April 29, 2008

Secret Messages

After 5 years managed a preschool I've known several parents customs that usually happened at school. The most interested one is about "secret message". I called it 'secret' because the message always comes from the mom and send to the teacher without the knowledged of her kid. Surely the message has variously contents but mainly about kid's behaviour at home (usually that already has value judgement at from mom's point of view). Mommy hope the teacher would help her to tell the kid about the right thing to do related to the problem she faced.

This is kind of message at the first rank.....
Moms usually ask for more homeworks for their kids. hehe...I don't know why most moms love homeworks so much). Since our method of teaching is 'learning by doing and playing', maybe our homeworks seemed less seious to moms..

The other messages thas have always come up are....
something about obedience to parents, sibling quarrelling, eating problem (doesn't like vegetables or fruits), talking bad words, etc.

Moms know that little kids more listening to their teachers than to their own moms, so they would be grateful if teacher get involved in this matter by telling the kids good things related to the 'secret message". Usually after their teacher-kid conversation, they would obbey their parents' rules.
But that's true... It was happened to me oneday. I sent a secret message to my kid's teacher by phone.
What about you with your little ones, ever try to send " a secret message"?

April 28, 2008

Play Dough Problem

I know that play dough is very good to little kids because it will stimulate their sensory motor skill, imagination and creativity. My kids and I love to see many kinds of play dough at the toys department when we're at the mall. My kids already have 2 sets at home, but often I tempted to buy another kind of play dough set until I remember ....it would never be easy to clean up the messy after playing when the room was full of scattered dough everywhere. Although I always give a big tray and tell the kids to play only at one place (so the dough wouldn't scattered), but it never works....
The messy would happened again and again.
My fussiness of reminding them for not mix the dough together, like red dough should go to the red box, don't mix yellow with green, etc...blah, blah..never reached the point.

Like the first problem, this one almost has the same ending, never go to a better solution. After a week or two the dough that was first has a bright and cute color become one tone dull color! I usually fell resentful to see that.
The kids also didn't have the same enthusiasm anymore like the first they've got when they play again with all the dough that has now one tone dull color.

What about you and the kids? Happened the same play dough problem with me?

April 27, 2008

Family Outdoor Activity

Yesterday we had a great happy outdoor activity with the preschooler kids and their parents. Since many parents nowadays have little quantity family time, the teachers from the preschool I managed try to organize a family activity day every term. Usually it would take place outdoor.

Last term.....
We organized "FAMILY KITE DAY" and it was successful. We surprised to see and know that all the fathers enjoy Kite Day so much since some of them never had opportunity to play kite anymore (except when they were kids). So.. we're very glad to see their cheerfulness and enthusiasm at teaching their kids how to fly a kite ! At that day we're not only playing kite, but also opened a family competition for painting kites. It was very fun after all.

This term....
that was taking place yesterday, we organized "A Family Healthy Walking Activity" just around the neighborhood. To add their funs we gave each family a pack of plastic straw for an art craft project. They could made any kind of art craft with those straws while they're walking. We had 3 stopping place for them along the way. The first stop was for picking up a pack of straw, the second was taking away snack and drink and the last stop was for collecting their finished art craft projects.
After finished the fun walking, we opened a competition for finger painting. This was for all the family. They had a piece of paper with one set of finger paints. So much fun we founded with those simple activities! We hope they could all learned something about cooperation, togetherness and giving best times for their own family...
We were ending that activity by giving 12 trophy to 6 best straw-art-craft projects and 6 best finger painting pictures.
What about you? What do you usually do with your kids at the weekend, especially for the outdoor activity since window shopping at the mall every weekends is not good at all for your kids?

April 22, 2008

FIDO = Forget It Drive On

Surely we know that little kids like to ‘copy’ whatever they heard from other people, especially from adult or older kids. The media of copying is very wide, but mostly they’ll copy from people around them and the next one is from audio visual media. That’s why most of the food, beverage, milk, snack, and etc companies use kids for their ads. Their ads would really “tune in” on kids’ minds and finally their parents maybe could buy those things. Kids would copy all the good words or bad words, but often the bad ones stay longer on their minds.
We as parents always remind our little kids not to say ‘bad’ words that maybe they would copy from big kids or other people like stupid, idiot, such like that. But sometimes we forgot that maybe they could copy those bad words from us, their parents! No wonder about that?

I did it yesterday….
When I was driving home from my kid’s school, suddenly the car in front of me turned to the right without made a signal light before. Off course I stepped the brake in a sudden too. That could be dangerous for me and the car behind us. It really turned my emotion up and the word “stupid” came out of me instantly. My son that sit in the backseat heard that and asked me, “What did you said, mom?”. Oh, oh....
He asked me again because I didn’t answer. I thought he actually heard what I said but only want to clarify. Didn’t know what the best to said, I finally said “ Yes, surely I’m wrong to say that word, honey. Please forgive me… Sometimes when people feel angry or disappointed they could say something bad like the way I did, but of course it doesn’t good to copy that, ok? I promise not to say that again.”
That’s what I mean…. it could be happened to us. Be careful always.

Back to “my bad word accident”…
I remember one story that I read from the book: P.S.I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown Jr. that could help us when we’re driving. Here’s the genuine version:
“ I saw the sign of the word FIDO on the back of a station wagon at a filling station. I asked the driver if it was the name of his dog. “Oh no!”, he replied. “It’s to remind me that when someone is discourteous on the road then I should just Forget It Drive On.“

Really good advice.

April 20, 2008

Kartini SALE ??

I’ve just arrived at home, after picked up my son from school. An hour ago while I was stop driving at the traffic light, my eyes stared on a colorful street banner with big letters: “SALE only TODAY….CELEBRATE KARTINI’S DAY. Discount up to 50% for ALL ITEMS”.
You see, that ad comes from one big department store in Indonesia.

Something is bothered me to see that ads, I read it again…
I think this is all wrong to celebrate Kartini day with shopping!
Ok, I’ll explain to you who Kartini is, maybe some of my blog reader is not come from Indonesia. Kartini is an aristocrat Javanese woman who lived a century ago. She married to a regent, who was a widower with couple of children. She has progressive thinking about women in her era and all of her thinking was written to her European best friends by letters. After she died, her letters were booked in “After the Dark, Rising the Light”. Her thinking became a beginning of Indonesian women movements, that’s why we celebrate her birthday every April 21st as Kartini’s Day. It seems like ‘Indonesian Women Day’ here. Kartini has become a women emancipation personage here.

Ok, now back to my thinking….(not Kartini’s of course).
I think to continue Kartini’s struggle not just only wear traditional costumes every her birthday with all the ceremony blah, blah, blah….. (the students here still do this way, I don’t agree at all). That’s not the point. The most principle on women development here is education. Women here should reconstruct her own paradigm. For women, school is not only for looking good jobs with good salary, more than that…. School is a must and necessity to change the paradigm of thinking and to see the world with different perspective. Oh, you should read this sentences, I read today at Kompas Daily:
“ If you educate one man, you educate one person. But if you educate one woman, you educate one generation “ (Meutia Hatta).

Beautiful, isn’t it?

In our hands as women, new generations with more good behaviors, high moral standards and good qualities will be born. So, let’s build our motivation and don’t be broke our enthusiasms down in improvement our selves to a better one….
Remember, don’t shopping today just to get Kartini’s Sale…That’s not us!
Hope the Department Store that gives ad “Kartini’s Sale” would hire a smart woman for its Marketing Department next year.

April 19, 2008


“Women shouldn’t have to or could cook. Women have rights to do whatever they want.” Oh, how I love this interesting sentences that I found in Kompas Weekly. I read it to my daughter right away. I’m the person that believes women should have same opportunity with men and should be dependent on her own.

At home…..

Starting with simple things, my husband and I try not to have a ‘woman job’ or ‘man job’. Kids should know every job at home should have be done by all member of family. My husband could cook simple recipe like the way I did (and he really enjoy it, included go to the traditional market!). Man shouldn’t not feel ashamed to do cooking, washing the dishes or such thing like that.
One day I helped my son, Adit, to saw the multiplex wood. He has assignment from school to make a ‘bob up and down’ tool for a science project. At first he started to cry when he couldn’t do the jobs well and frustrated to wait his father came home. He amazed to what I’ve done and said to me “ I don’t know you could do this, mom”… Deep inside I said, that’s why I did it so you would understand everyone could do anything if he wants. After that he continued my worked to saw the wood. At his aged, 11, Adit could also make fried rice or omelet as well as his sister.

From all those little things we want our kids to learn about being egalitarian. Being a woman doesn’t mean she has always depended on a man, or vice versa being a man doesn’t mean he could make order or rules to woman on his wishes. Everyone, man or woman should respect to each others.

April 18, 2008


Have you ever been sitting in a ‘thinking chair’? Puzzled..? Don’t be…I know this special term from my kid, Ian. Let me tell you the whole story….

One day upon returned from school (K 1) he told me that his friend, Ashley, had to sit on the thinking chair for a couple of minutes because Ashley didn’t want to finish his job – writing letters – for a second time and shouted at the class while doing his job, although he chose the activity by his own. That’s why his teacher gave him order to sit on the thinking chair! He sat in the same room with his friend, but didn’t feel comfortable because he could only look to what his friends doing. It’s like being isolated.
From Ian’s story I know that after a while his teacher would come to Ashley and “discuss’” with him why he was doing like that, what the effects to his friends and himself if he was doing like that over and over again and finally they would make a deal, “child version deal” of course….

That’s an interesting idea, isn’t it? We could try this at home. As a parent we usually punished our little kids with usual way that we adopted from our parents. With this “thinking chair” idea, I see a more positive lesson for kids. They would learn to thinking before doing something, would that be good or bad for him and other people around him...

Let’s have a thinking chair at home!

April 17, 2008

Holding Hands

I don't know the author of the following, but it's inspiring :

"The people in our planet are not standing alone in a line single file.
Look closely.. everyone is really standing in a circle, holding hands.
Whatever you give to the person standing next to you, it eventually comes back to you."


You should tell this to your kids, like I did.

April 16, 2008


I'm a big fan of coffee, usually I made it myself in the morning when the kids have gone to school. I enjoy my coffee while opening my email or writing something new to my blog. I felt like I was in a cozy cafe, only it was in the comfort of my own home, relaxing. How nice it is to start a new day like that!

But still I've got a rule about coffee at home. Even coffee is just for me and my husband, kids could still enjoy and taste our coffee for only 1 swallow or 2. I know the coffee's aroma really 'tempted' to their nose...

Breaking the rule....

But oneday the rule was not valid anymore when we all visit my friend, Widi, at Bandung. She's an architect and still has good carreer in that field, not like me that has chosen "different pathway".
Since there is no kid at her home, the arrangement of the households is neat, everything is in order and nicely to see. We all like to be at her home.
Widi knew very well to threat my kids. Since all my kids love cheese very much, she gave them the best cheese cake in town. With 'auntie Widi' they also made milk-coffee mix drinking in real cups at her little bar table, at the corner of her small kitchen. Auntie Widi said it was 'Kid's Cappuchino because milk took really 'big big' portion than the coffee itself (that's why I permitted my kids).

The magical whisker...

The most interesting part to them is auntie Widi's Cappuchino whisker, a mini version of egg whisker that opperated by 2 small batteries and could make a thick foam on the surface of the Kid's Cappuchino, like the real Capucchino. Surely they all excited with that amazing tool, they try over and over again in their cups.
Soon after we arrived at Semarang, our home town, I should to look around from one store to another, trying to find the same cappuchino whisker that Widi has because my kids never stop to asked me. They also tried my real egg whisker to make the foam, but it didn't work. Kids never give up and always excited to new things! We should learn this from them.
Until this time I couldn't find it, maybe I should have to order from Widi or e-store...

April 06, 2008

Talk About Money

Hi! Recently something 'flash' in my mind ... "money" and "kid" and I remember that I forgot to give my kids some money this morning before they went to school.

Oh yes, I always give my 2 kids -each Rp 35.000,- , it's about U$ 3.80- in the beginning of the week (this rule, I mean the amount of the money, is valid from this January). Since there are 7 schooldays in a week here, so it means they get from me Rp 5000,-/day. I only give them once, if they broke in the middle of the week.. it would become their 'problem', I wouldn't give them an '
extra income'. If they're smart enough, they could have much money left in the weekend. They could buy anything they want from it.

I used to do this since they were at 4th grade, because I want them to learn about value of the money, discipline, responsibility and understand about simple cash flow. So far..I think it's useful. It's useful for me, too, since not every morning
I could prepare their meal-boxes for school. Sometimes the appetite of the 3 kids is different, like this...when I've got lazy enough (it's natural..ha-ha-ha), I could give Ian-aged 4- only for example 2 small boxes of cereal with milk or biscuits or anything I could buy from nearby store, but not for the 2 older kids. They don't want that kind of food anymore for school, so "you could buy your 'real' meal from the school canteen, honey", I said.

This goes for Dea, my first daughter-aged almost 13- :
Frequently she could still have up to Rp 10.000,- to buy her favorite Japanese manga comic in the weekend. She told me once, she could only expensed her money max Rp 5000,-/day, but only for 4 days. She would take meal from home for the rest of 2 more day. Sometimes she could have more than Rp 10.000,- in the weekend. I remember, when she was at 5th grade, she has once sold name cards that she designed and print from our PC to her friends. Actually my husband and I were surprised of her genuine idea. The profit is quite good, but I found she forgot to add the expenses for the ink to print (it means she used my ink!). I was glad this kind of situation could emerged her business idea. I believe she will learn much from this 'lunch money rule'.
I saw she has more discipline and responsibility than her brother in spending money.

About my 2nd kid, Adit -aged 11- :
Sometimes when I see my middle son has a hard time to manage his lunch money that we gave him each week, I smile and said inwardly, "Poor Adit." He sometimes can make it and have some left but most of the time he broke and can not make it until the end of the week.
But there is nothing we can do to help because he needs to learn about that.

From the article I read, parents should give basic financial education to their children if they want their children "smart" in managing their own money when they're grown up.
Well, let's see...


Does your kid like to eat tomatoes? I often hear moms’ chat about how difficult it is to ask her kids eat vegetables. Generally, most of them like to eat ONLY sliced CARROT in a bowl of soup. The other floating vegetables in that bowl… uugh, won’t be touched!

I just recently realized that I have helped my kid love tomatoes. Know how?

About a month ago I just knew there was a single plant of tomato grew in our front yard. Nobody planting it in purpose, maybe in a morning when my husband drank his juice, he found some tomato seed in his glass and whoosh….in the second the seed lay to the ground. Maybe….nobody knows. The important thing is: the plant grew bigger and bigger without we need watering it. Wow, that’s really the type of plant I like it, still grows without need complicated treatment, ha-ha-ha…..

Magically, after a month the plant started to bloom flower and abracadabra ….they turned into real tomatoes!! Like others basic characteristic of human being, when we saw the fruits (it means will be useful for us) then all of us started interested in that plant.
2 days ago, Ian-my 3rd kid pick his first tomatoes from his own yard….

You know what; he asked me to juice the tomatoes and drank it all. He likes it very much! I also put sliced fresh tomatoes into his meal box with fried rice and the meal box came home empty.

So, this is one from hundreds way on how to “push” your kid becomes a vegetable lover.

April 05, 2008

Sleep in A Group of Three

I often see this kind of situation at my home: Three of my kids like to sleep together, crowded in one bed and in one room. It’s seem weird for me. I often don’t get it… We have 2 rooms for them, -Dea- the oldest has her own room and Ian with Adit has the other room. For the first month we separated them, it could worked. But at the second month, “migration” between rooms starts happened. We saw they’re busy to carry pillows, blankets, and other stuff from Dea room to the boys’ room or vice versa.
Although they don’t have much room to move while sleeping, they just like the way they do.

Before you’re getting puzzled of this writing, I’ll explain first.
I came from a -one child family-. Since there is no sister or brother I almost never have experiences to struggle with other child in anyway. Thanks to God I have one best friend who live next door, Evi (she’s also the only child in the family and only 6 months younger than me). We always do everything about “kid stuff” together since we weren’t even in preschool yet. My first opportunity to learn the meaning of ‘sharing’ is with her, but still we didn’t need to struggle of anything, like the way I see now with my kids. So that’s why I often ‘surprised’ with their struggling of something, the never ending ‘chaos’ they made, simple things for me could become ‘really serious matter” for them.

One thing that I still don’t understand -like I said in this first paragraph- they’re really like to sleep together and I really ‘don’t like’ to see them sleep together ! From my point of view, it doesn’t good for their health, I’m afraid it could influenced the growth of their spine and doesn’t comfortable at all!
My husband that comes from a –nine child family- (can you imagine how “noisy” they were) told me “that’s brother-sister life! In many ways they liked to do something together and also like the ‘competition’ in it”.
He used to do the same thing with their brothers and sisters.
Well, maybe I have to find a book again about brother-sister life!

Well, so far….I’ll try to take the good point of view.
Maybe that’s good for them. Maybe they could learn something about ‘sharing’ as well as they know the meaning ‘togetherness’, ‘loving each other’ as much as ‘competition’ since they’re little kids.

Play with blocks

Blocks, blocks, blocks.....everywhere!
Children love to play in this room for hours....

Cooking with Friends

Here, I wanna share the pictures when the children from my school learn to cook.

April 02, 2008

Call.. Nanny 911? Oh, no....

I saw the “Nanny 911” in the television last night. It’s a kind of reality show in UK about alternative education in a family, especially how parents faced their kids in difficult situation. It’s a kind of service for babysitting. When the parents already frustrated with their kids, they could call “Nanny 911” and one of them will help you. One family, one nanny, one week and the problem would disappear. The nanny will observe the family and give alternative solutions. Every family member will involved until good communication built around them.

From last night episode I learned that kids often too much dependent from us, their mom, because we don’t give them obligation to do small things, like tidy up their own bed, keep their clothes in wardrobe neat and in order, wash the dishes after meal, so many little things around us…

So..from now on we should give "simple daily assignments" for our children. For me, sometimes it's difficult because like other children in the world, they often do their 'simple jobs' very, very long....need hundreds of minutes !

You know, I'm not a kind of patient mother for my own children... (of course I'm very patient to somebady else's children, hahaha...)., but I'm not give up to try, try and try....

Hope I would never need or call Nanny 911!