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SusanW's Comments

Resilient mother, resilient children

21/01/2011 - 09:54

Hugs to you and your boys Carol. Your boys are lucky to have a mother who is teaching them to deal with challenges in such a positive way. I'm glad that the right people where in the right place at the right time to help you on Christmas Eve. :-)

I understand your comments about Christmas traditions as well. There are expectations from my husband's family about how we will spend our Christmas Day (and sometimes Christmas Eve and Christmas night). It is hard balancing the needs of your own family (partner, children) with the wishes of extended family. I'm still trying to work out a happy compromise.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful 2011 after your rocky end to 2010. xx

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selective high schools

02/12/2010 - 10:44

I have recently submitted the application for my oldest child (now 11 and in year 5) to sit for the entrance test for the local selective high school. I'm still not convinced it will be the best choice for him, but he asked to be allowed to take the test and I figure we aren't commiting to anything by allowing him to do so.

I am also concerned about the impact of attending such a school on his self-esteem. I know for some students, attending a school with the type of academic opportunities and focus of a selective school allows them to become more comfortable with who they are and really thrive. For my son, I think being part of a far more diverse environment would be better for him in many ways.

Fortunately, his current school runs a 'Middle School' system covering Yr 6 - 8. He will experience 6 months of Middle School before we have to make a choice about his best options for high school (provided he passes the entrance test, of course). Sadly, his currently school hasn't provided any significant challenge or extension up to this point, making the decision even more complicated.

I want my children to be happy, healthy, emotionally well-adjusted, passionate, hard-working, creative - the list goes on. I'm still not sure which learning environment will be most likely to support these character traits in my son (or my younger children).

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sad memories

12/10/2010 - 20:49

Like you, I loved those times when I could carry a snuggly child from the car or lounge where they had fallen asleep into their bed.

Your post got me thinking about the times I am careless about whether my children might be able to hear what I am saying. I'm not always as careful as I should be about what I say. Thank you for the reminder to guard my words more carefully. What I have always tried to do with my children, which didn't happen for me as a child, is encourage them to ask questions about things that they see and hear that they don't understand. Hopefully if something happened that confused or concerned them, they would know that they could ask.

My own strongest memories about overheard conversations are not pleasant and I know that the arguments that I overheard as a child when my parents thought I was asleep have influenced my relationship with my parents, the way I deal with conflict with my husband and the way I deal with my own children.

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Gifted children

12/08/2010 - 13:33

As a mother of 3 gifted children, I can comment that emotional intelligence seems to be more influenced by personality than giftedness. My 11yo son is not particularly emotionally aware, my 9yo daughter is very good at reading the emotions of others and empathising and my 6yo son is a master at interpreting the emotions/behaviour of others and adapting his own behaviour accordingly.

I love your comments in the second last paragraph. I agree that gifted kids have something special to share in the school environment, as do all children, and that this contribution is often under-acknowledged and not supported well by the general school approach to gifted children.

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higher expectations

12/08/2010 - 13:25

I agree Sarah that it is sometimes easy to have higher expectations of gifted children in all areas and to forget their actual age. It is a hard balancing act at times - challenging and dealing with gifted kids on an advanced level on so many fronts while keeping their actual age and abilities in other areas firmly in mind.

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Encouraging our children to experience life

05/08/2010 - 16:03

After good marks as a teen led people to only ever offer me law and medicine as possible career choices, I now encourage my own children and others that I meet to think about what they enjoy and what they are passionate about when they are thinking about their future. You spend far too many hours at work to consider a long-term job that makes you miserable, even if it does pay well.

I love the idea of encouraging children to try new things and offering them opportunities to experience something new. I agree it is tempting sometimes to guide our children in a particular direction but I try to make sure my focus is teaching my children how to think about things rather than telling them what they should be thinking/doing.

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