Showing posts with label Parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Parenting. Show all posts

Friday, June 3, 2016

The joy of boys!

 As I haven't written a post about parenting the 'Y' chromosome in a very long time, here is an update:

They break bones, badly.

Both of them.

Probably because they have no fear!  That would be the seven year old up there on the top of that orange pole.  Note all the other 7 and 8 year old boys seem to have remained sensibly at ground level so perhaps it is just that my boys are extreme risk takers?

I often find elaborate "scenes" such as this one, set up in random locations around the house.

Often the "scenes" appear to have been catastrophic.

You quickly learn who all the sports stars are. 

The brotherly love is touching. The 10 year old offered to help the 7 year old find some sponsors for his school Zumba-thon.  For those that can't read his handwriting that would be Bill Gates and Queen Elizabeth sponsoring H some rather large sums per minute.

Yes, the 7 year old was sent to school with this form and yes, I crossed out Nick's additions! 

Every minute of this testosterone loaded craziness is worth it though, especially when you get treated to impromptu music recitals with football cleats on!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Sailing - a magical and empowering sport for children

Each Sunday morning the Captain heads out with a handful of other like minded children for "Green Fleet" training.  He returns hours later, energised, with salty hair and clear, sparkling eyes.  Tales of whales and fairy penguins abound.  Sailing truly is a magical sport for children, it is one of the only sports that allows a child complete freedom.   As you can see in the photo above, my little 9 year old is the Captain of his own ship, literally.  There is no parent sitting beside him dictating how things should be done.  He is making decisions alone.  The consequences of which he will also have to accept.    He is in charge of rigging up his boat and packing it away after each sail.  Through all this he has learnt responsibility and discipline.  Sailing has also taught him about the environment, he now has a deeper understanding of the weather.  The direction of the wind.  The risks of a storm.   

A friend recently watched Nick as he sailed out one Sunday morning and commented on how quiet it was.  There was just the noise of ropes banging against masts and the odd squawk of a seagull.  The children themselves are remarkably quiet as they head out.  Each one focused, as they pop their centreboards in and settle themselves, preparing for a day on the water.  This peaceful quiet is not to be underestimated in this day and age, when children are surrounded by stimulation and noise.  Indeed, it is a true break from everyday life for a little boy.

  Nick started sailing at 6 years old.  I hope he is still sailing at 96 years old.  That is the thing with sailing.  It is a sport for a lifetime.  A sport that will allow him to explore miles of coastline.  Feel the wind in his hair and the sun or the rain on his face.  A sport that will foster a love of the outdoors and a respect for the environment.  A magnificent sport.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Captain and Harry Potter

 So has anyone actually read past book 3?  Anyone over the age of 25 that is?  He read books 1 and 2 last week and is halfway through book 3 now.  At this rate he will have finished them all in a few weeks time.  Apparently some of the later books have themes for an older audience and I have had a number of well meaning people suggest that I stop him from reading the rest of the series.  (He is 7 turning 8 at the end of October).  I am loath to interfere in his reading interests though.  Considering that I put up with his previous obsession with Beast Quest when I have spent a lifetime amassing a collection like this:

And that, my fellow collectors isn't even a quarter of it ( just some of my favourites!), which he could have worked his way through instead but has shown only a fleeting interest in.  Sniff.  Anyone with any thoughts on this?  Am I going to end up with a child having nightmares about you know who?  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Parenting with the Berenstain Bears

Not sure about the rest of you but I own several parenting books, okay a lot of them.  I do have a few OCD/pefectionist type tendencies, (okay a lot of them as well) and so when it came to having children I went out and bought all the books.  You know, because I feel like I have to do it perfectly.  Then once Nicholas arrived I went and bought a whole bunch more, and then when he started getting night terrors at three I bought a whole bunch more again and so it goes on.  My most recent purchase is this book:

 Last night though, as I read the little one his bedtime story I had a bit of an "aha!" moment.  The book I was reading to him was sending me a message, forget Simplicity Parenting and The Over Scheduled Child.  No need to bother reading them.  I hereby introduce you all to:

Yes, parenting with the Berenstain Bears. 

In The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Pressure, Brother and Sister Bear have a hectic schedule with all sorts of extra-curricular activities.

Hmm... art class, check! Karate and Computer club, no but Science Club and Chess Club? Check!

Gymnastics and swimming, check!

No, ballet or horse riding classes (although The Captain has expressed interest in the latter as he knows Mummy is planning to take it back up), but we can also add:
 Tennis, Fencing and Music.

...and the Bear Family how do they cope with all this? Well Papa makes a big planner to hang on the wall:

KikkiK calendar in the kitchen, check!

Does it end in tears?


After a family meeting the Bear Family decide that two after school activities each are enough.  They each choose their two favourites.  They then go back to doing "the everyday things that most families do.  They worked and played, went to school, visited friends, enjoyed nature - and once in a while, they sat around doing absolutely nothing."  Fabulous advice for us all really!    

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Joys of Boys - The Sequel

Parenting the Y chromosome...

They like mud...  a lot.

The little one will be very sad when the new garden beds are finished.  

I will not be.

Cardboard tubes provide hours of entertainment... (as do sand and mud).

You find surprise additions to the shopping list, (considering how well he reads his spelling is atrocious!)

They can entertain themselves anywhere.
(Me: "darling, what are you doing?
Boy: "I am spying on the people downstairs")

Got to love the excuse to be able to decorate with vintage cowboy prints though!

And... yes little pirate Prince, I forgive you for the mud! (Lucky you are as cute as you are though!).

Monday, June 4, 2012

The school dilemma

My little pirate is a June baby.  In terms of school enrolments this is not such a great date of birth.  In NSW children are supposed to start school if they turn 5, on or before the 31 of July of the year they would start school.  If everybody followed this guideline then Baby Pirate would be one of the youngest in his class but there would be no more than a years gap between the children.  However, what is more common is that children that turn 5 from January on are held back to start the following year, yes so already 6 or almost 6 when they start kindergarten.  

The Captain, born at the end of October is the third youngest in his class.... 

So the dilemma is if I send Baby Pirate to school next year he could be up to 18 months younger than some of the kids.  In his pre-school group there are kids that have already turned 5 in January/February.  He doesn't turn 4 till the end of the month.  Are you following?  I barely can make sense of all of this!  He is fine in Pre-School and academically he is so far ahead of some of these kids that I know he would be more than fine at School.  Physically however, these kids are huge compared to him and they are probably more emotionally confident.

When I have discussed with friends and family the situation we are in almost universally people have said, "send him next year."  I have decided not to though and not because of noble thoughts about an extra year at home of play based learning or because I don't think he would cope or because I have read Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers.   In fact I know he would be totally fine and would settle very happily into school next year, but I am holding him back (and yes I really feel like I am holding him back) because I think that it is absurd that he will be in a class room with kids up to 18 months older than him.  In primary school this won't be such a big deal but when it comes to high school it will be and so another year of Pre-school it must be little Pirate!  Anyone else out there with thoughts on this?  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The afternoon walk to the waterfall.

Every afternoon I have to exorcise exercise my children in order to make witching hour as pleasant as possible for all of us. We either ride our bikes around the "wetlands" ( a nearby nature reserve) or walk to the waterfall. The pathway to the falls is just down the road from our street:

The little one insists on bringing his pooh bear and blankie:

After a few minutes of walking the pathway is so enveloped by ferns and palms that you can imagine you are in the lush tropics (not in the middle of suburbia!):

Until suddenly the darkness of the rainforest abruptly ends and you discover the magic of the falls.

                                                               It is a little boys paradise!

One of Sydney's secret gems (and one of my best parenting tools, begone witching hour!!!)


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