How to talk about sex with your child

I started the whole where-do-babies-come-from talk with Vera when she was 5+. It wasn’t as hair-raising an experience that I thought it would be, and I think using a book helped. This particular one I used is called Before I was Born.

Before I was born

The book covers the process of God creating the world and man and woman as different beings. It talks about the difference between a boy and a girl. It also covers the various body parts that are unique, mainly breasts, penis and vagina.

Before I was born3

It reads almost like a simple biology textbook as it presents the information in a factual matter-of-factly way. The topic of sex is introduced in the context of marriage, as God’s gift to the newly wedded couple and as a way to make marriages strong.

The pictures are hand-illustrated and pretty “safe”. Vera was initially tickled by the parts on hairy arms and legs, but I could see she went quiet when we moved into the section on sex. She asked, what is sex? To which I took a deep breath and said, it is God’s gift to a married man and woman, when the man’s penis enters a woman’s vagina, and they experience pleasure and love.

I probably rambled all of that in one breath. But thankfully she didn’t ask further at that point.

Before I was born 2

Before I was born1

While we have initiated the conversation, there’s definitely more to talk about.

Sex education begins with us – the parents. We should be the ones to first broach the topic rather than leaving it to the schools. It doesn’t happen in one sitting too. I think the best approach is to layer the information on as the child grows and gets more curious and asks deeper questions.

The information given should be age-appropriate. For instance I wouldn’t talk about abortions or pre-marital sex at this stage. I don’t think she has reached the level of maturity required to handle the tougher side of things.

Right now, I will continue to focus on helping her build the foundations. I highly recommend using books like this one. I will also be sharing other books such as The wonderful way babies are made and The princess and the kiss

Have you broached the topic of sex with your child? How did it go? Do share any tips or fav books with us in the comments below!

{Review & Giveaway} Tibby and Duckie by Emily Lim – a tale of true friendship

Tibby and Duckie cover

We’ve been enjoying Tibby and Duckie, a heart-warming tale of friendship written by awarding-winning author Emily Lim.

We first came across Emily’s work in Just Teddy (affiliate link). It was our favourite bedtime story for a long long while as the kids just loved seeing poor confused Teddy try to disguise himself as other soft toy animals in a bid to belong to a group. He finally finds belonging in the form of a little girl who picks him out from among other soft toys to bring home.

Tibby and Duckie carries along that same theme of friendship and identity. Unlike other ducks, Duckie cannot swim. Tibby the Tiger-Bunny tries all ways and means to help Duckie swim — but nothing works.

Tibby wonders if Duckie is a swimming kind of duck and, in the end, helps his friend discover where her true strength lies, and her identity in the process.

A tale guaranteed to warm your heart all the way to your toes, and perfect for snuggling in bed with.

Tibby and Duckie

Here are some themes you can explore with your kids through the book:

– friends help us discover who we really are, and our (sometimes hidden) potential
– it is hard trying to be someone you’re not
– friends accept us for who we are
– true friendship goes both ways

And a special giveaway is now happening on our Facebook page! Hop / swim / fly over to participate and stand to win an autographed copy of Tibby and Duckie!

Hurry, contest closes 20 Dec, Sat, 11.59pm. Open to Singapore residents only.

Suitable for young ones aged 3-6 years old, Tibby and Duckie is now available in:
– Popular
– Kinokuniya
– Times Bookstores
– MPH Bookstores
– Tango Mango Books and Gifts (Tanglin Mall)
Epigram Books’ online store

*I received a copy of Tibby and Duckie for the purpose of this review. All opinions are as usual my own. 🙂

Review & Giveaway: Exploring values with The Wolf series of books

The Wolf series is all about the adventures of a grumpy and disgruntled Wolf who discovers through many unfortunate mishaps the value of friendship, self-acceptance and other such values.

Written by French author Orianne Lallemand, this series has been translated into 14 different languages around the world.

One of our favourite books in this series is The Wolf Who Wanted to Change his Colour. The kids enjoy the book because of the vibrant illustrations (which runs through all five book in the series), and because Wolf gets up to all kinds of funny business just to get a taste of how it’s like being a different colour.

Every single day, he tries something new. Such as taking an icy bath in order to turn blue…

The Wolf Who Wanted to Change His Colour

And plucking roses from gardens and covering himself with pink petals.

Vera is particularly tickled by this part because she can identify with the wolf’s dressing up to be like someone else.

Of course, in the end, Wolf learns to be content with the grey colour of his fur, which opens up the door to talk about loving ourselves just the way we are, and accepting the way that God has made us.

We also enjoyed The Wolf Who Did Not Want to Walk Anymore. A simple story, the Wolf decides one day to stop walking altogether and try out alternative means of transportation every month. He tries the mountain bike, a motorcar, a motorcyle, a train, an aeroplane, a boat and even a princess coach (that unfortunately turns into a pumpkin at midnight) and Santa’s sleigh!

Alas, he still ends up in a sorry state after travelling on each one of these transportation modes.

The wolf who did not want to walk anymore

He finally comes to realise that nothing quite beats relying on his own two feet.

Quite a good story for little pre-schoolers who like to complain after a few minutes of walking huh?

There are a total of 5 books in this series, and the other titles are The Wolf Who Loved Himself Too Much, The Wolf Who Searched for a Girlfriend, and The Wolf Who Wanted to be an Artist. You can check them out here.

Thanks to Wild Crane Press, 3 lucky blog readers will stand to win the entire Wolf series of books! If you have kids aged 3-6 years, these books would be great for them. To enter the giveaway, just follow the instructions via the rafflecopter app below. (Remember it’s mandatory to leave a comment on this post with your email address, and to like Wild Crane Press on Facebook.) Good luck! 🙂

Terms and conditions:

  • This giveaway ends on Friday, 31 Oct, 11.59pm and is open to Singapore residents only.
  • Winners will be contacted using the email provided when entering this draw and will have 48 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn.
  • All incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries will be verified before the winners are announced.
  • Winners will have to collect the books from Wild Crane Press (33 Ubi Avenue 3, #06-37 Vertex Tower A).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway: Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages of Children

Children’s Day is coming up this week, and I’m really excited that Focus on the Family is kindly sponsoring this giveaway of a copy of The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman!

5 love languages of children

This book has been a great resource for us, and I’ve shared a few lessons I learnt from it before. (Read them here and here.)

Today, I’m going to share 3 of my favourite tips (from the book!) on how to love your child if his /her love language is acts of service.

1. Make a favourite snack when your child is having a difficult day. – JJ’s love language is acts of service, and he’s always reminding me to make him his favourite chocolate brownies whenever he’s feeling upset or just needs some reassurance.

2. Instead of telling your younger children to go to bed, pick them up and gently carry them and tuck them in their blankets.

3. Assist your child in fixing a favourite broken toy or bicycle. Simply taking the time to repair it communicates love to a child whose love language is acts of service.

I hope these give you some ideas to start this special week on a right (and loving) note.

And…It’s giveaway time!

One reader will walk away with a copy of The Five Love Languages of Children. Just enter the giveaway by following the steps in the Rafflecopter app below.

** Remember to leave your email address when commenting on this post!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & conditions:
– Contest ends 5 Oct, Sunday, 11:59pm
– Open to Singapore residents only
– The prize has to be picked up from Focus on the Family’s office at 9 Bishan Place #08-03 Junction 8 Office Tower
Singapore 579837. Mailing is possible at an additional charge of $2.
– The winner will be notified by email. If he/she does not reply within 3 days, we reserve the right to re-select a winner.

UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed. Thanks for participating, everyone!

The love / discipline sandwich – Lessons from The Five Love Languages of Children

I learnt something important after re-reading The Five Love Languages of Children (affiliate link) over the weekend.

On the subject of discipline, the author emphasises the importance of contextualising discipline in love. That is, when the child is receiving correction and consequences of his behaviour, he needs to know he is first of all loved by his parents, and also that this discipline /correction is part of that love.

That is, “We love you, that’s why we need to correct you.”

One useful method that Chapman advocates is to sandwich the discipline with love, using your child’s main love language.

So for instance for Vera, quality time and physical affection are important to her, so before I mete out a discipline or consequence, I can give her a hug or hold her hand. Then after the discipline, spend a few minutes with her instead of rushing off. Or I could actually sit her on my lap throughout the whole time. This way, she knows that I am not withholding my love from her, even when I need to address the wrong she’s done.

5 love languages of children

Another tip I learnt from the book is to refrain from using a form of discipline that is directly related to your child’s main love language. So if words of affirmation is important to your child, avoid using harsh words on her. As Chapman states, “Critical words can be painful to any child, but to this child, they will be emotionally devastating.” And if quality time is his thing, don’t discipline by removing that quality time you were scheduled to spend with him.

Now does this mean that if your child’s primary love language is touch, you should avoid spanking? I think for the most part, the answer is yes. And if you do need to use such a form of discipline, try your best to be measured in the spanking, for instance, setting a limit to the number of spanks that matches the level of misbehaviour. And when the discipline has been meted out, remember to hold your child close and reassure him or her of your love.

Reading the chapter turned on a light bulb for me. I’ve been rather stretched of late and I haven’t realised how curt and harsh I can be when disciplining the kids. I’ve been task-oriented, moving the kids through a long list of to-dos, and feeling frustrated when they don’t comply promptly. I’ve (conveniently) forgotten the love part of discipline, and am feeling a little bummed for allowing stress to steal our joy away.

But I guess it’s never too late to start on a clean slate. And I’m glad to have re-read the book just at this point in time when I needed a reminder. I hope you find this helpful too.

This is Little Lessons #19. Little Lessons linky runs on the blog every Thursday. Do grab our badge and link up your little parenting lessons / learning activities below!

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