Helping Your Child With Their Homework Might Do More Harm

Do you help your children with their homework?

Well today I’ll surprise you by sharing with you that Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland found out that not all types of homework assistance lead to equally positive outcomes.

Wait what? Are they saying that a parent that helps their child with homework might unknowingly produce a negative outcome? But how?

Well, as research goes, there are two types of homework assistance provided by parents. One is whereby parents offer more opportunities for the child to do more autonomous work and the other is where parents provided assistance by concretely helping the child.

It turns out that the group of parents that offer opportunities for autonomous work make children who are more persistent. In large because parents also send out a message that they believe in the child’s skills and abilities. This in turn makes the child believe in him or herself and their skill and capability.

Similarly, concrete homework assistance, especially if not requested by the child, may send out a message that the parent doesn’t believe in the child’s ability to do his or her homework. The child lacks self belief and becomes less persistent overtime, in turn needing more and more help from parents.

So it is important for us parents to take the child’s needs into consideration when offering homework assistance. Concrete help is not something that should be made automatically available in every situation – only when needed.



13 Online Baby Stores in Singapore! Time to Shop!

Here is a list of some of the best online baby stores in Singapore for you to indulge your wallets!

  1. tinydipity

    Tinydipity scours the globe for delectable finds that junior would adore. The best part? They seek out sustainable, organic objects that do not use or emit harmful chemicals during their production process.
  2. tinylittleone
    tinylittleone is your Baby online store helping busy young parents like you get Quality on-the-Go products.
  3. Jarrons & Co

    They are here to do what they expertise in, taking care of your children’s essential needs and focus on the importance of their physical development, so that you can concentrate on your working life and spend the rest of the quality time with your children care freely.
  4. Baby Kingdom

    Baby Kingdom is a convenient, one-stop shop that offers a wide variety of well- known international brands specially curated for you and your baby. From baby cots and car seats, to an outdoor playhouse swing, you will find everything you need here and all of the product are carefully chosen.
  5. Mums
    MUMS offers its members many new exciting ways to shop online. This includes a platform for mums to buy and sell their own products online for both new and pre-loved goods. MUMS is also committed to featuring products designed and produced lovingly by local and expat mums. Members can also enjoy weekly sales on great products and services plus a growing range of local and international brands.
  6. Mamahood is a huge marketplace that also offers the best online shopping experience with promotions and deals on baby products and services for your little ones. You can find top mommy’s reviews and checklists for various brands; be it from different races, Malay, Chinese, Indian, Western and different culture. They currently cover shipping and delivery to all parts of Singapore.
  7. Baby Style Icon

    Baby Style Icon features handpicked labels and goodies for stylish tots aged 0-6 years old.  They source from around the world for your little one’s fashion adventure.  They are dedicated to finding awesome, affordably-priced clothes, with special attention paid to baby boys, why should only little girls have all the fun!  They bring together a mix of cult labels and fun, new finds.
  8. Hannabe

    They offer price-friendly 100% organic cotton. Because of its soft texture and wholesome quality, their products are highly recommended for infants and children with sensitive skin.
  9. happy monkey

    Their core focus is to offer clothing for kids that are made of organic, natural, & eco-friendly fabrics. They want super soft, hypoallergenic, toxin-free & insanely stylish clothes for the little monkeys. So they curate a one-stop shopping platform for healthier fashion. Their clothes are fabulous for all children, & double fab for those with sensitive skin.

  10. Baby Online
  11. agape babies

    Agape Babies retails premium & authentic brands of baby products. Today, they are proud to carry over 250 brands and over 5000 products in our humble store. Thanks to the support of fans & customers, they have expanded our range to include skincare, carriers, organic baby food and many more! They place a lot of focus on getting in the most popular brands, the ones that mummies can’t stop raving about. They ensure to price our products reasonably too!
  12. infantino

    Infantino distributes renowned brands of infant & toddler products such as Bonbijou, Munchkin, Apple Tree, Galt, Edu Play, Scholastic etc… Founded in 1993 here in Singapore.
  13. first few years

A Story About A Boy Who Was Gone Too Soon – An Open Plea to All Parents in Singapore

Photo from

One beautiful day, a baby was born. He was the pride and joy of everyone in his family: his parents, his siblings, his grandparents, his aunts and uncles. Everyone doted on him, took care of him, made sure his food was clean and baby-proofed the house. They kept him warm in the cold and kept him cool in the heat. They held his hand while he learnt to walk. They gave him encouragement when he fell. Most importantly, they allowed him to fall without making him feel guilty of not being able to do so. Many parents understand that babies grow at their own pace and so they let their babies grow at their own pace. 

Gradually the baby grew into a toddler. More was expected of the baby. He was to follow certain social etiquettes and behave in “appropriate” ways like greeting adults when they meet, saying thank you when receiving a gift or learning that hitting other people is not allowed etc. On top of the character development, the little toddler was also sent to enrichment classes like baby gyms or playgroups in the hope to have him stimulated and “not lose out” to his peers of the same age.

It was now time to be a preschooler. N1 to K2. This is the period when this little boy had more things added into his daily schedule. Apart from the full day childcare, he was also being sent to enrichment classes for Math and Mother Tongue because his parents felt that it was necessary in order for him to “survive” Primary School when he finally enters Primary 1. However, he also had fun visiting the zoo and bird park. It as a good time to be alive. His parents sent him to places like Kidzania and Fidgets. The boy enjoyed his childhood. He felt loved. 

Then came primary school. Everything seemed a little harder for him. He now had less play and more work. Things were no longer fun. There were lots of paper for him to deal with. Homework never seemed to end. Even the school holidays were lined up with enrichment classes. There was no time for a break. There was no time to be a child. He felt exhausted. 

Exam results seemed to him like it was the most important thing in his life, especially so when he was in Primary 6, the year he had to sit for the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE). He felt like his parents really wanted him to do well. He felt like that was all they cared about. He felt alone. But he persevered on anyway.

In his dreams, at night, in his own room, the boy often hear his parents talk about music, the only thing that he was interested in. In his dream, his parents were fully supportive, they sat down and listened to him sing his heart out. The smiles on their faces and the encouragement they gave him, telling him how good he is capable of being if he does what he loved.

But when he woke, reality sank in. His parents never liked him to waste time singing. They said he wouldn’t be able to make a living. He didn’t understand. If someone could not make a living out of singing, how can there be music and songs in the world for people to enjoy now? He didn’t understand his parents. 

On he went to Secondary School. The first two years were a good break, especially after having studied so hard for PSLE. When Secondary 3 came, he began to feel the stress and pressure once more. This time, it was ten-fold the pressure he felt in Primary 6.

Everyone was talking about Junior College, University and overseas studies. His parents threatened him that he had to do well enough to get into a JC, if not he will end up with low-paying jobs. The boy was scared. What ever happened to the belief that every child grows at his own pace? He was scared to disappoint his parents. He was scared to face the future if he performed poorly for his ‘O’ Levels. It was as if his ‘O’ Level results will determine the rest of his life. It was a big burden for a 15 year old to carry on his own shoulder. It was so heavy.

Slowly the boy withdrew from his friends. He talked less to his family. He was in his own world, trying his best to do well. He studied day and night, sometimes without breaks. He was determined to “make it”. 

He did his best during the ‘O’ Level exams. Yet, he couldn’t help but feel nervous. It was going to be a long few weeks to wait for the piece of paper that he studied so hard for. He felt himself almost having a nervous breakdown. But no, he couldn’t let his friends or family see through. He had to “act” normal. He had to hide the fear and anxiety deep down. Only he could know that he was scared to death. 

He couldn’t keep still. He was almost shivering. The only way to calm himself down was to keep rubbing his palms together, shaking his legs as he sat there in the hall waiting for his name to be called and receive that fateful piece of paper: the ‘O’ Level Result Slip.

He saw it. It was what he had expected. He didn’t do well enough. With those grades he wouldn’t be able to get into a JC. He felt sore. He felt giddy. He felt like a failure. Most importantly, he couldn’t swallow his guilt that he had failed his parents. His heart started beating uncontrollably fast. He didn’t know what was happening. His mind was a whirlwind. He couldn’t hear anything else in the hall. It was as if he had floated away from his surroundings.

It was 4 hours before he had to face his parents. There were 15 missed calls from his father and mother and a dozen more text messages. They were curious to know how he had done for his exam. But no, he will not respond to any of them. He was not ready to face the music. Now he had to consider his options. What was he to do? How could he escape his plight?

Alas, he had come to a decision.

One that there was no turning back.

One that left a deep hole in his family’s hearts.

One that he regretted as he was falling….


Parents. How would you feel if this was a story about your child?

Parents. Do know that your child will do well when he can.

Parents. Life is more than the letters on the result slip.

Parents. You are the only support your child has.

Please do not be the source of their fear.

Let us help one another build a society that values relationship more than results.

Let us help one another raise children to be resilient yet know that there’s always another road.

Let us help our kids understand that effort is not always correlated to outcomes. Things happen.

Let us show to our children that there are many people in the world who lead a good life regardless of their academic results.

Can we all do this together as a nation, parents? It is my plea to you.

One life lost is too much a loss.

According to the suicide prevention agency SOS, suicides of Singapore teens, aged between 13 to 19, reached the highest in 15 years in 2016. There were 13 reported teenager suicides in 2014, the figure doubled to 27 in 2015.

We do not want this to happen ever again. Not to your child. Not to my child. Not to ANY child.

Let’s work together as a nation to achieve a ZERO suicide rate for students.

We can do it.


If you are feeling suicidal, there are many people waiting to listen to you. Your privacy will be safeguarded. Below are the numbers you can call to seek help.

Samaritans of Singapore (24-hour hotline): 1800-221-4444

Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788

Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019

Care Corner Counselling Centre (in Mandarin): 1800-353-5800

Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222

Aware Helpline: 1800-774-5935


Lili is a wife and a mum to 3 boys. An aspiring writer. Adores creativity, art and beautiful creations. Dog lover. Gentle-parenting follower. Follow her on Facebook where she shares articles about family happiness and how to stay connected to our spouse and kids.

15 Must-Ask Questions For Your Kid’s First Day Of School

Well well, that time of the year is coming. First day of school! For many of us, it’s a return to normal schedule (like me!). For some of us though, it’s a new schedule as they have a child starting his or her first day of school ever!

Whether your child is going to P1 or moving from P3 to P4, first days of school still gives that jittery excitement to their little hearts and sweaty palms. Some kids will look forward to school, some will dread going back and some will just be anxious about the whole schooling thing, after all, nothing could beat being comfortable at home during the school holidays with no schedule to follow whatsoever.

How many of us are guilty of asking “How was your first day of school?” and then we run out of questions to show our kids that we’re indeed interested to hear more about their day but we just don’t know how to ask! Lucky for you I’ve come up with a list of 15 questions you could ask your kids on their first day of school and make them feel that their school life matters to you, especially that first day back to school!

For all kids:

  1. Who are you sitting next to this year? What do you like about him/her?
  2. Was there a first-day assembly? What did they talk about?
  3. What was the most fun part of today?
  4. Who are your new teachers? What are they like?
  5. Tell me something funny that happened today.

For RETURNING students:

  1. Who grew tall the most over the holiday break?
  2. Did anyone have a different haircut?
  3. What was the first recess food you bought for the year? Did you miss it so much during the holidays?
  4. Who did you play with during recess? What games did you play?
  5. Give me one reason why you’re so glad school has resumed!

For Primary 1 Newbies:

  1. How many students are there in your class?
  2. Did you buy any food during recess? Was it nice? Are you going to buy it again next time? Great job for buying your own food, you’re a big girl/boy now!
  3. Who did you play with during recess? Good job for making new friends!
  4. What food are you going to buy during recess tomorrow?
  5. What kind of bags do your classmates have? Did anyone have a similar bag to yours?

Of course you can choose to ask these questions on different occasions. Bombarding the kids with 10-15 questions all at once will feel more like an interrogation rather than feeling your interest!

Remember, the objective of communicating with your kids about school is to

  • show them that you are interested in their day
  • encourage them to look forward to another day at school (especially for P1 kids or the anxious ones) by asking questions about what they’re going to do “tomorrow” etc

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Jurong Central Park – A Gem in the West!

We live near Jurong Central Park but we don’t go there often enough. It’s such a well structured park! Bonus is that it has a field that you can play soccer and some paths for your kids to ride their wheelie vehicles like scooter and bikes!

Our boys’ favourite was of course the “Slide of Ahhhh!” that’s how we would name it lol… It’s so much fun. They went again and again and again! You can see from the pictures below how much fun they had =)

The big boys can go by themselves but they wanted to sit on daddy for added-weight. The heavier, the faster… you know? haha…

And there’s also slides that are friendlier to younger children:

There’s an interesting climbing structure as well:

One or two balancing beams!

And…… a Flying Fox! Yay!

Have I mentioned the human-size Snakes and Ladders Board? With actual slides being the snake! It’s super fun! Play as a whole family!

To see how fun it is, check out our 2-minute family video:

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What Can Money Buy For Your Family? Hint: It’s most probably Happiness

How often have you heard the ‘money cannot buy happiness’ debate? I’ve heard it often enough I almost believe it’s true. It’s fair to say we don’t need to travel in a private jet to be happy, or even business class. We don’t need to book a suite in a 6-star hotel when we’re on vacation to be happy. I get it. And I agree. That’s why most of us want to believe that money is not important, it can’t buy us happiness anyway, or so you think. Most of us see money as a vice. Some sneer at the rich. Some think the rich are greedy.

Let’s dig deeper, shall we?

Before we can answer whether money can buy happiness, we need to answer this question first: “What leads to happiness?”. Yes, happiness is in the heart, it’s an inside work and it shouldn’t depend on material things, yada yada…

But let’s be real here. For most of us, what determines our everyday happiness? I would like to say that there are a few things in life that undeniably determine everyone’s level of happiness. They are: passion, health, opportunities and time.

Money Can “Buy” Passion

Recently my boys have been interested in ice-skating. I’m not sure how it is in other countries, but here in Singapore, I would consider it a luxurious sport. The skates are over a hundred dollars per pair, each entry into the skating rink will cost our whole family of five around $100 per 2 hours. If we were to skate once a week, that would be $400 per month. That might not be a big sum to some, but it might be unthinkable to others.

My point is:

In some cases, money can allow you to pursue your passion, and that’s as good as buying you happiness.

Yes, some passion doesn’t require you to spend that much money. But what is passion? Passion is what the heart is deeply attracted to. There is a force tugging at your heart. But if at the end of that force is something expensive, we have to let the passion pass. And that will make anyone a little sadder. If we can afford to do what we want to do, it makes us happy and contented with life.

But since most of us don’t have a surplus of money in our bank accounts, we have been told that the key to being happy is to be happy with what you have, and not want more. It’s easier said than done. How can you control what you want? Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t. But even then, money determines whether you get the chance. 

Have you heard of Joseph Schooling? The 21-year-old swimmer became Singapore’s first Olympic gold medallist in 2016 – and national hero – with his win in the 100m butterfly. He not only beat world-class American swimmer Michael Phelps, but also smashed the Olympic record with his time of 50.39 seconds. The important thing to note here is that his family supported him and paid for his training in the United States because his dream was to be an Olympic Gold Medallist. What would have become of him if he didn’t have the money and/or opportunities? He wouldn’t be where he wanted to be.

Money Can Buy Health

At the very basic level, having enough money to buy food from all nutrition groups can ensure you don’t have any nutrition deficiency and can lead a normal healthy life. At the other extreme, access to world class health care means nothing if you do not have the means to pay for the service. That’s the truth that our very lives depend on. A chemotherapy drug for lung cancer can cost $100 per capsule (no joke, personal experience in our family) and that adds up to $3,000 per month every month until you die, just for the medication. I mean, how many of us have that much money? Even your insurance plan might not cover 100%. So there goes your life.

Money can mean the difference between life and death, and yet people are still saying that money can’t buy happiness.

If being able to afford a longer lifespan (for you or your loved ones) does not bring you happiness, who are you kidding?

Money Can Open Doors to Opportunities 

I don’t even need to talk about third world countries. You know how money can change things. Let’s just talk about first world countries here. Many developed countries can provide basic education to their children at a very minimal cost or with heavy subsidy. However, who are the ones that are at an advantage? They are the ones that can afford enrichment classes and activities. Does it mean that enrichment classes determine your level of happiness? No. I’m not saying that. What I mean is with more money, comes more opportunities (enrichment classes), and with more opportunities come other opportunities (better grades lead to better entrance into better universities etc). And it goes on and on.

The more opportunities you have, the better chances of you having a better life.

Money Can “Buy” Time

Do you know how much an average security guard in Singapore earns per month? They earn an average salary of S$23,874 per year that comes down to $1,989 per month. But how many hours are they tied down to their work? 12 hours per day. On the other hand, families in Singapore spend an average of $550 on domestic help so that they can have free time to spend on their family, job and leisure. Having little money restricts the amount of free time you have. The more money you have, the more you can afford to pay for more free time. A new research suggests that using money to buy more free time – such as paying for a cleaner or cook to take the daily chores off your hands – does actually improve well-being.

So where am I going with this blog post? I’m just trying to make a point that money is important and that it can buy you happiness. This is so that you can teach your kids the right mindset. Get them set on the right path. Don’t let them look at money as an evil thing. Let them see how helpful money can be.

However, it is also our job as parents to not let money become the focal point of life. Research has shown that happiness level drops once you pass a certain level of income. What we can teach our children about money is that it is a necessity in life, one that can make the difference between a good life and a miserable life.

Money cannot buy happiness, but money can buy quality of life. And that’s almost the same thing.

(featured image)

The NEW Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden!

Courtesy of
The newly revamped Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is a nature-themed park for kids featuring interactive displays & activities, including a waterfall cave.
Address481 Bukit Timah Road, 259769
Official guide: click here
So we took our kids to the garden this past weekend. We spent a whole morning there and the boys loved exploring the new place. So many things for active and curious kids!
One of our favourites inside the park was this Tree House Slide. They went so many rounds! The slide was really slippery and fast, to the boys’ delight, of course.
There’s a mini pond next to the tree house that has terrapins and fish. We were lucky enough to catch one terrapin resting on the rock!
Which child doesn’t like balancing??? Let them try out this short trail that leads to the waterfall cave!
And the highlight of the park? The Flying Fox of course! There’s a course for the children to go through before they can hop onto the flying fox. But if your kids are not up for the course, they can just join the queue for the flying fox straight away.
And what’s “nature exploration” without a suspension bridge? 🙂
Overall we are SO HAPPY with the new Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. Well done NParks!