Friday, April 8, 2016
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Monday, November 9, 2015
1. I am intentional in pointing out miracles.
When I am at home, I am a walking exclamation point. My language is filled with phrases like “Wow!”, “incredible!”, “Isn’t that amazing?”, “Can you believe that?” and “What are the chances?”. When my child was younger I had to spell things out for her in order for her to see the awesomeness in things. Now, she has internalized this attitude and would often be the one to point out amazing things. One time we were out of the house and she was so thirsty. There was no vendor in sight but I brought an extra water bottle for her so she was able to drink right away and she turned to me and said “Wow mom isn’t it lucky we have water? We didn’t even have to spend money!”
2. Teaching a point-of-view of abundance vs Want.
Want, want, want. We live in a culture that celebrates materialism and wanting something newer, better or bigger. The first thing I had to do was unlearn my own mentality of want and boy was that hard. We routinely purge our home for things but I have learned that more than the actual purchasing of things we also have to watch what we say. Do you repeatedly say “I want to buy____” or “I want another_____”. Do you always take your child window shopping? What could that be teaching your child?
How about appreciating what we already have? Instead of talking about wanting to buy a bigger tv
3. Counting the miracles we have.
A lot of people practice keeping gratitude journals and this would be a great place to count miracles. My daughter and I personally do this during prayer. 2 nights ago, Andrea’s grandfather invited her to Kidzania (a place she loved so much) part of our prayer was “We are amazed once again by how many people you put around us that love us and bless us Dear Lord. Thank you for Wowo and thank you for impressing in him the desire to bless Andrea with a trip to Kidzania.”
4. Restedness in God’s Wisdom and Provision as our Father.
One thing that’s sometimes hard for kids to understand is how a good father like God would ignore the fervent desires of His people. I told Andrea that God only gives us what’s best for us, and sometimes the things we think would make us happy are not really the best for us.
My daughter particularly loves it when I talk about how I initially wanted to have a son and not a daughter. However, God didn’t bless me with a son and instead I had her. I talk about how lucky I am that God didn’t give me what I thought I wanted and how much happier I am now with what God gave me. We then talk about how sometimes God loves us so much that he can’t give us the things we think we want because they won’t really make us happy.
5. Shifting away from the selfishness towards others.
Lastly, we try to shift her focus away from herself and her wants to the wants of others. This is still a work in progress but there are things we do like routinely giving away her toys and her books. Or when we go to parties and receive a lot of prizes we split them and share them with other kids. One of my happiest (and proudest) moment was during the birthday of one of Andrea’s friends. We bought a present that I knew Andrea would also enjoy *. On the way to the party Andrea exclaimed “I’m so happy for _______. He’s going to love this toy so much.” Isn’t that a great attitude?
(*NOTE: whenever we buy presents for other kids it’s so tempting to buy Andrea a toy as well but we realize we are robbing her the joy of giving to others. When she was younger she would look enviously at the toys she is giving away but that has since changed)
All in all, these steps are great in helping our kids develop a miracle mindset but ultimately the best way to teach our kids is for us to model that mindset ourselves!
The Way We Think
I have spent the last week reviewing for a critical exam I will be taking for 2 weekends. This exam will determine if I can move on with my masteral degree and it means having to go back and review all the courses I have taken. One of the things I had to relearn was Cognitive Psychology. Cognitive Psychology is basically the study of how we think. I had to study the way we perceive things, how we pay attention, memory, thinking, making decisions, creativity, etc. The more I learn of the intricacies of our mind the more convinced I am that this can’t be an accident. The mere act of seeing and recognizing something involves so many processes that the fact that we are able to do it at all is nothing short of a Miracle!
A Hundred Million Miracles
One of my favorite songs from a musical is this little-known song called A Hundred Million Miracles from the musical Flower Drum Song. The song goes:
“A hundred million miracles
Are happ’ning ev’ry day
And those who say
They don’t agree
Are those Who do not hear or see…”
The song talks about the multitude of miracles we encounter every day should we only notice them. The mere fact that our planet balances perfectly due to the pull of the planets and the gravity of the sun is already an inexplicable wonder, and that is just one of a million miracles we can point out. The song brings to light an important fact, these miracles are everywhere, they are happening! However, not everyone perceives them because, as the song suggests those who don’t agree that there are miracles are those who fail to hear or see those miracles.
But, you may ask, how can one not see things if they are so miraculous? Aren’t we sure to see something if it were indeed miraculous? You know the answer to that? It’s because we have stopped looking! We perceive things when we are looking at them and we shut out everything else! This is an
interesting phenomenon in Cognitive Psychology called inattention blindness. Inattention blindness is this phenomenon where people fail to see things that they are not paying attention to. One experiment that showcases this phenomenon is the Gorilla experiment. Participants were asked to watch a video where the actors were busy with Basketball drills, the participants were then given the task of watching the video closely and counting the number of times the basketball was passed from one member to another. Unbeknownst to the participants who were watching the video, there is also a man in a gorilla costume that will be appearing and dancing around all over the basketball court as the people were busy performing basketball drills. At the end of the experiment none of the participants reported seeing the dancing gorilla. NOT ONE! How can nobody notice a dancing gorilla wearing a basketball uniform? Because, as with miracles, no one was looking! We have become so caught up, so focused on our lives that we are desensitized and fail to perceive the wonders and miracles all around us!
Losing Sight of Miracles
I don’t know exactly when my focus started shifting from my child-like wonder to the jaded adults’ mindset. But I realized that I have become a bitter and jaded person when I was an adult and finding it difficult to find happiness in anything. I look at old blog posts from when I was still a food blogger and see someone so full of dissatisfaction! I had complaints about practically every restaurant, every meal and I felt justified in my point-of-view. I was spoiled. I wanted things a certain way and was extremely unhappy when I didn’t get what I expected. And I expected a lot! I felt entitled to things, I deserved it after all…or so I thought. My focus was in acquiring more but when I did get what I thought wanted, I was still unhappy.
Joy in Gratitude
Thank goodness for the blessing of motherhood. There’s something about being a mom that forces you to focus on the ordinary, the mundane, the day-to-day and see it all from the point-of-view of a child. When you're a mom you have to realize the beauty and wonder in a spider web. You get the blessing of seeing things again like you did the first time you saw them. You then start experiencing things with wonder and you start seeing the miracle in the day-to-day.
There are times though, that motherhood itself is the thing that keeps us from seeing the miracles. How can you appreciate the glorious things around you when you are covered in projectile vomit and poop? I realized though that as a mom I have to be the thermostat and not a thermometer in our home. I have to set the tone and make sure that my child can see and appreciate and therefore experience the hundred million miracles around her.
There are things I try to do at home that help me with my goal of creating a mindset of miracle in my child. I will share them in my next post. =)
Saturday, November 7, 2015
I was on a flight back to Manila when I chanced upon an article talking about the show Empire. It got me curious so I got the first episode....it was downhill from there. I am enamored with every single aspect of the show. Taraji P. Henson described it as a mixture of Dynasty and Glee. It has drama, fashion, wit and amazing music.
In line with this obsession I have with Empire I have re-discovered my love for old school hip-hop and RnB. This album has kept me company for 2 weeks of very late night working. It's phenomenal! The only track that seems out of place is Courtney Love's track but I just skip over that.
Oh how I curse the day when an Infinitea branch opened around 200m from my house. I initially thought all they had were milk teas but I have been loving all their other drinks. A personal favorite is their Peach Mint Yoghurt Slush with nata de coco. Oh I'm salivating right now!
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
- - Toys or books that I call junk food. They are inexpensive, readily available and take up a lot of our kid’s time but add no value to their mind, character, or life. I would say that around 80% of the toys I see fall into this category.
- - Premium toys. Those that stimulate our kid’s brain and add a wealth of value to our child’s life. These toys however cost an arm and a leg! They are also incredibly hard to find.
- - Premium yet inexpensive toys. Like I previously mentioned these are wonderful but are pricey. There are a lot of inexpensive toys but are only available in other countries and would therefore entail going through the process of ordering online and enduring the extended wait for shipping and then crossing all your fingers that you custom doesn’t charge you an exorbitant amount when your package does arrive.
I hurriedly drove over to Fun Ranch where Learning Plus is located just so I could personally see what this store is all about and boy it did not disappoint. It was filled with amazing books and even more awesome educational toys (I am embarrassed to admit that I ended up buying a toy for my daughter and for myself).
Even though Learning Plus is an offshoot of TMA Homeschool everyone is welcome to drop in and purchase the products for their kids. The books, toys and other educational materials would definitely benefit all students. Learning plus aims to have a venue that will provide kids with as many tools as possible to do better and be better.
Learning Plus differs from your typical Filipino book store in that every single thing inside it aims to help your child develop in Wisdom and in Character. I would admit that my daughter and I were giddy as we looked at all the books and educational toys available. Here are some of the products we saw that really sparked our interest:
|Learning about Magnets is cool. But you know what's even cooler? Testing out what you've learned by performing some tricks and experiments with this kit!|
|Mighty Mind and Super Mind are awesome puzzles for kids. It's such a great brain twister for young kids. My daughter has had hers for 3 years and she still enjoys it to this day. It's a great alternative to iPad games.|
|I am in love with this Magnetic Mighty Mind game. Perfect for long car trips or even air place rides.|
|Nourish your child's creativity and innovative mind with Zoob Jr!|
|This wonderful kit would have your child building one of Leonardo Da Vinci's inventions.|
There are also books that you can use to supplement your child's textbooks, educational shows (like Magic School bus) and many more!
Hope you all could make it!
If you can't make it to the launch you can still visit the shop during their regular store hours:
Tuesday to Friday from 8:30am - 3:30pm
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
I also appreciate how the pieces are quite big making it difficult to lose pieces. We parents all know how frustrating it can be to have an expensive toy become useless because of one tiny part gone missing. The game comes with a square plastic container holding 5 pieces or icebergs together making storing it easier.
- It encourages solo play
- The increasing difficulty promotes the idea that we should always keep challenging ourselves.
- It sharpens spatial ability
- It encourages strategic thinking.
- It improves problem-solving skills.
- It can help you teach your child to compete with himself. (By challenging him to complete more challenging puzzles or do the puzzles faster)