What is your parenting goal? One of mine is that my kids move out before they are 20 years old.
I’m only half joking when I write this. I don’t fear the Empty Nest Syndrome. While I adore my kids, I want them to live their own lives, and to get out and explore the world, in their own way. They’ve a while to go till then, so I’m building the foundations of their future, by ensuring that they have the necessary life skills to become independent adults.
We discussed this recently on our Facebook Group, and came up with a list of Life Skills for Kids
When a friend recently talked about ‘Gentle Parenting’, or parenting without punishments or rewards, I will admit to first having to look up the term, and second thinking that can’t possibly work.
After reading the list on this blog, I realised that I’d been practicing a version of this parenting philosophy, without knowing there was a name for it. There is no blueprint for successful parenting, and I wouldn’t say that I am an expert, but these are the tactics that have worked for me, and my family.
Parenting can feel like an extended battle at times. A war of attrition, with children pushing back against unreasonable parental demands such as wearing a coat when its raining, and putting the damn phone away at the table. To paraphrase the song, from the time they could talk, we ordered them to listen … and to do what they were told.
Last week, I really enjoyed Rebecca’s post on how to apologise. She talked about how apologising even when you don’t feel you are in the wrong may aid communication. It’s not just a colleague or a friend that this works well on, but also with our kids. Some parents have a feeling that if they let their kids win, that they’ve lost, but in actual fact everyone wins.
In an age of digital communication, it can sometimes seem as if schools are stuck in the past, pecking missives on ancient Olivetti typewriters, and sending them to parents via the often unreliable carrier pigeon of their pupils. Social Media can help, but it is not the perfect solution. We take a look at ways in which schools can update and improve communication with parents.
When our Science Editor Samantha set us the task of thinking up meals to make with the list of goods provided by her local foodbank, our Facebook group took up the challenge. What do you make with a pile of tins and dried food? The suggestions included pasta bake, jambalaya style rice dish, soup, fishcakes (using tinned fish and potatoes), cottage pie (using Smash and tinned mince), bubble and squeak.
One thing that we quickly realised was that without basic herbs, spices, breadcrumbs, oils and other ingredients to make the food more interesting and tasty, the meals would be bland and boring. Not to mention the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables!
We also realised that we didn’t know as much about them as we thought we did, and asked Sam to tell us the truth about foodbanks, how they are run, and who uses them.
Let’s be honest, finding appropriate video-games is a minefield even for those who are well informed. Some might say it’s as simple as reading the box but there is more to it than that.
Andy is a journalist specialising in video-games and families. He talks to a lot of parents struggling to catch up with their children’s gaming hobby and there are some simple steps to take to ensure the whole family has a positive experience.