What is it, that our Children Really Need from Us?

What do children need? As humans, we have five basic needs:  survival, love and belonging, fun, power, freedom… Let’s look at these in more detail….

 

Survival – this is about the basics we need to support human life – good nourishing food available including water, comfortable clothing which fits and suits the weather conditions, shelter from the elements and which also provides a home base – a place of safety, and warmth both physical and emotional.

Love and Belonging – Parents can show love in many ways- with our words of kindness, praise and compassion, by gentle touch and fun, rowdy touch such as high 5’s or tousling hair, by giving our time to another to engage with them, by small gifts of things which give them enjoyment and also by doing acts of service – cooking a favourite meal or fixing the flat tyre on their bike. As humans, we like to belong to something – to feel part of it. It may be a family, a community, a church, a sports group etc. Read more

Playing Helps Learning

When Children Play Freely, They are Learning!

Play is children’s ‘work’.When children are playing, they are learning valuable information.  This poem summarises it:

The Value of Play

Play is fun.
Play comes from within. Children love to play.
Play is an important part of healthy development.
Play is enjoyable and doesn’t need careful planning, or an end result.
Play means active involvement, not just watching.
During play, the child sets the rules, and there is no right or wrong way to play.
During play children practise physical skills and learn about their bodies.
They learn to use their imagination.
They learn about their own feelings and the feelings of others.
They learn about the world around them using all five senses.
Play is the work of children!

Through play children learn:

To explore materials
To be creative
To use language
To share (maybe!)
To make decisions
To test possibilities
To estimate
To concentrate
and so much more!

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Parent or Friend?

Parent or Friend?

Over the years of being a Parenting Consultant, I’ve spoken with may parents about what they see as their role, and what they want for their children. So many parents have said, that they want to be their child’s friend.

I believe that when you gave birth, you became a parent, and that is your role!

Over their lifetime, your children will (hopefully) have many friends – some short term, some long term, but they will only ever have you as parents – that is your role!

All children need parents to guide, teach and encourage them – and that is your role.

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What Can I Do When my Child Hurts Another?

I was asked recently, what do you do if your 20 month old hurts a baby for no apparent reason?

Let’s look at what’s happening developmentally around this age…

Language – By about 2 years of age, they can put two words together, have a vocabulary of around 50 words, and speak clearly half of the time.

Intellectually – a two year old uses ‘trial and error’ to attempt things; knows how to utilise objects eg how to use a chair to climb higher; and likes to pull things apart and try to put them together.

Motor Skills – they can climb on things, kick a ball forward and carry a large object while walking.

Social-Emotional development – This is critical to know about, to understand why a child sometimes responds poorly. They have learnt to say ‘no’ to show independence, make choices, and show a wide variety of emotions eg jealousy, sympathy, fear and anger, and that can change suddenly.

So, back to the situation… Read more

Being a P.A.R.E.N.T.

Over 40 years the small European country of Denmark has consistently ranked as the having the world’s most happy people. Numerous studies have been done to ascertain why this is the case. Many believe it stems from their rich childhood, where children are valued, where they are ‘allowed’ to be children and ‘just play’, and where formal schooling doesn’t start till around age 7 years.

The Danes also have ‘hygge’. Hygge is a Danish word which can’t readily be translated in to English as there is no counterpart. The best explanation is around the cosy, warm and friendly feeling of their homes – they are very welcoming and you feel relaxed there. Hygge extends to how you treat others too – that you are welcoming to them.

 

I’ve been reading a book which I think many parents would enjoy, about how the Danes rear their children. It’s called : “The Danish Way of Parenting” by Jessica Alexander and Iben Sandahl. Read more

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

growing a parent

‘Growing’ a Parent

When we become pregnant, there is so much focus on the developing foetus – the size, the gender, the health etc. Health professionals and family members encourage the pregnant Mother to eat well, avoid toxins such as smoke, and to get enough rest. These factors (and others) can contribute to the birth of a healthy baby.

When the baby is born there are regular check-ins with community nurses to monitor the progress of the new child. There is a lot of attention on the well-being and growth of the child.

What about the growth of the parent?

What does it take to ‘grow’ a healthy happy parent? Read more

Whinging Child

Whinging Kids – What Do I With Them?

Nerida asked via our Facebook page:
What do I do with my whinge-y 2 year old son?

We’ve all had those days as parents where it’s seemed like a battle field at home, with tears and tantrums all around and that can be from the parents as well as the child – when it all gets too much and you want to run away!

The first thing – and this may seem blunt – is to remember that you are the adult here! If you are struggling to deal with this physically and emotionally, and you’re an adult – then imagine how hard it is to feel so overwrought and at 2 you don’t have the capacity to self regulate.

Self regulation is the ability to feel stressed emotionally, and yet be able to manage it rather than lash out, eg when a driver in front of you keeps cutting in, changing lanes without indicating, and is gesturing at you and other drivers. We may feel enraged by this, but generally we’ve learnt that the best thing is to give them space and let them get away. If we react, it may be detrimental! This is self-regulation.

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Finding GRATITUDE In Every Single Day! (And show your children how to do it too!)

 

Today is a special day for me – it’s my 8th anniversary of being cancer free. For those of you who’ve walked that path, or supported someone along that journey, you would know that there are no guarantees about whether you will make it or not. I lost a friend during my treatment time and have lost four friends since I went through it.

With good medical intervention, support from family and friends and my own personal attitude and strength I did make it successfully out the other side of cancer. I know others who possessed the same support and personal qualities and yet didn’t make it.

Someone said to me at towards the end of my treatment: ‘Sonja, you’ve been given a second chance at LIFE.’ And, that is true on many levels….

Firstly, I’m alive – and for that I’m very grateful!

Secondly, I stress a less…. Most annoyances are just that!

Thirdly, one of the biggest things for me is, that I notice more the beauty around me – the sunshine, laughter, a smile, a call from one of my children, my favourite cup, nature and so much more. When I notice these things I often smile and say a silent: ‘Thank you’ in gratitude.

I believe that in every day there are things to be grateful for,

and that it’s important to notice them. Read more

Parenting: A BIG step out of our Comfort Zone!

Think back to when you were pregnant with your first child. You may have been excited, or scared. You may have wondered about what the child would look like or be like. You may have been sad about your pregnancy – particularly if it was an unexpected pregnancy. You may have been beaming with excitement.

 

Then the baby arrived – some will have had an ‘easy’ birth, some harder but still okay and some may have had a difficult birth. After being in the hospital or with your midwife for a while, you were then be alone with this new little human – learning to do all that needed to be done whilst recovering from the birth and coping with interrupted sleep.

 

For many of us, there was a time when we thought: ‘I have no idea what to do here’; or ‘I’ve tried everything and he’s still unsettled’ or ‘Help, I can’t do this’.

 

At this point in time the reality is that you have stepped outside your Comfort Zone, and you are in a space/ situation which is uncomfortable for you, and this is because it is very unfamiliar – it’s something you’ve not done before. Read more