For most parents of young tots, engaging their tykes meaningfully with enjoyable, educational and entertaining activities is where the rubber meets the road. And for hands-on supermom Sophia Ng, it’s pedal to the metal at this stage especially! Her firstborn—fresh out of toddlerhood—is now a high-energy, inquisitive pre-schooler, while Sophia’s second, born mere months ago, is already literally finding his feet, with his increasing mobility by the day. The more often things are done together, the better this mom gets at keeping it together!
About me: Sophia Ng, 31, part-time copy editor and full-time mom, who is always on the lookout for fun crafts and activities to do with my kids
Married to: Dominic Ng, 32, public officer
Children: Adalie, 3, Eliezer, 4.5 months
Sophia: Extreme sleep deprivation!
Sophia: Top on the list would be bringing the kids outdoors, be it the park or just the playground downstairs. Anything that gives us some time in the sun and lets us soak in the greenery is always good! We also love cooking together, eating together, and just lazing around together.
Sophia: That would be having to balance love and discipline. There are times where I think I'm too lenient and inconsistent, and other times I'm afraid I may be too harsh. Therein lies the “conflict”: too much love and my kid may become spoilt, too much discipline and it will crush my kid's spirit. Also, setting the right limits for my child and maintaining those boundaries can be tough.
I find it painful when my daughter intentionally disobeys and I have to dole out punishment. I would rather we be happy and having fun all the time, but that’s not the way reality is. Eventually, she has to learn and mature and that's what I'm here for.
Sophia: I unwind with personal projects like knitting or sewing something (which is usually kid-related), scrapbooking, or baking a cake. Ok, I'm starting to sound like Martha Stewart, but yes, those are the things that bring me joy. I thrive on anything that allows me to exercise my creativity.
Sophia: My mom of course, is my role model. Looking back now, I can remember her many good examples as I was growing up, of how to bring up kids. For instance, she made me wash my own school shoes by myself every week, although doing so made my hands all rough. However, she was also the one who taught me how to ride a bike… and she was there, holding on to the back of my seat until I was ready for her to let go.
That's a good analogy for parenting I think. I also have my mom to thank for my favourite childhood memories: the times where she secretly bought something I liked, kept it in a drawer, then would subsequently whip out whenever I did something exceptional.
Sophia: There’re so many awesome things actually: Simply spending time with my kids and enjoying who they are as individuals, as well as seeing their smiles the first thing when I wake up in the morning.
One of my favourite days was spent visiting the Botanic Gardens with just Adalie alone. We ran up and down the slopes, blew bubbles, looked at the swans and fed the fishes. That day really was particularly awesome.
Sophia: "This too shall pass". That line brings me through the worst parenting days. During those early difficult days, it was hard to imagine then that we could even look back with fondness at that period… but now we do and with acquired experience comes the wisdom of realising how fleeting time is. Knowing everything eventually passes away also makes me live for whatever else is eternal, such as relationships and people. I hope to teach my kids not to pursue things like status, wealth, money and power, but rather, love and be of service to others.
Sophia: I’d like for us to eat more healthily! Getting more fruits and veggies in our diets and fewer biscuits and chocolate. Reading more books and watching less TV. Going out to appreciate nature more often, instead of going to the shopping mall.
Sophia: Simple things these days, such as my “threenager” eating her food well, having fresh bedsheets, and going through a day where I don't have any tantrums to deal with. Also, wholesome, hearty food and good eats such as llao llao yogurt ice cream! Meaningful conversation makes my day too. I’m afraid I'm growing old and dull!
Sophia: Comparison is one of the biggest killjoys of parenting—from your methods of child rearing to how well your kids are faring against other children. Each child is unique and has something special to contribute. The world is big enough for all of us!
As parents, rather than think in terms of trying to outdo one another, we should be encouraging one another instead to help our kids pursue the path that is made for them.
Regarding my role as a parent, I feel I would’ve succeeded only by teaching them to do things for themselves—and not simply doing everything for them—so that they’ll be sufficiently independent once they’re ready to leave the nest in future. I intend to do this by loving them as much as possible, including giving them tough love when they need it. I'm not expecting anything in return, but I'm doing this so that they can pass on the love to the next generation.
Kids World is loving this ingenious busy bag activity inspired by Sophia, and how easy it is to make. Great for hours of learning fun at home or on-the-go!
1. Cut out parts of face (hair, eyes, nose, ears and mouth) from felt, and cut a circle for the face itself.
2. Print out and laminate, if possible, sheet showing names of parts of face.
3. Stick hook-side Velcro to the felt, and loop-side to the laminated sheet. The hook-sides will naturally attach onto the base of the felt face.
4. Kids learn about the parts of the face, or can move the pieces around to make different funny faces!
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