity, the boys headed for a basketball Match Slingers (Singapore) vs Vampires (Thailand) while the girls stayed home to chitchat. Dinner was Sushi for $1.50 per plate. Then waffles ice cream at Casa Italia. The ice-cream is velvety on fresh thick waffles, never failing to delight us! J’s verdict – This is the happiest day to celebrate my birthday! We rarely buy gifts for the kiddos as we already spend the time and effort to celebrate with him. Therefore, they have come to appreciate the quality time and not expect any gifts from us.
J’s School Goodie Bags
100 mini cupcakes for a class of 20. The frenzy baking lasted 2 days. Our goodie bags consist of a cup of mini-cupcakes, a Ribena and 2 Kitkats with a DIY printed Thank You for being my friend tag. J also wrote cards of appreciation to once again thank the teachers.
Initially we didn’t want to do any ‘party’ for school but this is J’s last year. And I love his newly transferred school, so how can we depart without any thanksgiving? So I decided to bake for the class’ goody bags to show our appreciation. Ever since J was transferred to this new Kindergarten this year, he had blossomed under the firm and caring leadership of his teachers.
I witnessed a dramatic change in E as well. She is literally like a bud, reserved and shy even till mid year. Whenever her friend calls her, she will turn away and bury her face into my lap refusing to greet her friends. However, under the guidance and encouragement of her teachers, she now confidently bellows her friend’s name from afar. She began to bloom and reveal this other talent that was hidden- her delight in dancing! We were amazed that she had the courage and good rhythmic moves to perform on stage.
As I revel at how much they’ve grown, it is not the spectacular performances that we are proud of, nor the academic success they’re capable of. We revel at the Lord’s bountiful mercies and new grace working slowly but surely in our children’s hearts.
This is grace – not that we deserve – The Lord teaches the lil hearts in His time. In the midst of my yelling and short tempered ways these days, I witnessed how the Lord softened the harsh side of me through the warmth of these simple hearts just wanting to please and love many a times.
With the support of my family, I can look at my students and wonder how I can inspire them with my HeArt.
Of course, while I am sharing all the progress they’ve made, J decides to throw a major tantrum….
And there we go again. Yet there we have again, Christ’s amazing grace and the sure hope that we possess! I take heart from the verses below as we deny ourselves and take up the cross daily.
Phillipians 3: 12-14
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
How has 2015 been for you?
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