• (Thinkstock file photo)

    Frustrating, isn’t it?

    You try your best as a parent.

    You love your children unconditionally. You spend time with them. You give them gifts. You provide them with everything they need.

    But somehow they don’t seem to appreciate it.

    They complain about their lives. And – more annoyingly – they complain about you being a naggy, unreasonable parent.

    You wonder to yourself, “Why don’t they appreciate everything I do for them?”

    If this describes your situation, I’m here to help.

    Having worked with thousands of children and teens, I realise there are many common mistakes that parents don’t even know they’re making.

    I’ll explain 12 of these mistakes, which may be causing your child to be unhappy and unmotivated. (Some of them might surprise you as being mistakes!)

    1. Making your children the center of the universe.

    Does your family’s schedule revolve around your children?

    Their homework, their needs, their activities, their music lessons, their enrichment classes … the list goes

    Read More »from 12 parenting mistakes you don’t know you’re making
  • (AFP file photo)

    A 14-year-old boy is dead. He had been taken into police custody as part of an investigation into an alleged case of outrage of modesty, then released on bail on the same day of his death. According to his mother, he had admitted to the crime during the police interview, but later said he did not do it.

    There was no parent, guardian or legal counsel with him during questioning.

    According to a 30 January report by The New Paper, current police practice in Singapore does not require a young accused person to be accompanied by a parent or guardian during an interview.

    “A police investigation is about searching for the truth. Having a parent in the same room with the accused would hamper this search, because they will not be neutral parties,” ambassador for the National Crime Prevention Council Lionel de Souza told The New Paper.

    He said that minors who were emotionally unstable could have a counsellor in the room, but not the parents. “If there is reason to doubt whether the

    Read More »from COMMENT: Minors must be accompanied for police interviews
  • An elderly woman places her vote in the ballot at the polling centre in Singapore on May 7, 2011. (AFP photo)

    Parliament has reopened in the new year, and with that comes questions of what will be in store for us. During his speech, President Tony Tan suggested that changes to Singapore’s political system might be afoot. One of these changes could likely be to his own office, that of the elected presidency.

    There’ve been rumblings about doing away with the elected presidency for some time. Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, has called for a “u-turn” back to the days when the president was elected by Parliament. His piece for the Straits Times brought up the possibility of a “rogue president”, an echo of former Member of Parliament Inderjit Singh’s comment about the “wrong person” being elected. 

    All this talk about a “freak” presidential election makes it impossible not to look at the 2011 presidential election again. In that election, Tony Tan – the

    Read More »from COMMENT: What's wrong with electorate choosing the President?
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    Officials stand around a bus with a smashed windshield following a riot in Singapore’s Little India district, December 9, 2013. (REUTERS/Rob Dawson)

    I still have some vague memories of taking Social Studies classes in high school. We studied Venice and its rise and fall as a city-state (thus learning of the vulnerability of our own Singapore), the Sinhalese-Tamil conflict in Sri Lanka and The Troubles in Northern Ireland (thus learning of racial and religious harmony and equality in uniting a nation), and the Swiss model of democracy (thus weighing the pros and cons of direct democracy). Every issue, every event in geopolitics, could be seen as a teaching – nay, a nation-building – moment for Singapore.

    Other memories of Social Studies also include the skills that our teachers so valiantly tried to teach us through exercises like the much-dreaded Source Based Questions (or SBQ). With a worksheet presenting three to four different sources, we were taught to corroborate information and

    Read More »from COMMENT: Lessons in Social Studies: Question everything
  • (AFP file photo: A man sits with his two children relaxing in Singapore on June 18, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ROSLAN RAHMAN)

    Frustrating, isn’t it?

    As a parent, you make so many sacrifices for your children. And you really want the best for them.

    But they just don’t listen to you.

    Sometimes they don’t follow your instructions. Other times, they refuse to take your advice.

    Understandably, this makes you feel angry and helpless.

    But take heart, because there are simple ways to get your children to listen to you. I’ve worked with thousands of children and teens, so I’ll share with you the 20 best tips I know.

    1. Don’t make threats.

    It’s tempting to threaten your children, especially when you’re at your wits’ end.

    Resist this urge, because making threats will damage your parent-child relationship in the long run. The threats will eventually lose their effectiveness too.

    What’s the alternative?

    Read the rest of this article to find out.

    2. Address your children by name.

    Imagine if someone started barking orders

    Read More »from 20 simple ways to get your children to listen to you
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    The school holidays.

    For most students, it’s their favourite time of the year.

    It’s easy to see why.

    During the school holidays, there’s no homework to do, no tests to study for, and no projects to work on.

    But the new school year is just around the corner. So you might as well be prepared for it, right?

    I’ve come up with this list of 15 things every student should do before beginning the new school year.

    If you do the things on this list, I guarantee that you’ll be off to a great start!

    1. Adjust your sleeping and waking times.

    During the school holidays, you’ve probably been sleeping and waking up late.

    Now’s the time to make adjustments. If you don’t, you’ll take longer to get used to the schedule when school starts again.

    Adjust your sleeping and waking times gradually over two weeks. Go to bed 5 to 10 minutes earlier each night, and you’ll be able to shift your sleeping schedule significantly over those two weeks.

    You can even set an alarm to go off every night, as a reminder to go to bed.

    Read More »from 15 things students should do before starting the new school year
  • Singapore cerebral palsy football team wins bronze over Malaysia, 8th Asean Para Games. Photo: Heikal Heinz for Yahoo Singapore.Singapore cerebral palsy football team wins bronze over Malaysia, 8th Asean Para Games. Photo: Heikal Heinz for Yahoo Singapore.

    The Singapore Cerebral Palsy registered a hard-fought 2-1 victory over their Malaysian counterparts to bring back the bronze medal at the Asean Para Games on Wednesday (9 December).

    Describing the mood in the dressing room, goalkeeper Peter Kam said players were elated with the victory, and team mates were crying and laughing at the same time.
    “This is a great achievement for the team and it is great to win bronze at home,” he said.

    Shafiq Ariff opened the scoring for the host nation with a neat finish after just 51 seconds.

    The lead lasted only for four minutes with Malaysia scoring the equaliser via a thumping effort from Sobri Ghazali.

    Mubarak Rastam nearly put Singapore ahead but his daisy cutter from outside the penalty area flashed wide.

    Both sides then had a number of chances in the first half but were unable to add to the score line.

    Malaysia started the second half brightly and Sobri tested goalkeeper Kam with a stinging shot in the 35th minute only to see his effort blocked.

    Read More »from Asean Para Games: Singapore cerebral palsy football team wins bronze over Malaysia
  • (Photo: Reuters)

    Ever feel like parenting is the toughest job in the world?

    Parenting involves plenty of hard work. What’s more, there are no guarantees.

    No matter how much you love your children, no matter how much time you spend with them, no matter how “perfect” of a parent you are … you can’t guarantee that your children will become successful and happy.

    Nonetheless, there are many valuable life lessons you can impart to your children.

    As your children learn these lessons, they’re more likely to grow up to be confident, well-adjusted, contributing members of society.

    I’ve come up with this list of 50 life lessons that every parent should teach their children.

    It’s taken me my whole life to learn these lessons. So I’m passionate about sharing them with my son (and future children), as well as the students I work with.

    Here are the 50 life lessons:

    1. Success is more about contribution than it is about achievement.

    2. Don’t worry too much about what other people think of you. They think about

    Read More »from 50 life lessons every parent should teach their children
  • Adam Lambert performs at the Fresh 102.7 Fall Fest at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Greg Allen/ Invision/AP)Adam Lambert performs at the Fresh 102.7 Fall Fest at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Greg Allen/ Invision/AP)
    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are her own.

    It’s that time of year when the Christmas decorations start popping up everywhere, from the streets to malls to individual stalls. Slowly coasting into the Singapore holiday mood, people are starting to look forward into the new year… and get upset about the upcoming performer line-up for MediaCorp’s Countdown 2016 show.

    At the time of writing, over 14,000 people have signed a petition urging MediaCorp to drop American pop star Adam Lambert from their list of performers for the countdown show. The petition, championed by conservative organisation Focus on the Family, objects to Lambert’s controversial performance at the 2009 American Music Awards, during which he kissed his male keyboardist and did some sexy gyrating with his backup dancers.

    Read More »from COMMENT: Adam Lambert and the countdown: performance and unpredictability
  • (AFP file photo)

    Is there tension in your parent-child relationship? Is it hard for you to get through to your child?

    If so, don’t be discouraged.

    We all try our best as parents, but things aren’t always smooth sailing.

    I’ve spoken to and worked with more than 20,000 tweens and teens. I’ve seen first-hand how easily parent-child relationships can be damaged.

    Here are seven ways that parents hurt the relationship with their child – so avoid doing these at all costs.

    1. Tell your child that he isn’t living up to his potential.

    Parents sometimes say to their underperforming child:

    - “You’re not maximising your potential.”

    - “You’re intelligent, but you’re not making the most of it.”

    - “You’re wasting your potential.”

    - “If you worked harder, you would fulfill your potential.”

    Do children feel motivated when they hear things like these? Unfortunately, they don’t.

    Children share with me that when they’re told they’re not living up to their potential, they’re uninspired to improve.


    Because they feel

    Read More »from 7 common mistakes that damage your parent-child relationship


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