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Ensuring that your child will be able to build a solid foundation during their developmental years requires a strong partnership between you and your child’s early childhood education teacher. By working together, you and the teacher can build on each other’s efforts and foster an environment that supports your child’s growth at home and in school. The good news is that many early learning institutions and schools for kindergarten in Singapore have programs in place to keep parents updated on their children’s progress. It’s in your child’s best interest if you can actively participate in such programs and collaborate with their teacher. Here are the different ways in which you can nurture a strong partnership with your child’s early childhood education provider.

Maintain Open Communication

Keeping an open line of communication is the foundation of a strong parent-teacher partnership. Connect with the teacher by attending parent-teacher meetings and orientation sessions. These interactions create a space for sharing valuable insights and receiving feedback about your child’s progress. It’s an opportunity for you and the teacher to establish a common understanding of your child’s needs, goals, and expectations as well.

Respect the Teacher’s Expertise

It’s important for parents to recognize that early childhood educators are professionals with specialized knowledge in child development. Keep their area of expertise in mind and trust their judgment and experience in guiding your child’s learning journey. By respecting the teacher’s practice, you demonstrate your willingness to collaborate effectively with them.

Support Classroom Activities at Home

Engaging with the curriculum and classroom activities at home is a powerful way to support your child’s learning and reinforce their teacher’s efforts. Get started by asking the teacher about the curriculum and the specific activities your child is involved in. Knowing these details empowers you to initiate activities that extend learning experiences beyond the classroom. At the same time, encourage your child to participate in class projects and assignments to put what they’ve learned into practice and to foster their love of learning. Your active involvement in their educational journey can positively impact your child’s motivation and progress. 

Attend Parent Workshops

Participating in workshops and training sessions organized by your child’s school or teacher is an excellent way to gain insights into teaching methods and strategies used in the classroom. These sessions offer an opportunity to understand your child’s learning environment better and how to engage with them effectively. By actively participating in such events, you show your commitment to your child’s education and your drive to work together with the teacher.

Volunteer and Get Involved

Offering to volunteer in the classroom or participating in school events and activities is a hands-on approach to building a partnership with your child’s teacher. Your involvement in the classroom highlights the level of support you are willing to offer teachers and fosters a sense of community within the school. It also allows you to witness your child’s interactions in the classroom and demonstrates your commitment to taking responsibility for their educational experience.

Establish a Regular Routine

Maintaining a consistent daily routine that includes dedicated time for homework, play, and rest is crucial for your child’s well-being and development. Establishing routines helps young children feel secure and supported both at home and in the classroom. At the same time, following a pattern of activities at home enables you to share information about your child’s daily routine with the teacher. These details, in turn, can help them align their teaching strategies to best suit your child’s needs and habits. Coordinating your efforts in this manner strengthens the partnership and ensures your child receives consistent guidance.

Stay Informed about School Policies

Familiarize yourself with the school’s policies and procedures. Understanding and adhering to these guidelines demonstrates respect for the educational institution and its staff, including your child’s teacher. Following these policies is also a key step in fostering a harmonious learning environment for your child and the other learners in the school. 

Address Concerns Respectfully

If you have concerns about your child’s progress or any aspect of their education, address them respectfully and privately with the teacher. Constructive dialogue allows both you and the teacher to work together to find solutions. It’s essential to approach any concerns with an open mind, as being receptive to the teacher’s insights and expertise can provide valuable perspectives in resolving issues or challenges your child may face. 

Show Appreciation

Express gratitude and appreciation to the teacher for their hard work and dedication. A simple thank you or a note of appreciation can go a long way in fostering a positive working relationship. Recognizing and acknowledging the positive impact that teachers have on your child’s life encourages them and shows that their efforts are valued.

By incorporating these tips into your approach as a parent, you can build a strong and mutually beneficial partnership with your child’s early childhood education teacher. This collaboration benefits not only your child but also the whole classroom and school community by creating a positive and supportive environment that is conducive to the little ones’ growth and development.

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is getting ready for the opening of World of Frozen, the world’s first and largest “Frozen” themed land, on 20 November. Inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios’ films, ‘Frozen’ and ‘Frozen 2’, which are among the biggest animated films of all time, World of Frozen will transport guests to the cinematic and living land – Arendelle. Guests will delve into this immersive travel destination, with its captivating stories, beloved characters, culture, stunning landscapes, enchanting music, and cutting-edge technology for the first time in forever by celebrating Summer Snow Day and enjoying the fun-filled attractions such as Frozen Ever After and Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs.

Explore the Living Land of Arendelle and Celebrate Summer Snow Day

Summer Snow Day commemorates the day that Anna saved Elsa and the kingdom with an act of true love. Guests are invited to visit this whimsical realm and rejoice in the lively festivities!

World of Frozen puts a number of iconic scenes in the ‘Frozen’ movies to life. Some of its signature spots include the North Mountain, with its peak as the highest point in Arendelle; the Ice Palace where Elsa unleashes her icy powers freely for the first time; Arendelle Castle, home of the royal family; the Bay of Arendelle, featuring the small fishing boat that Anna fell on when she met Prince Hans, Clock Tower where Anna danced with Prince Hans; and Friendship Fountain where Elsa uses her magical powers to freeze its water into beautiful snowflake ornamentations.

Image Credits: Hong Kong Disneyland – Friendship Fountain

Guests can also immerse themselves in the joy of the Summer Snow Day celebration by taking a Frozen Ever After journey to meet Elsa at her Ice Palace that is open to all for the first time, embarking on a wondrous adventure on Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs, enjoying a unique interactive play experience with Anna and Elsa at Playhouse in the Woods.

Image Credits: Hong Kong Disneyland – Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs

To prepare for the Summer Snow Day celebration, guests can immerse in the enchanting festivities with a special outfit. Wear rosemaling patterned clothes, add glittering ice-inspired face paint, and style the hair like Elsa or wear a cape like Anna to show the love for the royal sisters.

No visit to Arendelle would be complete without indulging in its exquisite cuisine and exploring its charming shops, which are deeply rooted in Nordic history and culture. Do not miss Golden Crocus Inn and Bayside Wharf for a taste of local delicacies inspired by traditional Nordic dishes, grab a bite at Forest Fare or sweet treats at Northern Delights.

Image Credits: Hong Kong Disneyland – Golden Crocus Inn Main Course

Visit Tick Tock Toys & Collectibles and Traveling Traders for a delightful shopping experience, where guests can find the perfect souvenirs to bring home cherished memories. Complete the magical Arendelle journey by staying at one of the enchanting resort hotels and participate in themed recreation activities that will make the Arendelle experience truly unforgettable

Pushing the Boundaries of Creativity to Bring ‘Frozen’ to Life
World of Frozen is the next level of immersive storytelling like never before. The world-class expertise of Walt Disney Imagineering pushed the boundaries of creativity to bring Arendelle, the home of Anna and Elsa, to life through extensive research with inspiration from Norway.

Image Credits: Hong Kong Disneyland – World of Frozen Map

To promote the enchanting beauty of Arendelle, Olaf has been appointed as the global ambassador by Anna and Elsa to extend a heartfelt invitation to all corners of the globe for the Summer Snow Day celebration in Arendelle!

Key Highlights at World of Frozen

Image Credits: Hong Kong Disneyland – World of Frozen
  • Perfectly Blends the Unique Natural Landscape of Hong Kong – World of Frozen seamlessly integrates with Lantau Island’s natural landscape and the design of North Mountain, providing guests with expansive views of both. The seamless transition between artificial landforms and natural surroundings embraces guests entirely in World of Frozen.
  • Integrates Inspiration from Norway to Create a Must-visit Travel Destination – Inspired by, Norway the themed land features a town that allows guests to discover Arendelle. The scenery, architectural design, clothing and cuisine, are all infused with rich Norwegian elements, including “Dragestil” (dragon style) architectural style, Balestrand’s asymmetrical architecture, and rosemaling floral decorative paintings.
  • Dances between Reality and Magic through Enchanting Music – The team worked with award- winning composer, Andrew Cottee, to rearrange the iconic music from the movies for World of Frozen, with various tunes played in different locations throughout the land, to tell stories with strong emotional connections. The cinematic music builds the perfect ambience for guests to feel the story of Frozen with different senses.
  • Re-creates Cinematic Features with Meticulous Craftsmanship and Extensive Research – Disney Imagineers spent over three years in concept and design, working in partnership with artists and storytellers from Walt Disney Animation Studios, to accurately depict cinematic features in World of Frozen. The team analysed ice textures, colours, and how these relate to Elsa’s emotions to recreate her Ice Magic. Attention was paid to every detail including various forms of ice and snow, and different materials were studied and experimented to truly represent the Ice Palace and icy ornaments.
  • Brings ‘Frozen’ Characters to Life through Advanced Technology – Frozen Ever After is the first attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort to feature Walt Disney Imagineering’s most advanced, all-electric Audio-Animatronics® figures, which bring to life characters like Anna, Elsa and Kristoff with amazing realism.

Hong Kong Disneyland Appoints Klook Travel as the Designated Booking Platform for World of Frozen Launch

Hong Kong Disneyland is thrilled to announce the appointment of Klook as the designated booking platform for the highly anticipated launch of World of Frozen themed products in the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore. As part of this exciting collaboration, a series of unique World of Frozen experiences and products will be made available exclusively on Klook Travel. This collaboration will enable the resort to continue enchanting fans worldwide with Disney magic, inviting guests to embark on a journey to the kingdom of Arendelle, and become part of the beloved Frozen story, found only at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Guests who book through Klook Travel will have the exclusive opportunity to be among the first to explore World of Frozen with a special hotel package on 4 November 2023 before its official gate opens on 20 November 2023. In addition, guests can also purchase the “One-Day Ticket with Early Park Entry Pass” to enjoy a hassle-free experience. Passholders can enjoy early park entry, allowing them access to the park 1 hour before the official opening time.

Image Credits: Hong Kong Disneyland -World of Frozen In-Room Celebration

To learn more details, please visit https://www.klook.com/activity/39-hong-kong-disneyland-resort- hong-kong/ and book your trip to this whimsical realm now.

At present, around 7.2% of children and adolescents aged 18 and below—approximately 129 million individuals globally—are living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in some form. In spite of this mounting prevalence, however, many stereotypes and misconceptions still surround the condition. These unfounded myths remain an unfortunate problem in conservative societies like Singapore, for all that concerted efforts on the part of concerned groups have helped lessen the stigma around ADHD and other mental health conditions over time. 

Myths about ADHD not only misrepresent its true nature but also fuel harmful biases that can lead to discrimination. As a result of these misconceptions, people with ADHD may be singled out or excluded at work and school. They might also face difficulties in their interpersonal interactions and their relationships with others. The traumatic influence of such experiences—which can range from emotional hurt to physical violence—is protracted in many cases and even lifelong in some. Thus, it’s important for people without ADHD to be mindful of their language and to challenge stereotypes in order to foster a more accepting environment for those living with the condition.

Unsure of how to speak about ADHD or how to hold a conversation with someone who has it? Here are five things you should never say—and some more constructive things you can say instead.

ADHD Isn’t Real

Though many skeptics still assume ADHD is a made-up condition, it is in fact widely recognised by medical professionals and backed by decades of scientific research. These studies indicate that ADHD has biological origins and can significantly impact various aspects of an individual’s life. Most frequently, it impairs their concentration. ADHD individuals may also struggle with social interaction and impulse control.  

Furthermore, abundant literature is now available on how ADHD can be diagnosed and treated. By pursuing a professional ADHD assessment in Singapore, individuals who suspect they might have the condition—or people who might suspect that their child or another loved one could have the condition—can even access a wealth of clinical interventions and resources that they need to manage it.

Dismissing the existence of ADHD undermines the experiences of those who live with this condition daily. Instead of contributing to this myth, it’s crucial to educate oneself about ADHD and understand it as a real neurological condition. A more considerate way to converse with someone who has ADHD might be to admit that you don’t know a lot about it and ask them to tell you about their experience. This shows respect and a willingness to learn and understand.

ADHD Isn’t a Big Deal

ADHD manifests differently from case to case, but there’s no denying that it can severely compromise an individual’s well-being and ability to function. It can hamper their capacity to focus, regulate their emotions, and manage their time. It can also interfere with their academic performance, work life, and even personal relationships. To minimise it undermines the struggles and challenges that people with ADHD face daily.

When interacting with someone who has ADHD, rather than trivialising their experiences, it’s more supportive to acknowledge the difficulties associated with the condition. Acknowledging that ADHD can be hard to navigate and asking about how it impacts the person personally can help facilitate a more understanding and empathetic interaction.

ADHD Is Overdiagnosed

Many people without ADHD may look at rising diagnosis rates in recent years and come to the conclusion that the condition is overdiagnosed. At baseline, it is true that people suspected to have ADHD are more likely to be diagnosed today than in previous years, when the condition was less well-understood. However, this precisely indicates that knowledge and awareness of the disorder have risen over time. Diagnosis and testing methods for ADHD have also been refined over the years. Diagnosing ADHD today involves a thorough evaluation process, usually requiring input from several sources, including parents, teachers and medical professionals.

Jumping to conclusions about overdiagnoses perpetuates disdainful attitudes towards the condition and those who have it. It’s ultimately more compassionate to focus on the individual experiences of those diagnosed. If someone shares their diagnosis with you, a thoughtful response might be, “I understand that getting an ADHD diagnosis involves several steps. It must be a relief to have clarity about what you’ve been experiencing.” This acknowledges the complexity of the diagnosis process and validates the individual’s experience.

People with ADHD Are Just Lazy

One of the most detrimental stereotypes about individuals with ADHD is the assumption that they’re simply lazy. This belief wrongly reframes ADHD as a character flaw rather than a neurological disorder. People with ADHD often struggle with to manage their time and work in an organised manner, but they are almost never ignoring their responsibilities or putting off their tasks deliberately. These individuals often have to put in extra effort to accomplish tasks that others might take for granted.

Instead of furthering this misconception, a more supportive stance would be to acknowledge the hard work that those with ADHD often put into everything they do. Try a comment such as, “I can see you’re working hard. How can I best support you in your tasks?” It provides a platform for them to voice their needs and reassures them that their efforts are recognised and valued.

ADHD Is Just Boys Being Boys

ADHD is diagnosed more frequently in boys than in girls and nonbinary individuals, particularly in childhood. However, this discrepancy may reflect differences in behaviour between the sexes and diagnostic biases rather than an actual prevalence. Girls with ADHD, for instance, may exhibit less perceptibly hyperactive behaviour, leading to them being underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

Assuming that ADHD is primarily a boys’ condition perpetuates gender biases and insinuates that individuals of other genders are less likely to experience severe symptoms. It also minimises the challenges faced by boys with ADHD and chalks them up to simply being “bad kids,” which can be immensely damaging to their self-esteem. Instead, it would be ultimately more productive to comment on how knowledge and awareness of ADHD have improved over the years, leading to more diagnoses and access to treatment for affected individuals.

Constructive conversations about ADHD require all participants to remain open, understanding, and supportive of people with the condition. Proceeding with this attitude in mind, it’s entirely possible to eliminate harmful misconceptions and create an environment that validates and supports those with ADHD, one respectful discussion at a time.

Having a maid take care of household chores gives you more time to focus on more important things, like working on your personal and professional improvement, spending time with your family, or enjoying leisurely pursuits. However, finding a good maid that suits your household’s needs can be a tedious process. 

Many Singaporean families struggle to find a helper who’s a good fit with their household, and as such, they tend to rely on a maid agency Singapore families trust to help them with the task. That being said, it’s important to have awareness of some of the mistakes that could get you stuck in the hiring process in the first place. Here are some of them:

Not Complying with the Rules Set by the Ministry of Manpower for Employers

In Singapore, there are two primary ways you can hire a maid: hiring a maid directly or through a maid agency. Choosing to hire a maid directly has several benefits; you have more control over the hiring process, you don’t have any agency fees to pay, and you’re able to build a good relationship with your maid from the start. But before you can even start the process of hiring a maid, you need to comply with the requirements set by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) first.

According to the MOM, you’re qualified to be an employer if you meet the following criteria:

  • You’re 21 years old and above
  • You’re not an undischarged bankrupt
  • You have the mental capacity to fully understand your roles and duties as an employer

Since maids in Singapore must live with their employers, you’re given a large set of responsibilities to ensure the safety and well-being of your maid. As such, you need to be of sound mind and have the financial capacity to support your maid’s compensation and basic needs.  

If you’re hiring a maid for the first time, you need to attend the Employer Orientation Programme (EOP). This 3-hour programme is designed to help you understand your role and responsibilities as an employer of a foreign domestic worker. Attending the EOP in a classroom will cost you around 35 SGD to 60 SGD. Attending the programme online, on the other hand, will cost you 35 SGD.

Being Unfamiliar with a Singapore’s Work Permit Requirements for Maids

The MOM also created a list of requirements maids need to fulfil for them to receive their work permits. The requirements are as follows:

  • Maids have to be female (male maids are allowed under extremely rare cases and are usually hired to take care of the male elderly)
  • Maids must be between 23 and 50 years old
  • Maids must at least have eight years of formal education
  • Maids must come from approved nations, such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand.
  • Maids must not be on a tourist visa or sponsored by another employer

If you plan to hire a maid directly, you should familiarise yourself with these requirements. Otherwise, you could be fined between SGD 5,000 and SGD 30,000, imprisoned for up to 1 year, or both if you’re caught employing a foreign domestic helper without a valid work permit. 

You should also be knowledgeable about the basic duties of a foreign domestic helper. Generally, a maid is tasked to do the cleaning, shopping, cooking, and washing and ironing of clothes. They can also take care of children, elderly family members, and pets. If you deploy your maid to do work that’s outside their job description, you could face legal repercussions.

Choosing a Maid Agency That Offers Rates That Are Too Good to Be True

Working with a maid agency is a more convenient solution if you don’t have the time or experience to hire a foreign domestic helper. Agencies have a large selection of highly trained and skilled maids who can perform their duties with great efficiency. As such, you’ll have an easier and quicker time finding a maid. If you’re having trouble choosing a maid, the agency will gladly match you with a maid that fits your requirements. However, most agencies will charge you between 1,000 SGD to 3,000 SGD for their services. This fee usually includes the cost of your maid’s insurance, airfare, and application.

To save money, some Singaporeans would rather look for an agency that offers cheaper rates. Though there’s nothing wrong with finding ways to cut your expenses, choosing an agency that offers services for a price that’s too good to be true isn’t the ideal compromise. Agencies that charge lower fees typically don’t have the best candidates to offer or have a history of providing their clients with inefficient applicants. They also might not provide their domestic helpers with proper training, medical care, insurance, or security bonds. 

You want to hire a maid because you want your home, kids, and elderly family members to be well taken care of. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to work with a dependable agency that can help you get your money’s worth. To find a maid agency that offers excellent services at a reasonable price range, it’s good to do some research. You might also want to visit the agencies’ websites to check their legitimacy and to read comments from their previous customers.

Hiring a maid in Singapore can be challenging, and many Singaporeans may find themselves making mistakes that can lengthen the hiring process. However, if you familiarise yourself with these three common mistakes, you can save yourself the hassle of encountering problems when hiring directly or through an agency.

Sending your child to preschool is one of the first major milestones you’ll experience as a parent. It can be a bittersweet moment, as you realise that your baby is slowly becoming the amazing adult they have always been destined to be. Leaving them in another person’s care after bonding exclusively with them for years can also bring about a wide array of complex emotions, questions, and fears. How will your child respond when left alone in a brand-new environment for the first time? Will they get along with their teachers or peers, or will they have a hard time acclimatising? 

It is important that you get your little one ready for success as they start their journey in a preschool Singapore parents trust. This article will discuss five common concerns parents have about sending their children to preschool, and what you can do to prevent or manage any of these problems if they occur. 

Separation Anxiety

Going to preschool will be your child’s first experience of regularly being away from you for an extended period. It is common for some children to begin crying, throwing a tantrum, or clinging to their parents on their first day. This may make you feel sad and worried about your child, but you need to be firm and make it clear to them that you will see them again after a few hours. 

You can also make the transition easier on your child by giving them a familiar object that they’ll associate with home. For example, a family photograph or access to their favourite toy or blanket will make your child feel less scared about being away from you and more trusting of the fact that they’ll see you again later. 

Bullying

Bullying is another common concern parents have once their children enter preschool, and it’s in your best interest to look out for subtle changes in your child’s behaviour that may indicate that they’re being bullied. Most children don’t admit to any form of bullying, which makes it difficult for parents to address. Nevertheless, if you notice your child having an extreme reluctance to go to school, being suddenly withdrawn, or complaining of frequent headaches and stomachaches, take it as an opportunity to encourage your child to open up to you. 

It would also be a good idea to teach your child phrases and behaviours that will protect them in situations where they’re being bullied. For example, children should learn how to say “No” or “That isn’t very nice, I am going to play with someone else.” If the bullying persists, teach your child to go to their teacher. While you may feel the need to step up and address the situation yourself, teaching your child how to be self-sufficient and how to stand up for themselves will help them grow into a more independent person. 

Your Child Not Performing Well Academically 

All parents want their children to excel in school, and while it is the easiest stage of formal schooling, preschool is oftentimes no different. However, all children are different and some may learn faster than others. It is essential that you don’t place too much emphasis on academic performance, especially during your child’s younger years. During preschool, your child’s learning priorities should pertain to communicating and socialising with their peers and developing crucial developmental and character strengths, such as empathy, kindness, and respect. 

Don’t be too hard on your child if they cannot read, write, or do maths as quickly as you’d like them to. Most kids learn these skills when they are ready. Take the pressure off them and ensure that preschool is the time for them to learn other, but equally important skills. 

Boredom

Conversely, if your child masters their preschool material too quickly, they may become bored and start acting out. Acting out can encompass behaviours like no longer paying attention in class or annoying classmates. In these situations, it’s best that you speak with your child’s preschool teachers and come up with ways to help your child stay engaged while in class. 

Although it may seem strange at first, boredom may be a great issue to take into consideration while surveying the program of your intended preschool. A great childcare program should include a comprehensive curriculum that is taught using a specially designed, integrated, and holistic approach to learning. As early as before your child enrols, talk to school staff about how you can deal with an issue that’s as complex but also as commonplace as boredom. 

Your Child Being Too Shy or Too Bossy

Some children may respond to sudden changes in the environment by becoming too shy or too bossy with their classmates. You can prevent either scenario by talking to your child before their first day of school and explaining the importance of getting along with everyone in their class. 

Teach them that while being assertive is a good thing, being overbearing to their classmates is not. In the same vein, while keeping quiet when someone is talking is considered good manners, being too withdrawn can be seen as impolite. You know your child best, so work with them to create a game plan that they can follow when they start attending preschool and interacting with other kids. 

Key Takeaway: It’s Okay To Worry

It will always be difficult to wean your child away from you, but thankfully there are many resources available that can make the process easier. The concerns mentioned above will only become hindrances to your child’s success if you allow them to be. Take the steps now to prevent more serious problems and to set the precedent for a happy preschool experience, including choosing the right childcare program in Singapore. That way, you’ll be assured that the first day of class—and all the days that come after it—will be as happy and stress-free as possible. 

Multicultural Singapore is no stranger to diversity. Since the beginning of the country’s post-independence history, Singapore’s mainstream school system has sought to accommodate the needs of the country’s ethnic Chinese, Malay, and Indian populations. This has proven to be a remarkable undertaking given that most of the world’s school systems practice systemic forms of cultural chauvinism that elevate one group over others.

However, there is a growing realisation that Singapore’s publicly funded schools, while already diverse by world standards, may not be keeping up with the growing cultural heterogeneity that has resulted from the country’s leading role in globalisation. Thus, there has been an increased demand for educational options that offer even more diverse learning environments.

Compellingly, there is plenty of evidence supporting the benefits of a diverse educational background, particularly in early childhood. In particular, a meta-analysis of educational diversity studies by The Century Foundation, a New York-based think tank, associates student exposure to a variety of different perspectives with better learning outcomes. Here are some of the many benefits of diverse learning backgrounds according to current scientific understanding.

Diverse Learning Environments Help Build Confidence

Putting students from an outsider culture in a homogenous learning environment may impair their self-esteem and consequently degrade their ability to overcome various challenges. School systems that encourage diversity can help students from various backgrounds maintain and cultivate their self-confidence, ultimately allowing them to pursue their development on their own terms.

Students in Diverse Communities Feel More Understood

The feeling of being understood is important for a young person’s sense of identity, mental health, and ability to become a fully formed individual. This is especially important for young children of expatriate families, as many will struggle to fit in the kind of environment present in local school systems meant to accommodate native cultural diversity.

Fortunately, Singapore is now home to a variety of international schools that offer a wider multicultural experience that’s appropriate for children in the expatriate community. Expat parents can easily now find choices for an American school in Singapore as well as schools catering to other nationalities.

A Multicultural Environment May Stoke Lifelong Curiosity

The underlying sameness of a homogenous school community can often lead children to make assumptions that their experiences are universal. This may, unfortunately, make them less curious about their surroundings than they would be, otherwise.

On the other hand, children in a diverse school community will often develop a curiosity about cultures different from their own. Once developed, their curiosity will often manifest in other parts of life, providing a firm foundation for their intellectual development and academic success.

An Education Steeped in Diversity Teaches Inclusion

Students who have contact with peers and educators from backgrounds different from their own may develop a positive attitude toward inclusion. A positive perception of inclusion is highly beneficial as it helps mould children to be accepting, respectful, and empathetic individuals. This can help them profoundly later in life as they interact with people from different social and cultural backgrounds.

Diversity Helps Young Children Learn How to Socialise Appropriately

Individuals who have a homogenous cultural upbringing often struggle when they’re placed in different social and cultural contexts. Education in a safe multicultural environment can do much to mitigate these kinds of challenges. Children who frequently interact with peers from different cultures are often better at understanding different social norms, making them more capable of navigating a wider set of social situations. Thus, children who have inclusion as one of their values may be better equipped to thrive in an increasingly globalised environment.

Children Feel Safer in a Diverse School Community

Children from outsider cultures often feel less safe expressing themselves in a homogenous learning environment, as their differences can be misjudged and make them targets of bullying. In contrast, a diverse learning environment may allow students to be true to their own cultures without fear of negative consequences, making it easier for them to develop a positive attitude toward learning.

Diversity Sparks Creativity

Being part of a diverse community exposes children to different ideas and more ways of doing things. The increase in the number of potential inputs makes it easier for children to draw unexpected connections when they generate their own ideas. Additionally, diversity allows for more cross-pollination of different ideas, potentially creating a richer pool of ideas and further stoking more creativity in the school community.

Multicultural Education Helps Prepare Students for the Real World

It’s often said that school environments do not resemble the real world, and this is much truer for homogenous learning environments. Without frequent exposure to people from diverse backgrounds, students can develop a skewed view of the world around them, which may make it more challenging for them to thrive outside of their school.

A more diverse learning environment, on the other hand, can help students acclimatise to divergent value systems and thought processes, making it easier for them to understand experiences outside of school. This makes it easier for them to build positive lasting connections with others from different social and cultural backgrounds.

There Is Strength in Diversity

Diverse school communities bring together children and other individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, creating a rich and engaging backdrop with which to frame educational experiences. Having your child enter a school with a culturally and socially diverse community is likely to not only help them academically, but also assist in their holistic growth, moulding them into tolerant and outstanding individuals even when outside the school system.

Hong Kong, a vibrant city known for its bustling streets, skyscrapers, and delicious cuisine, is a must-visit destination for travellers. With the covid restrictions in Hong Kong eased, my family and I seized the opportunity to explore this fascinating city and enjoyed its unique blend of cultures, history, and modernity.

We chose to fly with Singapore Airlines, and it was a comfortable and enjoyable experience. The flight was smooth, with friendly and attentive service from the flight attendants. The in-flight entertainment was excellent, with a wide selection of movies, TV shows, and games to choose from. As we brought our children along for the trip to Hong Kong, we did not have the luxury of time to enjoy the in-flight entertainment.

Singapore Airlines offers a range of services and amenities for travellers with children to make the flight more comfortable and enjoyable for both kids and parents. These include kid-friendly meals, entertainment options, and activity kits with games and toys to keep little ones occupied during the flight. There are also baby changing facilities on board, and the crew is happy to assist with any special requests, such as heating up baby food or providing extra blankets and pillows.

Throughout our trip, we stayed at the Royal Plaza Hotel, which is located in the heart of Mong Kok. This luxurious hotel offers spacious rooms with stunning city views and amenities, including a fitness centre, swimming pool, and multiple dining options. The hotel’s central location made it easy to explore the city, and we like how convenient and accessible it is.

One of the attractions we visited in Hong Kong was the Cup Noodles Museum. Located in the Kowloon Bay area, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and production of one of the world’s most popular instant noodle brands. We even created our custom cup noodles to take home as souvenirs. However, if you have been to the Cup Noodles Museum in Japan, you might consider giving this a miss.

Another highlight of our trip was exploring the vibrant Mong Kok Street. This bustling district is famous for its street markets, which sell everything from clothes and electronics to street food and souvenirs. We spent hours wandering through the narrow alleyways, admiring the colourful neon signs and soaking up the lively atmosphere.

We also visited Fung Ying Seen Koon temple. The temple is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit, offering a unique glimpse into Hong Kong’s rich spiritual traditions. Nestled amid lush greenery, Fung Ying Seen Koon features intricate architecture and artwork. We enjoyed the peaceful ambience and the chance to learn more about the history and traditions of Taoism.

Our trip to Hong Kong has been a memorable and enriching one. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or delicious food, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. Travelling with two young kiddos was fun but tiring. Here are some tips that we have if you’re planning to travel to Hong Kong with young children:

  1. Pack plenty of snacks and drinks to keep your children fueled throughout the day. Hong Kong is a busy city, and you may find yourself on the go for hours at a time.
  2. Bring comfortable shoes and clothing for both you and your children. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, and the weather can be hot and humid.
  3. Consider bringing a stroller or carrier for younger children. Hong Kong’s streets can be crowded and uneven, so it’s important to have a safe and comfortable way to transport your child.
  4. Plan your itinerary with your children’s interests and energy levels in mind. Hong Kong has a lot to offer, but it’s important to pace yourself and prioritise the activities that your children will enjoy the most.

Psst. If you recently won yourself a round-trip Cathay Air Ticket to Hong Kong or planning a trip to Hong Kong this coming Easter, we have some exciting news for you!

Pirata Group, the city’s undisputed leader when it comes to memorable dining experiences, is taking things one step further with a variety of egg-citing promotions across all venues. From tandoor towers and unlimited sushi to all-you-can-eat chocolate dessert stations and limited-time Easter brunches where kids eat for free, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy before or after partaking in the many kid-friendly activities around town. So, hop to it and start making those Easter memories with Pirata Group’s guide to the best things to see, do and savour in Hong Kong this holiday season!

Central

Victoria Peak, otherwise known as The Peak, has always been a must-visit Hong Kong destination for its iconic views and historic funicular railway. After a major upgrade that was completed last year, The Peak Tram now offers an even more exciting and efficient experience with new, larger-capacity green-coloured tramcars and an array of entertainment zones showcasing the area’s intriguing history and wildlife. Once at The Peak, be sure to check out Monopoly Dreams, the first Monopoly-themed attraction in the world that features an array of AR and other interactive experiences. Then, make your way to Sky Terrace 428, which at 428m above sea level is the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong. From here, the whole family will be wowed by 360-degree panoramic views across the city and harbour, which are impressive morning, noon or night! 

“SomeBunny Feed Me!” Easter brunch menus with free-flow champagne and all-you-can-enjoy chocolate buffet at Chaiwala & TokyoLima, 7–10 April 2023

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, it’s just a quick tram ride back to Central for a special Easter-themed dining experience. Fans of modern Indian cuisine won’t want to miss Chaiwala’s “SomeBunny Feed Me!” brunch feast (HK$388pp, HK$398pp champagne free-flow, HK$198pp classic free-flow) complete with a trio of chaat for sharing, choice of vegetarian or mutton biryani, a tandoor tower and dosas for sharing, and choice of six curries. A children’s menu is also available for HK$50. For a taste of innovative Japanese and Peruvian fusion food, head a few blocks north to TokyoLima and its adventurous take on “SomeBunny Feed Me!” (HK$398pp, HK$398pp champagne free-flow, HK$198pp classic free-flow). Designed for sharing, the brunch feast begins with a selection of appetisers including causa and ceviche before moving on to the Weeknd Salad, Edamame Hummus and Pop Ki-Mo-Chi, and finishing with a choice of mains such as chicken katsu with aji panca rice or pan-fried mackerel with potato puree and Nikkei escabeche. Both brunch menus are available 7–10 April 2023 and include an extravagant all-you-can-enjoy chocolate buffet – so be sure to leave some room!

Sheung Wan

Tsim Sha Tsui & West Kowloon

Just a short ride on the Star Ferry or a quick trip on the MTR from Hong Kong Island and you’ll find yourself in the always-buzzing Tsim Sha Tsui commercial and entertainment district or the up-and-coming West Kowloon cultural district. Must-visits on this side of Victoria Harbour include the new M+ Museum showcasing some of the world’s foremost collections of 20th- and 21st-century visual culture. The Herzog & de Meuron-designed building and surrounding outdoor spaces are worth a visit even on their own. After admiring the architecture, budding builders should definitely check out Legoland Discovery Centre. The ultimate Lego indoor playground is designed for children ages 3-10 and features workshops, play areas and even Hong Kong’s top attractions built out of bricks. Finally, burn off any residual energy at Kids Kids Car indoor electric-vehicle driving playground. The 20,000 sq ft space has three different themed zones where kids can zoom around and even experience various occupations. 

Enjoy limited-time Easter specials at Pici & The Pizza Project, 5–10 April 2023

Cap off your Kowloon adventures at neighbourhood Italian spot Pici, which from 5–10 April 2023 is offering two limited-time additions to everyone’s favourite pasta bar brunch. The new specials are available all day and include the lavish Truffle Carbonara (HK$190), a tagliatelle with black truffle, guanciale, pecorino and Japanese egg yolk; and the Coppa Malu (HK$140) a velvety mousse dessert for two made with 70% chocolate, whipped cream and almond meringue. The famous, much-loved Italian treats are available all around the city, with more branches in Lai Chi Kok, Sha Tin in the New Territories but also buzzing Causeway Bay, Wan Chai, and Central amongst other prime locations. Another must-try Italian Easter dining destination for the whole family is The Pizza Project in Central – check out the two limited-time specialsDown the Rabbit Hole (HK$160), a pizza with a red hot chili cheddar stuffed crust, testa di coppa, black garlic pesto and fior di latte; and Bu-Nana (HK$65), a sweet treat consisting of banana and chocolate ganache stuffed gnocco fritto, dusted with icing sugar. 

Stanley

Tired of the hustle and bustle of the city? Let’s head over to Stanley for a lovely seaside stroll with your little ones. The Stanley Bay promenade is a picturesque boardwalk overlooking all the small boats parked at the bay – this is a scene you can’t find in other parts of Hong Kong. With a backdrop of colonial heritage buildings, lots of locals come here to walk their pets and enjoy a peaceful afternoon. 

Looking for a seaside cafe to enjoy the view? Pirata has got you covered! Located on Stanley Main Street, Pane e Latte will celebrate Easter with spring specials across three weekends from 1–16 April. Feast on Bomboloni al Torroncino (HK$48), a nougat cream-filled doughnut covered in chocolate couverture; the Gnocchi di Pasqua (HK$158), a dish featuring spring vegetables, ricotta and poached eggs; and the Easter Egg (HK$78), a sweet treat made with lemon madeleine, strawberry jam and fromage blanc. A giant, eye-catching Easter basket and eggs will also be installed at the bakery for the ultimate holiday experience. 

Don’t miss the limited-time Spring specials at Pane e Latte, 1–16 April 2023!

Easter is an incredible time to enjoy Hong Kong’s fine weather, fun attractions and friendly hospitality. Hop over to piratagroup.hk to start planning your mealtime celebrations and make this year’s holiday your most memorable one yet!

I never knew how tiring parenting can be until I experienced it for myself. I mean I have heard from my friends who embarked on parenthood earlier than me but because it is something that I have never experienced myself, it is difficult for me to put myself into their shoes.

Now that I’m going through this phase of life, I can truly empathise with what all parents go through. Any regrets? No. I don’t know how to explain it to people but when I have Mikayla sleeping on my arms and she lets out a random laughter/chuckle, she literally warms the cockles of my heart. 

Parenting is a learned experience, and the tiredness is real but rewarding. Every time Mikayla cries at night, it felt like an unceasing turnout drill for me. Coupled with the three-hourly feeding, it’s almost like guard duty or an endless Charlie Mike.

Now I know why almost every hamper that we receive contains Chicken Essence and / or Bird’s Nest. We literally have to use them to toil through those rough nights.

One product that I was recently introduced to is Ginseng Essence and it is a product that I don’t often see or hear about other than the Korean Red Ginseng Extract which I came across during my trip to South Korea.

Ginseng is highly prized and many health studies were done to ascertain its benefits. It is believed that Ginseng can help combat fatigue, protect liver function, improve mental health, lower blood sugar level, strengthen the immune system, provide antioxidant protection, and improve concentration and focus.

If you do a Google search for Ginseng Essence, Lao Xie Zhen’s Premium Ginseng Essence will show up, and so, I had the chance to try Lao Xie Zhen’s Premium Ginseng Essence and this opportunity came rather timely as I was gearing up for the late nights.

The Premium Ginseng Essence is 100% natural and does not contain any preservatives, additives, and stabilisers. Rich in Ginsenosides (up to 400mg / 60ml), the Ginseng Essence is made using premium top grade full length American Ginseng and White Ginseng from the Changbai Mountain in China.

Like almost all herbs, the Ginseng Essence tastes bitter but it is not all that unbearable; and even though the ingredient list states rock sugar as an ingredient, I wasn’t able to taste any tinge of sweetness.

Now, I usually take my morning breakfast with coffee; but ever since I started having the Ginseng Essence, it has been an excellent replacement for my daily dose of caffeine. In fact, I have observed my mental alertness going up, especially in the morning and sustaining throughout the day while I’m at work. While mixing ginseng and coffee seems like a novel idea, I haven’t tried it myself and will probably give it a shot.

For 14 bottles of Premium Ginseng Essence (2 weeks’ worth of supply), it cost SGD$85 (about SGD$6.07 per day) and it is the perfect gift for working professionals, elderly, and new parents like us.

Ready to get Lao Xie Zhen’s Premium Ginseng Essence?

Visit Hao Yi Kang, the sole product distributor here in Singapore, and enjoy the health benefits that ginseng can bring.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all opinion are my own.

It’s been quite some time since I wrote about my own personal life and yay, I’m officially a father of one now! Jacqueline gave birth to Mikayla at Mount Alvernia Hospital nearly a month ago, and truly, it is a special moment that we have all been waiting for. 

The Beginning… 

We experienced our first miscarriage in July 2018 and after that difficult episode, we sought Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment to optimise our chances of conceiving. 

Our TCM Physician 

To prepare for pregnancy, we visited Dr Chong at Ban Choon Wah Medical Hall and through his patience and the Chinese herbal medicine that he prescribed to us, Jacqueline was able to conceive naturally on September 2019 (1 year 2 months after the miscarriage). If you have difficulty trying to conceive and you are looking for alternative treatments, we will definitely recommend Dr Chong. To conceive, it takes both hands to clap; so Dr Chong will treat both husband and wife so that the chances of conceiving is at its optimum level. 

The Chinese herbal medicine cost us $130 per visit and consultation fees can be given at your own accord in a red packet/angpow. Overall, I think we visited him about 5-6 times. 

Our Gynae 

Our Gynae is Dr Chen Chern Yi and Jacqueline has been her patient ever since she had to remove a fibroid in 2017. Our overall experience with Dr Chen has been insightful and pleasant, and she is also a very skilful and knowledgeable doctor. Just so you know, Dr Chen has got two clinics; one at Novena and the other at Punggol. 

In terms of cost, the antenatal package that Jacqueline took up cost about $2K and that does not include the tests (NICE non-invasive prenatal test, Vitamin D deficiency test), jabs (whopping cough and common flu vaccination), vitamins (Vitamin D) and supplements (DHA). 

Although the costs are slightly on the pricier side, we decided to go the private route to save time. After all, time is money and the more time we save, the more money we can earn back. 

Mikayla’s Name 

Many people ask why the name, Mikayla?  

Before we knew the gender of our baby, my wife and I agreed that if the baby is a boy, his name will begin with J (Jacob), the initial of her first name; and if the baby is a girl, her name will begin with M (Mikayla), the initial of my first name. 

So yes, when we have a baby boy next time, you can be sure his name is going to be Jacob. 

For some unknown reason, the names, Jacob/Mikayla came to us naturally and it resonated strongly with us. Hence, the chosen names. 

The meaning of the name, Mikayla

“The name, Mikayla, is the phonetic version of the Hebrew Michaela and a feminine form of Michael, an archangel who carried out God’s judgments and is known as the patron saint of soldiers. The name is associated with power and strength.” 

Mikayla’s Chinese Name 

Mikayla’s Chinese Name when translated to English means Universal Love and this name was specially chosen after a consultation with Master Yuan from Yuan Metaphysics 

Some Chinese Metaphysics (CM) Practitioner specialise in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Bazi Reading, and Taichi; while others may choose to specialise in Feng Shui, Amulets Making, Property Selection, and Chinese Name Selection. If you are looking for someone to do Chinese Name Selection, I highly recommend Master Yuan because this is an area that she is extremely talented in and passionate about. 

Master Yuan’s approach to name selection is akin to that of song-writing. While there are many software out there that can generate a list of names based on one’s Bazi, Master Yuan takes name selection very seriously and she is very passionate about her craft. 

Preparation for Mikayla’s Arrival 

Singapore went into a state of partial lockdown a.k.a circuit breaker since 7 April 2020 and thankfully, Jacqueline and I had the foresight to buy all that we needed to prepare for Mikayla’s arrival.  

Here are the stuffs that we bought before the circuit breaker to prepare for Mikayla’s arrival: 

Baby Cot: Beblum Lavo 5, SGD$229 

There are many brands of baby cot in the market but we chose the Beblum Lavo 5 Baby Cot because it is versatile and can be repurposed for many other different uses when Mikayla grows up. 

What we really like about the Beblum Lavo 5 is that it is easy to assemble and it does not require any tools. 

Diapers: Merries (Newborn), SGD$68.75 for 240 pieces (about SGD$0.30 per piece) 

For diapers, we bought Merries and so far, we are quite satisfied with it. We will probably consider Offspring once we used up the Merries diapers that we bought but really, we don’t have any issue with Merries. 

Cabinet to Store Mikayla’s Clothing: Ikea’s MALM Chest of 6 Drawers, SGD$169 

We love putting our furniture together and Ikea’s MALM Chest of 6 Drawers is relatively easy to assemble. Tools such as a screwdriver will be needed but other than that, it’s really straightforward and not some rocket science.

Parenting Station: Combi Fealetto Auto Swing, SGD$759 

The Combi Fealetto Auto Swing is really great to use. When we’re not putting Mikayla in the baby cot, we actually put her in the Combi Fealetto Auto Swing so that she can nap in the living room. 

One of the coolest feature of the Combi Fealetto Auto Swing is the 4-speed auto-swinging function and the 7 different lullabies in 4-volume levels that can help the baby to be comfortable and fall asleep. 

The Combi Fealetto Auto Swing can also be used as a high chair for dining when Mikayla grows up. 

Stroller: Combi Mega Ride Stroller, SGD$559

The Combi Mega Ride Stroller is definitely not ideal for overseas travel as it is quite bulky and not so portable. If you are driving a hatchback or sedan car, you might have some difficulty trying to put this stroller into the car boot. 

For us, it didn’t really matter since we don’t own a car and we wanted a stroller that is durable and rugged.  

What we like about the Combi Mega Ride Stroller is the one-touch folding and opening feature which allows us to easily open and fold the stroller with one hand while holding the baby in another hand. 

Wet Wipes: Korea Angeur Wet Wipes, SGD$17.98 for 800 pieces (about SGD0.02 per piece)

Although we like the scent of the Korea Angeur Wet Wipes and its wallet-friendly price, we might make the switch to Jeju Island Wet Wipes, another wet wipes brand that is rather popular among parents. 

Breast Pump: Hegen PCTO™ Double Electric Breast Pump, SGD$450

We have heard so much about Hegen’s products from fellow influencers and naturally, we decided to go with the flow and got the Hegen PCTO™ Double Electric Breast Pump. It is really simple to use, intuitive, and Jacqueline enjoys using it. 

Milk Bottle: Hegen PCTO™ Complete Starter Kit PPSU, SGD$150 

For new dads like me, Hegen’s products are really simple and easy to use. There aren’t many components and parts to deal with and they are pretty straightforward. Honestly, you really can’t go wrong with the Hegen Milk Bottle. 

Cuchen UV Steriliser, SGD$599

A gift from Jacqueline’s friends, we found the Cuchen UV Steriliser super useful because it saves us a lot of time from sterilising the milk bottles after washing. It can also be used to sterilise accessories such as cutlery too. 

The Cuchen UV Steriliser comes with Medical Grade UV LED that enables a more thorough sterilising with no hidden corners. It also comes with alert indicators to remind us to replace the UV lamps and LED. 

Again, this is simple and easy to use because of its one-touch easy operation. 

The Day of Mikayla’s Arrival… 

Mount Alvernia Hospital

We woke up at 5am so that Jacqueline can have a light breakfast before heading to the hospital for the admission process. Due to COVID-19, I was not allowed into the Operating Theatre (OT) but I am glad that I was able to accompany both Jacqueline and Mikayla, by staying overnight at the hospital to be with them. 

When it was time for Jacqueline to be pushed to the OT, I was quite anxious and I was pacing up and down the corridor. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and I had a lot of thoughts going on in my mind. 

When the midwife came out and called my name; she was pushing the hospital baby cot with Mikayla inside and the midwife offered to help me take some photographs with Mikayla. As Jacqueline was still in the OT being sewn up by the doctor, I followed the midwife to the nursery to complete the registration process. 

We chose the Single Room in the Maternity Ward so that Jacqueline can have all the rest she needs and I can also likewise stay overnight to accompany her (FYI, only single rooms allows an overnight companion). 

The room was really spacious and comfortable and there is an in-room mini-fridge which I use to store the snacks that I brought along for our “staycation”. Although there’s a desk for working; I don’t think anyone would have time and be in the right state of mind to take out their laptop and work. 

If you intend to stay overnight as a companion, there is an additional charge of $92.45 (GST inclusive) per night and it includes 4 meals a day (breakfast, lunch, tea-break, and dinner). 

Although we were given the opportunity to have Mikayla room-in with us, it felt a little awkward as Jacqueline was not able to move much due to her wound and the whole realisation of, “I am now a dad”, took a while to sink in. 

I tried to learn as much as I could from the nurses; from carrying Mikayla to swaddling her. 

If you are planning to deliver at Mount Alvernia, we recommend that you get the Alvernia Ladies Card which cost $68 for a 2-year membership term.  

Some of the awesome benefits of the Alvernia Ladies Care are as follows: 

  • $100 off total bill for single room (this benefit alone covers the cost of the card) 
  • Complimentary 12-month Personal Accident Plan Coverage for member, newborn, and spouse. 
  • Free 1 set of My First Skool uniform and mattress cover for each child enrolled. 

In total, our total bill (hospital stay, surgery, medical consumables, and etc.) amounted to nearly $9K (this is the remaining amount that we have to cough out in cash after deducting approved delivery expenses from my MediSave account).  

Jacqueline and I are indeed thankful for the wonderful team of doctors, nurses, and lactation consultant who have showered us with the best care and concern. Their words of encouragement were heartwarming. 

Just before we left the hospital for home, we presented Mikayla at Mount Alvernia Hospital’s Chapel for a short prayer service and this is truly a special moment that I think only Mount Alvernia Hospital offers. 

Moments of Life App 

I really like how the government is going digital. It really makes everything convenient and saves us a lot of time too. In fact, I was able to collect Mikayla’s Birth Certificate at the hospital and I need not make a trip to the Immigrations and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) Building at all. From the app, we can also apply for the Baby Bonus, view immunisation records, and many more. 

Breastfeeding 

Breastfeeding is very tough and painful at the beginning. On the 2nd day after the delivery, Jacqueline experienced engorgement and she was in quite a lot of pain. She almost wanted to give up breastfeeding but the nurses kept on encouraging her not to give up and they did their best to help her relieve the pain. 

Even though breastfeeding can be quite time consuming and physically draining, Jacqueline is now pretty much used to the routine and that helps a lot. It’s almost like guard duty because the baby needs to be fed every 3-4 hours. 

Newborn babies feed round the clock so it really helps if the dads get involved and help with changing the diapers or even playing with the baby so that the mums can get all the rest they need. 

The 1 Month Confinement Period 

There are a lot of myths, do’s and don’ts for the 1 month confinement period and not all mums practise it because it can be quite expensive. The confinement herbs alone cost at least $700-$800 a month. 

For us, we gotten the 30 Days Exquisite Confinement Package (SGD$568) from Lao Ban Niang and this doesn’t include other Chinese medicinal herbs (cordyceps) and other ingredients (rice wine, black vinegar) that we purchased separately.  

Confinement Nanny 

As most of the confinement nannies in Singapore come from Malaysia, it is really difficult to get a confinement nanny during this period due to COVID-19  

Thankfully, we managed to get Aunty Jenny (how we usually address her) from Star Confinement Nanny.  

Aunty Jenny (as we would normally address her) has more than 10 years of experience and she has travelled to far-flung places like New Zealand and Australia to work as a confinement nanny. She cooks really well and is very knowledgeable in caring for newborn babies. From her, we have learnt how to change diapers properly, how to help the baby burp, how to bathe the baby, and also picked up a few tips and tricks from her. 

It cost us more than $3k to engage a confinement nanny and this does not include the 2X red packet/angpow that we give (one on the first day of arrival and the other on the last day of work) to her and the household groceries. 

Summary 

Well, this is a super duper long post and the purpose of this post is to document our new journey stepping into parenthood. 

There is a lot to consider when starting a family and the expenses can amount to quite a lot of money. This is why it is important to save up and be prudent on what we spend on. Where you can save, save; where you must spend, spend.

There are also a lot to learn as a new parent and information can come from so many different sources (grandparents-to-be, friends, colleagues, Internet, even confinement lady) that they sometimes conflict with each other.  

As parents, we want the best for our children and sometimes, we got to trust our own instincts as to what’s relevant, what’s useful, and what’s age-appropriate. When it comes to your child’s well-being, always seek a medical professional for advise. 

As an educator myself, I too have my own mindset as to how I will want to teach/educate my child and that itself will affect my parenting style as well. However, that’s probably a topic for another day. 

You will probably be seeing more posts about parenting on our blog soon. 🙂