Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Child self esteem and courage - toddlers

Building your child's self esteem by teaching him courage: The Toddler Years

When your baby starts to walk, this is a key stage in learning courage. He will inevitably take a few tumbles, and your reaction can play a big part in what he learns about dealing with mishaps, fear, bravery and risk taking.

It's all about finding a balance. Any extreme is dangerous. For instance, if your toddler falls and hurts himself, and you immediately rush to him in a panic, he will learn to react badly to setbacks.

On the other hand, if you don't react at all when he hurts himself, he learns that his cries for help are ignored and becomese insecure.

The best balance is to react with calm reassurance to any mishaps. When he takes a tumble, pause for a moment rather than reacting instantaneously. If he's not really hurt and looks to you for reassurance, you can simply say cheerfully, "oops! Try again!" On the other hand if he becomes very upset, it's important to react and give him as much comfort as he needs - but in a calm way. Let him cry for a while if he needs to, don't hush him, just be there to let him express his upset in the safe environment of your arms!

Happy self esteem building with your child!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Child self esteem and courage

Building a child's self esteem by teaching him courage starts early on. For little babies, courage is, and should be, a foreign concept. At this vulnerable stage, they need to be taken care of by their parents in every way.

But do bear in mind that small babies pick up on YOUR feelings. Practice being brave around your baby. When you visit the doctor, for example, and your baby has to be weighed on cold scales, or has to have an uncomfortable injection, react in a calm, reassuring way to any anxiety the baby expresses.

When you baby cries, it can be an instinctive reaction to try to make him stop as quickly as possible. You need to build up a bit of resistance to this. It is OK for your baby to cry - don't overreact or he will pick up on your feelings of anxiety or panic. Instead, just stay calm and reassuring at all times!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Courage and Self Esteem for kids

Building your kids' self esteem is a really important part of being a parent. Courage is an integral part of self esteem - the ability to push through obstacles and anxiety, to take action EVEN when you're scared.

It's easy to mislead kids about what exactly courage is. The danger is that in trying to teach our child to be courageous, they think that there is something "WRONG" in feeling scared, or expressing fear.

It's a good idea to encourage your kids to say when they are scared, and reassure them that it is OK to tell you that, and find ways to help them take action on their goals and tasks in spite of the fear.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Children, manners and respect

Do we, as a society, respect children in the manner they deserve? I don't think we do. The way children are treated, even (or rather ESPECIALLY) by their carers is downright rude compared to the way adults are treated.

I know there will be plenty of exceptions to this rule, but as a general theme it is very prominent, certainly in the families I observe here in England (supposedly the home of good manners!)

At a dog event I visited the other day, which was extremely crowded, this was very noticable. People were crabby, not surprisingly, as it was absolutely packed. And all around, I could hear adults speaking to children in raised voices, angry or rude, "Stand back!" "Be careful!" "I'm sick and tired of you!" and more and more.

I noticed that there weren't any adults speaking to other adults like that. How odd....

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Something has got to give.

Cassie and i have co-edited and sent out the kidsgoals newsletter to our subscribers on a bi-weekly basis since January but due to time constraints and a much more hectic lifestyle we are only going to be able to send it once a month until further notice. We want to give our readers the best newsletter that we can and with my starting a full time job and Cassie pretty much working two jobs we feel that we can no longer give our readers what they have come to expect. With this in mind you will now be receiving the newsletter on the fifteenth of every month. By only sending out the newsletter once a month Cassie and I hope to give our readers what they deserve, an informative and well-written ezine offering our readers parenting advice and ways to help their children develop goal -setting skills. we would however still like you to email us with any parenting questions as we want to help with any of your concerns and either Cassie or myself will get back to you as soon as we can with an answer.

Happy Parnting,


Friday, October 26, 2007

Don't start the day without it.

Of course I am talking about breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Experts say that if your kids leave the house without eating breakfast they will have problems concentrating in school and lack the energy needed to sustain them throughout the day. But even if a child does eat breakfast, what he eats for breakfast may also dictate how well he does in school. For example in a recent U.K study school children were randomly given one of four breakfasts in a four day period. Their cognitive abilities were then tested throughout the day. The breakfasts the children were given were either a wheat cereal and milk, whole grain cereal such as oatmeal and milk, a sugary beverage or no breakfast at all. The study showed that the kids that were given the grain based breakfasts scored much higher than the kids who had either the sugary beverage or no breakfast at all. This study and many others have proven unequivocally how important it is to start your kids out right.

Keep in mind that your kids don't actually have to eat oatmeal every morning in order to have what is considered a nutritious breakfast. A fruit sweetened, whole grain muffin with nut butter and milk or scrambled egg in a whole grain tortilla are two quick and easy breakfasts that will keep your kids focused on school and don't we want to do what is best for our kids.

Happy Parenting,


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Keeping your kids positive

Did you know that a UCLA study showed that the average one- year -old child hears the word no over 400 times a day. As a parent we tend to ask for what we don't want and since scientists that study the brain have discovered that our brains our unable to process a negative command, If you tell your kids not to do something in order for them to process what they are not supposed to do that have to first think about doing what they are not supposed to do before they can understand how not to do it. I am sure there is an easier way to explain that statement , but I am sure you get the gist of it... Ask for what you do want not what you don't want.

Happy Parenting,


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"You've Got to Walk the Talk!

I can remember the first time. I tried to hide the fact that I was smoking from my Mother by putting the cigarette on my stomach and placing a hard cover book that I was reading at the time on top of it, thinking albeit stupidly, that the weight of the book would eventually put the cigarette out. Consequently I burned my stomach quite bad and I still have the scar to this day. My Mother sat there giving me a lecture on smoking and why it was so bad for me when she herself smoked. I accused my Mother of being a hippocrate but she never saw that side of it and grounded me for a month.

Luckily I gave up that discusting habit in my twenties and not one of my four children ended up being a smoker as of yet......

Remember as a parent you have the biggest influence on whether your kids decide to try smoking. Talk to your kids about smoking at a time when you are both comfortable and relaxed such as during a television program or on the ride to soccer practice. Your kids are going to be pressured by their peers to smoke and sometimes it can be a little tempting to try it if the so called "cool kids" are doing it. Remember kids learn best by example and if you tell them that you disapprove of smoking while you are are still smoking, you will be giving them mixed messages. It is also important to keep in mind that kids who feel good about themselves have a better chance of not becoming a smoker especially if they are involved in activities that require cardiovascular fitness like sports or other physical activities.

You can also help your kids to develop their self esteem by letting them know when they do something that pleases you as opposed to when they do something you disagree with. Positive reinforcement is a parenting tecnique that works really well in helping your children develop more self confidence so the next time they are asked to try smoking by the so called cool kids, they can say NO and really mean it!!!

Happy Parenting


Monday, October 22, 2007

Follow your Passion

A very wise woman once told me that every step that we take will lead us closer to where we are meant to be. Think about your life and how you view yourself and where you ended up. You may be a stay at home Mom or Dad or a high powered business person or a even an airline pilot in Bahrain (Hi Richard). Whatever it is that you do there were many steps that led you there. My friend Richard always knew he wanted to be a pilot. From the time he was a wee lad he had a love for airplanes and flying. Some of us were not that lucky and it took awhile to find our true passion or maybe we haven't even figured out what it is yet.

It really doesn't matter what it is, when you find it you will know it!!! I can attest to that big time. I have worn a lot of different hats,from a stay at home Mom to a business owner and many menial jobs in between. I have now found the one thing that really makes me happy and was lucky enough to discover my passion when a friend (the same very wise woman I referred to in the first paragraph of this blog)mentioned to my now employer that she should hire me because I would be a perfect fit for her business. My friend than called me and told me to get my resume and cover letter together and get my buns down to my now place of employment because she put in a good word for me. At first I was not interested and thought it would just be another job but when the lady met with me and actually agreed to hire me I soon realized that I was very mistaken. From the first day I felt like I was in my "Happy Place". It made me want to take courses so I could be the very best at my newly found profession. I know with every fibre of my being that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life and with this discovery realized that I am also very good at what I do. It actually comes naturally to me.

When you talk to your teens about what they would like to do for a career be open to whatever they tell you, even if it is working a minimum wage job serving customers in a restaurant, it really doesn't matter. Accept what it is that your child wants to do and realize that if they love what they do they will probably excel at it and that job as a server could turn into being that owner of the very restaurant that they used to work at. Even if that doesn't happen, if they are happy doing what they do you should support them and tell them how proud you are. There are many Dr's and Lawyers who hate what they do for a living and would rather be baking cakes or working on a lobster boat but they were pushed into these professions because they were pushed to follow in their parent's footsteps. Would you rather have a physician who had a passion for healing or one that was in it for the money, or God forbid because they were pushed into it because they wanted to please their parents?

Happy Parenting


Sunday, October 21, 2007

A message in the lyrics.

Music is something I could never live without. There are times when a song will play and I am transported to another time and place. Music has the power to make us sad or happy or a myriad of other emotions. Think about your first break up and the song that you played over and over again driving your family and friends crazy. For me it was "Love Hurts" by Nazareth because the words discribed the way I was feeling better than I could myself.

Lately a song by Natashia Beddingfield has been getting a lot of airplay. The song is called "Unwritten" and the words make you want to leave your fears and worries behind and be happy to just be you. With this in mind I copied some of the lyrics for anyone who has never had the pleasure of hearing this powerful song. Google Unwritten lyrics or better yet listen to the song the next time it plays and think about YOU, and how you are special and no one in the world will ever be just like you. Play the song for your kids and let them get the message the singer is trying to get you to hear. Heck, I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Happy Listening.
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Natashia Beddingfield

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Helping your kids find their niche.

Well it has been quite awhile since I have blogged. Work has been crazy with a move to a new location and all the stresses that are part and parcel of moving a business. Now I finally have a day off and lots of catching up with one of the joys of my life that I have sorely been neglecting lately, my writing.

If you follow the kidsgoals blogs you are familiar with my now sixteen-year-old daughter Savannah and that she has a neurological disorder, Asperger's. If you are familiar with Autism Spectrum Disorders than you realize how hard it is for the children on the spectrum to develop meaningful relationships with their peers. Savannah went through a really bad week feeling very depressed about the fact that her Asperger's will never be cured like the flu or the common cold and the fact that she would have to accept this. While her fellow classmates were dating getting part time jobs and planning their futures, her future remained a question mark. Her thoughts were about if she would ever have a career, marriage, live on her own and all the other things that come with becoming an adult?

My daughter struggles with a lot of the things that we take for granted and nothing has ever come easy for her other than the fact she is a very talented artist and also an incredible ear for music, perfect pitch and an amazing singing voice. With this in mind I have always tried to get her to take voice lessons in order to reach her potential. Until just recently she showed no interest in doing this but I persevered and even found a woman who is a very gifted voice coach. Savannah was a bit nervous but was willing to follow through with it and when she first returned from her first lesson she seemed a little happier and was looking forward to her next lesson. When she returned from the second lesson she had a grin on her face and with a little bit of coaxing she asked me to guess what the teacher said to her? My first guess was that the teacher liked her singing voice, and she said yes, but a bit more than that. My daughter is a bit shy when it comes to positive comments about herself and I urged her to just tell me what the coach had said. She looked at me with a huge grin on her face and said, "She said that my voice blew her away!!!" I still get goosebumps when I think of that night because my daughter finally realized that she was given a god given talent and no matter how many times her Father or siblings or even I told her that, she never really believed it until now. She now goes to singing lessons every Friday night and practices her voice training and breathing lessons diligently. Her confidence has increased ten-fold and she is starting to reach out to her fellow students. Her attitude is that she is going to say hi and smile to everyone and if they smile and say hi back that is great and if they don't, so what. Having my daughter come to the realization that she can sing really well has given her a new lease on life. She is a much happier girl and willing to try new things and even tale a few chances..

Every child on the planet has a God given talent, and that is without exception. It may be singing or drawing like my daughter, or may be just the gift of gab, or maybe you are looking at a poet and you don't even know it. :- ) Whatever your child's niche is you need to help them bring it to its full potential. The best way to find your child's talent is to observe them while they are playing. When kids are doing something that they really have a passion for they will get lost in it and it is like they zone out for awhile. With my daughter I noticed she would sing in her room with her headphones on listening to her favourite songs. We would call her for dinner and her little brother would pound on her door when she didn't come to the table. It was like she was in her happy place and the rest of the world didn't exist. Help your child find his or her happy place.

Happy Parenting,


Friday, October 19, 2007

Travel with your child, and security

When you travel with your child you may simply think that you are expanding his horizons and giving him the opportunity to see and experience new things.

But a word of warning. Security, predictability and familiarity are of vital importance to young children. Be careful not to allow "holidays" to be a source of stress for your toddler.

Happy parenting,


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cooking with your children

Learning to bake cakes and cook dinner with my Grandmother when I was a child was a real self-esteem booster. Kids love to learn practical skills, so why not spend some quality time with them in the kitchen on an evening or weekend, rather than in front of the TV? They love to help and can genuinely take a load off your plate once they have learned a few basic cooking skills!

Check out our Child Friendly Cooking Ideas

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Your Child's Imagination

The child’s imagination – what a powerful force!

A child’s imagination is untamed. Parenting should not tame it but encourage it. Your child can use his imagination for play, for goal setting and much more.

Here are some parenting tips for encouraging imagination and imaginative play in your child: Child Imagination Parenting Article

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cookies to die for (not literally)

My son advised me that he has to bring something for his class Halloween party and they must be homeade and somewhat healthy. The recipe called for peanut butter but because some of the kids in his class have peanut allergies we came up with this version with almond butter and it is AWESOME!!! I am sure that when he brings these goodies to class for the party next week they will be a sure fire winner. Bonus, your kids can help you make them.

Happy Baking


Bestest Oatmeal Nut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies Ever!!!!!

1 cup flour
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened (*1 cup if you omit the nut butter)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter or other nut butters I use Almond butter (*optional if you choose to omit nut butter add an extra 1/2 cup softened butter to the recipe
1 egg
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 squares Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, coarsely chopped

PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Mix flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. Beat butter, sugars and nut butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Slowly add flour mixture, mixing until well blended after each addition. Stir in chocolate.

DROP heaping tablespoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets.
BAKE 10 to 12 min. or until lightly browned. Cool 1 min.; remove from baking sheets to wire racks. Cool completely.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Friendship 101

While having a session with my daughter's speech language pathologist, Nora, the subject of friendship came up and my daughter Savannah asked her if her two twin boys who also attend the same high school say hi to my daughter when they see her because they feel sorry for her because of her Aspergers? She wanted to know if Nora told her sons to go out of their way to say hi to Savannah because Nora told them to? Nora assured my daughter that she does not discuss Savannah with her boys and if they said hi to her it was because they wanted to and all on their own accord. It seems that my daughter got it into her head that anyone who paid any attention to her did so because they felt sorry for her.

I was completely unaware that this was happening and having her share her thought processes really helped Nora and me understand why my daughter may be having so many problems connecting with her peers. If people were reaching out to her and she thought it was because they pitied her she was more than likely not reciprocating and closing off from anyone who was trying to make contact. I told her that if she wanted to have friends she would have to do some of the work too. No one was going to come up to her and say "Savannah will you be my friend?" It was a process that may start with a hi in the hallway and she needed to show that she was interested by saying hi back and a smile wouldn't hurt either. I asked her if she would like to be friends with someone who always looked sad? I suddenly saw this light bulb go off in her head when she said, You are right Mom, the perky people have lots of friends and they are always smiling. "I thought they were smiling because they had lots of friends" Out of the mouths of babes!!!

Suddenly my daughter understood that she played a big part in making friends and if anyone said hi to her she was going to return the salutation and with a smile to boot, even if it felt uncomfortable. It will be interesting to see if our little talk has any impact on how people respond to my daughter? I am positive that her peers are reaching out to her and because of her incorrect assumptions they are getting the idea that she wants nothing to do with them, when that is the farthest thing from the truth.

Happy Friendships


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Is your child a victim of cyber bullying?

I was actually surprised to hear that even with all the publicity that bullying has received the statistics show that it is still on the rise. How can this be?? The schools are more aware of the problem and students are encouraged to report any bullying incidents, there is even a website,, where their slogan is "You are not alone."

Recently it seems that the bullies have found a new platform for their intimidation and that is the computer. With most kids using email and msn to chat with their friends the bullies are using the Internet to continue their victimization while remaining totally anonymous. This type of bullying is called cyber bullying and research has shown that most kids are very reluctant to let their parents know it is happening.

If your child seems to be sad, depressed, withdrawn or showing signs of aggression to his younger siblings he may be he victim of a cyber bully. He may also suddenly lose interest in any social events and complain about headaches, and stomach aches so he can stay home from school. Any disruption in your child's normal eating and sleeping habits could also be a red flag and parents should be aware of any changes.

Encourage your kids to come to you with any problems they may be having concerning the internet. Talk with them about cyber bullying and always reassure them that they can come to you if they are being bullied without repercussions. Assure them that you are there to help and most importantly take their concerns seriously. Never tell your child to ignore the problem.

Happy Parenting


Saturday, October 13, 2007

When Momma ain't happy.........

I started a new job just over a month ago and it has been quite demanding and by the end of the day I am bagged. I was hoping that after a few weeks I would have built up a bit of stamina which would still leave me with a smidgen of energy after a long work day for all the things I need to do, such as spending time with family, working on my courses. blogging, the kidsgoals newsletter and other projects, not to mention household chores. So far work has been very taxing and by the end of the day it is, "stick a fork in me... I am done."

I have been feeling really bad because I have left all the blogging and the kidsgoals website to my best friend and co-editor, Cassie. She has been so awesome about covering my blogging days and I owe her a huge debt of gratitude. I was thinking the other day that I have to find a way to find the time and energy to get everything done without having to stay up till the wee hours in the morning. Cassie told me to start putting off the unimportant things and start delegating the chores as much as possible. It all sounds good, but there is a part of me that thinks I need to do it all without asking for help from anyone. Why is that so common in the female species ? Many working Mothers believe that they have to be Super Woman . I know I can't do it all but somehow I have this inane belief that I should be able to. That is when your best friend steps in, smacks you upside the head (not literally) and brings you back to reality.

So NO dear ladies, we can't do it all and why should we have to? My plan is to heed my dear friends advice and sit down with my family very soon, and explain in as loving a way as possible, that Mommy needs a little help. If we all work together everything will get done, no one will have to do more than their fair share and bonus Mommy will be so happy. After all as the saying goes..."When Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Thank you soooooooo much for all your help Cassie my dearest friend, I owe you big time!!!!

Happy Parenting,


Friday, October 12, 2007

A family pet is a great way to teach children responsibility and to bring a lot of joy into your family.

Our dog Eddie has brought so much joy to us that I would say to anyone considering a family pet that in spite of the extra work and trouble, it is well worth it.

Check out this article for more info one choosing a family pet

Happy parenting,


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Parenting Stress?

I read a letter in a magazine this morning by a mother suffering from severe parenting stress. Her toddler had only recently been weaned (from breast feeding) and she had just given birth to her fourth child. Her husband had a well paid job so they were not short of money, but she felt stressed and overwhelmed by looking after all the children and the house and garden, as well as exhausted from just having given birth.

I suspect that even the most organized and energized of us feel overwhelmed at times, and having small children reliant on you is a massive responsibility. If you're fortunate enough to be a stay at home parent it would be nice to think that you could enjoy your children rather than being stressed by parenting, but that is easier said than done!

Monicka's tips for managing parenting stress may help you.

Happy parenting,


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kids and emotions

What do kids learn about emotions from their parents?

Yesterday my friend, who is a student in a counselling class, told me of an interesting conversation he had with his fellow students.

The question being discussed was, "If you were a counsellor and you had two scenarios, a)A client who was very distressed and crying or b)A client who was angry with you the counsellor, which would be more difficult for you to deal with.

I assumed that everyone would answer (b) but in fact it seems that the split was around 50/50. My friend was an example of someone who would not be fazed at all if his client was angry, but would find it challenging to handle someone very distressed.

What does this have to do with kids and emotions? Well these reactions to emotions are learned at a very early age. It is worth thinking about what you might be teaching your child about emotions rather than just automatically passing on your own reactions to, for instance, anger or sadness.

Anger and sadness may both seem like "bad" emotions but this is not true. Anger is a useful and powerful resource that helps us stand up for ourselves when necessary. It can be a driving force to take us to new levels of success and achievement.

Sadness is the natural "other side" of happiness. If we were never ever sad, we could never fully appreciate happiness. And learning to express sadness appropriately and to ride it out in a healthy way rather than trying to suppress it is a very important lesson.

While it may seem like a good idea to try and squash anger or sadness in our children, it is better to teach them that all emotions are OK, and help them learn to be resourceful in dealing with whatever they are feeling.

Happy parenting.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

How to Teach Your Child to Concentrate

Hopefully all the kids are settled back into a good school time routine now - and sleeping normal hours!

To help your children get ahead with their academic endeavors, it is a good idea to focus on helping them learn soft skills that aren't usually taught at school, but can help them to be successful and productive in all their subjects.

Concentration is a very important soft skill, if you would like some tips, check out our article on How to teach your child to concentrate.

Happy parenting,


Monday, October 08, 2007

Kids Jokes - laughter is the best medicine!

Kids usually have a great sense of humor. I love watching a small child hear a tired old joke and crack up in peals of laughter. It reminds me how new and exciting life can seem when you are very young!

For jokes to entertain your kids, check out our selection at

Happy laughing with your kids!


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Children, cooking, and taste buds

When I was little I loved Farleys rusks. Not sure if you get them in the States but here in England they are a popular biscuit for babies and toddlers. Soaked in milk they go all mushy, or eaten dry as a biscuit they are a great finger food.

Farleys have this delicious, slightly sweetened, cereally taste that I remembered vividly. Image my disappointment years later when I ate one and it tasted of - nothing!

I had not realized until that moment how much our tastebuds change with age. A baby's taste buds are much more sensitive than an adults. So introduce strongly-flavored foods with caution and respect your child's tastes if they are overwhelmed by strong foods.

Introduce new flavor gradually and encourage your child to try new things without being afraid that he will be forced to eat large quantities of something that is unpalatable for him!

For fun and easy ideas with your kids in the kitchen, check out cooking with your child.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Goal setting and getting outside comfort zones

"Every speaker has a mouth;
An arrangement rather neat.
Sometimes it's filled with wisdom.
Sometimes it's filled with feet."

-- Robert Orben

Speaking is such a valuable skill that it is a great thing to encourage our children to learn at a young age. Here are some other ideas for helping your kids to grow outside of their comfort zone:

Friday, October 05, 2007

Positive parenting - positive talk

For positive parenting, the words we use with our children play a big part in shaping their attitudes, their thoughts and their lives.

Children are so vulnerable that even without realizing it we can damage them by using negative words and phrases.

It's easy to fall into the habit of using a really negative word when a gentler alternative is possible.

Here are some ideas to help you use positive talk with your children: Positive Parenting Talk

Happy parenting,


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hobbies for kids

My friend was telling me yesterday about his teenage nephew Louis, who is applying for a scholarship to help him study golf at university. Louis is very passionate and excited about golf and has been for years. But if your child has not yet found his passion, helping your kid find a hobby he can really enjoy and be passionate about can be a fulfilling challenge for any parent. The temptation to live through our children can at times be overwhelming, especially if our own childhoods were unhappy or deprived in some way. So the first thing we should remember to do when we are thinking about helping our kids find their passion / hobby is that we need to be enjoying a fulfilling life ourselves. If this is difficult (believe me you would not be alone!) then it is as well to bear in mind this thought: “How could you know what your kids might have become, if you keep trying to live through them?”

For tips on helping your child find and enjoy a hobby, check out this parenting article:

A hobby for your kid

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Wisdom of the Elderly

Lately I have been using public transit and have found it to be very relaxing. I can sit back and sip my coffee and let someone else do the driving. Not to mention I am doing my part for the environment. It seems like a lot of people in their golden years are also using this means of transportation and more times than not I am lucky enough to be privy to their conversation as they wait patiently for the bus to arrive. Today a lovely elderly woman was telling us all about the close call she had when she was on a trip with her husband. She had nodded off and unbeknownst to her, while she was off in dreamland her husband fell asleep at the wheel. She said for some reason she awoke with a start and to her horror she was looking head on at the grill of a semi. She reacted quickly and grabbed the steering wheel and turned it sharply to the right and the car went into the ditch causing her husband to wake up and hit the brakes hard. She finished the story by saying she knows without a doubt that it was her Guardian Angel that saved them that day.

The elderly have many such stories to tell. They have lived longer than a lot of us and have experienced so much that we could all benefit from their wisdom. If your kids are not lucky enough to have Grandparents they can get the same benefit by having you take them to a retirement complex. Many of the residents are really lonely and would love to have a child visit them. You could even start an adopt a Grandparent program and get other kids in the neighbourhood involved. Children need to spend time with the older generation to learn how things used to be. They will benefit greatly from listening to the elderly share their experiences and your kids might just make an elderly persons day, especially when it is during the holiday season which can be a very depressing time for these wonderful people.

Happy Parenting


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Loving Discipline

The goal of loving discipline is to have your child behave because he wants to behave, not because he is afraid of you. For discipline to be effective, you need to have the right blend of predictability and flexibility.

There is no quick and easy solution to the discipline issue. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of love. Don't expect either yourself or your child to be perfect. All the different childhood stages mean that some of the behaviors that emerge will be somewhat inconvenient for you! Our tip is to commit to positive, loving discipline, expect yourself to be a good enough parent and expect your child to be a good enough child – no one is perfect.

For some help, check out our article on loving, effective discipline

Happy parenting,


Monday, October 01, 2007

Bullying at School

With school back in full swing, and particularly for children at school for their first year, all parents should keep an eye and ear out to reassure themselves that their kids' social life at school is going OK. Social skills are not a given, and bullying is sadly very common.

Children do not usually tell their parents when they are being bullied. Usually it is because they are embarrassed or scared because of threats from the bully that they will suffer the consequences if they tell anyone. If your child tells you he is being bullied it is very important that you take him seriously.

Check out Monicka's article on how to help your child if he is being bullied.

Happy parenting,