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Opening the Conversation - Smacking and the Rights of a Child

By Yvette Vignando - 15th May 2012

Can there ever be enough articles about The Slap, or The Smack? Channel 9 show 60 Minutes re-ignited an ongoing conversation adults are having in Australia about whether it is okay to use corporal punishment with children. And today on Channel 9 show Mornings, I was asked about smacking ...I think it is topical given that the Australian government has announced its intention to create an Australian Children’s Commissioner whose important role will include the consultation of children about their human rights and other issues affecting their wellbeing in Australia.

Little Girl Tells Marketers - Girls like Superheroes Too

By Yvette Vignando - 10th May 2012

I had to share this from a friend's Facebook share: a little girl called Riley passionately complains about how marketers try to "trick" children - she asks why everything is pink for girls - why boys get all the superheroes? Good questions Riley! One minute video.

Do You Know Your Neighbour's Name?

By Yvette Vignando - 17th April 2012

Scanning the news this morning I came across a very sad article about a 36 year old single mum who suddenly died during an epileptic seizure in Wagga Wagga, leaving her two year old daughter alone in the house. Miraculously, the two year old survived for about five days until a church pastor decided to check on the small family and found the daughter near to death herself. ...Sometimes life throws you a clue to make a change.

Video on Racism in Young Children - Implicit Bias

By Yvette Vignando - 12th April 2012

Watch this ten minute video for an eye-opening insight into what is called "implicit" racial bias in children - filmed in the United States, it indicated that 70% of the 'white' children automatically took a negative and racially biased point of view of typical playground situations, and more than 30% of 'black' or 'coloured' children did the same. Is this the same in Australia and New Zealand and are parents to blame for this?

Tips for Blended Families - Five Big Ideas

By Yvette Vignando - 12th April 2012

Blended families are very common in Australia - estimated at over 10.5% of couple families with children. The good news is that after the initial challenges of combining two families, there is a very good chance that a blended family will succeed. In this video and article five big ideas are briefly discussed to give families a starting point for success.

Banning the Mummy Mafia and their Squealing Children

By Yvette Vignando - 26th March 2012

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.

Early Intervention Funding for Children with Autism

By Yvette Vignando - 21st March 2012

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?

A School Based on Kindness

By Yvette Vignando - 21st March 2012

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?

Raising Boys vs Raising Girls

By Yvette Vignando - 21st March 2012

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?

Harvard Professor Talks Sleep Deficit and School Start Times

By Yvette Vignando - 15th March 2012

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.