Sharing - How to Keep Kids Safe When Visiting Busy Places

~ Posted on Monday, July 27, 2015 at 12:05 AM ~

I shared this picture on my Facebook page in Oct last year and received lots of responses on this and decided to re-share the picture again (since I have gained lots of new followers since then)


I'm constantly checking to make sure our kiddos are next to us but to respond to the advice from the above picture, I personally would teach our kiddos to look for uniformed staff (guards, police etc) or staff (salespeople, cashier, reception counter staff etc) who are working at the place we go to. At least these people are (hopefully!) regularly being seen at the venues, more permanent visibility compared to total random strangers.

I'm not saying we should not trust strangers who are mums with kiddos, but these days, it is really hard to tell and don't know who to trust. There are kidnappers using kiddos to lure other innocent children too.

From time to time during any of our family outing, I would also quietly do a quick drill with our 6 year old where I will asked him what he is going to do if he got separated from us and was lost in this place. Just to test whether he remembered what to do. So far, so good.


From the responses shared, I also learned a few new tips which are:

  • "Teach them to make a lot of noise shouting Mummy....If lots of people are aware of their noisy presence it makes them less of a target for sick people." ~ Carole McAteer 

  • "Predators target the quiet, unassuming child that no one will notice or remember. Please teach your children that if you are separated do not go looking for you. Stay where you are. Stay out in the open. And be loud. If a stranger asks you to leave that spot, teach your child to say: please stay with me until mommy finds me. A good adult will do that. A safe adult will respect that. If the adult makes you leave that spot: yell. Puke or pee if you can. Studies show that predators will usually flee if a child pees or pukes. And sometimes people we know aren't safe and there is no age to that: the predator could be a teen or pre-teen. Have safewords/secret passwords. Teach your children that if a person does not use your secret safeword then it's not safe to go with them. And please instill in your child(ren) they are always safe because they are smart and they know how to be safe." ~ Christine Rossini


Just a few days after that, I came across this article which I must definitely share with you guys as I feel we could all learn from this. For your convenience, I have copied some of the excerpts from the article here:

"Do your kids know what to do if they get separated from you in a mass of people? Have you sat down and talked about it (or, even better, role-played it) with them? If it’s starting to dawn on you that you may have been slacking a little in this area, don’t worry. We’ve got all the information you need to keep your kids safe and happy on your next big family outing.

Here are our top 5 things to teach your child before entering big crowds:

 1. How Far They Can Go — It’s important to talk with your children about how close you expect them to stay to you before you start your adventure. For young children, you might want to establish a rule of always holding a parent’s hand or always having one hand on the stroller, if you have younger children that you’re also pushing around. For older kids, you may be comfortable with a “I can always see you and you can always see me” rule. Use your judgment, but make sure that everyone understands the expectation before you get to the crowds.

 2. To Freeze and Yell Your Real Name — Teach your children that you will find them, so it’s best if they stay put in one place. Furthermore, teach them to call out your full name instead of “Mommy” or “Daddy” to help you more easily locate them.

3. How to Identify a “Safe Person” — Make sure your children know the best people to approach should they get separated from you. Employees working at the spot you’re visiting are generally always good, “safe people.” But what about places that may not have employees, like the beach? Teach your children to look for a mom with kids. Experts say that moms are often the most willing and best-equipped people to help kids (plus kids often feel more comfortable asking for help from moms). It’s also a great idea to practice finding a “safe person” when you’re out running daily errands with your children. Turn it into a game when you visit the grocery store, library, or the bank — and get your children in the habit of automatically identifying the safe people in their environment.

 4. What to Say — It can be hard for would-be-helpful adults to assist your child if they don’t know that your little one is lost. Remember that if your child does get separated from you, she will likely be panicking, so don’t assume that she will know how to tell a stranger that she is lost. Role-play getting lost and using simple sentences like, “I am lost” with your kids to help them know what to do if it actually happens.

 5. Their Personal Information — Make sure your children know as much basic personal information as possible, including their full names, their parents’ full names, your telephone number and their address. If your kids are too young to remember the basics like their full names and your telephone number, write it down! There are lots of popular techniques for this — including writing your name and number on a piece of paper that you can put inside a child’s pocket or shoe, or even writing directly on your child’s arm or belly under his clothes with a marker."

Do share your thoughts or personal tips on this!

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Angpow Story - Lantern

~ Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 5:53 AM ~

I have been sharing some of my favorite angpow pieces on an angpow collectors group in Facebook and some members have been telling me to continue sharing my memorable stories and so I thought, why not write it down, that way, our kiddos can read about it when they grow up next time, eh?

For those of you who are not familiar or never heard of the words 'Angpow' (also known as 'ang pau', 'ang pao', 'angpau'), here is a quick definition:

Angpow = Red Packet (filled with cash inside) given during festivals

So for today's angpow story, it comes from this piece of lovely angpow:

Angpow Story

A while back, a member of the angpow FB group I joined posted this tiny close up shot and asked us to guess where is the angpow from.

Angpow Story

Immediately after looking at that image of the little girl holding a red lantern walking, I know which angpow it was from as I had the same piece in my collection as well. I kept it as it reminded me of a childhood memory of mine, happened somewhere between the age of 8-10.

One year during Lantern festival, I was back in my kampung during school holidays and during the night, my cousins and I decided to play some games at the roadside.

Yup, the tar road smacked right in front of my late popo's (aka my late grandmother's) house. Well, to be honest, there's not many cars at that time anyway (I think it was about 10-11pm). A bunch of us (around 8-10 of us) played some games like we would be sitting in a circle formation, then one person will walk behind the circle and quietly dropped off a hanky while those sitting on the ground will sing some songs or something, can't remember, but this game is like the musical chair..

So anyway, after the songs ended, those sitting must immediately checked behind to see whether they have the hanky. If yes, he or she must quickly get up and chase the person who dropped the hanky.

Anyway, just want to share a childhood game of mine before I get to the main point of why the little girl holding lantern becomes the topic of my storytime today.

After a few rounds of the musical-sit-on-the-tar-road-sneakily-drop-a-hanky-behind-someone-and-pray-you-don't-get-bang-by-a-car-at-night games, we decided the night is still young, hey we were still young, you only live once you know, so a cousin suggested we light up our paper lanterns and walked around the kampung.


At night.


Just us kids between 8-10 years old.

No adults.


And hey, we were young, none the wiser so we excitedly lit up our paper lanterns with candles and started our adventures. It was all fine, we were chatting and laughing and we even made it to about 100m further down the road where the whole stretch of road was REALLY dark.

In fact, total darkness.

Yet, we soldiered on because kids know no fear.

Until someone cleverly mentioned the word 'ghost'.

That's when we felt the chills. And scared ourselves shitless with own phobias and fears. Needless to say, ALL of us turned around and bolted straight back to our late popo's home. As if the last person left behind will be terrorised by a ghost or something.

Paper lanterns burnt (because sudden u-turn causing candles to topple and burn the lanterns), slippers fell out (panicked you know) and adrenaline rush and making it out alive hahahaha...

Such a silly experience but yes, memorable still. None of us dared to repeat the same stunt since even though the only ghosts there is was on our own head lol...

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Teaching & Learning Moment - Feather

~ Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 5:11 AM ~

I like to bring our kiddos to the playground whenever situations and weather permits. One morning after dropping off our oldest kiddo at kindy, I brought our girls to the playground as usual and as our girls ran ahead leaving me behind, I noticed something on the floor. A fluffy feather! Ahhh... thank you God for this learning opportunity!

I immediately called our girls over and gently showed them the feather on my palm, careful not to let the wind blow it away. I let them touch and feel the feather and repeated gently the word 'feather' (pronounced as 'fare-duh') Now being the long-winded mum that I am, I don't just stop there. I went on to explain to our girls as simple as possible that birds have feather, it keeps them warm and comfortable.

Then I asked our older girl how about dogs? And waited for her to try to answer and gently corrected her.

I went on to teach them about furs and hairs, giving examples that dogs and cats have furs, humans like her and mummy, we have hairs.

Teaching & Learning Moment

Now why this falls into the 'Teaching & Learning Moments!'?

* I get to teach our girls about feather and its importance to a bird.

* I get to teach our girls about feather, fur and hair and how to differentiate them.

* I get to reinforce our older girl's speech, sometimes she cannot pronounce properly.


** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost everyday) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.