For those of you interested in what I’ve been writing about for mums and dads around Australia, here is a wrapup of my Parenting Australia posts for June. My favourite for the month is Pre Reading Foundations, a post about why we should NOT teach children to read before they are ready, but instead invest in their prereading skills. This post attracted a bit of attention! Click the link on each post to read more.
Sales and Celebrations – It seems the thing to say at the moment is “Happy EOFYS!” I don’t know about you, but something doesn’t sit right with me as we “celebrate” the end of financial year. I should be upfront and admit that I like a good sale. Actually, I LOVE a good sale and I hardly ever pay full price for anything. I like to make sure my dollar goes as far as it can, and I am not a frivolous spender by any stretch! Yes, I have been to the stocktake sales. Yes, I have made purchases. Yes, I have bought presents ahead of time while they are at reduced prices. Yes, I have bought children’s clothes a size ahead for when they need them. But no – I have not bought things unnecessarily simply because they are reduced. No, I have not spun into a sale-induced frenzy. And no, I don’t think sale season is, to quote a current tv ad, “the best time of the year.”
Pre Reading Foundations – Reading is a complicated process, and there’s an incredible amount of foundational work required before any formal teaching begins. The stronger the foundations, the more solid the building will be. Parents who rush to give their kids a “head start” without doing the ground work often do more harm than good. Wise parents invest in the foundations instead, and do not push young kids to read before they are ready.
How Crunchy Are You? – The first time I heard the phrase “crunchy parenting” I had to google it. (It’s a good thing I read a lot of blogs. How else would I keep up with all the current buzz words?) In a basic sense the term crunchy is interchangeable with alternative. But as more and more parents move away from mainstream ideas, and as more alternative ideas become widely accepted – things aren’t clear cut as they once were!
Never Say Never – If I could only give you one piece of advice for surviving with a newborn it would be this: never say never. It’s impossible to go into parenting without some pre conceived ideas. The media show us images of motherhood in parenting mags, glossies, tv ads and even in Holly wood blockbusters. And while we all know those images are sugar coated (and probably airbrushed too) they still contribute to our picture of early parenting. On the other hand, real life examples of mothering can come crashing in on our picture. We’ve all been guilty of judging a mother, whether a relative, friend or stranger, without having any clue about life with kids. It’s hard not to think about how we would respond in the same situation, and it’s funny how often we assume we’d do it better. Which of course leads to dangerous “I’d never…” thinking.
Preparing For Needles – I must admit that I’m not looking forward to tomorrow. My just-turned-four year old has an appointment with our GP for her immunisations. I’m relieved in a way, because it will be the last of the standard childhood injections. I’m also a little nervous though, because she’s such a big girl now and she understands exactly what is going on. Babies and young toddlers can be held down for their needles. Holding down a four year old isn’t so easy and other strategies are required. Without making too much of a fuss about it all, I hope I have prepared my girl with a few simple steps.