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Saturday, 15 June 2019

Be the parent you want them to be

Your children will grow up to emulate you. It is fairly inevitable (though not always).

Both my parents feared speaking up for themselves. They were raised in households where to speak your mind meant punishment (often severe).  They were afraid of the consequences any time they spoke up, and as adults they rarely spoke their mind when others offended them (and even regarding feeling nice about people).

One of my parents learned to use words as a weapon, a way to get the message across that they were hurt.

The other quietly thought about how best to react, while coming across as frowning, brooding and angry.

Both found it hard to forgive those that hurt them because they never learned how to talk it through with others.  Even then, on a rare occasion of talking it through, they both didn't believe the people's stories and believed the act to be deliberately hurtful.  Thus unforgivable.

This is a reoccurring theme in our family.  Although I have to say, even as someone who has learned to speak up, it has not resolved our family legacy.  You'll have more success if you are speaking with others who have also learned how to communicate their feelings in a non combative manner.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

A day in the life of being a mum

I’d always prided myself on being a good parent.  Of being the kind of parent who knows what I want from my children and knows how to achieve these goals.  Then along comes my middle child who makes me doubt and question myself and my parenting skills (or perhaps lack thereof).

When I have a shower or get dressed I bring my 3yo into the bathroom with me.  For 1. to keep him away from big brother who likes to antagonise baby brother when no-one is there to stop him. For 2. it keeps Mr 3 out of trouble; I know he’s not in the knifes draw or tipping out my glitter while no-one is there to stop him.

This particular time big bro says he wants to come in too, saying he’s going to behave.  All is fine for a little while. 

Monday, 27 May 2019

Don't leave teens alone

Not if you play your cards right.
It's self explanatory, still let me explain.

As parents it is tempting to ignore you children for hours on end. Maybe there is some dinner party you're getting ready for and it will take hours of your time. Maybe you're watching the footy. Maybe you're bingeing on a tele series. Maybe you're in desperate need of an electronic babysitter.

We've all been there, multiple times.

Anyone with teens will also know they spend an exorbitant time alone in their bedroom. Sometimes locking themselves in their rooms. Often being testy if you dare enter their lair. "Get out!" How often have you heard that? Or the infamous groan... like you're interrupting some uber important life moment.

It can be tempting to set and forget and barely / rarely spend anytime with them, barely have conversations with your teen. Yet teens go through so many ups and downs and hard to navigate moments.

Do I ask that person out? Do they like me? How will I know? Why do I feel so moody?

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Sydney parents face court over vegan diet which left baby 'malno

Sydney parents face court over vegan diet which left baby 'malnourished'

"She said her daughter would generally have one cup of oats with rice milk and half a banana in the morning, and a piece of toast with jam or peanut butter for lunch.

For dinner, she said her daughter would be offered tofu, rice or potatoes. But she said the girl was a 'fussy eater' so she might just have oats again."

The headline of this story makes out 'veganism' is the cause of the malnutrician, however when you look into it more deeply you realise there are a number of other issues at play.

For starters the girls food intake is all white.  Where's the fruit; apples, oranges, strawberries, blueberries etc.?  Where are the vegetables; cucumber, carrots, beans, peas, cauliflower, broccoli?  Where are all the colourful foods that bring vitamins and minerals to the table?

It is not being vegan that made this girl sick it's the lack or variety in her diet.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

When I broke my arm

Personal story.

When I was  little girl around 5 or 6, I broke my arm.  I remember trying to climb up a bunk bed and my brother who was on the top bunk took my hands off the ladder.  I fell backwards and banged my arm on my dad's drum kit breaking my ulna (forearm bone).

At least that's what I remember, although I know some childhood memories can be mistaken and mis-remembered.  Why my younger brother would do that I don't know?  Why my dad had his drum kit in our bedroom I don't know?

What I do remember quite clearly though, is going to the hospital to have my arm fixed.  There were x-rays taken, plaster and bandages.  And most of all the smiling friendly sweet nurse.  She was young and kind and nice and I remember at that tender age... wishing I could go home with her instead of my mum.

My mum was there being her usual bossy self, telling me off, quietly under her breath, for this mild slight or that - always so hyper vigilant to any small thing that might embarrass her in public, always maintaining that I be stoic and keep a stiff upper lip.  All the while the nurse was friendly and smiling and lovely.

Isn't it interesting, though, to know at that age that I didn't want to go home and live with my family.  Instead I wanted this kind nurse to let me go home with her because, in that short amount of time I was with her, she showed me more caring and warmth and thoughtfulness about my feelings, than my mum had shown me in the 5 or 6 years I'd been with her.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

1 bedtime routine that doesn't work: here's why...

Visited some friends for a karaoke night. There were drinks and nibbles and laughter and children having fun along with the adults.

The hosts had a little girl there, age 1.5yrs.  Come 7pm, she's still up.  Come 8pm she's still up.

One of the other parents with children her age asked, "What time does your daughter normally go to bed?"  I could tell he was feeling as agitated about it as I was.  The mother mumbled some brush off answer and he and I gave each other a look.

For me... I was concerned about the little girl.  She was so tired.  Her eyes were droopy, she wasn't smiling and having fun, she just looked exhausted.  There was far too much going on for her to sleep so she walked around trying to stay mobile and awake.

To my amazement she didn't turn into a hyper child, going all silly the way my children do when they're trying to keep themselves awake.  They start jumping and being silly deliberately trying to keep their bodies moving so they don't fall asleep.  When it comes time to put them in bed they're so wired they struggle to sleep.  Which is exactly the reason I rarely keep my children up late.  It's too stressful on them and mum and dad.

Finally, at around 11pm the mum says she's going to put her little girl to bed and never returns.  I realised then, that the mother keeps the child up until she (the mother) is ready for bed, and they sleep in the same bed (the marital bed).  My suspicions were confirmed after a talk with the dad.

Now, essentially this is working for them as parents in that it's their routine, it's what they do.  They keep the little girl up until the mother is ready for bed and the little girl is then put to sleep beside the mother.  For what ever reason they've decided this is how they want to operate.

Yet here's a few issues with this scenario.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Are you raising a sociopath?

It's an odd question because how would you know, right?  You might think there's something wrong with your child and there isn't.  Or you might think your child is fine and they're not.

let me give you a scenario that might help you understand the title a little bit better.

We had friends come and stay with us for over a week and it didn't take long before I was feeling agitated by their two sons' lack of discipline.  Though I have to laugh because this friend loaned the Super Nanny videos to another friend because 1) she thinks her friend can't parent well 2) because she thinks she does parent well.  

Having them stay was a horror story of epic proportions!

Aside from the fact that her children are ridiculously messy and aren't made to clean up after themselves (that's the dad's job - according to the mother / or us as hosts); are rude and obnoxious to adults; don't finish meals then help themselves to more food; talk back to their parents; hit and hurt other children to the point of physical harm in some cases; have jealous outbursts; damage other people's property; gloat if they get my children in trouble; stay up late (when I'm over them by noon... lol); don't respect other adults enough to stop when they're asked to stop...  The kind of children who say "You're not my boss" if you reprimand them.

Also one child liked to kill critters and animals on top of this.

Here's how it went down.

Friday, 5 April 2019

I am the boss

My childhood wasn't a pleasant one. I don't think many of us have had really great childhoods. There is always some hardship or another such as divorce, poverty, abuse, neglect, being spoiled, getting too much, dealing with weight, bullying etc., and some people's hardships being worst than others.

Still I don't begrudge my childhood. It taught me resilience and a very BIG and important thing which is: as a parent I am the BOSS!!!!  No ifs, buts, or otherwise.

My parents were hard and at times mean and brutal with their discipline and words. From them I learned a number of things I promised I would NOT do to my children (most of which I managed to avoid doing) and I also learned how I did want to parent. Even though my parents were strict with their discipline and I've had friends tell me they feel sorry for me because of my upbringing, I feel blessed that I learned how to stand my ground with my children. They will never walk all over me!

I see other women struggling with their children, having no clue how to get their children to behave, giving idle threats, using time-out incorrectly, complaining that their children won't sleep in their own beds, complaining that they can't get their children into to bed early, some parents even keeping their young toddlers up till 11pm until the child finally passes out, other parents not being able to get their children to eat well, some too afraid or embarrassed to have the birds and bees talk, some parents who are unable to cook let alone feed their children well...

And I feel blessed that my parents taught me the skills to deal with these issues and more.

How bout you? Did you get to learn these invaluable lessons from your upbringing? Feel free to share some things you've learned.

Friday, 29 March 2019

5 DON'TS for dating with children

Are you a single parent looking for love?  How have you gone about it so far?  If its not going well for you ask yourself if you've made these common mistakes.

1) Introducing your children too soon.
You like him, you think he's great, however, you haven't known him long enough to know whether he wants children let alone likes them, let alone likes a whole brood of them!  One mother had a brood of children and they all lived in a caravan.  For whatever reason, she thought it would be a good idea to bring her date back to the caravan and have the kids jumping and crawly all over him.  Needless to say he never went back for more.

2) You're children lack discipline and are badly behaved.
This reflects bad on you because it means your parenting skills are lacking.  Maybe the potential new partner might be a good sort and help sort your children out... however, most parents can't stand someone new coming along and telling them they're not doing it right.  They resent the intervention and see it as an insult.  Or they swing the other way and let some ogre of a person into their children's lives to lord over them like an angry, unforgiving God.

3) You have multiple children to different parents.
Like it or not, a lady who has many children to different fathers is not viewed very highly - and it's similar for men in the same position.  Regardless of the standard judgments and opinions, I view is as this: what are you doing that makes these partners not want to stay?  The possibility of dating people who can't hold onto partners and who aren't realising the errors of their ways is not appealing.  Are you too clingy?  Too possessive?  Too full on too soon?  Too jealous?  Are you having babies with people because you think it will force them to stay?

4) Favouring your children above others.
I knew a woman guilty of this.  She had a spoiled child who never had any serious consequences for her poor behavior, yet she hammered her partner about his children's behavior.  Quite judgmental and lacking in understanding as to what they were going through (new divorce, new girl friend, unruly child moved in), and with even less interest.  Everyone was angry and full of resentment.  This could have been avoided if the man had told her she needs to focus on her own child and leave his alone.

5) You don't pay for or care about the children you already have.
I knew a man who complained all the time about how much money came out of his pay to go towards his children.  Of course he said it went to his bitch of an ex wife (unappealing to hear a man speak about another woman this way). 
You contributed to the making of those children.  You also contributed to the breakdown of your relationship - whether you're honest with yourself about that or not.  It's not the bitch ex wife's (husband's) fault you have children you have to take care of.  How do you think any potential partner is going to view someone who doesn't take care of their children's well-being?