Audvertorial

For those who need it most

My greatest fear as a child was becoming and orphan (and my parents getting divorced -yea my happiness was very closely tied to my parents haha).

My greatest fear as a mother is – besides my children dying on me CHOI CHOI CHOI – is us passing and leaving them orphans.

(I wanna say that I would die before I’d let Fighter or Penny become an orphan but that is just a horrible pun.)

Every child deserves a loving family.

If there is no family, they deserve to be loved and cared for anyway.

Every child deserves a roof over their heads.

Every child deserves to not go hungry.

Every child deserves to be educated.

Every child deserves to grow up in a stable environment, safe from harm and abuse.

Every child deserves a chance to be secure and happy.

And every child deserves a chance to grow up into good adults who will perhaps do the same for the children in their future.

It’s common for people to feel for orphans; after all humans are predisposed to want to care for the young of our species. But ever since becoming a mom, the cause of underprivileged children has never been more significant.

Years ago when I started working I registered for a monthly credit off my bank account under UNICEF for underprivileged kids in Malaysia but to be honest, I rarely gave a thought to it since then. There is still so much more we can do. So I was very happy to hear that McDonald’s a brand I genuinely love, and have worked with consistently recently organized a charity initiative for some children’s homes.

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) – yep, the same clear plastic box for loose change sitting on any McDs counter – arranged for a special outing for the children of ten orphanage homes …. to watch the Angry Birds movie!

I was invited to come join them!  Kids were asked too but I don’t think they can last a movie yet and I don’t want them to disrupt other people’s experience hahaha.

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This is the best Ronald McDonald EVER.  He was so committed to his job – greeting the kids and joking and making them feel at ease, and gathering everyone expertly for photos!

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With the kids from one of the orphanage homes.

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Another home!

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Erm we also wanna fit in by taking pics with Ronald hahaha.  Red and Chuck of the Angry Birds showed up and joined us! 😀

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As part of the initiative, RMHC also donated RM5,000 each to the ten children’s orphanage homes they worked with. :)

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Sat in on the screening for about an hour with Fiona, Michelle, Kathy and Kathy’s little girl before I had to rush back to resume mommy duties.

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…to this critter and his sister.  I honestly can’t imagine them being on their own without us to care for them. :(  Underprivileged children need all the help we can give. I’m glad Ronald McDonald House Charities is doing their part to contribute and it’s a gentle reminder for us to do the same. :)

If you would like to know more about what RMHC is doing to help the children, please visit http://www.rmhc.org/

This post was written in collaboration with McDonald’s



Audvertorial

How to watch movies on the next level

Nothing catches me more when it comes to my age than when it hits me…

That only ten years ago I had a clamshell phone that came with a blue backlight.

That a cloud was something white and fluffy in the sky, not something I use to store my photos.

That instead of Waze, I used to drive around with an actual GPS in my car and when it was cloudy… FML la confirm get lost already.

Instead of Spotify, I had to Kazaa and Napster songs. Hahaha. And then upload them into an mp3 player.


Behold! wtf

That I used to watch movies on DVD and TV channels. I never watched so much TV as when I was in school and I remember sitting in our dorm room in college in front of our small boxy TV, waiting for ANTM or Gossip Girls to start.

In the last ten years, the way we watch movies and TV shows has changed drastically (as has everything else). It’s as if the TV and the personal computer have merged and we use them interchangeably now. We stream movies and watch them on laptops. We hook up PCs to the TV so we can make use of the larger screen to work.

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Which is why this is the next generation computer.  Ten years ago my mp3 player is already Hello Kitty how can I resist a Hello Kitty themed computer!?

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This is the Acer Revo One Hello Kitty edition.

The lines between TVs and computers/laptops have blurred so much now that this has become a very interesting option – a computer without a screen.

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Because the culture today is about portability and ease of use and convenience, Acer teamed up with Sanrio Hello Kitty to come up with this adorable device.  It doesn’t come with a screen because it doesn’t need one!

Do you hook your laptop up to your TV so you can watch Netflix or downloaded movies on a bigger screen?

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This is your answer.

No more lugging your laptop home from office anymore to watch Korean dramas wtf.  The beauty of the Acer Revo One is that it takes up very little space on your TV console while giving huge space – 2TB of storage (which comes up to 400 DVD movies).

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Doesn’t hurt that it’s absolutely gorgeous to look at too!

It comes with a pink wireless keyboard, pink wireless mouse, and a bow-shaped cable organizer.

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And you can even download its app on any Android phone and control the device using your phone.

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With Nana, Kitty, Careen, Jessica, Bobo and Tzia at the launch. DSC02463

OMG see all these flatlay pros. *feels the pressure DSC02462

For tech whizes, here are more deets.. It’s powered by Inter Core i3 Processor and has an excellent dynamic 7.1 surround system.  In hooman terms, your room slash living room can turn into what would probably sound like your own movie theater hehe.

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If Hello Kitty is your thing (she IS mine!) and you’re looking for a stylish easy way to store movies and watch streamed content off your TV, this is for you. But hurry cos there’s only 600 units in  Malaysia!

This post was written in collaboration with Acer.

AudSappy

How my husband and I fight in our marriage

Hello hello!

So this is obvious from the title, but a reader recently asked if I would blog about how Fatty and I resolve disagreements.

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A lot of readers like to comment “#relationshipgoals” and similar on our pics *shy. But let me comfort you by saying we fight regularly also ok. If we didn’t it means that one of us is swallowing our anger and we’re just moving toward the day that one of us turns into a crazed killer wtf. #jokes

So yes, we do have fights.  I think we’ve mostly gotten our major differences out of the way in the early years so nowadays our fights are less um… existential?  They’re less about life and relationship philosophies now and more about bickering re: daily annoyances (like me forgetting to pick my dirty clothes off the floor wtf).  But when I think about it, we do fight in a certain way that consistently creates a positive resolution.

I narrowed it down and realized this is what we try to do.

  1. Don’t go to sleep angry

Yea I know this point has appeared in tons of listicles very cliched hahaha but very true.  I hate the feeling of waking up and remembering I’m supposed to be angry wtf and I don’t believe it’s good to let arguments simmer anyway.

This rule is about fixing the bad stuff so we can move on to happier things faster.  Why stay angry or sad very fun meh wtf.

So if possible, we resolve the argument before we go to sleep.  Even if it means we’re lying in bed in the dark already but still talking things out.  The nice thing is though, when we’re done we can just ‘otter’ (our term for holding hands to sleep) and fall asleep at peace.

2. Don’t bring up the past

I actually know couples who do this – bring up past disagreements or unhappiness – usually to win an argument. D: In my experience it only makes things worse! If you’re going to resolve today’s argument, you have to do it without pulling in past problems.  It’s a distraction from the issue at hand and deters you from solving on the present issue rationally.

3. No playing games 

This means NO SILENT TREATMENT, you silent treatment ladies. *shakes finger*  Also no saying nothing is wrong when there is obviously something wrong.

Actually I am totally a silent treatment person wtf.  I used to give silent treatment all the time lolol.  Partly because I need time to myself to sort out my emotions and calm down so I don’t say anything stupid.  But also partly cos it’s a way of showing that I’m upset.  But truth is, it’s a passive aggressive way of showing anger and it’s damn irritating to be on the receiving end!  It achieves nothing but making the other person angrier wtf.

So I may be fuming silently, but if Fatty makes an attempt to talk to me, I will force myself to answer him properly.

As tempting as it may be, this means no behavior like sarcasm or eye rolling either.  It’s hard and I’ve probably done it before myself but again, contemptuous behavior like this is disrespectful to the partner and will rile up tempers even more which is not conducive to resolving fights.  It’s difficult cos you’re so upset yourself but you need to control that urge.

4. Don’t say things you cannot take back

Again, I guess this is to win the battle, or to inflict maximum damage but I don’t understand people who throw out hurtful sentences like “Fine, break up la!” or “I hate you!” when they’re fighting with their partner!  You know that saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”?  WRONG.  Words hurt.  You may have won the battle but you just lost the war. (that was coined by me btw. I think. )

If you don’t mean it, don’t say it.  Once it’s out there, there’s no taking it back.  Even if you apologize, hurtful words will be remembered and it’s a crack in the relationship.  Too many cracks and any structure would eventually collapse.

5. Choose your words well

I guess this is related to not saying stuff you’ll regret.  In a fight we’re angry and we want to inflict hurt on the other person because we’re hurt ourselves.  And we want to win the argument.  But it’s good to keep in mind that a fight is not just to air grievances but to try to fix the problem so we can move on.

Using words like “you always do this” or “you never do that” are damaging because chances are, what you’re accusing your partner of is probably not something they do or don’t do ALL of the time.  “Always” and “never” are all-encompassing words which negate any good that your husband or bf has done.

I read somewhere that in an argument, try to focus on yourself more than attacking the other person.  So instead of “You always slam the door on my face!” you say, “I feel pain when you close the door on me” wtf.  This is not a real life example of course hahahaha but the point is, focusing on yourself sounds less accusatory and the other person will not react as defensively.  And you guys get to talk over the problem more constructively!

6.  Apologize if wrong

Yea this is a tough one.  How many of you will say sorry?  I’m not talking about the “Fine la sorry la!” type of apology but a proper sincere one.

I’m not really good at this either but Fatty makes it a point to apologize if he realizes he’s in the wrong.  Don’t think that saying you’re sorry will diminish your pride; apologizing takes courage. Apologies converts a desire for revenge to a willingness to reconcile.   And anyway even if it does take away your pride, relationship > pride right? If you don’t agree then please reconsider yourself wtf.

Anyway I say so easy but still working on this wtf.

7.  When done, don’t keep it or hold grudges

So you’ve more or less settled the argument?  Someone has apologized? It’s time to move on. Yes, you still want to nurse the negative feelings and wallow a little.  But resist the urge and just get over it.  You’ve already sorted out the argument so what good is there to dwell on it?

And while we’re on it, refer to point two! Not just don’t dwell on it; once you’re past this argument do NOT bring it up again as ammo for future fights.

So that’s it.

Fatty and I took years (and many fights) to get to this point.  Like I mentioned, I used to do the whole silent treatment thing, while Fatty would use the most hurtful words he could to win.  Luckily I have a hippopotamus hide and he also hot enough to tahan my Elsa treatment wtf.

I think the key point to take away is…. we try not to be too emotional when arguing.  When emotions aren’t kept in check, we say and do a lot of things that may irreparably damage the relationship and prevent us from solving conflict.

If you’re too upset about it, try walking away for a bit or giving each other space.  When the feels have died down a bit, then you can start talking in a more rational and constructive way.

Sometimes we cannot agree, and we literally agree to disagree.  Sometimes we have an “action moving forward”, eg one of us keeping the other’s disappointment in mind to avoid in the future.  It’s different each time but when we finish the argument, we move along with no hard feelings.

That’s generally how we try to fix our fights.  How do you usually resolve arguments?

AudVlogs

Doing the same thing every day!

Actually this is again a very average day in our lives. So average until I don’t know what to say about it HAHAHA.

Fatty is away on a business trip so it’s just me and the two critters. In this video:

Penny is sick(ish) and recovering from a bug
Hello Kitty Cafe
Hourglass preview launch
Penny wakes Fighter for school
The critters go cycling
Goodnight kids!

AudParenting

How we potty trained our son

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Guess who’s potty trained now!

Fighter is two years and eight months old (adjusted age 2 years 6 months)

After he turned two I actually attempted potty training him.

Like any self respecting twenty first century mother, I googled it first, naturally.  Found out from Baby Center that a kid has to be ready in three aspects before potty training could be successful.

1 Physically ready – able to hold pee ie fewer wet diapers, poops at relatively regular times,

2 Behaviourally ready – shows a wish to please, enjoys praise; demonstrates a desire for independence; discomfort when diaper is dirty

3 Cognitively ready – can understand simple instructions like “do you need to pee?”

At two years I thought Fighter might be ready.  He definitely understood “pee” and “poop” and simple questions and instructions.  He also seemed to be pooping at regular times and I definitely knew when he was doing it cos he’d go to a corner, grab on to some furniture and tell me to go away wtf.

So I got ready.  I went out and bought a potty from IKEA.  Went to Cotton On Kids and purchased pairs of what are his first underpants.  Brought them home and brandished them to him.

Me: “Look! Mommy got you underpants like a big boy!  You have to wear them ok? No more diapers.  When you want to pee, tell mommy and we’ll go in the potty.”

Fighter: “Ooh. Jude wear.”

They say you just have to go cold turkey, remove their diapers, put on their underwear (while making them feel proud of wearing big boy/girl pants) and then just hope for the best!  Ask them every fifteen minutes if they have to go, and be quick about it because they can’t hold it that long yet.

Some people say to prepare stickers as a reward for going correctly but I didn’t want to do that.  Number one, I don’t believe in petty rewards for what is their own pride and success, not mine.  Being independent and doing it right should be reward itself right!? #asianmom. Number two, I was too lazy to go buy stickers HAHAHAHA.

It was a complete disaster wtf.

Fighter would NOT tell us when he wanted to go.  When I placed him on the potty, he would sit there for ages, not going.  Then the minute he got up from the potty, he’d pee all over his legs and the floor.  Our poor helper was spending her life mopping the floor for those three days!

I realized he wasn’t even peeing a gush of pee each time.  Each time would be a little dribble, which got me thinking – maybe he wasn’t even physically ready for potty training.

I was super sien of forever stepping on pee puddles already by the third day so I aborted mission wtf. I figured Fighter wasn’t near ready yet and I wasn’t going to stress any of us out by prematurely potty training him.

And I bought more diapers wtf.

But a month or two back, Fighter’s class teacher told me she thought he was ready.

(Yes Fighter’s school does potty training!  Well worth the fees hahaahaha.  I know some preschools don’t accept kids who are still in diapers but ours does and they are really good at leading the training especially if it’s a noob parent who doesn’t know what she’s doing cough me cough.)

Fighter’s teacher said Fighter wanted to follow to the toilet every time his BFF Chase (who’s already potty trained) went for toilet breaks.  She thought he was ready. I was like uhh if you say so teacher.  You have to clean up pee puddles not me WTF.

On the day he started potty training, I packed five pairs of training underpants for him and a couple of diapers.  And a change of clothes.

When I came to pick him up, he wasn’t even wearing his change of clothes WTF.  He was wearing some spare uniform the school kept for emergencies because he peed in his pants THREE TIMES.

The teacher who’s normally very optimistic came out of the classroom looking frazzled. “If he doesn’t get it by this week, it’s okay.  We’ll try again some other time.”

She so pessimistic by first day means Fighter is damn bad la!!! FOL hahahahaha.

On the second day, he had FOUR accidents. :X  I packed two suits of clothes for him and he still came home wearing school’s spare pants.

But the teacher was optimistic!  Apparently on the first day, Fighter didn’t even seem to notice the pee running down his legs wtf.  On the second day, although he had 4 accidents, he showed discomfort at being wet and dirty so that was an improvement.

On the second day though, I got him home and asked if he wanted to pee.  He said yes and actually successfully peed in the potty!

On the third day, he had NO accidents.  The teacher had found out for some weird reason, Fighter was reluctant to pee standing up, but had no issues peeing on the toilet bowl.   He was also very good at holding his pee already!

For the rest of the week, he had no accidents. And he got a certificate from his class teacher announcing that he was “a star for having three days with no accidents” hahahaha.  Not like he can read la so don’t know how proud he was exactly wtf.

We started potty training on Tuesday and today is Saturday.  We went out for dinner and I was worried he’d pee and put a pull up on him.  When we were heading home, he suddenly told me “I want to pee, Mommy.”  I was in a rush to get home so I told him to just do it since he had his diaper on.

When we got home, I asked him if he still needed to pee and he said yes.  Let him do it in the potty and he peed a lot wtf.  His diaper was dry!  Which meant he actually held it in the whole trip home (maybe ten minutes) yay!!!

So there’s that.  Potty training was a big success for us!  But only because I think we waited until he was completely ready – his muscles are strong enough to hold his pee, he can communicate his needs to us and understand instruction.  And most of all, he was mentally ready.

I do think that the first time we tried, he was just not ready to start.  I knew he understood and he could speak by then but he just flat out refused to tell us when he needed to pee.  Only after he saw his friends going to the toilet did he suddenly decide to be independent wtf.  #peerpressure

Last poop anecdote!

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Last night he wanted to poop and his potty was downstairs so we placed him on the toilet bowl. 

He seemed a bit unsure although he did do a poop wtf.

So to reassure him, I showed him the poop in the water before I flushed it.

Me: “Bye bye pang sai!”

Fighter: “Babai!” *waves hand*

Me: *presses flush handle*

Fighter: *watching poop flush* “See you later!”

Me: “…..”

Fighter: “Sorry pang sai.”

Audvertorial

New Trike

Wow wow get off the road everyone, Fighter and Mochi have their own vehicle now!!!!

Hahahahaha.

My aunts (which makes them the critters’ grand aunts) chipped in and bought them a tricycle for Penny’s birthday.

But it’s not just any tricycle.  It’s a ….

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Two seater tricycle!

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If the Batmobile was a trike, I bet it’d look like this wtf.  Got enough space for Batman AND Robin hahahahahahah.

I don’t know if anywhere in KL sells this old school tricycle but I remember this from my childhood!  My parents searched Penang for this and found it in one of the old school toy shops.  It’s made of plastic everything but it comes with a built in sound system hahahahaha.

Fighter can pedal but it also comes with a steering pole behind and it’s super easy to push and steer.

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As usual, Fighter bullies his way into sitting in front.  But sometimes Penny gets a turn too hahahaha.

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My Batman and Robin.

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Hope they’ll always be walking through life side by side. :)

Oh and here’s a vlog of their new toy!

AudRubbish AudShopping

Ode to my shirts

A piece of cloth I thought you were,
Made of cotton, not leather or fur.
I saw you on sale,
So with nary a quail,
I clicked purchase and my money did transfer.

Just a shirt, and I thought that was that,
You kept me warm, and were nice to look at.
A pretty grey top,
with daisies on top,
You kept me decent and I didn’t look fat.

A shirt, I thought that was all that you were.
But I was so wrong, this I now concur.
My babies lay on you,
When they caught a bad flu,
My shirt to tissue they did prefer.

A mommy’s shirt is not just a shirt,
Let’s not talk about my pants or my skirts.
From tears to bubbly snot,
They’re all used to blot.
Why, it’s a catcher of all kinds of dirt!

It’s actually kind of amazing,
That your clothes when you’re childraising,
Double up duty as hanky,
Dishcloth, bib and blankie.
It’s all true and I’m not paraphrasing.

When your kids come crying for you,
And you’re scrambling for a tissue,
Any old shirt (or new) will do.
My shirts soak up tears,
And wipe away their fears,
My shirts are a comfort, it’s true.

If your clothes are faded and worn,
Just disregard that fashion blogger’s scorn.
Hold your head up high
Cos this shirt and that tie,
Have soothed your babies since they were born.

There once was a t-shirt from a website
With which I fell in love at first sight,
But my kids love it more,
And not because it’s Dior,
But ’cause it’s this shirt and mommy that will put everything right.

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To my clothes,

My most precious material possessions.  Those that I’ve carefully curated over the years and cherished for making me look cute and on point all the time.  Now I value them for one more reason.  For the last two years, you have not just been a fashion statement or an essential item for my modesty, but also a rag, a mop, a tissue paper, a handkerchief, a bib, and a hand towel.

Thank you for your service. You have served me and my family well.

Yours,

Clothes Lover.

AudVanity AudVlogs

7 Minute Lazy Makeup Routine

I am in no way a makeup guru because I only have one style of makeup and it’s not even very good hahahaha.

But I have perfected the art of doing a complete face of makeup in under 7 minutes!

This is perfect for moms (who have toddlers hanging off their legs), people who like to press the snooze button and anyone who wants a quick to go makeup look.

I fast forwarded some parts to make it less boring for us, the ADD generation hahaha.

Products used in this video:
Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse in Beige
Laneige BB Cushion in True Beige
Moonshot Dark Spot Concealer in 201
Erabelle eyebrow pencil
Urban Decay eyeshadow in Beware
Charming Kiss liquid brown eyeliner
Dolly Wink volume mascara in black
Givenchy Prisme Libre loose powder in Voila Rose
Nars blusher in Orgasm

Enjoy!

AudParenting

How to get through the Terrible Twos alive

Hello from the depths of the Terrible Twos!  Misery loves company wtf.

So Fighter just turned two and a half and we’re firmly entrenched in what they aptly call the Terrible Twos.

I’ve been battling tantrums and meltdowns and whining which have actually intensified within the past one or two months.  In desperation, I turned to books for a solution.  And I’m actually really glad I did because it’s been very enlightening.

It helps me understand why Fighter does the things he does and how he thinks.  And why some things I do seem to work while others don’t.

And because of that I can empathize with him more and deal with him accordingly, making things (and our days) go by easier.

Anyway this is the book I’m reading.  It’s really very good and I recommend getting a read!

But if you haven’t the time, here’s what I learned (from the book and based on my own experience).

Toddlers are monsters more like teenagers.

They’re going through a huge, rapid development, socially, mentally and emotionally.

Imagine being a baby and thinking of yourself as an extension of mommy.  Then one day, you realize you’re actually your own person!  That’s what being a toddler is like.  You are trying to discover your own person – what you like or dislike, your relationship with the people around you.  That sounds like major upheaval and it’s no wonder toddlers have emotional meltdowns.

And then there are the emotions!  Suddenly toddlers are realizing they are filled with emotions.  Positive ones are fine and dandy of course, but what about the negative ones?  Anger, sadness, frustration, shame.  There’s no control switch in a toddler’s brain yet so when emotions happen, it floods them and they react accordingly.  Tears, rage, screaming fits etc.

On top of that, toddlers have not figured out how to express themselves yet in what we adults see as socially acceptable ways.  Heck, their verbal skills are only just developing – even some adults have trouble defining their feelings, what more little kids aged 2-5?  If they’re upset and they cannot convey it, they get even more frustrated.  Cue meltdown.

What else?  What drives toddlers? Control.

Toddlers are figuring themselves and the world out, and it can be scary.  They desire control over their surroundings and the most common ways of exerting control are during – you guessed it – mealtime, bathtime, bedtime and choosing their own clothes.  Which is why most fights occur during these times.

We as parents have to remember that toddlers don’t have the same logic that we do.  They see things in an entirely different way, which seems illogical to us but makes perfect sense to them.  One of the examples in the book was something that Fighter would totally do; a toddler is rocking himself on a chair, and balancing on the back legs of the chair, while holding on to the table.   He’s feeling strong and proud of himself.  Dad sees and freaks out and yells, “Fighter! Sit down properly or else you’ll fall!”  Instantly Fighter’s pride and happiness in his achievement is erased by his dad scolding and what he sees as shaming him.

The dad was actually trying to save his son from hurt but the toddler sees it as the dad scolding him for no reason and he feels shamed and sad.  It goes on like this – toddler’s logics and view clashes with adults.  And that’s why the clashes of the Terrible Twos (and beyond) occur – because the parents’ needs and wishes differ from the toddler’s.

So how to get through the Terrible Twos alive?

  1. Put yourself in the Toddler Point of View

Now that you sort of know what’s going on when your toddler has a melt down, instead of breathing fire back in their face, take a step back and try to empathize.  Put yourself in the toddler POV (TPOV wtf).  They’re probably not doing it just to piss you off but cos they’re genuinely upset. If you can figure out their unhappiness, it makes it easier to comfort them and solve the issue.

2. Acknowledge their feelings and needs

Everyone needs acknowledgement, even toddlers.  Or especially toddlers.  Their concern may be trivial to us (“Mommy cut my bread into two and now it’s broken”) but to them it could a huge stressor.  Listen to them, talk them through it and don’t belittle their worries or thoughts.

For example, when Fighter has a tantrum he’s too emotional to even talk.  So I start by reassuring him it’s okay if he’s upset and that Mommy is here for him. Then I ask him are you sad or angry? He can’t say it but prodding him with words makes it easier for him to define what he’s feeling.  Then I ask him why. Is it because of this or that?  Normally by now he would have calmed down enough to say although sometimes he doesn’t make sense wtf.

That’s fine because the important thing is to show him that his feelings are valid and we understand.  And the toddler will also understand that even if he’s been “bad” – being angry or screaming – we still love them and will be there for them regardless.

3. Be honest

Toddlers are smarter than we realize sometimes.  They will know when we tell them little white lies and nobody likes being lied to!  I try my best to always be honest with Fighter and Penny and not lie to soothe their feelings.  If they know you’re lying, your word may not be accepted again and it’s going to be even more difficult managing them.  Worse, it tells them that lying is okay.

4. Be there

I’m not talking about quitting your job so you can stay home and see your toddler 24/7.  Toddlers are stuck in a paradox.  They’re driven by a desire for independence (I can eat by myself! I can put on my own shoes!) …. at the same time they’re scared and want to run back to mommy and daddy for comfort or security.

It’s this push and pull within the toddler that culminates in a meltdown. :X So what we can do is accept that, and be there for them when they’re struggling to sort through their feelings.

5. Let them vent

I’ve been guilty of yelling at Fighter or punishing him when he’s in a tantrum. :( Yesterday I told him to stop watching Youtube and in anger, he threw my phone on the floor. I lost my temper.  I shouted at him in a voice I didn’t even know I had wtf and threw him in naughty corner.

The thing is though, when kids melt down they can’t actually control themselves anymore.  They’re not thinking and naughty corner isn’t the right way to fix things.  I was mad at him for deliberately throwing my phone but when he’s losing it I have to be the adult that he can rely on.

Instead of naughty corner, the book indicated I should have let him vent his anger and aggression in a safe way, like giving him a pillow to punch wtf.  Which really makes sense because stifling his emotions just teaches him that it’s bad to have negative emotions which is not a healthy idea obviously.

But when I gave him a pillow to punch, he tossed it aside and smacked my knee. FML.

4. Stick to a routine / Be consistent

Toddlers have no grasp on time yet.  Tomorrow or next week don’t mean anything to them and they literally live in the moment.  There’s science to this but not gonna bore you with the details.

Lacking a sense of time can be disorienting to say the least.  How would you know what happens next if you don’t know the time?  That’s why it’s so important to put babies and toddlers on a schedule.  They feel more secure, in control, knowing what happens next.  For example, that after bath time, comes snack time and nap.  Apparently it’s why some preschools have songs for everything – songs for cleanup, songs for goodbye and hello.  It’s to signal to the kids that a transition is occuring and it’s comforting knowing what to expect.

Ironically, routines  set the foundation for managing on their won.  To quote the book:

The more structure and routines are in place, the freer the child is to develop the internal control to manage his or her own feelings, thoughts, and behaviors – all of what enables him to mature, grow, and learn.  In other words, regular routines enable flexibility.

5. Don’t shame

OK I think this is something Asian parents especially are super guilty of. Have you ever talked about your toddler to your husband or to his teacher as though he’s not there when he is?  How about saying “Don’t take your pacifier anymore lah. You see mei mei also not eating hers.”

I am super guilty of this please!

Even well intentioned remarks like “nobody dresses like this. How about you wear this shirt instead?” or “that’s now how you do it” can shame and frustrate a toddler. When we step in to “help” or “fix” a problem, we take away their opportunity to learn from experience.  They don’t get the chance to manage their own frustration; it interferes with their attitude towards learning and making mistakes.  And it keeps them from figuring out the person they’re becoming.

Toddlers see it as “I’m wrong” or “Mommy doesn’t think I can do it myself”.

Every day I struggle with Fighter because he wants to wear the same damn ABCD shirt.  And I don’t even know what ABCD shirt means!  I think it’s shirts with writing on them but not all shirts with writing also he will accept.  It’s a super narrow range and every day it’s a battle to convince him to wear what I want him to wear.  Sometimes I force it over his head and he’ll break down in rage and tears.  Sometimes I can distract him enough to wear, but other times he cries until I change his shirt.

Fighter is not trying to piss me off or being nuts; he’s just following toddler logic.  Toddler logic says that he wants to be independent and decide on his own outfit.  And that he feels secure wearing the same few shirts.

So instead of criticizing his choice, I will just give in and buy more black tshirts for him.  Until he gets over it and lets me style him again hahahaha.

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And that’s what I’ve gleaned so far.

I think the real key is to really just take yourself out of your own frustration and try to get in the Toddler POV.  Trying to understand matters from their perspective will make a vast difference in the way we interact and raise them.

Hope this helped!