Posted on


In online class today, Kyle had a literacy practice sheet, which he thankfully focused on and answered properly. But right after a short break, they had a math test that he scribbled almost illegible numbers on with his head on the desk. I had to remind him several times to sit properly and focus. I even tried to motivate (i.e. bribe) him with a small stuffed toy if he does well. But after answering one question, he would refuse to answer the next one.

“It’s too hard, mom!”

“I know you can do it, because you’ve done it so many times and gotten the right answer. I think you just don’t want to try.”

“No, I don’t know it. It’s true!”

He then pouted his lips and squeezed his eyes, trying to force imaginary tears that wouldn’t come out.

“You know love, it’s okay to cry if you really feel like crying. But if you’re forcing yourself to cry, it’s not good for you.”

I was trying to make sure he wouldn’t miss any items on his test, because he has a deal with his dad and really wants to “win” a PS4 by working hard in school. He knows how to subtract- he just doesn’t like writing down the solution. I was trying to console him while checking our dinner, so when my husband wanted to turn off the stove I was pre-heating because he thought I had accidentally left it on, I snapped.

“Mom, remember what you asked me earlier today?”

I honestly couldn’t remember, and he kept giving me cryptic clues that I couldn’t figure out. Finally, he typed this on the computer:

“Kyle, what makes you feel the most loved?” Then he made an X sign with his fingers on the word “most.”

Oh. 🙊

This morning, I asked him that because I wanted to talk about our love languages.

“Are you saying you don’t feel that mommy loves you right now?”

He nodded.

I hugged him and felt guilty, but also recognized the emotional blackmail.😅

“You know, love is not always something you feel. If you’re doing something wrong, like acting lazy, I will push you to do better. Even if you end up not liking me, it’s okay. What’s important to me is that you grow up to be the best person that you can be. You told me that you feel most loved when mommy and daddy tell you we love you, right? So always remember that even if it doesn’t feel that way, mommy always loves you. Believe what I say.”

“Okay, mom. I feel better now.”

He stayed after class with teacher to finish the test. Afterwards, we talked about it.

“I’m sorry for getting angry. It’s not so important to me that you get all the answers right. What’s more important for me is that you try your best. If you do that and still get a lot of wrong answers, it’s okay. I’ll still be proud of you. I’ll help you fix it so you can do better next time. But if you don’t try your best, I’ll be disappointed. Were you trying your best?”

“No mom, I was being a bit lazy.”

“It’s good that you know, because knowing is half the battle! Now all you have to do is fix it.”

“Okay, so it’s: K=Know, F=Fix. What’s C?”

“Hmm. How about… conquer?”

“Okay, so that’s K.. F.. C!!”


Happy Valentine’s day to all.❤️

Posted on

It May Be Hard, But It’s Worth It

We’ve been tantrum-free for a while now, but I’m bracing myself for more episodes now that online school has started again. #Singaporemath is challenging because of the way it delves into the concepts. It’s not enough to know the answer- you need to break it down and show the different ways to solve the equation. It’s not for everyone, but I like it!

But even for kids who already know the answer, it can get frustrating. They can get lost in the solutions and end up with the wrong answer, which they otherwise would have gotten correctly if you had let them solve it intuitively instead. When Kyle gets frustrated in class, he acts up by being silly, throwing a tantrum, or simply refusing to do any work. Yesterday, he put his head down on the table and started grunting and growling. After I calmed him down, he kept acting extra silly, and wouldn’t answer the seat work. After some struggling, and almost losing my patience, I finally thought of asking him- “do you find it hard, or are you bored?”

“A little bit of both.”

We told him before school started again this week that if he does really well in class and is well-behaved at home, he can get a prize- but he has to work hard for it. His enthusiasm only lasted a week. So I reminded him- remember you said you would work for your PS4 or PS5? Well of course it will be hard! If it were easy, then the prize wouldn’t be as good. You really have to study, anyway. So it’s either you study hard and win a prize, or you study not so hard and you don’t get a prize. You might as well work for the prize, right?

And you know what? In life, you have to work hard to get the best things. Do you know how hard it was for me to give birth to you? It was so hard and SO painful! But it was all worth it, because you are the best thing that has ever happened to me.

With that, he finally stopped grunting and smiled at me. We hugged and he went back to his desk to answer his maths diligently.

“I’m so proud of you, Kyle! See, I knew you could do it if you just focused!”

“Yeah, mom, I’m so proud of me, too!”

Aren’t kids amazing? 🥰

Hoping all you moms and dads out there are easing back into school alright! We can do this!