Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Mummy tricked Rowena

Pic of girls at the playground

Rowena has a runny nose and cough. Thanks to me. My office is going through a renovation and it is so dusty. Anyway, I was trying to give her some cough mixture. She took less than quarter of a teaspoon and she pushed the spoon away and walked off. I tried to give the balance to her but she kept pushing me away.

Finally, I tried, “Rowena – you want chocolate. There chocolate’ and she immediately opened her mouth and took in the balance of the medicine. Then she looked a little puzzle - probably wondering why this chocolate taste so weird

HaHa! 1-0 for mummy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Taming toddlers

I found this interesting article on Familydoctor.org about getting children to behave better. Now that Harvynna is 3 years old, she can be really, really naughty - the kind of naughtiness that has increased my grey hair to an uncountable amount. What makes it harder is she knows how to answer back. Nowadays, she really gets it from me, then I feel so bad for scolding her.

This morning, she opened the car seat belt that holds Rowena's car seat, and the car seat toppled to the side (with Rowena inside). I had to pull up to the side of the road and fix the seat. While doing it, I was screaming at Harvynna and Rowena just looked at me with the puzzled look.

Every weekend, Harvynna will distract Rowena when Rowena is trying to get her afternoon nap. Rowena, too will take this opportunity to play and run all over the place with her sister. The only thing that scares Harvynna now is the BIG BLACK DOG, the dragon and the naughty man. But now, she will call for the dragon or black dog to come and take Rowena.

Reading all these articles from the west, they are really against spanking children and try to adopt talking to them or other methods. I am trying to use the 'reward method'. We'll see how it goes.

Here's the excerpt from the article:

What can I do to change my child's behavior?

Children tend to continue a behavior when it is rewarded and stop a behavior when it is ignored. Consistency in your reaction to a behavior is important because rewarding and punishing the same behavior at different times confuses your child. When your child's behavior is a problem, you have 3 choices:

Decide that the behavior is not a problem because it's appropriate to the child's age and stage of development.

Attempt to stop the behavior, either by ignoring it or by punishing it.

Introduce a new behavior that you prefer and reinforce it by rewarding your child.

How do I stop misbehavior?
The best way to stop unwanted behavior is to ignore it. This way works best over a period of time. When you want the behavior to stop immediately, you can use the time-out method.

How do I use the time-out method?

Decide ahead of time the behaviors that will result in a time-out--usually tantrums, or aggressive or dangerous behavior. Choose a time-out place that is uninteresting for the child and not frightening, such as a chair, corner or playpen. When you're away from home, consider using a car or a nearby seating area as a time-out place.When the unacceptable behavior occurs, tell the child the behavior is unacceptable and give a warning that you will put him or her in time-out if the behavior doesn't stop. Remain calm and don't look angry. If your child goes on misbehaving, calmly take him or her to the time-out area.If possible, keep track of how long your child's been in time-out. Set a timer so your child will know when time-out is over. Time-out should be brief--generally 1 minute for each year of age--and should begin immediately after reaching the time-out place or after the child calms down. You should stay within sight or earshot of the child, but don't talk to him or her. If the child leaves the time-out area, gently return him or her to the area and consider resetting the timer. When the time-out is over, let the child leave the time-out place. Don't discuss the bad behavior, but look for ways to reward and reinforce good behavior later on.

How do I encourage a new, desired behavior?

One way to encourage good behavior is to use a reward system. This works best in children over 2 years of age. It can take up to 2 months to work. Being patient and keeping a diary of behavior can be helpful to parents. Choose 1 to 2 behaviors you would like to change (such as bedtime habits, tooth brushing or picking up toys). Choose a reward your child would enjoy. Examples of good rewards are an extra bedtime story, delaying bedtime by half an hour, a preferred snack or, for older children, earning points toward a special toy, a privilege or a small amount of money.Explain the desired behavior and the reward to the child. For example, "If you get into your pajamas and brush your teeth before this TV show is over, you can stay up a half hour later." Request the behavior only one time. If the child does what you ask, give the reward. You can help the child if necessary but don't get too involved. Because any attention from parents, even negative attention, is so rewarding to children, they may prefer to have parental attention instead of a reward at first. Transition statements, such as, "In 5 minutes, play time will be over," are helpful when you are teaching your child new behaviors.This system helps you avoid power struggles with your child. However, your child is not punished if he or she chooses not to behave as you ask; he or she simply does not get the reward.

What are some good ways to reward my child?

Beat the Clock (good method for a dawdling child)Ask the child to do a task. Set a timer. If the task is done before the timer rings, your child gets a reward. To decide the amount of time to give the child, figure out your child's "best time" to do that task and add 5 minutes.

The Good Behavior Game (good for teaching a new behavior)Write a short list of good behaviors on a chart and mark the chart with a star each time you see the good behavior. After your child has earned a small number of stars (depending on the child's age), give him or her a reward.

Good Marks/Bad Marks (best method for difficult, highly active children)In a short time (about an hour) put a mark on a chart or on your child's hand each time you see him or her performing a good behavior. For example, if you see your child playing quietly, solving a problem without fighting, picking up toys or reading a book, you would mark the chart. After a certain number of marks, give your child a reward. You can also make negative marks each time a bad behavior occurs. If you do this, only give your child a reward if there are more positive marks than negative marks.

Developing Quiet Time (often useful when you're making supper)Ask your child to play quietly alone or with a sibling for a short time (maybe 30 minutes). Check on your child frequently (every 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the child's age) and give a reward or a token for each few minutes they were quiet or playing well. Gradually increase the intervals (go from checking your child's behavior every 2 to 5 minutes to checking every 30 minutes), but continue to give rewards for each time period your child was quiet or played well.

Why shouldn't I use physical punishment?

Parents may choose to use physical punishment (such as spanking) to stop undesirable behavior. The biggest drawback to this method is that although the punishment stops the bad behavior for a while, it doesn't teach your child to change his or her behavior. Disciplining your child is really just teaching him or her to choose good behaviors. If your child doesn't know a good behavior, he or she is likely to return to the bad behavior. Physical punishment becomes less effective with time and can cause the child to behave aggressively. It can also be carried too far -- into child abuse. Other methods of punishment are preferred and should be used whenever possible.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Tag: The Meaning of Harvynna & Rowena's Name

Got tagged from Malaika's mummy. Good one so next time the girls will know how they got their names.

Harvynna - actually the name itself does not mean anything!! But since my hubby and I were dating many moons ago, we decided that if we ever have a child (daughter), we would call her Harvynna.

We combined both our names and hence,

Harvey + Rina = Harvynna

Of course, we changed the spelling by adding 2 'n's to glamourise it a bit. I think Harvynna is a very unusual name since it originated this way. I am sure people will mispronounce her name when she goes to school!

It was kind of weird to hear our family members and friends calling Harvynna by her name when she was born as it was always a fictatious name we referred to during those dating days.

For Rowena, we hadnt really thought of any names as we were not sure if it was going to be a boy or a girl. I was looking through several websites and found some rather exotic girls names (looking at Hindu, Indian and Sanskrit) names but found most of the boys names rather boring or someone we know has that name.

My MIL also came out with a list. There were some shortlisted ones like Isha, Raveena, Priyanka and some boys names too.

In the end, after Rowena was born and while I was having post C-section pains, hubby and I were thinking of a name. Since Harvynna had a 'H' name, we decided that Rowena will have a 'R' name. Then only fair what!!

We were trying to recall the names my MIL suggested, and hubby suggested Rowena (it was not in the list - he mistook Raveena for it) and I immediately said, 'OK'! (Sounds more universal!)

My SIL, Vindi sent us an email with the meaning of Rowena's name, and here it goes

The girl's name Rowena \ro-wena, rowe-na\ is pronounced roh-EEN-ah, roh-ENN-ah.
It is of Old German origin, and its meaning is "fame and happiness".
Also possibly (Welsh) "slender and fair".
Rowena was the name of one of the two heroines in Sir Walter Scott's novel "Ivanhoe" (19th century).

Instructions :**Start Copy**Proposition: What is the meaning of your kid’s name?Requirements: write about what or how or why you giving the name to your kids.

Quantity: FIVE PEOPLE.
Tag Mode:1st - You leave their blog and post link and add to the list below.
2nd - Let the blogger you want to tag know they been tagged by comment in their blog or etc

The Meaning of My Kids’ Names - Justin and Isabelle
Judy - Meaning of the name TERRY
Yvonne - The meaning of Ryan's Name
Chew Lee - The meaning of Malaika's Name
Rina - The Meaning of Harvynna & Rowena's Name

Thursday, May 17, 2007

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Rowena's growing up

Rowena is starting to babble and ‘talk’ more now. She was always the quiet one (probably overshadowed by boisterous Harvynna), but now she is starting to make her presence felt.

Words she says:

A-ma : meaning mummy (Harvynna tries to correct her – It’s Mummyla, what ama, ama?)

De-de: meaning daddy

Bebe: meaning baby

Bava: meaning Barney

Wowo: not sure what she is referring to. Though she can look at daddy and say ‘wowo’!

There: as in there!! She loves playing peek-a-boo and says’there’ when she appears

And other phrases I am still trying to figure out e.g.

She does this cute, ‘gaje gaje gaje.

I think she understands quite a bit like if she sees me carrying any clothes, she will lift up her t-shirt and tug at her pants indicating she wants to be changed. And it I take off her clothes, she will walk straight to the bathroom.

Her favourite pastime is digging through the dustbins. Her dad is convinced that she is a future DBKL or Alam Flora employee! If you can’t find her, just go to the kitchen and you will find her going through the dustbin. She will be very excited if she finds something like a coffee satchet or empty milk carton.

She loves music and taps her hands on her legs when there are any familiar songs. Its kind of strange as she seems to know some of the rhythms and songs Harvynna learnt at the Musikgarten classes. Hmm, she probably absorbed some of that while in my tummy

I am glad Rowena is catching up fast as I feel kind of guilty that she was not given much attention and stimulation like Harvynna did at that age. Harvynna had all the flash cards, books read to her daily, and one to one attention, poor Rowena only had secondary attention.

I must say that Rowena has a very loving character and is always smiling.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Baby stars

Checked out this site and saw the characteristics of my gals. Looking at it, its really quite true. The difference in their character is quite obvious. Every single characteristic of Harvynna really matches except for the part of being generous!!

Characteristics of young Taureans:

Strong & active
Determined & strong willed
Quiet & gentle
Late developers

Characteristics of young Ariens:

Strong & active
Determined & strong willed
Early developers
Affectionate & generous
Imaginative in play