Teaching Children Road Safety

It’s something I see everyday, people crossing the road in unsafe places. Unfortunately, the majority of these people are with young children, and it amazes me how cavalier they are, not only about their safety, but the child’s safety as well.

As responsible adults, our first instinct should be to protect our children, not put them in unnecessary danger. And just so everyone’s clear, we live in an area where we are never more than 100 meters away from the nearest traffic lights, and clearly marked and regulated crossings. read more

Preparing Your Child If He Gets Lost

We’re walking through the local mall, and looking down, I realise my son, Jay, isn’t next to me anymore. My heart plummets, my pulse is racing, as I spin on the spot, eyes searching, body moving in to overdrive as panic overwhelms me. It only takes a moment to find him, looking in the window of the nearby games store, but the damage has been done as my body spends the next half hour in hyper-alert, watching him every second, every movement.

It’s a parent’s worst fear. We lose sight of them for a moment and their gone. It’s something my wife, SO, and I have kept in mind since we first welcomed him into the world. And it’s something that we have prepared for. read more

Should We Teach Our Kids To Lie

It seems like a strange question, doesn’t it? We spend so much time telling our children to be honest, that it seems counterintuitive for us to turn around and teach them to lie. After all, how many of us want our kids lying to us?

Recently though, I came across a video that suggests we should be teaching them to lie. Not the big lies that we get upset about, but small lies that help to protect other people’s feelings. You know, like when their grandparents give them a present they don’t like. None of us want the embarrassment that comes with our little one saying, “I don’t like it. It’s stupid.” read more

How To Use Time-Outs Effectively

It’s one of those things that parents want to use, but using time-outs effectively doesn’t always seem to be within our grasp. How long should they be? Where should we put them? Are we doing anything right? Why doesn’t it seem to be working like it’s supposed to?

It’s something that my wife, SO, and I have been doing with our son, Jay, for years. Yet they never seem to have the effect that we want. So we did what most parents do, we kept doing the same thing and hoped that it would somehow start to work like it’s supposed to. read more

How to Get Your Child Talking

My son, Jay, and I were seated across from each other. Plates of food, sitting before us. Our eyes locked ready for the battle that always ensued when SO, my wife, was late for dinner.

“How was school?” I asked like a recording.

“Fine,” came the same response as always.

“What did you learn today?” I just don’t learn, do I.

“Nothing.”

“Have you done your homework?”

We’d both given up by this point, our mouths filling with food. Any more conversation would revolve around games we were playing. Anything serious, like school work or his friends, would wait until SO got home. read more

Father’s Day – Daddy’s Day Off

It was Father’s Day yesterday, and unlike a lot of fathers out there, I didn’t get any presents or cards. At least no physical presents other than a chocolate lava cake. And since neither my wife, SO, or son, Jay, are big cake eaters, it’s pretty much all mine. The real present they gave me though, was a couple of days peace and quiet.

You see, SO had to go away for work on Friday and Saturday, and with Jay on holiday, she decided to ask if he wanted to go along. When he said yes, I could’ve jumped for joy. Not that I don’t love him or cherish the time we get to spend together. But there are things I don’t get to do when he’s around, and with them gone from Friday morning through to Sunday afternoon, it gave me some time to do those things. read more

What Do Our Children Really Need?

We see it every day. We go out as a family, whether it’s to have dinner somewhere local, or go to the park, or the local pool, or maybe to the beach. And there are the children with gadgets, their phones or tablets, their eyes fixated on the device in front of them. The world around them an unreality, more of a nuisance than what is real. The games they’re playing, their online friends on social media. They’re the only things they seem to care about.

But is this what they really need? Is this what’s best for them? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “No”, that’s not what’s best for them. read more

Helping A Young Child Deal With Stress

Jay, my son, has been quite a handful lately. Not wanting to study, refusing to shower at the normal time, being overly aggressive when asked to do something. Refusing and becoming upset at the slightest things. I had no idea what was going on. Then my wife, SO, shed light on his strange behaviour.

He was coming up to exams, and he was getting stressed out about it. It wasn’t something I’d expected. He’s only 8 after all, how bad could exam pressure be at that age? But this seems to be a growing trend, children are being put under a lot of pressure to perform in exams at younger and younger ages. They’re told that what they do now will affect the rest of their lives. And we parents are only adding to this by how we encourage them. read more

Why We Shouldn’t Shout at our Children

I got home exhausted the other day, Jay had made a mess. He was refusing to do his homework, and hadn’t showered. All he wanted to do was continue playing. He refused every request I made, no matter how I asked him. He was just in that mood where he will contradict everything that’s said to him.

So I start shouting, raising my voice, because I couldn’t think of anything else to do. At least, that’s what I would have done in the past. I know it doesn’t work, but there comes a point when you’ve tried everything you can think of, and it’s the only option left. read more

What Age Should A Child Get A Smartphone

“But all my friends have one” she yelled at the woman who had to be her mother. “I don’t care” she responded, “You’re too young to have your own phone”. “I’m twelve, and everyone else already has one” the girl screams back. Standing there in the middle of the phone shop, the mother and daughter play out a scene that is becoming all too common.

Our children are being exposed to technology at a young age, and as parents we seek to limit and direct our offspring through the treacherous waters that tech can lead to. In a lot of cases this means we aren’t just battling with our children, but also with other parents that have a different view of the world and all it has to offer. read more