Should We Make Children Apologise?

According a survey, the average British person will say sorry 1.9m times in their lifetime. We say sorry for stepping on toes, sorry for having our toes stepped on, for bumping into people and for being bumped into. Can you get through the day without uttering that word? I doubt it. How and when do you teach your children to say sorry, and is it right to make children apologise?

Being the Mother I Never Had

mothering sunday

On Mothering Sunday my thoughts always turn to those who find this day difficult. Mothers whose children are no longer with them, or those who only have photos and memories of their mother. There is another group of people who find Mothering Sunday hard to bear. Our guest post was written by Alethea, mother of five children who has her own reason for struggling with this day.

 

I’ve been reading blog posts from those who have lost their mum, and so find Mother’s Day painful. Or those who have lost their children, and so Mother’s Day can be unbearable.

I haven’t however seen a blog from someone like me. Who has a mum, but doesn’t. My mother has never really BEEN a mother to to me. Certainly not a mother I can look back and have fond memories of.

I am a mother. I have a wonderful Mother-in-law, but I don’t have a mum I can go to when I am struggling, and she say to me – when I was your age etc.

Or even, when having a trying day with one of the children, that I can moan to her and she remind me of when I was like that, or that age, or silly things I said, or silly things I did.

I don’t know the exact time I was born – My mother always said a different time, and when I did have a relationship with my father, he told me a whole other time of day.

I don’t know what I was like as a baby. I have a few photos, but I don’t know if I was a good sleeper, a happy baby, a grumpy baby.

I don’t know when I took my first steps, or said my first word – or what that word was.

I know how old I was when my mother became too ill to care for me.

I know how old I was when I stopped wanting to see her (and was still forced to continue).

I know how old I was when I was locked in my headmaster’s office at middle school as my mother had escaped her hospital ward and hitch-hiked to get to me and take me away.

I don’t write this for sympathy. I write this as I know I have friends out there who also have their mothers, but don’t. Mainly due to horrific stories in their past.

I hold my hand out to those of you. We rock you know. We are learning how to be the mothers (parents in fact) we always dreamed of, without that perfect lesson we should have had.

 

 

More Reading

How to Break Up with a Toxic Parent  / HeySigmund

“It’s one thing to be dipped in venom by those you don’t really care about, but when it’s by the person who is meant to love you, hold you, and take the sharp edges off the world, while teaching you with love, wisdom and warmth how to do it for yourself, it changes you. There is a different kind of hurt that can only come from the people you love. Kind of like being broken from the inside out… ”

 

A Toast to all the Brave Kids Who Broke Up with their Toxic Moms / Jezebel

“You deserve recognition for completing the hardest break-up known to the human heart.

Whether it was because of an addiction, a compulsive need to put you down, an ex-communication, an inability to give and receive love, or just the turmoil of dealing with a broken woman, you did something that most people regard as taboo. And that takes courage…”

 

6 Back to School Moments

As the nights start drawing in, and the end of the holidays near, we turn our attention to the worst part of the school holidays. Getting ready to go back to school. Does any of this sound familiar?

How to Make Friends in Your Forties

No, you aren’t imagining it. It really is harder to make friends when you get older. When I look back at my teens and twenties, there was always someone to go out with, friends to meet for lunch. Even later, after the birth of my kids, I had plenty of friends. When my kids were babies and toddlers, I would sit outside the house with my neighbours, drinking tea and chatting while the children played in the communal courtyard. At some point though, after the third house move, it got more difficult. And I’m not alone in this.

7 Good Reasons to Raise Your Kids Bilingual

Does your family use more than one language? Or does your child speak a different language at school from the one spoken at home? This is the first in a series of three posts by Millie Slavidou – today looking at 7 good reasons to raise your kids bilingual.

In the past, bilingualism was often discouraged, and parents were advised to use only one language with their children. Non-native speaker parents would be encouraged to use what was for them a foreign language to communicate with their children. An awkward and false situation, especially for parents without a strong grasp on the dominant community language.

These days, things have changed. Studies have proved that bilingualism is not only possible, but beneficial. Children can easily cope with more than one native language and soon learn to sort out which vocabulary and grammar structures belong to which language.

Menstrual Cups and How They Can Help Girls Stay in School

In developing countries, the longer girls stay in school, the rosier their future.  When girls are educated, they tend to marry later and have fewer children, which improves their chances of surviving childbirth. They are more likely to be able to work, and generate income for their families, and their children are healthier, and more likely to go to school. The knock-on effects of longer schooling for girls is felt by the entire community.

The recently released results of a Kenyan study on menstrual cups and girls’ education show just one of many ways to help girls stay in school.