Parenting hacks

Parenting hacks. Is there such a thing?

After 4 kids, I can only say we managed, day by day. From infant to toddlers to Primary school and teenagers. Try not to think too far ahead because we sometimes cannot even see beyond the week :p

Brawling, wailing, falling sick and total meltdown. Peace at home does not always exist and is considered a luxury 🙂

The best advice we can give to new parents is take it easy, chill.  No matter what we do, some folks would still like to judge (let them, strangers’ words hold no meaning for us)

Do not get us wrong, we were always worried with our No 1, but with more experience, we learn to let go, and enjoy the moments. (an excuse to indicate we relax our standards for subsequent kids :p )
Lee Boon Wee

If the utensils are filling up and if the laundry are piling up, take a deep breath, eat an ice cream and chill for 2 minutes.

Handle one thing at a time. Somehow, everything will work out, ALWAYs.

Give the kids some credit, they are always more resilient and resourceful (and crafty) than we adults would belief. We tend to believe that there are helpless little bundles, and proceed to cuddle and spoon feed them all the way.

Some challenges and falls will make them grow faster, and hopefully more resilient.

parenting hacks
parenting hacks

I would like to believe that my kids are generally ok. They are mischievous, they often rebel and they still make us parents suffer headache and heart pain. But we know all these are growing up phases, and kids might not even comprehend their actions yet.

It is not bochap (nonchalant), but we parents need to learn to let go. If we pursue every minute details and micro-manage, we only end up stressing ourselves.

Sometimes, we need to balance between Control (parents’ sanity) and Freedom (to let the child grow and be more independent). Just like fishing or flying a kite, tension and release (repeat).

Easier said than done, as kids always Game our “parenting tricks”, and we sometimes suspect their mission is to drive parents up the wall!

Mommy Mengchoo is a full-time homemaker. Sounds nice, but she actually works 7 x 24, with no off-in-lieu nor bonus!

Besides her official title as “Mum”, Mengchoo moonlights as a cook, a helper, a teacher, driver,  and Google.

Kids will always take turn to interrogate ask :
-Mommy, where is my bag?
-Mommy, how do I do this?
-Can you teach me modelling (not cat walk but the Maths concept)
-Mommy, why cockroach can fly?
Mommy, why you are not working, like Daddy?

Of course, we will always encourage the kids to Google for answer first. The idea is to be self reliant, and along the way pickup positive traits like “Initiative and Resourcefulness”.

Fortunately, poor Mommy has Taobao and Korean dramas to de-stress.
Fellow Dads can try to be a stay-at-home-Dad for 3D2N to experience and APPRECIATE our MRS multi-tasking skills! I struggled when Mrs went Bangkok…. (read my old SAHD blog post)

Sometimes, I feel so guilty when I request to make love .

Looking at her sleeping like a baby (and sometimes snoring), slumber dreamland is the only time for her to recover and recharge, her own “me time”. She would be so tired at the end of the day, and sleep is the only thing on her mind, not crazy Sex. When she is awake, her thoughts are 99.5% about the kids’ welfare (as do most Moms).

Darling, I am not good at expressing myself.

But the family would not be stable without your loving care (includes discipline and nagging too). The kids might not appreciate our intention now, but I strongly believe their characters have a good foundation (I hope) .


We captured the kids childhood through our blog and photos.
We are just like any families out there.
There will be squabbles and disagreements between family members.

Although our Facebook and Instagram only show Fun Loving photos, that does not mean everything is chirpy at home.
True is, 家家有本难念的经 (literally every home has a hard-to-decipher Scripture), every home will have to manage their own harmony and challenges.

We are still family at the end of the day and must Love and support each other.

If you ask me and Mrs 10 years ago what we expect from Family life.

We will tell you we would love to have a few kids.
Her wish is to be a home-maker.
.. but having four kids was never in the plan.

If you ask us whether we would like to have multiple kids again, me and Mrs will give a resounding YES 🙂

Back to the first question, are there Parenting hacks?
Yes, but not all might be applicable.

The most effective “parenting hacks” is the one when a couple Works as a Team.




Parenting tips, from generation to generation

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Growing up, our parents are our role models, we emulate what our Dad or Mum does.

If we do not agree with what our parents are doing, we might strive to do better when we become parents ourselves. Be it good or bad examples, we all learn through mistakes and experiences.
parenting tips

Is there an instruction menu for Parents?

I truly appreciate the challenges of parenting after I become a Dad myself.
Looking back, my sibling and I must have driven my parents up the walls with our antics 🙂

Subconsciously, we tend to pass down values from our parents to the kids.
To my kids, I always encourage them to be adventurous and follow their dreams.
If they should falter, just climb up and try again.

With enough nurturing, I do hope they will be there to take care and cherish each other.

Even with four kids, we are still learning and improvising our parenting skills everyday. Every child is different and has his or her own individual character.

Let us share some of the important virtues and milestones which I pickup from my own parents.

1) Spiders and Enrichment, which childhood memory sounds more fun?

I lived in a Kampong before moving to a HDB flat when I was around 5 or 6 years old.
Childhood days in a HDB neighbourhood were fun and memorable.

I know the importance of a happy childhood, and we make an effort to ensure our kids’ childhoods are memorable (and not all about tuition).

My Dad would bring us hiking and fishing whenever he had free time. Although he might not say it, but I now understand he wanted us to enjoy the great outdoors and be more “rugged and independent”. I am now encouraging my kids to take up sports (hiking, jogging and cycling) in the hope that they will improve their mental resilience.

No xBox and Gameboy, no problem.
We just improvised and improvise our own games, police catch thief, marbles and hide & seek.

As long as we were “adventurous”, our curiosity (and mischief) knew no bound.
Yes, we stole mangos from neighbours’ trees and dropped water bombs onto unsuspecting pedestrians too!

2) Brother, you can count on me

As my parents were busy with work, my younger brother and I needed to “take care” of each other from young. Besides looking out for each other in school and around the neighbourhood, we were forced to rely on each other for support. As a result, we became more street-smart and resourceful.

Unfortunately, kids nowadays are more pampered. They just need to shout “Mummy, Daddy can you help?” whenever they hit an obstacle. As for me, I always encouraged them to do some research (among themselves or even Google) before they approach us for answers. We discourage spoon-feeding in our home.

As the saying goes “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime“.

3) Kids grow up too fast, and preparing for the future

Play aside, my parents never fail to relay the importance of “saving for a rainy day“.
And just like our parents, we encourage the kids to start saving from a younger age.

Their “ang pow” money (bonus) are all deposited into their own bank account.
Their balances from their daily pocket money need to go into their own piggy banks.
I always joke that we parents are like CPF, we enforced compulsory savings for the little ones 🙂

They might be too young to understand retirement planning now, but (like CPF) cultivating a good savings habit would be the first step toward financial prudence.

And talking about the future, if there is something else which I can do for the kids, it would be for my spouse and I to take care of our own retirement needs, so that our kids need not be burdened with our aging expenses.

The fact is Singapore is growing older with more senior citizens, and smaller families.
This mean lesser abled-bodies to support the economy and support their parents.

As such, it is important that we need to plan for our own retirement expenses now.
As I was going through the latest CPF initiatives and options recently, I came across CPF Life.

It is an annuity scheme that provides a monthly payout from age 65 onwards. As my mom just turned 62, I got her to apply for CPF LIFE.

Under this scheme, my Mum can choose to stop working and still have a steady payout for life when she turns 65. With the monthly payout, there is more stability and assurance for her golden years.

Likewise, when I reach retirement age, CPF LIFE will likely be part of my retirement plans.
It does give me the flexibility of deciding how I wish to spend (or grow) my money. The two images below will share more details.

Here is a short summary of CPF LIFE. Based on our desired CPF LIFE monthly payout and CPF balances, we can choose from a range of payout options that suit our retirement needs.

The CPF LIFE Standard Plan gives you higher monthly payouts for life and a lower bequest, while the Basic Plan offers lower monthly payouts for life and a higher bequest.

We have chosen the Basic Plan as I suspect my Mum still intend to work for some time. When I reach my sixties, living expenses should be higher. I might wish to work longer to keep myself mentally alert and earn some pocket money. Either way, I would prefer to leave more money in the pot for my kids.

More details about CPF LIFE can be found at this link.

And apart from relying on my monthly payout from CPF LIFE, I have my investment plans to ensure my retirement expenses will be adequately covered.

The above parenting list is never conclusive, and we are continuing to build our retirement nest. There are always more things to learn and adapt, what are some other values which you wish your child to inherit?