Thursday, April 3, 2014




Thursday, March 27, 2014

Questions from Bathurst Mums - 3

How can I teach my 20 month old how to play with the newborn without squashing her and firmly patting her?

Emily was very excited hen Sam was born and wanted to 'help' all the time with him and cuddle him constantly.

To make their time together as positive as possible, I was always nearby when they were together.

I explained 'gentle' touch to Emily by showing her soft and slow touching on her arm. We talked about how Sam's arms and legs could be touched, but his face could not be poked or prodded.

Through encouragement, and very close supervision of set 'play' times with Sam during the day I was able to calmly and consistently set up a good pattern for their time together.

What age is a good age to start giving expectations and having consequences?

This is a great question.

As early as possible is the answer.

When Caleb was only a toddler we would praise his good choices and shower him with hugs and kisses for right behaviour. This was enforcing the message that when you do right you will feel right.

When he made a deliberate unwise choice, we tried to have quiet but firm consequences so he would learn to change his choice.

Calm consistency was the key.

Whilst setting in place, brick by brick, our solid, stable and long lasting style of parenting, what strategies/advice can you give to help us mums 'keep our cool', minimise our tendencies to yell in frustration?

Having a pattern for my day eliminated many frustrations.

A set time for chores, rest, play with the children and teaching times enabled me to make the most of every day and juggle my hats of mum, wife and home maker. It enabled my house to be relative tidy and clean and for my children to be engaged in meaningful play each day.

Lots of prayer helped my spirit to remain calm and peaceful more often.

Remembering that my model was my mot powerful teaching tool motivated me to model patience and a kind tongue rather than loud, angry words - most of the time.

How do you stop a teenager arguing about everything?

Take them out for a milk shake one afternoon.

Chat about bits and pieces of the week.

Then mention that you are not happy with the communication in the house and that things need to change.

Raise just one or two points of change. (You don't want to overwhelm yourself or your teen by trying to change everything at once.)

Calmly state what is now expected and what the consequences will be if they choose to argue over these issues.

Be calm and consistent in your application.

So for example, say there are issues about the time spent on the computer.
You may now have a timer start and finish the pre-arranged allotted time.
If they exceed the time or 'forget' to start the timer, then they lose that privilege for the next month.

What if you thought you were building a brick house, but child is making wrong choices at age 11/12?

All children have a season of wrong choice making.

Have a milkshake together or do an activity together and see if you can get to the 'why' behind the 'what'.

Shower them with your love and acceptance.

Have fun as a family.

Plan some surprises for them.

Choose a few good friends for them and make your  home very available for them.

Keep teaching good and right into their lives.

Pray without ceasing.

What part does routine and organisation play in raising responsible kids?

I think it lays the foundation for future success in all areas of life.

A holy and disciplined life is one that is pleasing to Jesus.

Planning out your day means you accomplish what needs to be done first, you can prioritise other people and you can ensure that you are refreshed too.

It leads to quietness of home and heart, and the fruits of self-control.

A joy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Questions from Bathurst Mums - 2

My son attends crèche a few times a week. He will be very clingy before I leave him and then will scream and cry when I leave. What approach should I have?

Be calm and consistent.

Have the same phrase each time you leave and return, and have a happy face yourself.

Keep the goodbye short and positive, dragging it out simply make sit harder.

If possible, start at the same activity each week, e.g. the playdoh table, so that he has that security each time.

Practice leaving him at home with dad on the weekends so he learns you always come back.

Almost all little ones go through this stage, and if you calmly work through it, they will develop the assurance and awareness that it is only for a short time.

I try to have a bit of on-on-one time with my son each day. How do I know how much he needs?

So glad to hear you are developing self-pay adeptness in your little one. This is a great skill to carry through life.

Balance your day between time with your child (focus play), time near your child (side-by-side activities) and independent play time (time alone).

Many mums aim for 2 focus play times each day, from 10 - 30 minutes in length each.

Mums with lots of children aim for once a day for 5 - 10 minutes each. One creative mother of 7 had a special night for each child. If 'bear' appeared on their pillow, they knew it was their night to 'help' mum with dinner and have a special time with her afterwards.

Should you provide food/toys for a 1 -2 year old for sitting in church. How long should they sit still for?

This is totally up to you.

Our church started at 10 am and went for one hour before the crèche started for the second hour. So we had quiet toys for playing on a small blanket near our feet, and small snacks to help during this time.

We practised blanket time at home each day to help with this, and started with 10 minutes and gradually built up to 30 minutes. I think our youngest was finally able to sit through the first hour when he was 2.5 years.

So be calm and consistent, and gradually build up their skills for sitting and focusing.

How can I help to foster confidence and independence in my 12 month old child?

This is a great question.

Independent play times each day are a great way to develop confidence and independence. Start with two 20 minute times a day and build up to 40 - 50 minutes twice a day.

Independent activities include playpen time, room play, outside play, DVD watching, blanket play, highchair activities, and free play. (All with mum hovering nearby for safety of course!)

From when they can walk, have them 'help' you with the chores each day. They can carry a plastic cup to the table and back, take the washing to the right room, dust and wipe. Starting early sets the pattern for a lifetime of helping and develops the confidence to know they are contributing to the family.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Questions from Bathurst Mums

How can I teach my child not to throw food off the highchair?

Be calm and consistent

Only give him a few items of food at a time

Use a quiet, firm voice and gently squeeze his hands each time

Do not give him the food back

Teach him to use sign language for 'all done' and 'more please'

How can I teach my child to be happy in the trolley/pram while I get the groceries/pay bills etc?

Be calm and consistent

Choose the best time in the day to be out - preferably when she is well rested and well fed.

Practise sitting and focusing at home each day with play activities such as books and puzzles

Include the child in the process as much as you can e.g. counting apples into the bag, looking for the milk etc

Model a cheerful spirit and a happy face each day

My son plays outside a few times each day - how can I help to extend this time? When he gets bored he will come and find me.

Be calm and consistent

Show him how to play with the sand toys and other outside toys

Start the time with morning or afternoon snack

Have a timer or song to indicate when it is time to pack up, extend this out in 5 minute increments

Spend the first 5 - 10 minutes outside with him modelling a game he can play on his own

Monday, February 10, 2014

My Rock

 I have a favourite book.
I have been reading it for over 40 years.
Sometimes I still learn new bits.
Other times I read my most loved bits.
It has history.
It has romance.
It has poetry, letters, narrative and song.
It is my comfort when I am sad.
My strength when I'm dealing with tricky things in my life.
My wisdom for direction.
My motivation for life purpose.
My guidance in parenting.
My book for life.
Check it out.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Time moves on . .

I thought I would give you a brief update on what my kids are up to this year.

Samuel has just started Year 11. He is most excited about having six 'study' periods at school this year. His week consists of Representative soccer training and games, Bible Study, Youth, Church and casual work.

Emily will commence her second year at Sydney University in a few weeks. She is just back from her first overseas trip -  two weeks of mission in Thailand. Her week includes casual work two days a week, exercise, Church, lots of reading and Bible Study.

Caleb is half way through his Engineering degree at the University of Technology. He is looking forward to a snowboarding trip to Japan in a few weeks. He enjoys work, soccer, Church, gym, Bible Study and the beach.

Great friends.

Fun people.

Kind hearts.

So thankful.