Every day when I spend time with you, my life gets better and better.

Yesterday as I was walking along the street in the mall area, I was walking near a Mother and her daughter aged about 4. They were holding hands, and the Mum looked at the little girl and said: “Every day when I spend time with you, my life gets better and better.” The daughter beamed a big smile to her Mum.

 

I said to the mother: “What a beautiful thing you just said to her – it’s such a positive message.’ And the Mum beamed back to me.

 

There are two things which are truly wonderful about the happening…..

 

The first is that the mother clearly cares deeply about her daughter and is taking steps to ensure that the daughter knows she is loved and valued, on a regularly basis. She told her daughter that this continues to happen each and every day – giving her daughter the message that their love and connection will continue, and that it is an important thing. Read more

Ahhhhh, silence!

You know that wonderful feeling you have when the children have gone to bed, and all is quiet in the house?  – a sigh comes from your lips, a sense of calm takes place, and a smile comes to your face as you relish the ‘nothingness.’ I believe these times are very important to us as humans. We live in a very busy and noisy world. We are always on the go and surrounded by noise – and often intrusive, louder noises eg the TV, cars and trucks driving past our house, the clatter of our saucepans and the chatter of voices.

 

How often in a day do you have moments of silence?

How often in a day do you wish for some quiet time?

 

When I was in active parenting (my children are older now and have flown the nest!), they attended the same country school which I taught at. Some days I would get them to take the bus home, rather than come in the car with me. The car trip home took 30 minutes, and the bus took 60 minutes. So, I got 30 minutes of quiet time in the car to switch from Teacher mode, to Mummy mode…. And I got a cup of hot coffee in peace before they arrived home – full of energy, busting to tell me what happened today, and of course saying: ‘What’s to eat?’ This quiet time refreshed me, bought a sense of peace, and enabled me to go forward into several hours of busy-ness with play, dinner and bed time reading. Read more

19 Ways to be a Positive Parent – Part 3

I’m sure as you’ve read the previous two articles covering this topic, you’ve realized that you are already doing many things which fall into the ‘positive parenting’ realm. My intention was to offer you a range (19 in fact!) so that you can add a few more to your Parenting Toolkit!  Let’s continue…..

 

10 Provide Incidental Teaching: When you are playing blocks with them, mention the colour names; when making a salad, tell them what you are doing and see if they’d like to help; when crossing the road, explain why you look both ways, and why they need to hold your hand. Almost every situation is an opportunity to share a simple fact with them – not to overload point, just a bit of information.

 

11 Clear Ground Rules: Keep rules simple. Have just a few general ones rather than a l-o-n-g list (which no-one can stick to!) Rules might be things like We don’t hurt people; We are careful with others possessions; and We speak ‘nicely’… change the wording to suit the age of the child. Read more

19 Ways to be a Positive Parent – continued

Last week we started delving into the many ways that you can show positivity in your parenting.

We looked at:

  • Spend quality time
  • Talk with your child
  • Listen to your child
  • Show affection

Let’s continue…..

Give Descriptive Praise. Often we acknowledge our children’s actions, we say: “good boy” or “you’re such a good girl”, without actually telling the child what specifically they did which was ‘good’. Is it because in the last few minutes they helped their sister pick up the toys, because they put them in the right place, or because they did it without being told????

If I say to you know: ‘You’re such a good parent’… what does that mean? Is it because you speak gently to your children? Or because you read to them each night? Or because you provide nutritious food to them? Or because you show them affection? Read more

I’m Blowing Bubbles!

Do you ever have those days? The ones where everything seems to go wrong, or it feels like a major challenge? The days that could start well and then an incident happens, or perhaps it’s a bad day from the moment you step out of bed?

Well, the solution could be in a little bottle. And, no, it doesn’t involve alcohol! …….

Years ago, I realised just how many parents I saw were stressed with the pressures of parenting – the on-going mountains of dirty clothes to wash, the constant messy lounge room, the asking children 5 times to hang up their wet bath towels or the reminders to feed the dog, or the feeling so tired because the baby woke 3 times last night, or the worries of a sick child. Add to that the compounded work load of shopping with a baby and a cranky toddler, bringing the groceries into the house from the car in the rain, and then attempting to cook dinner whilst bathing the children and helping the older one with her homework. It’s no wonder we sometimes feel like we are going loopy, or that we’d like to run away from home! Read more

Effective Time Management for Home and Work

Last week I wrote about how we cater for the needs of our families in terms of how much time we spend with our children, our partner and with ourselves. It can sometimes be a challenge, yet they are all important people to spend time with.

This week I’ll focus on how to spend our time well when we have work outside the house, as well as our work at home.

One important factor to think about is, that every single person on the earth has the same amount of time – we all have 24 hours in a day. It’s how we choose to spend them which makes the difference.

You probably know some people who seem to breeze through the day, managing both to work outside the home, and within the home – children, housework and cooking. And then we see other people who just look tired, stressed and always seem to be in a ‘rush’. You may recognise yourself in one of these scenarios! Read more

Mother holding her child wearing defence force outfit

Moments of Defence Kids

I am a mum to three kids and I am a Defence force wife. These two things can make for a very busy and chaotic life but it can be an amazing time. Don’t get me wrong I have mounds of washing waiting for me and dishes in the sink and moments when I want to lock myself in my room and not come out, but making special memories when one parent is away for extended periods of time can happen, it’s about balance. The time away and coping with kids is a whole topic in itself, but creating special family moments doesn’t take much, involving the kids is key. For example the homecoming after an extended period away – and in this case I mean months – is something to be cherished. Yes my kids have made those big, somewhat tacky, signs with pens and paint and streamers and balloons – this exercise in itself was a great time to interact with the kids and most importantly sounds out what they were looking forward too, when their Dad gets home. Read more

Movement at All Ages and Stages

I remember the first time I visited an indoor play centre with my toddler. Although I did not like the idea of an indoor play centre after the third day of rain I was willing to give anything a try. House bound boys have a lot of energy, so off to the indoor play centre we went.

The first thing that struck me was how loud it was in there. Kids were laughing and talking and excited to be there. Indoor play centres are bright and cheery places where kids can run, crawl, scoot, jump, leap, slither and slide and get buried in balls. So can mums. For the mother it is a wonderful well rounded, whole body functional workout (see what I did there – I used all the words the latest and greatest exercise routines use). I recall feeling absolutely bone weary after 2 hours of following my child!

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How to Find Inner Peace, and Eat it Too.

We’re all busy, I hear it every day and see it as people rush to and fro, mobile phones in hands so as to not miss anything. We hold dear our need to immediately respond to the constant flow of social media commentary, text messages, appointments and deadlines – I’m as guilty as most there!

And don’t get me wrong, it is important to do your part, reply to messages, schedule the car service, grocery shop; we each have our individual roles and responsibilities, but being constantly engaged and ready to pounce is having a major impact on our health & wellbeing – we’re becoming more stressed with an alarming and costly 3 days on average, a year lost to stress and mental health concerns.

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You Do What You Gotta Do

You’re a booonk head iPad! You’re not my best friend ANY more’.

Possible response: ‘That’s not very nice calling me that, and I like being your friend’.

Actual response: ‘Good’.

The response generally depends on the time of day, day of the week time of the month, number of coffees consumed, the weather, time of wake up that morning and especially what it is in reference to. Example: I’m a ‘booonk head iPad’ because I have carelessly put the grapes into a blue bowl instead of a green one, and they are purple grapes not green ones. You can hazard a guess at the response (with a possible expletive muttered under the breath).

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