Keep Your Anger in Check

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Osim Special -

Help Them to Ap­pre­ci­ate Quiet Time

Chil­dren have such busy sched­ules these days. So out­side of school, home­work and ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties, Wong Li Lin wants her nine-year-old daugh­ter Sage, and eight-year-old son Jonas, to make their down­time count. To that end, she’s in­sti­tuted a “no elec­tron­ics on week­days” rule at home.

“That means no tele­vi­sion, hand­held de­vices or elec­tronic games. When they get bored, they have to find some­thing quiet to do – read a book, draw or paint. On week­ends, elec­tronic de­vices are also for­bid­den at din­ner, as that’s when we sit down as a fam­ily to catch up,” ex­plains the 41-year-old.

Bend the Rules a Lit­tle

Par­ents set so many rules for their kids (and them­selves) that they some­times end up be­ing too rigid. So shake things up a bit and have some fun along the way, says Li Lin.

“When the kids were lit­tle, ev­ery time it rained, we would put on rain­coats and ga­loshes, take our um­brel­las, and splash around out­side. The neigh­bours’ kids couldn’t come out to play be­cause the ‘rule’ says you’ll get sick if you go out in the rain. But I al­ways re­mem­ber how pleas­antly sur­prised and happy Sage and Jonas were that I let them break the rules – and even joined in.” Sage and Jonas are reg­u­lar kids who have mo­ments of disobe­di­ence and naugh­ti­ness. When they were younger, Li Lin would, on oc­ca­sion, smack their bot­toms to get them to be­have. But she stresses how much she didn’t like it.

“I don’t want them to re­mem­ber and fear be­ing hit be­cause I was so an­gry with them. Even if I’m mad enough to do it, I re­mind my­self that dis­ci­pline doesn’t have to come from a place of rage.”

It’s not al­ways easy to keep her emo­tions in check, but Li Lin says do­ing so has helped her and her kids learn about self-con­trol. She cites an ex­am­ple: “Sage told me she some­times gets so an­gry with her friend that she wants to hit her. She asked me if it was okay to think that, and I said, ‘ It’s nor­mal to feel that way, even with friends. But good on you for keep­ing your cool and tak­ing a step back!’”

Al­ways Think Pos­i­tive

Mummy guilt – es­pe­cially for work­ing mums – can be crip­pling. As a sin­gle mum, Li Lin – who split up with ac­tor Al­lan Wu last year – feels it more. But she tries not to fall into that trap.

In­stead of let­ting guilt get you down, ac­cept with grace that a con­sid­er­able pe­riod of your life will be about jug­gling work and life and its frus­tra­tions, she ad­vises. “That way, you can stop yourself from spi­ralling into a neg­a­tive zone.”

Cre­ate Learn­ing Mo­ments

One of the life skills Li Lin is de­ter­mined that her chil­dren should pick up is how to be fi­nan­cially savvy, which is why she started her com­pany, Loopz Fit­ness, in 2009. She wanted to learn first-hand what it would mean to man­age her own busi­ness and funds.

“I can now draw on my own ex­pe­ri­ence to teach my kids about money mat­ters. But more im­por­tantly, I want them to learn that it’s cru­cial to love what you do and chase your dreams, in­stead

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