The New Age Parents Free Online Parenting Magazine And Portal Sat, 04 Jul 2015 10:41:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Raising A Child With Special Needs: An Interview With Mother Annie Ong Sat, 04 Jul 2015 10:41:21 +0000 50 year old Ong Kwee Hoon Annie and has two sons, Weng Siong, 25 and Weng Guan 22. At first glance, they both seem like your typical 20 year old boys.

Weng Siong recently graduated from Temesek Polytechnic, and loves to explore Singapore on his own and takes pictures. He is intrigue with building structures and is always concerned about friends around him. Weng Guan loves to swim and has even represented Singapore in swimming competitions. He has interest in art and attends Art classes with Very Special Arts.

But society sometimes has not been so kind to both of them. Because of their diagnoses, they have been called names and stared at. Weng Siong is diagnosed with autism and anxiety disorder, and younger brother Weng Guan in unable to articulate due to his autism.

What is it like bringing up two sons with special needs? Annie, who is working as a Quantity Surveyor, shares with TNAP on the trials and tribulations of raising her boys and why she is so proud of them.

special olympics athletes in singapore

Congrats on being elected as the Family Support Network (FSN) Chairperson! Could you tell us more about FSN and what they do, and your role as the chairperson?

Families are very important in the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Singapore recognizes the vital and significant roles of families in supporting special athletes and in families supporting families.

Families are engaged and encouraged to participate in all Special Olympics programmes. The Annual Family day is one of the many initiatives organised by the Family Support Network for athletes and families from the different sports groups to mingle with each other and thus improve their social development and affective attributes.

As part of the role of chairperson for Family Support Network, I hold frequent discussions with my committee members, plan events and workshops for family members of our sports program and recruit more family members to our Family Support Network with the help of other committee members.

What is the biggest challenge in taking care of Weng Siong and Weng Guan?

Firstly, the boys do not have a sense of danger. They will put anything in their mouth regardless of its edibility. As such, it is important for me to constantly keep my eyes on them whenever they are awake.

Secondly, both Wen Siong and Weng Guan have different characters and sensory issues. Because of this, a teaching method that works for one might not work for the other.

For example, Weng Guan would sit on the ground and refuse to move while crossing the traffic light. Also, he would inflict injury upon himself by knocking his head on the floor/walls and scream and cry whenever he was unhappy or uncomfortable. I would have to hug him and talk gently to help calm him down.

On the other hand, Weng Siong is hyperactive and would run off whenever I am not holding his hand. I have to be very firm with him, and engage him in a lot of exercises in order to calm him down.

How did you and your husband react when you found out about your sons special conditions?

Initially, I was saddened to know that my boys were special and different from the others. I had a tough time understanding why, which led me to want to read more about it through books and research. This eventually helped me acquire a better understanding of their condition, and taught me the appropriate techniques in handling and coaching them.

My husband on the other hand, was unable to accept the fact that they have special needs. He would go to work early in the morning and will only return home past midnight. He would not take the initiative to look after the boys or to play with them.

How did you overcome the obstacles faced?

I told myself that I needed to be strong. It is after all the duty of a mother to take care of her two beautiful boys and teach them as long as she is able to. Slowly but surely, I learnt to do things through time. I ignored the stares and the negativity brought about by others through focusing on my two boys. Whenever I am stressed out, I will listen to my favorite song.

I am lucky to have moral support from my mother and a group of parents with special needs of whom I met in Rainbow Centre. We always share our teachings and provide encouragement to one another.

What is your greatest worry for both of them in the future?

I worry that the boys will be bullied physically and mentally by others when I am no longer capable of taking care of them.

raising children with special needs - interview with parents

What is your proudest or happiest moment in raising Weng Siong and Weng Guan?

Weng Siong: When he graduated from Temasek Polytechnic on 18 May 2015. It makes me very proud to know that he is capable of graduating like any student with no special needs despite his condition.
Weng Guan: When he won a medal in the Special Olympics National Games. I am proud that he was able to follow instructions and complete the competition.

Besides being diagnosed with Autism, how are the two boys similar to normal developing children? What are their likes, dislikes, fears and ambitions.

Like normal developing children, my boys are very curious. They enjoy travelling overseas, discovering new places and learning new interests. They also love listening to music and watching TV programs. They dislike negative criticism, getting scolded and being shouted at.

How did both boys get into swimming and how has the sport helped them?

Weng Siong started swimming in Primary 3. Weng Guan joined the Special Olympics Aquatics Club two years ago. Swimming helped my boys to be calmer, and improved their body coordination.

How has being involved with the Special Olympics helped you in your parenting journey?

Special Olympics allowed me to meet new people, widened my knowledge and boosted my confidence in disciplining my children as well as conducting sports trainings with them.

In your experience, what is the one biggest misunderstanding people or parents have when it comes to children with special needs?

People do not understand the condition of children with special needs. Other people think that our children cannot be taught and improve, which is untrue. Some people call them crazy whenever they misbehave in public but these people do not know better.

If there is one thing you hope other parents can take away from your story in raising Weng Siong and Weng Guan, what would it be?

It would be to never give up and to accept their children for who they are, and to shower them with unconditional love. Spending quality time with them on a regular basis is equally important, and lastly, to believe that their children can excel if they are granted the opportunities to learn.

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Julia Gabriel Centre Talks And Events @ Tampiness Mall Fri, 03 Jul 2015 09:46:41 +0000 Join Julia Gabriel Centre for an exciting series of talks and events at their new centre in Tampines Mall.
Admission is free! Visit to register your attendance today!

Sunday 12th July 2015

On The Write Path- Preschool Years
By Sarah Diah, Head Of Programme, Readers And Writers

Sarah will discuss the factors contributing to the writing process and help you understand the stages of writing and how phonetic knowledge can help with your child’s spelling. She will also answer questions on how you can best support your child’s literacy development.

Developing Confident Readers And Conscious Writers- Primary Years
By Mala Sundram, Head Of Department, Speech & Drama And Readers & Writers- Primary Years
2:30pm- 3:30pm

Mala will explain the benefits of using a text-type approach to learning language. She will help you better understand the 6 Writing Traits as a writing framework and the expectations of the primary school syllabus. She will share the proven value of using Edudrama as a methodology to engage students in Readers and Writers class

Please call 6444 6735 or visit to register.

Julia Gabriel Centre Talks And Events
Click here for a larger view.

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Chilten House Preschool Discovery Day Fri, 03 Jul 2015 08:30:23 +0000 Visit Chiltern House to find out more about their holistic preschool education curriculum. Call to register your attendance!

Day: Thursday
Date: 9th July
Time: 10.00am – 11.30am

Waiver of $200 registration fees*

Meet our passionate team of educators and learn about our comprehensive curriculum, including:

  • Language & Literacy
  • Maths
  • Physical Education
  • Music
  • Research, Art & Craft, Reading and Dramatic Learning Centres
  • Mandarin
  • Speech & Drama

Chiltern House Preschool
Tel: 6346 6130
Facebook: ChilternHousePreschoolSingapore

Chiltern House Centres
East Coast: 6345 9912
Forum: 6737 1966
Mountbatten:6242 8368
Thomson: 6299 5161
Turf Club: 6468 8566

Please call the respective centres to indicate your attendance.

*Upon confirmation placement during the Open House.
Terms and conditions apply.

Chiltern House Preschool

Click here for a larger view.

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Baking With Your Child: A Practical Step By Step Guide Fri, 03 Jul 2015 04:13:06 +0000 Flour and toddlers? “Utter mayhem!” you say? Baking with kids is definitely more messy and inconvenient than baking alone, but it’s double the joy!

Here are some practical tips for making the most out of the experience.

baking with your child a step by step guide

1. Plan ahead

Pencil in your baking slot with your child ahead of time. This allows you to prepare your child for the time together (“We are going to make cookies together after school!”) and gives you time to check that you have all the required quantities of necessary ingredients. It’s no joke running out of butter when your child has his hands elbow-deep in flour!

2. Find a recipe

cookies - how to bake with children

Having a recipe to follow will give both of you better handles for what step to do next. When baking with kids, try to have something hard-copy for them to look at instead of looking at your phone. Even if your child can’t read yet, she can look at the pictures or help you keep track of which step you are doing next. You can print out recipes from the Internet or open up a cookbook. Avoid choosing recipes that have too many steps or difficult tasks (like whipping egg whites for a meringue).

3. Use spoons to scoop out dry ingredients

Many of us just pour our ingredients directly from the box or packet where they are stored into our mixing bowl, but young children may not have adequate control of their limbs to accomplish this process without a significant amount of spillage. To minimize frustration and mess, give them a spoon to scoop portions of the ingredient into the mixing bowl or measuring cup instead.

4. Show, not tell

If you are doing the rubbing-in method for the first time, don’t expect your child to understand your verbal instructions. Always show them what a process looks like before they get their hands in the mix.

5. Don’t let them do everything

cooking with your children

When baking with kids, it’s good to think through beforehand which steps they can manage on their own, what they will need assistance in, and when they should step aside and let you do the work. For example, if you were baking drop cookies, your child could probably measure the ingredients with assistance, whisk the dry ingredients independently, and switch on the mixer when the wet ingredients are added in.

However she may not be able to scoop out the batter onto the tray, as it would be difficult for her to judge what even quantities and spacing look like. We recommend that you, the parent, take over the job of scooping out even balls of dough, and then let your child decorate the cookies independently.

6. Ask questions

The baking process can be a great time for fun learning to take place. Ask your child questions that help them think about what they are doing, and understand how things work. For example,

“Look, we have all the dry ingredients here and we’re going to mix them first before we add the wet ones. Do you know why?”

“What will happen if we put the cookie balls too close together on the tray?”

“Watch how I am kneading the bread. Do you know why we need to knead the dough?”

7. Clean as you go

pretend cooking play

To avoid a massive clean-up and a sinkful of dirty dishes after baking, try to clean up what you can along the way. Have your roll of kitchen towel nearby so you can easily wipe up spills, and avoid your child tracking the food around the kitchen or house. If your child is gainfully employed in one step in the process (eg whisking the dry ingredients or decorating cupcakes), take advantage of the time to quickly wash up a couple of dirty dishes.

8. Get them to help clean up

Involve your child in clean up time too! Even a very young child can help to dry the clean dishes and utensils – just don’t hand over the expensive ceramic or chinaware! Metal and plastics are fine.

By Dorothea Chow

Do check out some recipes you can try in the articles below.

Caring is sharing! If you enjoyed reading this article, hit the share and like button below!

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Win Educational Toys And Books From Shopping Paradise Thu, 02 Jul 2015 07:07:05 +0000 Win a set of educational toys and books (worth $85) from Shopping Paradise!


“LIKE”, “JOIN” and “SHARE” to stand a chance to WIN a set of Educational Toys and Books worth $85!! All you need to do is only the following SIMPLE steps:

  1. “Like” our page
  2. Click “Join” on the above right hand side (on desktop) / above left hand side (on mobile phone) of the event page;
  3. “Share” this post on your wall (please ensure your setting is “can be seen by public”; and
  4. Comment in this linkBest deals for California Baby and educational books / toys ONLY at Shopping Paradise – Booth A18 Singapore Expo Hall 5!“.

shopping paradise toys and books

Contest ends on 8 July 2015, 3PM and a WINNER will be selected! The prize to be collected from Booth A18 at Baby World July 2015 event! Happy sharing!



Come “LIKE” our event page to be updated with our promotions that are happening during the 3 days event!!

Event: Baby World
Venue: Singapore Expo Hall 5
Location: Booth A18 (extreme left row once you enter the hall)
Time: 10am to 9pm (Fri and Sat) | 11am to 8pm (Sun)

We look forward to seeing you there!

baby world 2015

From: The Shopping Paradise Team
Facebook fanpage:

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What Gives Your Car That New Car Smell? Thu, 02 Jul 2015 06:51:29 +0000 Mummy, why does our car smell so funny?

Ever wondered what causes cars to have the distinct “new car smell”?

cause of new car smell - car interior

It is actually the glue, plastics and car mouldings that emit dangerous and unhealthy chemicals to give off this smell. It’s like leaving a bottled water to be exposed under the sun for hours. Would you go and drink the water in that bottle? Probably not as the heat causes certain chemicals to be released into the water and these chemicals are harmful to our body.

This is the same for cars.

The new car is built and fully sealed. It is exposed to high heat during the shipping process. As it arrives at the port, it will be parked under the sun and exposed to months of direct sunlight. All this heat will cause Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) vapour to be released inside the sealed car. And that, is how you get your “new car smell”.

Cause of new car smell

What about cars that have been used for a while? Some old cars have an old, musty smell that never seems to go away. Ever wondered why?


Due to the frequent use of Air-Con and high humidity in Singapore, condensation occurs frequently; promoting mold growth. The Air-con system in your car promotes mold growth with moisture from condensation. And when we on the Air-con, mold is blown into our face via the Air-con vent.

What happens if we inhale mold?

Most adults are perfectly fine when we inhale mold. However, for children with sensitive noses or allergies, this may cause irritation. Furthermore, prolonged inhalation of mold may cause sneezing, runny nose, coughing, wheezing, tearing and redness of the eyes, skin irritation or rash, and asthma. Serious symptoms may include fever and difficulty in breathing and can develop chronic lung disease and infection of the lungs.

Why does my car have bad odor

But my car is brand new, so there won’t be any mold.

This problem occurs in both new and old cars. As long as your car Air-con is used, condensation will occur and mold will start to grow. In new cars, the ‘musty’ mold odour is not as strong not because there is less mold, but due to the presence of stronger chemical odours lingering in the air, hence overpowering the mold odour.

Watch this video to find out more.

Can I get rid of the mold and smell? How?

Japan has developed a new form of Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2) – the buster of SARS, Avian flu, hepatitis, HFMD, pneumonia viruses and other key pandemic viruses – into a daily lifestyle product for health protection.

Ecom ClO2 is the latest revolution of disinfectant that can acidify and decompose the source of bad smell, controlling its production and eliminating odour in the process. It uses the released chlorine dioxide gas to kill germs and viruses in the air or attached to objects, purifying the whole atmosphere.

Can Ecom ClO2 help to prevent the spread of viruses in my car?

As a highly oxidising agent, ClO2 can acidify the mold and bacteria and helps to break down the harmful VOCs in your car. Also, in a small enclosed spaces, it is easy for cross transmission of viruses to occur. For families with children and elderly folks who are more susceptible to viruses, ClO2 can help to lessen virus cross infection between family members.

A Fuss-Free and Affordable way to Disinfect and Deodorize your Car

Your kid recently vomited or soiled himself in your car and the odour still lingers. Your father-in-law just bought some durians and the smell does not seem to go away. How do you get rid of the lingering odour?

Ecom Virus and Germs Disinfectant (SGD $15.00-$18.00) not only eliminates strong and stubborn odours from pets, food and cigarettes, it also removes harmful VOC into non-harmful VOCs by transforming the chemical structure of these gases. It disinfects and deodorizes your car at the same time.

Ecom Virus and Germs Disinfectant for cars

Enjoyer cleaner air and fresher rides in your car for the whole family today!

Does your fridge sometimes reek of food odour?

Try Ecom Cool Fridge Disinfectant & Deodorizer (SGD $14.50). This small pack not only deoridzes, prevents and eliminates bacteria and mold, it also extends the shelve life of your fruits and vegetables.

Ecom Cool Fridge Disinfectant & Deodorizer

Ecom products are now available at q100 and Lazada

You can also buy it at the following stores:

Autobacs Bukit Batok 30 Bukit Batok East Avenue 6 Singapore 659761

Autobacs Ubi 10 Ubi View Singapore 408543

Autobacs Loyang 40 Loyang Drive Singapore 508961

C-nergy CNG station 50 Old Toh Tuck Road Singapore 597657

Serangoon North CNG Station Operated by SMART Energy 9A Serangoon North Avenue 5 Singapore 554500

Mandai CNG Station 1 Mandai Link Singapore 728650

Budget Corner Pte Ltd Changi Airport T2 Taxi Stand Kios, K01-19

All Ecom products are tested in Japan, Singapore and China.

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Homeschool Series Part 6: Useful Tips For The New Homeschooling Mum Thu, 02 Jul 2015 03:20:24 +0000 So you’ve decided that homeschooling is for you. What next?

To get their feet wet and gain experience without pressure, some parents begin when the child is at the K1 level, two years before MOE approval is required.

Others pull their children out of school after they’ve had a year or two to explore and ready themselves. Veteran homeschoolers attest to it being a multi-faceted endeavor that impacts your entire family’s life. So, give yourself plenty of time, make changes gradually or in stages, and expect it to be an on-going process.

Daughter and mummy reading a book

With that in mind, consider the following as areas to work out (obtaining MOE approval aside), rather than a checklist to complete.

1. Perhaps the most concrete step is to apply to Comulsary Education Unit for a certificate confirming that the child has been exempted from Complusary Education

The window to do so is July-October the year before your child is to enter P1. You’ll have to submit an application form, including parents’ CVs, a proposed curriculum and timetable, and reasons for homeschooling. Shortly after, an MOE officer will conduct a home visit, and thereafter, you will be informed about the outcome.

Update: Homeschooled kids must sit new MOE test at Primary 4

2. If both spouses have been working, you’ll need to make adjustments to transition to a single income

calculating your finances

Pare down your lifestyle, streamline your expenses, set up a budget.

3. Read up and research

Get to know the different curriculums, approaches and styles, etc. There is no shortage of websites, books and blogs on homeschooling. Use Pinterest and Google as your starting points. As you explore you’ll begin to get a feel for what might work for you.

4. Connect with the local homeschooling community

They are crucial for parent support, sharing of resources and mutual learning. They will also likely be your child’s primary, though not the only, environment for peer socialization. A good entry point are local homeschooling groups on Facebook and Yahoo.

5. The curriculum you submit for the MOE application can be helpful as tracks for starting out

As you continue, though, you will likely find that your preferences and needs evolve, and so will your approach. Many homeschoolers develop their own unique combination from a variety of sources. Curriculums can be expensive; borrow from others, try them out, see what works for you.

6. Develop a schedule – not just a timetable for homeschooling activities, but a plan for how you order your time as a family

What routines and rhythms would enable everyone to thrive and function optimally? What are your preferred bedtimes, wake-up times, when are the kids most alert and attentive, when do parents get ‘couple time’, and when is mummy’s all-important time for recharging, etc.? Some need a fixed daily routine, while others crave variety from day to day.

7. Prepare your environment

Study light for children

De-clutter. Set up storage for books, materials and supplies. It’s helpful when everything is in one place, and organized so you can pull things out and tidy up easily and quickly. Make sure your child can access his/her things readily. Designate a space for table work, and your own space to prepare for lessons and activities.

8. Prepare your child

If the child is already in primary school, discuss things with them, give them a chance to sort out their feelings . You might expose them to homeschool community and activities even before pulling them out. If you’re starting at preschool level, continuing on to P1 will be no transition at all. Whatever the age, bond with your child & develop rapport – get to know your child, be his/her playmate & learning partner.

9. Develop personal support system

Baby-sitting options you can rely on regularly can be important, as homeschooling parents don’t get the daily breaks that parents of school-going children do. You may opt to hire a domestic helper, so you are able to focus more on homeschooling responsibilities. Seek out friends, homeschoolers or otherwise, who encourage you and help you stay sane.

10. Think through your long-term goals

New Year Resolution SMART way

Develop a vision for what you want homeschool life to be about. If you’ve chosen to homeschool, it’s likely academic learning is only part of the puzzle. The clarity will help guide you as you develop & fine-tune your homeschooling down the line.

Homeschooling can be such a daunting venture, with so much to work out and such high stakes, but seasoned homeschoolers are quick to encourage newbies not to let it overwhelm you. As one of them declares, “… Non-homeschool parents won’t ever understand the reality of homeschool until they are in it. So don’t worry about preparation too much. Jump into homeschool and figure it out along the way – that’s how we do it!”

By Sara Rognstad

Enjoyed reading this or learned something new? Click the Like and Share button below!

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What Smells? Bad Breath In Children Wed, 01 Jul 2015 03:40:46 +0000 Dental causes of bad breath otherwise known as halitosis include poor oral hygiene, tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease is rare in children so more often the cause is poor oral hygiene or tooth decay. The bacteria that causes halitosis lives on food debris and dental plaque on teeth. The bacteria feeds on sulphur containing substrates, producing hydrogen sulphide in the process. It is this sulphide that gives off a “rotten egg smell”.

Girl covering her mouth

The main odour causing sites in the mouth are the back of the tongue, the areas between the teeth and under the gum line. Ensure your child brushes twice a day, flosses regularly and brushes his or her tongue to prevent plaque build-up.

Dry mouth can also cause bad breath. It is normal to wake up with “morning breath” as saliva production drops during the night. If this persists throughout the day, your child may be persistently breathing through his or her mouth, causing the mouth to dry out and bad breath to occur. Dry mouth can also be caused by thumb sucking, chewing or sucking on a blanket or by certain medications. Sugar-free gum or sour candies encourage saliva production and make sure your child drinks plenty of water throughout the day.

Certain illnesses can trigger bad breath as well. If your child has an infection or congestion in the sinuses or nasal cavities, the post nasal drip can lead to bad breath. Tonsillitis can cause bad breath in children, especially if food gets caught in the crevices of the tonsils. If the tonsils have pockets of infection which open and begin to drain, the resulting products of infection can lead to bad breath. If your child has bad breath along with other symptoms of an illness, a visit to the pediatrician is in order.

Bad breath in children that doesn’t respond to the above measures should be checked out. There are some very uncommon, but tell-tale, odours that can indicate a more serious condition. Breath that smells like acetone can be a symptom of diabetes.

By Dr Chin Shou King, Director of T32 Junior

Practice Address:
One Orchard Boulevard
17th Floor
Camden Medical Centre
Singapore 248649
Tel: (65) 6733 1388
Emergency Dental Services: (65) 6398 5578
For more info, log on to

This article was first published in The New Age Parents Apr / May 2015 e-magazine

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Doctor Says… Watch And Win Wed, 01 Jul 2015 02:02:36 +0000 Doctor Says Prevention of Allergy. Watch and Win.

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Doctor Says Prevention of Allergy.

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Social Etiquette Workshop Series Tue, 30 Jun 2015 08:48:35 +0000 An Exciting July Awaits You and Your Child

social etiquette workshops

This July, Krystal Charm Etiquette Academy is proud to present a series of enjoyable and exciting Social Etiquette events for you and your child to bond and learn

  • Bond and Learn Etiquette with Your Kids
  • Parenting Workshop: How to Cultivate Kids with Positive Etiquette
  • Happy Manners Workshop

Event A: Bond and Learn Etiquette with Your Kids
Parent and child get to bond and learn about social etiquette through activities and games.
Suitable for children of age 3 to 8

Event B: Parenting Workshop: How to Cultivate Kids with Positive Etiquette
Hear from our Etiquette Specialist & Master Trainer effective tips to cultivate kids with positive etiquette.
Suitable for parents with children of age 3 to 12

When: 25 July 2015 (Saturday)
Where: HDB Hub Convention Centre
Time: 9am-10.30am (Event A); 11am-12nn (Event B)
Event ASG50 promo Only $50/parent-child pair (U.P. $100)
Event B – Only $30/adult (Complimentary if you sign up for both events)

To Register, pls refer to
Free Goodie Bags to be given based on First Come First Serve

Happy Manners Workshop (NEW Intake)
NEW Intake to our very well-received Happy Manners Workshop. From this one week (Monday to Friday) program on 27-31 July, children get an hour of learning and enjoyment daily throughout the entire week. Discount of $30 for families attending Events A or B.

Pre-register via
Limited Seats available. Registration will close upon full enrolment.

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