10 years on, and Kate’s doing her PSLE!

I started this blog 10 years ago when Kate was a baby, at the encouragement of friends to share my experiences to help other parents going through similar challenges. We met up recently with our daughters as one was heading off to University. One mum said, “I take my hat off. You raised so many kids without being a tiger mum, hardly stressed, still looking young and happy and they turned out well.”

I think we did pretty alright considering we were in our early 20s, raised 6 kids without going mad and keeping the marriage intact for over 25 years.

My mum has been a bedrock of support and the girls were so sweet in showing their gratitude. They gifted por por a trip to Japan, just the 4 older girls and grandma. They planned the entire trip and paid for it with their savings, and took turns to take care of por por. That was grandma’s most precious reward for her effort and sacrifice over the years.

So how did my no-tuition-go-playground strategy pan out? I focused on giving them opportunities to discover their interests and talents, developing important skillsets, resilience and the right mindset. Not all of them had intelligences which matched our education system, but we took it in our stride and never let any of them feel less than. Instead of looking at grades, we prioritised developing good learning attitudes which provides a strong foundation for life.

We encourage them to find their passions and purpose in life, and the 6 of them are as different as night and day.

The eldest is doing her Masters in Education overseas as teaching children has always been something that brings her joy. She started with a diploma in Early childhood education. However during her internships, she was disillusioned by what she observed. She pivoted to obtaining a degree in fashion marketing.

After almost two years, she was burnt out having to fight fires on the weekends to meet production datelines, and questioned if that was what she wanted to be doing 5 years down the road. She felt like a hamster stuck in the wheel. She quit, and left for Australia. She found freelance gigs and her costume creations won awards and were exhibited at art galleries. It was a challenging 2 years as she lived on a budget to stretch her savings and worked short stints on farms to extend her visa. Although she had to manage everything independently, she preferred the healthy work life balance and enjoyed exploring nature on the weekends. Now, she has gone full circle, and has found her way back to education.

Number 2 had a gruelling 4 years and finished law school graduating magna cum laude. She stood out because she was the only one who came from a mission school. She struggled through the first year and wanted so much to quit. She persevered, found her footing, took on the most challenging CCA and she and her partner emerged as champions, beating 140 law teams from around the world. Now she does enjoy the work, but I caution her to be mindful of not sacrificing her health and relationships.

Number 3 has wanderlust and has been travelling the world. She gets bored easily and felt trapped during her desk bound internship job. This child loves paragliding, surfing and wants to go bungee jumping off some cliff. Oh well, should I count myself lucky that it’s just 1 adrenaline junky in 6? She’s been supporting herself financially and since she’s an adult and we can’t stop her, I can only pray for her safety.

Number 4 is not academically inclined and went to a neighbourhood school. It was a grounding experience and she enjoyed her years there. She is doing her diploma in sculpture and has been accepted into the bachelor’s programme based on her portfolio and interview. This girl is a ray of sunshine, bringing joy to everyone around her. She loves creating with her hands and her art reflections are profound.

The boy. You would remember him as the student whom his primary school teachers found hard to manage. Always the inquisitive child, talks a lot, thinks out of the box, branded the naughty boy in a mixed school. We had a choice of choosing either Express or NA stream. Without hesitation I chose NA in an all boys mission school. He turned from a nuisance to just another boy! The teachers reported that he was well behaved, respectful and handed his work in on time. What a contrast. He was the top scorer in his school for N levels and is now studying engineering. In the past, it was hard to get him to sit down and keep quiet. Now, he is a permanent fixture on the couch with his figures glued to some gadget and we can barely get more than monosyllabic answers out of him. The irony.

And dear little Kate. She’s in P6! We had no choice but to start her on Math tuition 2 weeks ago. Her teachers say that she has a good learning attitude, tries her best and listens attentively in class. Yet, she hands in her worksheets and the whole page can be wrong. She’s been going for remedial once a week but hasn’t improved much. Poor girl, tries so hard yet her efforts seem futile. She joined her cousin’s tuition class and says the lessons are fun and the teacher is nice. Initially the centre was reluctant to take her in at such a late stage, but after the trial, the teacher accepted her as she is willing to learn and diligent.

She also failed her P5 Chinese and I prayed for a suitable tutor. Kate’s criteria: “she must be bilingual, kind and patient because I am really bad at Chinese.” My criteria: No drill and kill until she hates the language even more, but must improve her grades. Haha, pretty tall order. My prayers were answered in a most remarkable way. I was recommended someone to mentor, and lo and behold, she turned out to be a Chinese tutor and an ex-MOE teacher. She speaks perfect English, is bubbly and joyful, and teaches international students so she’s not fazed by beginner learners. She loves teaching Kate as she’s self-motivated and they are having a great time working towards the challenge of passing her PSLE.

Now that the kids are grown, I have the freedom to craft the next chapter of my life. Sadly, we closed The Little Executive as neither of us enjoyed running the business side of things, and I had my hands full with family members being unwell. The silver lining is that I have become more intentional about identifying what work I enjoy most and to double down on that. I’m passionate about giving talks on Resilience to both corporate settings and at parenting events, and I love coaching parents and counselling teens. I’ve been through the teenage phase 5 times and know how tough it is to navigate. It is very rewarding to see the youths turnaround, and to bridge the relationship between parent and child.

I also have more time to resume blogging!

About Mummy Wee

Michelle Choy is an Occupational Therapist and mum of 6 children aged 11-25. She co-Founded The Little Executive and is a Parenting coach and Motivational speaker. She specialises in Resilience coaching and is regularly featured on national TV, radio and print media. She is proud yet humbled to be awarded Singapore’s 40-over-40 inspiring women 2021.

Over-The-Rainbow Spotlight

I was telling a friend about my grand plans to start a slew of initiatives for youths. The more she listened to my ideas, the more she repeated.. there is one person who’s done something similar.. let me introduce him to you.

That was how I met Yen-Lu, founder of Over-The-Rainbow. Everything I had conceived, he has already executed them, over the past 11 years. What struck me was not only his authenticity, drive and how massively action oriented he is, but also his warm hospitality, making you feel comfortable right away.

I’m very aligned with his vision and am planning to volunteer with his organisation, and have been sharing about their Chatline and subsidized professional counselling for youths. I have also been invited to be on their Parenting & Education fireside chat happening on 2 March (Sat) at 11am.

When did you start this organisation?

We started our family foundation in 2010. Over-The-Rainbow was formally launched in Oct 2012. We are an approved IPC Charity. More details: https://overtherainbow.sg/about/

What motivated you to start this?

On October 22, 2009, we lost our son and only child to suicide. He was 26 years old. He was suffering from manic depression and lost his battle to the illness. It was a parent’s worst nightmare – and the darkest time of our lives. His suicide was also a wake up call, not just for us as parents, but for society as a whole. Our son was a very caring and compassionate person. He once told us, “wouldn’t it be nice if we can make a difference someone’s life.” His life, his passing and legacy became the inspiration and the genesis of our family foundation and Over-The-Rainbow (OTR) youth mental wellness initiative. 

Early on, we realized that perhaps, we are not alone – that he was not alone – that there are likely many other young people who suffer from depression or other forms of mental disorders. And we wanted to do something about it. For in our heart, we didn’t want what happened to us – the heartbreak of losing a child or a loved one to mental illness – to happen to any other parents, or any other human being. This was that first glimmer of light – it provided a path to help move us forward. So rather than focusing on our own grief, pain, sorrow, and suffering, we decided that we would instead focus our attention on others’ pain and suffering – and to try to alleviate that suffering. This was the beginning of our healing and transformation. And this was what our son would have wanted.

What age group / demographic do you serve?

We serve primarily youths (age 13-35) and parents / families, secondarily the community at large.

What services do you provide?

OTR programs & services: OTR Listens, Circle-of-ConneXion, Think x Rainbow Youth Counselling & Parental Support-Line, Wellbeing Champion, Rainbow Connection, etc. 

More details: https://overtherainbow.sg/

What is unique about your organisation?

We provide upstream services which includes prevention, preemption and early intervention. We pioneered the idea of holistic self care: an inside-out approach to mental healthcare. Which means putting on our own oxygen mask first – taking responsibility and ownership of our own wellbeing, from which we can start to take care of those around us. By working on ourselves first, we are then able to provide support to others around us. Community is very important: it takes a village. But the village has largely disappeared in modern society. We need to bring back the modern-day version of this village. We are doing this by creating the Circle of Care, an ecosystem that supports the individuals which includes youths, parents, teachers, etc.

Looking back, Over-The-Rainbow has been able to achieve so much as a small private nonprofit organisation—the support rendered to so many youths, their families and the community at large—only because of the heart and soul—and hard work of our people including our volunteers—the kind contributions from our partners, and the generosity of our donors. It takes a village. And it takes a vision.

OTR is the little engine that could – an engine with a soul. 

What was started from the ashes of a heart-shattering family tragedy has transformed into a thriving organization with a mission that turned into a movement to transform mental wellness for the 21st century.

More details on our flagship Wellbeing Champion and the concept of Circle-of-Care: https://otrlistens.net/wellbeing-champion

What is the most popular service?

OTR Listens. It is an anonymous Chatline, not a crisis hotline. For youths to have an outlet to vent or chat with someone who will listen to them with empathy.

Hours of operation: Weekdays: 4pm-12mn, Weekends: 12noon-12mn

More details: https://otrlistens.net/

What is a little known service?

Circle of ConneXion. It is a self-help group run by our volunteers to create a safe space for youths to come together and share their thoughts.

More details: https://otrlistens.net/circle-of-connexion

How can youths or families volunteer?

There are several areas people can volunteer for – community outreach, creatives & design, digital marketing, event planning & logistics, fundraising & sponsorship, IT, volunteer coordination and writing. We are also looking for volunteers for OTR Listens which is a safe and anonymous chat platform providing emotional support for youths. Volunteers go through training to empower them so that they have the capacity to help others.

What upcoming events are in the pipeline?

We just organized our first OTR Wellbeing Champion Charity Walk 2024 on 18 Feb – over 100 attended. We have our second Wellbeing Champion Charity Walk planned for August this year. We have Wellbeing Champion Festivals planned for March, June, December, and a big Wellbeing Champion Conference in late Sept /early Oct. We also have 3-4 major volunteer recruitment and training events coming up. In addition, we co-organize webinars around Personal Wellbeing and Parenting.

Upcoming events: https://otrlistens.net/events

If you have a magic wand, how would you half the suicide rate for young people?

I will turn everyone into a Wellbeing Champion 🙂

My Big Fat Audacious Goal

As I’m entering the next half of my life, I’ve been pondering my purpose. What else do I want to do before I leave this earth?

The one thing that has been heavy on my heart for the past 2 decades is the number of suicides amongst our youth. Having dialogued with many in this space, the complexities of why a young person would feel pressed to take their own life is not easy to unravel, much less solve.

Did you know that every 3 days, one young person aged 10-29 dies by suicide? Isn’t that number sobering?

My kids have faced their own mental health crises, and the stories are cutting too close. They’ve all known someone who has taken their own life. A best friend’s younger brother. A friend’s brother’s wife. A student in their secondary school. 3 poly mates they know of. And they have shared with me many more encounters of cries for help – having to rush down to drive a friend’s sister to A&E after overdosing, a friend who didn’t turn up for dinner because a sibling had self-harmed and was hospitalized.

And for every suicide, there are more who have attempted, are depressed, or in deep emotional pain. None of our children are shielded from this harsh reality of the silent anguish within. There are so many issues plaguing our children these days and we don’t know which of them will succumb to the pressure.

As parents, we cannot turn a blind eye to this huge problem right in front of us. What have we done collectively, as a society, for our children to give up on life, on themselves. What can we do better?

The perplexing thing is that despite the efforts of so many organisations, the numbers are rising. In 2022, there were a total of 125 suicides among the 10-29 age group. And the justification that our population has grown doesn’t hold water because birth rates have been declining.

The more I discussed this with friends, the more we felt compelled to start a non-profit. However, my wise friend Su advised me to check out everything that is available.

What I discovered, was that there are a LOT of services out there for youth with regards to mental health. And I also discovered that almost every youth I spoke to have NEVER heard of any of them. Such a pity that we have all these wonderful resources, many of which are ground up initiatives which not enough people know of.

Thus, my new mission is to review all the services out there to raise awareness and help spread the word. Haha finally I can put my blog to good use.

And my big fat audacious goal is to half the suicide rate within my lifetime. All of us can take small steps to play our part, and together, we can change these very scary statistics, one child at a time. Who’s with me?

My Gap year, as an adult

I took a gap year last year. Trendy right? If kids need a break after studying for 4 years, I deserve a mighty break after running a 25 year marathon! Finally my brain could switch off, not having to worry about keeping a company afloat nor dealing with issues of the almost-adults in the house, much of which happened concurrently.

Some young people tell me that they need a gap year to “figure things out”. Wise words indeed. As I’m heading towards the big 5-0, it was the perfect time to recalibrate and reassess my life. 

We closed TLE as the business side of things was not something either of us enjoyed nor was adept at. I made time to focus on my family. And to grieve the change and loss. The end of a shared mission. The excellent staff we parted ways with. The children we saw week after week, whose lives we transformed. The wonderful parents who poured forth their support right till the end. Some offered us their condo function room to continue our programme, professional expertise in business development, capital injection, even jobs for our teachers. So much gratitude for the community we built.

So what did I do? It was a year of stepping out of my comfort zone, adding the long forgotten aspect of fun into my life and fulfilling many things on my bucket list.

I worked at a fast food outlet. Yup, my friends had a good laugh. It all started because I’ve been playing “Overcooked” with the kids and just had to experience real life “Overcooked”. It was an eye opener and I loved how everyone worked together under time pressure to get the meals served. I even got to man the fries station all by myself!

But what was most humbling was seeing the aunties who have worked there for 20+ years. My heart went out to them. One told me she comes in a few hours early because it’s too hot at home. I met a 19-year old girl who travelled daily from johor to work and save up for her University fees because she didn’t want to burden her parents. Here in Singapore, our kids take so much for granted.

I spent time travelling – 10 trips with different people and different agendas. It was the first time I did a 1-1 trip with just one child. Such a great idea, why didn’t I think of it before. My 21-year old was off to Paris and Budapest on a solo trip, and a week before she left, my hubs felt that it was better if I accompanied her.

I’m glad she accepted the suggestion of her uncool mum tagging along. I was surprised when she said “Mum! It’s fun hanging out with you. You are different on this trip, more like a friend than a mum.”

Something changed within me on that trip. I felt free. Without too many kids to manage nor packed agendas, I was able to shed the stiff Mum identity of always being responsible and keeping things shipshape. We ditched the Uber and scootered around Paris, which seemed reckless to me, zipping so close to cars and trucks!

In Budapest, I followed her to a hip festival where 40,000 youths camped out for a whole week in tents, and partied with them way past my bedtime. I attended a tantra session, a trauma healing workshop conducted by an art therapist who works with holocaust survivals, and several other funky activities that we don’t get here. We also met a lot of random young people from all over the world and had meals with them. My daughter seems to have the ability to draw people into conversation, even the snobbish Parisians.

While in Australia visiting my eldest, instead of doing the usual, I spent a few days at a “find your inner joy” retreat in the mountains. So zen, so refreshing. Will share more about the fruits of my travels in another post.

When we came back, inspired by our new found carpe diem mentality, I realised that I didn’t have to revert to my old boring self. I could take baby steps out of my comfort zone.

Instead of taking my daughter for a meal, we flipped the experience. We did waitressing together! It was such a bonding opportunity working together and I really enjoyed interacting and serving people. I even got a big tip from a family who brought 2 sets of grandparents out for a meal.

One activity I enjoy but stopped doing since I had kids was dancing. My kids are now of clubbing age and have asked me to join them. As much as I appreciate them asking, I’ve been reluctant to go to crowded clubs with unfamiliar music. Finally, there was a retro night organised by the expat community and we had a blast! Even strangers were heartened to hear that they were my kids and partying with our young adults became the new parentgoals.

It was also a year of learning. I took up courses I’ve put on the backburner for decades. At 12, I decided I wanted to be a therapist after reading about it in the library. I was drawn to music therapy, art therapy, play therapy and was keen to continue with a Masters in Art Therapy after attaining my OT degree. But with 5 young kids, I relegated all of that to my bucket list until now.

Thanks to skills future credits, I signed up for a dance movement therapy course. It was very insightful as I witnessed how things can be drawn out so much quicker and more authentically than talk therapy. It became a beneficial modality in my therapy toolkit that I attended the follow up course for therapists and also went on to take an art therapy course.

With these additional skill sets, I have become more effective when I counsel teens and children with a range of issues like self-harming behaviour, parent-child conflicts, divorce of parents and depression.

The learning bug has continued and currently I’m undertaking a course to get certified as a mentor. Can’t wait to start my mentoring journey.

Besides all of these fun stuff, the one thing that I found the hardest to do, is trying to be a good cook! I’ve been persevering at it and hopefully I’ll see the fruits of my efforts soon.

With a year of deep thinking and reflection, I’ve crystallised what I love doing and what I don’t. I want to continue working on my passions, being intentional about not getting sucked into being saddled by work that I have no interest in. I’ve stepped up my volunteering activities and they have brought me a lot of fulfilment and it is so true that we receive more than we give when we volunteer with a sincere heart.

I went off social media and focused on living in the present and centering back to self. It made me realise how nice it is not to be ensnarled by the web of the polished bits of the world out there.

Instead, I filled my year with adventure, contemplation and growth. Stepping back allowed me to step forward with more clarity and purpose. Taking a full year to breathe life is a privilege I am deeply grateful for.

I am so ready to take on a big new goal!

How did I raise a champion?

I posted about my daughter and her teammate winning the championship in an International Moot 2022 (proud mama moment heh heh) and friends were keen to hear how she did it. They know of my hands-off approach yet how did she end up in a prestigious competition, beating 140 law teams from around the world to clinch the top spot?

Her story, I suppose, is remarkable given that she’s swimming amidst the sharks. Her classmates were from elite schools while she went to mission schools and did not have extra help from tutors. She has an academic mind, but still struggled in her first year of law school. It got better in the second year and she decided to take on the most demanding module of mooting.

Her classmates where complaining that it was such a tough module and she wondered how tough could it be as they were all super smart. She decided to take it and see for herself. Talk about loving a good challenge! She worked hard and was fielded as speaker and not only did the duo fight their way through to the finals, both of them were awarded Honourable Mentions for Best Oralist and brought glory to their University with the ultimate win.

We were at the edge of our sofa as we watched the livestream. She has no speech training nor debate experience and we were relieved to see that she was confident and was able to take the heat and answered the rebuttals with poise and eloquence.

So how did she manage to get this far?

1. Don’t do the thinking for them

Thinking is a great skill! Since they were young, I encouraged open debate, and the children were free to voice their opinions and substantiate why and how they came to their personal opinions or decision. Instead of telling them what to do, they were allowed to make their own decisions, plan their schedules, all within boundaries, and they had to face the consequences of their decisions. They failed many times, and things did not turn out as planned, but failure is the best teacher.

This was a crucial pillar which helped them to look at all angles of a problem and figure out a solution. With so many kids, my priority was for them to be independent. They made their to-do lists, set their goals, and explored their interests and passions in their free time (this meant that the house was in a mess most of the time, but I could live with that!)

2. Build their Executive Function skills

Having to manage such a demanding module means that they have to be organised, focused and know how to manage their time and priorities from week to week so that they can keep up with their already hectic curriculum load.

These are executive function skills which I have been developing in them since young. These skills cannot be taught via textbooks as children have to be guided and given opportunities to practice and hone these skills through activities, games and autonomy to manage their day to day lives. As an occupational therapist, I view the child holistically so that besides academics, other aspects of their development are not neglected.

I noticed that most parents are not able to teach these skills themselves, thus several years ago, I started a non-academic enrichment centre with another therapist who had been teaching children executive function skills for almost 20 years. We have seen such tremendous change in the children who come to us, and teachers are sending their own kids here as they know that we are the only centre focusing on developing executive function skills and resilience.

We are heartened that schools are starting to recognise that children are lacking in these skills. They are unable to pay attention in class, can’t stay focused on tasks to completion, struggle to regulate their emotions and all of these impedes their learning in the classroom. We have been approached by both local and international schools to help their students and are relieved that teachers and parents are now aware that these are skills that can be developed, instead of putting labels on children as being “naughty” or “lazy”. One P4 boy said to his mum, “It’s not that I don’t want to focus better, but I just don’t know how to!”

3. Prioritise sleep

Sleep is so important, yet often overlooked. It boosts their immunity and brain development. During her primary school days, up till P6, I ensured she had 9-10 hours of sleep per night. Sometimes they had too many past year papers to do but I felt that going to bed on time was more important than finishing another paper mindlessly when she was exhausted, then going to school tired, perpetuating the negative cycle.

She was well-liked by her teachers and thanks to her suggestion, they adopted a great strategy whereby all subject teachers had to write the next day’s homework on the whiteboard to ensure the kids were not over-stretched.

Once they enter the teenage years, their sleep pattern goes haywire. It’s alarming how some of our young people are already dependent on medication to help them sleep. While you can still control the amount of sleep they get, please do.

4. Allow for playground time

I insisted they spent 1-2 hours each day at the playground, even during their PSLE year. This gave them the opportunity to practice social skills, learn to make friends, negotiate and handle their own disputes. Her siblings said that she created the most brilliant games, complete with rules and instructions. Social skills are very important as we find that the young generation are unable to work collaboratively with others.

Making time everyday for outdoor play helps them to destress from the hectic day and to let them unwind and relax. We adults need downtime, and so do our kids!

5. Small pond, big fish opportunities

The 12 years spent in mission schools grounded her in values like humility and keeping an open mind, which surprisingly were what set her apart in this competition.

On hindsight, a mid-range JC offered her a lot more opportunities to lead and the experiences gained were invaluable. Being in charge of her band, managing the morale of the team and dealing with last minute changes during concerts helped her develop the flexibility to go with the flow and not be fazed by unexpected challenges. She headed several committees and that taught her to juggle different commitments while keeping her focus sharp.

During the run up to this competition, her group mate had a serious injury plus contracted covid, and they had to do a last minute reshuffle! She had to ditch what she had prepared for months and take on a whole new case, studying 52 pages worth of legalese in a short time. And during the competition itself, technical mishaps like the camera suddenly crashing and wifi not working had to be handled with professionalism and calm, whilst they were madly scrambling behind the scenes!

6. Build Resilience

The week long competition was fierce, as 140 teams fought to reach the semi-finals. After one particularly tough and stressful round where the tribunal grilled them aggressively, both of them broke down. It takes resilience and strength of mind not to be affected, to quickly pick themselves up, face up to their shortcomings, and learn from their mistakes to do better the next round.

I believe that all children are born with their own unique genius. This child thrives on competition and has a sharp mind for facts and figures. Next time, I’ll share about my other kids who are arts inclined, and in our eyes, they are just as successful.

Our responsibility as parents is not to force them to live out our dreams, but to nurture them with strong fundamentals of understanding the value of hard work, perseverance and teamwork, imbue in them a wide range of skillsets and a resilient mindset, and they will find their own areas of pursuit and flourish, while you sit at the edge of your sofa cheering them on!

About MummyWee

Michelle Choy is an Occupational Therapist and mum of 6. She is also co-Founder of The Little Executive, a nurturing centre developing resilience and executive function in children. She is a Parent coach and Certified Professional Trainer (UK) and is regularly featured on national TV, radio and print media. She is proud yet humbled to be awarded Singapore’s 40-over-40 inspiring women 2021.

I’ve launched my Online Parenting Course!

Woohoo! We have just launched our online parenting course last night at my Webinar! My small team of 3, consisting of my second daughter and Kate, are extremely delighted! 🙂

So much hard work getting familiar with the tech side of things, and persevering through the technical issues. It is such a personal achievement because barely 8 years ago, the only thing I could do on the computer was to surf the internet and use Word docs. I’ve really harnessed a growth mindset in approaching technology and managed to create my own website as well as online course! Such a win for me!

It also showed my kids that age is no barrier to learning and we as women can be empowered to chart our own path and follow our dreams to do good in the world, sharing what we can with others, in our own little ways.

My daughter was in charge of the videos and I must say we had great fun and a lot of laughter while creating the videos to engage with you!

I want to thank those of you who turned up for my webinar, almost 90 of you! And the participation was excellent. I hope you picked up valuable tips and enjoyed the session as much as I did 🙂

I’ve heard you, sharing that the biggest hurdle to sign up for a parenting course is to find time to join me live, and we’ve been working on creating an online course.

And ta-da, here it is!

Now you can watch it at your own pace, whenever you get time admidst your busy days. You can pause, re-watch, get your spouse to watch it as well so you can parent on the same page.

By downloading it, you have lifetime access to it, which is especially useful for those with more than 1 child. You can watch the modules again when they move into the next developmental stage so you know how to respond appropriately to them.

This course is packed with practical tips which you can implement immediately to create real change in your kids.

Parenting is such a tough job and when done well, we can raise well-adjusted kids. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true.

When we parent in anger, shouting or caning our kids, we inflict emotional hurt on them which affects them way into adulthood.

Some of us were parented with a negative approach, by being talked down upon, shamed, and yelled at all the time. We are desperate for a better way and don’t want to do the same to our children.

We want effective ways to get them to behave, and we also want to have a close relationship with them.

I’ve condensed everything into easy to implement strategies, walking you through the steps with clear videos.

My course, From Screaming mom-ster to stress less mum aims to help parents with children from 3 to 12 years old to gain the knowledge to parent better and be less stressed on a daily basis.

I equip you with strategies to manage issues like tantrums, discipline, boundaries, attention seeking behaviours, dragging their feet to get things done, meal times, anger outbursts and finishing homework.

My bonus modules include dealing with Sibling Rivalry, managing their Digital gadgets, and easy ways to take care of yoursef and parent on the same page as your spouse.

I have been passionate about sharing with parents over the past 10 years via my blog and face to face courses, and I’m so excited to move into the next phase of bringing this to more parents through my online course! I sincerely hope to see more of you soon!

Click here to find out more!

About MummyWee

Michelle Choy is an Occupational Therapist and mum of 6. She is also co-Founder of The Little Executive, a nurturing centre developing resilience and executive function in children. She is a Parent Coach and her signature Mummy Wee: Parenting Secrets courses help parents navigate this challenging journey. She is an Award winning blogger and is regularly featured on national TV, radio and print media.

My kids refuse to listen and I have to keep nagging

This is the most common frustration I get from parents.

We were the same. We asked nicely, repeated ourselves, nagged, scolded, and finally, lost our patience and started yelling.

It was a slippery slope, and the shouting went on for years.

With Kate, we have been given a second chance and have finally learnt to parent right, after making so many mistakes with the 5 older kids.

Everyone thinks Kate is such a sweet child, and indeed she is thoughtful and caring.

However, she wasn’t always like that.

She had her tantrums like most other kids, and fake cried to manipulate us.

But we were all aligned in how we responded to her.

Me, the hubs, the 5 older siblings. We were consistent. No one gave in to her whining and prolonged outbursts.

And very quickly, by the age of 3, she was super easy to manage.

I am passionate about sharing the parenting knowledge I have amassed over the past 22 years as a mum, occupational therapist and parent coach because I have seen the damage we can do to our kids unintentionally.

The hubs and I had different discipline styles and we quarrelled a lot. He had a quick temper, and would shout at the kids when they misbehaved and sometimes even grabbed their toys, broke it and threw it in the bin. As much as they enjoyed playing rough with daddy, they also lived in fear of his temper.

Kate has been spared all of this because I handled her well and it never escalated to a point where he has to step in. In her opinion, “daddy doesn’t scold us” but the 5 older kids are quick to reply, “You are the lucky one. He used to yell at us all the time.”

If you are in the same position as we have been, struggling to manage your kids, feeling exhausted and wishing things could be better, make time to join us in my next webinar:

3 easy ways to get your kids to do exactly what you want them to do without nagging, yelling or caning.

No more resorting to physical punishment, time out, threatening or bribing.

I know that parents are very busy, and my strategies are quick and effective to implement. All it takes is 10 minutes a day to make your home happier and more peaceful for everyone.

With the correct methods, your kids will respond well. Most importantly, we won’t hurt our kids emotionally which can be very damaging.

I know, because my older kids hold the wounds of all those years of anger unleashed upon them which they are carrying into their adult lives, and need help to process it.

Many of us refrain from caning, but yelling is also a form of verbal and emotional abuse. It creates a tense environment, which frightens our children and makes them insecure. Their behaviour becomes harder to manage and we find ourselves in a vicious cycle every day.

Parenting is tough, and there is no shame in asking for help. It is our responsibility to equip ourselves with knowledge and skills to be a better parent.

It is never too late to start now, the later we wait, the more damage could be done.

For those who missed my Webinar, not to worry, I’ve crafted it into a digital course for you which you can watch in your own time. Happy learning!

3 easy ways to get your kids to do exactly what you want them to do ($68)

About MummyWee

Michelle Choy is an Occupational Therapist and mum of 6. She is also co-Founder of The Little Executive, a nurturing centre developing resilience and executive function in children. She is a Parent Coach and her signature Mummy Wee: Parenting Secrets courses help parents navigate this challenging journey. She is an Award winning blogger and is regularly featured on national TV, radio and print media.

Living life with a brimming heart

Being in hospital wakes you up. To life.

I had such a scare 2 weeks ago. Went in A&E due to a severe allergic reaction to a heat pack where I struggled to breathe (sounds bizarre right, it was placed on my skin and I didn’t even ingest anything!) and ended up staying for 8 days.

At one point, the doctors were alarmed with the test results pointing to an internal bleed and it was one test after another to find the site of bleed or clot.

It was a pretty terrifying time of not knowing what is wrong, and it didn’t help with the covid restrictions, making it all the more lonely without family around.

However, the silver lining was that the scans picked up several other issues that I needed to see to before they become bigger problems.

The whole thing started because of a pain behind my ribs, and my daughter gave me a heat pack to try to relieve the pain. Any movement like a cough or sneeze or turning in bed caused sharp pains, and I couldn’t even take proper breaths.

Being stripped to your bare functions, the only way is up.

It makes you grateful for every single thing that we have, and not to take anything for granted. Being pain free, able to move about, that is such freedom!

so glad to go home!

The time in hospital became an unexpected gift.

For the first time, I could rest. My body and mind.

Time stood still. No agenda. Nothing on my schedule. I was alone, with my thoughts and prayers.

I’ve been running non-stop since I had #1. People assume I’m an over-achiever or type A personality, but I’m not!

When you become a mum, the wheels start to turn, and there is no PAUSE button.

And somewhere along the line, I lost myself. Many a day, we were struggling to keep our heads above water.

And here I find myself, 23 years later, finally being able to pause because I am in hospital. Having the luxury to stop, take a deep breath, and recalibrate.

It seemed like not so long ago that we held our firstborn in our arms. And now she has graduated. She is the same age as when I had her! She’s been working hard curating an online museum for her final project and was feeling stressed. And we had a good laugh when I did a “in my time..” Sometimes, shifting their perspective helps them know that they can rise up to the challenge.

In my final year overseas as an Occupational Therapy student, I was attached to a hospital for 2 months. It was physically and emotionally draining working with burns patients, a lot of heavy lifting, and I remember a gentleman who was in my care and he suddenly passed away in the middle of the night. His wife and children were flying in to be with him, but never got to see him for the last time. Heart wrenching.

After work, I went home and cared for my little one, who was still not sleeping through the night. The hubs and I had decided to have a second child as we thought that 2 years was a good age gap.

I guess it was all too much for my body and I had a miscarriage scare and the doctor told me to take it easy.

What were we thinking, right?! My classmates used to look at me in disbelief. This heavily pregnant petite girl, with a toddler in tow, walking around campus, trying to get all my work done before I went into labour.

That momentum never stopped and one thing led to another. The 6 kids, our first failed business, my blog, starting The Little Executive and being a parent coach.

It was never about setting out to achieve anything, nor was it about making money. I just feel compelled to help. My mind is always bustling with ideas on how I can better reach out to parents and children, and this has been my focus for the past decade.

Suddenly being stuck in hospital, with shocking scares of internal bleeding, a lump found, elevated cancer marker, falling blood count, it jolts you.

Not being able to see Kate and the other kids, simple things that are suddenly taken away, it refocuses you to the real priorities in life. Work becomes the last thing on your mind. All you want is to be well again. To be healthy, so that we can be here with our family.

I look at things differently now. Every moment we have with people we love is so precious.

It reminded me of a personal story a lady shared with me. She lost her young son to cancer, but what was beautiful was that they spent every waking moment enjoying life with him in the months before he passed on. How many of us parents live like that? We never imagine our kids being taken away from us, and we go through our days with a lot of yelling, unhappiness, unresolved conflict.

I don’t want to go through my days living a life of dull routine.

I want to live a life where my heart feels like it is bursting with love and joy! Where every day feels like a miracle of life.

I remember living like that, before the responsibilities of being a parent, challenges of making a marriage work, financial worries and chronic sleep deprivation pushed me into a zombified state. Where the pressures of keeping a business afloat occupies your mind constantly.

I need to acknowledge that we have come a long way. I live my days with calm, no more a screaming momster, I make time for self-care, and both the hubs and I have learnt to become better parents.

It’s time to take the next step, to not just get through our days, but to live it with passion and a heart brimming with life! Both the good and the bad.

I want to wake up in the morning and jump out of bed! Simply because it’s a brand new day!

And to shout it on the mountain top, that

Life IS a miracle. Every moment of it.

Haha, not sure if anyone can relate.

But I’m determined to find that magic back!

About MummyWee

Michelle Choy is an Occupational Therapist and mum of 6. She is also co-Founder of The Little Executive, a nurturing centre developing resilience and executive function in children. She is a Parent Coach and her signature Mummy Wee: Parenting Secrets courses help parents navigate this challenging journey. She is an Award winning blogger and is regularly featured on national TV, radio and print media. Get her FREE guide: 3 easy ways to get your kids to do exactly what you want them to do without nagging, shouting or caning.