Raising Children of Character


You have heard of the phrase, it takes a village to raise a child. We were raised by our parents the best way they knew how to. Most likely with a rotan in one hand and with their favourite word, “No”. However, in this day and age, I feel that parenting challenges are even greater in this generation. My husband recently wrote and shared this message with some of our family members regarding the upbringing of our kids. In our culture of over-indulging our children, it’s so easy for their generation to grow up inappropriately without us realising it. Some of our friends saw what we wrote and asked if they could share this content with their family members too. Please feel free to do so.

Dearest Grandma, Yeh Yeh, Uncle & Aunts of our kids,

Grace and I would like to really take time to appreciate you for playing such a crucial role in bringing up our children. With your presence, their lives (and ours!) are greatly enriched.

With the changing landscape of culture and life, bringing up kids today as compared to yesteryear differs greatly in so many, many ways. We as parents are constantly grappling with how we should remain relevant with the times and balance what to accept from today versus what should be maintained based on the fantastic values that you sowed into our lives.

Here are some thoughts we’ve put together about a few topics, that we’d love to hear your feedback about.

TV

The current choices of programmes is amazing, and we get all sorts of content, ranging from properly produced ones to homebrewed videos on YouTube and I believe kids adopt what they see so readily.

I would prefer to be more cautious, especially at a young age, as they have all the time in the world to watch “trash” later on (though, hopefully they don’t!). Here’s a list of programmes we’ve validated and hope we can limit them to.

Best Television Shows for Two- and Three-Year-Olds

1. Magic School Bus (Netflix & YouTube)
2. Wonder Pets! (Netflix & YouTube)
3. Blue’s Clues (YouTube)
4. Curious George (YouTube)
5. The Wiggles (Netflix)
6. Blue’s Clues (YouTube)

Best Television Shows for Four- and Five-Year-Olds

1. Wild Kratts (YouTube)
2. Backyardigans (YouTube)
3. Dinosaur Train (YouTube and Netflix)
4. Super Why! (YouTube)

Gifts

We are extremely blessed to have so many of you care for our kids and with the availability of toy stores today as compared to annual visits to Toys ‘R Us in Singapore, it has made it so much easier to get something and anything for the kids on a frequent basis.

While we are not against giving, extravagant giving by so many relatives & friends taking turns to give something, creates an attitude of expectancy and lower appreciation for possessions. A gift may only cost RM5, but the quantity of presents & clothes that go through their hands makes our kids “use once and store away”. I would like to cultivate a spirit of responsibility and appreciation over possessions so that they will value everything that is given and not take things for granted, or expect to be given anything they want.

The greatest gift I want to leave as an inheritance is the ability to care for others, be selfless, exhibit wisdom and appreciate life.

Independence and Grit

There are multitudes of articles floating around about millennials and how their attitude is already vastly different from those in the past. They have a spirit of entitlement and are not able to cope with failure. This stems from being “babied and given everything” they want, even when they are not deserving – eg, when they fail exams, they are told it’s ok. They ask for something and have instant gratification.

This behaviour is easily translated into the future adults as not much has changed. In fact, with the advent of maids everywhere, we see kids expecting the kakak to clean up a mess they have made, dress and feed them, etc.

I believe we need to raise kids and ensure they embody age appropriate behaviour. When and where they should be exhibiting independence, withdraw and encourage them to do things on their own.

It is because we love them so much, that we train, we abstain from helping and we scold when appropriate. This will result in kids that are filled with tenacity, grit, and independence.

Denial and saying no

Saying no sometimes is difficult, because it is easier to give in so that the whining and complaining stops. However, kids are such smart creatures – the moment they see success with whining, that perpetuates the behaviour all the more. I feel there is a time to give and a time to deny. That way, the kids will know that they cannot always have their way when a tantrum is thrown.

I would love it if our children can understand why there are times we say no, and go about doing something else.

In conclusion

We all want the best for the kids, and there’s no denying those intentions. As individuals raising these children, we need to have a unified stand so that they grow up according to certain standards. As you know, it takes years to build character, but only a moment to tear one down.

Thank you so very much for giving of your life and time to them. They will surely take your values as their values when they grow up and remember you for them.

We too want to take the opportunity to thank all of you for making us into who we are today, because it is all your input that has shaped us to be pretty decent adults, if I may proudly boast.

We love you all!
Alex & Grace

 Credits:
Photographer: Jamie

Korean Birthday Boy & Family Portraits: Vincent & Hanna


Now, isn’t this just the cutest Korean boy? Traditionally, a Korean boy who celebrates his first birthday (doljanchi) will wear the hood but this cutie pie kept insisting on taking it off! One part of the celebration is the toljabee ceremony, where various objects are placed before the child for him or her to pick. This could be food items, books, money, etc. Depending on what the child reached out for, these items would represent his future! For example, if he picked up a book, he would be a good scholar; if it was money, he would be wealthy.

For Hanna’s child, he picked a ball, though I wonder whether that meant he would be a good sportsman in the future! It was my first time witnessing Korean traditions for a child’s 1st birthday. Thank you for giving me the opportunity, Vincent and Hanna!

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Family Portraits at the studio: Qhairyl & Izyanti

I met Lily for the first time within days of her arrival at the hospital. She was this tiny little cutie pie, immediately capturing the hearts of those who laid eyes on her. Lily’s mom Izyanti (or more fondly known as Emy to some of us) and I started our friendship in 2015 when we were working on a joint venture photographing babies in hospitals back then. Soon after, Emy joined us at Integricity, working on various marketing projects with the team. She’s now moved on to a new season of life, and we miss her cheerful smiles at the office. Photos were taken at our studio by Jennifer and Chi Yin.

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Managing Expectations About Photography on Your Wedding Day

The celebration of marriage is but one little chapter in the tapestry of life. Each story is different but every bit as meaningful as the story of the stranger next to you. It is what makes our lives so interesting to others! When it comes to the chapter leading up to the happily-ever-after part, it is only natural to desire that the heart and essence of every second of the wedding be frozen in time.

This is where the bride and groom come to expect great things from their wedding photographers. But the biggest cause of disappointments when it comes to expectations results from a lack of communication. We’re here to set the record straight and ensure the expectations are reasonable.


1. Getting Ready Photos

We suggest giving us at least an hour to photograph the bride and groom as they separately get ready for the wedding. We like to add some detailed shots of the dress, shoes, cufflinks, rings and invitations. It’s also a good time to capture individual shots once the bride or groom is all ready, plus some photos with close family members and the bridal party.

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St Regis Kuala Lumpur & Dato’ Sri Bernard Chandran: Weddings Redefined

We were honoured to be invited as a wedding vendor to The St Regis Kuala Lumpur’s Weddings Redefined event recently. We had booths next to big names such as The Photoz, Manggis Production, Reeka Temor, and Kayangan Gallery. We were stunned with the decorations done by the St Regis wedding team, their unique 270 degree video mapping screen spanning almost the entire ballroom, and of course, the exquisite bridal collection by Dato’ Sri Bernard Chandran. Whether you are the whimsical type, a lover of all things vintage, or a contemporary bride that shuns white, you can find it here in his first bridal collection.


The ballroom was transformed into a fashion show runway. Below, a photo with our studio manager, Yu Ming at our humble little booth.

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