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Parents and Children - Who is Raising Who?

By Sally Collings - 2nd May 2011

My six-year-old daughter has decided that she is going to be a builder. I’m over the moon. She is very logical, she loves constructing things – we have a large collection of artifacts made of boxes and masking tape to prove it – and I can tell you that she 'don’t take no nonsense from no one'. I’d get her to build my house any day. I suspect that we all have a secret (or not so secret) wish list for our children. Maybe you want yours to be strong, or resilient, or kind, or loving, or successful – or all of the above.

Christmas and Families - What if You're Just Not Into It?

By Sally Collings - 13th December 2010

You might have noticed a few changes around your local area. Shopping centres draped in tinsel, supermarket aisles crammed with chocolate Santas, carols being sung in the park, the odd school concert featuring songs about reindeer … ringing any bells? ... Forget about whether your kids believe in Santa Claus. What about parents who are just not that into Christmas?

Parents - Are You Being Short Changed by 'Me Time' Myth?

By Sally Collings - 8th November 2010

Time – especially time by myself – is my passport to reclaiming some energy, clarity and sanity. I suspect I’m a bit of an introvert by nature: I enjoy being with friends and family, but I recharge my batteries best in solitude...How’s this for a radical idea, though: maybe we are ripping ourselves off with the whole idea of ‘me time’. Maybe it’s a construct of our Western mindset...

So Many Bad Mothers Out There - Join The Club

By Sally Collings - 14th October 2010

Have you noticed how many bad mothers there are in the world? There must be lots, because there are special clubs for them all over the place. Just do an internet search for ‘bad mothers club’ and you’ll see what I mean. Most of these groups and their websites are an expression of solidarity amongst mothers who feel overwhelmed by the endless criticism that they experience as they go about their parenting business.

Quiet Time with Children - A Parent's Piece of Peace

By Sally Collings - 14th September 2010

Silence is a distant memory for most parents. Our air is full of squeals, giggles, screams, shouts, electronic game noise, keyboards. There’s not much space for silence in between it all. Even when the kids are at school, the noise goes on. I work from a home office and there is almost always someone in the house other than me.

Parents' Time Out - The Absent (Minded) Parent

By Sally Collings - 9th August 2010

My mate Karen has a picture in her mind. She sees herself sitting on her best friend's back verandah, surrounded by good friends, drinking wine, listening to music, and talking the night away. Karen gets her energy from being with other people; she loves companionship and conversation, but with three kids under the age of six, she doesn't often get to just hang with her mates.

True Beauty

By Sally Collings - 12th July 2010

This year, the theme for our primary school disco was ‘Beauty and the Geek’. Her father took our eldest daughter along to the disco, so it was only later that I heard from the other mums about some of the remarkable versions of beauty that were on display there. We are so used to thinking of beauty as external perfection: the spectacular, the outstanding, the flawless. There is another way of seeing beauty, though.

Scare Tactics - When a Child Doesn't Want to Go to School

By Sally Collings - 7th June 2010

Ten minutes before we’re due to leave for school, my seven-year-old tells me, ‘I’ve got a sore tummy. I feel sick.’ Just a minute earlier she was running up and down the hallway with her little sister, giggling fit to bust. Now she’s clutching her belly and looking pale.