Sunday, August 14, 2016

Will children end up hating Joseph Schooling?

Posted by Dawn at Sunday, August 14, 2016 0 comments
This week or to be exact, just these two days (What?Only two days has passed since Joseph Schooling won our nation's first Olympic gold medal? Felt like a long time from the barrage of media coverage), it has been a SCHOOLING craze. From the moment I wake up and open my Facebook, there's a ton of posts and news all about him- his past, his glories, the international news about him and even his stopover at an airport before returning back to Singapore. Also, not forgetting, the amount of jokes that was circulating as well.

Anyway, as a parent of two young children, aged 8 and 9, I am concerned not of the attention Joseph is getting. Of course, he deserves it. Afterall, he has worked so hard for it and achieved not only an Olympic Gold Medal but an Olympic Record! If I could, I would also wish to welcome him back at the airport tomorrow morning. I am concerned about the aftermath of this..

From the parenting point of view, I am concerned that parents may give undue pressure to our children because of this. To be honest, I am a little uneasy when people give comments to other parents that their child would be the next Joseph Schooling or Joscelin Yeo. Yes, dreaming has become more a reality when "there was a time when people said that Singapore won't make it, but we did" and I am not saying we shouldn't dream. I am a huge believer of dreams and making sure that we spend each day a little closer to that dream. What I want to emphasize here is that I believe that we are all created unique and the last thing I want to see is to see the next generation growing up unhappy and losing that sense of awe and wonderment when they achieved something because they didn't even believe or buy into it in the first place. I want to see the next generation find their own purpose in life and become what they were meant to be.

Just last night, I attended the NUS Alumni Family Day where we caught the movie, "Kung Fu Panda 3". One of the quotes that I remembered so clearly between the Master Shifu and Po, the panda was..
Po: Teaching? There’s no way I’m ever gonna be like you!
Shifu: I’m not trying to turn you into me; I’m trying to turn you into you.

This is exactly what we should want from our children. Not to turn them into the next Joseph Schooling or Joscelin Yeo, but to guide them and turn them to be what they were created for...which I am sure will be a greater purpose and meaning than what WE WANT for our children.

 I am not sure if this craze has led us to end up comparing our children with Joseph Schooling or not but I sure pray that we should pick up the positive style of parentings that Colin and May Schooling did for Joseph throughout this whole swimming journey instead.

Here's what I have learnt from them:

1) Let your child dream his own dream
At the age of 6, Schooling told his parents he wanted to be in the Olympic Games

2) Get involved
Be supportive of your child's dream and not brush it aside as something that won't earn much money and useless. I think this is a huge factor of your child's success.It's amazing and mind boggling to see the tremendous effort put in by Colin and May.

Aside from the bone-mass study for their son to see if he would go far in this swimming journey, documenting every swim meet since he started to race at 5 years old to preparing a goal or target schedule for him, taking serious interest in it by building an extensive swim library at home, took the swimming association official's credential test, technical officials course, attended courses and lectures conducted by experts as well as playing host to many visiting Olympic Swim Teams so as to learn from them...the list just goes on and on...

They literally invested their time and effort in supporting their son every way they can so as to help him realise his dream. (oh, and not forgetting submitting scientific studies, documentations, newspaper clippings to Singapore Sports Council and to authorities involved to defer their son's NS)

3) Enjoy time with your child
From the articles and news coverage I have been reading, its so evident the parents' strong love for their son. They made sure one parent would be around to be with him at all times.

4) Impart good family values
Despite spending so much time involved in the sport, they also both made sure that Joseph receives proper upbringing and to raise him up with good family values.

The title of this post is as such because I do not want us to keep on comparing and nagging at our children such that every sentence when we discipline them, ends up with what Joseph Schooling did right and what they did wrong.

Let us learn from what Colin and May did right so that we stand as coaches and mentors for our children instead.

Happy Parenting the next generation!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Cool Playground in far!

Posted by Dawn at Monday, January 25, 2016 0 comments
My children have not outgrown playgrounds yet and I guess, its not a bad thing. Playgrounds are fun especially the really old retros ones or even the new complicated and challenging ones. Each has its own attractiveness. Though I appreciate the simplicity of the retro playgrounds, I too marvel at the new ones that allow the children to feel more challenged and have fun at the same time.

Discovered a new playground in Punggol which was awesomely cool with fun, education and challenge all in one...not forgetting, the amazing view of the waterway!

Check it out if you can!

For education, there's the sound pipes, the "dish" and one that allows you to talk to another person like a speaker.

For challenge, there's the rock climbing wall for you to climb and to enter through the small hole on top the vertical cage.

Or to even fireman down the pole from the hole.

For fun, there are the slides, big swing and trampoline!

And finally, the view!

Check this playground out at Block 673A Edgefield Plains in Punggol, along the waterway

Friday, January 22, 2016

Opening of Waterway Point

Posted by Dawn at Friday, January 22, 2016 0 comments
My baby has grown..nope, I am not talking about my flesh and blood, but my hometown- Punggol! About 12 years ago when we bought this place, I loved it because it was new and young, like a baby. I wanted to see this place grow and to see new shops sprouting out as if it was her first baby steps.

Over the years, I have seen changes. Lots of them. From a change of supermarkets, food stalls to new coffeeshops and shops sprouting all across the town, with its latest- The Safra Club and Waterway Point. Finally, we have our own big shopping centre!

At its soft launch opening on the 18 Jan, I went with my Taiwanese mummy friend to visit the mall in the morning, thinking that it wont be so crowded. I was proven dead wrong!

Check out the crowd and queues for the free movie tickets at 945am! Heard from my nearby supermarket lady that there were people waiting outside the mall early in the morning, wanting to be the first to go in when it opened.

Just when I thought I would only see retirees and housewives there. Perpetual question on my mind was.. "Where did all these people come from? Don't they need to work??" It felt like a regular weekend in a mall. Nobody would have guessed it was a Monday morning!

Anyway, I still had fun checking out the shops! The numerous food stalls got me excited as well as the NTUC Finest supermarket and cinema!

To be frank, when I first heard it would be Times bookshop here than Popular, I was disappointed because Popular seemed more affordable and not as pricey. But when I took a look at the new Times Bookshop there, I was pleasantly surprised. My friend made a good point about the bookshop. Most of the books were not wrapped. So it means, we can browse and read in the bookshop. Moreover, there is a nice cosy corner for children to do their reading at the shop!

Now, I am happy that Times Bookshop is here!

The view of the mall is definitely a draw factor. So beautiful!

There are many restaurants offering great view of the waterway. And most of the food are not that expensive, but affordable. The food court was crowded and for now, there are not many exits as the outside is not ready yet. Construction is still on-going. So there's only one entrance and that is also the same exit, thus causing human traffic.

On 20 Jan, I went with the whole family there for dinner. Legs were aching after walking around because the mall is long and not circular. So once you walk all the way to the end, you have to walk back to the entrance, thus you have to backtrack many shops again. We ate at Tenderfresh Restaurant (B2, near NTUC) and it was really good. Yes, its the same Tenderfresh Western shop at some HDB coffeeshops around Singapore and they have made it here to Punggol as a small Restaurant. But it was worth it. The best juiciest and tender fried chicken I have tasted so far. The breastmeat was so succulent! (still drooling while thinking about it)

This mall can be quite confusing.
There are basically two wings- East wing and the West wing. In the East Wing, there are only 3 levels (B2, B1 and L1) while in the West wing there are 4 levels (B2, B1, L1 and L2). Basically, the Cinema and Supermarket is at B2, food court ,Indoor pre-schooler playground, Time Bookshop are at West Wing L2. Food is everywhere.

Have fun exercising here!

I will definitely be back again after the craze is over..

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Back from hiatus!

Posted by Dawn at Wednesday, January 13, 2016 0 comments
Oh gosh, when I decided to revive my blog this morning, I checked back at my last posting and I can't believe that it has been 9-10 months since my last post.

Took a short hiatus because I was swarmed with children and work. Went back into teaching during the second semester to a school that is near my house and just opposite my children's school. However, things didnt work out well as school ended really late for me and by the time I picked my children up from school, it was close to evening and I had to rush preparing dinner before I scoot off for tuition at 630pm.

Did not like having so little time with my children. Did not like asking my children to always have lunch in school which always end up them eating so little and unhealthily. Did not like the fact to hear them complain when they have to stay back in the school library to wait for me to finish class. On the other side, I also face complains from my Sec 3 students as they want me to stay back and give them remedial. They need to see me after school to ask questions etc etc.

So, I guess its better to make one side happy then to make both sides unhappy. That explains my retirement..for the SECOND time. (First time was when Caleb, my older one was about to enter primary one)

Having time now with my children is priceless as I watch them grow and being co-workers with God to raise them up. He has opened my eyes to see my children differently and to be their friend, mentor and coach is definitely a learning process but am definitely embracing it with love.

As a parent volunteer on the first day of school to help out the Primary One Parents, had the opportunity to catch my children during recess. How awesome!

These are wonderful memories that I will treasure forever.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A great legacy to be continued...

Posted by Dawn at Thursday, March 26, 2015 0 comments

It has been the fourth day since the passing of our first prime minister on 23 March 2015, 3:18am. I have been overwhelmed with emotions (not one that lead me to tears but one that stirs up my heart so much to want to do something) as I watch the numerous pictures and videos online or on television when various parts of the world send their condolences as well as stories from his past.

A man highly respected for turning Singapore from a 3rd world country to a 1st world country (with an average per capita GDP of just $427.9 in 1960, Singapore surged more than a hundred times to over $55,000 in 2013, making the country one of the richest), a man who had the foresight of making English our first language as well as to promote bilingualism and of course the list just goes on and on.

There are just so many lessons to be learnt from him and I wish my children can catch on them and run with it in their lives.

I was just speaking to my husband, Chee Tiong about how he is a perfect example to what I call a great leader. If you take up books on leadership off the shelves and read through their recommendations of how to be a good leader, I know Lee Kuan Yew has most or even all of those points ticked off.

So as I reflect on his achievements, but more so his personality, I think about what speaks to me most and how I want to pass this on to my next generation.

After learning so much about him over these past few days, the first thing that strikes me most is his discipline. And because he was so disciplined, he was a man of great intelligence, with no patience for mediocrity. He excelled in what he pursued and was very focused on what he wants and with that, the rest comes in for e.g having a strict diet, accompanying with exercise, to master his languages to make that connection with people all around (even till he was 90 years old, he was still learning Chinese). His determination and fighting spirit is so evident in his life even during his final years.

Secondly, what I hope to pass on to my children, is his kindness he never failed to show to the people around him. Hearing interviews from his children and from the public who had a personal encounter with him all spoke the same time about how he never fail to keep in touch with his friends, ask about them and spends time with them.  He appreciates relationship and makes effort to sustain them. Simply put, he deeply cared for people.

Next is his reliability. Families and friends all know that they can depend on him if anything goes wrong. A very responsible man who takes care of the country as well as his family. And because he is a man of integrity, all of us knew he can be trusted with the country. (Singapore became one of the least corrupted nation in the world) As long as it is corrupt-free, then the country can progress! 

I remember reading in the news that Lee Kuan Yew rejected a bribe of US$3.3 million from CIA when he discovered their covert operation in Singapore in 1960. That would be worth about US$26 million today. Instead, he asked for US$33 million in economic-development aid to Singapore and Malaysia instead. What he did instead was to use his advantageous position for the betterment of the nation.

And despite being such a great man of influence and inspiration, he remained simple and humble. They had no shower for the longest time, preferring to scoop water from a large earthenware jar at bath-time. It was only after Mrs Lee had a stroke in London in 2003 that their children installed a shower before she returned home.

Definitely a man to be respected and admired. So what life lessons from Mr Lee are you going to teach the next generation?

Wednesday, February 04, 2015


Posted by Dawn at Wednesday, February 04, 2015 0 comments
During these tumultuous times with the aircraft accidents, the terrorists, unrests etc etc, the whole world is shaken. To be honest, there is nowhere safe to go. Even when you think Singapore is safe, there are also many reports of killings in homes and in crowded places like Raffles City or even rioting in Little India.

End of last year, my friend challenged me to think of ONE word for the new year in 2015 that will carry with you for the rest of the year. As I was thinking, the word, "HOPE" popped up in my mind.

To clarify, the word, "Hope" is not how most of us think of as, "I hope it will not rain today." What I meant by the word "Hope" in a biblical sense is "a confident expectation". Hope is a firm assurance of things that are unclear and unknown. Without hope, life has no meaning and in death, there is no hope.

As there are so many uncertainties in this world, I just want to cling onto something that is trustworthy, solid and does not change and that is in Jesus Christ who says He is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

So whatever happens in this world or around me, I know that I can have joy and peace because of my hope in the Lord because He has conquered death and His promises hold true forever.

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
(Romans 5:1-5)
Sharing this beautiful ballad with you about the ultimate redemption, the glorious day to come when faith becomes sight! Enjoy!

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Posted by Dawn at Thursday, December 18, 2014 0 comments
Lately, I have been reminded of what life is, which route to take and where I should be focussing on. As the year draws to a close, it definitely makes people more reflective during this time of the year- makes me reassess what I have been doing, my goals and whether I am heading in the right direction towards them.

My simple goals as a wife and mother used to be
1) make my husband happy
2) make my children happy
3) make myself happy

I guess one glance at this, most wives with children would probably adopt this as well.. But my goals aren't that anymore as I feel that the more you focus on the above goals, the more you will be disappointed. For example, I try to make my child happy by doing things for them, buying what they like. Instead, this may end up not being able to be more independent, or fight over the toys I buy for them and even stop playing after a short while because they get bored of it. Its an endless cycle that will only spiral down to dissatisfaction, disappointment and disillusion. And of course, this wouldn't lead to me being happy in the end. So I have decided that it is useless chasing after these goals or striving to achieve them.

I realised throughout this year that there's only one thing that could bring me and my family JOY and that is to focus on God, my heavenly Father and spend time with Him. (Not too cliché, I hope)

Do take note that I used  the word, JOY and not happiness. Happiness is temporal- like sipping a nice glass of coffee for that ten seconds while joy is the fibre of your soul and it is eternal. It means that bad things may happen around you, but you can still sense the joy in your heart and take comfort in that.

So what is your focus? What are your goals in life? Reassess them and see if they are temporal or eternal.

I used to wish I can go Iceland and dip in hot baths, go Alaska to see the Aurora Borealis (or also known as Northern Lights) but to be honest, all of that seem so faint now that I think of what's more important. I think of a person lying on his death bed, would he wish for all those? I doubt so.. To be honest, I have travelled to so many parts of the world since young as my dad used to bring the whole family around for holidays. But after that, so what? So what if I have been to South Africa, even Hawaii two times, to New Zealand more than four times? It really doesn't matter and no one really cares.

As I focus on my Creator, I know I need to focus on the things He would focus on and that is life eternal. If you compare the life here on this earth, approximately 80 years for most people as to the life you have after death which will be forever and ever...wouldn't you then realise that life here on earth is just going to pass like the wind where everything you try to strive for will just be blown away quickly and not remembered? So why focus on that? Why spend all your time, money and energy on things that will pass away quickly?

I know I need to look at the bigger picture and what is really important.

So, if you are going a rough patch or suffering so much that you ever wonder if there is a God up there, I am here to tell you that: "For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is- limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death- He had the honesty and the courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile" (Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos? p4)

May you take on an eternal perspective on things and start thinking about your eternity. Where will you be going? Because THAT really matters!

Monday, November 24, 2014

My next season

Posted by Dawn at Monday, November 24, 2014 0 comments
Women are seasonal creatures, and when we look at our lives in light of the season we are in, we are better able to cope with some of the challenges and are more likely to appreciate the blessings- while we still have them. For example, it may seem that we'll never reach the end of changing diapers, endless cries of babies in the night and wee hours in the early morning or having to deal with sending our children to school or for classes etc.

Suddenly, I will have time in my hands next year while both my children go off to primary school. What will I do when I am all alone at home?

I will definitely miss having spent wonderful quality times with my princess all these time- attending BSF morning class on Mondays, doing household chores together, eating breakfast together, playing together while waiting for the school bus and just simply chatting with each other (*sobsob*)

As much as I will miss a wonderful companion in my mornings, I know that God will be bringing me to another time of life during which I will have new discoveries to make, new roles to play and new blessings to enjoy.

In short, the season has changed.

To be frank, God has prepared me for each season that is come and that's not surprising since I know that God has everything all planned out already as I slowly see His promises from the Bible being fulfilled and unfolded. God wants us to be prepared for our future with Him. I am pretty excited as to know what lies ahead for me- good or bad as I rest in His arms and lean on my Daddy God.

I have learnt so far that this world is not my home. If I were to suffer so that others may come to know Him, it's an honour because God will not give us something we cannot bear and His plan has always been to save us so that we can be with Him in eternity. He cares more for your life after the physical death that your temporal life here on earth.

Of course, with more time next year in the mornings, my plans are to hone my cooking skills. I always love cooking and wish to put in more effort into that next year when I have more time. And one more thing is to EXERCISE! Ever since staying at home, I haven't had the time to do that..(okay, that's an excuse) but my plan is to drop the children off at school in the morning before doing my morning exercise.

But of course, above all, I want to spend more time with my Daddy God- to get to know Him better by sitting at His feet and just enjoying His presence. So though I will be physically all alone at my house, I know I will have the wonderful companionship of my Father.



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