Archives for posts with tag: parenting

Didn’t realize Dai Bee has some sort of social anxiety…until yesterday….

Tonight we attended a preseason meeting for soccer referees. Since I didn’t have much information, I went to the meeting place with them. The place was packed with kids his age or younger. He knew a few of them (from his elementary/middle schools). After talking to the director, I met up with him, as he was in line to sign up. I noticed he was sweating like crazy (sure, given that place was a little warm). He kept asking me if he could leave. That was when I spotted a couple of kids (who went to same elementary/middle school with him). He kept his head down and totally looked uncomfortable. He walked all the way in the back of the room and stayed there the entire meeting.

When we left, he asked me how could I not noticed he has this kind of anxiety before?  I didn’t. What I also didn’t understand why he was nervous to (some) people he knew?! Yes, these are not people he hung out with, but still, not like he did anything bad to those people, why the fuss? Anyway, I guess I have to read up on this issue and find ways to help him overcome this anxiety.


Mr. Piggy is giving the boys auto mechanics lesson. We have tandem parking in the garage. When we don’t drive the car parked further in, battery just dies. So it’s good for the boys to know what to do when it happens. IMG_1950

After a couple of years of encouragement, nudging, some nagging, Dai Bee finally bought into the idea of “giving back to the community” by volunteering his time to tutor younger kids. I suggested he reached out to his elementary school and the elementary school close by him. To my surprise, he jumped on it, sending out emails left and right and followed through the process.

Today he received calls/emails from both schools and are working with them to arrange for the schedule. I am guessing he’s mainly tutoring kids with math and/or helping some with homework (in different subjects). I am proud that he’s taking the initiative and staying on top of it. It’s a big step for him considering it took 2 years in the making. Hopefully it’ll work out and he’s able to help other kids.

I guess when the kid is ready, he’s ready.

My nightmare has started – I knew it was inevitable, but was hoping it wouldn’t come so soon. Ah Lo has always had a temper, but he has never gone overboard.

This morning, he yelled at me to ‘shut up.’ And all hell broke loose.

I told him to sweep the floor after he’s done with breakfast. He had his headphones on but acknowledged my request. After breakfast, he did as told, swept the floor, but only the area where he sat. He went back upstairs when done. When I noticed the floor was still dirty with crumb, I asked him to come back down to finish the job. He was already triggered and busted with “you only told me to sweep that area.” Here I am thinking – how would that make sense?

Anyhow, my sister was there at the time, and I made a sarcastic remark “see when you have a teenager, this is the attitude you have to put up with.” Somehow this got him even more upset and told me to shut up.

Of course, like all parents would react, I was furious and gave him a piece of my mind. I took away all the electronics and left him alone when we went out for lunch.

When we came back from lunch, he acted like nothing happened. He asked me something and I scolded at him, “don’t talk to me like nothing happened. Don’t expect me to respond like nothing happened. Because if I did, I’m telling you it’s ok to treat me like that, and it isn’t.”

Later that evening, he came back from basketball practice and apologized for his behavior. He did what he does best – sweet talk his way. I resolved it with him by asking him to write me a full page essay on what he did, reflect on it, and come up with solutions on how he can manage his temper better.

I know this won’t be the last time we are going through this. I know, it’s all part of parenthood.

This is our latest gig – I ask everyone (including myself) to bring one new vocabulary (one we don’t know before) to dinner on “Meaningful Monday” or “Wordy Wednesday.” We have been doing this for several weeks now. I realized my vocabulary is so poor. At least now, we all learn at least 4 new words a week. I also decided to pick up a book and started to read, as I know this is the only way to learn new words. IMG_0725

Ah Lo wakes up the tiger in me. People often asked me if I am a tiger mom, and some even told me I am one before I can answer. With Dai Bee, I don’t have to be one. He works independently, and I am very hands off. I support him whatever he needs, and that’s about it.

With Ah Lo, the tiger can no longer rest still. I need to be fully awake to check homework, meet with teachers, help study for tests, monitor his progress, remind him to practice piano (and to sit in just to make sure he does the required time). Above everything else, dealing with the pre-teen attitude. I don’t necessary believe the tiger parenting. It works for some kids only, not Ah Lo. Nevertheless, he needs a lot reminders, discipline and lots of reasoning and explanation. I want to be a doting nurturing parent and hate to be that person who constantly nags and wears a frown. Knowing him, I have to play both roles. Ever since he was a toddler, Ah Lo likes to test his limits. He can be the most lovable kid but can be one of those who will blow off the roof for no reason.

Lately, I’ve been stashing a lot of patience in my bag because Ah Lo has been draining it pretty quickly these days. I tried my best to stay calm though I can feel the blood boiling inside of me. I already foresee the battle ahead of me, and am not looking forward to it. This is the only beginning…

Without his older brother by his side, Ah Lo has been taking the bus by himself this summer. He takes the bus to my sister’s in the morning (to get a ride to school), and then bus home himself after school. I know many of his friends at his age are still being chauffeured around. With the child spending so much time in the car, under constant adult supervision, not so sure if it is the right way to go. Having him on the bus seems like a win-win to me (more exercise for him and less chaperoning for us).

Though I still get nervous when I don’t get the phone call from him at a certain time, but being able to ride a bus independently is a great accomplishment! So proud of him!

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When your boys have too much energy and they have a few minutes before their next activity, you need to give them “work.”  All of a sudden the house is calmer and I have my sanity back to continue with dinner. img_5685

As immigrants who later became US citizens, my parents (who spoke minimal English), never voted. They believed their votes didn’t count, so they never bothered. Growing up, voting was something other people did, just not us. We just didn’t care and I never saw the importance of it…until 2008, yes, very late in my “voting” life.

It’s cliche to say “it’s a different world now.” Well it is, almost every night during dinner my boys and l analyzed the local issues on the ballot, we learned more about the election process and of course we discussed the presidential candidates.

Tonight and in past elections, I took them to the polling place so they are very much aware of what the election is about and how important it is. It is a privilege, and not to be taken for granted. No matter how rich or how poor you are, no matter how old or how young (at voting age), everyone gets ONE vote. I explained to them many people had fought hard for us to so that our voices can be heard heard. So yes, this is a different and better world.

p.s. Thank you to all the volunteers at the polling place all over for your hard work and dedication.

May the best woman win!


Today, my co-worker and I had a long talk about letting go. She has a teenager now, and with just one, it’s extremely for her to let go. She’s going through an emotional roller coaster ride with her moody teenager. Her daughter was all she has, and she finds it extremely difficult to see the big change, in personality and life style.

At that point, I realized as a parent, raising children requires us to constantly letting go. I think I (as a parent) should be used to it by now. Don’t you think? From the moment a parent breastfeed her child to giving him solid food a year later, from driving them to places to having them take public transportation, or from making their meals to having them doing it on their own, it’s all part of the letting go process. As my boys get older, each step they take towards adulthood makes a little bit harder for me to hold on to them. Though each milestone is a celebration, the “firsts” are always bittersweet. In some way, that’s the irony about being a parent – how I always want to train our kids to become independent, yet we still want to slow down the time, so we can always hold them like a baby once again.