It’s the school half term holiday this week, on top of changing the clocks at the weekend, so we are doing lots of different things. Today I tried to work from home around the kids, and was happily distracted when they wanted to re-watch a Harry Potter film. We love Harry Potter in this house.
Meanwhile we are all thinking about everyone caught up in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
There’s a great article in You magazine today about dealing with grumpy, threatening, depressed,shy, underachieving or hyperactive children. In fact the method sounded good for any number of relationship issues with your child.
“Love Bombing – Reset Your Child’s Emotional Thermostat” is a book written by Oliver James and published by Kamac Books. It describes a technique, quite the opposite to strict punishment, where by you give your child intense love for a set time. The child is told that are going to have a period where they can do whatever they like within reason, whilst having the exclusive attention of a parent. The child is in charge of where they go, what they do, when they eat, when they go to bed along with getting lots of cuddles and being told that they are loved as often as possible. The time frame could be a weekend, a day or short bursts. Afterwards the experience needs to be rekindled daily for a half hour for it to have lasting effects.
Surprisingly the child is willing to accept boundaries afterwards. Often with stricter discipline the child is playing up because they are feeling needy and deprived, loveless and powerless. Love bombing dissolves the anger and neediness leaving calmer more biddable children. It’s more than just “Quality time” it’s about going the extra mile and reaping the benefits. Sounds good to me.
Love Bombing- Reset Your Child’s Emotional Thermostat by Oliver James
There was a very controversial article in the Daily Telegraph yesterday written by Glenda Cooper comparing the parenting styles of the French to us Brits and our cousins across the pond. Glenda was delving into the latest book to be launched in a range of bestsellers which talk about the French way of life. This book “Why French Children Don’t Talk Back” by Catherine Crawford compares the upbringing of her own unruly children to those of her French friend.
I’m sure many of you have read or heard about several others on this same theme, there have been; French Women Don’t get Fat, French Children Don’t get Fat, French Kids Eat Anything and French Children Don’t Throw Food. Truth be told we’d all like to know their secrets.
Glenda summarises her conclusions from the book by comparing the Continental upbringing of children as an echo from our own 1950’s approach to child rearing. Hmm! an interesting theory and one which, I’m sure, will be discussed more in-depth by todays mothers!
Why French Children Don’t Talk Back, by Catherine Crawford.
Having talked about this book, only a couple of days ago, in my bog titled “Cancer the scary big “C” word”, Mumsnet book club is also promoting the same book. There is a chance to get your hands on one for free for 24 hours from 10am today.
If you missed the Mail on Sunday review, A monster Calls, by Patrick Ness is the story of a 13-year old boy whose mother gets cancer. It was originally written for children to help them come to terms with the emotional chaos this can cause amongst a family. However it has been repackaged for adults too. Reviewed in the medical journal The Lancet, many medical professionals support its content.
Check out Mumsnet bookclub for other book giveaways and book club news.
The Mail on Sunday has an article written by Kate Wheeler a child oncologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, reviewing a book called “A monster Calls” by Patrick Ness. Originally written for children it tells the story from the eye of a 13-year-old boy whose mother is terminally ill.
First written for children aged 9 years and over, it tackles the difficult subject of cancer and the emotions caused by the illness. It has even been reviewed in the medical journal, The Lancet. Kate has recommended the book to patients and their families, health professionals, teachers and friends. The book has just been re-packaged for adult readers.
The book can be summed up in the Authors own words, and is a book I shall put on my “want to read” list. Patrick Ness says; “The story is about loss and there’s not a person in the world young or old – who hasn’t experienced that”
With my oldest child entering the second and last year of her GSCE courses, news comes that school policies of re-sitting exams will be stopped. This is a direct reaction to news from top universities. When they look at applications from students with identical A level results, they will then look back further at their GCSE results. The number of exams which the student has re-sat to enable them to achieve high results, will go against them. So the schools will, for the moment, be putting an end to limitless re-sits.
I think I agree, as a parent, of course I want my child to achieve their best, however I think one shot at the exam for everyone is also a good policy. It will ultimately mean less exams to sit and fewer exam stresses.
Of course in today’s climate with fees rising and when students leave university with huge student loan debts and no prospect of a job, I’m yet to be convinced that it is a viable choice. I’d like to see a return to apprenticeship schemes where learning and earning a wage go side by side.
When I picked my kids up from school, my heart wanted to break for my poor boy after his first day. Plunged into the scary unknown he found himself without anyone he knew from his old school in his lessons. He did have one friend in his tutor group, but this only meets at form time in the begining of the day. The school runs a vertical tutoring group system where each group has 4-5 kids from each year group in it. The system works well for peer mentoring.
Back to day one, the building repair works, started during the holidays had overrun and some rooms were unavailable for teaching. Only the new year 7’s and the oldest Year 11’s attended yesturday. After initial school tours and photos lessons began. My son didn’t understand from his tutor that he would attend taster lessons. Of the four lessons, he had room errors in three of them. A shy child at best he had to tell the teacher he wasn’t on her list, or he turned up at the wrong room. My heart just broke when he said children had laughed at him. Naturally he wanted to curl up in a ball and die of embaressment. He most certainly didn’t want to return for a second day of torture.
As a caring mother I have been in touch with the school to see if he had the right timetable and asked them to make it clear when room changes occur, especially for the new kids. Then together with my oldest child we went over routes to lessons and where rooms were. He now has a multi-coloured map. He has bravely gone off today with the intention to make one new friend, not get lost and to make it through to the end of the day. Me? After very little sleep, I’m home and a blubbering mess!!
With my second child on the edge of giant change from a small primary to a large secondary, it makes me think about how I need to support him at this challenging time. I already have another child already at secondary so am quite relaxed about the transfer, but I am not my son. I am not the one who will need to make new friends, get to and from classes all over the school and survive in the big new school. I am not the one who must remember the right books, not loose my PE kit, listen to the teacher when they hand out homework instructions and remember to do that homework on time.
I can support my children by having a copy of their timetable where I can see it every morning to help them with the pre school check.
I can insist that we have a visible list that all homework is written on with due dates, and that each day we check it together.
I will have tea ready when they get home to refuel them after their long day. I will not ask them about their day until they have had some down time unless they want to talk about it straight away.
Lastly I will have all their uniform named and ready for the start of term. I will set a good example of calm and organisation. And I will always be there for a hug and reassurance.
Anyone else putting up with the back to school grumps? So far it’s been quite a pleasant 6 week holiday, until this morning when things just seemed to blow up out of control. Reminders to child number 1 that there was still outstanding homework from child number 2, who is in limbo having left primary school but starts secondary next week, didn’t go down well! I wonder why?
Child number 2 is feeling vulnerable having been the oldest and “top dog” class last year, will now be the lowest and newest this year. So we have mood swings and senseless demands as we head into the mysterious world of being a teenager!
Child number 1 has only one more year at secondary, so we will have to think about 6th form options pretty soon. Fate by Tallulah Grace
This book is a thriller to me and I’m afraid that thrillers scare me too much! I have disturbed sleep after reading them. However it was well written until the end, I found the ending rather abrupt after the long build up and for me I would have preferred to know more about what happened to the characters afterwards, but that’s the old romantic in me I suppose.It is good to challenger yourself to read different types of material.