Friday, 19 June 2009

Mama Kat's Homework prompts.

I haven't done one of these for ages which is probably why I am going to be held back in Blogger school next term. But really, 'not doing homework' and I are very old friends, we go back decades.

In fact I feel sure that if I went back to my old school my name would still be on a board somewhere for outstanding essays. Not that returning to my old school is an option - they didn't like me very much.

In fact you know how famous people get invited to do a reading/demonstration/whatever at their alma mater? That wouldn't be me.

In fact if I can ever find it I will dig out the emails I shared with some random chick in charge of school reunions. We did not end up as best friends ;-)

OK so Mama Kat has set the homework this week.

1.) Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page and share two “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. Nope not gonna, can't make me.

2.) What do you aspire to be? Awake.

3.) Share a piece of unsolicited parenting advice...only I'm soliciting it. Hmmm ... this one looks promising.

4.) Tell us about your long have you been blogging, when did you start, what were/are your goals for your blog, etc. Online diary, like to write, yadda, yadda, yadda. Snore, snore.

5.) If you had 5000 dollars to give away or donate to a charity...explain what you would do with it and why. Is it okay to count myself as a charity?


Obviously it had to be 3) Why? After lots of years wondering what I wanted to do as a grown-up it is all starting to become clear - Early Years and Child Development but scope is limited up here on the hill and my favourite preschool did not want to employ me. But parenting is something everyone has an opinion on and willingly shares at the earliest opportunity. So let me share mine.

Discussion of parenting is in the air at the moment. I read this today and it rang loads of bells with me. Rules for children are good. Fun for children is good. Spending time with grown-ups can be good.

I say can because it depends on the attitude of the grown-up as much as the state of mind of the child. It drives me crazy watching grown-ups patronise a child. You can see the child thinking
"Oh dear, poor sad grown-up, s/he obviously has learning/social issues. I shall speak slowly and loudly so I can be understood." And then they just turn off when the grown-up persists.

Experiences are good for children, the good and the bad. Even those Elves at the Elf and Safety Headquarters have now recognised this with RoSPA stating just yesterday that is through experience children learn everyday risk assessment.

I suppose my philosophy to childrearing can be summarised as -

* going home dirty signifies a day well spent.
* tell 'em the truth. If it is going hurt don't say it won't. (Obvious certain metaphysical social constructs as exceptions - CK's prententious phrasing ;-)
* set the rules and expect them to be followed but don't be afraid to bend them on occasion. Kids love watching the grown-ups in their lives playing up.
* take the time to listen to children then it is easier to get them to return the favour.
* teach a call signal. They hoot like owls in myoldestfriendintheworld's house. I whistle. (it is the same one to which my dogs answer ;-)
* let them be. So many children have their lives directed down to the last second they have no ability to create their own games/ideas.
* don't give children too much choice. I remember watching a woman with three children age 7, 4 & 2 (approx) telling the childer to hurry up and choose some sweets/lollies from the ENTIRE range in a shop! The two y.o. was nearly in tears and the mother was getting more and more cross. It brought home to me how we expect so much of children at such young ages. A choice between two or three things is great but not the whole shop!
Okay this one may seem a bit hypocritical after the previous point but
*have high expectations, children generally try and rise to them. This means no one in my house gets babied beyond about 2.5 years. This doesn't mean I am harsh and evil (although I am), just that by 2.5 if not younger you are able to start getting involved in the running of the family - helping to set the table, hang out the washing, sort socks, find your own nappy, etc, etc.
* talk to them AND listen.

Thus endeth today's lecture.


  1. Sounds like our parenting skills and rules are pretty similar. My kids are bought up with those suggestions in mind. I refuse to send three children/adults out into the world that aren't self sufficient and capable of the most basic of tasks to lean on someone else. My SIL's come to mind in that area - they weren't taught anything and found it so hard when they were first married. Mum made sure I had most of the knowledge I needed to make life a little easier - I'm doing the same for my kids.

    Here endth my lesson....vbg.

    Have a lovely weekend


  2. I SOOOOOOOO agree about the choice within reason, I know myself that I walk into big shops like Ikea and am far too overwhelmed to buy stuff. But if you have a child being a pain in the supermarket and demanding to be carried (how can you when you're pushing one of those stupid unsteerable trolleys, I ask you!) then I offer a choice: You can sit in the seat bit or you can walk, what are you going to do? Give them a sensible choice and they'll pick one.

    I really should stop babying mine with the housework though, I'm very slack with that!

  3. all are so true! sometimes i do feel kinda tired setting good examples or rules in front of my daughter or sometimes i just forget to be one! good parenting is really not a simple task and it requires a life long commitment! phew~

  4. I totally agree with you on the parenting thing! Kids love to help out with chores when they are really young- give them a knife and let them chop up the salad;-)-and even if they are more hesitant now...being teenagers and all...they help out and do whatever needed, sometimes even without being asked!!!

  5. Hmmm I don't have kids of my own just yet but I enjoyed reading the post about parenting :-) I wonder what kind of a mom I'll be like. Cause right now all I can imagine are the good things but i do know there are certain things where one has to learn that kids are nit just adorable little boys and girls. They grow up and as a parent, part of the responsibility is molding them.

  6. Ah! Parenting! That old chestnut!

    When it's good it's very, very good and when it's bad it's horrid!

    Locket xxx

  7. you are SO right. very refreshing to hear good common sense about child rearing. as a primary school teacher who ran a very tight ship, that's what you wish you could tell the parents of some children, but you can't when you're not a parent yourself!
    now a parent, i aspire to that sort of relationship with the child/ren where we have loads of fun but they also know who' runs the ship.
    clear, fair and consistent boundaries. then we all know where we stand.
    i'd better stop there or i'll work myself into a rant at the converted!

  8. Excellent philosophies to live by! I've been sitting here nodding my head in agreement. My DD2 has been having a whale of a time in two massive cardboard boxes that are taped together for most of the weekend! Much better than the "box" she likes to sit in front of!

  9. Having first hand experience of how delightful your children are, I have to say your advice is worth heeding - especially the whistling..which really works!!