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I'm Not Sure About Testing Student Teachers for Emotional Intelligence

By Yvette Vignando - 13th March 2013

I'm very happy and optimistic about some of the changes the Federal government is proposing to teacher training. Teachers should, I believe, be more highly trained, paid and respected in our society - along with the medical profession, they are pretty much the linchpin of a successful society...If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I believe emotional intelligence education is important. So why would I baulk at the suggestion that new Australian teachers are to be tested for emotional intelligence?

Do Children Know that Seeking Asylum in Australia is Legal?

By Yvette Vignando - 1st March 2013

This is a story about reading aloud to our 11 year old. I guess it's also a story reflecting my family's history; I'm acutely aware from my Nana's stories, of the terror of escaping from a country in which you are persecuted. And it's a story about helping children digest media...Last week, I was reading this beautifully illustrated book to our Mr 11

Sticks and Stones do Hurt - To This Day Video

By Yvette Vignando - 27th February 2013

This video is poetry, art, music - a performance piece powerfully demonstrating the lasting effects of bullying on a child. Take the time ... think what actions you can take ... to reduce bullying, to support children, and to just be there for the kids that need you.

Here's a Downside of Honesty with Children

By Yvette Vignando - 25th February 2013

...Reading new research results from the University of Illinois about the downside of parents honestly revealing their experiences with drugs and alcohol made me realise that my views on honesty and openness come with ... qualification...Results of the new study involving over 550 young teens indicated that children whose parents had shared details of their own drinking, smoking and marijuana use were less likely to think drugs were bad.

Violent Toys for Kids - Surely There are Boundaries?

By Yvette Vignando - 12th February 2013

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."

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

By Yvette Vignando - 30th January 2013

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.

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

By Yvette Vignando - 24th January 2013

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.

Talking to Children about the Royal Prank

By Yvette Vignando - 10th December 2012

This morning, two things are on my mind: the mental health of the two young radio hosts at the centre of the prank; and how children are digesting and understanding the Royal Prank news story...how have your children reacted to the news? Has it prompted you to talk about suicide with your children? Or have you had conversations about culpability? Or the role of the international media in the Royal Prank? Or ethics?

Will Our Kids Be Better 'Technology Parents'?

By Yvette Vignando - 28th November 2012

So this morning I saw the headline “Our web-addict kids miss out on meals and sleep”.And I thought, somewhat judgementally - surely their parents can do something about that? And at the same time I acknowledged, from my own personal experience, how hard it is to get teens to stop using a computer and do something else.

Children Have Rights – Why Does that Make Some People Angry?

By Yvette Vignando - 21st November 2012

When someone publishes a piece in mainstream media using the term ‘children’s rights’ or something similar, there’s often a stream of angry and defensive comments from adults who flip the argument to questions like “what about the rights of parents?” – usually those comments also express annoyance at the focus on a child’s rights...My question is – what are adults scared of? Why does the term “children’s rights” make some adults uncomfortable?