…and how do I turn off the button???
It’s amazing how we reject the typical daily chores, activities and daily routines and hand it over to someone else to do, like a nanny or “auntie” or helper or granny. Sure the reasons for having this wonderful helpful person in our home is because:
- We work late hours
- Im a single parent
- We are too exhausted by the time we get home to “worry” about the kids, especially after such a stressful day
- It’s too chaotic and rushed in the morning to get everyone and everything ready
- I’m going to be late for work
- I coming home too late from work
- Having breakfast and dinner together starts off and ends the day (at the table not infront of TV!) Eating at the table is learning proper social skills and table manners (bonus: a better digestion and healthier)
- Setting and clearing the table helps with learning responsibilities
- Tidying up their own rooms, making up their own beds (a little help/support is needed, of course)
- Washing or packing dishes, prepares them for the future chores
- Mowing the lawn, picking up the dog poop, racking the leaves, planting some flowers or a new tree, together (means outside bonding time in fresh air or smelly poops)
With so much information on the web, there is bound to be a time where our children accidentally come across something unsuitable for their innocent eyes and minds.
Google has now provided us with an opportunity to put more distance between the nasty stuff and the valuable information that our offspring can use.
I give you:
an internet search engine with curated content from educators, librarians and parents around the world. It’s fair to say that it seems limited to early childhood development sites, and simple english sites.
While this resource is awesome for parents and kids, there will be times when they will need to do some real-world surfing. This is where, as a parent, you need to set boundaries.
I will write about these soon and link it here.
“Mommy, what happened to my daddy, why don’t I have a dad like the other children?” asks Rachel who is four years old.
Mom freezes for a moment from the cooking she was doing and a rush of information from the past flows through her mind of the time her husband, her little girl’s father stepped out from their lives after an argument and chose to be free from the reins of family-hood.
…and begins to explain:
“Well, your father travels around the world a lot for work and one day, he will be back and bring you lots of dolls from all parts of the world.”
Off skips Rachel to her room, happily to continue to play.
Unlike other species that travel across the earth, only human beings are capable of lying.
Lying, is the act of defying what is known and understood and presenting an alternative in its place.
Without life’s experiences at hand for the child, aspects can be extremely difficult to understand, so to present a full complex explanation to a child all at once can be overwhelming therefore elementary explanations tend to be simple, concise, or simply incorrect (lying), but the attempt has been made to make it more understandable for the child and less uncomfortable for the parent, especially easier by avoiding any emotional trauma that comes with the truth. Lying prevents deeper discussions from ensuing as in the above case.
Why does a person lie?
- The person does so due to a fear that he/ she may have.
- To avoid a particular person or topic.
- To impress others or seeking attention and needing a boost in their self-esteem.
- To protect their child from certain information.
- The person who habitually lies just seeks the short-term benefits of a lie.
The outcome of a lie:
- It can bring about shame and embarrassment.
- It can destroy the trust anyone may have for someone who lies.
- And if uncorrected it can form into a habit.
- Eventually, socially, the person may experience being rejected and have difficulty forming any meaningful relationship.
- Emotionally, the person will feel a sense of loss of true-self and could lead to psychological issues or a physical dependency.
The person WILL suffer the consequences of what a lie may cause!
If a child enquires about a certain topic (be it sex, drugs, a family member, divorce, death, crime, etc…) or about something they may be experiencing in their life- BE TRUTHFUL. Too often, parents assume that they must have the answers and reactions immediately, and this misguided notion encourages conflict in the home. In fact, for parents’ benefit, it is well within your rights to tell a child that you need time to process that information with which they came forward and that a discussion will be tabled until everyone is ready or find someone that can assist you in sharing the information with the child as soon as possible.
Do not delay the discussion forever or withhold the information, as your child shall seek the information elsewhere and it will either be misguided information and the child will not rely on you for an answer in the future. Allowing the child to view you as an ally in their development is one way to hone the bonded trust between the two of you.
Be true to your children and set an example and be their compass in life in showing them the True North.
Here are a few party tips (child friendly of course).
- Start planning well in advance and send out invites a month before. Be creative and try your hand at a few simple crafty innovative inexpensive theme-related invitations (do this with your child).
- The Guest List: in preschool the child often wants the whole class, but once they reach 9 or so, they might prefer to do something special for a few close friends. If so, be sensitive about handing out invitations and talking about the party in front of others.
- Remembers Venues and Entertainers are booked up months ahead. Venues can be a great help to working moms, scout around for one that will offer the best value for money. Book for the entertainment an hour after the party has started. It gives everyone a chance to play a bit and snack and of course for any late-comers.
- Less is more: don’t book a magician, clown and jumping castle for a two-hour party. The parents and children need some time to hang out and mingle, to play freely and to eat.
- Not Too Much Sugar: keep it under control. Include savoury snacks and fruit. Mothers will thank you and the children won’t be on a sugar rush. Also ask family and friends to help out with eats by bringing a plate of snacks along with them.
- Décor: use what you have available at home. Balloons, streamers and posters will already liven up the party and not eat through your wallet.
- Presents: can sometimes be overwhelming for the child and the parent. Do a spring cleaning of your child’s room before the big day. Pass-on some things, give to charity or chuck away. If friends ask what to give as a gift, request something that you know your child will get long term use out of. If it’s pricey, a few friends can chip in. Vouchers are very popular. Try to encourage your child to receive the presents on the gift table when guests arrive and then share the opening experience in last hour of the party with the guests.
- Party Packs: are always a treat and a nice way of saying thank-you. Be creative by trying to do something related to the theme. Don’t fill the pack with sweets only, rather: a sticker sheet, a cookie cutter, a bouncy ball, a wind-up toy, marbles, a pencil and pad/notebook, a small toy insect/animal…
- A list of the best party games:
- A Craft Table
- The Sack Race
- The Three-Legged Race
- A Treasure Hunt- create clues leading children from one place to the next till the treasure. Make sure the treasure is something that can be shared out
- A Scavenger Hunt- children have to collect all the items on a list. First team to get back with all the items, wins.
- Musical chairs or pass the parcel
- Target Practice or Pin The Tail To The Donkey
- Obstacle Course
- Noise, Laughter and Fun – most importantly!
Enjoy the Fun!