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Latest Blog Posts

Violent Toys for Kids - Surely There are Boundaries?

By Yvette Vignando - 12/02/2013 - 15:57

This was one of those segments where I was genuinely shocked - a toy maker selling a toy for a young child to "play" at robbing a bank. MSN reports "The toy features a bank manager, armed shooter, gold bars and a cash machine. In case kids can’t envision how to use the pieces, photos accompanying the set show the robber pointing a gun at the manager and forcing a blonde woman to empty the machine. Way to get those young, creative minds flowing." Read full post

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You’re Only Ever as Happy as Your Unhappiest Child

By Kylie Ladd - 11/02/2013 - 11:06

Last year, my twelve year old son went through a tough time at school. It happened in grade six, his final year at the tiny local primary he’d attended ever since he started prep… attended, that is, until we pulled him out in grade five, when our family decided to spend a year living in the north of Australia. Up until this time Declan had loved school, and was close to pretty much all the nine other boys in his year level, with whom he’d always shared a class...When we left everything was perfect, but when we returned everything had changed. Read full post

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Inspiration - a Teacher's Belief Helps an Angry Child

By - 11/02/2013 - 09:44

I had just one year of teaching under my belt and was taking classes towards my master’s degree in special education. Though barely qualified to teach students with challenging behaviour disorders, I quickly assessed that academic training wasn’t going to make me a successful teacher...Vince’s mother repeated the words that seemed incomprehensible, unbearable, and repulsive to my ears.Vince killed his kitten that afternoon. Read full post

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Why Do You Need to Know if My Child is Gay?

By Yvette Vignando - 30/01/2013 - 12:06

When one of our children was little (maybe three or four years old) a friend asked me if I thought he was gay. I was taken aback by the question, mainly because I hadn't even begun to think about my child's sexuality and I wondered why my friend had. And I was slightly put out. I was reminded of that feeling this weekend when a friend related the frustration of another parent at being constantly asked if her teenage son was gay. Part of me thought - why, would she be embarrassed if he was? - but I could relate to a vague feeling of intrusion. Read full post

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Reporting on Gun Crimes? Leave Autism Out of It

By Benison O'Reilly - 25/01/2013 - 13:51

I have an 11-year-old son with autism. His lack of social understanding means he can occasionally be insensitive; he embarrassed me the other day by loudly pointing out the “fat lady” at the supermarket. He’s also the sweetest kid in the world. For no particular reason he will hug me and say, I love you.” Our son is socially naive, a babe in the wood; much more likely to experience hurt than to hurt others. When the dreadful news of the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, came through I crossed my fingers and hoped the words ‘autistic’ or ‘Asperger’s’ would not enter the equation, as they had after the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings. Read full post

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Bernard Gaynor Wouldn't Let a Gay Person Teach His Kids and He's Not Afraid to Say It

By Yvette Vignando - 24/01/2013 - 14:10

And he is right about the fear factor- there is nothing much to be afraid of – it’s generally safe and in most cases legal to express your views in Australia, no matter how offensive they are to other people...However, I would be afraid and ashamed to live in a country where most people were not offended by Ms Corbett’s equating the protection and granting of rights to gay and lesbian people with granting rights to paedophiles. Read full post

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I Don't Think Children Should be Tagged

By - 20/12/2012 - 14:00

It can be scary watching your children grow up. Not needing you so much in one way but then needing you more in another. It can also be hard to get the balance right. For example your child wants to do more sleepovers or they want to have the freedom to walk to their friend’s house and then perhaps go onto another friend’s to hang out there. We want to control their movements, to be safe and more importantly, we want them to be where they say they are going to be and be home on time. And we want to drop them places and pick them up at agreed times but often it's not what they want us to do. They want to be responsible and they want to be trusted so do we let them? Read full post

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Helicopter Parenting - Why Is It Still the Mother's Fault?

By - 14/12/2012 - 09:43

I live in a small town way out in the country where – it’s true – debates about helicopter parenting are pretty rare. Here packs of sunburned kids ride helmetless around our winding roads, the wind blowing through their sweaty hair, the sun reflecting off their freckled faces...When Catherine Deveny decries helicopter parents and all their associated neuroses, she avoids the very persistent reality for many mothers: that of an oppressive sense of responsibility. Read full post

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