Ana Gaby’s son, Evan, climbing yet another tall structure.
“Boys will be boys” people say when they see my two-year-old run around wild and try to jump off the steps or throw sand on his head or when he decides the restaurant table is the perfect race track. Yes, “boys will be boys” I’ve realized, the problem is I don’t really know what boys are like. I learn a new lesson on boyhood everyday as I breeze or trudge through the journey of motherhood.
I grew up surrounded by estrogen. I was an only child until the age of seven and before that I attended an all-girls school and visited with my female cousins often. When my sister was born, my mom, my sister and I created a very special bond that keeps getting tighter despite the distance and space between us. My sister and I grew up in a fluffy, pink bubble where the worst tragedy that could happen in our eyes was related to ice-cream staining our dresses, or our best friend not being allowed to come over for a sleepover.
I was not used to the dirt, rowdiness, sounds and smells that little boys bring into the picture. Nobody told me about the bleeding noses they would give me (product of accidental head butts), or the sore toes (victims of Tonka road accidents), and the fact that I might find dirt and sand in the most bizarre places in my boy’s anatomy. I was not aware of the physicality that entails chasing mothering a very energetic little boy and the taxing toll it would take on my back let alone my manicure. (more…)
Singapore has been dubbed a tuition nation.
Outside of the country, we are known as the “garden city” or the “little red dot” or even the city that banned chewing gum. But internally, we call ourselves a tuition nation. And I’m not so sure that it’s something to be proud of.
According to a recent online survey of 955 Singaporeans aged above 18, 80% of Singaporeans believe that tuition and enrichment programmes help children do better in schools. Spending on tuition has also doubled in ten years to a whopping S$820 million in 2008. These programmes are seen by many as a constructive way for children to spend their time.
I was most surprised to find that almost three in 10 Singaporeans felt that children should start some form of tuition at pre-school age. It made me wonder how many of us are driven by the fear of our children losing out to others versus a legitimate need, for instance, a child who requires some extra Chinese lessons because the language is not used within the home. (more…)
This week we honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the United States. He would have turned 83 this year. In his “I have a dream…” speech, Dr. King said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
This week Eva Fannon, the Saturday Sidebar Editor, asked our World Moms,
“What dream do you have for your child(ren)?”
Check out what some of our moms want for their child(ren)…
Mannahattamamma of United Arab Emirates writes:
“I can’t say anything more eloquent than Dr. King, that’s for sure. Sadly, I think his dream–Barack Obama aside–is still a long way from being reality, which means that my dreams for my kids are the same: that they will be judged by their character and not by their skin or hair or eyes.
Arab Spring suggests that others around the world share King’s dream–and the responses to Arab Spring suggest that as in the U.S., many people are terrified at the idea of change. That’s the big dream.
The small, very local dream? That my kids would stop fighting over whose Lego pieces belong to whom. I mean, we only have about 85 gazillion pieces. Is it impossible to share? Sigh.” (more…)