Posts Tagged ‘toddlers’

Learning to Let Go

August 20, 2014


After watching this fabulous clip I wondered if there could be a ceremony for other habits that children are reluctant to give up. The one that causes me some consternation are those students who are obsessed with being the first at line-up.

Some challenges just can’t be solved with a balloon.


Click on the link to read Things Teachers Wish Parents Knew Before the School Year Begins

Click on the link to read The Worst Parent in the World May be an Australian

Click on the link to read 10-Year-Old’s Marriage Advice to His Teacher

Click on the link to read The Science of Parenting

Click on the link to read Why the Call to Fine Parents for Not Reading to Their Children is Utter Stupidity

Click on the link to read Children are Precious!

Click on the link to read Is it Ever OK to Lie to Your Kids?

The Science of Parenting

July 19, 2014

Courtesy of


  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17


9 Truths About Children and Dinnertime

April 25, 2014



As a stay-at-home father I can fully appreciate this brilliantly realised list by Beau Coffron:


1. You learn to eat one-handed.
When you have a baby, you should get a Ph.D. in doing things one-handed. You find out you didn’t really need that other hand anyway. Serving the food with one hand? Easy. Pouring drinks? Simple. Cutting steak? C’mon, give me something difficult. With a little practice, parents can become magicians with that one hand. In between having babies you don’t lose this skill, either; it just goes into hibernation and comes out again when it’s needed.

2. You wish someone would invent seat belts for the dining room table.
How has someone not thought of this already? We can put a man on the moon but we can’t figure out a way to strap a 6-year-old to their dinner chair? Kids act like you make them sit on nails when they are at the dinner table. Partly it’s just the 45 times they need to go to the bathroom, but the other times seem to be an involuntary reaction to vegetables, little brothers or both.

3. Finding a Kids Eat Free place is like winning the lottery.
Before kids, I didn’t think “Kids Eat Free” coupons were worth the paper they were printed on. Now, I wouldn’t trade them for getting “Let It Go” banned in the United States (although it’s tempting). The beauty of eating at restaurants that give out these coupons is that not only do kids eat free, but you also don’t have to clean up the mess on the floor! This benefit alone automatically triples what the coupon is worth.

4. Chicken nuggets are a food group.
You try to make balanced meals, but honestly, many parents always keep frozen nuggets in their freezer for backup. Nuggets are like the first aid kit of the kitchen. Dinner goes wrong. You have nuggets. Kid’s friends stop by unexpectedly? Nuggets to the rescue. Nothing like breaded chicken… um, pork… uh, turkey? It doesn’t really matter what that meat is — if this is the first time your child has eaten more than two bites at a meal in three days, you are not complaining.

5. Dogs are basically vacuum cleaners.
Remember when your dog used to be your prized possession? You would go dog treat shopping, and buy it that special collar. Now the dog is 10 pounds overweight because of the mounds of food the kids feed him. After your children are done with dinner, there might be a whole meal in scraps under that table. Dogs are now more than man’s best friend; they are every parent’s best cleaning appliance.

6. Who needs napkins when you have sleeves?
No matter how many times you tell kids not to, or how many stacks of napkins you pile in front of their plates, a sleeve always gets used. OK, maybe not at every meal, but every single time you serve fried chicken or spaghetti. When drinking water or eating Saltines, kids will use every napkin in the house to clean themselves up instead.

7. Dirty dishes seem to multiply like rabbits.
Parents, how many times have you looked around after the meal and wondered where all those extra dishes came from? Some of them you don’t even recognize as yours. Since when did mac and cheese require you to use 22 plates, 17 bowls and 8 spatulas? You don’t know how, it just happens. Like how LEGO bricks transform into deadly weapons that attack parents’ bare feet at night, it’s unexplainable.

8. It’s against the law for a parent to have a “hot” meal.
Remember that scene from the movie A Christmas Story when Ralphie states that his mother hadn’t had a hot meal for herself in 15 years? Before you were a parent, you laughed at how far-fetched that line was. You’re not laughing now, are you? Between getting all the kids second helpings, extra ketchup and rags for spills — and cutting up their meat — your hot meal never stood a chance.

9. Dinner with your kids can be your favorite time of the day.
Even after all of this craziness that we call mealtime, it can still be one of my favorite times of the day. Why? I get to sit down with my family and listen to them talk about their favorite moments and their biggest challenges. This is family time. In our busy culture, we don’t get enough of it, and you can’t buy an experience like a good family meal. Meals like these are memories that last a lifetime in our family, and I wouldn’t trade them for all the quiet, clean, hot meals in the world.



Click on the link to read The Most Original Way to Pull Out Your Child’s Tooth Out (Video)

Click on the link to read Father Carries His Disabled Son 9 Miles to School Every Day

Click on the link to read Never Take the Dream out of the Child

Click on the link to read The Snow Day Song that Has Gone Viral (Video)

Click on the link to read Is Tiger Mom a Racist?

Click on the link to read 44 Things Parents Say to their Kids to Get them to Eat

Teaching Young Children the 3Rs Could be Damaging: Psychologist

April 24, 2014



Teaching young children the 3Rs may not be the only skills a teacher or parent should be imparting to their young students, but it is hardly damaging. A considerate, patient and skilled person can teach all kind of skills without causing the distress alarmist psychologists make us believe occurs:


Cambridge University lecturer David Whitebread said it was important for parents to play with their children, as these youngsters were more likely to enjoy solving problems, and better equipped to cope with failure.

Former primary school teacher Mr Whitebread also claimed the government was overly concerned with getting children to learn the 3Rs at an ever decreasing age, and said younger children were better off learning to cook alongside their parents.

Mr Whitebread, a developmental cognitive psychologist, said that although learning to read was an important skill, teaching reading, writing and arithmatic to toddlers was a waste of government money and the child’s time.

Mr Whitebread said that learning to read at to young an age could even be damaging for a child.

‘Instead the parent can share something they love, such as making cakes, or tinkering with engines, the key is partly sharing the enthusiasm but mainly the conversations you have with the child while doing it.’


Click on the link to read 7 Ways To Teach Kids Self-Awareness

Click on the link to read Kids Explain the Meaning of Happiness

Click on the link to read 5 Reasons Why It’s Healthy to Encourage Children to Play

Click on the link to read Allowing Children to Stand Out From the Pack

Click on the link to read Hilarious Examples of Kids Telling It As It Is

How Life Changes When You Become a Parent (Video)

November 19, 2013



As much as I enjoyed comedian Michael McIntyre‘s hilarious take on the differences between being post and pre-parenthood, I couldn’t help thinking about one crucial fact – as hard as it is being a parent, boy it’s worth it!


Click on the link to read How to Spend Time With Your Kids When You Have No Time

Click on the link to read The Meaning of Being a Father (Video)

Click on the link to read 24 Signs You Are a Mother

Click on the link to read A Father’s Priceless Reaction to his Son’s Report Card (Video)

Click on the link to read A New Way to Get Kids to Brush Their Teeth

Click on the link to read Tips to Help Parents Control Their Kids’ TV Habits

Click on the link to read 10 Steps Parents Can Take if their Child is Being Bullied

24 Reasons Why Young Children Make us Smile

June 3, 2013



This year I have taken leave from teaching in order to assume the position of stay-at-home dad. It is a big job and whilst I miss teaching, I have enjoyed spending the extra time with my children, doing school runs, taking my 1-year-old for walks in his stroller and watching him develop.

There is no doubt that young children can make us smile like nothing else. Below is a list written by writer and blogger Melissa Sher:

  1. That big breath before blowing out the birthday candles.
  2. A bedtime routine for a baby doll.
  3. Pasghetti. Handburgers. And other perfectly imperfect mispronunciations.
  4. Babies in sunglasses.
  5. Babies in hats.
  6. Baby thighs.
  7. Babies.
  8. A 4-year-old wearing his Halloween costume to school in April.
  9. An inability to whisper.
  10. Homemade birthday cards.
  11. Handmade jewelry.
  12. Conversations with imaginary friends.
  13. A big smile with only two bottom teeth.
  14. Flushed cheeks and damp hair after a nap.
  15. Waving “bye bye.” But doing it backwards.
  16. Left shoe on the right foot, right shoe on the left.
  17. A book read out loud by a child who can’t actually read.
  18. Galoshes. With a tutu.
  19. Songs sung in the bathroom.
  20. Freshly combed wet hair.
  21. Closing one’s eyes to disappear.
  22. The hand motions to “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
  23. Their sense of wonder.
  24. And their innocence.


Click on the link to read Tips For Parents of Kids Who “Hate School”

Click on the link to read 20 Reassuring Things Every Parent Should Hear

Click on the link to read When Children Say Too Much

Toddlers are Using Bad Language. Should we Really Care?

June 11, 2012

Unfortunately swearing has become part of our vernacular. Curse words are no longer seen as rude or unsociable and parents are less conscious of avoiding sprouting certain words around their children. Many will not see this as a problem. They will argue that swearing is harmless and a popular fixture of everyday conversation.

I do not find swearing offensive per se, but I am grateful that my parents brought me up to express myself in a more dignified way. It would greatly upset me if my children swore, like many children are nowadays:

CHILDREN as young as three are swearing – and it’s not just “bloody” coming out of the mouths of babes either.

“F—” and “s—” are the first naughty words that toddlers usually let fly.

They pick up swear words from the playground, at home and on TV and they do it because it gets them “maximum attention”, linguistics expert Kate Burridge says.

“In the old days they might have had their mouths washed out with soap or been sent to the bedroom with no supper,” Prof Burridge, of Monash University, said.

“But (now) they get maximum attention and learn how potent these word are.”

Parents say almost 60 per cent of children swear by three years of age and that by kindergarten more than 90 per cent of children have uttered their first rude word, an exclusive Herald Sun survey found.

Etiquette expert June Dally-Watkins said the level of swearing on TV and in public was unacceptable.

“I think it is disgusting,” she said.

“Parents should not permit it.”

Most parents agree with Ms Dally-Watkins – 70 per cent believe schools and parents should do more to crack down on swearing.

But parents (52 per cent) admit their children often hear their first curse at home.

Second was the playground (48 per cent) at school or pre-school, followed by TV (31 per cent).

Most parents (78 per cent) still actively discourage swearing.

Prof Burridge advises parents not to panic if their child swears.

She says: “It is probably best to treat these as ordinary words, because they are.

They have always been an important part of the Australian vernacular.”

Teaching Kids To Be Grateful

December 28, 2011

I have noticed that kids these days take things for granted on a far greater scale than when I was a child. It is much harder to please children and equally as hard to get a voluntary “Thank You.”

I imagine that Christmas is when this trend comes to the fore. As children are expecting gifts, there is a visible feeling of entitlement. The occasion mandates a good gift so what is there to be thankful for? If the gift isn’t up to their expectation, they feel that a public show of disappointment is appropriate because the gift bearer should had a better sense of occasion and made a better purchase.

What many young children may not be aware of is the stress involved with buying presents. Parents and family members go to great trouble and expense to buy quality gifts. All the child has to do is rip open the gift wrapping.

I like this piece by Stacey Schantz, about the importance of writing a thank you note:

I don’t know about you, but I’m still recovering from a fun-filled holiday. I have thoroughly enjoyed the look on my kid’s faces when they saw their presents Christmas morning, all the food, and most importantly, the quality family time.

But now that the presents are finished—and we’re putting our house back together—it’s important to me that my kids appreciate all the kindness and generosity that has been shown to them.

When I was growing up, my mother had a rule about presents: you couldn’t use the gift until you had properly said thank you. Many times, this meant a phone call to say thank you for the present. But as I got older, my mom instilled in me the importance of a thank you note.

I have been trying to instill that same gratitude for gifts in my children. We usually make a phone call or draw a picture, but now my 5-year-old is learning how to properly write a thank you note. In fact, I know the significance is getting through, because after receipt of one gift, my son whispered to me that he needed to write a thank you note because that was exactly what he had been hoping for—my heart melted.

This week, I’m determined to have my boys write notes to their grandparents, family and even Santa, to thank them for the wonderful gifts they received. We’re even going to include some drawings to sweeten the package.

Here are some tips to help your kids write thank you notes:

  1. Babies and young toddlers: Take a piece of construction paper and using finger paints, dip your child’s hand in the paint. Then make hand prints on the paper. Then you can write a thank you for the gift on the side. Trust me when I tell you that grandparents love this!
  2. Older toddlers: Have them color a picture, and then take a marker and then write in the thank you.
  3. Preschoolers: Take a piece of handwriting paper, have them draw a picture on the top half and then on the bottom half, pre-write the letter for your child using dotted-line letters that your child can trace and then sign their name.
  4. Elementary school: Give your child a head start by making them a template to follow. Sometimes the hardest part of a thank you note is knowing what to write. Elementary school kids can write the letters, but will feel less intimidated if you help them with the basic framework.  
  5. Middle/high school: Give your child a deadline. Tell them they have to have the notes completed by a certain date.

Believe it or not, your child will actually appreciate the present more because he or she took the time to do this. I know I always appreciate when people take the time to say thank you to me as well.

%d bloggers like this: