In times of limited health care budgets, it can be frustrating for parents and children, when therapy sessions are few and far between. Emily has some great tips on getting the most out of therapy for children.
‘I’m so cross. I had a speech & language session with our local community speech & language therapist and she said she couldn’t see us more than every six weeks! How on earth is my son going to be able to progress at that rate?? I mean, seriously. He’s three and can’t talk yet. Surely they can see he needs some serious intervention? Bloody funding issues but I think they actually just don’t care. I’m furious about it.’
I’ve heard this all too often – about Speech & Language, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy…any kind of therapy for children. Yes there may be funding issues, and the frequency of appointments might well be less than the therapist would ideally be recommending, but every six weeks can be enough to make the difference.
In the past years, I’ve become aware of a growing trend, an ever increasing number of young mums are becoming entrepreneurs. Beyond the yummymummy mumpreneur stereotype (two words that make me want to spit, by the way, but that’s a topic for a later post!), there are thousands of women who are taking the scary step into self-employment.
For some it is due to the cost of childcare, as they can schedule their work around the sleeping and playing patterns of their children. For other mothers, the time out after the birth gives them an opportunity to re-evaluate their life and career path, and to take a different route. We spoke to Nisha Patel, co-founder of Natural Health Star, a new online health store, who has taken that first step.
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My daughter comes home with a badge pinned to her school uniform: DEPUTY, it says in proud capital letters.
“I’m a deputy teacher”, she tells me. “Miss Jamieson* moved me to sit next to Jack and Max because they don’t behave and I do. It’s mostly the boys who don’t behave so we need to model good behaviour for them.”
She’s not wrong: it is the boys. “Boys will be boys”, they are told. It is the boys who talk during quiet time, wrestle when it comes time for silent reading, tear the art supplies and shout out at assembly. The girls’ learning is interrupted again and again while the teacher deals with their male companions. They are asked to change seats to calm the boys. They are asked to lay down their advanced reading books to help their male friends catch up.
Meanwhile, my daughter is proud of her role as gatekeeper. She stops what she’s doing to shush the boys when they get rowdy. She reports to me after school that Jack is sounding out longer words now, but she’s worried because Max had to sit in the quiet corner and maybe the teacher will take her coveted title away.
You’d think by the time the kids reach their preteen and teenage years, they’d be too old for storytelling, but you’d be wrong. This is the perfect time for them to hone their storytelling skills, and it has a number of spin-off benefits too. The skills involved in creating, editing and telling a great story are useful in many areas of teenage life.
The worst thing that any parent can imagine is the death of a child. It is the stuff of nightmares, the kind that wake us at 3am, and send us to give our children a quick kiss, and a stroke of their hair. Just to know that they are safe. It was a dream, just a bad dream.
Sadly, for some parents, this isn’t a nightmare. It is reality. When the worst happens to a friend, it is difficult to know what to do, what to say, as no words can make things better, or heal the pain. No platitude can lessen the heartbreak, but still we are often consumed by the feeling that we must DO SOMETHING! Anything. It was this feeling of helplessness and empathy that lead to the foundation of the Woolly Hugs charity.
The days of washing out the mouths of children who swear are thankfully behind us, but what is the right way to react when your children curse?