Let the kids be bored

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If you're a parent on social media you've probably seen those articles or blog posts that are meant to tug at your heart strings.  The ones that say, "the dishes can wait, your children can't."  They implore you to relish every moment of your precious children's life because they grow up so quickly. And it is precious.  And they do. But... I'm here to say - close that article, get off social media and go do those darn dishes, they won't do themselves. The children are alright. They really are. See, when my boys were little, those posts DID tug at my already tender heart strings. But seriously, life must go on.  I don't like eating off the floor. Or wearing the same clothes for a month. Or letting my garden to turn into a jungle. It's ok to take care of the things that need to be taken care…

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Let’s stop asking “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

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Hey, look, another blog post (I know, it's been a while)!  Life has been busy, busy, busy, but fun.  I've been writing, rebuilding my web-design business and teaching dance.  And learning, always learning.  Mostly about writing.  I feel like there are never enough hours in the day to learn ALL THE THINGS.  And of course, I've been raising my two precious boys. I've made great progress in the last few months towards getting myself out there as a writer, and also earning some money.  My mindset has changed from "I can't, I'm not good enough, I don't know what I'm doing" to "Of course I can, I've got this, if others can I can too..."  Yes I'm juggling a LOT and I've probably said yes to a few too many things, but hey, that's what makes life fun.  You've got to take advantage of opportunities that come your way.  And…

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Play with your words

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Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bugs bite... Do you do wordplay with your children? I lasso you... I label you... I link you... I list you... Oh, I LOVE you! Do you do word games, plays on words, puns, double entendres, spoonerisms, mixed metaphors or rhymes? I spy with my little eye, something beginning with... I spy with my beady eye, something beginning with... I spy with my tiddly eye, something beginning with... Wordplay is beneficial in so many ways.  You don't need to know the technical names, just have fun with words.  Here's why: It builds connection.  Children love wordplay, the funnier the better.  Laughter brings good feelings, which builds connection.  And connection is so important.  If you have noticed an increase in tantrums, meltdowns, defiance or other behaviour problems, it may be that you need to repair or increase your connection.  Laughter through wordplay is one…

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Encouraging Creativity to Blossom

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I attended an event over the weekend that was run by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. One of the topics that came up in presentation and in conversation was creativity in children. There's been talk recently of the job skills our children will need for a future in which some of the jobs have not yet been invented. And one of those skills, already highly valued and sought-after, is innovation. But where does innovation start?   It starts with creativity. Thinking outside the box. Everyone can be creative but it seems that people either believe they are creative or do not. But we are all creative, or we can be. As Elizabeth Gilbert says in her book Big Magic, "The earliest evidence of recognizable human art is 40,000 years old. The earliest evidence of human agriculture, by contrast, is only 10,000 years old."  Therefore, art and artistic…

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Getting Organised with Sensory Kids

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I've been a bit quiet this week, on the blog and in my writing.  I managed to submit a handful of manuscripts to two competitions early last week and so have been feeling less pressure on that front and have been slowly chipping away at a couple of picture book manuscripts. However, it's a universal truth that as one part of your life calms down, another goes haywire.  It's been quite tense in our house over the past few weeks as Mr Six seems to have hit a developmental growth period which somewhat resembles teenage-hood.  I won't go into details, but let's just say it hasn't been pretty and has probably disturbed the neighbours on more than one occasion. As is my style, I go into analysis mode and try to figure out a) the cause and b) the treatment.  I came to realise that Mister Six needed further support with his routines and…

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Tell Stories

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We had my parents over for lunch a few weeks ago.  My dad was telling jokes, the kind of “Dad” jokes that made me laugh as a kid.  My six-year-old son was doing these beautiful big belly laughs that remind me of me when I was his age.  My heart melts a little each time he does them because it means he’s totally relaxed and light-hearted.  And for my father to be the reason for them melts my heart a little more. We somehow got onto the topic of books (a foregone conclusion in my house).  It all started with Mr Men books.  Mr 4-year-old loves Mr Men and Little Miss books (no gender discrimination here!), he's got quite the collection, and he was giving the members of his family their very own Mr Men or Little Miss names. He named his dad Mr. Mean.  Ouch! I, apparently, am Little Miss Fussy. Not completely unwarranted, I suppose.  Then…

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