Tag Archive: Father & son

Celebrating Father’s Day

This morning, we were walking towards the bus-stop and this is the conversation we had.

ME: 宝贝,今天是父亲节。我们带爸爸去吃好吃的午餐,好不好?你去问爸爸要吃什么。
(Today is Father’s Day. Let’s bring Daddy for a good meal ok?)

LM: 爸爸,Happy Father’s Day! 我们坐大巴士去吃小笼包,好不好?
(Papa, let’s go and eat Xiaolongbao ok?)

HB: 不好,爸爸不喜欢吃小笼包。
(No, Daddy does not like to eat Xiaolongbao.)

LM: 小笼包好吃,我们去吃小笼包,好不好?
(Xiaolongbao is very nice. Let’s go and eat Xiaolongbao ok?)

And so, we had a very fulfilling meal of Xiaolongbao at Ding Tai Fung.

Happy Father’s Day, dearie. I know our son loves you as much as he love his Xiaolongbao.

Hubby loves little man to the moon and back. Sometimes, he loves him more than he loves me. And that is quite alright with me. 🙂

Very proud of himself

That is what Hubby told me, after putting little man to sleep tonight.

It has been a long while since little man allows Hubby to put him to bed. Ever since he started school, he has been such a koala. He has to have Mama next to him while he takes his time to go to lalaland. Hence, Papa will bathe him, read books and watch videos with him while Mama quickly finishes up her housework and rushes to shower. Then Mama will take over and put him to bed, which will usually take a long time because little man wants to “chat”, play and sing with Mama instead of sleeping.

Tonight, we came home rather late. As usual, I quickly went to shower. When I came out, I was pleasantly surprised to see Hubby out of his room. Hubby couldn’t get that smirk off his face as he told him how he get little man to sleep.

Little man was asking to watch videos of his favourite songs. Hubby then told little man to lie down, close his eyes and Papa will count to 100. He promised him plenty of videos after that. He counted to around 150 before he finally fell asleep.

My verdict? I think my dear Hubby has up his level in this parenting game. I also think that my little man must be really tired to fall for that kind of trick. 😉

Building a relationship

Little man had an unusual meltdown last night.

He was left in his cot after shower just like any other night. Usually, he will play on his own for a while before sleeping by himself. Last night however, he demanded to have his sticker books and toys, and wanted Hubby to take him out of the cot. Hubby refused and little man immediately threw a terrible tantrum.

I was in the shower all this while, listening to those shrill cries for Mama. I took my time, waiting for Hubby to calm him down. But little man was adamant about having his Mama and wouldn’t let it go without a fight. His constant “我不要爸爸!爸爸走开!” (I don’t want Papa! Papa go away!) angered Hubby so much that he was not able to keep calm himself. The episode ended with a very angry Hubby and a badly shaken baby.

After calming little man down, I tried to explain to him that he should not say those hurting words to Papa as Papa will feel very sad. He softened after some coaxing and I brought him to Hubby to apologise, to kiss and make up. However, Hubby was still pretty upset and did not seem willing to forgive him, although little man seems to have forgotton the racket he made minutes ago. To him, all was forgotten as long as he got his Mama.

I had a good talk with Hubby that night. I think we all need a refresher course on building and maintaining a good relationship every now and then, and it’s no exception for the parent-child relationship. These are some learning points I want to note down, for us as parents to reminding ourselves.

1. Keep calm & Do not take things personally
As much as I understand how infuriating little man can be at times, we as adults must always be the one to keep calm and level-headed. It is not that little man did not want his father, he just wanted his Mama and nobody else. Hence, he will reject anyone who is near him at that moment of his, anyone but his Mama. It is not easy to NOT take it personally, but as adults we must do that.

2. Think before you act
We are adults, we are not children. We should be able to rationally think about the situation before reacting to it. This is especially so when you are reacting to a child. Your reactions should not be just about how you feel. It is more important to think about what you want out of your actions, before reacting to the child.

If the child does not take well to the hard approach, the more you talk to the child in an angry and harsh manner, the stronger the reaction of the child will be. In the end, other than a screaming adult and a wailing toddler, you achieve nothing from the episode. This is especially so for little man who requires the soft approach to be able calm down and listen to reasoning.

One of the worse thing you can do to a young child is to start a cold war and start ignoring the child. Firstly, the child probably does not understand what you are doing. He will not apologise to you just because you stop talking to him, mainly due to his lack of understanding for such behaviour of yours. Secondly, he learns nothing from your actions. He does not learn what he has done wrong and how he can change for the better. Thirdly, your relationship with the child could be worse if your actions make him think that you do not love him anymore. The foundation of a parent-child relationship is love. It is important to make your love known to each other in order for the relationship to flourish. The child needs to know that you love him no matter what he has done wrong.

My personal experiences with cold wars taught me that they do nothing but drift both parties further apart. My father is the champion of cold war. When I was in my college years, we had a major disagreement and he started a cold war on me. Days became months, months became years. The war went on for almost three years. I do not remember how the war stopped, but from then, everything has changed. Hence, do not start a cold war. Not on the child you love so much.

3. Spend quality time together
It is not difficult to understand why little man only wants me. Other than the fact that I take care of him 24/7, the quality time I spent with him also build towards our relationship. Quality time meant no distractions, no mobile phones, just focusing on little man, be it playing, reading or learning together.

You will know if you have spent quality time with you child, because when you do, you realise you have gotten to know him a little better. You will see his progress, his emotions, his little actions and gestures. You will not feel bored or in a hurry to finish up the game you are playing with him, because if you feel that way, you are just patronising him. You are not spending quality time with him, as much as you would like to think so. The child maybe young, he can feel what you are feeling. He will know if you are truly there for him.

4. Verbalise your love
Hubby grew up in a family where love is rarely spoken. Hence, he does not have the habit of expressing his love verbally and physically. Even as an adult, I sometimes request Hubby to be more expressive of his love for me. It does not need to be much, just a hug and a simple “I love you” will do. He would often retort, “Think about all the things I have done for you, would you not think that I love you?” And I will accept it at that because indeed, he has done a lot of me and the family. I am an adult, I can try to rationalise my emotions and needs. But for young children, they need you to show and tell them the love you have for them.

The knowledge and reiteration of such deep love builds a strong foundation for future relationship between the parent and the child. It is not a given that all parents love their children, hence it should not be a given that the children should know that their parents love them. A strong relationship built during their younger years will help them to open up to you as they grow up. You do not want to be just a discipline master in their heart. You want to be their guide, their light, their friends and their shelter. They will come to you no matter what age, because they know you love them no matter what happens.

5. Put yourself in the child’s shoes
Whenever little man is in one of his moments, I will first try to take a step back to think if there are any underlying reasons for his tantrums. In the case of last night, little man was already very tired from a eventful weekend over at his grandma’s. To top it up, he was overstimulated by the meeting of so many new faces at a birthday party we brought him to that evening. He was still in his playful mode, although he was already very very tired. He did not understand that he needs to sleep and rest to feel better. He is only a toddler who is still learning to make sense and control his emotions. If we can see things in that perspective, we can be more understanding towards him. And truth to be told, little children can only learn to be more understanding towards others when they experienced such compassion and consideration towards themselves through others.

6. Make sure the lesson is learnt, not just brushed aside
As little man progresses in his abilities and skills, he also starts to test his limits in many ways I would never have thought of. Many times when he was reprimanded, he would throw a huge tanrum and cry nonstop. When he is in that state, nothing can go into his ears. Instead of continuing to scold him, I will soften my stance and try to calm him down first. When he is calmer, I will go through with him what exactly happened just now and what he had done wrong. I will ask him to repeat after me what he had done wrong, and make him apologise and say that he will never do that again.

The scoldings are not as important as the lesson the child should be learning. Many times, the scoldings are just for the parents to vent their pent-up frustrations. That goes back to my second point, think before you act.

Building a relationship is never easy, especially when it is with your very own child. It is a life-long learning journey. But I believe, with plenty of patience and love, we will be able to enjoy the fruits of a loving parent-child relationship in the long run.

I will do my best. I hope you will jiayou too.

Bonding time

Having time by myself now that Hubby brought little man out to the park for a short walk.

We observed recently that little man was getting very clingy to me. He wouldn’t let Hubby do anything with him when I am around, and would insist that I do whatever he asked rather than Hubby. There was once during bath time, he was struggling so much as he just wanted me and nobody else. Hubby got so angry with him that he stormed out of the bathroom after I came to take over. He would also insist on me feeding him, refusing any food Hubby has to offer, although they were exactly the same food.

I was telling Hubby that it’s time he have some bonding time with little man without me around. Hubby must work harder on building relationship with little man if he intends to baby-carry him for our upcoming Korea trip in October. As little man’s weight increases, it’s getting tougher for me to carry him for long periods of time. We have decided not to bring a stroller along as it will be more of a burden than help given that Korea is not a stroller-friendly country. We probably can’t quite manage a stroller with 2 luggages and a very active little man. Little man do not allow himself to be strapped in the stroller all the time as well, unless he is sleeping. Hence, baby-carrying is probably the best way to go. However, I foresee myself carrying little man instead if he refuses to be carried by Hubby.

Received a photo taken by Hubby.

Seems like they are having a great time together 🙂

And little man came home, happily asking his father to do everything he wanted help in.

Good job, Hubby!

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