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August, 2013

29 Aug 13

Easing Your Child’s Transition Back to School

It’s back to school time already – and it has come round so quickly!  The summer holidays seemed eternal, but Tom and Mary will be on that school bus again next week. Are they looking forward to the new term?  Tom is slightly apprehensive as he starts a busy year of school exams, while Mary cannot wait to see her friends and participate in extra-curricular activities like tap dancing! But as a family, we do not find it easy to get back into the swing of things, so I have developed some tips to ease the transition back to school. Motivation for School After the lazy, hazy days of summer, it is hard to re-adapt to the strictly regulated days of classes, homework and sports practice. But this process can be less traumatic if you keep children motivated for school and keep their brains active during the holidays. For the last two years […]

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28 Aug 13

Good Behaviour: Teaching Table Manners to Children

Good table manners for children are essential. That’s what my mother told me!  So I took her advice and made sure my Tom and Mary learned from an early age how to behave at the table. But that is no easy task nowadays, as fast-food takeaways, busy working schedules and after-school activities can all get in the way of a family dinner. You need to start the learning process early and persevere! Check Your Own Table Manners Children learn best by example, so it’s a good idea to review your own table manners and practise what you preach. Sound like a breeze? Not on your life! My son Tom, now ten years old, was badly behaved at the dinner table when he was younger: slumping in his chair, pushing his food around on the plate, and even playing with his Game Boy games. But I found that gently correcting his bad manners by telling […]

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17 Aug 13

Sleepover success: how to avoid tears and tantrums

Sleepovers are a good way for children to deepen friendships away from school or other adult-organised environments. I have always encouraged Tom and Mary to have their friends to stay over at weekends or in the long summer holidays. These parties liven up the week when the kids are home from school, and other mums thank me for giving them the night off! I try to instill a sense of responsibility in my children, and it is their duty to plan the entertainment. They feel a sense of pride when they see their friends having a good time. But how do you avoid tears and tantrums during a sleepover at your house? Here are some of my tips! PLANNING FOR PERFECT SLEEPOVERS Sometimes a spontaneous sleepover happens at my house at the weekend if one of Tom or Mary’s friends has been around all day Saturday and we end up making […]

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10 Aug 13

Style Sense: Decorating the Nursery

I still remember the joy of decorating the nursery for my firstborn, Tom. There was so much anticipation for his arrival, that I felt that the active task of planning and decorating was a wonderful way to direct my nervous energy. Of course, I might have gone a bit overboard, as I spent a fortune kitting out the baby’s room. I probably overdid the blue motif as well. Everything was in blue and white, including wallpaper, curtains, carpet and cot furnishings. Even the light bulbs had a blue tinge! Although it may have been a bit over the top, I know many first-time parents who have invested more on decorating the nursery than on the rest of the house! But that usually only happens with the first child – we tend to scale down expenses for our second and subsequent offspring. Two years later, when we received the joyful news […]

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08 Aug 13

Summer reading, every mum’s dream!

While I feel it is important to provide our children with a change from their school environment during the summer holidays, I also like to avoid a “brain drain”. In my personal experience, a summer reading programme is the perfect answer, whether you organise it yourself or take advantage of your local library. My son Tom and daughter Mary both enjoy combining a good children’s book or two with visits to the swimming pool or picnics with friends when they are on vacation. To me, that is a perfect balance between intellectual and physical stimulation during the holidays. If you are looking for a book recommendation, a fellow blogger recommends Mommy Brings Home the Bacon, a story to help explain why working mums must leave home every day.   ENCOURAGING SUMMER READING Here are a some of my best tips to encourage summer reading: Children should be allowed to choose their own […]

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