Don’t call me names, mama!!!

27/07/2012 § Leave a comment

I’m currently reading this book “Raise Happy Children” and reflected on something I did to Amelia (recently) after reading the chapter on “The dangers of labeling”.

So, I called her “silly” girl.

Of course, I had no ill intention behind that (seemingly innocent) word at all. But, was that word within the radial of innocence, it wasn’t, says the book. (I thought it was ok to use it, since I’ve heard parents calling their kids “silly goose” (lovingly). To satisfy my curiosity, I did a quick Google research on the definition of “Silly goose”.

According to the urbandictionary.com, the definition of silly goose is “When someone does something to make you giggle, you call them this.”

Then there are other definitions as well.

2. “A person who is and likes to be silly”

3. “A term of endearment, as long as the principals are straight.”

All right, the next 2 definitions really disturbs me…

4. “Someone who is weird but cool. They make people laugh by being stupid, psychotic, or perverted.

5. “Homosexuals way of seducing young children”

(See more here: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=silly%20goose)

Here’s an insight from the book:

“Negative and often repeated language can have a ‘hypnotic effect’ on children. If you tell children something enough, they will believe it and internalize it. This in turn creates adults with negative beliefs about themselves, which are hard to change.”

(Not that I don’t believe what I read, but I wanted to know the logic behind the insight, so here’s the scientific explanation by DR Neill. “It has to do with the way children learn. From about age three to age nine or ten, children’s brainwaves look like the brainwaves of an adult under hypnosis. When you say something to a child in that age range, it is taken in instantly and without question. The child has just accepted a “truth.” These truths are called “introjects”. Parental pronouncements are swallowed whole and become part of the child’s view of the world. This childhood ability allows the child to learn huge quantities of information, attitudes and values without even thinking about it.”

(Read more here:  http://www.neillneill.com/why-labeling-your-child-can-sabotage-him-for-a-lifetime)

Of course, reading and practicing are 2 separate matters. In my long journey of parenting, I’m sure, there will be situations where my tongue would get the better of me.

Till that happens, I have to remind myself to bit my own tongue and remain Zen…

(Oopps… I can almost hear a teenage Amelia telling me, “Be careful what you call me, or I may turn out to be that!” )

Sharing a proud parent moment (Charting Amelia’s growth at 15 months)

23/07/2012 § Leave a comment

Amelia is my superhero

I think I have supernatural powers! Whenever I scream, mama and papa would give me whatever I want!

Everyday, when I’m back from work, my mum makes Amelia displays her newly acquired skills of the day (if any), and today, she has learnt to say, “Ra-chel” (The name of a knitted toy by Grand-aunty Jean). At 15 months of her growing milestone, Amelia can now walk steadily, run a bit, bounce and sing (La-la-la-la) upon request, but out of all her achievement at 15 months, I’m most amazed by her new ability to communicate, because there is now a proper conversation between us and it makes things slightly easier.

They all say that “Babies are smarter these days!” and I always ponder over that statement. I wonder how different I was (at 15 months), would I have the same capabilities as her? Or is this statement just overused?

Of course, there are logical reasons for that to happen. Researches are better conducted, and there are more books available on the development of the human mind. The accessibility of the Internet is an immediate encyclopedia in search of any burning parenting questions. From advise to “breast feeding techniques” all the way to “what does it mean when your baby bites you?” Parents have also become savvier, and my daughter’s generation will be known as generation Z (Born: 1995-2012, Current Population: 23 million and growing rapidly), What does this means? According to a quick search on socialmarketing.org, it’s known as the Internet generation… “Gen Z kids will grow up with a highly sophisticated media and computer environment”. Though I try my best to limit her exposure to the iPhone and ipad, she has learnt to swipe the screen. Making use of her new skill, she now demands for the “talking teddy” app by saying, “BEAR!”

Reaching her 15-month-old milestone, Amelia has a growing vocabulary of 58 words and counting (Including the people she calls). The list grows longer day-by-day. My mum says that I never learnt to speak that fast at her age (but my mum also says that her memories of my childhood are quite vague). So, the proud grandmother proclaims that Amelia is smarter than me! After showing off Amelia’s new skills to me, she’d ask me, “Amelia Kiang Bo?” (Kiang-bo in hokkien dialect, in translation, “Isn’t Amelia smart?”) {shurg shrug}

Now that Amelia can communicate a little, it makes things more fun on the whole! Of course, that means she can now demand as well and negotiate as well. For example, when she wants to get up from the baby seat, and weekend mornings lazing in bed are not very possible with her requests now. She’II say, “UP!” or “BALL!” (“UP” is “Get up now!!!” The ball is an indication of “I want to go outside and play with my ball!”  As for the rest of the words that she can’t speak yet, she communicates by pointing to that object. Pointing in my opinion, is a more powerful form of communication, because it’s such a distinct request by the little finger, there is no way you can ignore that and it keeps us on our toes. Can’t wait for the day when she is able to form sentences!!!!

A list of Amelia’s current developing milestones

Of course, she can’t pronounce all words to crystal clear at this point of time. Her greatest challenges are words with 2 syllabuses. And she can also fill in the blanks of some songs. ETC. twinkle twinkle little ___(Star), how I wonder what you ___(are), up above the world so high (She isn’t very sure about “high”), like a diamond in the ___(sky), twinkle twinkle little ___(Star), how I wonder what you ___(are).

ETC. ABCDEF_, HIJKLMNO_, QRS, TU_, WX, Y and _(Z)!

ETC. Oh My Sun ____(Shine), Mr Golden Sun, Come on _____ (Shine) on me!

ETC. When we say 1, 2, she will say “3”! or in mandrain when we say yi, er, she will say “san”!

ETC. I think “follow the action books” are great. From the book “Barney says follow me”, Amelia has already learnt to bend down and touch her toes, rub her tummy and make it jiggle, wave her arms all around, stretch her arms, touch her nose, touch her ears and make them wiggle, stamp her feet, cover her eyes and play peekaboo.

ETC. Other actions she can imitate are “Oh-oh!!!” and brings her hands to her face.

Stick out her tongue and open her mouth.

Also, Amelia is now at the stage of imitating words. (Depending on her mood, sometimes, she’II surprise us by repeating short sentences, but it only happens once.)

On her toy piano, she uses a finger to play the notes, instead of banging her entire fist on it a few months ago.

Talk and talk to the child

The initial stage when Amelia was really an infant, it was really a hard thing to do. (As the communication is just one-way.)

So we try to read to her as much as we can and I would think the greatest effort would go to my mum for reading constantly to Amelia since she was born. The grandma, cannot help but keep buying and buying books! (We are not extravagant; we go for even 2nd handbook collections, because we believe that it’s the content that matters.)

When I was pregnant, I was a strong believer in hot housing, but after shortly Amelia was born, my perspective changed.

Hot housing must be done in advantage to the child and more importantly to me; the child needs to be happy.

So, I’m more concern about Amelia’s happiness. (Currently book reading “RAISE HAPPY CHILDREN”)

I’m proud to present you the list of words she can now say:

1. CAT

2. DOG

3. DUCK

4. BABY

5. DOLL

6. BOOK

7. UP

8. DOWN

9. BALL

10. BAG

11. BEAR

12. CAR

13. STAR

14. SKY

15. ARE

16. BOUNCE

17. “Shake-it” (She learnt it while we sing the song “Shake-it like a polaroid picture” to her.)

18. BYE

19. GIRL

20. EYE

21. OUT (I have only heard her say it a few times, after imitating us)

22. MILK (Communication is a good thing, but sometimes, I wish she’s more subtle about it. She now points at my chest and says “Muk”, follows by intently nodding her head…. sometimes in the public. GASP!!! And yes, I’m still going strong at breast feeing for 15 months!!!)

23. BREAD (Apparently her favorite food now!)

24. HELLO (Currently sounds like “Haaooo” and seldom says it)

25. COW

26. DOOR

27. KEYS

28. BIRD

29. EYES

30. Oh-oh! (Action accompanied with her hands placed up to her face

31. RED

32. PLEASE

33. See you

34. PIG

35. SNAKE

36. POP (From the gymboree song “Pop those bubbles!”

37. FOOD

38. WATCH

39. FAN

40. CHAIR

41. EGG (Amelia eats an egg everyday and has a healthy crown of hair. According to the research found by my mum, it’s said that the nutrients in egg helps to promote hair growth) – {shrug}

42. BUS

Mandarin words:

43. POPO (婆婆) Grandma in mandarin

44. PAPA (爸爸)

45. MAMA (妈妈)

46. GONG-GONG (巩龚) – Grandpa in mandarin

47. JIU JIU (叔叔) – Uncle in mandarin

48. Jie-Jie (姐姐) – older sister in mandarin

49. XIE-XIE (谢谢) – thank you in mandarin

50. 狗 – dog in mandarin

51. 猫 – cat in mandarin

52. 鸡 – chicken in mandarin

53. 牛 – cow in mandarin

54. 蛋 – egg in mandarin

55. 马 – horse in mandarin

56. 猪 – pig in mandarin

57. 树 – tree in mandarin

58. 鸟 – bird in mandarin

NAMES OF HER FAVOURITE TOYS

1. SHREK (Name of the disney character that my dad bought her)

2. RACHEL (Name of a doll Grand-aunt Jean knitted for her)

3. Joe (Name of a doll I bought for her in www.catsocrates.com.sg)

4. BERT (from Sesame Street)

Other expressions (Not words, but sounds she used to describe certain things)

1. UUMMM (Means to eat)

2. Woooe-woooe-woooe (One of her first “words”. Imitating the barking of a dog.)

Where Am I?

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