Diamond Mums

diamond mum mother

A friend of ours was recently discussing diamonds with us, after proposing to his girlfriend :-)  It’s been over ten years since we went engagement-ring-shopping but I still remember learning about the 4 Cs – cut, clarity, colour and carat!  Our friend laughed about the fact that synthetic diamonds are often of equal beauty to natural diamonds… the only problem is that they are too perfect! Continue reading

Climbing Up and Falling Down

I believe that kids and nature belong together, so I encourage my children to play daily outside, exploring their backyard and the natural elements in it.  I believe that tree climbing is one of childhood’s greatest joys.  I believe that happy kids require both freedom and boundaries.  I believe children’s environments should be as safe as necessary, rather than as safe as possible.  And I believe that falling down is a normal part of an active childhood. Continue reading

Screen Time for Kids

It’s a question often whispered amongst parents.  We don’t want to ask out loud for fear of judgment, but most of us admit to using it.  The TV.  The question is… how much is too much?

I spoke on air recently about screen time.  If you missed it on the radio, you might like to listen to the podcast below:

96Five Radio Podcast

Here are some of my thoughts:

  • I’m not against television viewing.  In fact, I quite often review children’s programs here on the blog.  BUT… I think as parents we should select what we allow our kids to watch, rather than leaving the TV to run.
  • The maximum time a child should spend looking at a screen is 2hrs a day.  Some new research is suggesting that children under two shouldn’t watch any television at all.  Keep this in mind especially if you have older children watching while your little one is in the room.
  • One of the biggest problems with television is what it doesn’t do.  It doesn’t converse with your child. It doesn’t improve your child’s fine or gross motor skills.  It doesn’t give them hands on experience.  It doesn’t replace the real world, or real people.  Make sure your child’s real experiences far outweigh their virtual ones.
  • Screen time includes more than TV.  If your child has access to a computer, iPod, iPad, iPhone or other smart phone it all counts towards screen time.  Two hours can pass quickly. It’s up to parents to monitor and limit use.
  • Use screen time when it best benefits your routine. For our family, it’s the late afternoon.  Usually the kids play outside in the afternoon, then they come in for some quiet screen time while I cook dinner.  Saturday mornings are the only mornings the TV is allowed to go on.

For a fantastic list of alternatives to screen time to try with your kids, check out this article “Installing Speed Bumps to Television Viewing” by Little Eco Footprints over at Childhood101.

Organising the Chaos

I often describe my life  as organised chaos. I’m a too-busy mama with too many to-do lists and not enough hours in the day!  Sometimes the result is a big, full, happy, satisfying week.  At other times though, the result is a frazzled mother, cranky kids and a messy home.  I’m always inspired by other women who are still busy, yet manage to calm the chaos. Continue reading