LAUGH OUT LOUD

The other night as I was washing up, I noticed a band-aid plastered on my back. I know I didn’t put it there. Then I realized, it was my daughter Janina who did! No wonder, she kept on hugging me earlier! So I did what a loving mother would do. I got my own band-aid, snuck inside their room and plastered it on her forehead as she lay sleeping. Imagine her surprise, when she looked in the mirror the following day! We had a good laugh about it!

PhotobucketOne thing about our family is we love to laugh! We love tickle fights, making fun of each other, telling jokes, acting silly and pulling pranks on one another. I remember one April fool’s, when i drank salty water because my kids put salt in my glass of water. When stuck in traffic, we would decide to talk in rhymes and just end up laughing at the silly things we come up with.

Laughing together doesn’t just strengthen your family bonding, but it actually does affect your health too. It’s always been said that “Laughter is the best medicine.” Research (helpguide.org) has shown that:

* Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
* Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
* Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
* Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

So go ahead! LAUGH OUT LOUD!

Proverbs 17:22: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

PLAYGROUP PROBLEMS

Dear Jenn,

Could I ask you for a piece of advice? My daughter is already attending playgroup . I’m amazed at an early age that she learned a lot like eating independently, wearing her slippers properly, and a lot more things that an ordinary 2 year old cannot do yet. Today, her teacher spoke to me about my daughter beating her classmate. Honestly i don’t want to make excuses for my daughter though i told her teacher that she won’t hit anyone if she was not provoked but still I know that it’s wrong to hit or hurt someone. I was convicted of my actions. Because nowadays, I’ve been disciplining her too much. And sometimes because I have a lot on my plate, I really get impatient with her and shout at her. I can’t help but think that my own behavior has caused my daughter to be aggressive towards another. My husband told me to keep my daughter company first in the playgroup and if her behavior doesn’t improve, we will pull her out of playgroup first. Thank you very much!

From,
Mommy XX

Playgroup

Dear Mommy XX,

Playgroup is nice because it can bring out the best in our children. You saw how it brought out the best in your daughter… she learned to be independent and did all those great things a normal 2 yr old still couldn’t do. In the same breath, playgroup can also bring out the worst in them. When our kids are put in situations where they need to relate with other kids, their tendency to sin usually shows up. There will be situations that will push them to do what is wrong like grab toys, or push, or shout or hurt other kids. When your child does something wrong, DON’T OVER REACT. You don’t need to blow it up and feel so terrible about it because all kids make mistakes. Your child is not defined by one misbehavior. The important thing is you use the opportunity to teach her what is right and wrong. As your child gets older, you can start using opportunities like this one to teach her about man’s sinful nature and why we need Jesus to help us do the right thing.

As a mom too, there are times when i get so impatient with my kids. You don’t know how often that is. I have 4 remember? 😀 It is not always easy to discipline them the right way especially when we are so stressed. I’m glad my husband is here to partner with me too. When my kids misbehave, I also take time to evaluate my parenting because, you are right, the way we discipline them really has an effect on them. If God is exposing some things in your heart, then ask Him to help you make the necessary adjustments.  Apart from the grace of God, we really cannot do it the right way. Thank God He is always there to help us!

I hope this was helpful!

Jenn

CARING FOR OTHERS

I know my kids are not perfect. In fact, I’d be the first one to tell you that they are far from being perfect. But I still love to brag about them anyway. 😀 Below is a story that Ryan’s Grade 1 Adviser shared with Paolo and me:

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Ryan with his classmate Reuben

I gave the class an assignment about “Animals and Their Young”. In class, I told the class to share and discuss their homework with their classmates. Most of the kids were busy sharing their work with one another and some of them were standing in front of me, waiting for their turn to ask me a question.

Ryan was one of those students. Suddenly, Reuben came to me and said, “Ms. Jas, nobody wants to share their homework with me.” He said these words with a gloomy face. When Ryan heard Reuben, he immediately turned to him and said, “Here, look at mine.”

He even explained what he did for his homework to Reuben. I saw a bright smile slowly forming on Reuben’s face.

Ryan put Reuben’s needs ahead of him. He recognized that Reuben needed someone to be with him and acted on it.

Ryan may still be small but he has done a lot of big, caring things for others.

LIFESKILLS: CRITICAL THINKING

Nathan 7yo
Nathan, 7yo here

We met with several of Nathan’s teachers during his first quarter Parent-Teacher Conference. One thing that stood out from their different feedback about Nathan was that he is not afraid to ask questions, to clarify issues or to argue a point. If something doesn’t make sense to him, he doesn’t hesitate to start a discussion about it. If he answers a test question differently, he explains his perspective and requests his teacher to reconsider. I remember when Nathan as a young boy challenged the lines of the ever-popular nursery rhyme Twinkle, twinkle litte star, and explained to me that stars really are not little, and they don’t really twinkle. They just appear to twinkle when seen from the earth due to different factors in the atmosphere.

The ability to think critically is one of the most valuable skills that our children can learn. We don’t want our kids to just keep memorizing information without knowing how to process, analyze and evaluate them. We need to open their eyes to the fact that some questions don’t have just one right answer. If they have discovered another way to solve a problem, they need to feel confident enough to share it. Critical thinking will help them be successful in decision-making and problem-solving.

We can help inculcate critical thinking in our children by constantly engaging them in “why” and “how” conversations. Let us encourage them to always ask questions and to explore different possibilities.

ELMO SAVES THE DAY

Image and video hosting by TinyPicA few days after Joaquin’s fall in the shower, we had to take him to the dentist to know the extent of injury on his teeth. Two of his front upper teeth were moving and now there was a gap in between. Joaquin really has always been good with doctors visits, but since his lips and gums were still very tender and sore from the accident, we weren’t really sure if he would cooperate and sit still during his examination and xray. Thank God we brought along Elmo, whom Joaquin fondly calls “wawa”, and with the supporting role of the Ipod video, together they helped Joaquin cooperate. No screaming, no kicking, just sitting still and allowing the dentist to do her job. But the best part of the check-up was the results of the xray: there were no fractures in his teeth! The dentist said that his 2 mobile teeth should be expected to stabilize within a week or two. Once again, we see God’s healing hand upon Joaquin! Thank you Lord!

HOME-MADE NAIL ART

After Janina’s initial excitement over her cast wore off, she started to feel the weight, literally and figuratively, and the inconvenience of having to carry that cement mold for at least 4 weeks. I thought of a way to get her mind off her predicament and channel her energies into something that will distract her and make time fly faster. Nail art! I told her that with each week that passes, i will get her different colors of nail polish and we will experiment with our own nail art at home. The idea seemed to work because she was complaining less and less about her cast and getting more and more excited about expanding her nail polish collection. We also managed to make our own inexpensive nail dotting tool. We’re still a bit messy and shaky, but here are some of the stuff we did:

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Strawberry design
nail art
Minnie Mouse design
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Janina and her cast win 1st Place in their school's Linggo ng Wika singing contest

No doubt, our children will go through difficult times. It is our role as mothers to think of ways to make tough situations more bearable for them.

WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN?

It’s been a challenging month for us. The kids have been alternately getting sick and a couple of them got into really bad accidents. Getting into the details only make me cringe, so I’ll spare you. I have been tempted to complain, to question, to nag, to run away. And I know it’s not just me. A lot of my friends are nursing sick kids  back to health too as I write this.

So, why do bad things happen? I wish I can answer that. We try our best to keep our kids healthy, to watch over them and protect them, and still, things happen to them. One thing I know though, is what the Bible says about how to respond when unpleasant things happen.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicI read this morning (from 1 Thes 5:16-18) to “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” To be honest, there are times when the last thing I feel like doing is being joyful and giving thanks. One of our pastors said that it’s okay not to want to do the right thing. Yes, he did say that. But he didn’t end there. It’s okay not to want to do the right thing, as long as you DO it anyway. That stuck with me.

I don’t feel like being thankful, but I choose to be thankful because this is God’s will. And don’t we desire to do God’s will? I am thankful that things are not worse. I am thankful that I have a husband who supports me and understands me especially when I overeact. I am thankful that God saw it fit to entrust to us 4 wonderful children. I am thankful that my kids love me unconditionally and see beyond my impatience and mood swings. I am thankful for my family and friends who have stood with me in prayer for my children. I am thankful that Jesus died for me, and if God didn’t spare His one and only Son for us, how much more will He not give us everything else? I am thankful for God’s grace that enables me to be thankful in the first place. Really, apart from God, I can do nothing and I am nothing.

I am thankful!

4 TYPES OF PARENTS

Two weeks ago, I took Ryan to the dentist because I noticed that his permanent teeth were coming out but the milk teeth were still very much intact. The dentist recommended that 3 milk teeth be pulled out to give way for the new ones. As she explained that she would have to administer anesthesia injections, Ryan started to cry and just wanted me to take him home. As a mom, I was faced with a decision. A dominant parent would say “You’re being a baby! Just stop crying, sit still and let the dentist do her job!” A permissive parent would say “Oh son, I don’t want you to cry. Let’s just go home and forget all about the dentist.” A neglectful parent would say “Oh fine! Do what you want to do! I really don’t care what happens to your teeth!” A loving parent would say “I know it’ll hurt but I’ll be here to hold your hand the whole time.”

Image and video hosting by TinyPicA loving parent gives all the love and caring her child needs but at the same time enforces her authority when she needs to. She is sensitive to her child’s desires and needs but doesn’t necessarily give in to everything especially when it’s not for the best of her child. She knows how to balance rules and relationship. She does what has to be done yet gives her 100% support as well. Honestly, I sometimes swing back and forth the pendulum and see myself as a dominant parent one day, and a neglectful one the next day, that’s why I always ask God to help me be the loving parent that I should be.

Ryan left the dental clinic that day sore from his teeth extractions. As a loving parent, or at least that’s what I aim to be :), I sat with him the whole time and massaged his legs during the procedure. Then we went for ice cream.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOAQUIN!

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You’re already two
How fast you’ve grown
We’re so blessed to have you
For our very own

Koya, Tete, Yayan,
Dada and Mama
We’re letting you know
How much we love ya

When you dance to ‘Beat It’
When you wipe your nose
When you pray ‘Bless Buzz’
Your cuteness just shows

We love you so much
Our cute Bubba
Whatever you do
We’ll always love ya

by

Koya Nathan and Mom