Dad reading a book to his young baby sitting on his lap

Seven Things to Do to Raise Good Readers.

The ability to read and write are skills which make our lives so much easier… not only in our capacity to understand and find out about our world by researching in books or on-line eg looking up a recipe, but also in being able to read potentially dangerous situations, such as dosages on a medicine bottle. Reading also provides much pleasure, when we can be taken away in our imaginations to the world of, for example, Harry Potter.

So what can parents do, to raise their children to be readers?

1.Let them see you reading…. it doesn’t matter if it is a newspaper, a novel or the TV guide. The message you give your young children is that books or papers contain interesting and useful information.

2. Read to them from birth (or even in pregnancy). Read more

Lessons-from-the-Beach

Lessons from the Beach

I had a mini-holiday recently, in a beautiful little seaside town. Daily I would walk to the beach, to absorb the sunshine and heat, as well as hear the sounds of the waves crashing, and the smell the scent of the sea and the bush surrounds.

On the beach were so many families from India, Asian, the Middle East and Anglos. There were Mums with kids, families with cousins & Grandparents, group of friends, surfers, and couples walking hand in hand.

What they all had in common, was a day of fun. There were so many smiles and the sound of laughter, and it was wonderful to participate in this event.

It made me reflect on all the amazing messages which were intentionally and unintentionally being shared with the children present.

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Image by ECOhen via Flickr

The Three Basic Truths about Parenting

1. If you are happy, your child is probably happy.

Have you ever noticed that when you are having a bad day – when the dog chews your new shoes, or it’s suddenly started to rain and you have almost dry clothes on the line or, you didn’t sleep well last night, and there’s no milk for your morning coffee – that this is the day your child seems to be really difficult – whinging a lot, accidentally spilling his drink, and crying because the puzzle piece won’t fit. Have you seen that correlation? It happens in the reverse too – when you’ve slept well, and the sun is shining and you managed to drink ½ a cup of hot coffee before you got distracted – that on these days, your children play happily with each other, they are more cuddly, and they use ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ more often – have you noticed that?

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Image by familymwr via Flickr

Maths is Everywhere in the Home

Maths is everywhere in the home, and without you maybe even realising it, you are setting up your child with a solid Mathematical grounding.

How?

Let’s look at some of these concepts within the home and play environments and how it happens…

Shape recognition – at an early age we start to point out shapes to our children – ‘The orange is round and your plate is round’. ‘Would you like square or triangle/ sandwiches today?’

Volume – when cooking  – ‘We need ½ cup of flour and one cup of milk – can you help to measure and pour them, please.

Conservation of mass – When you have one lump of play-dough , you can show your child how to roll it into many different shapes – a ball, a sausage, a dish shape, lots of tiny little eggs, but the mass doesn’t change despite the change in shape!

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Thank you!

As 2018 draws to a close I’d like to thank you all for your continued support of The Parenting Cafe. The fact that there are so many parents doing a great job of parenting is encouraging. The fact that you want to continue to learn and grow as parents is heart-warming, as well as extremely beneficial for your children!

Let’s talk again in 2019 over a cuppa.

Have a wonderful Christmas, a pleasant family time, and fit in some relaxing time to help re-charge your energy – you deserve it! If you are alone at Christmas, please reach out to someone – family, friends, neighbours to say hello. And if you enjoy the ‘alone-ness’ then do it in style!

Remember The Parenting Cafe’s mantra of ‘Calm and Consistent’ as the keys to successful parenting.

We’re having a bit of a holiday too, so will see you at the end of January.

Happy Parenting!

 

Backyard Garden at Home

Going Home

I hadn’t been interstate to visit my Step-Dad for a while, and I finally made it last weekend. It was so good to catch up with him, and to be back in the family home, sleeping in my old bedroom.

It’s funny how when you go home after a long time that you both notice the changes and the familiar. By changes I mean things like furniture that’s been moved, new china or freshly painted walls – they stand out, and make the place feel somewhat different, a little less familiar.

You also notice the things which are the same – your teenage bedcovers, the board games in the cupboard and the ticking clock… they all remind you that this is ‘home’.

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The Parental Crown  – Are you Wearing it or is Your Child?

When parents approach me regarding difficulties with their child/ children, I listen to their stories of what’s going on. Stories about what the child does (yells, demands, whines, ignores, defies, hurts)  and what they don’t do (don’t help when asked, don’t get ready for bed, don’t do their chores). The parents are presenting the idea to me that their child is the problem – that they are difficult and non-compliant and often parents believe that there’s something ‘wrong’ with the child.

 

I then ask: “How do you manage these situations?”  “What do you do/ say?”

 

This is where it gets interesting….. Read more

Image by Yoz Grahame via Flickr

The Social-Emotional Development of your Child: Part 2 of 2 From 8 months to 3 years

Last week I shared with you what is happening developmentally in the Social-Emotional domain of babies from birth to age 8 months. Today we’ll continue that journey.

As a reminder, Social refers to how the child interacts with others and the learning of social skills. Emotional refers to how they express their emotions.

 

From between 8 months to 14 months, babies start to initiate social interaction by looking at the engage the parents, or children who are nearby.

Often this is the age when separation anxiety is the highest. Even though it can be a challenge for the parents it is a normal developmental stage.

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Image by nicholasjon via Flickr

The Social-Emotional Development of your Child: Part 1 of 2 From Birth to 8 months

When I have Home Visits with families in my role as a Parenting Consultant, I’m watching and listening to see how the child is developing across four areas – Language , Intellect, Social-Emotional, and Motor skills. Imagine how much easier parenting would be if you understood why children do what they do… If you knew the ‘why’, then you may approach the situation differently…

Today I’ll share with you what I might expect to see in the Social-Emotional domain in young babies.

 

Social refers to how the child interacts with others and the learning of social skills.

Emotional refers to how they express their emotions.

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Christmas Kids

All I want for Christmas is…

So want do you say to yourself at this time?

  • Yahhhh I love Christmas;
  • It’s so expensive;
  • I can’t want for it to be over;
  • I love watching the kids faces on Christmas morning;
  • Family disagreements – no thanks;
  • I love family get togethers, especially Christmas;
  • I love the excitement and special treats.

 

Which ever sentiments you have about Christmas, the reality is it is approaching fast! What can we do to make it a pleasant, positive experience for children and families? Here’s some ideas…

 

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