Tagged with " Philosophy"

CAN’T is for Wusses

Why CAN’T is banned in our house…

One of the things we noticed recently, was that Georgia had picked up and was very generously sharing was the use of the word Can’t.

Being Asian, born and bred, we have grown up rather far removed from the Can’t ideology, “You do as you’re told” was the overarching philosophy of the day. Not that you couldn’t ever say Can’t, you had to have at least tried before you gave up!

And because we generally are pretty optimistic, positive people (at least I like to believe so!) we found then as Can’t became more and more prevalent in our household, it became both frustrating and annoying, and we just had to do something about it.

It was extremely encouraging to read then, in Jack Canfield’s book, Success Principles, that one should never ever use the word Can’t. In it’s essence, Can’t is the epitome of self-limit. It imposes a restriction within the mind, before one is even able or willing to try something.

When children start using Can’t as an excuse not to do something, it seems to completely negate all possibility, all hope of even trying, it becomes both frustrating and really quite sad.

When you think about it, Can or Can’t both refer to choices (a positive choice or a negative choice) however it is very different from I don’t want to, I will not or I should not all of which state a preference.

And so we set forth to restrict the use of the word Can’t. In our house, you’re allowed to state a preference preferably with an explanation, I’d rather not (Don’t want to),  you’re allowed to decline, No thank you but Can’t is simply unacceptable.

Generally though, our main response to ‘I can’t’ tends to be ‘You CAN, you just need to try!’

And how has it been going? Great! Given that, because can’t as an automatic response is no longer acceptable, Georgia has started to weigh up her responses and think about whether she really doesn’t want to do something, and for what reason.

Apart from the obvious (swear words et al.), are there any words that are ‘banned’ in your house? Why?

Conversations with Georgia: Mummy, when were you a baby?

We’re in the car travelling back home from Cardiff when a little voice in the back seat asks:

G: Mummy, when were you a baby?
Me: Oh that was quite a long time ago.
G: So where was I when you were a baby?
Me: You were not born yet…
G: Yes but where was I?

…. what would you have said, given that Georgia is just over 3 years old.

Dad eventually joins the conversation:

D: Mummy and daddy did not know each other then, we were only babies. So you were not born yet.
G: But why?

Jan 6, 2009 - Philosophy    No Comments

In a Big Girl Bed now…

The Tomy bed guard came off about a week before Christmas when Georgia decided that she was going to be a big girl now and sleep in a ‘Big Girl Bed’.

It has worked well so far with the duvet pinned in the sides of the bed to keep her from rolling off – it hasn’t happened yet…fingers crossed!

Nov 13, 2008 - Parenting, Philosophy, Random    No Comments

A little distraction…

It’s hard to find ‘the’ balance, and harder still when it’s emotionally relevant.

I try to find a little time in my day for my own ‘me’ time, usually when Georgia’s napping and I always aim to fill that time constructively. Now constructively does not mean for my sanity or peace of mind, constructively really means – a sense acheivement. These days it’s a case of finishing up my 2 000 or 3 000 word chapter to meet my mid-Dec deadline of the Principles textbook.

Typically though, procrastination rules and i often find that in that one hour of time that i have, it is swallowed completely by writing long chatty emails to my classmates the other side of the world (Marie in Aus, Jac in Penang, Mei in US); stopping a while to catch up on Facebook, reading reading and more reading – The Star, BBC News….and worse of all are the lovely often deliciously provocative blogs of other mummys. Why and how are they able to acheive so much in the same amounts of time that I have in a day?

The bigger questions arrives every Thursday, for this is when Georgia spends a full day at St Johns. I’m so glad that she is now a full time convert – it has no longer become a war to get her going to St Johns.

It is also when I arrive home from Tescos after our early morning grocery shop before ‘school’ and I find the house unusually lonely and quiet. And as I try to focus my attention to the seemingly mountainous task of writing I am distracted by the quietness of the house.

Without Georgia here, there is a sense of stillness which so easily slips in to occasional awarenes of looming loneliness.

I do miss my girl when she’s at nursery.

Happy happy happy!

The wisdom of our children forever astounds.

A couple of days ago, after a fairly traumatic day which involved my often shouting – No! No! No! to Georgia, we had a very enlightening conversation. I’m sure all Parenting Experts will at this point say ‘She’s challenging her boundaries’.

I asked her, “Do you like Mummy being angry?”

Her immediate vehement response, “No!” and then she goes on to say…

“I like mummy to be happy happy happy, and daddy and Georgie to be happy happy happy!”

Now, please tell me, how do I help her maintain this as a life-long policy?

Sell it to another little baby….

A lesson on Impermanence. What is a good age to teach impermanence?

Georgia, aged 2 years 4 months has now learnt that when she grows out of her things – clothes, shoes, toys etc., the get passed on…usually by way of Ebay.
I do wonder though whether it’s good/healthy/ decent parenting ?

On one hand, we do explain that we will be able to buy new things with money made from the sales of the old, on the other, should a 2-year-old really be that aware?

'Me' is You and 'You' is Me

Not that I’m a paranoid parent or anything, but ocassionally i check Georgia’s developments againsts ‘Your child should be doing….’ lists through random google searches. Mainly to know what to expect, and of course the ‘kia su’ in me, jumps for joy when I find out that her development is way advanced for her meagre two-years.

So anyway, I remember reading recently that, at two, expect your child to attempt to use ‘me’ and ‘you’ but also to mix them up, and that is precisely what Georgia has been doing.

‘Mummy, or-or with you’ 

‘When mama talks to you….’

‘Daddy, po-po you’

Feb 28, 2008 - Parenting, Philosophy    No Comments

Fighting her own corner…

We went for Georgia’s two year assessment this morning and it all went really well….except for the bit (now burned in my mind)  that the Health Visitor commented that Georgia would probably benefit from some group interaction to ‘learn to fight her own corner’.

Why would my sweet two year old child need to learn to fight her own corner?!

She’s a perfectly confident little Miss, and is quite happy to assert herself when she needs to but beyond that, she doesn’t like pushing and shoving around and is happy to wait until everyone has had their turn.

So how can learning to fight her own corner then be associated with ‘learning to be confident’? This is what the HV decided to turn it in to when I protested that as ‘Asians’ (Orientals in British terms) we do NOT fight. Perhaps it didn’t come across right, I certainly don’t mean we are ‘walk-overs’ but I have found that typically we tend to ‘let  things lie’ to avoid confrontation unless really necessary.

Still this doesn’t mean that Georgia is lacking in confidence…granted she is placid and quiet but she doesn’t sit by and get bullied. She quite happily fights back for her own toys if they are snatched from her.

Still I can’t see how going to play group is going to, in the words of the HV, encourage her to put up her hand in class to say “I know the answer”.

After all, from what I gather, the typical attitude in UK schools is based on….it’s NOT cool to be clever!
Now THAT’S significantly more worrying!

Feb 20, 2008 - Parenting, Philosophy    No Comments

Nostalgia …

is teaching 2 year old Georgia how to sing Puff the Magic Dragon.

I remember learning to sing it at ISB – one of my all-time favourites….finding it again – on You Tube- The Seekers version — was just brilliant! 

Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.
Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff, oh

Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.
Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.

Together they would travel on boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on Puff’s gigantic tail
Noble kings and princes would bow whene’er they came
Pirate ships would lower their flags when Puff roared out his name, oh


A dragon lives forever, but not so little boys
Painted wings and giants’s rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
Without his lifelong friend, Puff could not be brave
So, Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave, oh