My take on a Haiku today for #Prose4T. Sometimes the less you write, the more you say.
Instincts, trust yourself
Together as one you learn
Doubt and fear be gone
Behaviour: Behavior or behaviour is the range of actions and mannerisms made by organisms, systems, or artificial entities in conjunction with their environment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well as the physical environment. It is the response of the system or organism to various stimuli or inputs, whether internal or external, conscious or subconscious, overt or covert, and voluntary or involuntary.
‘It wouldn’t do for us all to be the same!’ my Dad used to say. It’s amazing the silly little things you remember from someone who is no longer around. And scary how much you forget. But this little phrase has stuck with me over the years. Whenever I have a differing of opinions with someone, or start to be Mrs Judgey Mcjudgerson, I think to myself how dull life would be if we were all the same. How boring relationships and friendships could be if we didn’t all bring a myriad of different things into them. There are certainly positive things that come out of us all being different, and then there are undoubtedly some negative things. And if there is one area where everyone is doing it differently, it’s parenting. How we sleep, how we feed, how we school, or discipline our children, we all do it differently. But do we respect that? Often no. Parents are often very quick to criticise others and judge them on situations they know nothing about. I was recently judged by someone regarding my daughter’s behaviour, someone who probably doesn’t to this day realise that they made me feel judged. It’s not nice. It made me cry and do something I hate, which is doubt myself. They didn’t know my background, or my daughter’s and judged me on a two minute conversation I’d had with her. Anyway, I digress. The point I wanted to discuss in this post about us all being different, is about the differing ways we discipline our children, and whether our methods help our children to understand their actions, or shame them into feeling bad?
Yesterday I was involved in a Twitter chat about discipline and for a while it was difficult to work out if we were singing from the same hymn sheet or not, but we were both very respectful of the other’s opinions, using them to back up our own. It got me thinking. Disciplining children is often a hot topic for debate, many thinking that it should be simply black and white, right or wrong, and then there are others who adopt a kindness approach where they try and understand the children’s feelings and use this to help them understand that what they have done maybe wrong. Discipline is often historically though of as something which is based upon rewards and consequences. Children are often either praised for what they have done right, or disciplined for something they have done wrong. But are they ever allowed to have their feelings justified? Are they ever allowed to explain why they did something? Talk about how they felt? And if they were, would this be a more effective way of teaching them about what is/is not acceptable behaviour? Bad behaviour often stems from fear, or anger, or confusion. It often stems from an emotion, or an inability to control an emotion. And more often than not it stems from curiosity, from wondering ‘what would happen if?’ Maybe instead of telling your child off for them flooding the bathroom from experimenting with water, you could dunk them in the bath with all the tools they need to explore this further. Instead of criticising them for breaking a toy on purpose, explain that this isn’t how we treat our belongings, and then give them something they can rip, tear, break so they continue to learn and discover. Obviously hurting other people doesn’t fall into this category, but if they are frustrated and need to kick or punch or bite, give them something they can do this to. And then talk about their feelings when they’ve calmed down. Justify those feelings, tell them you know they are feeling angry, but that they must never hurt others. Bottling up angry feelings doesn’t ever have a good outcome, and a tantrum is simply a child trying to communicate to us how they feel.
Children in my opinion have an innate need to please, and crave endless attention. If they are often referred to as naughty and through being ‘naughty’ is how they get all of their attention, is it any wonder that they spiral into a succession of wrong doings or become fearful of experimenting, of using their imagination and nurturing their natural curiosity? Wouldn’t it be easier to say that what they are DOING is ‘naughty,’ not that THEY are naughty? (Personally I don’t even like to use the word naughty!) Sadly I’m sure we’ve all been in a situation that we’ve misjudged, and have fallen into the trap of making empty threats (I did this once, never again!) that are never going to be carried out. I think we need to be consistent, children need to know what is and isn’t acceptable, but they also need to understand why these things are or aren’t acceptable, and then they need to be taught to recognise, understand and manage their feelings.
And finally…NEVER forget the power of LEADING BY EXAMPLE, the more you show your children how to treat others, how to behave in certain situations and how to look after their belongings…then the more they will DO THE SAME!
So, what are your thoughts on discipline and behaviour?
So…I have chosen to link up a post which is bit different to usual, but is most definitely a lovely bit of fun, for today’s #magicmoments. It is all about The Super Sweet Blogging Awards! I have chosen to link this because it is magic to me that I have been tagged in these awards by three lovely bloggers!
And it is very apt as it was the lovely Jaime Oliver from @Oliversmadhouse who first nominated me for this award at the weekend. Her Monday #magicmoments linky is something I look forward to joining up with and reading every week. I love having the inspiration to write about something magical and positive in my life, and it is a wonderful feeling to read and share in many other bloggers’ magic moments. The linky makes Mondays far more enjoyable! And Jaime Oliver is VERY deserved of her fantastic new ranking with @tots100! You can check out her blog here http://theoliversmadhouse.co.uk/
(Although seeing as I’ve linked this up with magic moments you probably already know that lol!)
The lovely @CathieB2012 was the second person to nominate me at the weekend, so I must do a big shout out to her as well! She has been very supportive of my blog and is always there when you need a giggle on Twitter. Her blog is http://www.wickedworldoflucas.co.uk and is an honest account of being a mum and life with a lovely, lively little boy!
And then today the lovely @mummyglitzter also sent out a tweet about the awards! You can visit her blog here at http://www.mummyglitzer.co.uk where she blogs openly and honestly about family life.
So, the awards…and the rules,
1 Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2 Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back.
3 Answer the “Super Sweet” questions.
4 Nominate a “Baker’s Dozen” (award 13 blogs), link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs. It’s ok if you don’t have 13 blogs to nominate, just share the love!
5 Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere.
Super Sweet Questions:
Cookies or Cake?
Can I say both, and in vast quantities? No? I have to choose? Oh, um, oh, um, ooooooooo it’s too hard! It’s like choosing my favourite child! All I can say is as long as the cookies or cake in question contain chocolate then I don’t care at all which it is I’m shovelling into my mouth!
Chocolate or Vanilla?
CHOCOLATE always, and anyone who says vanilla is no longer my friend 😉
What is your favourite sweet treat?
Again, why do I have to choose? I LOVE ALL THINGS SWEET! But, if I had to choose, my favourite sweet treat would be…..French Fancies. Or a Starbucks Belgian chocolate cornflake squares (but they don’t seem to make these anymore which is just awful) Or some M&S Percy Pigs.
When do you crave sweet things the most?
I think a more appropriate question would be when do I not crave sweet things, and the answer would be….never.
If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?
I had no idea and so asked family and friends for answers on a postcard! The answers were a mixture of nice and not so nice nicknames, ranging from Mrs Wonka (?!) to Minstrels (because I’m hard on the outside but soft in the middle apparently!) but I’ve decided to go for The Milky Bar Kid, as this actually was my nickname for a while as I used to be very blonde, and wear glasses and during a Christmas pantomime performance I was one of those lucky children invited up onto the stage, and the actor (Roy Hudd I think?) declared to all that I looked just like the Milky Bar Kid! Cue endless laughter…at me…a small little child! 😉
And so, the nominees are…
And that’s it! Apologies if you’ve already been nominated by someone else, you must just be super super sweet! 😉
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.instinctivemum.wordpress.com" title="InstinctiveMum"><img src="http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t548/InstinctiveMum/d4fa16af-bfc3-4ca8-9148-881095c33643_zps0cb11ee3.jpg" alt="InstinctiveMum" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
Time: Time is a dimension in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future, and also the measure of durations of events and the intervals between them. Time has long been a major subject of study in religion, philosophy, and science. Some simple, relatively uncontroversial definitions of time include “time is what clocks measure” and “time is what keeps everything from happening at once” (Wikipedia)
Last night I made the mistake of reading the news, and it got me thinking (and feeling ranty!) I read this article- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-22202694 – about how Michael Gove is proposing longer school days and less school holidays.
The article frustrated me for a number of reasons. Children need time to be children. Childhood is such a magical time and is for such a short period in our lives. Children need time to PLAY and EXPLORE. With what Gove has suggested they’ll be too damn knackered to do any of those things. Too exhausted by endless hours trying to be the best. I’m not saying have no aspirations or aim high, I’m passionate about encouraging children to achieve their full potential, but it frustrates me because some children could be at school 24 hours a day/7 days a week (my daughter is one of them) and they would still never be the best. It doesn’t mean that these children don’t have skills, or talents, or will be amazingly successful in their lives. Encouraging children to DO their best would be a far better route to take. It doesn’t go hand in hand that the more time you spend in school the more academically intelligent you are. Gove has looked at other countries and decided that their education system is better than ours, and proposed that we adopt their rules. But, as I say on MANY occasions, ALL children are different and what works so well for one, could be a compete disaster for another. Why does one concept for education suit all? It couldn’t possibly! It makes me wonder if in coming to this conclusion, Gove has truly thought about the consequences on children, parents or teachers? Has he thought about what’s best for each child or only what they ‘should be’ or ‘ought to be’ doing? Does he think that getting grade As is the only thing that matters? Is that what he values? Is that what success is solely measured by, how well we do academically at school?
This then also made me think of someone I know very well. There are so many things that she does with her children that are very different to the way I parent my children. And whilst I’m a huge advocate for bringing up different children in different ways it got me thinking as to whether she (and me for that matter!) is listening to them and bringing them up how they dictate, or whether she is parenting how she thinks she ought to. Do we do what we think is best for our children, without possibly really finding out what is actually best for them? Do we know our children’s natural talents or their interests, are they allowed to nurture any?
We all have dreams and hopes for our children before they are even born, but do our children always follow our hopes and ideals for them? You might want your son to like football, yet all he talks about is rugby. You might want your daughter to be a ballerina, yet all she craves is hip-hop. And you might want your child to be the cleverest in their class, yet they still struggle at school.
Michael Gove is, in my opinion, naive if he thinks that by placing children in school for longer they will each magically become a genius! Are schools becoming too focused by paperwork and results and grades, too focused on numbers and statistics, when they are said to be more ‘child-centred?’ Is Gove too focused on ‘shoulds,’ ‘musts’ and ‘ought tos?’
When I had my daughter I was young and naive and doing it on my own. I gave her a bottle for an evening feed at four weeks because that is what I was told I ought to do. I never co-slept because I was told she should sleep in her own bed. I became frustrated because she didn’t do what she ought to be doing. She didn’t eat as much as she should. But as she grew up, a strong willed and stubborn red haired child, all of the, shoulds, musts and ought tos went out of the window. And instincts kicked in.
She liked to wear blue, wasn’t the sort of child that liked ballet and liked to graze on food all day instead of having three set meals. And at school, she struggled. She didn’t learn to read when she should have. She couldn’t count to ten when she ought to have. But it didn’t make me want her to go to school more. It didn’t make me want to get her a tutor or drown her in homework. It made me want to take away the stresses of school and the pressure off. It made me want to have as much fun with her as we possibly could at home. She was allowed to be a child. We played, we laughed, we sang, and she relaxed. She can count now, and she can read and write. And she has a wealth of experiences to draw upon when doing these things.
Pushing children, in my opinion, is never going to work. It potentially just gives them more chances to fail to reach what are often unrealistically high expectations. It’s the classic teacher quote of ‘could do better!’ I think they should be encouraged to pursue their talents, play as much as possible and be supported in being confident of who they are.
What do you think?
Read Your Baby
Read your baby, not a book,
Go on give them a good look.
Listen to what they’re telling you,
Then you’ll know just what to do.
Trust your instincts, you know best,
Give the guilt and doubt a rest.
You know your baby inside out,
I know you do, you know, don’t doubt.
But ‘help’ you cry ‘I don’t know how,
I don’t know what to do right now.
I know, I’ll pick up a baby book,
I’ll only have one real quick look.’
‘Hold on, no wait this isn’t true,
What it says my baby doesn’t do,
Now I feel worse than I did before,
I don’t know if I’m a good mum anymore.’
It’s when you doubt and feel like this,
Throw out the books, give them a miss.
Sit down somewhere, think things through,
Hear your instincts speak to you.
They will tell you what to do,
If you trust them to help you through.
Do you need to hold baby tight?
Do your instincts tell you what’s right?
Do you need to ask a friend?
Do you need them wine to send?
Confidence and trust you need,
To use your instincts, sow the seed.
Why don’t you try, give it a go,
And if it works then let me know.
It might be hard first, at the start,
But it soon becomes part of your heart.
Essentials of Life
A short and sweet #wednesdaywords which has been inspired by this….
This hangs in my hallway. It was a gift from my very best friend this Christmas. (Yes, good old Cynthia again!) It sums up me so well, as the writing says everything I believe in. It represents all of the things which I need. I need to be busy, otherwise I can spiral into a pit of pure laziness! I need people to love (as well as needing people to love me!) and I ALWAYS need something to look forward to, even if it’s simply a cup of tea and a piece of cake. It reminds me, when I’m feeling low, of all the lovely people I have around me, and of all the lovely things that are yet to happen and that I have to look forward to.
Quite frankly, I love it! Do you have a quote or motto you like to live by?
Spontaneous: Self generated; happening without any apparent external cause. He made a spontaneous offer of help. Done by one’s own free choice, or without planning, proceeding from natural feeling or native tendency without external constraint arising from a momentary impulse, controlled and directed internally, self-active. Random. Sudden, without warning.
For those of you that follow me on Twitter you’ll know that Thursday night I left my house unexpectedly. (don’t worry I returned, it was never going to be a permanent departure) I wasn’t supposed to be leaving the house, but I felt I wasn’t really given a choice. Stay and be a metaphorical punch bag, or leave and be on my own, but in all likeliness wet and cold because it was raining. Not a difficult decision to make. And so, it is last Thursday night that brings you this post and this week’s #magicmoment (You’re wondering how right now aren’t you?!)
So…there are five of us in this house and generally speaking it’s a lovely house, chaotic, but lovely. However, it is often only lovely because I’ve worked my sodding backside off to make it that way. It’s only lovely because I’ve facilitated everyone’s contentment and happiness. (Yes, yes I know, as a SAHM that’s my job, but it can,as we ALL know, be a bloody tough job) Things are lovely in our house because I know what everyone’s favourite meals are and cook them on a regular basis. I know when PE kits are needed, when teething needs sorting, when floors need vacuuming. The list is endless, but it sometimes seems as if it is invisible to those I live with. Maybe they think magical little fairies do the supermarket shopping, and busy little elves the cleaning. I wonder if they recognise the thought, and effort, and energy that goes into the running of this house. I know being a mum is about putting your babies first, and being a SAHM to me is about putting my family first, but I was beginning to wonder if it was too much to ask for a little something in return? Yes you’re right, my 10 month old is a little bit young be be going out and buying me flowers, but my 4 year old and 11 year old know how to say thank you. And my husband has been told on NUMEROUS occasions that a big bar of chocolate always helps if he can’t find the words.
So on Thursday night when my husband was in a grump because someone had cancelled his golf, The Masters, recording, and my 11 year old was in a grump because well, she’s 11 and that’s what they do, I decided to go out on my own. I didn’t really know where I was going I just knew I was going! I drove to M&S and bought some Colin the Caterpillar sweets and some Maltesers. (No, this was not my magic moment, but it was close!) It was whilst I was paying for these treats that my phone went, and on the line was my best friend, who (as I am still mostly anonymous on here) we shall call Cynthia. She is a woman who gets me, and always knows the right thing to do or say. She understands that I have good days and bad days. That I might not be feeling 100% all of the time. That sometimes I’M the one that needs looking after. She’s the one that my husband is so lucky to have around, because when he can’t sort me out, she does, every time! She suggested a spontaneous dinner out, and well, who was I to refuse?!
We drove to a lovely restaurant in Bristol and decided on tapas, and wine! We ate, we drank, we talked (well, mostly I talked) and we listened (alright yes, she did most of the listening!) I told her how it just seems that often how my day turns out, isn’t ever controlled by me. It’s controlled by hormones, and teething, and tantrums. It’s controlled but the stresses and demands of my husband’s job. It’s controlled by whether people I come across whilst out and about are having a good/bad day. It’s controlled by so many things other than me. Things that to a certain degree I can’t control. And it was whilst discussing this that she reminded me of my weakness with control. I am, it is fair to say, a bit of a control freak. I like to be in control. I like to know what’s what. Maybe that’s why I go out of my way to ensure everyone is happy, and run the house the way I do? Maybe I needed to let go of a bit of control, which without realising I’d actually done by leaving the house! It was a wake up call, and a taa daa #magicmoment. I needed to let go, not try and be perfect at everything, not try and have the perfect life, be the perfect wife and perfect mother. It doesn’t do anyone any good, least of all me!
The whole evening was magic, having spontaneous time with the woman I love like a sister was magic. The fact that she’d once again sorted me out and stopped me being an irrational, emotional wreck was magic!
And the magic continued when I got home. I think a few people had been shocked that I’d actually gone out and done something for myself. The dishes were done, my daughter told me she loved me and the next day my husband came home and gave me….some chocolate, magic!!
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