Adventures in Parenting – Why is my Daughter Responsible for Boys’ Behaviour?

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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.

Simple Tastes 5 – Banana Pancakes

What is better than a plateful of pancakes, on a cold and windy day, to warm the kids up when they come home from school? Asha is back with another #SimpleTastes recipe, and this is one we can’t wait to try out.

I know this series was supposed to be about ideas for weekday dinners, but I couldn’t resist putting this one in. And, to be honest, if you try it, you will see why. So many pancake recipes – and I’m talking about American-style thick pancakes here, not your thin French crepes – seem to involve multiple processes like separating eggs, melting butter and carefully spooning mixture into ring moulds, and, quite frankly, who has time for that, let alone the ensuing washing up? This recipe is simplicity itself, involving little more than forking together a few ingredients in a jug.

#PrettyCurious Workshop at the Science Museum

On Thursday 15th October, the basement of the Science Museum in London was filled with 15 and 16 year olds competently assembling circuits, designing smart gadgets and using laser cutters and 3D printers to bring their creations to life. The atmosphere was buzzing, filled with the excited voices of young engineers as they traded ideas and competed to see who could build the most impressive device. This was the first #PrettyCurious workshop, and all the teenagers were young women.

Prepare Your Tween for Secondary School

The move from the slightly cosseted existence of primary school to the adventures of secondary (or high school) can be difficult for children to navigate, even with the transition programmes that many schools have in place. What can YOU do, to help the move go more smoothly, and best prepare your tween for secondary school?

Put Down Your Phone!

New research undertaken by the company Startrite into internet usage by tweens was released this week. Their aim was to speak to the kids directly, without the influence of their parents, to find out how kids use the internet.

The survey of 698 children was conducted in primary schools in England, with 17 schools selected to give a good geographical spread.  Almost all of the children surveyed own some kind of digital device, and 45% of them said that their parents don’t set rules on how long they can use it.  20% of the children aged 7 – 8 years old use their devices more than 4 hours a day, and almost half admit to using their device in secret.

8 Things Parents of Kids with Allergies Wish You Knew

Like all parents, I sometimes worry about my children when they are out of sight. Did they look both ways before crossing the road? Who are they talking to online? Are they really coming straight home from school?

Some parents have worries that go far beyond that, because the dangers their children face are seemingly benign … and yet they are everywhere. We talked with affected parents, and asked them what the main things are that they, as parents of kids with allergies, wish you knew.