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Code Camp – My Kid Is Learning To Code

So late last year my son came home super excited that they were starting to learn about coding in his computer class at school. Kid was in Grade 2.The first thing he did when he got home was turn on the computer, and show me this video.

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Cost Of A Free Education In Australia

In Australia we have a free public education system. But it’s easy to forget that our children’s education is apparently free when we open up an invoice for $800 for two children attending public school. That’s not really my definition of free.

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” How Do You Breed Babies ”

My youngest asked me last night "Mummy, how do you breed babies?" Hilarious phrasing. I’m going to thank Minecraft for that one. On Minecraft she breeds her sheep, cows, and dogs. Most of all the dogs.

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Homework: How much is too much or too soon?

I hate homework. I hate homework more as a parent than I did as a student (and trust me, I wasn’t a fan of it then either). I’d even say I hate homework more than my children do now. HATE it. Yet, I still attempt to enforce it at home.

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5 Tips To Get To School On Time

have a confession to make - I’m usually the parent hurling their kids out of the car onto the footpath in the drop-and-run zone as the bell goes at 9:00am (give or take a couple of minutes!) It’s a rare morning that my kid doesn’t have to run to class.

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Benevolent Neglect : The Beauty Of Boredom

“Mum, play with me.” My eight year old moaned. “You never play with me anymore.” (He means since I played UNO with him this morning.)I do play with my kids. I actually play with my kids a whole lot more than my parents ever played with me.

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Confession: I Think I Have A Favourite Child

The Favourite Child Apparently most parents have a favourite child. We just don’t admit to it. It’s the darkest of all our secrets – the kind of information we should take to our graves. Whenever anyone brings up whether or not we have a favourite child we should respond with …

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How To Throw A Great Children’s Party

party food

Avoid food that requires more preparation than “Open packet. Dump on tray.” If you absolutely must serve something you felt like you actually put effort into, slap together a fruit platter... then you can feel like you've offered a healthy alternative to put next to the sea of chips, lollies, and chocolate biscuits.

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Gifts For Teachers

gifts for teachers

As the end of the year approaches we all start to ask that particularly painful question. “What are good gifts for teachers?”It’s a hard one! Because while we adore, admire, and appreciate the people who dedicated the year to teaching our children

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Pokemon Parents, GO!

pokemon go

We’ve been playing Pokémon Go for a couple days now, and my 3.5-year-old loves it. I can’t help but wonder if she likes it because, on some level, she’s somehow identifying with the game. She knows what it’s like to not necessarily want to be found

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The Importance Of Having A Good Cry With Your Children

crying

I am just going to be honest and throw it out there and say that over the last 4 days we have watched A LOT of television.More than we normally would, as both my daughter and I have been struck down with a nasty virus that saw us trapped and housebound for what seemed like an eternity!

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35 No to Low Mess School Holiday Activities!

cleaning out the kids toys

I'm sure I'm not the only person spending school holidays at home, we have no plans aside from a few play dates and a sleep over scheduled in, so I have a lot of time to fill in and a very busy 5 year old to keep entertained. I also don't feel up to every day doing painting, baking, having paper cut up all over the floor and whatever else messy craft and activities strewn all over my floor for me to clean up. Especially when little miss two year old is pretty capable of making an enormous mess of the house on a daily basis, I'm trying to save my sanity at the same time as keeping the kids happy. Sounds like a plan, right?

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In Defence of Star Wars Episode 1

star wars episode I

Star Wars Episode 1 is popular in our house in a BIG way. The kids want to watch it all the time. So maybe it's not such a bad movie after all.One of the proudest, most exciting moments for me and a parent has been sitting down to watch Star Wars series for the first time with my kids.

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I’m Not The School Mum I Thought I’d Be

school mum

On some subconscious level I’d assumed that would be what being a school mum looked like for me. I’d be a super involved helpful parent. I’m pretty crafty, I like being helpful, I studied teaching so I assumed I’d be the first to put my hand up as a classroom helper. I imagined I’d be an organised and shining example of what it is to be a “School Mum”.

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Please Is Not A Magic Word

please is not a magic word

I have a little bit of a bone to pick with the word “Please” as it’s snuck its way into my house lately and it’s getting on my very last nerve. “Please” is a nice enough word in itself, it’s reasonably innocuous, but when it’s used as though it has power, then it starts to grate on me a little.

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Chapter Books For Early Readers

chapter books for early readers

Yesterday I asked my friends on Facebook one little question and the response I had was amazing! So incredibly helpful I’d feel selfish keeping it all for myself.

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Our School Morning Routine

school morning routine

7:30am - Mr 7 year old appears beside the bed and immediately starts telling me something about minecraft. No “Good morning Mum”, no “Hey Mum, are you awake?” just “Did you know, on Minecraft, that Stampycat built a sky island?

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Christmas Shopping with a Child

Christmas Shopping with a Child

Firstly - don’t.It’s a bad idea.You know it’s a bad idea. You know you’ll never get away with it. No matter how clever your ninja skills are, or how incredibly well you plan it - they’ll look, they’ll know. It wont work.

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School Readiness – Is your child is ready for school ?

school readiness

Starting school can be daunting (for both child and parent!) at the best of times. Of course, as parents, you want to set your child up for success and independence as they start their educational journey. But how can you tell if your child is ready for school?

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In The Deep End – Learning to swim

boys swimming

My eldest who is now 6, had done swimming lessons from mid last year, to the beginning of this year. He loved it. Followed instruction pretty well. But couldn't focus or hold on to wait his turn as the instructor taught the other 2 children in his group.

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Rewards, Incentives and Bribing Children

bribing children

But I do have some reservations about bribing children to behave in a certain way. I'm not going to say do it or not do it. I'm in no way an expert at parenting and I'm absolutely not an expert on YOUR children, I can only share my thoughts based on what has (and hasn't) worked for me and MY children.

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The 7 Stages of Cleaning Out the Kids Toys

cleaning out the kids toys

Today I cleaned out the kids toys. All them. Every single one of them. Starting by piling everything they own into washing baskets and then dumping it on the living room floor to thoroughly sort through and tidy up. That was the plan at least - I ended up experiencing a full rage of emotions.You're probably familiar with "The 7 Stages of Grief". They apply to cleaning as well. They're the "7 Stages of cleaning out the kids toys."

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Warning – School Parking Rant Ahead

school parking rant

To the Person who Double Parked in front of the school gate,

Hi, I don’t know if you saw me, I was 2 cars back from you while you unloaded your kids from the car so they could run directly through the school gate 4 minutes before the bell went. I don’t know if you noticed there was a parking space about 5 meters in front of you.

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The Special One

special one

Grand slam tennis champion, Andy Murray’s mum tweeted a photo of him with the description “ The Special One with My Special One.”

Which is lovely but her other son, Jamie Murray, who is also a tennis player, was the first to respond to tweet.

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Micro Schooling

microschooling

For a couple of years now, I’ve been contemplating my children’s education. I, myself, am a school teacher, which actually complicates things, because I’ve seen both the good and bad sides of traditional schooling. I like the idea of traditional school because of the community, plus the shared responsibility of taking care of children (it’s hard work being with your kids 24/7 and never having a break)

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Gosh Darn Kids These Days

kids these days

“We live in a decaying age. Young people no longer respect their parents. They are rude and impatient. They frequently inhabit taverns and have no self control.” – Inscription, 6000 year old Egyptian tombGosh darn kids these days!

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Religious Education in Public Schools

Religious Education in Public Schools

I was raised as a Christian, at different stages of my life I attended church or Sunday school with my family and up until moving out of home I said grace every evening before we ate dinner. I did Christian Education in primary school, and for my childhood and most of my teen years I had a very fond relationship with the idea of a Christian God.

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Why All The Questions

questions

According to this study children ask a lot of questions. I know. Ground breaking. Who knew? The most prolific questioners are girls aged 4 years, asking a whopping 390 questions per day, which is an average of a question every 1 minute and 56 seconds while awake.

My daughter is nearly 3 and this sounds about accurate to me. Though 385 of those questions are simply “Why?”

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Understanding Gender Role Stereotypes as a Developmental Milestone

gender stereotypes

A friend recently shared this image on Facebook. At first I thought it was somehow a joke - surely this isn’t real? Surely her 3 year old child wasn’t assessed in childcare as a pass/fail (well, “Met/Developing”) for her knowledge of gender stereotypes. Or at the very least an outdated developmental milestone check list that had been used by her childcare centre by mistake

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8 Reasons I’ll Miss the School Holidays

school holidays

School is going back all over the country over the next week! My newsfeed is full of first days and new uniforms and parents announcing “FREEDOM!!!” There’s biggest babies starting school, and youngest babies starting school – and from what I can tell the latter is more difficult to deal with for the Mums and Dads.

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My Kid’s Most Prized Possession

kids favourite toy

A fight broke out this morning between my 2 and 6 year old over a toy. It was about as intense as their fights get, started off with shouting and screaming and ended with a block hurled at someone’s head and the tears that followed. Both children needed a talking to and a bit of comfort, but after some creative negotiation they were reunited and returned to playing cooperatively again.Thank goodness.But what was this toy that could cause such a fuss between two usually peaceful siblings?

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7 Gentle and Effective Ways to Respond When Your Child Acts Aggressive

child acts aggressive

It’s a stab to the heart… When your gently raised child starts biting, hitting, pushing and smacking. You always hear that children learn by watching their parents… but YOU do not bite, hit, push or smack, so why is your child? It’s baffling and it can become quite frustrating to deal with. Deep down in your heart, you know that you’re doing the right thing by not using authoritative punishment for your child, but you’re seriously questioning yourself and don’t know what to do.

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Feeding a Fussy Eater

fussy eater

A long time ago, before I had children, someone told me they cooked their family multiple meals a night to cater to their family’s individual tastes. I thought that was ridiculous. I thought: one day, when I have a family, there is no way I’ll be making an alternate dinner for anyone.Even later on when my son was a toddler a friend vented her frustration at the fuss of cooking two meals a night; a “kids” meal and an “adults” meal. I still thought heck no! That’s not happening in my home.

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Introducing A New Baby To An Older Sibling

introducing a new baby

The idea of introducing a new baby to your first baby can be a little daunting. There's no way to know beforehand how they'll respond to an enormous change in their lives like becoming a big brother or sister. The best we can do is prepare our older child as much as we can and prepare ourselves to make the household run as smoothly as possible. But at the end of the day whatever will be will be.

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School Lunchbox Ideas

school lunchbox ideas

Packing lunches every morning does become a bit uninspiring, my lunch boxes certainly don’t look like the ones on Pinterest. But here are some ideas that might brighten them up, without too much fuss and expense.Firstly some simple (and not overly expensive) gadgets might help make lunch box filling easier.

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Why are Kids Getting into trouble for being kids?

kids getting in trouble

The little boy at the playground could not have been more than 20 months old. Although I had seen him with his parents before, when he came wondering slowly over to the water play area, his parents were nowhere to be seen. My girls had asked for permission to get wet in one of the fountains. I told them it was ok because we had a change of clothes in the car.

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Ice cream in a bag

icecream in a bag

Ice cream in a bag is an incredible simple, versatile and FUN recipe that you can adapt easily to your own tastes or what you have on hand.You will need:250 mls of Milk A flavouring and/or sweetener Several handfuls of ice A few tablespoons of saltSome flavours you could try:Dried fruit Choc-chips Nuts

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Gardening with Kids

gardening with kids

Gardening with kids is a great way for children to learn about nature, where food comes from some basic biology. (and if you're gardening skills are anything like mine they may also learn about disappointment when the garden doesn't grow - fortunately this isn't "my" garden so it should be fine!) It may even help persuade our fussy eater to try to eat some vegetables if he grows them himself.

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Ready Set OOBLECK!

oobleck

Oobleck is pretty much what it sounds like. "Ooh! BLECK!" Otherwise known as a non-newtonian fluid. Which means it's a fluid that doesn't act like a fluid according to newtons laws of physics. It's often referred to as Oobleck based on a Dr Suess story called "Bartholomew and the Oobleck".This particular non-newtonian fluid is a sheer thickening fluid, which means the viscosity increases with the rate of shear strain.Or more simply - it's a fluid that acts like a solid when it's pressed on, squeezed and rolled, but goes runny when it's handle gently.Still confused?

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Children, Respect and Saying No

children have no respect

This letter was written by 9 year old Chloe. It says: “Dear Parents, It seems you both are a little overly strict tonight. Therefore I do not wish to read with you tonight. But if you change your additude I will be happy to. Goodnight.  From Chloe L Smith.” It’s …

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There’s Nothing to be Scared About

scared of water

“There’s Nothing to be Scared About” is Something I Never Say to My Kids. Her whole body was trembling. She was terrified. Margo’s swim lesson last week, was the last lesson of the day. She had been going to swim lessons at a different pool for a few years, but we …

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Proudly Raising Dependent Children

dependent children

I’m raising dependent children. No, that’s not a typo. I know that independent children is supposed to be the thing that parents want to achieve, but it’s really the last thing I want to do. Like, literally the last thing I do as a parent will be when my child becomes independent. That’s when they move out, get a job, rent their own place, start doing their own laundry and when that day comes this Mumma is going to celebrate with a bottle of champers! But really, that’s at least a decade and a half away! Right now, with a 2 and 5 year old, independence isn’t the lesson of the day.

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10 Thing I Love About School Holidays

love school holidays

I know school holidays get a lot of bad press but here are ten reasons I actually like school holidays.More Time With My School KidWhile we have moments when the children are bickering over the same toys...

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7 Tips for Gently Weaning a Toddler

gently Weaning a Toddler

My daughter is 2 and for me that signifies the end of “demand feeding”. I did the same with my son, after 2 years old of breastfeeding him on he was gently restricted to only feeding at home, at night, in bed.This sounds so easily done, 2 years of unlimited feeding is a pretty darn good run – you’d think they’d be a little more appreciative and cut me some slack! But for my toddlers reducing feeds has been what I imagine it would be like trying to take away a toddler’s dummy, special comforter, sleep routine and favourite snack all at once; lots of resistance.

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Pocket Money and Chores

piggy bank

There are two main schools of thought around Pocket Money and Chores. On the one hand, pocket money can be given as a direct payment to your child in return for chores they do. They may earn a set amount per activity completed (for example $1 for washing the dishes $2 for packing away laundry and so on, paid upon completion or at the end of the week) or a set amount which is paid or withheld whether or not they were generally helpful or completed all their tasks for the week.

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Drowning in toys

too many toys

We have a lot of toys. Like - a lot of toys; and not a lot of space for them. Though even if we had more room, there is still just too much "stuff".My kids are very very loved and have many adoring grandparents, uncles, aunties (both the related kind and the “basically family” kind) They have had so many things bought for them over the years, and also been given heaps of really amazing hand-me-down toys, mostly from my young cousins as they've outgrown them.

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Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy

breastfeeding beyond infancy

So, there’s this women in the UK who’s breastfeeding her 5 year old. Her picture is all over social media. People have been commenting “That’s sick!” “There’s no nutritional value!” “Who is it for, the mum or the child?!” and so on

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Learning, Playing and Expectations

Learning, Playing and Expectations

Children see no difference between playing and learning, as long as the learning is fun! ’Fun‘ does not mean things have to be flashy, shiny, loud, expensive or exotic (although they certainly can be). I swear, give a kid a cup and some water and they might play with it for half an hour. This learning while playing thing is not an easy concept for most adults to comprehend because we are so used to making meaning out of an activity. We are used to setting up purpose made activities to encourage a particular outcome.

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(Little) Guys and Dolls

boys and dolls

My friend phoned me and was understandably upset about a situation that had just happened to her and her son.She’d taken her daughter to school, bringing her 2 year old boy along. He was playing with a Barbie doll when they left, so Barbie came along for the ride. At school, while standing in the playground waving his big sister off to class, the little guy clutching a Barbie doll was surrounded by a small group of older boys, maybe 8 years old by my friend’s estimate. They began to taunt and tease him about his doll, asking him if he was a boy or a girl.

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“Helicopter Parenting” is on the Rise.

We've been hearing for a while now that "Helicopter Parenting" (or the academic term "Intensive Parenting" ) may have a detrimental effect on children. By hovering, and managing children's play times, parents may be interrupting their child's creativity and problem solving. Then by swooping in to save children from any discomfort or challenges, their children aren't getting the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, or resolve things on their own, then gaining confidence and independence.

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Do Kids Need Daycare For Socialisation?

The past week at the beach, Margo (nearly 4 years old), has been on a serious mission to make new friends. She’ll spot some kid (usually a girl dressed in pink), who is relatively her age, but often a quite a few years older and says, “Mom, do you see that girl waaaay over there? Is it ok if I go and play with her?” Of course, I say yes, if it looks reasonable, and then she bolts. Leaving myself and her baby sister in the dust.

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How Was Your Day? – A Poem For Starting School

starting school

To my big school boy, I try really hard not to overwhelm you with questions but I just want I know and I want you to tell me, How was your day? And who did you play with? Did you like your lunch? Did you eat all your sandwich? Do you listen to teachers? Did you get into trouble? What’s that scratch from? Did you trip and stumble?

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Baby Boy Starting School

In just 7 days my first baby will start school. It’s just starting to really hit me. I've been saying confidently for the last 6 months whenever I’m asked if I think I’ll cry, or how I feel about it, that I’ll be fine.

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Say Your “Sorry”.

To me, just saying ‘sorry‘ is just lip service. Actually, in some cultures, the term ‘sorry‘ is rarely used because it is considered awkward and insincere. Of course, I’m not bashing anyone for ‘actually‘ teaching their kids to say sorry.

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Learning to Read vs Loving to Read

I've always loved the way a good book can take you out of yourself - make you see and think things you’d never have thought of; make you reassess the world and your place within it. Aside from the joy of immersing myself in a story, I also love the instant bond of friendship you find when you meet someone who's read the same books. My brother and I bonded over books as we grew up, but our journeys of learning to read and loving to read were very different.

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Raising Children Without TV

Raising Children Without TV Sometime today, the house got quiet… like real quiet. The motormouth had stopped motoring for a few moments and I went looking to see what sort of trouble my three year old was getting into. When I found her, she was sitting on the couch, glued …

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Say What I Mean…

I'm still getting this wrong. I've had some pretty big fails with saying exactly what I mean to our 4 year old. This is sort of a continuation of “lying to children”, because more and more im finding my little boy needs absolute literal honesty.

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What is Attachment Parenting

There are a lot of different ideas about what Attachment Parenting is. It can be interpreted in many different ways, both by people who identify with Attachment Parenting in their own family, and by people who judge it from the sidelines.

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“It’s a Pet!…..It’s a Pillow Pet!”

When I first saw these advertised, and on shelves, I wasn’t that keen on them, I thought they looked weird, but I can see the appeal, they look pretty comfortable for little people to snuggle up to, just that it wasn’t something we would buy. When the dream light ones were advertised on television .............

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Toilet Training

Stay Positive. This cannot be emphasised enough – toileting, or “toilet training” – should not be a source of shame, punishment, anger, or disgust from the parent. If you are getting frustrated and fed up take a breath (or maybe hold your breath) and think about the long term impacts.....

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Stop Trying To Fix My Kids Sleep

Stop Trying To Fix My Kids Sleep Ugh, I apologise if this is a bit ranty and not terribly well written – I’ll explain why. Last night my 1 year old and 4 year old “tag teamed” me all night. ALL night. Baby has a blocked nose, it was pissing …

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Lying to Children

Lying to Children Do you ever lie to your children? I’ll be honest – I do. Sometimes it’s far easier to tell our 4 year old “No, we don’t have any chocolate in the house” when in fact we do, or “there’s no veggies in the pasta sauce” or that …

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A little bit of Madness

Do you remember....................... Being able to go on the monkey bars, WAAAY HIGH off the ground, do flips, Be able to go on a few a time with friends?

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