Thursday, 9 July 2015

If you don't try, you will never know

"If you don't try, you will never know."

This is what I always tell my children and my students. If the child doesn't try anything new, they will never know how good they are at it. Therefore, I always look for opportunities for new experiences. These experiences ranges from physical activities, cognitive challenges or even food. 

Discovering their Physical Ability

At the playground, the only thing I tell my kids is "be careful". Usually at a new playground, I observe the surrounding, get one of the kids to point the possible dangers and a the kids are free to challenge themselves. 

Faith at 2 years old. 

New Sports

It's never too young to try - as long as they are trying in a safe environment.
Discovering their sense of coordination and balance.
Roller Blading
Roller Blading at 2 years old.
 Discovering their agility. 
Jumping at the Trampoline Park. 

Emmanuel struggled for a long to learn how to snorkel. He swallowed sea water and had sea water in eyes. But eventually, he did it.
Showing Resilience. 
At 4+ years old

Rock Climbing

Faith is trying on her own at the low wall at 2 years old. She is discovering her arm strength and hand-eye coordination. 

2 years old.
Emmanuel (age 4) discovered that he has a fear of heights through rock climbing. But he continues to challenge himself to overcome it. Although he has never pass the halfway mark, but with every climb, he has moved one more step. 
Natalie(age 7) always surprises me with the things she can do. On her first attempt at climbing the tall wall, she climbed all the way to the top. It is so amazing to discover that she has the courage to climb all the way to the top even though she was afraid and unsure. She wanted to give up across the halfway mark. But with a lot of encouragement and reassurance, she did it. 

Gym Competition
In school, Natalie and her team won 1st in class and 1st runner up for interclass gym competition. I am not only surprised because of her winning, but rather, I was totally shocked to see her do a almost perfect cartwheel. I discover that she was really flexible and very agile. In fact, I ask her "how did you do that?" and her reply was "I also don't know. When the teacher taught me, I just tried and I did it." Hence, with the attitude that she will try her best at everything she does,  hopefully, she will discover more of her strengths.

Cognitive Challenges

It is important to challenge the kids cognitively. Hence, I had some challenge tasks for the kids during the school holidays.

Food Challenge
My kids are not fussy eaters. In fact, they would eat anything and everything. This is because from young, we encourage them to try new food and never say "no" to a new type of food. The rule is simply, "if it's new, take a bite, enjoy the taste and swallow it (whether you like it or not). Hence, the kids are quite excited and adventurous when it comes to food.

How I deal with food that the kids reject is simple - I feed them again after a month or two. For example, my son doesn't like the smell and taste of durian. But I feed it to him every single time I have some. And he knows he must take one small bite to try again. He still doesn't like it, but he learns to live with it. 

Basically, the kids are free to try what they want. For me, I play a supporting role. I provide the necessary resources and bring them around.

Natalie loves to draw and wants to take part in art competitions. Therefore, I support her whenever the opportunity arises. 

At the Octoburst Drawing Competition at Esplanade.

Artist Award from school.

SK colouring competition where she become top 60 finalist and had her art work displayed at vivocity for a week for the public to vote. 

Sometimes, the children really surprise you with what they can do. So never estimate them or limit their potential. Let them try in a safe environment and be ready to be blown away. 

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