In my home growing up we all knew the dreaded sound of mum banging on all of our bedroom doors telling us it was “SATURDAY MORNING CLEANUP”. She would sing this song at the top of her voice about it being a ‘good morning’ and we’d all groan and moan.
BUT we all knew there was no getting out of the house to see friends until the chores were done. My mum worked full time, there were no cleaners in those days and so we did the whole house as a group. My sister was responsible for bathrooms my brother would often have to vacuum the house and being the youngest I would unpack the lowest rack of the dishwasher and clean the skirting boards.
Research indicates that kids who regularly help around the home with chores may perform better academically and have better executive function, self-esteem and stronger problem-solving skills.
This research isn’t new, a Harvard Grant Study, which has been running since 1938 to present (the longest running...
Last week I went away for a girl’s weekend. Much to my surprise and delight I came home to a SPOTLESS home. The washing was done, the lawns were mowed, even my car was washed! I looked at my hubby in disbelief and he said with a smile: “I found a new trick… I wrote each boy a list of 2/3 chores on a post it note and handed it to them. I told them chores before anything else and they just …..did it!”
He was pleased with his ‘dad hack’ - and I couldn’t believe it. Because it’s not always simple to get four different personalities doing chores as asked in our home.
At the same time: we both also know from our experience of raising four boys why this technique did in fact work so much better than the usual ask, then nag and then yell approach that let’s be honest, we all occasionally slip into.
I’ve seen a lot of buzz this week on social media about new research that indicates that children who regularly help around the...
On some days it can feel like you are walking on eggshells.
Your child is struggling, you are struggling and feels like if you make one wrong move, like giving the wrong-coloured cup or peeling a cheese stick when your child wanted to "do it myself” - and BAM you’ve ruined your child’s day.
Kids have big feelings, and in case you are worried it’s just your kid?
I promise you, it’s not.
Little kids and BIG kids all experience big feelings because their brains are still developing. Essentially when these big feelings build up and children lack key skills manage this in a way that looks resilient.
Put simply, their brains are still developing and the pre-frontal cortex that helps them be reasonable, rational and regulated is not fully developed until well into your child’s mid 20’s. (Yep, you heard right!)
Tantrums and meltdowns are normal and healthy. Tantrums and meltdowns are not a choice our children make, but a state of emotional...
I was chatting to the most gorgeous new dad of a newborn baby girl this week. He was overjoyed to be a new father…learning to swaddle, supporting his partner, and absolutely smitten with his baby. There was one thing he was struggling the most with… constant worry about getting it wrong.
He told me: ‘No doubt about it there are highs, and really low lows, it’s a rollercoaster - but the hardest part of all is the worry about mucking it up’.
Nothing could have prepared this dad for the underlying, nagging worry that maybe somehow despite trying his best he was already ‘stuffing it up.’
This voice that we might be stuffing things up is one that SO MANY parents can relate to.
Whichever way your decisions as a parent roll around sleep, food, or boundaries; despite doing your very best you will (probably many times a week or day) still find a way to wonder ‘am I doing it wrong?’
When working with parents around the challenges they are experiencing with their children there is one place that no matter what the problem I will always recommend we start.....
Our children are wired to seek out relationship with 1 – 2 primary caregivers (usually their parents), and it doesn’t matter whether the issue in daily life is fussy eating, bedtime battles, screen rage, meltdowns or sibling rivalry… we won’t get anywhere if we don’t start with meeting this need for connection.
This drive for physical connection is so powerful that from the second our newborns arrive earthside they are seeking out the faces and the connection of their primary caregivers more than any other face or shape. A sign of just how vital a sense of ‘belonging’ is for babies and children, right from their very first breath.
I came across the most incredible study this week that looked at what...
On the weekend my family had breakfast with a giant white lion named Mishka.
No joke this lion weighed 300kgs and was sitting less than two meters from where we were seated to have breakfast. We were having an overnight zoo experience, my kids were delighted! Well, three of them were, and my youngest son was on the stairs refusing to come to breakfast. At least NOT while that lion was there.
My son had heard this lion roar on his way down the stairs, and there was no way we were going to convince him to come to breaky if Mishka was joining us.
His resolve was firm. Hard no.
As a parent, these moments test us. Not just because we worry about our child’s resilience and their ability to be brave but also because often a child...
There is nothing as exciting as knowing you have a holiday coming up. Looking forward to making memories, enjoying quality time with the kids and getting to explore new places..... Holidays can be magical.
But the reality of traveling with children can also be an overwhelming proposition —long packing lists - making sure all the kids essentials are remembered, and cranky kids who struggle with changes to routine can have parents feeling like going on holidays with kids is actually a LOT of work.
It may sound obvious but it’s quite a different thing travelling with a baby or toddler to what it’s like with school age kids, and it’s different again for teens. Planning realistically according to what is going to be enjoyable within each age group really helps.
If you have very young kids make sure the accommodation you book is accessible for you....
Last week in our local community a man was shot and killed by police right near my boys primary school. By the time I picked them up from after school care they were a mix of worry and questions. I knew we needed to talk about what had happened, not a topic I had pre-picked for Thursday night dinner chat over Chargrill Charlies. I wasn't sure exactly what they needed to know, and was still processing the event myself.
When events happen both in Australia, and globally it is understandable when parents feel confused about how to talk with our children about them. One instinct is to shield them from it. You know; allow kids to be kids!
This is understandable. After all, from the minute we were handed our first baby we were told when it cries it’s our job to work out what’s wrong and fix it. To stop the sad!
Simply put, the world, the media, the internet, even the playground – are too...
Parenting is not easy; in theory we all know the parent we want to be. But in reality, when one of your children hits a younger more helpless sibling we jump to despair because they keep doing it, and we fear we are getting it wrong. (Or worse there is something wrong with our child.) Or your child has their 17th meltdown for the day over the way you cut their toast and it’s like some kind of poltergeist takeover happens and next thing you are yelling “GO TO YOUR ROOM.” It’s a bit of a cycle, because we wind up regretting it, and promising to do better but it seems to happen again and again.
It’s like whenever our kids are at their worst - our logic, creativity, and compassion leave the room and we seem to match them.
It’s not a...
It’s 5pm and you are racing the clock to do the dinner / bath / bed dash. Your child asks for something, it might be a biscuit or some TV it might be for you to play with them again. Or its 8pm and maybe they are in bed, they ask for the 10 millionth thing, you both know it’s unreasonable….You say no (for a multitude of reasons from health, to safety, or a need for sleep, or because it doesn’t work for you right now) …and your child starts to get upset.
In your head you think, ‘not this again’…… You dread the meltdown that might build, you worry they won’t eat their dinner, or it will upset siblings, or it might disrupt the bedtime routine and you collapse.
“OK just ONE biscuit” or “Fine ill play for 5 minutes and no more” or “ok you can get up and have a bowl of cereal”
I can tell this story because I have lived it, many, many times over, and I know I will...
These comprehensive, learn at your own pace courses give you access at any time to videos, audios and documents that covers the core areas of development when reaching these milestone moments as a parent or grandparent.
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