Thursday, 31 July 2014

Mamatography 30 - Me and Mine: July

dear beautiful

We went to a G themed fancy dress party and decided to go as Greek Gods. Here you see Athena, Nike, Dionysus and Artemis. It's amazing what you can achieve with some Ikea bedding and a handful of fake foliage!

This is us when we stopped for lunch on our way back from a wonderful week's holiday in North Wales. We had so much fun and took loads of photos, but I suddenly realised on our return journey that we hadn't taken a single one of the four of us together!

This month:

The hubby has enjoyed...
The hot weather and the sun
Getting a tan
Going on holiday
Spending the day at Gypsy Wood
Swimming in the sea

I've enjoyed...
Going on holiday and being cooked for by my mum and dad
Listening to B singing the Goat song from The Troll
Making our Greek gods costumes
Being able to put M down for some of her naps, which has allowed me to have some one to one time with B
Swimming in the sea
Spending time with my youngest brother

B has enjoyed...
Stacking cups
Playing Safari Bingo with her uncle
Hearing people tell stories of things that have happened to them
Listening to The Troll by Julia Donaldson
Meeting the Fairy Queen at Gypsy Wood

M has enjoyed...
Learning to sit up by herself
Watching videos of B
Pulling herself up to standing
Eating risotto


We are taking (at least) a photo a day, a collage or a picture each week to keep a record of our year. Join us at any point during the year and start sharing your own daily photos!

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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Mamatography 27: Siblings - July

dear beautiful

Just look at them! Constantly laughing and smiling at each other. It really is a joy to behold. B loves to entertain her little sister; M loves to watch her big sister. Everything B does makes M laugh hysterically. The frustration is starting to kick in for B, as M gets older and more sure of herself. When B cries about not getting her own way, M grins at her, thinking it's just another form of entertainment. Of course, B takes great offence at this: "It's not fair! M is smiling at me!" And now M is trying to move, she reaches for the toys she wants - generally the toys B is playing with. It's hard for B; she's been the only one playing with everything until now; sharing isn't an easy concept for her to understand - she's not yet three, after all. However, she is getting much better at finding toys for M to play with, and giving her something in exchange for the toy she wants to take back. And M is still young enough not to put up a fight. But, for both of them, if the other has it, it must be worth playing with.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Crisis in Modern Parenting

This article has appeared several times on my Facebook newsfeed:
I don't like it. Firstly, I think it is very easy for a Nanny to make judgements, separated as she is from the all-encompassing love felt by a parent. Secondly, I believe it is the parenting style she - and other childless parenting "experts" - advocates that is causing the parenting crisis she speaks of. Before I had children, I was a teacher. In a secondary school. I came across hundreds of children each week. I had some pretty big views on how children should be brought up too. I watched Supernanny and nodded vehemently as she told the parents off and corrected the children. I ascribed to the idea of the naughty step and reward charts. As a teacher - like the Nanny who wrote the article - I felt qualified to hand out parenting advice. Hadn't I seen more children than any of these parents I had to speak to? 

But then I started to think about how these methods were implemented in the classroom. Detentions and credits were the norm. But they weren't helping difficult children in my classes to improve. Fear of punishment wasn't making them work harder; the offer of a reward wasn't helping to strive for better grades. Ironically, it was my lowest set who showed the most improvement and this was because I had to deal with them in a very different way. They needed tlc, having been told so often that they were not very good - behaviourally and academically. They needed to see the intrinsic benefits of learning. And many of them did eventually see that. There appeared a love of learning in that lesson, and a vast improvement in reading and writing levels. However, it wasn't until I got pregnant with B that I realised that my love for the Supernanny method was misplaced and that the "attachment" teaching that I had been doing with my bott set was a far better way. I maintain that the hardest children to teach are those who expect to be rewarded for doing well - they have no intrinsic desire to succeed, and instead a desire for increasing rewards. Where a credit had once been welcomed for an A grade, it was soon no longer enough. A credit became expected for completing work, then for listening quietly. Eventually there was no reward great enough. Pupils who need fear of punishment to work are almost equally difficult to teach. They don't have an intrinsic desire to learn either. Their desire is to avoid being sent out or put in detention. The punishments have to get bigger and bigger to have the same effect. And often the punishments meted out in school don't come anywhere near those received at home.