Family

Talks about Mommy Ginger’s moments with her husband, child and the other members of the family.

Time flies so fast! When I was young, my dad went to work and my mom stayed at home to take care of us. I still remember how it made us so happy when he brought us a little something each time he came home from work. He always had pasalubong (gift) for us.

Since we became parents, we now feel the same thing as what our parents felt with us when we were young. As much as we want to be there every single minute of the day for our kids, we are not able to because of work. We need to earn a living so that they can have a bright future ahead of them.

So with the little time that we CAN spend with them, we want these moments to feel magical — to feel amazing. It’s sometimes not really for them, but more for us. We want to capture these simple bonding moments and frame them in little picture frames in our hearts.

In our home, we have a simple tradition of bringing home Kinder Joy to our daughter. Why Kinder Joy, you might ask, when there are so many other options for toys and food to bring home? Let me share with you our reasons:

These can be found everywhere!

If we leave our office late, sometimes, all the toy stores are already closed. With Kinder Joy, you can find them everywhere! These toys and snacks are found in all leading retailers and supermarkets in the Philippines. We have a 7/11 near our home so this is where we buy our “supply”. LOL!

They make our kids really creative!

Our daughter has been enjoying Kinder Joy since she was three years old. I have noticed that these toys, even if it’s very simple, makes you use your imagination a lot. I am all for creative play, so I love giving these toys to Zeeka.

The other day, she got a toy that allowed her to experiment with alternating different clothes. It gave her the perspective that she can also do that with her own clothes; she doesn’t need to buy new clothes if she’s creative in mixing and matching different pieces.

Kinder Joy treats are delicious!

If you haven’t seen or opened a Kinder Joy egg, half of the egg makes up the toy and the other half of it contains super delicious chocolate which is made from high quality ingredients. It consists of 2 delicious creams (milky cream & cocoa cream) with 2 crispy wafer balls! It comes with a cute little spoon that helps you eat it without being messy! Zeeka and I love it!

If there is one thing that we have to know as parents, it is this: Kids do not need a lot to be happy. As long as we set aside quality time that we can spend with them, they’re good. We can make them happy by giving them simple surprises, by doing fun activities, or just by sharing a snack with them.

Those are the moments that count. #kinderjoyphilippines #worldofkj

Building your kid’s critical thinking skills today can be the key to ensuring his bright future. And I can attest to that! I’ve seen a lot of successful people in the industry who have achieved what they have accomplished because of critical thinking skills. It’s no wonder that this is one of the things that is being taught in the Seriously Addictive Mathematics classes of Zeeka.

In just a few years, job descriptions and requirements have changed. I couldn’t imagine how fast things will change in the years to come. The question is, how do we prepare our kids for what’s ahead? How do we ensure their competitive edge when the time comes?

It’s just normal for us, parents, to get worried about these things. That’s why we do our best to send our kids to school and enrich them with experiences that will help them prepare for real life.

But first, let’s define what critical thinking skills are, and how conceptual understanding skills play a role in it.

What are Critical Thinking Skills?

Critical thinking skills are defined as a set of skills that lets you observe, experience, and analyze information to establish its integrity. It is our ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking and our response as an active learner rather than a passive observer.

These skills vary in levels, but also include the following:

– The ability to observe, analyze, and interpret topics in an objective and critical way
– Reflect, evaluate, and infer different arguments and angles in relation to a particular topic or issue
– Analyze and evaluate a point of view to determine its validity and strength
– Recognize negative points in an argument
– Ability to infer and predict implications of statements or arguments
– Explain and provide a structured reasoning and support for an argument
– Ability to solve problems and decision making

Critical thinking skills are the most sought-after skills in business today. People who have critical thinking skills can be a strong asset to any organization. These people are great communicators, fair leaders, and brilliant strategists that earn well and live purposeful, meaningful lives.

Sounds too good to be true? Definitely not.

As an entrepreneur, I get to be a part of different local and international communities. And every day, I get to meet awesome people who live amazing lives.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that these folks don’t ever have problems. It’s just that they respond better to challenges and find the best solutions to make things better. That’s how I imagine my child would be like in the future. And it’s the reason why I choose to invest in Zeeka today so she could get to have the life she wants.

Today, I’m sharing some tips on how I help Zeeka improve her critical thinking skills. Most of these things are pretty simple, doable things you can do every day. Some of them are worthy investments I make to ensure her future.

How to Improve your Child’s Critical Thinking Skills

1. Read to them and ask questions.

Do you agree that reading is the key to success? 🙂

Reading is actually equivalent to flexing the muscles in your brain. Every time you read, your brain creates different connections and responses, enriching your critical thinking. You get exposed to different ideas, travel to different places, and even change the way you see things with just books.

Reading also increases empathy and emotional intelligence. Stories help kids learn more about other people’s situations and recognize emotional cues. This helps them respond properly and learn more about human interactions.

This is why I invest in storybooks and read bedtime stories with Zeeka as much as I can. I also ask her questions about what she thinks and even let her tell her own stories through the pictures in the books.

Pro Tip: Kids learn through imitation so make sure you also read regularly at home. Kids who see their parents reading have higher chances of picking up books themselves.

You also don’t have to spend big bucks on books. But make sure to get topics that your kids are interested in, like dinosaurs and spaceships.

 

2. Let them play.

Children learn best through play. It reduces stress, improves balance, enriches cognitive skills and contributes to their social and literacy skills.

While it looks simple and complex, play is actually a form of expression that helps kids develop their imagination, dexterity, and emotional strength. It is through play that children make sense of the world around them. It also strengthens their immune system and also develops self-confidence and self-esteem.

It is recommended for parents to spend at least 15-20 minutes a day playing with their kids. Not only does it build your relationship with kids, it also gives you a chance to see the world through their kids’ eyes.

Pro Tip: Let your kids take the lead when you’re playing. As much as possible, don’t impose rigid rules especially on younger kids. Let them explore different materials and let them be creative with their play. As your kids grow older, you can introduce more structured games to help kids practice understanding and applying strategies and decision making.

3. Encourage them to try new things.

Children are naturally curious, and most of them learn through trial and error. And as parents, it’s important for us to encourage them as they go through this learning process.

It’s also an awesome opportunity for us to teach kids about life skills. Challenges are bound to arise, and children can be frustrated when encountering them. With proper guidance and processing, facing these challenges can teach them the value of resilience and courage.

Pro Tip: Kids need to know that they’re safe before they try new things. Strengthen their sense of security on a daily basis by making time for them regularly and paying attention every time. Assure them that mistakes are OK, and encourage them to find solutions to these errors.

4. Pause and wait.

As much as we love our kids, it’s also important for them to learn how to be independent.

Research shows that kids who are given tasks and responsibilities at home grow up to be more successful. They also need to have the chance to learn things and process their emotions on their own.

Yes, it does hurt when we see them cry when they’re frustrated or hurt. But we also need to understand that we won’t always be there to fix things for them.

Giving them the chance to do things on their own will benefit them in the long run and also help them become holistically stronger.

Pro Tip: Get a list of chores your kids can do and assign it to them. Here’s a quick guide of tasks according to age group and abilities.

5. Teach kids to love mathematics

Kids usually find Math difficult to understand because of its abstract nature. The good thing is, there are existing supplemental Math programs that make it easier for kids to understand.

S.A.M Singapore Math let kids learn Mathematics the fun way. With tools and strategies that encourage self-learning, kids of all ages get to learn more than the traditional processes.

Students of the method increase its students’ conceptual understanding. This means children get to grasp ideas and concepts and apply it to different situations and domains.

Solving problems can get frustrating. But this level of frustration can always be a good thing especially if it builds character and grit. As kids solve more problems, their self-esteem grows. It makes them more open to ideas and more confident to face the challenges that come their way.

Pro Tip: Enroll your kids in supplementary education programs like S.A.M Singapore Math to improve their critical thinking skills. Because there is no spoon feeding in S.A.M Singapore Math, kids learn independent thinking and life skills.

If you’d like to know more about S.A.M. Singapore Math, visit the website here.

And here’s a surprise!

To avail of the discount:

  1. Register via SMS/Text by sending: PD15 / Parent’s Name / Mobile No. / Email / City of nearest SAM branch to 0917-5826867
  2. Wait for the reply with the 6 digit code and save it.
  3. Show the 6 digit code at the SAM branch upon enrolment.

*Terms and Conditions:

  1. To avail of the 15%, register to the Promo Discount
  2. Show SAM center the 6-digit code from the reply text of SAM Head Office
  3. 15% off is to be applied on the first month of tuition fee only.
  4. 6-Digit code is unique and is assigned by SAM head office
  5. Only non-SAM students can avail of the 15% discount.
  6. Promo discount is valid from Aug. 27, 2018 to Feb. 28, 2019 only.

Build your kid’s critical thinking skills with these tips! Or better yet, share more tips with us in the comments section below. 🙂

Love lots,

 

Recently, I’ve been feeling a bit stressed with everything that has been happening at home at in our business. It’s mid-year and we need to give more effort and push more to get more clients for our business (Taxumo). For things at home, we need to make things work financially. As you know, my husband and I are “all in” in running the business that we have. We have freelancing gigs on the side, but we both don’t have day jobs and we are working with whatever we get from the business and from our side gigs.

Between this and being a parent, there’s a chance that we’ll go crazy anytime soon! It’s not easy (for both of us) to keep calm, stay strong and keep sane, but we have to. We need to be all of these things for our child and our employees (who we consider to be our other “kids”).

One day, I was invited to go to a Sanicare event. I thought it would just be another event. Amidst all of the things that I was thinking about, I decided that I needed a break from thinking and planning. Plus, I really wanted to have a Sanicare Play Day (#SanicarePlayDay) with my daughter. I decided a play day would be good for us. I missed spending quality time with her.

In the event, there were a lot of nice and really cool activities.

Sushi Making and Creating your own Headband Stand

Zeeka got a bunch of cotton, wrapped it on Nori-looking paper and decorated the top with cute designs! After creating “pretend” sushi, she created a headband stand. She has a lot of headbands at home and this DIY-headband stand will be great for keeping her accessories. After playing, she automatically got some Sanicare wet wipes to clean her hands.

Obstacle course and Playing at the Mini-Playground

This little girl loves exploring. We actually did all of the activities at the #SanicarePlayDay. There was a part with a wooden obstacle course and a wooden seesaw. She played happily in this area, as I watched and wondered on how big she has gotten! I still remember the time when she was still learning how to walk and talk. Now, she’s a brave little lady with her own mind, making her own decisions.

Playing with Sand in a Sandbox

We then played together with sand in the sandbox. I hid things under the sand and she would look for it. She loves treasure-hunting.

Singing in the Rain Photo wall and Frame your Hand Print

We then had our photo-taken and she also did the activity where you get to frame your hand print. She covered her palm and fingers with paint and pressed it against a Sanicare paper towel. It was then framed and we took it home as a keepsake. It was so cute! I loved this the best.

I also loved that all around the venue, there was an ample supply of wet wipes and paper towels to keep out little one’s hands clean.

While having our food, there was a program. I really thought that this was just another event for me until, I heard some things that struck me while Lea (Sanicare Marketing Communications Director) and Bianca Gonzales – Intal were talking. They were talking about Lea’s Sanicare story. She said that when they were kids, their mom would continuously hover over them and would go crazy chasing after them, so as to keep their hands clean while they play.

With Sanicare’s products, parents will have one less thing to worry about (#OneLessWorry) as they won’t need to stress over sanitary worries like these. Then I began to get emotional a bit and think about my situation now. Haha! I stopped myself as people would think that I’m crazy for sobbing in an event with wet wipes, toilet seat covers, paper towels and tissues (then again, there were boxes of tissue all over the place.. haha!).

I think we all just need time for ourselves. This is when clarity comes. We need time to keep sane. It’s nice to know that products like Sanicare go that extra mile to not only to create “functional” products, but also go to the extent of thinking of the situation of different moms and dads — thinking about how to help them keep sane. Being a parent is a huge responsibility. Imagine having that responsibility of forming a human so that they grow to up to be independent, smart, driven, generous, kind-hearted, God-fearing, loving, healthy, etc. It’s hard.

Then imagine having that responsibility and on-top of it all, the responsibility, too, to building up resources to make you capable of presenting that “bright future” to your little one. We, parents, work hard (be it to have a day job, or to build a business or to find clients for your freelancing career, or to grow your profession) in order to provide the best for our children. The “best that we can do” equates to the resources that we build to open up opportunities and to be able to make their dreams come true in the future.

This is what made this ordinary press event into a “not-so-ordinary” event. I went their with my daughter to have a Sanicare Play Day, but I came out stronger, knowing that there are people and brands cheering you on. The universe believes that WE can do it. We just have to trust. There’s something comforting about that fact that we all go through challenges and circumstances, and we know that we will all get through it! We just need to be there for each other.

So, to Sanicare, lots of love to you, too! We’ll be behind you, too, cheering on!

********************************

Sanicare or Sanitary Care Products Asia (SCPA) Inc. went through different challenges from the Asian financial crisis in 1998, the burning down of their main factory in 2012, and the flooding of another facility in 2014. They’ve survived and they’re still standing strong! Read more about Sanicare’s story here: http://business.inquirer.net/217905/sanicare-weathers-storms-with-gods-grace

 

I never could figure out how a rubix cube works. Apparently, Justin Bieber is good at it (I just saw a video of him solving a rubix cube puzzle. Problem solving in Math (like solving a rubix cube puzzle) is a necessary skill we all need every day. Apart from rubix cubes, there are tons of mathematical problems we encounter on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, most kids hate math, and most adults, too. Mathematics and I never had a great relationship until I was 26 years old. When I was younger, I hated Math. Later in life, I realized that I needed it.

From horror teachers to bad test scores, Mathematics has somewhat become a measurement of intelligence. Let’s admit it. When someone says they’re good in Math, we automatically think that he/she is a smart! This perception by many may have caused to lower some kids’ self-esteem, which they may have brought into their adulthood.

Early on, I want to teach Zeeka that  Mathematics and problem-solving is fun! In order to do that, I went on to look for common reasons why people dislike Math. Here are the things that I found.

Solving problems can be frustrating for them.

Schools follow a curriculum that doesn’t follow everyone’s timeline. This means teachers teach Mathematics, give tests and reviews, and grade students according to their lesson plan schedule and not according to the kid’s current skills.

Every kid has a different speed and level of understanding. Most kids today have minimal mastery of arithmetics, especially multiplication and division. So it’s expected that they will also have a hard time when they reach higher levels of mathematics.

This lack of mastery can be frustrating. And so, they end up disliking the subject all the more.

Incomplete and incompetent instructions

Sometimes the challenge also lies in the way Mathematics is instructed to students. Most Math teachers also have a stigma that doesn’t help much.

The traditional way of teaching Maths is through blackboard and chalk, with teachers scribbling formulas on the board. I remember staring on the board trying to understand the equations only to find out I needed to copy it before it was erased. And it sucked not having the time to really get to understand what was being discussed.

There are also times when teachers don’t give full instructions. Some even expect students to know how to do the equation based on what the books say. This expectation can cause some kids to struggle.

The subject causes personal anxiety and embarrassment to some students

Most kids dread being called in front of the class to solve equations on the board. It’s embarrassing and nerve-wracking for some, especially when you don’t get the answer right.

And most of the time, the teachers are not as encouraging either. Most teachers get easily frustrated when kids don’t get the answer right away. This results in more anxiety for the students and creates a negative impact on the subject.

Students rarely see the value of Mathematics in their daily lives

For students, Mathematics only represent numbers and symbols. What they fail to realize and what we often forget to tell them is that Math is present in our daily lives.

The patience and the mental requirements needed in Mathematics make them better problem solvers and also increases their critical thinking skills. It helps them process real-life situations and challenges pragmatically and objectively.

Attitudes in Math greatly depend on how kids experience it for the first time, so I make sure Zeeka gets to maximize hers.

 

So here are some tips on how to make Math enjoyable for kids.

  1. Play puzzles and games

 

 

The best way for kids to enjoy Math is through play.

Puzzles are a good way to exercise a child’s logic. It introduces them to shapes, sizes, and correlation. It also helps kids improve their fine and gross motor skills and spatial abilities.

Make it fun by playing counting games or putting numbers on puzzles to help them learn about sequences and one-on-one counting.

You can check out this website for cool Math puzzles and games ideas to try with your little one.

   

  1. Never say you weren’t good in Math

Remember how mindset plays a strong role in how your kids will respond to Math. So don’t let them hear you say that you’re not good at it or if you dislike the subject.

It’s important to make them feel at ease when they’re solving problems. And it’s also vital for them to give it a try first and acquire a “never give up” attitude.

Also, be careful with how you talk about correcting mistakes.

The key to kids enjoying Math is to let them realize that they can have a do-over. Kids need to know that mistakes are normal and they can always correct them. Make sure to choose the words you use when giving instructions about corrections and always be patient.        

 

  1. Show them how to apply it in real life

Kids need to understand that Math is an inevitable part of life. And the best way to do it is to show them how it applies to everyday things.     

One of the best ways to show the value of Mathematics is by cooking or baking.

The actual process of baking can help kids understand the need to follow a step-by-step guide to get the desired outcome. Adding an ingredient too much, too little, or too soon can affect the end result.

Check out our baking session at Nobu Hotel! Zeeka and I definitely had fun while we had our cooking class.

https://mommyginger.com/staycation-at-nobu-hotel-and-family-bonding-at-dreamplay.html

Make it fun for them, especially for young kids. Count the cups and spoons you use or ask them to read out the recipe to you aloud. Teach them about halves and wholes while cutting. The best part of it is you get to have your cake and eat it too.

 

  1. Enroll them in Math enrichment centers

Math enrichment centers can help kids enjoy the subject with the help of the right level and well-trained supervision.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Children get to experience Mathematics to the fullest because they learn it according to their own pace. Teachers are also expertly trained to assess and recommend the right levels that will enhance their skills.

One of the best ways to experience Math is through Seriously Addictive Mathematics or SAM Singapore Math. I wrote about it here: https://mommyginger.com/seriously-addictive-mathematics-or-sam-singapore-math-what-you-need-to-know.html

SAM Singapore Math makes it fun and easy for kids to learn Math.

Students get to learn Mathematics through play, using toys, tools, and manipulatives. This makes it easy for students, especially the younger ones, to understand mathematical concepts. With this approach, no memorization in Math is needed. Students learn through discussions with trained and certified teachers and also improves their conceptual understanding skills through play. Unlike traditional math lessons from school, S.A.M. Singapore Math helps kids learn math through logic and understanding the ‘why’s’ before doing the ‘how’s’.

Problem solving in Math need not be difficult for kids. But with the right tools, certified trainers, and motivation, Math enrichment programs like S.A.M. Singapore Math can definitely be a good investment.

To learn more about SAM Singapore Math, visit their website here. You can also visit their Facebook Page to see what other moms and dads are saying about them.

Do you have any tips on how problem solving in Math fun for kids? Share them with us below.

My daughter has made me so proud yesterday. We went to a tech conference and she was so well behaved. People found her to be a very charming little girl. My friends were telling me that she might grow up to be a tech startup founder like daddy and mommy. I said, she can be whoever she wants to be. My only wish is she grows up to be an independent lady who stands up for the things that she believes in based on the values that she acquires. My fear as a mom is if we as parents did a good job in instilling these values. I always question myself if what we pass on to her she truly understands or if she remembers all of the “pabaon sa buhay” or provisions that we leave with her.

Zeeka with me at #TechtonicSummit2018

All these thoughts stemmed from what I’ve recently watched.

I’ve asked moms to share some of the provisions that they learned from their moms and what provisions they want to share or pass on to their kids. These are their replies:

@avihr0916 – Be independent, determined, focused and confident.

“I always teach my children especially my daughter to be independent, determined, focused and confident”, said @avihr0916. She says that it’s so hard to be a be amor, especially if you didn’t get to have proper guidance from your own parents. She goes on saying that it’s sad, that she never got the support that she wanted from her parents, so now, she’ll make sure this never happens with my kids. “I’ll make sure that I’ll be a supportive mom with whatever my kiddos’ dreams are. And hanging maipapabaon ko sa kanila (the only provisions that I can give them) until they grow up are pieces of advice from the “realities in life” that I got — the advantages and disadvantages, the pros and cons and the life lessons that I got from each challenge in life that I experienced. Dahil gusto kong maging strong din sila kagaya ko (I want them to be strong like me).

@wahmm_6385 – I want them to see the importance of food; Food is a vessel of Love.

For @wahmm_6385, her mom’s provision or Pabaon sa Buhay to her was the importance of food. “For us, food is a vessel of love. It’s not only for nourishment. Good food needs time and patience, just like raising a family. Even if it’s something simple, I always feel loved when I eat my mom’s food. That’s why I also learned to communicate my love for people through my food.
She also taught me the value of hard work, patience, and acceptance. These three things have helped me survive the toughest times of my life, like when I lost my baby and found out my son had autism. She taught me to make the best of any situation through accepting the things I cannot change and doing the best to change what I can. I can definitely say that I am the best mom today because I learned from the best.”

@theramblingflower – Be nice and kind as you can.

“My parents had lots of Pabaon sa Buhay that they passed on to me, but I have a favorite: Be nice and kind as you can.” When @theramblingflower was in gradeschool, her parents, especially her father always reminded her to be nice and to treat people with respect. “I was very masungit back then and they would always tell me how important it is to be kind. It took me a long time to realize its importance, but it shaped me to a better person.” Now I value kindness so much and I make sure to teach it to my child and only associate myself with people who have the same traits. This is a very simple “pabaon” and reminder in life, but it goes a long way.”

@annestoppableperky – Always buy an extra of everything that you have.

“My mother always reminded me to have an extra of whatever I have. Always buy a pair, so you have an extra and you don’t buy for what you just need.She says that this is an abundance magnet 😍”

@itsemsmojica – Never listen to what others say about you, because its only YOU who truly knows yourself

“I was never close to my mom so i consider my grandmother as my mom and her #pabaonsabuhay to me is never listen to what others say about you, because it’s only YOU who truly knows yourself. No matter what other people say about you, at the end of the day, you know who you are and let others see that in a positive way.

@faeflutterby – Life is a never ending learning process, so never stop learning.

There are things I learned from my mother that I was able to only get to understand further when I grew older. These where “Never to expect things so you don’t end up getting disappointed.” otherwise I’ll end up more disappointed and hurt than I will ever be, and “Life is a never ending learning process, so never stop learning,” which I feel is substantial in every aspect on life. Now, as a single mother of two, I try to incorporate these things that I learned and impart them to my kids, and these virtues she passed on to me definitely gave me strength to carry on this obligation. I never would have imagined I would have. Her #PabaonSaBuhay definitely became my weapon to overcome adversities in life. Okay, I’m teary-eyed. I’ll leave it here. Much love!

@caiganeda – Always put God first and always keep your promises.

When @caiganeda was a teenager, her mama had a lot of moral lessons. She mentioned that she would just roll her eyes before 🙂 She always though that her mother kinda exaggerated. “First is always put God first, not really to the extent that you need to go to church everyday. Always pray. Keep your faith with Him and I might say that until now God never fails to amuse me given all the blessings that I have. Next is close family ties, that blood is thicker than water.” She though that her mother played favourites before because the eldest always got their attention. Now she understands that each sibling has their own capabilities and strength, and that was the reason. She realised, now with three kids, that you need to have different approaches for each kid.

“Hindi pwede iisng approach lang sya. It doesn’t work that way pala. And yung pagiging magalang and kababaang loob is most important na parati nya din sinasabi. But until now we are using po at opo and nag mamano pa din kami sa mga matatanda. Hoping mamana ng mga anak ko yan lahat.”

Another thing is to always keep your promises. “Palagi manatili na taong may isang salita most specially sa mga bata para din matuto sila na magkeep ng promises if they make one. And be madiskarte and matipid kung kinakailangan, like now pasukan. I teach my daughter not to buy new things kasi magaganda pa gamit nya. Instead of printing names, we do letter cutting din na natutunan ko din sakanya. Madami pa pangaral sila mama. And hoping maipasa ko sya sa mga anak ko at magiging apo in the future.”


These are really great lessons from different moms and daughters who come from all walks of life. How about you? What’s your #PabaonsaBuhay that you want to pass on to your children or to future generations? Share it with us using #PabaonSaBuhay #Safeguard

Sincerely,

Mommy Ginger

 

 

 

 

PS. I promised a gift for one of the daughters or moms above. But since, I’m feeling generous, I’ll choose two respondents to receive these gifts to 🙂 I choose

@caiganeda

and

@wahmm_6385

I’ll message you both on instagram! 🙂