Monday, 11 September 2017

What would I do if I had an 18-month old again?

I gave a talk to 80 families whose babies turned 18-months old. That stage feels like so long ago. My eldest is 18 years old! Gosh, did 18 years just evaporate like that? I asked myself: What would I have done differently?

I would have enjoyed them more.

I was hung up on certain things and was too engrossed in wanting to bring them up 'properly'. I was chatting with the hubs, and he has a whole different outlook of their early years.

He really enjoyed their company, and if he could turn back time, he would love to have a bunch of 5 little kids again. Initially when I heard that, I was going to jump at him with the "That's because I did all the work while all you did was play with them" line. However, as I mulled over it, it dawned on me that it was up to me how I chose to see the 'job'.

I saw the tantrums, the mess, the challenges. He saw their joyful responses, the spontaneous cuddles, the happy laughter. That's not to say he did not discipline them - he is the disciplinarian in the house. Rather, he never let one part affect another, nor his mood, which I tended to do.
Baby Kate
I would make time for myself.

A short walk around the block, a phone call to a good friend, a book in the park. I lived with a "not enough time" mentality for many years. I didn't even have time for a decent shower, let alone coffee with a friend.

Finally, I took a 2-week pilgrimage with my mum as she's getting old, and turns out, they could survive without me! I should have given myself permission to take an hour or so every fortnight, or even 15 minutes every day to care for myself. It would have helped my sanity tremendously in those trying days. A happy, recharged mum would definitely make a better mum, don't you think?

And most importantly, this is what I would do differently.

I would discipline them with love.

To discipline is to teach, and because guiding them was a huge part of raising these little people, I swung from a patient, loving mum to a yelling monster, sometimes in the span of minutes and sometimes it became a daily occurrence. With 5 kids under the age of 10, you can imagine how often my patience got tested.

With Kate, I have finally learnt that you can still love your child while in the midst of disciplining them. It was such a radical experience for me, to come from a place of peace and love, standing firm with her boundaries, without feeling my anger or frustration rising with each passing second! It starts with awareness and gets better with practice.

Since I can't turn back time, I can only share these hindsight notes with you :) Happy parenting your little ones!


Other discipline tips (which I've learnt after having 5 kids):

Tip #8: What do you do when your 2-year old lies?
Tip #9: When the gramps can't say 'no'
Tip #10: 6 Tips to stop tantrums in toddlers
Tip #11: Who has the energy to discipline our kids?
Tip #12: What a day out with #1 taught me


~ www.mummyweeblog.com - a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~


Friday, 1 September 2017

KinderBike Morph Hybrid

Kate has been using her Kinderbike E Series for about 2 years and she's been zooming down slopes like a pro. I felt it was time for her to progress to the next stage of adding in pedals.

I contacted Tikes and Bikes and the lovely owner recommended the Morph. She explained that instead of moving to a bigger bicycle with pedals, a gradual transition would be for the child to get used to a bigger and heavier bicycle without pedals first, and once she is comfortable with that, the pedals can be added on.
Kinder Bike Morph
Kate's cycling journey began with her little red E Series when she was 18 months old, and she hops on to her niffy bike every time we go to the playground. It is light and very manageable even though she is pint sized.

It grew with her and I easily extended the handle bar and seat higher as she became taller. Most kids are ready to ride a proper bicycle with wheels when they are around 4-4.5 years old, as their coordination and gross motor skills are developed sufficiently by then.
Wheeee!
She was extremely excited to go down and collect her brand new bike. It came in a huge box, and as I was wondering how to carry it to the car, the lady asked if I would like it assembled. At that, Kate immediately whooped, Yes!

It was fixed up in a matter of minutes and she taught me how to convert the bike to the pedals when Kate was ready. I was thinking that I should have brought the hubs along, but was pleasantly surprised that it was a very simple 1-step maneuver to switch it from a balance bike to a regular bike.
Feels like Christmas
All you have to do is to remove the entire back wheel and replace it with another back wheel which comes with pedals.

Just a simple sliding action, pop in the screw and viola! It morphs into a regular bike with wheels!

It is a very sturdy bicycle, which offers a comfortable ride. The seat and handlebar are adjustable to grow with her.
Balance Bike

Once we were out the doors, Kate got on her new bike and pushed off, thrilled with her new set of wheels.

When we got home, Kate wanted to have a go with the pedals and I changed it back for her. However, she is still not used to the bigger and heavier bike, and could not balance herself enough to lift her leg off onto the pedal.

As we were advised, she needs to get the hang of this bike without the wheels first, the same way as she has been doing with her little E series, before trying to cycle with the pedals.
IMM
I'm certain this new bike of hers will share many adventures in the months to come!

We went down to their warehouse in IMM, but several bicycle retailers do carry their stock as well.

Tikes N Bikes
2 Jurong East St 21
#02-154 IMM Building (warehouse section)
Opens:
Saturday 12-6pm
Cash only.

Disclaimer: We were sponsored the KinderBike Morph Hybrid. All opinions are our own.

~ www.mummyweeblog.com - A blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~
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