Most parents instill good values into their kids brain. Note, I say most, ‘cos I have met and heard too many who doesn’t, like asking their own daughter to sleep with their step-father ‘cos the mother could not perform to his expectation. *Arrrggghhhh*

Ok, back to good values. 2 years ago, Keatkeat ask, “Mommy what are they doing?” Pointing to a group of men with cigarettes between their fingers, blowing out smoke. I have a deep impression of this day because Keatkeat continued to ask, “Their mouth got fire!” *huge laugh* I was teaching him how fire creates smoke back then.

The men turned and looked at him with blank faces. Would you go “Shhhh…..”?

I didn’t, I just pulled him away as I giggled a little. Then I explained, “Keatkeat, the uncles are smoking. See the thing they are holding? *my 3 year old (Back THEN) nodded* It is called ‘cigarette’. They suck in the cigarette like you suck Coke from a straw, but the cigarette is dry, so they suck air or smoke. But they cannot keep the smoke in their body, so they need to blow it out.”

I paused to check his reaction. He looked at me with the “Yes?…continue please” look.

I went on, “Keatkeat, this is VERY BAD for the body.”

“Why??!!!” He almost yelled. It was his Why-this, why-that growing stage then….

“Can you see the smoke is grey in colour? *the little head nodded* It is like dirty air. When dirty things go into your body, is it good? *the little head shook* So smoking is not good for our body, understand?”

“Yes, then why they want to smoke leh?”

“I don’t know, maybe you want to go and ask them?” I knew my shy boy wouldn’t, but I just had to stop the “Whys” from coming, at his age (then), I didn’t want to go into too much details. I believe, so long as the correct message is sent across, its enough.

Now that he is a bigger boy, his vocabulary and understanding have expanded, we could not really shut his mouth and this was what happened…

“Mommy, that uncle is smoking. So bad.” In a reproved tone. It was pretty loud. I looked into my boy’s eyes and gave a little smile together with a ok-that-one-sentence-is-enough stare. But he continued, “Aiyo, so bad for body still want to smoke.”

Now that caught the attention of the man in his 30s (I think), he was unhappy and he stared at my 5 year old with an undoubtable silent message “ya, I know its bad, but who are you to correct me when you are just a little nobody”. That look on his face was scary.

I pulled my boy away in case that man was already having a bad day before my boy added to his misery, who knows what he would do.

“Keatkeat, I am happy that you know it is bad, but some people do not like to hear that, especially when the person doesn’t know you. If Mommy did something wrong, you can tell me, I am ok, ‘cos we know each other. But please, never do it to strangers ok? Knowing that it is bad, in your heart, is good enough, don’t need to say it out.  They may get really angry and scold you…you want that?”

Immediately, he pulled me down to his level, moved his lips to my ears and whispered, “No…. so next time…. I will say softly to you, like now, can?”


“Yes, yes….”