Have you ever wondered why you are the way you are? What makes your brother who he is? Or why your sister is the way she is? Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to these questions but there are some interesting findings in some research about birth order in families.
Many things have an effect on personality, as does genes, parents, environment and so on. Another factor that has been said to have an influence on personality is birth order, i.e. your position in your family – whether you’re the first-born, middle child, youngest in the family or the only child.
So, how do you fit in?
Below are some typical characteristics of the major birth positions. What characteristics do you identify with? And how accurate are these characteristics of your birth order position describe you?
The First-Born Child
First born children are often looked up to by others and automatically, they tend to take on a role of leadership. However, with this role of leadership comes also the pressure to succeed. Parents are often the most strict with first-born children and expect them to “set an example” for their younger siblings, to be the “kakak” or the “tai kor” to the little ones at home.
The traits of first-born children are :
- that they enjoy making other people happy
- highly motivated to succeed
- often seen taking the role of leadership
- jealous or feel neglected when their younger siblings arrive because they are no longer the center of attention
The Middle Born Child
Middle born children tend to feel left out. Some feel like they don’t have a real “place” in the family or that they’re “stuck in the middle”. These feelings result in these individuals being skilled at compromising and getting along with others.
The traits of middle born children are :
- more rebellious than their other siblings
- able to adapt easily to situations
- good mediators and prefer to compromise rather than to have conflict
- likely to develop skills or talents not shared by siblings
- are the most varied in personality compared to the other siblings
The Last Born Child
The last born children are often known as the “baby” of the family. And because they are used to having people do things for them, they often have difficulty making decisions for themselves and also find it difficult to take responsibility.
The traits of last born children are :
- very good at charming others
- considered to be spoiled, demanding or impatient
- often seen to develop abilities that older siblings don’t see
- always seen as the “baby” of the family and thus, expect others to do things for them, make decisions and take responsibility for them.
The Only Child
The only child tends to have a lot of characteristics similar to first-born children. As a result of having the undivided attention from parents, only children are often considered to be self-centered. This is because they never need to learn to share at home or have to overcome conflicts with siblings. Thus, they very often seen to be selfish and they also find it hard to forgive others or even themselves.
The traits of the only child are :
- well organised and tend to be perfectionists
- comfortable with responsibility
- not able to take criticism well
- comfortable with being the center of attention and revel in it
- good at possessing self control
Although research does show that birth order plays a part in shaping your personality, it is not as straightforward as it seems. There are exceptions that play a part on how much birth order plays a role in determining one’s personality. Some of these exceptions are :
- blended families
- multiple births (twins, triplets, etc)
- how many children there are in the family
- spacing of years in between children (whether there is 1 year or 5 years or 10 years between siblings)
Isn’t interesting how one’s birth order can help determine your personality? No matter what position you are in your family, it is important to remember that every person may not “fit” into a particular trait or category. Parents play a monumental part in shaping a child’s life. Some parents make it a point not to stereotype their children and make an attempt to treat each of their children as unique individuals.
And everyone is indeed a unique individual because no one else is the same as the next person. To each his own, or to each her own. Whichever it is, we all have our own quirks and whilst these research findings are interesting, it is also important that we celebrate our individuality and embrace it wholeheartedly.
Managing daily routines help children to develop independence and perseverance. Daily routines are very important and are part of everyday family life. They help children to develop skills they need and over time, children gradually learn to manage routines independently, helping develop the children’s independence.
It may take many months for children to develop skills for managing routines such as dressing themselves, matching buttons to buttonholes, putting on their shoes, learning to tie shoelaces, tidying up after themselves, keeping toys away or helping to set the table. As they keep trying, children learn to persevere. Practice makes perfect and the children also learn patience as well.
Becoming familiar with daily routines is part and parcel of every family. And in being familiar with their daily routines, it enables the children to make choices about their day, organise themselves and their belongings. When children help with routines and daily chores, a sense of ownership comes in and they learn to take pride in accomplishing that task. It also helps to develop a sense of responsibility and learning about the world.
The New York Times published an example of age-appropriate chores for children. It may not all be suitable for our homes in Asia but it gives one an idea of what a child can do at their age. Adapt the chore list appropriately to your family’s needs.
It is not only the “doing” that helps to enrich a child’s learning process, but also the communication of exchanging ideas and generally sharing during the experience. This is where supportive learning comes into play. It is important for an adult to be close by to help, offer advise or encouragement if needed.
Feeling a sense of security gives children the confidence to try new challenges and learn new skills. Working and talking together affords parents an opportunity to truly share their home life with their children, and to use the potential of day-to-day routines to enrich their children’s early learning.
Here are 10 Ways To Create Self-Reliant Learners:
1. Encourage children to do for themselves. Offer support and guidance to children as they learn to solve problems, yet allow them the freedom to make choices and learn from their mistakes.
2. Begin with small tasks. Divide big tasks into smaller ones. As children complete small tasks successfully, move on to larger works. Remember to compliment them when they complete challenging tasks.
3. Plan “free play” periods throughout the day. Children need time to make their own rules, to pretend and to establish boundaries. However, an adult should always be present and learn to stay away from a safe distance to observe the children and offer advise when needed.
4. Schedule daily chores. Using a chore chart, a parent can distribute small chores for each child. Rotate the chores daily or weekly. As the child completes the work, reward them with a sticker by their name. It can be anything that is suitable for your family, such as feeding a pet fish or returning books to the book shelves, putting toys away after they finish playing with them or keeping their room tidy. Chores should be age appropriate so that the child is able to achieve the completion of the tasks.
5. Help children manage their own time. Sometimes, there are children who cannot seem to concentrate on the task given to them. Help children who struggle with time management by structuring their free play and activities.
6. Provide options and choices when possible. Begin by presenting children with two choices and move on to three choices as the child matures. This helps to develop mature and independent thinkers.
7. Finish what you start. Even small tasks should be completed. Never leave it unfinished as it sets a bad precedent. Praise children for following directions and redirect or re-teach when necessary.
8. Return items to their proper place. In the age of having domestic helpers in many homes, it is easy to leave things for them to clean up. However, it is important to teach a child to tidy up after themselves. Label shelves and containers with pictures and words. These cues will help remind the child where supplies are stored, while also promoting language and literacy development.
9. Encourage children to ask for assistance when needed. It is vital that the child knows who to ask for help. If there is an older sibling at home, appoint the older sibling to help the younger sibling, to act as a mentor to the younger ones. Both sets of children will benefit from this interaction.
10. Promote friendships. By making friends, children are able to develop positive self-images and to express empathy and caring for others. Encourage your child to develop friendships at school or their play group. This helps foster caring relationships and also responsibility to each other.
The holiday season gives us plenty of time and reason to bring the children and family out for some fun. And whilst malls filled with fun activities and attractions (and storewide sales) make for a good family outing choice, safety should always come first.
Over the weekend, the nation mourned the dead of a schoolgirl who fell three storeys inside a popular mall in Kuala Lumpur. The unfortunate event serves as a harsh reminder that anything could happen at any time – which is why it’s always best to be extra cautious while caring for children, especially in crowded public areas.
Here are some holiday shopping and mall safety tips to keep the young ones safe.
Talk To The Children Beforehand
Before heading out to the mall (or anywhere at all), parents should talk to their children about safety. Remind them to stick with you at all times, don’t talk to strangers and take note of their siblings. Basically, get the ground rules across to them of what they should and should not do.
Always Accompany And Supervise Children
It doesn’t matter whether it’s the washroom, if it’s to pay for his packet of sweets or even if they’re throwing a tantrum in the middle of the mall – it is always best to supervise and keep children close. Never, ever think that it is okay to leave them alone — even if it’s ‘only for a minute.’
Teach Them To Seek Help
Once you arrive in the mall, point out to your child security guards, mall attendants, clerks and other ‘safe’ people. Tell your child that if he/she were to be separated from you, quickly go to these ‘safe’ people to seek help.
Help Them On And Off Escalators, Stairs, Doors, etc.
It is no secret that children can fall and get caught when they run, walk, sit or play. This is why you should always help and look after them when they move about; especially on a moving escalator.
Take notice of where they place their hands and feet. Loose clothing, along with shoes and boots with soft rubber soles have been known to slip into cracks between steps and the escalator wall, so teach them to keep those little feet planted firmly on the step.
Park Near The Mall
Try to park as close to entrances and exits as you can. If forced to park far away, seek a spot that’s well-lighted or near a well-traveled roadway.
Don’t Bring Them To Shopping Sprees
While it might be tempting to bring junior along during your shopping sprees, it is recommended not to. This is because it is easy to get distracted while you shop, and thus possibly leading to unforeseen circumstances.
The harsh rule is this: either be willing to care for children one hundred percent, or don’t bring them out. If you think you might get distracted, make other arrangements for child care ahead of time. Perhaps you could bring along some extra adult help, or he/she could spend some time with grandma.
Source: Travel Safety
After we talked about Attachment Parenting and Extended Breastfeeding post-Mother’s Day, we decided to ask a couple of our favourite celebrity mothers what they thought about those issues. Read on to find out what model Amber Chia, 30 and TV personality Daphne Iking, 33, have to say, as well as their tips on motherhood.
Amber: When it comes to being attached to my son, I have trained him to be an independent boy. I had to stop breastfeeding him after four-months due to a busy schedule and all the traveling that I do. These days I make sure that I’m not stuck to him 24-hours, so he gets used to the idea of not seeing Mummy and doesn’t start crying everytime I’m not around.
It does take a while, but I’ve noticed after a month or two that he has started to understand whenever I tell him “Mummy has to go work now” and so it’s always important to keep repeating and explaining to them.
Hitting children or using violence is something the older generation prefers to do to discipline children but I don’t think it’s a good way to teach kids. If they do something wrong, teach them to say sorry, or say please, thank you – tell them what’s right.
Daphne: With my first child, Isobel, I only managed to breastfeed her for less than a month due to some turbulence in my personal life at the time. I was a single mother, and thankfully she grew up to be very independent and not clingy. This was probably due to the fact that she had to spend time with my parents, and a nanny as well – but she’s a good girl, and she listens.
After I remarried and had a second daughter, Iman, she was a little harder to let go – but it wasn’t a case of child being clingy, it was the opposite! I don’t know whether it has anything to do with being genetically different or if it is due to the deeper attachment due to breastfeeding, but she does require more attention than the first child.
Daphne: I know it’s healthy and it’s natural, but something about a child who already has teeth growing and still wanting to breastfeed feels a little weird!
I would give breastfeeding a maximum of two years, because it is a very tiring process that takes up a lot of your time. It’s not about not loving your child – but you need to recognise that sometimes it’s more a comfort thing than an actual need for milk, so this is the time to find other ways to comfort them besides breastfeeding so that they grow up to be more independent.
Amber: Personally, I don’t think that kids get any extra benefits or nutrients after breastfeeding for over a year – there’s only so much that breastfeeding can give, and after a while and it’s better for them to get benefits from other types of intake.
3 Tips for Mothers
Daphne: As a career woman who has to divide herself equally between work and home, I do have to stress on having quality time with your children. 24-hours is not necessary, but you do need to set aside alone time with each of them for about two to three hours at least.
There’s no point spending quantity time with them, if you’re only getting angry and annoyed at them which is only natural when you’re trying to juggle a few things at once – the last thing you want is to put more anger into the relationship.
Amber: This is especially true with children these days, quality time is so important. Most kids today don’t get the chance to talk to their parents who are busy working, which often leads to depression or feelings of abandonment. They really need someone to share their feelings or just talk about things that are happening in their lives.
It is my hope to become my son’s best friend when he grows up, so in order for that to happen I can’t be too strict with him.
Daphne: I think mothers should also remember not to neglect themselves and other people in the family. Most mothers often put so much emphasis on their children that they often forget about themselves and their spouse. No matter how tired, exhausted, or unsexy you may feel – always remember about the other ‘baby’ in the house. The role of a woman is such that you need to be able to balance everything in the family and not let anyone feel neglected – especially yourself!
Amber: A lot of mothers tend to overpamper and be overprotective of their kids – making them too dependent and needing their mothers to be everywhere with them!
Let them be independent, while still looking after them and don’t forget to pamper yourself whenever you have some time to yourself. Balance the love!
Daphne: The final tip would be, not to stress yourself out to be the “perfect” mother. A lot of times you’ll hear other mothers asking you “Have you put her in ballet, is she in this school, etc etc..”. Just remember that it’s all right not to go along with the Joneses, but just to encourage your child to be the best they can be.
Amber: As a first time mother, I have to agree – don’t be too nervous or think too much! A lot of mother’s get too ‘kancheong’ and overstress themselves! I learn from my son, because each child has a different personality.
The most important thing is that they’re healthy and for you to enjoy motherhood, and be a fantastic mom!
Both Amber and Daphne are part of the judging team of the Glowing Youthful Mother Contest 2012.
Whether you’re too busy with office or with housework, it is not the best course of action to leave a young one unsupervised.
This incident below is a harsh reminder of the aforementioned statement.
Taking place in China’s Anhui Province, a two year-old girl must have given her parents the shock of their lifetime. The cause?
The little girl had obtained a knife from the family kitchen and cut through four of her fingers. All this while ‘playing house’ and pretending to cook.
According to news reports, it is noted that the girl’s mother was busy in an adjoining room during the time of the accident. Upon hearing her daughter scream with pain, the mother rushed in and immediately brought the young one to the hospital.
The toddler is currently recovering from an eight hour-long surgery of stitching back her digits. While the surgery was deemed successful, it is still unclear whether she would be able to regain back full use of her hand.
Parents, no matter how busy you are, please do not leave your child home alone or unsupervised; especially if they are very young. Accidents are bound to happen, and some might even turn out to be more horrific than others.
Parents, it’s only natural to want your child to succeed and you can see if he or she is on the right track with the right questions.
This school year, make it a point to actively engage with the teachers in your kid’s life. They’d usually be the first to notice your little one’s talent and ability, as well as weaknesses. Get an idea of how your son or daughter is faring in their education with these helpful questions:
“When you’ve given directions on a particular task, does my child get right to work?”
It’d be good to know early if children who stall have trouble processing information or focusing. It could also be an indication there’s lack of motivation or just plain defiant. Check to see if other kids in the classroom have the same problem, or whether they are the distraction. What you want to learn is how the teacher plans to motivate your child so you can start doing the same at home.
“How do you encourage positive and proactive behaviour?”
The way students are addressed in a classroom setting can make a difference in their reaction or response. It is especially important that children are encouraged, not embarrassed so that they have the opportunity to correct themselves and be better.
“Does my child take pride in the quality of his or her work?”
Aside from checking if they’re doing their homework correctly, you should see if your child is driven to perform at his or her best. Find out if the teacher accepts your child’s work as is, or if they expect more. The goal is to see if your kid needs more support with the assigned work.
“Is my child able to find partners for group work?”
If your son/daughter is having a hard time teaming up, it could mean they’re facing difficulty getting along with others; they might be unaccepted socially or just shy. Ask if your kid is bossy, lazy or silly in group efforts. Discuss this so you and the teacher can work to change those qualities.
“How is my child like in class/how is his or her personality like?”
You’d be surprised but teachers often know a different “version” of the kid than the one you see at home. This is because their behaviour tends to vary between home and school setting which may be due to parents expectation, peer pressure, etc. Knowing how different they are can give you and the teacher a deeper insight on why they may do certain things the way they do.
“Does my child like school?”
Though it is one of the simplest questions around, most parents don’t think about bringing this up. Truth is your kid’s enjoyment and motivation toward school is important, as it is an indication of whether the learning experience will count to something bigger in the future, i.e. success, confidence, etc.
Source: The MH Dad
Think running around the playground and soaking up the sun on the beach, the Guess Kids Spring 2014 collection is all about fun!
With the heavy, thick outfits of Winter 2013 out of the way, it’s time to get rid of all those layers to accommodate the hot sunny weather of Spring (aka Chinese New Year)!
Deck your kids up in on‐trend, fun and youthful fashion styles from the Spring collection:
For the Girls
Think sleeveless ombre denim tops, sweet baby doll dresses, and playful ruffled skirts. Denim plays prominent role in this collection and is seen in the form of vests, shorts, dresses, skirts and shortalls in light to dark washes. Pastel colored sweatshirts paired with patchwork denim capris, raspberry and orange tie‐dye dresses with bows are perfect options for a fun day in the sun.
Pops of florals are seen on dresses, tops and denim vests for a sweet touch to any young Guess girl’s wardrobe. Clean white strappy sandals are the perfect finishing touch to every outfit in this delivery for the warmer spring months.
For the Boys
Highlights from the boy’s collection include crisp plaid button‐down shirts and shorts, denim jeans and shorts and a striped purple ombre polo shirt.
A Guess logo tee sported with classic dark wash denim jeans and navy blue canvas sneakers is the perfect outfit for any upcoming spring adventures.
We’re loving the ad campaign guided by Paul Marciano and shot by photographer Luca Zordan, which really captures the free‐spirited children playing barefoot in the sand, enjoying their day at the beach and using their wildly creative imaginations!
The growing up years is crucial for a child’s development. A balanced diet is just as important for the little ones as for adults.
Nutrition plays a strong role in the lives of babies and toddlers. It can be a struggle for parents to know the correct foods and sufficient amount of nutrients that their child needs, more so if you’re a new parent. There isn’t a specific or simple answer as each child will have different requirements. But in any case, growing babies and toddlers do need the following nutrients to stay healthy and build immunity:
Deficiency of this iron is fairly common in the young ones. Babies between 6 and 12 months need 11mg per day and from 12-24 months they need at least 7mg. Iron is important for making haemoglobin to carry oxygen through the bloodstream and store it in the cells. Boost your child’s daily iron intake with iron-rich foods like chicken, beef, infant cereal, green beans or sweet potatoes.
The body uses this mineral to keep bones strong and the heart rhythm steady while supporting the immune system as well as maintaining muscle and nerve function. From 1 to 3 years old, a child needs 80mg per day and from 4 to 8 years old, 130mg daily. Magnesium is present in foods like yoghurt, spinach, soybeans, raisins, lentils, nuts and wheat products.
Your precious tots will need this nutrient to build a strong immune system and regulate normal body function. Generally, from the age of 6 months until 3 years old, a child needs 3mg per day. Zinc can be found in meats like chicken and beef, yoghurt and fortified cereals.
Vitamin C is crucial to help form and repair red blood cells, bones and tissues. It helps keep your child’s gums healthy and strengthen blood vessels, minimising bruising, assists with healing, boost immune system and keep infections at bay. Toddlers need about 15mg per day and you can find Vitamin C in orange juice, guava, papaya, kiwi, broccoli and red bell peppers.
This is an essential supplement for preventing chronic disease in kids. It works to help your child absorb calcium in his or her development of stronger bones and teeth. It is recommended to supplement breastfed babies 6-12 months old with 400 IUs per day and 600 IUs for kids between 12-24 months. Among foods high in Vitamin D include fishes like salmon, tuna and flounder, whole milk and fortified cereal.
About 99 per cent of the body’s calcium can be found in teeth and bones. Between the ages of 1 to 3, your child needs about 700mg per day. Besides building strong bones and teeth, calcium also promotes healthy nerve and muscle function, helps blood clot and assist the body in converting food into energy. There are a variety of food with calcium such as dairy products, spinach, soy beverage and fortified cereals.
You may not think your child needs this but until the age of 2, fat functions to help children’s energy level, brain growth and sustain hunger. Babies need up to 40 per cent of their calories to derive from fat. Be sure to include breastmilk or formula until they turn one. Good sources of fat include whole fat dairy products like milk, yoghurt, butter and cheese, as well as fatty fish, meats and avocado.
Like fat, DHA plays a vital role in brain development during a child’s early years. They’d need 12mg per kilogram of body weight. You can find DHA in fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel or in fortified milk and eggs. Another source of DHA is fish oil, you can give the liquid form to babies and chewable tablets for older toddlers.
Looking to make a healthy and guilt-free, but still ever so delicious snack for your child?
Nutella sandwiches, cut fruits, biscuits, and the occasional keropok – yerp, kids are actually spoilt for choices when it comes to snacks! Though, as with any other food choices, it is better to opt for healthier and homemade finger foods.
Have no fear though, because snacks like these are actually not all that hard to make! Below are some of the simplest, healthiest and yummiest treats that will get a “Mama’s the best!” from your young ones in no time! The best part is that they don’t necessarily have to be just for the kids – you can make more for the family, friends or even for school events
Sweet Potato Fries
Ingredients: 4 sweet potatoes, 2 tbsp. olive oil, and 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Cut each sweet potato in half lengthwise, and place it flat side down. Cut the potato halves into 1-inch-wide wedges.
- In a small bowl, combine the oil, and 1 tsp. of the salt.
- Place the potatoes on a roasting pan and brush with the oil mixture.
- Lay the potatoes flesh side down on the pan and put the pan in the oven.
- Cook for 20 to 25 minutes (until potatoes soft). Remove the pan from the oven and season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Let the wedges cool for a bit, and serve warm.
Homemade Potato Chips
Ingredients: One Russet potato sliced paper thin and salt (optional).
- Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit a plate.
- Lay slices of potato on top in a flat layer. Make sure they don’t touch one another.
- Sprinkle with salt (or other herbs and seasonings) if desired.
- Cover with another sheet of parchment paper.
- Microwave for 5-6 minutes.
- Slices will have become lightly browned potato chips.
Ingredients: Apple, peanut butter and crushed nuts (optional)
Method: Cut an apple into wedges. Dip in peanut butter, and roll in crushed peanuts or sliced almonds if desired.
Ingredients: whole wheat bread , peanut butter, strawberries, bananas and kiwi (or any other fruit of your choice).
Method: Spread peanut butter onto breads to make small sandwiches. Skewer each slice of fruit with sandwich in between.
Parenting is rife with dos and don’ts but more than anything, we’re all just human and bound to make mistakes.
Mum and dad, these are some of the biggest pitfalls that you should avoid committing.
1 ~ “I am responsible for figuring out what my children should become or who they should be.”
As parents, you want only the best for your child. We get it that there’s immense pressure to set them right but it is not your responsibility to figure out the person they are supposed to be. Your job is to nurture and protect them so that they can be their own person. Let them plan out their life and make sure they are well supported with love, positivity and freedom to figure out their path.
2 ~ “I need to keep an eye on them at all times so that they are well-behaved and don’t get into serious trouble.”
You may think that you need to be watchful and do all that you can so that they’ll not screw up (crime, drugs, etc), but parents, what you need is a chill pill. Trust yourself that you’re doing a good job. In trying to instil discipline and moral values, do not be overzealous that you come across as uptight and forget to enjoy the moments with your little ones. Which comes to our next point…
3 ~ “I have to work hard and make sure my children are well-provided for. I don’t have time for anything else.”
Ok, we’re not saying this is wrong. Parents are the caregiver and provider, so of course this is a valid motivation because you need to raise a family. But this should not come as a reason to why you’re missing out on the important moments with your kids. Don’t get caught up with planning out the next day, week, month or year that you forget about the present. Find the right balance between work and family life, and take heart in the joy of all the small things daily.
4 ~ “I can’t, I shall not and I will not fall sick.”
Probably one of the most overlooked person in the family is often YOU. You don’t take good care of yourself enough and let it get out of hand e.g. feeling stressed out from work and not very pleasant to be around. For a family unit to be functional, the leaders of the pack – mum and dad – need to have a balance of rest and structure. Don’t deprive yourself of the care you should be getting in order to make family life a happy one.
5 ~ “I can’t wait for my kids to grow up and move out of the house.”
It’s an often heard grouse among parents that time goes so fast and their kids grow up equally as fast too. While the transition from child to adult will make parenting a wee bit easier, don’t be in such a hurry to see them out of the house. Savour each milestone, event and stage of their life and enjoy the time you have with them. They do grow up too fast and soon, you’ll be faced with the empty nest issues.