Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Believing is Seeing??

The old saying "I will believe it, when I see it" does not apply to goal setting. "If you believe it you will see it" is much more fitting.

Belief is a very powerful thing. If you really believe that you can achieve something, you will achieve it. This has been demonstrated many times over by researchers studying the psychology of successful people. The reason that it is true is that once your conscious mind accepts that you are able to achieve a goal, you no longer procrastinate or waste time in fruitless thoughts of "I can't do this" - you just get on with it.

Happy Goal setting


Monday, July 30, 2007

Goals Must Have a Deadline

A goal without a deadline rarely gets completed. A deadline generates the motivation necessary for you to get yourself to take action. It's also an excuse for a celebration! It is a good idea however to give yourself ample time and take into consideration any possible distractions that may slow down your progress. The deadline also has to reasonable, for instance if your goal was to lose ten pounds in five days, it would be very difficult if not impossible to do so. Give yourself plenty of time to accomplish your goal and take into consideration that the deadline does not have to be cut in stone. It is perfectly OK to give yourself a bit of leeway, if it looks like you might not make the deadline. This is especially important for children as we do not want to put undue pressure on them.

Happy Goal setting


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Put it Down on Paper

One of the first and very crucial steps to goal setting is writing your goal down. This may not not seem like an important step. But it is! In fact, writing down a goal that you are committed to is the most important first step in the goal-setting process. You might say "I carry my goal around in my head." Well, it's absolutely necessary to carry your goal around in your head, of course. But having it down on paper could make all the difference. In fact, one of the most motivating things you and your child can do is to write out your main current goal, in as much detail as possible and including your reasons for wanting to accomplish it, and to do this every morning.
Writing your goal out is essential to programme it into the subconscious. Repeating this daily is one of the most powerful ways of generating higher and higher levels of motivation. When you have just got up in the morning is the most powerful time to do this, when your mind is at its most receptive. This is also the time of day when creativity peaks, so early morning is a particularly good time to discuss goals and new ideas.

Happy goal setting


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Goals Must be Believable

Goals Must be Believable
We have already looked at the fact that belief is important in goal achievement. If you study successful people, you will see that they have an absolute conviction that they cannot fail. Indeed, many of them deny that there is such a thing as failure. If the result they obtain is not what they wanted, they see that as a learning experience. However, many of us need to gradually build up confidence. If the first goal we set ourselves is too ambitious, we have difficulty believing that we can achieve it. So don't try to build Rome in a day, and don't encourage your child to set goals that are too demanding initially.

Happy Goal Setting

Friday, July 27, 2007

Fruity Granola Recipe

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and a good way to give your child energy for the day. Here is a recipe for a fruity granola that your kids can help you make. Makes a great nutritious snack too.


(1/3 ( cup light brown sugar ¼ cup light tasting vegetable oil like Canola or Sunflower¼ cup water ¼ t salt 3½ cups regular oats ½ cup sunflower seeds or chopped nuts 16 oz dried mixed fruit (chopped) such as cherries, cranberries or any other dried fruit that your kids like and a non-stick cooking spray

Combine brown sugar, oil, water, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat, stirring until sugar is melted. Drizzle mixture over oats, tossing well. Spray non-stick coating on a large shallow baking sheet and spread oats. Bake at 250° F. for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (do not over bake or mixture will be bitter) and add the seeds and nuts during the last 10 minutes. Cool. Stir in dried fruit bits. Store in a tightly covered container or zip lock bag Makes 6 cups

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Imaginary Friends

Many children have imaginary friends and most parents just ignore or humour their children when they talk about their invisable playmates, but according to a study from the Institute of Education, "The invisible pals offer companionship and emotional support, aid creativity, boost self esteem and create a 'sense of self'. Parents should not worry even if their child dreams up multiple companions, it said. "Imaginative children will create imaginary friends,' said Karen Majors, an educational psychologist at the institute who is carrying out the research. 'Companionship is a big part of it. They can be a way of boosting self-confidence."

We as parents all want that for our children!!!

Happy Parenting


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Do It Now!!!

Cassie and I set a goal to blog everyday this year. In 2006 we tried the same thing, but it was pretty much hit and miss and more miss than hit as we blogged a total of 60 times. This year we have at this time blogged a total of 206 times. Blogging is something that must be consistent as it is easy to let it slip your mind and then realize at 11:14 PM as I just did, Oh sugar, I forgot to blog today!!! Oh well what can you do??? No body's perfect right??

Everyone procrastinates from time to time, but if you want to realize your goals putting things off is a sure fire way to NOT bring them to fruition. If your kids see you breaking promises to yourself they are more likely to follow suit. Procrastination eats away at how you feel about yourself, after all if you can't trust yourself to do what you say you will do, than who can you trust?

Don't sit there and beat yourself up if you don't follow through on something, that only makes you feel worse, try a new strategy instead, such as setting a realistic schedule that you will do your best to follow. Things come up, and we all get distracted from time to time, but if you can honestly say that you gave it a good shot than that is enough. There are days when I can whip up a blog in five minutes flat and other days I will struggle for hours for something to blog about but eventually I get it done, or Cassie will step in and spell me off and I will return the favour.

Procrastination is a learned habit and the more we put things off the harder it is to get back on track. Some people thrive on deadlines and do their best work under pressure, but that doesn't work for everyone.

Happy Goalsetting,


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Potter Arrives

If you read Sunday's blog, you know that my ten-year-old son and I have been waiting patiently for our copy of the final Harry Potter book in the series to arrive in the mail. Amazon guaranteed that our copy of "The Deathly Hallows" would arrive on time but due to customs problems it didn't arrive until today. So now we have a bit of a dilemma deciding on who is going to get to read it first. My son and I discussed it and decided that he would read five chapters and hand it over to me and then I would read five chapters. I am pretty sure he will not want to stop at five and have trouble putting the book down. It is great to see my son so excited about reading and I hope that he stays as enthusiastic even when he reaches his teenage years. While there is no guarantee that every child will develop a love for books, reading to your child at an early age can give them a good start until they learn to read for themselves.

Happy Reading


Monday, July 23, 2007

The Power of the Puppy

We decided to get a dog three years ago mostly because of my daughter Savannah, who has Aspergers. Children in the Autism Spectrum have problems with social skills and so spend a lot of time on their own while their peers are invited to sleepovers and birthday parties.We thought that even though she did not really have any close friends, a dog could possibly fill part of that need. We already had two cats but they are not the friendliest and knowing that most dogs are loyal and much more affectionate than their feline counterparts, thought a puppy would be just the ticket to put a smile on our girl's face.

At first my husband was opposed of the idea because he thought that the cats were more than enough, but after awhile I convinced him to at least think about it. I had made up my mind to get a puppy and so started searching for one and came across a cute little bundle in the pet shop, a poodle/Shitzu/Maltese cross, that melted my heart the first time I laid eyes on him. Knowing how irrisistable the little fellow was I called my husband and told him about it, but when I told him the price he said no way was he paying over $800.00 for a dog. I was a little upset but asked him to at least look at it and if he didn't fall in love with it when he saw it, I would drop the dog idea altogether. He agreed to stop by after work and have a look at him and I waited in anticipation for him to come home to hear the verdict. Of course he fell in love with him as I did, how could he not?

Now it is almost Rocky's third birthday and our family cannot even fathom the idea of life without our little guy. He takes turns sleeping with each family member every night. A few hours with my husband and me and then he makes the rounds between my daughter and my son and ends up back in our bed come morning. He is the sweetest little guy and more times than not he will put a smile on my face when I am feeling a little down.

I was right about the puppy for my daughter. She loves him dearly and never complains about taking him for a walk, and when he had a near death experience this spring I saw how concerned she was that he wasn't going to pull through. Luckily he is now healthy and happy and we hope he will stay that way for many, many years to come.

A dog is a big responsibility and it is a good idea to do a bit of research to find out which breed is the best for your family and your lifestyle or if another type of pet may be more suitable. Click on this family pet article for more tips on how to choose the right pet for you.

Happy Pet Hunting


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Reading and Children

My ten-year-old son and I are both eager for the release of the last book in the Harry Potter series. I have to hand it to J.K. Rowling for making a children's book that is enjoyable for all ages. When I found out about the book being released this year I made an advance order to Amazon to make sure we could get a copy. Now we wait in delicious anticipation for it to arrive in the mail. The only problem is that we will have to figure out a way that we can both read it without squabbling.

Even though the Harry Potter series caused some controversy with religious groups, it did something that not a lot of books have done in the past, it made children want to read and parents want to read it to their children. I believe it doesn't matter what children read, as long as it is not obscene in any way, even comic books are fine if it will get your child to learn to love reading.

Happy Reading


Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Powerful Visualization Exercise

Still on the topic of visualization, I came across an article in the "Mind Power News" which is widely regarded as the most powerful visualization exercise ever discovered. As quoted from the article:

"Relax with your eyes closed and focus on your breathing. Tell yourself that with each breath you take you are relaxing more and more.
Now imagine yourself as part of the entire universe. The easiest way to do this is to project your mind at high speed out into space... see the planets then solar systems rushing by.
See the universes rushing by until you have reached as far as you can go. When you look back you see all the matter of creation shimmering and pulsating in a large vibrant form before you. You can visualize this shape in any form you wish.

The suns and planets are your body cells, each filled with energy and power but awaiting your direction. You realize that you are part of the universe and the universe is part of you.
Then see this image exploding into your own consciousness. It is unbelievably bright and full of love. Realize that this is only one portion of a far greater unseen multidimensional structure spread out over dimensions that are on the fringe of your conscious awareness.
Feel the energy arriving from this entity then visualize this same energy passing into your mind and body. Let it fill your being then direct it physically to any place within your body that you chose."

If you are looking to realize a certain goal, then picture the goal as clearly as you can and transfer this massive vibrant burst of universal energy to the goal you wish to bring to fruition
Visualize the required event actually happening while you are connected with the universe and full of this life-force energy. "

Happy Visualizing


Friday, July 20, 2007

Visualization Exercise

Cassie and I are firm believers in the power of visualization to help kids and adults alike to realize their goals. We believe that if your mind's eye can see the prize, you are more likely to achieve your goal. As A.L. Linall, Jr. so aptly put it "Visualization and belief in a pattern of reality, activates the creative power of realization"

An easy exercise you can try if you want to , is to take a picture of something and find a quiet place and really study the picture for ten minutes. Look at all the different things in the picture and then focus on one aspect of the picture, something specific. Look at the colours, shape and texture of the image and then close your eyes and open your eyes quickly over and over for about 30 seconds. Your mind will not be able to tell whether you are actually looking at the image or if you are imagining it. By practicing this you are teaching your mind to hold an image.

If you want to teach your mind how to visualize with words, look at the image and then describe it verbally in as much detail as possible-that way you can develop your mind's ability to visualize with words.

Since memories are images, sounds and sensations in your mind you can use your imagination to make up new experiences such as seeing a goal come to fruition. The hard part is keeping the image in your mind long enough so that you will accept it. Remember as with anything, practice makes perfect.

Happy Goal setting


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Summer Goal Setting for Kids

A year is a very long time for small children (and even older children), so helping them learn to set goals which can be achieved over the summer is a great way to introduce children to what for them is relatively "long term" goal setting.
For some ideas and tips check out this "Summer Goal Setting for Kids" article.



Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Visualization and Goal Setting for Kids

Visualization is an incredibly powerful tool that we have at our disposal and can call on in a moment's notice! Get a clear image in your mind of what your goal will look like. Picture and experience in your mind everything that you want to realize. How does it sound, look smell, what positive things are others saying as you stand there proudly saying, "Look what I did!!! "

You will probably find that your kids are even better at visualization than you are, but keep practicing; I guarantee it will get easier. In fact you will find after awhile that the image in your head will seem so real to you that you may even get emotional about it, all the better. Emotion makes visualizing even more powerful so your aim is to clearly see yourself as if you have already accomplished your goal while emotionally experiencing the incredible joy and satisfaction that comes from bringing it to fruition. Many professional athletes do this on a regular basis as part of their training for that competitive edge. Now that's some powerful stuff. Can I hear a whoo hooo!!!

Happy parenting,


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The desire for children - children are a blessing

What a sad story I heard the other day. A friend of a friend got married 18 months ago; at the time, John and Emily discussed children. This was a major issue for John as he had split up with a long-term partner in the past because she wanted children and he did not. John was a bit older than Emily; she was in her late twenties when they married and he was just over 40. John and Emily agreed that they wouldn't start a family.

So John was shocked and devastated when Emily recently told him she wanted a baby and if he didn't want one she was going to leave him. Everything else in the marriage, he said, was going brilliantly. They were in love and having a wonderful time living together. Two weeks later, with John still unable to make the commitment to try for a family, Emily left.

I feel so sad for John to have lost his wife like this - a big part of him wanted to agree to try for a baby but he felt deeply that he would not be able to give a child the commitment he or she would need and deserve.

I also feel for Emily. I know from personal experience how the "biological clock" can kick in almost overnight with what feels like an overwhelming, visceral NEED to have a child. I went through 2 or 3 years of feeling like that - every time I saw a baby I felt a range of powerful emotions ranging from desperation to bitterness, as my husband and I were unable to conceive. I loved spending time with friends' children, but the heartbreak of not having one of my own was almost unbearable.

Thankfully, I found that the intensity of the bad feelings waned with time. Now, spending time with others' babies and children is a sheer joy for me. I hope that John and Emily can find happiness, whether they manage to get back together or not. And that Emily will be blessed with a child of her own soon, or if not that she will be able to experience the joy that can come from others' children.

Like for me today, when I talked with my partner Monicka's little boy on the phone, and he said, "Miss you!" and I felt so full of love and joy that I wanted to share these thoughts, and blessings, with you all!



Monday, July 16, 2007

Summer Stresses for Parents

Summer should be a leisurely stress free time, but more than likely this is not the case for many parents. Having children home for the summer holidays with no free time for themselves is a recipe for disaster and many Moms and Dads can reach the breaking point if they can't find constructive ways to alleviate some of the stress they are feeling. Please check out the following article for great ideas on how to manage your stress level.

Happy Parenting


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Teaching Children Soft Skills

There are lots of skills that we often take for granted, unless there is a major issue with them - and then, because it is alien for us to address them, it can be difficult to know how to teach it.
Like helping your children to be better at listening
Or teaching them to concentrate
Or how to sit still and pay attention.

We should remember to take a step back and ask ourselves, what soft skills can we help our children to develop? We'll be bringing you some new resources on the Kids Goals website and the parenting newsletter over the next few weeks, to help you help your child learn to pay attention. Some of the games and ideas may be of particular interest to you if you are a parent or caregiver of a child with ADHD, but many children will benefit from them!

Happy Parenting,


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Languages for Kids (French Children's Link)

Children can pick up a new language much more quickly than adults. After all, they learn their native language very successfully from scratch when they are scarcely more than babies!

Sadly, many children aren't introduced to foreign languages at school until later on - when it's much more difficult for them to learn!

French is my favorite! If you click on the link you'll find some nice introductory French stuff for primary kids!

Happy parenting,


Friday, July 13, 2007

Dangers of Dehydration in Kids

With record temperatures affecting many parts of the country, it is imperative that you prevent your kids from getting dehydrated. Children produce more heat than adults and they tend to sweat less and sometimes don't realize when they are out playing sports that they need to have a steady supply of fluids. The rule is that children should drink at least five ounces of water or a sports drink like Gatorade for every twenty minutes of activity.

Heat illness from dehydration is a big concern in hot weather and you should teach your children to recognize the signs. If they are feeling thirsty, becoming dizzy or lightheaded, have a dry mouth or if their urine is dark coloured they are probably not drinking enough. Your kids need to know that if they experience any of these symptoms they should have something to drink and take a break and cool off before they resume playing.

Happy Parenting


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Simplified Spelling and Reading for Kids

This is a funny one! Check out the link to see a conversation between a lady from the "Simplified Spelling Society" and an expert linguist.

The Simplified Spelling Society want to "dumb down" the spelling of the English language, for instance:

Beautiful - butiful
Money - munny
More - mor

... saying that it will make it easier for children to learn to read.

How hilarious - there are so many bad points to this suggestion that it's difficult to know where to start!

The comment that struck me as the most important was from someone who had had the misfortune to be taught a simplified-spelling version of English as a child, and had to re-learn it later on. He says, "I ... very quickly consumed all available books at school and at the public library. I can still remember my frustration when I couldn't read the "normal" children's books. Such relief when we moved on to real spelling!"

From the mouths of babes...!

Happy reading with your kids,


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Can too Much Praise Harmful to Children???

I have always believed in giving my kids all the praise I can, thinking as I am sure a lot of parents do that it would be good for their self-esteem. Now I am going to have to do a bit of rethinking about this because a recent study suggests that too much praise can actually do some harm and make a child afraid of failure.

As quoted by ABC News report "For the study, researchers divided 128 fifth-graders into groups and gave them a simple IQ test. One group was told it did really well and must be very smart. The other group was told it did really well and must have worked hard. One group was praised for intelligence, the other for effort.

Asked if they wanted to take a slightly harder test, the kids praised for their intelligence were reluctant. Of those praised for their effort, however, 90 percent were eager for a more challenging task. And on a final test the effort group performed significantly better than the group praised for its intelligence.

Many of the kids who had been labeled "smart" performed worst of all. The "hard workers" got the message that they could improve their scores by trying harder, but the "smart" kids believed they should do well without any effort. "

So the bottom line is that praising a child did not give them more confidence or make them perform any better.

It is actually better to be honest with your kids if they do not perform well. Praise should be more for their effort, their concentration and their strategies.

I don't know about you but for me this is easier said then done!!!!

Happy Parenting


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Money Management for Kids

My 17-year-old step-daughter Sam was so thrilled to get her very first paycheck the other day that she took a photograph of it for posterity. Her dad is very keen to teach her how to budget, and generally about money management; as she is living with us (and hopefully will stay a long time!) her expenses are low and it is an ideal time to help her set up a savings habit.

Kids can start learning to save much younger of course. A piggybank is a wonderful learning tool and I think every child should have one! Once they have saved up enough, why not take them down to the bank and show them how to open a bank account. Learning to be responsible about money at a young age will pay off big-time when your kids grow up.

Happy parenting,


Monday, July 09, 2007

Frozen Fruit Salad

It is summer and fruit is in abundance so why not make a special dessert for the family as a surprise or better yet let the kids help with the preparation. Choose whatever fruits are in season or even canned fruit would work just fine. Here is a wonderful recipe that is as much fun to make as it is to eat.

1 pkg. cream cheese
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 (No. 2) can crushed pineapple
20 big marshmallows, cut in half
1 can whipped cream or small Cool Whip
Add cherries, oranges, grapes, coconut or any other fruit in season
Mix cheese and mayonnaise. Drain pineapple. Add cut marshmallows and other fruit as desired. Fold in cream or whip and serve or freeze. Cut frozen salad in squares and serve.



Sunday, July 08, 2007

Depression in Children

After a few days of feeling on top of the world my fifteen-year-old daughter seems to be down in the dumps today. Her first day on the job was very positive, so I was puzzled as to why she was feeling so blue. I was especially concerned because she was eating very little and seemed to be avoiding any contact with the family. I kept trying to find out what was bothering her but she refused to talk about it. I told her I couldn't help her if she didn't open up but she kept insisting that nothing was wrong. Well what can you do? As a parent it is sometimes very frustrating when our children refuse to talk about their problems. You sense that something is not quite right but you can't twist their arm to divulge.

Let your children know that they will always have a safe place to fall and no matter what happens you will always love them. Make sure they know that your door is always open if they want to discuss anything with you. My daughter knows she can come to me and I will support her but once again I cannot make her share if she doesn't want to. The best we can do as parents sometimes is try and be patient when it comes to our children, teenagers especially can be quite moody and most of the time it is just part of puberty. On the other hand if your teen seems to be down for more than a few days and refuses to talk about it, it may be time to get professional advice before it becomes full blown depression.

Happy Parenting


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Breastfeeding positions

Breastfeeding is actively promoted here in the UK and there is good awareness of the physical and emotional benefits to babies when mothers breastfeed. However, even though breastfeeding is such a natural activity, and can be enjoyable for both participants, it is quite common for mothers who want to breastfeed to experience problems and at best persist but not enjoy the process and at worst be unable to tolerate it, and give up.

New research by Dr. Colson at Canterbury Christ Church University challenges traditional breastfeeding positions with the finding that breastfeeding in lying or semi-reclining position, with the baby on its tummy on top of the mother, enables babies to latch on to the breast more easily. In this position, newborns also show more and an increased variety of reflexes like rooting, latching, head-bobbing and such like.

For more information: http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/Pages/howtodoit.html

Happy parenting,


Friday, July 06, 2007

Her First Job

My fifteen-year-old daughter, who has Asperger's started her new job today. She is working in an orchard thinning apples. We walked to work together and it was quite a hike but she didn't complain one iota. I told her she would have to get her Dad to take her before he goes to work and she could walk home after work and she seemed to like that idea. I watched as she handed her resume to her new employer and he explained what the job entailed and she looked into his eyes to show him she was really listening. I know how hard that is for her and my heart swelled with pride. He then showed her how the apples had to be five inches apart and if they were too close together she was to pick the smallest one and leave on the stem if she could. I stayed for awhile watching her as she followed his instructions and then finally feeling like she would be OK left her to her duties and made the long trek back home.

She came home at around 12:30 with a big grin on her face looking no worse for wear and showed me how dirty her hands were. My daughter is a avid handwasher so this struck me as pretty funny that she didn't wash her hands as soon as she came home, but she said it was a dirty job and my hands got dirty, no big deal. Was this my real daughter or had she been replaced???

Later I peeked into her room to check on her and she was fast asleep, looking like the angel she is. She worked hard today and I can tell that she is just as proud of herself as I am of her. She will go back to work at the orchard on Tuesday with a new found confidence for having mastered a new skill, my little girl is growing up.....sigh.

Happy Parenting


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Healthy, nutritious foods or overweight kids?

Monicka's blog about keeping nutritious food easily available in the house reminded me of a great tip for losing weight, or for encouraging your kids to lose weight if they are getting a little tubby.

It's a really simple one as well - just make an effort to eat MORE fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. Just by doing this, and not focussing at all on reducing your / your kids' intake of sweets, crisps etc, you will naturally eat less of the unhealthy foods.

So there's my suggestion for the day - if you're thinking you or your children might need a "diet" - why not turn it around and just concentrate on eating MORE - healthy foods!

happy parenting


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Nutrition and Kids

The other day I blogged about the importance of keeping your kids active during the summer holidays to prevent weight gain. Another aspect of keeping your kids fit and healthy is feeding them nutritious foods that are low in fat and low in sugar and as close to nature as possible. Choose high fibre whole grain breads, cereals and pastas as opposed to refined products and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Because your kids are home a lot more it is a good idea to keep lots of nutritious snacks on hand such as cut up veggies and a healthy dip or yogurt and fruit.

By keeping your kids active and trying to make as many nutritious meals as possible you are ensuring the health of your children. You don't have to totally restrict your kids from ever having cakes, cookies, candies or chips, but teach your kids about portion size so they can still have a treat once in awhile without it jeopardizing their health too much.

Happy Parenting


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Free Summer Book Download


With the summer holidays fast approaching here is a nice idea for a kid's craft - a special "Summer Holidays" memory book.

We've put up a free download specially for you - a pdf that you can print to create a book for your child to record their experiences in for the holidays. Page 3 of the book is a diary page that you can print multiple times. It's a good idea to get a piece of cardboard (from the side of a cereal box for instance) to use as the last page to make the book more robust. Then use a hole punch to make holes in the pages and the cardboard back, and tie the book together with string or yarn.

Here is the link for the download page: Free Summer Book Download

We hope you enjoy the book and please feel free to share it with your friends!

Monday, July 02, 2007

School's Out for the Summer

Now that school is out and kids that are used of a set schedule may have a bit too much time on their hands. It is a good idea to sit them down and set a few ground rules, such as how much time they can watch TV, use the computer and play video games. Research has shown that kids that usually get at least some exercise from regular daily Phys Ed classes while in school may be prone to gaining weight over the summer if they become too sedentary. Try and get your kids to spend some time everyday being active. Try your best to lead by example, and show them that exercise can be fun. If your kids see that you are active everyday they are more likely to follow suit.

Happy Parenting


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Smacking children (and dogs) - or loving discipline?

As Monicka owned up about the time she hit her son, I thought it was time for me to confess about my dog!

When my Eddie was a puppy, he went through a phase of nipping playfully - perfectly normal, at a young age a pup hasn't yet learned to use his mouth gently - and once when he hurt me I swatted his muzzle.

It was almost a reflex; I have never forgiven myself. Dogs have very sensitive noses and should never be hit in that region.

Anyway, I never raised my hand to my dog again, and am very grateful to my pup for teaching me that lesson rather than learning it on a child.Violence towards another adult is illegal, so how could we think it is OK to be violent to small children or animals?

For the record, my dog is a beautifully behaved member of the family. He never snatches food, and has learned the command "leave" so well that although he is only 3, I can have rescued baby birds fluttering around the kitchen without worrying about him killing them.

Now, if I ever need to discipline my dog, all I need to do is lower my voice and speak sternly to him. He has never linked this with any violence, yet he knows exactly what it means - his head and tail go down, he looks sorry, and does as he's told. If a young pup can understand discipline without violence, surely a child can too.

Violence is unnecessary for good and loving discipline, in my opinion. If we don't want children to learn to solve their problems using violence, it's better not to set them that example in the first place.