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Jacqueline Koay

Mother of five, beachcomber

Hi, I am from Portsmouth, UK. I went to school on the Isle of Wight before sixth form at Havant College. Universities were Manchester and Oxford. I have lived in several countries since, but my ties to Portsmouth remain very strong. My second son is a serving Naval Officer; he was born in St Mary's Hospital Portsmouth, which is also the first hospital I worked in. My last place of work was Jakarta, Indonesia, where I worked on developing a safe natural childbirth method. My youngest child is Georgina, who is 16. The four older children have all grown up and flown the nest. We currently live in Phuket, Thailand, for part of the year.

Revisiting The Road To Happiness

In 2006, at the height of my career and living in Knightsbridge, I took a three-month sabbatical to meander off the beaten track in India. The reason was that I was earning in excess of £100,000, yet I never seemed to have enough money to treat myself.
11/09/2017 15:06 BST

How To Cuddle Your Teens (And Grown-Up Children)

I notice this is an oddity, even in Western cultures, to be always touching and hugging one's teenage child. Those who spout attachment parenting in early years are surprisingly non-tactile to their teens.  My psychologist friend tells me that there is this belief that the teenage years is about "individuating" a child, that is to say, force them to become self-sufficient.
14/08/2017 10:26 BST

What To Do When Bombs Fall And Senseless Killings Happen

<em>I am a stay-at-home mother. I have no political might to change the world. I don't know how to change the world (if we are honest, there is no straightforward, easy answer). All I know is that we can evolve the world into a kinder place, one family at a time.</em>
05/06/2017 14:07 BST

Why Emotions Coaching Should Be On The School Syllabus

At a certain stage in their lives, our young-adult children leave an institution of higher education (be in high school, college or university) with a piece of paper that declares them literate and numerate, and thus ready for the world of work.
03/05/2017 17:31 BST

From Finland, Teach Children SISU

In recent years. Finnish education has hit headlines as the best education system in the world, persuading us of an alternative way to raise happy, successful children. NO homework, headlines proclaim. Play outdoors, they say.
18/04/2017 14:56 BST

The World Is My Classroom

My daughter recently finished a topic on chemical bonding in school. It was a relatively simple topic and I was shocked that she did badly in the test, given that she aces all her other subjects effortlessly.
22/02/2017 12:57 GMT

The Wind Catcher

I cossetted him because he was different, not the other way round, because there was a certain fragility and a vulnerability in him that I saw but nobody else did. "Nonsense," my mother-in-law used to say impatiently to me. "There is nothing wrong with him at all!"
10/02/2017 11:45 GMT

Why I Don't Babysit

We are also blessed that we have a large but close extended family. My brother's house was less than 100m from mine; my parents house was even closer. Thus, our kids were in and out of each other's houses, and we never needed paid babysitters.
06/02/2017 15:48 GMT

Love And The Universe

In a time when we are hurtling towards time-poverty, where things happen at a super-fast timescale, I would like to share something old-fashioned about deep connection with another person and the universe.
30/01/2017 15:59 GMT

'Mum, Where Are You?'

Indeed, this supremely capable youngest child of ours has all the appropriate tools to live independently, but the choice to be independent is entirely hers. Practicality might dictate that she leaves her supremely happy and safe childhood home, but there is no must.
25/01/2017 14:20 GMT

Monkey On His Arm

It could easily have gone another way with this special person - as I have seen in several others - if he had not been brave enough to transform his pain. He could have gone on destroying everything in his path, and in the process, destroy himself. Rather, he makes the flowers in his path bloom just by being the way he is.
24/01/2017 15:34 GMT

A Little Sister For Christmas

Together the girls took their idea to the Headmaster and to their great delight the management were willing to offer a scholarship place the school. However, the school could not also support travel costs or the cost of laptop and uniform. This left the girls with a major challenge, but they refused to be put off.
19/12/2016 13:11 GMT

Children Get Their Intelligence From Their Mums - NO.

But what I know for a fact is that my children get their emotional intelligence from their father. "Intelligence" needs other factors to make it work, like providing the right environment for developing brains, teaching young children how to think, creating safety in the brain so that the right triggers are fired.
06/12/2016 17:32 GMT

Finding A Piece Of Paradise

We paddled a long way out on one paddle board, just two human beings, the sun, the sea breeze and the open ocean. This is how life is meant to be, I realised, stripped of its complications and unnecessary burdens.
29/11/2016 11:35 GMT

Magical Childhood On Shoestring

But life was magical almost on a daily basis, not just the summers. When it snowed, he would take our kids up Headington Hill in Oxford to toboggan down the snowy slopes. He made those toboggans out of pieces of wood and they were the best.
22/11/2016 14:56 GMT

Our Supermoon

My sixteen-year-old daughter G wasn't particularly fussed about the Supermoon. She was more concerned about the piles of homework yet to be done for the next day. But her father insisted that she walked up a little hill with us to look at the Supermoon.
16/11/2016 13:56 GMT

Rosmawati, Rubbish And Her Tree

Sitting on the breathtaking cliffs of Phuket for lunch one stormy afternoon and discussing heavy subjects such as self-realisation and politics, my new friend Ammy suddenly piped up, "Picking up rubbish.
15/11/2016 14:06 GMT

Black Belt On The Inside

There were times when it was difficult to watch and not interfere. Once, she was late because of us, her parents, faffing around. No excuses, she had to run a barrage of 20 students punching her. Till this day, I have not heard my daughter using excuses or blaming others once when things go wrong
10/11/2016 12:21 GMT