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Blog Posts

How to Get Published in the New York Times

By - 01/07/2011 - 15:50

Kirsty Rice is a mother of four children living in Qatar. Born in Australia, as an adult she has lived in Libya, Indonesia, Malaysia, Canada and Qatar. So many stories to tell! This one is about how to get published in the New York Times by breaking a bone, and life as a parent and resident in Qatar. Yvette Vignando interviewed Kirsty in a Balmain park, using a tree, as you do. Read full post

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Letter Reassures me I'm Doing Okay as a Mother

By - 04/07/2011 - 10:39

This parenting business can make you feel all manner of insecure. I worry about my kids being safe, about them being healthy, having friends at school and trying to do their best in class. I get worried when the boys fight and squabble, and I used to often wonder, “Is this normal?” ... But this week, an unexpected and wonderful thing happened. So wonderful I even had a little cry. Read full post

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Non Violent Playstation Games for Teens. Where are they?

By - 04/07/2011 - 15:12

Who else has this problem? This one always comes to a head in our house during the school holidays. Where are the entertaining and challenging and fun Playstation Games for teenage boys? I confess I have not done thorough research on this topic but having two teen boys in our house means that this question is frequently raised. Perhaps more than some parents, I am very careful about what I allow our teenage boys to play online or on the Playstation. Read full post

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What Are You Doing? Autism Awareness Film for School Children

By - 05/07/2011 - 12:27

What Are You Doing? is a short film, created by Autism Awareness, which aims to teach school aged children about acceptance and understanding of their peers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The film addresses some of the fears children may have about ASD, answers their questions and helps show them how they can be a great friend to a classmate on the autism spectrum. IThe film will be screened at primary schools across Australia later this year. View trailer. Read full post

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Losing a Much Loved Pet - a Lesson in Love for Children

By - 06/07/2011 - 17:06

Our children have always grown up with pets of some description ... Our longest survivor and most beloved pet was Loki, the Bernese Mountain Dog. Riddled with anxiety about storms, fireworks, water, feathers and tradespeople, she ruled our lives and loved us with joyous enthusiasm. It was with great sadness, (and some poignant relief because we’re about to renovate and the tradesman thing was going to be tricky) that we realised she was dying. Read full post

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Call me a Prude? But I Feel Enraged, Perplexed and Powerless.

By - 08/07/2011 - 09:34

I recently took my children to a film at a mainstream cinema complex. And while the content of the film made us laugh and even warmed the heart a little, the walk through the lobby left me feeling enraged, perplexed and powerless. Call me a prude, but I don’t think that my children need to be assaulted by R-rated imagery, including equipment, on their way to a G-rated film. That imagery was not of a s*xual nature, and if it had been it would never have been allowed within the sight line of a group of children under the age of twelve, or even eighteen. Instead, the imagery was uncensored unadulterated violence. Read full post

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What Happened to Just ‘Muddling Through' as a Parent?

By - 11/07/2011 - 14:59

These days there is so much advice available to parents, it can be hard to know where to start. It’s good to have help available 24/7, but can all this information create a feeling of overload? Would we be better off ignoring the ‘experts’ with their conflicting opinions and just relying on good old-fashioned commonsense and gut instinct to help us navigate our parenting journey? Should we just chat to our neighbour over the back fence or have a chinwag with the playgroup mums if there’s a parenting issue that is troubling us? Read full post

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My Three Ringed Circus - a Whinge about Motherhood and Life

By - 12/07/2011 - 09:17

Whilst the dark side of the last year is of course important to acknowledge, it doesn’t make entertaining reading. So acknowledge it I will; yes, the last year has brought me to my knees in a way I never thought possible. It has strained my relationship in a way I never thought possible. It broke my heart into a million un-fixable pieces watching my little boy stare as we held the offending sisters in our arms - confused, hurt and utterly betrayed by not only one parent but two. There were not enough arms to go around. But heal we have, and I have learnt a few lessons. Read full post

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Morbidly Obese Children - Should Community Services Intervene?

By - 14/07/2011 - 10:08

Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard-affiliated Children's Hospital Boston, contributed to an article in the American Medical Association Journal calling for consideration of protecting morbidly obese children in extreme cases by temporarily removing them from their parents. One of the arguments is that this would be better than risks associated with bariatric surgery for example. Discussion on Sunrise Channel 7 with Yvette Vignando about the Australian situation. Read full post

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Want Less - Freedom for Children and Parents

By - 15/07/2011 - 15:11

I went to the supermarket the other week with two kids in tow. Mostly I try to do the grocery shopping by myself. Not just because I don’t want to manage toilet breaks, hunger pangs and trolley rage – yes, that’s the kids I’m talking about, not me – but because I really quite enjoy supermarkets. I get a kick out of doing per-gram price comparisons, and speculating whether the tin with the redder tomatoes on the label is really likely to deliver the goods. Tragic, I know. Read full post

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A Child's Question to the Prime Minister

By - 20/07/2011 - 15:42

A few years back I had the privilege of teaching a literacy class in front of Mr John Prescott, the Acting Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. I was co-ordinating the running of a summer literacy camp for children who were deemed as 'struggling'. Having the camp swarming with various staff from Downing Street for days in advance, you can imagine what a high pressure occasion it was ... And one child asked a question I won’t ever forget the answer to ... Read full post

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Can a Children's Playground Really Be Too Safe?

By - 21/07/2011 - 12:54

Some researchers have suggested that the very safe playgrounds of today are depriving children of the opportunity to challenge themselves - they say a playground is a place where children can encounter and learn to overcome fears. Yvette Vignando debates this idea with psychologist Michael Carr Gregg on The Morning Show, Channel 7 - Michael bemoans the "woosification" of children. Read full post

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Is this Baby Asleep or Awake? We Have NO Idea!

By - 22/07/2011 - 13:45

Video - must watch. Not sure we'd like to be the parents of this baby through the night - but this is ultra cute. She's asleep, but not, and then awake laughing, but not ... Read full post

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Confessions from My Home Office - Decluttering and Laughing

By - 22/07/2011 - 14:14

I work from home most of the time, in a reasonably sized home office. We have three kids and I get very very busy - so busy that I tend to dump things in piles and then occasionally get back to the piles for a cleanout. I bet most people who work from home have a similar challenge - and eventually it all gets too much. Well, I solved my problem with quite a few hours of work and a lot of fun with Sarah Cottman from Heavenly Order. Read full post

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Are We Having Fun Yet? Outings with Children.

By - 25/07/2011 - 22:16

Ever planned a fun day out with the children and then had your plans go out the window? I can think of two recent examples not quite meeting the idyllic family outing I had in mind. In hindsight, I am laughing and I’m still glad we forged ahead despite whingeing and helpful critiquing from the teenagers in the back of the car. We have three boys, now aged 15,13 and 9 - so you can probably imagine it’s a challenge to plan a family outing that meets everyone’s taste and criteria. Read full post

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Children of Single Parents - They Hear More than One Voice

By - 27/07/2011 - 14:24

The other day, I was checkin’ the Tweets, gettin’ all social-media-esque and stuff, when I came upon a Tweet that brought me up short. For my in-the-flesh friends, I can already hear your comments: “Brought you up short? That wouldn’t be too difficult!” The Tweet that halted me stated: “One of the blessings for children with two parents is learning that life has more than one voice." This seems innocuous enough, right? Fair statement, sweet reflection. Still… having been the child of a single mother Read full post

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An Expat Life as a Mother - from Libya to Qatar

By - 31/07/2011 - 16:48

Kirsty Rice is a writer and mother who also writes the popular blog 4 Kids, 20 Suitcases and a Beagle. She lives with her husband and children in Dohar,Qatar. Yvette Vignando interviewed her about living overseas with children and the highs and lows of expat parenting. Read full post

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