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

By Catherine Sim - 6th July 2011

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.

Peacekeeping and Parenting - A Lesson from Chickens and a Dog

By Catherine Sim - 18th May 2011

I once had a dog that loved to tease my three chickens. She teased and she teased until the chickens died from that teasing. This went down in local folklore as the “Great Redmond St chook massacre of 2002”. Prior to that deadly day, there was a long and idiotic time where I, hugely pregnant with child number four, had employed a very complex routine of chickens out- dog in, dog out - chickens in ... Looking back, it was excellent preparation for having four children, some of whom also try to tease their siblings to death.

High School Choice - It's Not Actually About You

By Catherine Sim - 23rd March 2011

Many of you would have recently had the completely terrifying first day at school experience, and I'm not necessarily talking about those cute little things in their oversize uniforms, skipping off without a backward glance. No, first days at school are way more terrifying for parents ... The really big decisions came with high school ...

How Not to Freak Out When Your Child is Bleeding - a Mum's Perspective

By Catherine Sim - 13th October 2010

Having survived the school holidays, I thought it was time to put pen to paper before I have to make another trip to the doctor/dentist/hospital. When I finished high school last century, my very sensible parents encouraged me to do nursing. Many years and children later I am eternally grateful for that three year course in how-not-to-freak-out-when-someone is-bleeding…a lot.

Enid Blyton Did Not Keep Kids in Sight at All Times

By Catherine Sim - 3rd September 2010

Our house is a funny old place. One of the reasons we bought it was that it had a secret passage. This so appealed to my Enid Blyton sense of childhood that we spent a lot more money than we could comfortably afford. As we sat down to yet another dinner of spag.bol. the other night, I realised there were a couple of extra kids at the table that did not belong to me, one of whom I had never seen before.

Family Rewards for Persistence with Music Practice

By Catherine Sim - 24th August 2010

Music is a big part of life in our family. From when the children were tiny there was a often music playing in some form - either in the background, or big and loud on a Friday afternoon waiting for Dad to come home We would dance around the house to the beat of Sergio Mendes or ACDC. Eclectic tastes here, you see...They were singing “Get on down, I’m a sex machine” from a very early age. (Reading this, I find it a little disturbing.) So it’s not surprising that they now all play instruments and sing.

Do Kids Need Facilitation or Direction? Homework and Baby Echidnas

By Catherine Sim - 4th August 2010

Can’t spare much time to write today. I have four assignments due: a chapter of maths to complete, an essay on why skateboarding is not a waste of time and a novel to finish reading before Monday. Did I say I? I meant we (and not the royal one either).

Feral Family Weekend Away

By Catherine Sim - 5th June 2010

Just returned from a very convivial weekend away with a group of school families who fortunately had similar parenting methods to us. If you’ve ever been away with people who have completely different practices you’ll know what a relief it is to kick back and know no one is judging you for letting your kids run a bit wild.

Hazy Baby Days

By Catherine Sim - 1st June 2010

Now the kids are all at school it’s easy to forget what it was like to have 4 aged under 6. But watching a neighbour struggle with a couple of babies reminded me of those hazy times. Hazy because I can’t actually remember too much about them. I don’t think it’s early onset dementia (although I am having keys/wallet/glasses issues!).

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