#107 – Conflict Resolution

 

“Your mouth is smelly. I don’t want to sit next to you. Go to another seat.” That was what L’s best friend in class said to her last Friday. L bottled it up inside her and only let me know about it when I noticed her being extremely quiet and sad looking before bedtime on Friday night. With a bit of probing, she told me what happened to her that day.

She considered this girl to be her best friend and plays with her a lot during school time. I can really see that it broke her heart when she said that to her. I asked L what she said or did when she heard it and L told me that she moved away and found another seat. My heart was torn into pieces. I am upset that my little girl was unable to stand up to the “not-so-nice” comments and failed to react in a more confident way. There’s no way that her mouth was smelly since she drinks plenty of water and she practices good oral hygiene by brushing properly after every meal. But then again, I realized that L is only 3 years old and as a parent, I need to educate and reinforce to her over and over again on how to deal with such conflicts. She must learn to be able to handle it well cos similar events are bound to happen again, that’s a certainty.

I shared with L’s teacher and asked for her opinion as I recognized that it was a learning moment. I must say that I was rather disappointed with her response. She brushed it aside and said that it’s probably just a fart. She assured me that she would speak with that classmate of L’s. So when I picked L up later that day, the teacher updated me that she spoke with the both of them and got them to hug and make up after an apology. Hmmm, I wonder if there’s a better way to approach this type of issues in pre-school children.

#80 – Enrichment Class for L

 

Here in Singapore, we are fortunate to have domestic help. What comes with it though, is the problem of our kids adopting domestic helpers native accent and lingo. I am trying very hard to correct it for both L and my domestic helper. I think I can do with a little external help. With a some research, I signed L up for Lorna Whiston. It helps that L truly enjoys the class and adores the teacher, so much so that she asks to attend the class everyday (it’s only a weekly class by the way)! The school is also very confident that the kids will demonstrate visible improvement over the course of the year. The teacher/parent communication is also very regular and constructive. Overall, I’m very pleased with what I signed up for and I too, look forward to their class every week.

On the other hand, I went for trial class with Berries for L’s Chinese enrichment and I found that it didn’t live up to its reputation. When I got there, the place was cramp and super noisy, not to mention the chaos caused by admin staff, teachers, kids and parents and it was definitely giving me headache. Nevertheless, I dropped L off for the trial class and I waited outside for her. Although it was only a 1.5 hour class, I couldn’t wait outside for long since the place was not conducive to sit around as it was open-air, hot, stuffy and not cafes at all. There were only benches in the hot sun scattered around.

I decided to drive to my mum’s place (to kill time there) since it’s only 5min away. I picked L up after the class and the local teacher (rather elderly too) gave her feedback on L and updated me on what they did in class. L enjoyed the class as always cos it involved song and dance too. When I checked with other parents what another Chinese centre Chengzhu offered, I found from the materials that the Chinese standard taught at Berries was much lower. With that in mind, I enrolled L in CZ instead. To L, CZ is a familiar environment as her first year of Chinese exposure was spent there. She simply loves her teachers there and I can tell that the feeling is mutual. 🙂

So now, besides English and Chinese enrichment, she does swim class as well as Shichida. She has been attending the latter for a year now and I can’t attribute her development solely to it even though I have been diligent in terms of doing the home practice with her. When I asked the centre on how to chart her progress and asses/analyze the learning outcome, they did not reply to my email despite it being 4 weeks since I sent it. I’m not impressed with this at all. If they are confident of their product and service, it shouldn’t take so long. I’m seriously contemplating withdrawing her after this term.

#74 – Biting Incident

L’s “nemesis”, Kate, in Chinese class (more like mine..haha!) has gone too far. She did not give way on the slide and when L said “excuse me”, instead, she turned around attempting to bite her. My helper was there and put a stop to it right away. My helper later informed me and I was, as expected, fuming mad. I decided to speak with her mother straight away. She apologized to me. She explained that Kate has been biting her at home too (I was shocked and I wondered why she’s condoning it). A moment later, she also got Kate to apologize to L.

I thought about it over a couple of days and decided to inform the form teacher about it as well. She said she was unaware of the incident and will pay more attention to Kate’s behavior. My eyes are peeled on Kate every time we are in the same play area together. This girl spells danger.

#56 – Shichida

I signed L up for Shichida as it was renowned for babies’ brain development. L was already 21 months by the time she attended the first class so it’s considered late since parents send their babies to such classes as early as 6 months! Some even start Shichida before the baby was born! I personally think that’s taking it a tad too far but nonetheless, it’s an admirable feat for the care provider as it takes a lot of effort to do it consistently, especially the home practice bit.

I’m not sure about L but I was totally swarmed by the fast pace and the contents of the first class. There were six students accompanied by their caregiver in the class with one teacher. Besides flash cards, there were other activities to train their senses, imaging, memory link, eye training etc. I don’t even know if L understood the instructions, much less carrying out the task.

Second class was a bit better; at least I could follow the instructions. Lol! I think L also was less reserved and did better in terms of colour and shapes matching. 🙂

As the classroom is small, if any kid is not cooperative and get fussy, the environment then gets less conducive for the rest to concentrate during class. But that’s difficult to control so it’s best to bring the kid outside the classroom and wait until he/she is calm before re-entering the classroom. I’ve been lucky cos L has been a very good and adaptable thus far. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this continues. 🙂

#52 – Wo Ai Ni

With constant coaching and reinforcement at home since a month ago when she started attended Chinese playgroup, L has been able to say “Wo Ai Ni” which means “I love you” in Mandarin. However, whenever the teachers coax her to say it in class, she’d always shy away. Today is the first time that she said it loud and clear which triggered a loud applause from the teachers as well as other parents. You see, L (being the youngest in class) was one of the toddlers who can’t really say the words. What a breakthrough today!

And then when I brought her to my mum’s place in the afternoon, she uttered her first Cantonese words too. I quickly recorded it and now it’s in my safe-keep. I’m so pleased with L (and myself). It makes my staying home and coaching her all worthwhile.

 

#46 – Mandarin Exposure

S and I decided to expose L to the Mandarin language via a formalized channel since it’s hardly spoken at home, although we are both decently educated in the language. The day before school started, I was so excited…almost like going to school myself. Since it’s play school in nature, L did not have to wear uniform. After all, she’s only 18 months old.

I was there early to help her settle in and be familiar with the new environment. Once she saw the indoor playground, she was immediately drawn to it. She was so engrossed that she didn’t want to join her little classmates when the class started.

Although the program was two-hour long, it went by in a flash, as the programs were interesting and packed back-to-back. There was song and dance, dramatized skits, art and craft, play and snack time etc. L was fully immersed in Mandarin, which to her, it must be like watching a foreign language movie, at least for now. J