The Princess’s last day of school has arrived. This year I’ve decided to not go crazy with scheduling as many activities as in previous years. In fact, now that the Princess is entering (drum roll)…eighth grade…she is old enough to figure out how to fill up her free time. I’ll present a menu of options as well as some rules and requirements because I know a little structure here and there helps.
Some things are non-negotiable. She still has to participate in the activities which she’s signed up for. She still has to work on daily math and reading comprehension workbooks/worksheets and read a minimum of 30 minutes per day. The last thing I want is for her to lose everything she’s worked hard for. Already I notice how the lax schedule of the last two weeks or so of school has affected her. Time to crack the whip. Continue reading →
This summer, as in previous summers, I’ve decided to incorporate some Summer Bridge, math, and reading aloud for the Princess. I know with day camp and her other extracurriculars (tennis, swimming, Korean dance, skating, piano, speech) she is tired, but I believe that it’s extremely important to keep her brain limber and ready for the Fall. A little of something is better than nothing.
Every day she whines and argues with me, but I manage to get her to sit at the table and focus for a time Continue reading →
Once a month, my friend Ellen and I try to meet up for breakfast or lunch. HB jokes about us being “Ladies of Leisure” with our monthly meet-ups, but really it’s not that much different from him going to lunch with his coworkers. (I don’t get that privilege since I work from home.)
Although I felt overwhelmed this morning with everything that needed to get done and was feeling a bit down on myself, meeting with Ellen gave me the spirit-boost that I needed. I consider myself lucky to have a great friend nearby with whom I can meet and talk with about anything/everything and not worry about being judged. I’m able to see things more clearly, come up with alternatives, and most importantly, decompress.
As much as I love my mother and appreciate all her sacrifices for me, I don’t want to be her—at least the negative aspects of the Tiger Mother.
She claims that now that she’s old, she is a toothless tiger. All her true power is gone and her roar is all that she has left. (Never to fear—my family and I can attest that her teeth are still in fine working order.)
Mom wasn’t as extreme as the Tiger Mother in Amy Chua’s book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. I was allowed to watch TV and go to sleepovers. However, I did have to study hard and practice at least two to three hours of piano every day—sometimes more as we approached a piano competition. She made sure I knew that sacrifices would have to be made in order for one to succeed. Each minute not studying or practicing was a lost opportunity. One could not chill out like everyone else—not unless one wanted to be average like everyone else.
Now with a child of my own, I battle the infamous Tiger Mother within—the strict, dictatorial, overachieving mother who wants her cub to be accomplished in everything she does. Not only that, but constantly striving for perfection and to never be complacent.
I’ve just come up with a new behavior modification game for the Princess called “Yellow Card, Red Card” (YCRC). We’ve only started playing it for a few days (and I’m still making up rules as we go along), but it’s amazing how much more cooperative she’s become in a short time.
YCRC is a spin-off on the Conversation Train Game which she learned in speech this week. Continue reading →
I’ve come to learn to accept that my daughter—although I carried her in my belly for nine months—is and probably will always be an enigma. I also learned that she has many of HB’s foibles, so whenever she might behave in a way that’s erratic or unfamiliar, I must keep in mind that my genes only make up one-half of her. The rest is HB, and of course, environment and her own little spin on things.
The Princess doesn’t like to try or do new things unless she’s absolutely sure she can do it perfectly. The first time. This can be quite a challenge to get her to try something new, such as learning a musical instrument or a sport. And because of her food allergies, she also tends to be reluctant to try new foods, even though we promise they will taste good and will not hurt her. Very often she would throw a hissy fit so dramatic and traumatic, that any inkling of creating a sibling for her would vanish.
However, in public with no parents around, she has an entirely different persona and approach to new things. Her summer day camp has been a whole new eye-opening experience for us, and it’s only been one week so far. Continue reading →