You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they’re going.
~ P. J. O’Rourke
The day finally arrived when I got to meet this long lost girlfriend, Yen, from almost 20 years ago whom I adore greatly. We were really good friends during college years, sharing good camaraderie, life’s joy and sorrow and as we went separate ways to pursue our own dreams, we somehow just lost contact completely. We have tried to find each other over the years as we got married and had kids but it just didn’t happen until we found each other over social media. It was a reunion too long in the making and too short for two kindred spirits trying to connect the dots of the past decades. One thing led to another and soon our happiest little family got invited to her lovely home to meet with hers.
As our children went out to play in her lawn fascinated with Yen’s pet ducks under the warm sun, Yen sat next to me in her sofa, looked deep into my eyes and said, “Hey, I don’t know how you do it but you have got soooo much patience for your children!” Surprised, I asked her back, “What do you mean? They are my own!”
“You answered EVERY SINGLE question your kids ask. It’s like one second you were eating, passing the salt and pepper, carrying on conversation with us, laughing, and next when one of them asked, Mama, why does Aunty’s house have ducks for pets? and you went, oh yah, ducks are the next best thing for farm education and cultivation of love for animals, and then you came back into the conversation with me about your job! Amazing, did you know you were doing ALL THAT?”
I chuckled, “well, we are mommies; we can multitask! But don’t you answer your kids’ questions, no matter how amusing they are?”
“Yes and no. Yes when I know the answer and when I have the energy for it, but No when I feel like I have just been run over by a truck after a tough day at work!” Yen said it with the same intelligent sparkle in her eyes for which I have seen so many years ago.
Just then, Pumpkin Mei-Mei popped her head through the window and asked, “Ma, are these two ducks husband and wife?” “I think they are, I don’t know, you would have to see if they are very loving like husband and wife!” I replied thoughtfully.
“See? See? You did just that! Gosh, you answered EVERY question!” Yen said comically and I couldn’t help but laugh along.
Before I could even say anything, Cheeky Koko ran into Yen’s living hall with Yen’s son Julien and asked, “Ma, do these ducks lay salted eggs or ducklings?” This time, Yen replied on my behalf, “I think they would lay eggs which would then hatch into ducklings but sweetie, salted eggs are different eggs that have been processed.”
I nudged Yen’s arm lightly and said with a smile, “Oh wow, you learned fast! Now you are like me, you have an answer for everything,” and we both chuckled along.
Child developmental experts say that up to 70% of a child’s brain cell connection occurs when they interact with their environment and that children ask questions because they are curious about the world around them. They say that an inquisitive mind is an indication of a child’s positive mental developmental process. (The Timing and Quality of Early Experiences Combine to Shape Brain Architecture, Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University.)
I am a firm believer in the whole notion that smart question produces smart answers and no questions produces nothing. Ever since the kids learned how to asked, I have made it a point to literally stop whatever I was doing and give some thoughts to their questions before I give my reply to them. I feel that it is important to feed my child’s curiosity and influence her attitude to learning with what I know rather than letting her find the answers from the wrong source of information.
I may not know every answer to all that they ask, but in those situation when I really do not have an answer, I would admit to them that I do not know but that I would find that out for them and get back to them. I mean, we are raising the street smart Gen Y now or what they call, Generation Why, who define young children with a string of Who, What, How, Why, When and Where to help them learn and explore the world around them through the questions that they ask.
As I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, what was focused on was the IQ (Intelligence Quotient) development of a child and in the 90s, the buzz word was EQ (Emotional Quotient). As a modern mom, there is an additional intelligence factor that is often overlooked or misunderstood called the Multiple Intelligence which is needed as part of the right ingredients to bring up an all-rounded and wholesome kid.
Now I am learning that all three aspects – IQ, EQ and Multiple Intelligence are equally important in the moulding of a child’s holistic character and outlook for life so that one day he will grow up to become a well-rounded adult.
Fret not if this is completely alien to you.
The Anmum Essential Gen Why Workshop on 31 May (Sat) & 1 June (Sun) held at The Oval, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, from 10am to 10pm will let you hear first-hand from professional child psychologists and nutritionists who will share their knowledge and expert advice in raising up wholesome kids. Just register here!
Of course, the right nutrition ensures wholesome development of a child. *Anmum Essential™ formulated milk powder for children contains important nutrients such as GA (Gangliosides) and DHA for children’s brain development.
Some parents find their children’s endless questioning annoying. On the other hand, I find that the window of time in which we could positively influence their character-building, minds, spiritual and social development are very small and thus we should never give up in giving our best to them, including our time, our knowledge and most importantly our love.
Yes, we don’t really know if two ducks are husbands or wife but we sure know a thing or two about the origin of salted egg that will never come straight from a duck mama.
*GA (Gangliosides) is a type of special complex lipid which plays an important role in brain development and function. GA helps with brain cells connections and play a role in the transmission of signals between brain cells. The more brain cells connect, the faster children learn. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid and a building block of brain cells. DHA helps support the period of rapid brain development especially during the first five years.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/leecullivan/2581128432/”>shoothead</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/susivinh/7019888809/”>susivinh</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>
Mama duck and ducklings:
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/bahketni/3462886218/”>bahketni</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>