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Blog Posts

Five Years Jail Term for Seeking a Better Education for Your Child?

By - 01/03/2012 - 13:01

I thought I’d misunderstood the headline: Homeless Mom Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for “Stealing” Son’s Education. How do you steal someone’s education? Did this mother forge her name on to her son’s graduation certificate, or masquerade as him during his University biology class? No – U.S. mother, Tanya McDowell, simply placed her five year old son in a school district in the United States in which she did not have permanent residence. When I investigated further, I found that the headline was not entirely accurate: McDowell was actually issued with a twelve year sentence, suspended after she serves the first five years. Read full post

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Not Crushing the Dreams of My Young Video Game Creator

By - 05/03/2012 - 12:32

For a couple of months last year my then 8 year old son had an obsession with inventing a new video game. He expected to be able to dictate to me over my shoulder for a few hours on our home computer and ‘voila!’ - we would have a brand new highly-functioning, multi-level, multi-platform video game to distribute to the market at large. Then he wanted to be entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest child to create a video game. Read full post

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Starting Primary School can be an Emotional Rollercoaster

By - 06/03/2012 - 11:39

It’s several weeks into the primary school year and my five-year-old son is experiencing his share of ups and downs adjusting to life at ‘big school’. The highs (for both of us) include waving me happily off each morning, and the beautiful hug he gives his sister every afternoon on their reunion at the school gates ... But then there are the difficult moments. Such a big life change has also come with its fair share of big emotions for my sensitive boy. After trying so hard to concentrate and control his impulses all day, those emotions often came home looking for an outlet. Any small thing has the potential to set him off ... Read full post

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Finding Friends Can Sometimes Mean Losing Friends

By - 07/03/2012 - 13:20

Are there any kids at your school that you’re glad your own children aren’t friends with? Do you keep an eagle-eye on the friends your child does make and, well, judge the friend just a little bit? Carol Duncan reminds her boys how to make, keep, and sometimes let go of, friends. Read full post

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Compulsory Viewing Stop Kony - Horrific Abuse of Children

By - 07/03/2012 - 20:17

You absolutely must stop for half an hour and watch this movie - after watching, I am sure you will want to take some action. If you care for children, for humanity, please take some time this week and educate yourself about the atrocities being committed against children, formerly in Uganda, and possibly in other areas in Africa. Jason Russell, father of young son Gavin, who also stars in this video, has created an extraordinary film about a man called Joseph Kony, a criminal - the film is called: Kony 2012. It is by Invisible Children. Also read the debate about the film. Read full post

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Parenting Trap. Does Your Child's Past Behaviour Predict Future Behaviour?

By - 13/03/2012 - 12:03

You may have heard of the phrase “past behaviour predicts future behaviour” - it’s often referred to in the context of job interviews, or in guessing how customers are likely to behave in response to a marketing idea. But do we use this assumption too much when we are parenting or teaching our children? What do you think? I have no basis for asking this question other than my own experience as a parent – and I think I have made this mistake many times. You know … you assume your son or daughter or your student will like or not like something, or will behave or react in a certain way … because that’s how they reacted last time? Read full post

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Harvard Professor Talks Sleep Deficit and School Start Times

By - 15/03/2012 - 19:07

This is an excerpt from a longer public forum on sleep deficit and health. Professor of Sleep Medicine, Susan Redline M/D. discusses school start times and whether schools should start later. Do current school start times force children to go to school at times when, according to their natural, biological rhythms, they should be asleep? Dr Redline says this problem leads to mood problems and poorer academic performance. Read full post

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Quick, the Queen is Coming!

By - 16/03/2012 - 13:21

I do believe I’ve cracked the ‘kids and chores’ code. This week, we played a game that I made up (as you’d be able to tell) called ‘Quick! The Queen is coming!' Here’s how it goes ... Read full post

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Raising Boys vs Raising Girls

By - 21/03/2012 - 11:43

The segment on Mornings on Channel 9 raised the question - do we parent boys differently to the way we parent girls? Are there fundamental differences in boys and girls which mean it is easier to parent boys or girls? Do we need to be careful not to be influenced by our children's gender when we're communicating with them? Read full post

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A School Based on Kindness

By - 21/03/2012 - 13:01

In this four minute video, watch what happens everyday in a school in Seattle dubbed The Kindness School. Students start each day talking about something they appreciate. Kindness activities and community interactions are everyday business. Academic classes are not essential. Can traditional schools learn anything from this approach? Read full post

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Early Intervention Funding for Children with Autism

By - 21/03/2012 - 13:57

This segment on Mornings on Channel 9 discusses the benefits of accessing early intervention for children with autism. The recommended minimum number of hours for early intervention is 20 per week but Australian government funding does not cover these significant costs. What can families do? Read full post

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Banning the Mummy Mafia and their Squealing Children

By - 26/03/2012 - 14:25

In an article in the Sydney Morning Herald called Leave Home Without Them, Fenella Souter enters the debate on whether restaurant and café owners should be allowed to ban children from their premises. But rather than discussing the pros and cons of this emotive area, Souter employs a sarcastic and superior tone to ascribe feelings of “parental entitlement” to mothers during their so-called “mandatory public sharing” of the “difficult years of child-rearing.” The author smirks at mums who dare to enter cafes with their young children; these mothers are part of the “mummy mafia” and are living a “sophisticated” (insert sarcasm font) and “consumerist” way of life. Read full post

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One is Enough. Yes I'm Sure

By - 27/03/2012 - 10:37

I am wearing a sign. It floats above my head like a speech bubble. It reads:I have only one child, please ask me when I am having another one...I have no desire to have any more. Whether or not you believe it, that's just how it is. Read full post

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