Tag Archives: teenager

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?

 

The Letter Your Teenager Can’t Write You

My two are not yet teens. They may act like teenagers on occasion, but they are only 2 and 4… I have the terrible two’s and the fournaudo…. 😉 love them dearly and would not change them for the world 🌎 but they do sometimes test boundaries. As do most kids.

I have many friends and also family members with teenagers and pre teens. This is such a lovely write up that is an insight as to how they may be feeling.

Teenage years can be tough. For both parents and the children. There is a lot of discovery happening of emotions, feelings, personal growth etc.

Luca Lavigne wrote a beautiful post not so long ago about his feeling through his teenage years. Well worth the read. As is the below.

June 23, 2015
The Letter Your Teenager Can’t Write You

Gretchen Schmelzer

Dear Parent:

This is the letter I wish I could write.

This fight we are in right now. I need it. I need this fight. I can’t tell you this because I don’t have the language for it and it wouldn’t make sense anyway. But I need this fight. Badly. I need to hate you right now and I need you to survive it. I need you to survive my hating you and you hating me. I need this fight even though I hate it too. It doesn’t matter what this fight is even about: curfew, homework, laundry, my messy room, going out, staying in, leaving, not leaving, boyfriend, girlfriend, no friends, bad friends. It doesn’t matter. I need to fight you on it and I need you to fight me back.

I desperately need you to hold the other end of the rope. To hang on tightly while I thrash on the other end—while I find the handholds and footholds in this new world I feel like I am in. I used to know who I was, who you were, who we were. But right now I don’t. Right now I am looking for my edges and I can sometimes only find them when I am pulling on you. When I push everything I used to know to its edge. Then I feel like I exist and for a minute I can breathe. I know you long for the sweeter kid that I was. I know this because I long for that kid too, and some of that longing is what is so painful for me right now.

I need this fight and I need to see that no matter how bad or big my feelings are—they won’t destroy you or me. I need you to love me even at my worst, even when it looks like I don’t love you. I need you to love yourself and me for the both of us right now. I know it sucks to be disliked and labeled the bad guy. I feel the same way on the inside, but I need you to tolerate it and get other grownups to help you. Because I can’t right now. If you want to get all of your grown up friends together and have a ‘surviving-your-teenager-support-group-rage-fest’ that’s fine with me. Or talk about me behind my back–I don’t care. Just don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on this fight. I need it.

This is the fight that will teach me that my shadow is not bigger than my light. This is the fight that will teach me that bad feelings don’t mean the end of a relationship. This is the fight that will teach me how to listen to myself, even when it might disappoint others.

And this particular fight will end. Like any storm, it will blow over. And I will forget and you will forget. And then it will come back. And I will need you to hang on to the rope again. I will need this over and over for years.

I know there is nothing inherently satisfying in this job for you. I know I will likely never thank you for it or even acknowledge your side of it. In fact I will probably criticize you for all this hard work. It will seem like nothing you do will be enough. And yet, I am relying entirely on your ability to stay in this fight. No matter how much I argue. No matter how much I sulk. No matter how silent I get.

Please hang on to the other end of the rope. And know that you are doing the most important job that anyone could possibly be doing for me right now.

Love, Your Teenager

© 2015 Gretchen L Schmelzer Ph

Being pregnant.

Being pregnant!

So I’m 31 weeks pregnant with my little princess and the count down is on!

I’m extremely excited to meet her and give my little man a sister and my hubby a daughter. The latter is possibly not the most appealing as hubby is worried about having a little girl, mainly her teenage years and how he can contain boyfriends, cosmetics, mood swings etc….. The best is yet to come!

This pregnancy has been similar but also very different to my first. I know they say no two are the same but I thought that possibly they could be, same mum – same dad, how different can it be?

Well to start with, my first notably is a boy and I’m expecting a girl.

Secondly even though I had morning / mourning sickness with my little man it was controllable. This time round I’ve felt terrible most days as have literally vomited every day and at no particular time.

Thirdly I have grown an enormous bottom! I carried my little man mostly in the tummy, yes I was big but at least I was still wearing my normal size pants. Ok no skinny jeans but tights and pants still fitted. This time, no chance! My hips feel double the size and yes they look it also, although my tummy isn’t very big? So I guess it’s true when they say you carry boys in front and girls in the back? (Old wives tale)

Fourth is the weight gain. First time around, I put on 17.5kgs….. This pregnancy I have only gained 9kg. I get that I still have approx 8-9 weeks to go but I can’t really see my self adding another 9kgs in that time frame? Well Id be shocked if I did.

Fifth is the sleep, or lack there of. It seems I get really tired especially as I am a stay at home mummy looking after my beautiful 2 year old boy who is super active and has recently decided to reject his day sleep, so from 6:30am until 6:30pm he is a little firecracker! An absolute ball of energy! However when I try to sleep or rest I seem to get energised.

Sixth, being uncomfortable. With everything! I can’t sit comfortably as my tummy seems to be right up under my nose and literally sits on my lap. Laying down I feel like I have an anchor pulling me to the side and let’s not forget the calf muscle aches and lower back pain. Again nothing like I experienced in my first pregnancy. This one has been tough. Especially the body aches.

Seventh, food and cravings. Mmmm well I don’t really feel like eating and the slightest aroma makes me want to vomit. No particular cravings this time around but first time was all about chocolate flavoured milk and chicken sandwiches on white bread.

Eighth would be the wriggles and movement. Gosh my little guy would wriggle and move all the time, however my little miss only at night. Day time she is quite still, well at least I don’t feel her as much but rest assured, as soon as I’m resting it laying trying to sleep, she wriggles and kicks and moves. Perhaps this is the beginning of her sleeping pattern? Is she going to be a restless or sleepless child? Only time will tell.

Ninth is the funny tastes I get in my mouth, sometimes it’s a metal taste almost like I have pieces of metal in my mouth? Or it can sometimes be the taste of acid, perhaps from the vomiting. Mostly it’s a thick non hungry taste almost like ice eastern too much? Bizzar I know but hard to explain.

I know this probably isn’t painting the best picture of pregnancy but I can guarantee that I will defiantly miss being pregnant. I do love and enjoy my tummy and the movement. The bonding where only I can feel her move. The special bond that only a mother can feel as the baby is in her tummy growing. I missed it with my little man and am sure that I will miss it again.

Although it hasn’t been easy I certainly don’t regret any moment of it. I love being pregnant and knowing that I am growing a human who is so innocent inside me makes me feel blessed.

I’m very much looking forward to the next chapter in my life of being a mummy to my two beautiful children. My little man whom is my prince, my darling, my solider, my best friend, my first child, my only boy, my everything and my little princess awaiting arrival.

She will no doubt be my gorgeous little girl, my darling princess, my best friend, my youngest child, my only daughter, my everything.

One child of each sex is all I need to complete my little family. I feel blessed and fulfilled with absolute happiness and excitement.

How have your pregnancy experiences differed to either mine or with each of your children? Id love to hear your stories. Email me noordinarymummy@gmail.com

The moon effect….

The moon effect…

I was in a taxi last Saturday evening on my way home from a party, no I’m not an all night rager, it was my father in laws 70th.

The taxi ride home was an interesting one. I was super tired as we had only returned from our holiday that afternoon so was trying to stay awake in the taxi. Is been up since 5am and it was now 11pm.

Trying to stay awake I decided to make conversation with the taxi driver, who seemed pleasant, so I passed comment that the moon was low. Which it was. It looked as though it was sitting on the top of the buildings in the horizon. It was quite pretty.

To my shock the driver responded with ‘yes it’s the 3rd quarter. Almost a full moon, young girls go crazy with a full moon’. I wasn’t sure how to respond so I asked ‘why do young girls go crazy with a full moon?’. He proceeded to tell me many reasons such as it interferes with their sleeping, it heightens their emotions and it stimulates growth. I was intrigued so asked for a further explanation. His response was interesting.

According to this taxi driver, the moon is what stimulates growth not the sun. So when it’s a full moon or 3rd quarter as he called it, the ‘stimulation levels’ are high and the brightness causes the body to think it’s day light and young girls can’t sleep. Apparently it doesn’t have the same effect on boys.

I needed to know more as it to me, could be believable however I still had doubt that thus perhaps could just be a ‘good story’. With this new knowledge in hand I decided to do more research in the subject.

Whatever you believe, perhaps it’s the light shining high in the sky that makes our brain over active that causes us our own craziness?

Below is what I found.

Dr Karl
ABC Science

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/03/27/3464601.htm
The modern genre of werewolf books, TV series and movies are in complete agreement with the 1941 Hollywood classic film The Wolf Man. Yep, if you are so inclined, the full Moon will turn you into a lunatic werewolf.

Indeed, that rather antiquated word ‘lunacy’ comes from Luna, who was the Roman Goddess of the Moon. One definition of lunacy is “intermittent insanity once believed to be related to phases of the moon”.

This belief goes back a long way. The Roman scientist and military commander, Pliny the Elder, said that because the full Moon causes a very heavy nocturnal dew, it must also make the brain become “unnaturally moist”. That was how, he claimed, the Moon caused both epilepsy and lunacy. He was wrong.

Even so, the belief is still common today. One survey in the USA found that about 40 per cent of the general population, and 80 per cent of mental health professionals, believe that the phase of the Moon affects human behaviour.

And yet, 99+ per cent of the evidence says that the Moon has no effect on human behaviour.

The Moon takes just under a month to run from full (brightest), to half-full, to new (darkest), to half-full and back to full again.

But it’s the full Moon that is claimed to be related to a huge list of human misery, including accidents, alcoholism, anxiety, assaults, calls to crisis telephone numbers, casino activity, depression, domestic violence, drug overdoses and, of course, emergency-room visits.

If that’s not enough, it’s also supposedly responsible for human-made disasters, illegal drug use, kidnappings, murders, natural disasters, prison violence, psychiatric disturbance, psychiatric patient admissions, self-harm, shooting incidents, stabbings, suicides, the amount of food we eat, traffic accidents and so on.

Over the last half-century, thousands of studies have looked at the Moon’s effect upon the behaviours in my little list. Occasionally, one of these studies will show a correlation with the fullness of the Moon. But then the more thorough follow-up studies show absolutely no correlation at all.
Mind you, that’s what the scientific literature shows. That’s quite different from what will appear in your local newspaper, or on your TV. After all, the journalists have a deadline to keep, and a story to manufacture, and they won’t let the facts get in the way.

But there is a place for the lunar effect. You see, in the academic papers, the people studied are in modern societies, and have artificial light at night.
But before artificial lighting, people stayed up later on the full Moon. After all, if the full Moon is hanging in the sky, it’s 250-times brighter than if there’s no moonlight at all.

So, even today, in so-called primitive societies that don’t have artificial lighting at night, a full Moon is the occasion for a party, revelry and a general good time. The fabric of their society is organised around the full Moon. So if there are more people around, then obviously there will be more frequent mishaps.

Definitely, more people around does mean more human activity.
But in our modern technological society, does the Moon make people go mad, does it increase numbers at hospital emergency rooms or does it increase self-harm? Nope, the hard evidence says it doesn’t happen.
One theory that’s been put forward to explain this non-existent lunar-lunacy effect is that the Moon has a huge effect on the tides, which are made of water. Therefore, runs the biological-tides theory, because we are mostly water, the Moon must have an effect on us.

This so-called ‘theory’ is wrong in a few ways.

First, the Moon-tides thing happens because the oceans are large, and made of a liquid. They would still happen if the liquid was freezing liquid hydrogen, room temperature mercury, or hot liquid iron. It doesn’t have to be water.

Second, tides happen only over large expanses, not within the small dimensions of a human body.

Third, the ocean tides still happen if the Moon is full, new or half-full. The Moon still has a gravitational effect even if the Sun doesn’t fully light it up for us.
A better theory to explain it all is selective recall. It’s a busy night, and you look out the window to see that rare animal, the full Moon. You put two and two together to make five, and assume that the full Moon made your night busy.

This belief that the full Moon massively affects human behaviour is a cultural fossil. It’s a memory of the effect that we would party on a full Moon, way back when we had no artificial light.

 

Article by Jeffrey Kluger
Jeffrey Kluger is a senior editor for oversees TIME’s science and technology reporting.

Story reads:
We are all, quite literally, lunatics—and I mean that in the nicest way possible. It is the moon, after all, that is responsible for the luna part of that word—and the moon has always made us at least a little crazy. Over our long history we have been charmed by it, spooked by it, seduced by it. We kiss by the moon, go to war by the moon, we spent $25 billion—in 1960s money, no less—to go to the moon. So it’s hardly a surprise that the moon is in some very real ways inside of us all.

The human menstrual cycle is the best-known example of the way our bodies—over millions of years of evolution—have synchronized themselves to the rhythms of the moon. Less well-known is the lunar link to the electrochemistry of the brain in epileptic patients, which changes in the few days surrounding a new moon, making seizures more likely. And then there are the anecdotal accounts of the effects the moon has on sleep

People have long reported that it is harder to get to sleep and remain asleep when the moon is full, and even after a seemingly good night’s rest, there can be a faint sluggishness—a sort of full-moon hangover—that is not present on other days. If you’re sleeping on the prairie or in a settler’s cabin with no shades, the simple presence of moonlight is an inescapable explanation. But long after humans moved indoors into fully curtained and climate-controlled homes, the phenomenon has remained. What’s never been clear is whether it’s the real deal—if the moon really does mess with us–or if it’s some combination of imagination and selective reporting, with people who believe in lunar cycles seeing patterns where none exist. Now, a report in the journal Current Biology suggests that the believers have been right all along.

For a research paper that was just released today, the initial work took place an awful long time ago. In 2000, a team of investigators from the University of Basel, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Switzerland Centre for Sleep Medicine, recruited 33 volunteers and studied them in a sleep lab on and off over the course of three years. The investigators gathered a range of data—brain wave activity during sleep as measured by electroencephalograms (EEG); levels of melatonin, a sleep-related hormone; the amount of time it took subjects to fall asleep and the amount of time they spent in deep sleep; and their subjective reports of how rested they felt the next day. All of it was intended to learn more about human sleep patterns in a general way and, more specifically, how they are affected by age and gender. Only a decade later did the investigators realize that they may be able to re-crunch the data to learn about the moon.

“The aim of exploring the influence of different lunar phases on sleep regulation was never a priori hypothesized,” they wrote in a wonderfully candid passage in their paper. “We just thought of it after a drink in a local bar one evening at full moon.”

Thus should all great science be done, since as it turned out, the second look revealed intriguing patterns. On average, the subjects in the study took five minutes longer to fall asleep on the three or four nights surrounding a full moon and they slept for 20 fewer minutes. In addition, EEG activity related to deep sleep fell 30%, melatonin levels were lower and the subjects reported feeling less refreshed the next day than on other days. The subjects slept in a completely darkened lab with no sight of the moon, and none of them—at least from what was known—appeared to have given any thought at all to lunar cycles. And since the moon was not an experimental variable in the original study, it was never mentioned either to the subjects or even among the investigators.

In terms of scientific reliability, all of this is both good and not so good. A study can’t get more effectively double-blind than if no one is even thinking about the thing you wind up testing for, which makes the findings uniquely objective. On the other hand, the ideal moon study would have been carefully set up to give equal weight to every night in the lunar cycle. This study—while capturing most of the nights in the month—did so in a less rigorous way.

“The a posteriori analysis is a strength and a weakness,” concedes lead author Christian Cajochen, head of the University of Basel’s Centre for Chronobiology, in an e-mail to TIME. “The strength is that investigators and subject expectations are not likely to influence the results, yet the weakness is that each subject was not studied across all lunar phases.”

Even if the moon has as significant an effect on sleep as the study suggests, what’s less clear is the mechanism behind it. Dark labs eliminate the variable of light, so that can’t be it. And before you ask, no, it’s not gravity either. The authors stress that while lunar gravity does indeed raise tides in the oceans, it doesn’t on lakes and even many seas. Those bodies are simply too small to feel the effects—to say nothing of human bodies.

Rather, the answer is simply that we, like every other species on Earth, evolved on a particular planet with a particular set of astronomical cycles—day and night, full moons and less full—and our circadian systems adapted. It’s hard to say where the internal clock is in, say, a flowering plant, but in humans, it’s likely in the suprachiasmatic nuclei, a tiny region of the brain near the optic nerve involved in the production of melatonin, certain neurotransmitters and other time-keeping chemicals, all in a rhythm consistent with both its terrestrial and cosmic surroundings. Physically, human beings may be creatures of just this world, but our brains—and our behavior—appear to belong to two.

Other interesting articles are –

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_effect
http://m.livescience.com/7899-moon-myths-truth-lunar-effects.html
http://www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org/spiritualresearch/spiritualscience/spiritualeffectofmoon_on_man