Tag Archives: School

Should we ban smart devices?

What are your thoughts?

I agree, young children and teenagers alike are using their start phones much more than they possibly need too.

There is always a lot of social media involved and gaming.

I know a few ‘tweens’ and teenagers, whom have become recluse, less social, lack conversational skills and basic respect for their surroundings including other people.

Adults, I know are also prone to become ‘addicted’, for lack of a better descriptive word. They have their heads in their smart phones, checking emails, social media, gaming and having conversations via messages rather than actually interacting with others.

This starts from a very young age and can be addictive from a very young age.

For me it goes beyond and should also be monitored at home, with parents and care takers, limiting access to these devices.

These devices interfere with sleep, they interfere with social behaviours and are now having repercussions on younger generations leaving them with less ability to communicate with each other.

I know parents who allow their 5 year olds to go to bed playing games or watching a movie on their iPads.

I know teenagers who ‘snap chat’ or check social media accounts all night. Maybe they fear ‘missing out’ on a status update?

Society is fast becoming obsessed with smart devices.

What future will our children have if they are too busy watching smart devices rather than having normal conversations?

Language and Grammer are suffering with children not having confidence in speaking clearing or being confident in their ability to communicate.

Are these devices doing more harm than good?

What are you thoughts?

Ban phones from school?

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/schools-need-to-react-quickly-education-expert-urges-smartphone-ban-20180525-p4zhm4.html

School age debate.

School age debate.

I know this is a topic, often a spoken about, not always a positive topic, yet a topic that everyone seems to have an opinion on. So I thought that I would ‘chime in’ also as recently there was a ‘heated’ debate about it in the kindergarten playground.

I was faced with a confronting and unwelcome conversation last week by a woman that I don’t know. I was standing in the kindergarten playground chatting with other kindergarten mothers about nothing in particular when a mother that I had never met before starting making comments about our children.

See, we all have children who started kindergarten this year, and we also coincidentally have children that are turning 3 this year some boys, some girls. So when this woman passed comment that our ‘babies’ will also be going through school together, I said “that’s great will your daughter be going to kindergarten 2020?”. Not realising I had just unleashed her favourite topic!

She quickly responded with ‘no, my daughter is going 2021, why would you send your daughter early?, I mean sending a child too young has so many negative effects on them, why would you do that to her?”. I almost felt like I was being personally attacked, or that I was making a terrible decision and possibly ruining my dear daughters life.

I was taken aback – which rarely happens, and because of my silence, this woman thought it was her right to then lecture me on all the negative reasons as to why I should wait and send my daughter to kindergarten when she is 5 turning 6. You see, in her opinion sending my daughter 4 turning 5 in the May, is way too young and will undoubtedly end with teen pregnancy, under age drinking, lack of intelligence, slow learning, being left out of rep sporting teams, being easily influenced by others, difficulties with learning and socialising, and her extensive list went on. And on. And on. (Her words)

I was horrified at her response. I mean. This is the first time I’d ever met her. What a front she has to lecture anyone on their family decisions and what is best for someone else’s children. Too opinionated for my liking, that is for sure.

It really put me in a weird mindset, it made me question my husband and my decision and left me feeling quite angry and deflated. This was mind you, first thing in the morning so it played on my mind quite a lot that day. I spoke to a few friends throughout the day to vent and also get their opinions, of whom I value, and they, my friends much like myself, are of similar mindset with the school age decisions.

I also spoke to my little mans kindergarten teacher later that afternoon as this woman’s righteousness was confronting. I wanted to speak to a teacher who deals with children of varying ages on a daily basis and this teacher also, has over 13 years primary school teaching behind her. The kindergarten teacher is also of the same mindset as myself. That is, that each child is individual and ready at their own pace and in their own time.

I think I will have a better idea as to when we should start her in kindergarten once she starts preschool, however at the moment, my little miss who is not yet 3, knows her alphabet, can count to 20, dresses and undresses herself, copies and repeats her big brothers sight words, mock reads books, is extremely social, not shy, is really confident, will sit colour and draw by herself, can hold a pen or pencil with correct pen grip, will listen and take instruction and can sit through a whole movie, I think I will be ready but time will tell.

All kids are in my view, are individual and each to their own, however with this woman’s rant it got me thinking of all the negative effects that sending a child to school 5 turning 6 May encounter.

A few that really stand out to me are,
– Being an adult doing their HSC.
– Being 18, which is legal age to drink in Australia, which may mean the 18 year old who is still in high school, can and possibly will go out drinking. Is drinking whilst at school appropriate?
– Being older and holding a drivers license which at involve having other school children driving with them.
– Being older and influencing younger students mindsets.
– Wanting to ‘grow up’ too young.
– Will they get distracted or bored easily from being older?

Look, I get that this is a very personal topic, I think that either way, sending your child at 4 or 5, if you are raising your children in a way that you feel appropriate and comfortable with, your child will make the right decisions. They will know what is acceptable and hopefully make good decisions. It’s very individual based on each child differently.

I see valid points from both sides, however what I didn’t appreciate was being ‘force fed’ this woman’s opinion and how forthcoming she was with telling me how terrible I was as a parent for even considering sending my daughter to kindergarten at age 4 with her birthday in May.

What are your thoughts?

 

Social media.

Social media.

I was recently chatting with a friend who said she is never on social media, that she has no time to get on and browse what everybody is up to, nor does it interest her to ‘stalk’ her friends.

Now I’m the first to admit I perhaps check Instagram a little too often and although I’m not a ‘stalker’ I enjoy seeing what my friends and family are up to. I no longer live within close proximity to them and enjoy seeing their children’s photos of them changing and growing up. It somehow makes me feel like I am still part of it.

I also post quite a bit, especially photos of my 2 little ones – the absolute loves of my life and I’m extremely proud of them and bring their mummy. You can call it baby spam if you like however as I just said, I no longer live close to family or a lot of my friends so by me posting photos, they too can see my little ones growing and changing and can catch up on what we have been up to.

Now I know to some this may seem weird, or an invasion of privacy or something, however I dont post ‘nude’ or inappropriate images. I always make sure my children are clothed, as with myself and also ensure that the photos are not offensive.

What I find amusing though, is those people who ‘claim’ to never be on social media or don’t have time yet still find the time to ‘like’ a photo or pass comment in a social gathering about something that the saw on social media.

Is this a form of stalking? Secretly checking but in denial?

Is it that they think they are ‘better’ than social media?

Perhaps they don’t know how to use it properly?

Or maybe they are the type of person who is secretly bored with their own life, won’t admit it, but need to see what everyone else is doing but keep it to themselves?

It makes me question though, why are you not admitting to being on social media?

If your using it what is there to hide? So many people are on social media. Should we be embarrassed about it or are these people just pretending that their lives are so busy and fulfilled without it?

Do you use social media?

If so why type of social media do you use?

Instagram
Facebook
Twitter
Snap chat
Linked in
What’s App
Messenger
Blogs – Do you read blogs?

And the list goes on!

These are all forms of social media. In today’s society I think almost everyone has some sort of social media account right?

The world and society have so much to do with social media and its growth is only expanding. Companies advertise with social media, people communicate with social media and it’s also a way of connecting with new and old friends. Corporates also use social media to put updates out there, keep in touch with their clientele and ‘tweet’ news and events.

Why is this so bad?

Advertising on billboards and on hard copy such as newspapers, magazines and flyers can also be quite expensive. I supposed this is why most people and companies are turning to online?

Remember online dating is also social media! So many people in society these days use apps like tinder and match maker.com. Not saying this is a bad thing but what happened to actually meeting someone spontaneous at a bar or park or the gym or somewhere ‘common’?

What is now classified ‘common’?

What is now classified ‘normal’?

How do people that don’t use social media communicate?

Yes there are still some people who chat and phone each other however there are also many who rely on social media to communicate.

What did we used to do prior to social media? Actually sit, chat and enjoy each other’s company?

I’ve seen school ages children actually sitting next to each other and sending ‘snap chat’ messages or text each other. I found it weird. Maybe it’s my age? Am I no longer ‘cool’ or ‘with it’?

Social media has vast become such a huge thing within this day and age.

Do you think it’s a good thing or a hinderance?

Sibling arrival.

Sibling arrival.

So how do we cope when number 2 arrives?

My first born is my only boy and is amazing. I never thought I could love another the way that I love him. I think the first born always has you feeling like you make never have enough love to share.

For the first 2.5 years it was he and I. We did everything together and perhaps I doted on him and spoilt him. He was my first born and the love of my life. I was and still am totally besotted by him.

Then number 2 came along. My little princess. I now have 1 of each and feel so blessed. Besotted by both. Amazing how much love you can feel for your children.

However, my little guy now seems so rough and boisterous. How do I deal with this when I have a newborn to protect?

My little man doesn’t understand that newborns require mummy’s attention whilst they are awake including breast feeding. I solely breast feed.

I’ve found these first few months were hard work trying to juggle my little mans needs and feelings while I sat to breastfeed, and my newborn needed the majority of my attention. Just as she would latched on, my little guy would ask to play, and I would find myself snapping, “can you please wait!” I feel so guilty over this but she needs to feed and she certainly doesn’t understand.

He is only 2.5 years old so how does he understand?

For the most part he is amazing. I can put a movie on and he will watch whilst I feed but the past few weeks he has became very demanding of my attention and will climb all over me whilst I’m trying to breastfeed the baby.

I’ve tried a special treat of food or a box of special toys that he is only allowed to play with whilst I breastfeed but neither of these seem to work. He simply wants my attention.

I have sat him down and asked him why he does it. His response was ‘I need my mummy’. It almost broke my heart. I know he needs me and I need him but I can’t help but find myself feeling frustrated with the situation.

I’ve read various blogs and books in dealing with sibling jealousy but am finding nothing seems to work for us.

I don’t like to snap at him and I feel terrible when I do. I can’t lock myself away to feed and when the baby is asleep, he has my undecided attention. We play anything that he wants – which is mostly pirates. I’m feeling a bit lost. What else can I do?

He is only in preschool one day per week and my husband thinks he needs to go more often but again I feel guilty as I’m a stay at home mum. I feel almost like I’m palming him off when he could be home with me?

I’m also a big holder of ‘mummy guilt’ he is the last to be dropped to preschool and the first to be picked up each week, I simply miss my buddy when he is there. I do know he has a great time whilst he is there and that it’s good for him to be social with other children and in a learning environment but I do miss him.

So how do we deal with the arrival of a new sibling?

How do we teach the older child that we still love them as much as ever?

How do we manage the jealousy?

How do we protect the newborn?

How do we time manage?

I thought I had it all under control. Seemingly not. My little man is spoilt, I will and can admit that I have and do spoil him. Perhaps it’s my fault he is lashing out and misbehaving?

Is his behaviour a jealousy thing?

When the baby is asleep he has my undivided attention. We play, we read, we watch movies, we garden, we do everything together.

Why does he feel he needs to misbehave when I’m holding the baby or showing her attention?

Because he was my only child for 2.5years and I allowed him to be the centre of my universe. Perhaps this is my reward? A child who doesn’t understand ‘sharing’ as such yet?

However at 2 years old they don’t yet understand ‘sharing’. They still play side by side at school rather than interact together or shall I say ‘play together’. They are still thinking ‘singular’ and perhaps that to some extent that they are still ‘attached’ to their mother?

All these theories but which one is correct?

It’s interesting as so many people are so quick to pass comment and judge your parenting skills and or techniques.

My thoughts to those who pass comment, especially when they are strangers who don’t know you or your situation – but then does this actually matter? Is who do you think you are to pass comment and or judgment? Are your children the most well behaved in the world?

How do we feel confident in raising our children to be well adjusted, happy, caring, considerate, loving, giving, fair, successful people if we are constantly being judged in our every move?

Too quick to judge?

Too quick to judge?

I was getting my nails done the other day and had my two little ones with me. They were both in the double pram. My 3 month old fast asleep and my 2.5yo watching a movie on my iPhone. Both quiet and not disturbing anyone.

The woman sitting beside me was not impressed and passed a comment which hurt my feelings and really u feed me. Her rude comment was ‘I come to these places to be away from kids, I’d never bring mine here, they are in after school care’.

It hurt my feelings but also got me thinking.

This woman leaves her kids in after school care so that she can get her nails done? To me that’s selfish. The kids are in school for what 6 hours and she can’t get her nails done then? She has to leave them in care to get them done?

I know she didn’t work that day as I then listened to her conversation with her friend on the phone – yes she sat talking on the phone whilst getting her nails done. She said to her friend that she had caught up with ‘such and such’ for lunch.

My second thought was, my children are not bothering anyone nor disturbing? They are both being very quiet and are extremely well behaved. What is this woman’s problem? Don’t get me wrong, my 2 year old can be naughty, I’m not saying he is an angel but he was being really well behaved this day and I was most impressed with his good behaviour.

Perhaps she was having a bad day?

Now setting the record straight, it wasn’t a beauty salon as such and it certainly wasn’t anywhere fancy. It was a nail salon that specialises in quick mani pedi’s – like in and out in 30 minutes and has approx 20 chairs awaiting clients. Not a quiet sanctuary at all.

I’m usually the type of person who would quickly put this woman in her place and tell her off however the bigger person in me thought to let it slide.

I did however pass comment back to her saying ‘sorry if they are bothering you, they are being quiet and sitting in the pram not disturbing anyone.’ The manager of the salon said its ok and ease don’t feel like I need to apologies for having my children with me and said many mothers bring their children who run around the salon touching things. I was secretly hoping that this woman was listening.

I think sat through my manicure thinking many thoughts such as –

Because I’m a mother am I not supposed to take my children to a salon?

Am I not supposed to be getting a 30 minute manicure?

Am I supposed to leave my children at home?

Is it a bad thing that I have my children with me at all times and actually enjoy it?

Am I not supposed to spoilt myself?

What gives this woman the right to pass comment on someone else’s children?

Doesn’t she enjoy being around her children?

Are her children really naughty which is why she puts them in care?

And the list goes on………

Perhaps it is selfish of me to want to do something for myself?

Gosh I’m a full time mum to a beautiful yet energetic 2 year old boy and a 3 month old. They are both with me 99% of the time. Should I not be entitled to sit in a salon for 30 minutes and get a manicure?

It’s interesting as so many people are so quick to pass comment and judge your parenting skills and or techniques.

My thoughts to those who pass comment, especially when they are strangers who don’t know you or your situation – but then does this actually matter? Is who do you think you are to pass comment and or judgment? Are your children the most well behaved in the world?

How do we feel confident in raising our children to be well adjusted, happy, caring, considerate, loving, giving, fair, successful people if we are constantly being judged in our every move?

We all make mistakes right?

What is perfect parenting?

Everyone makes mistakes, as long as we learn from them who are we to judge each other.

Until we walk in others shoes we should perhaps keep our negative comments to ourselves.

Parenting is hard work and I don’t believe it’s anyone else’s right to tell another parent that their child is naughty nor should they pass comment on how to parent.

Self sufficient tweens

When should children become self sufficient?

I know many families with children and my sister has 3, friends have multiple children and other extended family have many also.

What intrigues me is, when should they become self sufficient or independent?

I know many Tweens / teens that are exceptionally independant and crave to be self sufficient. They go off after school and ‘hang out’ with their friends, on weekends they ‘hang out’ with friends and are often seeking to do things independently. BUT at what age is this acceptable and what age do kids become more independent?

From my experience it varies. It also depends on how these children have been raised and what they are taught.

My sisters children are 14, 12 and almost 9. The 2 eldest are girls and are extremely independant and self sufficient. They make their own breakfast of a morning, they make their beds every day – these beds are Alison double beds, they help with household chores without being asked too, including mowing the lawns, helping with the dishes, folding of washing and hanging out of washing. They also assist at meal times with preparation. They often go to friends for sleep overs on a weekend and movie dates (with friends) etc without adult supervision.

In my opinion I guess it’s the maturity of these children / teens / Tweens also. My sisters girls are quite mature and I guess have a sense of self satisfaction in being able to do things for themselves.

I had a friend over earlier this week also who has a 14 year old girl and also a 12 year old girl. Now they too are very self sufficient and independant. They both catch public transport to and from school and walk from the train station home. The walk is approx 15 minutes and is a very safe area but they want to walk. They want to be able to do things for themselves.

Is 12 too young to walk alone or with friends though?

I remember walking too and from school in primary school. With some friends or alone. It was a good 25-30 minute walk but I enjoyed it. It made me feel ‘grown up’ to an extent and I felt ‘cool’ being able to do that for myself.

I also know other children who are also within this age group, 13 but have no independence nor are close to being self sufficient. These Children struggle to do anything for them-selves including picking out clothes to wear. Still asking if they should wear long pants on a cold day and struggle to make themselves a sandwich. Perhaps this is their parents fault? The parents have always treated their children as babies so to speak, they have mollycoddled them and still do.

How are children supposed to be independent if not given the opportunity but also, why are some children not seeking independence? I distinctly remember wanting to go be with my friends on a weekend, or wanting to just do things for myself. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to not be home, but I wanted to be able to do things for myself.

Perhaps times have just changed and children don’t want to be self sufficient?

But then why do I know so many Tweens seeking independence?

I believe that by law children are not allowed to stay home by themselves if 11 years old or under. Which I agree with but this doesn’t include them walking 10 minutes with a group of friends to get home right?

Most parents work do how can they get picked up? Or I guess those children are in some sort of after school care?

Should children be ok to walk home alone or in a group?

I know the dangers of pedophiles etc but again, is this based on the maturity of the child?

What are your thoughts on children being self sufficient is it age appropriate or based on maturity?

Settlements and chores

Settlements and chores with marriage and divorce.

I recently read an article in Australia’s Marie Claire magazine about divorce settlements and how they are being settled.

To my shock these things are now being divided almost into a spreadsheet of what the women did around the house during the marriage and put a number on. For example, each load of washing was valued at $25.00.

After reading more into this breakdown it also detailed ‘babysitting duties’ at $25/hr, cooking at $15 per person per meal, school runs at $20/hr and so on.

So these women say have 3 children ranging from 5-15 years old and are married for 17 years and now getting settlements based on what they ‘earns’ during their marriage raising their families?

Please explain to me how this works?

I thought that being a mother was a blessing and not a job?

Why should we be paid or compensated for being given this privilege?

I understand that when we do become mothers and like myself some choose to become a stay at home mum and raise our children instead of keeping our careers and having our little ones in full time care, this is our choice. So why when things don’t go as planned are women expecting to get a lump dime pay out to compensate for loss of earnings?

The article I read had the woman seeking half her husbands superannuation, which I understand she hasn’t early any in the past however many years as she has been the home maker, but why is she entitled?

Along with half the super she is seeking the lump sum payment which looks a bit like this.

17 years
3 children
* 1 x load of washing per day @ $25 per load = $175 x 17 years = $546,976
* Baby sitting @ $25 per hour – 5 hours per day, = $125 x 5 days per week, the time she is at home alone each week day with the / her children = $625 x 15 years = $
* 6 x dinners per week @ $20 per meal for 5 people = $600 x 17 years = $
* Daily errands = $20 per hour @ 3hours per day = $60 x 7 days = $420 x 17 years = $
* Ironing @ $25 per basket x 2 baskets per week = $50 x 17 years =
* cleaning the family home @ $25 per hour x 3 days per week = $75 x 17 years = $
* Packing school lunches @ $10 per lunch, 3 x children.
10 years for the eldest @ 5 x days per week, $50 per week @ 40 weeks per year x 10 years = $20,000
5 years for the Middle child @ 5 days per week $10,000
1 year for the youngest @ 5 days per week $2,000
Total = $32,000

So this all equals $2,278.53 per week
Which equals $118,483.82 per year
Over 17 years equals $2,012,355.00

Keep in mind this doesn’t include her going for half the superannuation not half the combined assets.

Is this fair?

With the average Australian annual salary being $75,000 per annum what would you expect from your partner if you were to divorce after 17 years and raising 3 children?

Would you expect or want half his superannuation?

Would you expect a lump sum pay out similar to the above?

Who actually can afford to pay out over $2 million dollars in a divorce settlement?

Another article that I found interesting was one where the husband worked out what his wife’s annual salary should equate to if being paid on parental duties only. Surprising it’s $97,000 per annum – this is not including house hold chores.

http://www.mamamia.com.au/parenting/stay-at-home-salary/

Have you been divorced?

Do you find this fair?

Email me : noordinarymummy@gmail.com

Parmesan cookies!

Parmesan biscuits!

I made these many years ago and many many times, however have only just found the old hand written recipe. I can’t quite remember where I got the recipe but it has flour on the paper and in parts the paper has gone transparent from the melted butter. The perfect way to tell its a good recipe, it’s been used many times.

These Parmesan Cheese Biscuits are such a tasty (and yet so easy) treat to make for either a cheese platter with a bit of flair or simply to have in your pantry as snacks, or better still pop them in the school lunch box!

They are a golden and buttery, yummy cheesy parmesan biscuit that will be a hit with everyone in your family.

Ingredients

125g Soft Butter (Salted or Unsalted depending on your taste)
175g Plain Flour (White or Wholemeal depending on your preference)
100g Grated or Shaved Parmesan Cheese
Pinch Salt
Method

Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until a soft golden dough ball starts to come together. If you don’t have a food processor, you could use a hand mixer, a stand mixer or good old elbow grease and a wooden spoon.
Turn the dough onto a gently floured surface (not too much flour or your biscuits will be very dry) and knead for 2 – 3 minutes until the dough is a beautifully smooth ball.

Divide the dough ball into two equal parts and set one aside.

Form one of the dough balls into a cylinder shape – aim for very flat ends and make the cylinder as even as possible all along.

Wrap the cylinder tightly in cling wrap and pop into the fridge for at least half an hour for the dough to become firmer (the butter will harden allowing the cylinder to hold its shape better).

Repeat Step 3 with the second half of the dough.

While the dough is chilling, pre-heat your oven to 180 – 185 degrees celcius (reduce by 10 degrees if you have a fan forced oven).

Once the dough is nice and firm, remove the cling wrap and using a large knife (run it under hot water and then dry on a tea towel between cuts) cut the dough log into 1.5cm rounds.

Place each round onto a biscuit tray on sheets of baking paper.

The biscuits should not spread too much during cooking but allow a little room between each just in case.
Cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until the edges are a beautiful golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack until cool.

Serve warm or cold – on their own or with a lovely soft, gooey cheese and a fruit paste.

Or serve them alongside soup (delicious dippers) or crumble over a salad like a crouton.

Huff post – great read – toddlers who try!

I just read this article and felt the need to share it.

Its such a great read and also throws in some helpful information on getting your toddler to try more or I believe help with independence.

There is no harm in helping your child and doing things for them however I’m a big believer teaching self independence and with teaching comes knowledge and hopefully self respect and good self esteem levels.

Have a read and tell me what you think.

noordinarymummy@gmail.com
Copyright © 2014 TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. | “The Huffington Post” is a registered trademark of TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. All rights reserved
THE BLOG
Why Some Kids Try Harder and Some Kids Give Up
Tracy Cutchlow 09/16/14 07:05 PM ET
My toddler struggled to buckle the straps on her high chair. “Almost,” she muttered as she tried again and again. “Almost,” I agreed, trying not to hover. When she got it, I exclaimed, “You did it! It was hard, but you kept trying, and you did it. I’m so proud of you.

The way I praised her effort took a little effort on my part. If I hadn’t known better, I might have just said, “Clever girl!” (Or even “Here, let me help you with that.”) What’s so bad about that? Read on.

Stanford researcher Carol Dweck has been studying motivation and perseverance since the 1960s. And she found that children fall into one of two categories:

Those with a fixed mindset, who believe their successes are a result of their innate talent or smarts
Those with a growth mindset, who believe their successes are a result of their hard work
Fixed mindset: ‘If you have to work hard, you don’t have ability.’

Kids with a fixed mindset believe that you are stuck with however much intelligence you’re born with. They would agree with this statement: “If you have to work hard, you don’t have ability. If you have ability, things come naturally to you.” When they fail, these kids feel trapped. They start thinking they must not be as talented or smart as everyone’s been telling them. They avoid challenges, fearful that they won’t look smart.

Growth mindset: ‘The more you challenge yourself, the smarter you become’

Kids with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be cultivated: the more learning you do, the smarter you become. These kids understand that even geniuses must work hard. When they suffer a setback, they believe they can improve by putting in more time and effort. They value learning over looking smart. They persevere through difficult tasks.

What creates these beliefs in our kids? The type of praise we give them — even starting at age 1.

The research

In one study, Dweck gathered up fifth graders, randomly divided them in two groups, and had them work on problems from an IQ test. She then praised the first group for their intelligence:

“Wow, that’s a really good score. You must be smart at this.”

She praised the second group for their effort:

“Wow, that’s a really good score. You must have tried really hard.”

She continued to test the kids, including presenting them with a choice between a harder or easier task.

Kids praised for their effort tended to take the challenging task, knowing they could learn more. They were more likely to continue feeling motivated to learn and to retain their confidence as problems got harder.

Kids praised for their intelligence requested the easier task, knowing there was a higher chance of success. They lost their confidence as problems got harder, and they were much more likely to inflate their test scores when recounting them.

Later, Dweck and her colleagues took the study out of the lab and into the home. Every four months for two years, Stanford and University of Chicago researchers visited fifty-three families and recorded them for ninety minutes as they went about their usual routines. The children were 14 months old at the start of the study.

Researchers then calculated how often parents used each type of praise: praising effort; praising character traits; and “other praise” that has a neutral effect, like “Good!” and “Wow!”

They waited five years.

Then the researchers surveyed the children, now 7 to 8 years old, on their attitudes toward challenges and learning. Children with a growth mindset tended to be more interested in challenges. Which kids had a growth mindset? Those who had heard more process praise as toddlers.

Can you unfix a fixed mindset?

I got an email from an inner-city high school teacher. “Is it too late to learn algebra, or third-person singular conjugation, or rocket science if you didn’t [develop a growth mindset] when you were 4 years old?” she asked.

Dweck had the same question. So she took middle-schoolers and college students who had fixed mindsets. She found that the students were able to improve their grades when they were taught that the brain is like a muscle: intelligence is not fixed.

It’s not too late — not for your kids, and not for you. Salman Khan of Khan Academy is on a mission to let you know it. He created an inspiring video, based on Dweck’s work, titled “You Can Learn Anything”:
The message: The brain is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. The way you exercise your brain is by embracing challenges, practicing skills, learning new things. As Khan puts it, “the brain grows most by getting questions wrong, not right.”

Which is why, when my toddler was trying to snap her own buckle, I needed to encourage her to take on the challenge by saying, “Almost!” and “Try again” instead of “Here, let me do that for you.”

Pass it on

Sharing is caring, as they say. “If society as a whole begins to embrace the struggle of learning, there is no end to what that could mean for global human potential,” Khan writes.

So pass it on!

School Holiday Fun!

Fun for your little ones.

Which school holidays here, I often find parents, friends and children wondering what to do.

Weather they are looking for at home fun or fun away on holidays everyone seems to want to do something.

Not just school holiday periods either, I’m often asked for tips on ideas for occupying children of all ages. So here are my top few.

If you have some ideas you would like to share, please email me, I’d love to hear from you. Noordinarymummy@gmail.com

If you live in Sydney – as I do, are are happy to spend some cash.

Taronga Zoo
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
Sydney Olympic Park
Powerhouse Museum
Luna Park Sydney
I fly down under

For those wanting to save cash or simply wanting to stay home but still have fun. Yes this can be done!

Go to the library – stay for story time

Bake something, anything a cake, cookies, whatever is in your pantry

Construct something with blocks or Lego’s

Read a book

Paint with water, get old brushes and paint on either the ground or on old newspapers

Draw/Color together

Host a play date with their favorite friend

Dress Up together

Build a go kart

Go swimming (indoor or outdoor, river, beach or pool)

Have a picnic (outside or on the living room floor!)

Listen to new music together

Do karaoke, you can ever use a hair brush as your microphone

Visit a museum

Visit a Zoo

Visit a pet store

Write and mail a letter to someone special

Play a card or board game

Take a walk

Get out baby photos and talk about them

Sing Songs

Take a class together at local art center

Go roller or ice skating together

Tell stories about when your child was a baby

Hug/hold your child

Build a blanket fort over yoir lounge or dining room

Tell your child what makes them special ( to you and others)

Teach/tell your child about your job – take them to work for a day if you can

Have a scavenger hunt (indoor or outdoor)

Go to a movie together

Visit your child at school

Dig out your year book and share about your experiences

Visit a nursing home or hospital

Finger Paint

Take pictures

Visit and learn about places in your neighborhood (fire station, police station, post office, dairy, etc.)

Clean out a room together (basement, attic, garage)

Work a puzzle together

Plan a vacation together – then GO!

Build a bird house

Play a sport together

Rake leaves and play/jump in them

Visit an apple orchard / pumpkin patch or any orchard and offer your help

Plant something

Have a water fight

Play hide and seek

Collect different leaves, rocks or sticks from around your home

Have a block party – invite your neighbours over for afternoon tea or a play or a BBQ

Take a hike, go for a walk, explore your community

Make puppets and put on a show for each other – these can be made from old socks with buttons for yes and simple wool thread as a mouth

Tell stories about your childhood

Attend a local athletic event

Learn about different cultures – get on the internet or read books

Take flowers to a friend

Go for a train ride

Go horseback riding

Climb a tree

Go camping

Have a family talent show

Draw a map and have a treasure hunt

Walk/play in the rain

Talk about feelings/emotions

Paint a picture by numbers together

Go to a theater performance

Complete a DIY project together

Wash the car

Play Frisbee

Pick up litter in your community

Fly a homemade kite

Jump rope

Exercise together

Have running races around your backyard or in a local park

Discuss your child’s favourite foods and then chat about nutrition and the 4 basic food groups

Start a savings account – talk about budgeting and saving money – very beneficial for their later years

Write a story (draw illustrations together too!)

Go fishing

Visit a relative

Visit the neighbors

Go bowling

Have an at home dance party!

Play Simon Says

Have letter or color of the week and look for them together – ie green grass

Play “I Spy”

Act out a favorite story together

Play charades

Listen to music and play homemade instruments together – this can be as wild as your imagination will allow. Use old cling wrap tubes for the base of a guitar, an old tissue box for the base of guitar then draw on the strings. Don’t forget to use cotton tips or cotton balls for the tuning 😉

Start a gratitude journal with your child – they can draw what they are thankful for

Let your child pick out the menu for a meal then get them involved in helping to prepare and cook the meal

Start a collection – stamps, rocks or buttons, what is of interest

Practice/teach something (reading, tying shoes, zipping zipper, sports, rhyming, sorting, telling time)

Draw with chalk on your driveway or footpath – it washes away with either a hose down it bucket of water

Go for a bike ride

Play pretend

Make a collage out of photos and/or clippings of their favorite things

Tell jokes

Spend time simply LISTENING to them.

Make a list of things you want to do together in the future!

Other fun craft ideas can be found at-
http://www.tinyme.com/blog/10-crafty-cardboard-ideas/?utm_campaign=blog-10-cardboard-crafts&utm_medium=social&utm_source=Facebook&utm_content=photo-wall&utm_term=2014-7-10
For more ideas on what to do in Sydney, click the link below.
http://www.sydney.com/things-to-do/family-holidays/top-attractions-for-kids