5 Surprising Ways Digital Technology Is Changing Childhood
Jul 22, 2018

According to recent studies, 21% of children aged three and four have their own tablet. How is digital technology influencing modern childhood?

When even tech veterans such as Napster founder Sean Parker critique how smartphones are affecting childhood development, you know a shift is coming. In 2017, Parker warned that social media "literally changes your relationship with society, with each other…God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains." Parker has two young children, so he's surely familiar with the universal tactic of handing over a screen to buy a moment's peace - the so-called "digital pacifier".

The Council of Europe recently issued recommendations on children's rights in the digital environment, building on GDPR's legal framework, which establishes the limits of children’s consent to use of their data. There's more awareness than ever that technology in childhood needs to be policed properly, by both governments and parents. To help you weigh up some of the issues involved, here are five ways in which the screen is reframing children's lives.

1. Physical Changes

The evidence is still anecdotal, but it's likely that technology's ubiquity from the earliest years onwards - a fifth of children aged three and four have their own tablet - is reshaping our bodies. Short-sightedness has doubled since the 1960s, and obesity is increasing. Only half of seven- and eight-year-olds get the recommended daily hour of exercise in the UK. Spine surgeons have reported an increase in young patients with neck and back pain, likely related to bad posture during long periods of smartphone use. But with the increasing number of apps and devices to monitor physical activity levels, the solution could be digital, too.

2. Rewiring the Brain

The addictive design of many video games and apps could be rewiring children's brains. Many of them are structured around "reward loops", which regularly dispense incentives, including a biochemical dopamine hit, to keep playing. Autoplay functions on YouTube and other video websites reinforce these rhythms.

"Almost all digital interactions, social media particularly, are deliberately designed to make an individual want to undertake the cycle again, immediately and repeatedly, whatever the time of day or night", stated a recent landmark report on Digital Childhood by the UK-based 5Rights foundation. It believes that tech companies need to adjust the design of their products for children - for example, by switching off Autoplay.

3. Space, Not Time

Amid the hand-wringing about cognitive decline, it's worth remembering that perhaps technology is just making children different to us. Even early studies of the effects of video games suggested they improved spatial reasoning. While verbal skills, logical argument and attention spans may now need more offline encouragement, most toddlers will benefit from accelerated hand-eye coordination and image recognition abilities, as well as the general digital literacy that is now essential to growing up.

4. The Definition of Childhood

Just as the pressures of industrialization created the concept of "childhood" in the Victorian age, and post-war consumerism gave birth to the idea of the "teenager", the digital era is shaking up life boundaries once again. While the first year of high school may be regarded as a default age for a child to receive their first smartphone, 39% of 8-to-11-year-olds already have them.

Entry into the world of social media suddenly gives immature children a relatively independent space in which to test out "risky behaviours" that they can't necessarily understand or cope with, according to the 5Rights report. The collision between incongruous age groups and behaviours that social media entails means that both children and adults need to understand their respective responsibilities under the new digital compact.

5. Crowdsourcing Mental Health

There has been much discussion of the growing sense of inadequacy and loneliness fostered by social media, and its impact on young people’s mental health. Teenagers who spend more than three hours a day online are 35% more likely to be at risk of suicide, according to a recent US study. But perhaps that's confusing cause and effect. The last decade has seen a growing awareness of and sensitivity to mental health issues. Much of this discussion is being held by young people in the environment that is most natural - as well as discreet - for them: the internet.

There's no doubt that the new digital frontier is drastically redrawing childhood, threatening tender bodies and minds. But perhaps we can meet these challenges if they are handled in the spirit of the internet's original precept: free and frank discussion.

Photo credit / pixabay

By Anna Bruce-Lockhart
Edited by Shawn Chou

Did Mulan Really Join the Army out of Filial Piety?
Jul 14, 2018

Taiwanese singers Nana Lee Chien-na and Judy Zhou Ding-wei, who both became famous through the Taiwanese “One Million Star” talent contest TV show, play the lead roles in a new pop version of the original Chinese-language musical Mulan. With their powerful vocals, the pair brings to life a version of Mulan that casts the legendary devoted daughter in a somewhat different light. Playwright Tsai Pao-chang, director of the modern theater troupe Tainaner Ensemble, and composer Owen Wang, founder of theater company Studio M, add moments of laughs and tears, stemming from contemporary gender role issues.

The story of Mulan, the most famous heroine in Chinese history, is returning to the stage in Taipei. Mulan The Musical uses plenty of comic elements, turning gender stereotypes and historical imagination on their head, to interpret the life of Mulan, the girl who posed as a man to join the army on behalf of her ailing, elderly father. This latest version features much stronger pop music characteristics, making the musical more appealing to a younger crowd.

“Following the army on behalf of my father is not what I want; my soul wants to fly. I want to fly, to gracefully fly forward. I fly, bravely pushing straight ahead is what I want…” After nine years on the road, Mulan The Musical returns to the National Theater in Taipei with an ensemble of 26 actors and 17 musicians.

Since its Taipei debut in 2009, the musical has been performed in various locations abroad, including most recently 36 performances during a two-month period in Singapore in late 2016 and early 2017. This August, the model female heroine will again saddle her horse to go to war in a performance that is as hilariously funny as previous versions but with a much stronger dose of pop music.

Everyone is familiar with the story of Mulan, who went to war in her aging father's place. But can her decision really be explained by “filial piety"? Wouldn’t she have agonized over her decision before enlisting? “Why me? Why should I go?” “So you go, you go, if you don’t go, who is going?” This is how Mulan, her sister and her brother try to pass the buck of army service to each other during a family conference that is acted out during the song 'Family Revolution'.

Wang explains that, in the debut production, the verbal skirmish between the siblings was in spoken dialogue form. However, in the 2011 version, the singing parts became more important and were no longer only used for emotional transitions from spoken dialogue to spoken dialogue. Instead, the dramatic conflicts were incorporated in the songs to drive the plot forward.

The story’s main character Mulan is played by Nana Lee, a former One Million Star participant, who at a height of more than 170 cm is tall by Asian standards. Of the 20 songs in the musical, Lee most likes a new song that she sings in a duet with an effeminate fellow recruit. “What’s the big deal about being like a man? What harm is there in being like a woman? Only if we stay true to ourselves will we be able to last, and the world will see us shine.”

While new songs and rearrangements are necessary when staging a reproduction, Wang, a perfectionist, hopes to use the lively, cheeky song 'So What if We’re Different' to strengthen the positive power of the girly man role.

In the army, Mulan transforms into manly “Munan”. Two men, General Chien Chun-hsieh, and her childhood sweetheart and fellow soldier Chiang Kuan-fu, nonetheless, fall in love with Mulan/Munan. Trying to come to terms with the fact that they are smitten with Munan, they ask themselves “Alas, can this be love?” The combination of Tsai’s lyrics and Wang’s tune deftly describe the conflicting feelings the two men go through as they sing the song Love, Alas.

From the meanwhile classical, flirtatious duet between the General and Mulan 'Can You Please Pick Up the Soap for Me' in the debut version to 'Goddess of Mercy, Please Give Me More Time', a song that was newly added for the Singapore production, Munan/Mulan runs into many funny situations as she socializes with fellow soldiers or rushes to see her superior while also heading to meet her close friend.

Mulan The Musical frequently makes the audience burst into laughter but also provides food for thought, challenging established thinking and perceptions.

By Chia-hui Si-Tu

Translated from the Chinese Article by Suzanne Ganz

Edited by Shawn Chou

Rural families in the Philippines tune into health advice
Jul 07, 2018

Radio show, home visits bring critical services to the hard-to-reach

June 2018 — When Ailleene Joy Verbo was a child, she loved listening to her grandfather’s solar-powered radio. “Our rural village did not have electricity,” she said. “The radio broke the quietness of the day.”

Verbo grew up in Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay — a province in the Philippines’ Mindanao region. She, along with her five siblings, lived with her grandparents because her parents moved away to find jobs.

“My mother had to work overseas to sustain our needs,” said Verbo.

Now a nurse and mother herself, Verbo knows how difficult it is to support a family, especially in rural areas where unpaved roads, marshlands, mountains and seas isolate people from opportunities available in towns and cities.

“Sometimes, if people get sick, they just endure pain and illness,” said Verbo, adding that people, in many instances, are unable to take charge of their own health.

A recent national health survey showed that more women in Mindanao desire to limit or space their pregnancies and use family planning methods, but lack information on where they can access the services. The areas where these women live are marked by high percentages of unintended or risky pregnancies that can result in serious consequences, including death.

In 2013, USAID launched its MindanaoHealth project, implemented by Jhpiego, to help the Philippine Department of Health strengthen health systems and services, especially for people living in hard-to-reach areas. The project, which works to improve access to maternal, neonatal and child health and nutrition, also trains health service providers to counsel parents looking to choose a method of family planning.

In 2017, Verbo became a family health associate in her hometown and undertook this training. Through this project, she learned to perform and administer basic procedures and services. She began visiting communities and homes to provide on-the-spot care.

Last February, a local radio station invited Verbo to appear as a guest on a show called Itanong mo Kay Doc! (Ask Doc!) to answer listeners’ questions about reproductive health. Since people in the region get their news from the radio, she saw this as an opportunity to make a big difference.

Verbo’s broadcast reached nearly 300,000 people across the province. When listeners flooded the station with questions, the station invited Verbo to host regularly. She also gave out her personal mobile number to answer listeners’ questions or refer them to their nearest health center when she is not on air.

“I just don’t want more children and families to suffer,” said Verbo, who now hosts the show about once per month.

USAID’s MindanaoHealth project, which runs from 2013 to 2018, has trained over 9,000 health service providers across Mindanao. Mostly, these service providers conduct group counseling and community outreach activities. They also visit hospital wards and outpatient departments.

“Doing a good job is not always about impressive innovations; sometimes it is only about doing something with plain dedication,” said Verbo.


The ALARMING Impact of POOR HR POLICIES on Companies/Employees
JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute Pte. Ltd.
Jun 24, 2018

As a leader, manager or supervisor of an organisation, you are responsible to create an environment at the workplace that enables people to thrive. What people underestimate is that Human Resource (HR) policy plays a vital role in the success of any business! The requirements on HR departments to formulate policies that can enable businesses to operate smoothly have never been higher.

HR Planning is integral to the efficient running and continued success of companies. Sometimes, many organisations have a poorly skilled management team in terms of “EI” and “Soft Skills” in addition to an inconsequential HR department. This can be due to several reasons such as certain business factors or extraneous circumstances. Consequently, the result of a poor human resource planning has an immediate and long-term impact in terms of recruitment procedure, management and overall profitability. This in turn affects the company’s daily functioning.

An incompetent and poorly functioning HR department reflects the overall state of affairs of an organisation and its possible uncompetitive position in the marketplace. There is a disconnect between the HR Department and the Executive Management which as a result leads to miscommunication, poor decision making on operational aspects and critical mistakes. Employee training and development programs are not properly budgeted or even planned and there is no design hiring process or hiring practices that work. A Bad HR planning ensures that the HR assets of an organization are not aligned to its organizational goals and objectives. A failure in this regard can hurt businesses seriously.

The Consequences:

1. Unhappy Employees - decreases productivity, engagement and workplace morale – contagious

2. Dissatisfied Customers - unhappy employees can never make customers happy as they treat customers just the way their company treats them – boomerang effect. The worst part is dissatisfied customers are four times more likely to buy from a competitor brand and spread negative word of mouth – brand damaging

3. High Employee Turnover - especially of productive and skillful workers

4. Loss of Business - when an experienced employee leaves, the business not only loses a great worker but it also loses the value which the employee carries with him/her and the clients he/she had built strong relations with over a period of time. The misery just doesn’t end here – loss of trust, extensive knowledge of products, services, processes and systems which makes them even more valuable.

More importantly and on top of it, these employees have unparalleled experience which enables companies to know what has worked for them and what has not worked for them at all in the past. Another domino effect is that good employees have a beneficial influence on their co-workers therefore their “departure” badly impacts the culture of an organisation too.

5. Increased Business Costs - finding a replacement is often inevitable – recruiting process, adequate employee training, acquiring new customers – incur higher costs

6. Unmotivated Employees - due to indifferent attitude of the top management, key position holders and HR can quickly filter across the entire organisational structure and hierarchies. Therefore, work ethics can be affected, personality conflicts arise and teamwork becomes non-existent. As well as this, poor motivation, lack of communication and recognition lead to an overall poor performance.

7. Employee Demand-Supply Mismatch - is based on the continuous business cycle such as business growth, expansion plans and requirements for specific projects where the “right” employees need to be hired. In a mismanaged organisation, HR personnel, management and/or supervisors with a lack of awareness in personnel needs, misdirected attitude and lack of communication are hard-pressed to address workforce requirements. Vacancies and job-postings either don’t get filled in time or don’t get filled at all (i.e. The Trump Administration), negatively affecting key business functions – “knock-on effect” across organization

8. Organisational Re-Structures – Due to a malfunctioning business practice, decisions taken by top managers such as organizational re-structures, aim to improve the overall performance of a business and at monitoring the effectiveness of an organization's structures, but often leads to the exact opposite. Most of the key positions of an organisation perform their roles in a way that only reflects and focuses on their own personal goals. The personal preferences and agendas of a department’s senior managers influence the performance outcomes of that department. The organizational structure is inorganic, lacks alignment and is less versatile which tend to cause miscommunication in the overall strategy of the organisation. An open and fluid structure will have a more exemplary performance record.

The Top Five Signs that define poor management:

1. Micromanagement
2. Poor Communication
3. Stubbornness (i.e, not willing to listen to feedback or adapt to change)
4. Not Making Productive Use of Employees
5. Bad Attitude or Lack of Honesty towards Employees

These people shouldn’t be in key positions to lead or manage employees! When employees appreciate the tenor of their workplace, they thrive and perform better which in turn creates a better employee-retention rate and naturally improves productivity of a company.

Other senior personnel might have their goals in the right place, but execute them in ways that end up hurting the company and its reputation in the long run. Sometimes, the rules of the top management might have had logical beginnings but end up being completely ridiculous.

About the Author:

Juliana Mamoni, Founder and Director of the J MAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute and Author of "Contemporary Etiquette for Success at Work", “10 Power Soft Skills for Success at Work” and “Help Your Child Shine – Etiquette and Character Education Ages 5-17”, is a globally recognised Lifestyle expert, known by many as "The Life Guru". She is a BA graduate in Economics with a further degree in Hotel Management (Berlin), a diploma in Men's Fashion Design (Milan), coached by an assistant to the acclaimed late designer Gianni Versace. In addition, she has over 20 years of working experience in the exhibition & conference and hospitality industry.

She holds workshops and instructional meetings addressing Business, Social and Youth Etiquette. Her aim is simple: to help people make healthier, more socially appropriate choices, resulting in happier, more rewarding lives. She offers guidance on contemporary etiquette (mastering soft skills and emotional intelligence) among styling and healthy living.

Company JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute Pte. Ltd.
Contact Juliana Mamoni
Telephone +65 833 279 23
E-mail info@jmamoni.com
Website http://www.jmamoni.com/
Steps to Success in Four Areas of Life
JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute Pte. Ltd.
Jun 15, 2018

I will be breaking down in detail, how YOU can start working on YOU! I will discuss how by creating an action plan and managing your schedule, it will allow you to work on the parts of yourself that get put to the side when you get too busy.

Increase your Happiness

Our happiness is crucial for our overall well-being as after all, what’s the point of achieving any form of success if we aren’t filled with joy?


  • Foster positive relationships
  • Control your daily mood
  • Be gracious
  • Limit your Technology Use

    Improve your overall Health

    Health is about more than just our physical state of being, it’s about what’s on the inside too as I tackled some weeks ago “mental health”!


  • Set a big Goal (eg. Improving eating habits or fitness routine)
  • Don’t forget to Breathe (e.g daily 5-15min. of meditation)
  • Talk it out (shout or scream outside or to talk to a friend)
  • Take care of your Brain (e.g. learn new things)

    Find your Purpose

    Having a strong sense of purpose in life improves happiness.


  • Balance your Commitments
  • Ask yourself what matters (priorities)
  • Don’t be afraid of change
  • Don’t fear failure (it’s part of life)

    Focus on your personal Growth

    The cornerstone of personal development.


  • Cultivate (or find) your Strengths
  • Do something that scares you (out of comfort zone e.g. I did on taking a speedy boat to an island without knowing the sailor on a windy wavy sea)
  • Set a 12-month Goal (e.g I wrote a book)
  • Take a “now” step whenever you’re stuck (step by step, baby steps to the big step)

    Company JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute Pte. Ltd.
    Contact Juliana Mamoni
    Telephone +65 833 279 23
    E-mail info@jmamoni.com
    Website http://www.jmamoni.com/
    China is Now the Second-largest Art Market in the World
    May 27, 2018

    China overtook the United Kingdom in 2017 as the second biggest art market after the United States.

    That's according to the latest Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report, which looks at trends in the art industry.

    Market Growth

    The US, China and the UK are the three largest markets for art. Together they accounted for 83% of total global sales last year.

    The US was by far the largest market, accounting for 42% of sales. China was in second place with 21%, and the UK in third with 20%.

    It’s not the first time that China has leapfrogged the UK in the art market, but it’s only managed to beat the US once.

    Billionaire Buyers

    The global art market increased by 12% in 2017 after two years of declining sales. In the US sales rose by 16% to $26.6 billion; in China by 14% to $13.2 billion; and in the UK by 8% to $12.9 billion.

    It was also the year when the most expensive work of art ever was sold. Abu Dhabi’s department of culture and tourism bought Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi at Christie’s for $450.3 million.

    China’s growing share of the art market is being fuelled by the rise of its mega-rich. In 2016, the number of Chinese billionaires rose by nearly 25% to 637, compared with 537 US billionaires and 342 European billionaires.

    While the US is home to most of the world’s top collectors (it has 42 names on the list), Asian, and especially Chinese, art collectors are becoming increasingly active. There was just one Asian billionaire on the list of top collectors in 2006, compared with 14 a decade later.

    Notable purchasers have included Joseph Lau, who bought one of Andy Warhol's Mao Zedong portraits for $17.4 million in 2006, and Wang Jianlin, one of China's richest men, who paid $28.2 million for a Picasso. Former taxi driver turned billionaire Liu Yiqian famously paid $170.4 million for a Modigliani painting in 2015.

    Future Growth

    The report predicts that US sales are likely to decrease as a result of the US tax reform, which closes a legal tax loophole. Until the end of last year, investors could sell their art tax-free as long as the proceeds were used to buy new art. This is no longer the case. Knowing this change was coming prompted a boom in activity in the art market by US collectors, and is likely to also lead to a drop in sales this year.

    Meanwhile, the report says that “buoyant wealth dynamics in Asia and strong local markets” mean that Asia’s share will likely increase.

    “The performance of today's growing and globalized art market is a fascinating reflection of wider economic trends and highly correlated with GDP and high net worth populations,” says the report.

    The report goes on to say that 2017 was a bumper year despite continued political volatility in many regions, thanks to robust growth in global wealth, improved global economic performance, and stronger confidence in the market.

    By Alex Gray

    A Day In The Life Of A Woman Institute Director
    JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute Pte. Ltd.
    Mar 13, 2018

    This “mompreneur” lives a very full life, managing her business on youth and social etiquette while at the same time being hands-on with her teenage sons. She shares how she got her groove by having a solid routine, discipline, and priorities. What’s a day like for an institute director?

    Our International Women’s Day series, “A Day In The Life Of A Woman”, celebrates the women in our lives. From the everyday to inspirational, the series aims to highlight women from various fields and share a bit of the diversity we experience every day.

    Juliana Sliwka says that as a mother of two boys, she began building her business while traveling around the globe with family. Her lifestyle was hindering her full presence at work as an employee.

    She became serious about small business when life took another turn and hit her hard through a traumatic experience that changed her life perspective and felt she had to make a choice on how to live their everyday lives.

    In three years, Juliana established and developed a lifestyle brand covering etiquette, styling, and healthy living. The business was then launched as an institute in 2016, focusing on three core areas: business, youth, and social etiquette. Juliana’s mission for her enterprise is , “looking good, acting good, and feeling good” that touches people and their entire relationships around the world.

    For Juliana, she emphasizes she is a “mompreneur,” and says there’s a reason why “mom” goes first in the word. She says motherhood is still her first priority, starting and ending her day as one which is why Juliana juggles her responsibilities of being a mom with those of being an entrepreneur.

    She offers insight on what a typical day looks like in her life:

    6 AM: My alarm goes off. I express in prayer how thankful I am to have woken up this day because someone went to sleep that night and didn’t wake up with their “little big problems.”

    I mentally walk through my priorities for the day (family priorities, then work priorities). I write down the priorities for the day if not the night before. I must get all the mental notes that have been piling up in my mind since I woke up on paper before I forget it. It gets me mentally organized.

    I stretch and try to focus on my breathing. I do my morning salutation and then have my morning washing routine done quickly.

    6:30 AM: I wake up my boys (mostly five minutes earlier to prepare them slowly to wake up), talking to them, asking about how they slept, just being totally present for them. I never want them to feel the rush in the morning or that I’m too busy to care about even the little things they have going on.

    7:15 AM: For breakfast I mostly join the boys with a jug of hot water and fresh squeezed lemon and manuka honey. This morning though, I have a bowl of quinoa or oat cereal with some chia seeds and pomegranates. Afterwards, we leave the house together to catch the school bus and once they are off, I go for a 40 minute jog or walk depending on how my night’s sleep was.

    I’ve made exercise a critical part of my morning routine whether I want to or not. If I don’t get it done first, it won’t happen at all and then I lack the energy and clarity to be productive during the day.

    I shower and dress up for the “office.” I rarely plan a meeting or workshops before 10am, except the holiday workshop camps.

    8:30 AM: I spend most of my day in my home office handling business matters, social media, and the family schedule such as menu and shopping plans. I also see if there are any school activities or early after-school activities planned for the boys during the day.

    9:30 AM: I’m in the office or institute in the heart of downtown. I change from wife and mama mode to business woman and professional, spending a lot of time in front of my computer typing away, responding to emails and inquiries, researching, reading, writing, checking all my social media platforms. I do this while promoting the business with design ideas, content and networking, and if it’s a workshop day, I’ll be in the boardroom for coaching sessions with clients until 2 PM, sometimes later, depending on the Q & A’s after each workshop.

    I usually meditate for a few minutes before the workshop sessions and just make sure I am really present, so I can help my clients as much as possible over the next hours.

    11:30 AM: I take a break to grab a quick lunch, a sandwich or salad. Then back to my day of management, website control, marketing strategies, how to make cost reductions and raise sales.

    I own an educational institute. I like working early hours. I have learnt that if I do not put in the time, my business will not only begin to go stagnant, but if I’m not careful, the competition will swallow me up. I want to constantly grow my business, expand, and stay ahead. This is what keeps me at the office as much as I can afford, otherwise I’m only at my home office if the day schedule requires it.

    One of the things I love about my business is that it is global and is a people business and I can serve all women, men, and children all over the world, no matter which socio-economic background!

    3 PM: It’s like the Flintstones whistle and I’m out there, into the car and back to my other role as “mama-taxi,” schlepping kids from activity to activity, snacking while chatting about the day, where it’s mostly a monologue.

    My boys are teens now so it’s me who wants to be around them after they are at home or at any of their afternoon sports activities. I treasure every single moment with them and the satisfying feeling of simply being together and being part of their lives. I also inform and include them in my business adventures. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies with two teen boys but most of the time they enjoy that quality time too.

    5 -7 PM: If there are no evening sports activities and once the boys are doing homework or whatever activity to calm down from their activity-packed days, it’s back to the computer for me to tie up loose ends in the evening before dinner time.

    I publish a blog post that I have already written about on my upcoming workshops. I delete and respond to a few emails because I like to go to sleep with zero emails in my inbox as I think I sleep better. J

    8 PM: I’ve almost reached the top of that daily mountain all parents climb. Mostly, it’s downtime with the entire family watching a Netflix TV series or documentary film, or just spending some quality time together.

    I only go back to the computer after dinner around 7:30 – 9 PM when there are upcoming workshops for the next days or any articles needed to be done before publication deadlines.

    10 PM: Recently, both my husband and I have always made it a family routine to bring the boys to their rooms, take turns in chatting briefly about their day with each of them, and say good night. This is also the time where they calm down and mostly open up to us about things going on in their lives, a precious time for both kids and parents.

    10:30 PM: I go to bed and briefly talk with my husband about our day and plans. I sometimes read one of the three books I’m currently reading and then pray to God for how grateful I am for my family. Finally, my day ends and lights out! It’s been an exhausting but great day!

    Juliana says that this example of a day in her life isn’t exhaustive as it doesn’t list down her mom duties much. It also doesn’t detail her other work duties, like pre-booked activities or publication deadlines for contributions for example. She also has what she calls a “Me Day” where she does yoga, massage, etc. She calls this her wellness day.

    Still Close Family Bonds Through It All

    As Juliana previously said, she believes in finding your own groove with discipline, routine and priorities. And as the kids grow, you also adjust your daily routine and life continues to change. “In a nutshell, despite being both working parents, our morning time and most evenings are family time,” she explains.

    “It’s our top priority and it truly belongs to the boys and our family life which we cherish so much. This is the reason why we still have a strong bond with our teens despite being entrepreneurs and my husband who mostly works much longer hours, having conference calls through different time zones, being in a restaurant or meetings or traveling the globe. The stable routine at home continues.”

    “Every parent’s life is a balancing act and as a mompreneur you must make the most of your free time to keep your business growing, your family happy, and yourself sane otherwise you’ll go crazy,” Juliana shares.

    “There seems to be a method to the madness; knowing your routine and sticking to it whenever possible, allowing few distractions. Of course, life doesn’t always go as planned so there’s always tomorrow — a fresh slate to wake up with that ‘fire in the belly.’ But it’s also important to be there 100% in every situation. My boys want me to be Mom, my business needs me to be the tough boss, and my husband married me, not my small business. I try to think of what my primary role is at different times throughout the day and keep myself from getting pulled in too many directions at once.”

    “Having children who are completely dependent on your every move, organizing a household, and trying to run and manage a fully functional (and hopefully profitable) business isn’t an easy task. So, while mompreneurs look for a daily balance between chaos and symmetry, we are most happy when the biggest ROI comes in the form of a well-adjusted family.”

    “Ironically, I always advise my clients to be cautious with taking on too much because it can leave them overwhelmed or overworked which will eventually affect their families and the work that they produce,” she continues. “You don’t want to under-deliver in your career.”

    Real Dirty Work Behind The Scenes

    Juliana explains, “We’re living a life we love and chasing a dream that we believe will change lives. Having purpose like that is invigorating. But when you take a step back behind the scenes, you’ll quickly find that those living the mompreneur life are not necessarily living a life of glitz and glam and unparalleled success. And if you’re a mompreneur yourself, you’ll know what I mean.”

    “In terms of posting on social media, if I’m speaking for the things I post, what you’re seeing is real, but what you’re seeing is only a piece of the story. I mean check out these pictures of people drinking wine on Facebook, standing on a rooftop in NYC or wherever on Instagram, winning pitch competitions in Silicon Valley, and prepping for a spot on the news. Nothing says glitz, glam and a damn good time like these pictures.”

    “What you’re not seeing is the meltdown, discussions about pricing, knocking at doors about 100 times to get a business deal, endless negotiation with no outcome, tight shoulders from hours of working at computer, etc. The list is long.”

    Happiness Is Key To Work-Life Balance

    “I am a firm believer that the happier you are in your career, the more successful you become. Happiness is the key to work-life balance and my day is mostly a great balance of all the things that make me happy.”

    “Helping people launch their dream careers, helping people become the better version of themselves, promoting and instilling character education in youth, spending as much time with my boys and husband and feeling fulfilled by reading and being by myself so that I can be fully present,” these are what make Juliana happy she says. She also says that her kids encourage her and are her inspiration.

    Juliana shares some final inspiring words. “What I’m sharing with you is that, whatever life you have, you can choose to use your position as a learning lesson for your children. And I hope that while my boys grow and grow, they’re able to describe me as a strong woman who took chances that required sacrifice, never feared to fail, stumbled but rose up again, and yet showed them love and made them always a priority in the process.”

    Help celebrate the women in your life. Invite them to join our Connected Women Facebook group so they can introduce themselves, make friends, gain valuable input and share with like-minded ladies.

    Juliana Mamoni, “Mompreuneur”, Founder and Director of the Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute of Singapore, is a globally recognised Lifestyle Expert, known by many as “The Life Guru.” The Economist with a further degree in Hotel Management (Berlin) and a diploma in Men’s Fashion Design (Milan) was coached by an assistant to the acclaimed late designer Gianni Versace.

    She holds workshops and instructional meetings addressing Contemporary Etiquette in Business, Social, and Youth. Her life experiences, professional exposure, and ongoing studies led to the birth of JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute. Her aim is simple: to help people make healthier, more socially appropriate choices, resulting in happier, more rewarding lives. She focuses on the etiquette element of her three-pronged lifestyle manifesto: healthy lifestyle, personal style, and contemporary etiquette (mastering soft skills and emotional intelligence).

    Juliana is frequently quoted in the media. Articles about her work have appeared both in print and online. She’s a member of the International School of Protocol and Diplomacy Brussels, acts as a Mentor for the students of NUS and is Author of “Help Your Child Shine” – Etiquette and Character Education For Kids Ages Five to Seventeen – available on amazon, and also of two booklets for Soft Skills at Workplace (Contemporary Business Etiquette, 10 Power Soft Skills for Success at Work)

    View original article https://www.connectedwomen.co/magazine/day-life-woman-institute-director/

    Company JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute Pte. Ltd.
    Contact Juliana Mamoni
    Telephone +65 833 279 23
    E-mail info@jmamoni.com
    Website http://www.jmamoni.com/
    Speaking More Than One Language Can Boost Economic Growth
    Feb 19, 2018

    Multilingualism is good for the economy, researchers have found. Countries that actively nurture different languages reap a range of rewards, from more successful exports to a more innovative workforce.

    “Language matters on a large-scale national level and at the level of smaller businesses,” says Gabrielle Hogan-Brun, a research fellow in Language Studies at the University of Bristol, citing data that links economic growth to linguistic diversity.

    Switzerland, for example, attributes 10% of its GDP to its multilingual heritage. The country has four national languages: German, French, Italian and an ancient Latin-based language called Romansh.

    Britain, on the other hand, is estimated to lose out on the equivalent of 3.5% of its GDP every year, because of its population’s relatively poor language skills.

    This may be partly because languages can help build trade relations. A study of small and medium-size companies in Sweden, Germany, Denmark and France found that those which invested more in languages were able to export more goods. German companies that invested heavily in multilingual staff added 10 export countries to their market. Companies that invested less said they missed out on contracts.

    Researchers have also long highlighted the individual benefits of speaking more than one language. For those who find languages difficult, the good news is that you do not have to be fluent to feel a positive impact.

    Several studies show that languages boost earning power. In Florida, workers who speak both Spanish and English earn $7,000 per year more than those who only speak English. According to a Canadian study, bilingual men earn 3.6% and bilingual women earn 6.6% more than their English-only peers. The twist: this was true even if they didn’t use their second language for work.

    “It seems you don’t have to actually speak a second language on the job to reap the financial rewards of being bilingual,” says economics professor Louis Christofides, one of the authors of the study. The authors speculated that this was because knowing a second language was seen a sign of cognitive power, perseverance and a good education.

    Beyond these immediate economic rewards, languages can help a country’s workforce in more subtle, long-term ways. Multilingualism has for example been shown to be good for brain health, delaying the onset of dementia. It has also been associated with a better ability to concentrate and process information. The effects are strongest in people who were multilingual from a young age, but acquiring languages later still made a difference.

    “Even a one-week intensive language course improved attention and this effect remained stable nine months later in those who practised five hours a week or more,” say Thomas Bak, reader in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and Dina Mehmedbegovic, lecturer in Education at UCL, in a paper on the value of linguistic diversity.

    So how can countries boost their linguistic capital? Bak and Mehmedbegovic use the term “healthy linguistic diet” to describe a positive approach to languages across a lifespan.

    “As well as using every opportunity to say: ‘It's good for you to eat fruit and vegetables every day’, schools should also say: ‘It's good for you to speak, read and write in different languages’,” they suggest.

    This is especially important since many countries already possess a vast, untapped linguistic resource in the form of migrant families. But while many monolingual parents push their children to take language classes, migrant parents may feel discouraged from passing on their own language for fear of discrimination, or because they think multilingualism is harmful. The result? "The size and richness of language at home is compromised,” says Viorica Marian, Professor of Communication Sciences at Northwestern University.

    Given that linguistic diversity has such a powerful economic impact, it’s alarming that many languages face a serious risk of extinction. The most vulnerable are languages spoken by small communities in mountainous areas. The main drivers for their decline, according to the researchers’ data, are globalization and high economic growth.

    By Sophie Hardach

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

    Thais Spend A Record Of 9.38 Hours On The Internet Daily
    Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
    Feb 05, 2018

    Thai people are spending an average of nine hours and 38 minutes daily on the Internet, with around one third of this time used for consuming social media. This makes the country ranking first in Internet time spent in the world, followed by the Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa.

    These are the results for the newly released 2018 Global Digital Report by UK-based creative agency We Are Social and Canadian social media marketing firm Hootsuite.

    The Philippines took first place for the greatest amount of time spent on social media daily (three hours and 57 minutes). Brazil is just behind them (three hours and 39 minutes) while Indonesia (three hours 23 minutes) and Thailand (three hours ten minutes) come in third and fourth place, respectively.

    Interestingly, even though the top five spots are dominated by Southeast Asian countries, only 58 per cent of people in the region have access to the Internet, which highlights a significant digital gap in the region.

    Northern Europe and Western Europe have the highest Internet connectivity rate of over 90 per cent, while Central Africa has the lowest rate of only twelve per cent.

    Overall, more than four million, well over half of the world’s population, is now online, with the latest data showing that nearly a quarter of a billion new users came online for the first time in 2017. Africa has seen the fastest growth rates, with the number of Internet users across the continent increasing by more than 20 per cent year-on-year.

    Likewise, More than three billion people around the world now use social media each month, with nine in ten of those users accessing their chosen platforms via mobile devices.

    Photo by Muhammad Raufan Yusup on Unsplash

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

    Company Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
    Contact Imran Saddique
    E-mail imran@insideinvestor.com
    Website http://investvine.com
    Are You Qualified to Work in Southeast Asia
    Dec 23, 2017

    Southeast Asia, especially Thailand with its openness and thriving economy, is an attractive destination for living and working abroad. But competing in the job market is easier said than done as top talent flocks to the country.

    Working abroad has always been a popular career planning option. Whether a childhood dream, necessity forced by circumstances, or a chance for a better future, going abroad is something on the minds among a certain element of each age group in every generation of Taiwanese.

    This is not a matter of right or wrong, or an issue of whether one should stay and contribute to Taiwan or head off and take on the world, as every individual’s aspirations and choices in life and career determine the path they take each step of the way. And ultimately every individual is only responsible for their own life.

    The development of Southeast Asia remains a hot topic - from the previous “Go South” policy to the current New Southbound Policy. And the way things are going, there might be another wave in that direction in a few years. This can be attributed to the plethora of development projects available in this fast-growing and relatively less developed areas - especially given that the market has not yet been saturated, there is a lot to do. Armed with marketable skills and a good attitude, there are innumerable opportunities to make something of oneself here.

    Thai Advantage, Talent Flooding In

    Thailand is one of the better performing countries in recent years, boasting a number of advantages, including ASEAN membership, an ideal geographic location, a high speed railway under construction between China and Thailand to the north and extending south to the Malaysian Peninsula, directly to Singapore. To the east and west Thailand is flanked by Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar, making it a nexus for the flow of people, goods, money, and information.

    Boasting a broad market, a highly tolerant culture, and relatively complete infrastructure, Thailand is poised to take on the status as the dominant force in the northern ASEAN region.

    Bangkok, the capital city, is second only to Singapore as the most prosperous city in Southeast Asia, and in many respects leads even regional metropolises Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai in terms of international character and diversity.

    For such reasons, talented job seekers are flocking to Bangkok in such high numbers that it is to a certain degree no less competitive than the North American and European job markets. From companies hiring locally to startup teams vying for venture capital investment and resources, the opportunities are great but the challenges are by no means inconsiderable.

    To find a dream job in Thailand, or for that matter anywhere, attitude is paramount.

    Failures Outnumber Successes

    Recently, perhaps as a result of extensive media coverage and government promotion, “Southbound Fever” seems to have taken hold. Quite a few interested people have asked me about salaries and the work environment in Thailand.

    However, reading between the lines, I can tell that many of these people have certain presumptions and - forgive my bluntness - ignorance, saying such things as “I bet Thai people are hard to keep in line”; “Isn’t it pretty backwards there?”; “With the low cost of starting a business in Thailand, it must be hard to not make a profit there”; or even “Anywhere is better than Taiwan; Thailand surely offers better prospects."

    Faced with such comments in question form, I want to retort, ‘Are you still holding onto the attitude of past Taiwanese OEM business executives managing Thai laborers?’ Or do you look upon this country as having massive domestic demand, and want to fit in to the local way of life and operate a business you truly love?

    I must repeatedly stress that, no matter where you head to make your mark in the world, a broad mind and accepting attitude go a long way.

    Even though Thailand has thrown open the door and welcomed people from anywhere to seek a living here, it has never guaranteed you a perfect life and career. All those setbacks you experienced and complain about in Taiwan could very well reappear in Thailand.

    When and if that happens to you, in a strange country, not knowing the language, things could easily be much worse for you than in Taiwan.

    “Many people complain about low wages, a bad economy, entitled bosses, a bad environment, being under-utilized and appreciated… yet have never reflected on their own attitude or solutions, instead just imagining that if they changed environments everything would take care of itself. It is ridiculous to have not even bothered to learn properly about the market, culture, and situation here and just presuming that Thailand is backwards. Knowing none of the language except for sawadee ka and just assuming you’ll find a job you like in Bangkok, or that starting a business is easy. All that is a pipe dream!” relates one Taiwanese businessman who has observed countless businesses and individuals come and go over more than a decade in Thailand.

    Risk Losing Touch with ASEAN

    To be honest, the media and public opinion have always been good at setting the tone or putting a spin on things. Oftentimes, they deliberately focus on successful cases or emphasize “thriving opportunities” in order to get in on a certain subject, while failing to report honestly on negative cases or risks.

    As a result, they paint a picture of a someone making six figures at a foreign business venture in Bangkok, or a successful entrepreneur, someone whose successful business has expanded from Thailand into neighboring countries… While these might be real examples, one should still be mindful of all those nameless people that quietly lost out - people whose stories you are not likely to ever read.

    Apart from attitude, professional skills are equally important. You must know your limits and your abilities, and although dreams are wonderful, reality does not bend with your dreams. Only by putting yourself in the right position can you stand a good chance of putting your know-how and skills to work.

    Companies in Thailand, both local or foreign-invested, have no problem offering skilled candidates generous terms - the proviso being that you must truly be “skilled.”

    How competitive is Bangkok for talent? How formidable is the competition?

    The truth is, basic wages in Thailand are low, and the starting monthly salary for college graduates in the social sciences is only about NT$20,000. Still, aspiring talent from neighboring Southeast Asian countries and even youths from China are pouring in, giving enterprises more than enough employees from which to choose. Even if you want to start a company, you need to compete with all kinds of ventures to attract investors, and to be brutally honest, if you have no stand-out qualities, or are even unable to make a living in Taiwan, you would have to be very lucky to establish yourself in Thailand.

    Just how competitive is the talent market in Bangkok? I know a 27-year-old Cambodian with a Master’s degree in engineering from his top choice of schools in Thailand, fluent in six languages including Mandarin, English, French, Thai, Khmer, and Cantonese (and able to read and write in all of them except for Cantonese). After working for a year and a half in Phnom Penh on bridge and tunnel construction sites, he presented his research in Malaysia in 2016 for a patent on cement, and while working on his Master’s worked part time helping a Japanese company get Chinese clients. A young person of his tremendous professional caliber working at one of Thailand’s top engineering consulting companies takes home around 35,000 Thai baht (around NT$32,020) a month after taxes working nine to six, plus half a day every other Saturday. Not satisfied with his current salary level, he has set his sights on higher goals for growth in the future, and is working aggressively to gain experience and better himself.

    Bangkok is filled with young people like this. Just imagine, if you were a Taiwanese with a similar background, how confident would you be in your ability to compete?

    No Shortcuts to the ‘Promised Land’

    Rounding out one’s professional skills and work experience is critical to finding the ideal job – be it in Thailand, Southeast Asia, or anywhere in the world. It is okay to take media coverage as a point of reference, but never fully trust the media, take selectively recounted stories about people’s successful careers in Southeast Asia at face value, or you’ll be subjected to the risk of overlooking the realistic circumstances and intense competition one is bound to face in any ASEAN country.

    In accordance with Thailand’s Ministry of Labor regulations, in 2017 Taiwan was classified as a Level Two Advanced Country. Accordingly, in order to apply for a legal working visa to Thailand, a company must pay you “at least” 45,000 Thai baht per month.

    As a result, for local enterprises or foreign-invested companies in Thailand, it is far more cost-effective to hire a Cambodian who speaks Mandarin than a Taiwanese national, all work considerations being equal. In fact, more and more Thai workers can speak fluent Mandarin these days due to the large influx of Chinese investment in recent years.

    Their Chinese language advantage having been eroded, and professional skills easily replaced by less expensive competitors, Taiwanese should carefully consider their niche and develop a unique skillset in order to find a position to their liking that also pays more than it would in Taiwan.

    Naturally, if all you want to do is get a taste for local life, relax and take it easy in a new environment for a short period of time, and you have no lofty notions of making your mark somewhere overseas, then you need not be so serious - for Thailand probably has the lowest unemployment rate in all of Asia, the cost of living is low, and the pace is not as frantic as that of Taipei or Hong Kong. It’s not difficult to find a job and survive in Thailand. Jobs such as entry-level service industries, junior staff at large corporations, Mandarin teachers, tour guides, etc., are easy to find. Even those staying in the country on visitor or student visas, as many foreigners do, can make ends meet.

    Still, it is a foreign country after all, and in order to stay for the long term, professional accomplishments, feeling assimilated to local life, and passion for everything around you are all motivations that can keep you going.

    Professional skills and know-how, attitude, and passion. It may sound old hat, but that is how looking for a job works, whether you plan to work in Thailand, Southeast Asia, or anywhere else in the world.

    Translated from the Chinese article by David Toman

    Jack Huang

    A native of Taipei, Jack Huang returned to Asia after earning a degree in international economics and global management from the University of London. Currently based in Bangkok, he has held successive positions at United Nations Trade and Industry Department and the Office of Information and Communication Technology(OICT)assisting with fuel management systems development and peace-keeping troop operations support. Work often finds him traveling overseas to the Congo, South Sudan, Somalia, and Ivory Coast.

    Jack has traveled to over 20 countries, and has lived in New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Beijing, Singapore, and Europe. Eager to encounter new things, his mind is often host to clashes between left- and right-wing thinking.

    Crossing features more than 200 (still increasing) Taiwanese new generation from over 110 cities around the globe. They have no fancy rhetoric and sophisticated knowledge, just genuine views and sincere narratives. They are simply our friends who happen to stay abroad, generously and naturally sharing their stories, experience and perspectives. See also CrossingNYC.

    Photo / Shutterstock