Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Balancing mummy guilt with mummy love

When I speak to other Mummies I often find we end up on the topic of Guilt. With many mum's agonising (myself included) about decisions we make that effect our children and ourselves.

 One of the biggest things I come across is feeling that guilt when we want something for ourselves. It could be a simple haircut ("oh but the kids need this or that") or wanting to even better ourselves with furthering our education or even going back to work to further our career which we may have spent 10years working on.

Why do we feel this guilt? I think because we all deep down inside carry an 'ideal' of what a mother should be. The perfect Stay at home mum whose children play happily while she keeps a perfect home and her make up and hair is flawless and has a body die to for. Not to mention her children are always well behaved (Yeah right) Go to bed without an argument, get fab grades in school and the list goes on and on! Not to mention the media who are so quick to blame the parents as soon as the child mucks up.

I believe as parents we want the ABSOLUTE BEST for them. We want to be there for every scraped knee, fall, trip. We also want to be there for the great moments too the moments of triumph and joy. The first steps and first smiles.  We feel bad if we have to go back to work and miss these things. So how do we balance the guilt and the love?

My mum answered this question for me when I asked her? You can only do the best you can do with what you have at the time and if you have to work you must take pride in the fact you are providing for your family. You have to sometimes shut out that little guilt monster out of your mind and not let it win because you can end up doing things, (like buying things or letting them get away with bad behaviour because your not around all the time and you don't want the time you are spending with them to be bad) which are far more detrimental in the long term than a time out or just time with mummy or daddy kicking the ball around.

Balancing love and guilt is a bloody hard thing and not always easy to decipher between the emotions. I'm finding out the hard way by being in the middle of something with dd1 and giving in and then thinking I gave in because I feel guilty about losing my temper and yelling at her when I probably could have handled the situation better. Sometimes I feel as if I am between a rock and a hard place. (sigh)

I think us parents need to know that we are doing our best and we are giving them the best and that is unconditional love and our time. Remember that guilt is a useless emotion and (try) aimed at me) to not let it win too often.

Kimba xx


Monday, March 28, 2011

Teach your child music and end up with a happy adult!

I have been doing a lot of research into the benefits of teaching music in early childhood and the wonderful effects music has on learning academically as well as socially?

I have come across this fantastic BBC website which has some great bullet points about the benefits of music. Music and it benefits have been highly researched at the results are in, Please read below some of the benefits Music has


Why Music Matters
Music benefits every aspect of development
Music is catching. Soon after my child took up playing the piano, I took up the violin.
Harry Bisham, Parent
Music helps us to make sense of the world. Through sound we can give an expressive shape to our experience. It is a pleasure and a joy for its own sake. The National Curriculum for music says, "As an integral part of culture, past and present, it helps pupils understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between the home, school and the wider world."
Recent research emphasises the benefits of learning music:
  • Music aids the development of speech. Singing simple songs teaches your child how language is constructed. According to Jessica Pitt from the Pre-School Music Association: "Babies seem to learn best when songs are experienced through their bodies. Movement and music greatly enhance acquisition of language."
  • Music helps children to learn maths. "When children learn rhythm, they are learning ratios, fractions and proportions," says Professor Gordon Shaw, University of California, Irvine, after his study of seven year-olds in Los Angeles. (I can vouch for this I have an Uncle who is a highly respected Saxophone player is also a mathematician (retired) at Uni SA. My Auntie in law also has PhD in Music and if she did not have an academic career in Music would have become a math teacher)
  • Music enhances social skills. "Children who take part in music develop higher levels of social cohesion and understanding of themselves and others, and the emotional aspect of musical activities seems to be beneficial for developing social skills like empathy," says Dr. Alexandra Lamont, Lecturer in the Psychology of Music at the University of Keele
  • Music enhances your child's intellectual development. Dr. Frances Rauscher, from the University of Wisconsin, says that music "helps improve children's ability to reason abstractly, by strengthening neural firing patterns of the brain that are relevant to both musical and spatial cognition."
  • Most music teachers will tell you that music encourages self-expression and self confidence. As a non-verbal language, music can convey a complexity of emotions, and offers a means of expression to a shy or diffident child who finds it hard to communicate through speech

Parents Music Room Links:
Music and Speech Development | The Listening Game| Kindergarten Karaoke | Learning an Instrument

I also read an interesting statistic that 33% of all Medical Doctors have had some form of formal music training as a child. Whether that be a musical instrument or singing instruction. Music should be brought back in to be a part of the everyday curriculum in schools and Early Childhood Centres. Let's expect the best for our children.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Right brain education the future or quackery? part 3

Right Brain education for babies and toddlers really is the future. The more I read about the latest research about the brain and young children and what they are capable of doing the more I want to do right brain education with my own tots.

I am learning so much because RB Ed. is soo gentle and not forceful like school can be. You teach to where your child is at and you follow their lead. So I thought I would post how to determine where your child is at and how to teach where they are at. The Tweedlewink course is also about respecting where the child is at so if you have a two year old who is extremely active and can't sit still at all for a lesson their are many ways which you can teach to that.

The Stages from RBkids Tweedlewink course

Characteristics: Developing inside the womb, can hear outside noises from 5 months. The baby thoughts and feelings are intimately linked with the mother and brain development is rapid.

Communication  Loving thoughts from mother. Lots of tummy rubs, singing, reading, play some audio books and you can add foreign language cds. RB Input 100%

Newborn 0-9mnths

Characteristics: Dependent upon mother, highly sensitive to emotional and physical environment, developing outer senses and brain developing quickly absorbing all information. Preparing for mobility.

Communication: Flashcard lesson corner, Lots of Black and White Stimulation cards, mobile and at the change table, Nice soft pure materials, Tummy time and opportunities to crawl. Lots and lots of love and hugs and loving people.

Infant 10-18months

Characteristics Developing fine and gross motor skills actively mobile, imitating sounds and actions. Curious about environment and eager to explore, building communication skills.

Communication: Sign language, narration, teaching words for feelings, lots of praise, flash cards, posters, play areas, play mats, large toys, low shelves lots of climbing, jumping and walking opportunities.

Infant Toddler 19-27months

Characteristics Moving and communicating, exploring and wanting independence, matching, responds to instructions, enjoys pretend play, limited ability to focus (up to 15min) able to hold a pencil,

Communication: Add steps for sink independence,(teeth brushing and hand washing) supervise sand and water play, craft learning table, reading corner,  small table and chairs, chalk board, labelled shelves and draws, outside play pretend play. Ask questions support creative and logical response.

Toddler 28-36months

Characteristics. Speaks and Understands well, beginning counting, beginning to read letters and basic phonic sounds draws shapes and pictures can focus for approx 20minutes.

Communication: Continue to ask questions, mostly same as above but create parent/child work areas to teach practical life skills, such as cleaning/cooking, baking and carpentry.

Pre-School 3-6 years.Characteristics Reads letters and words, understands basic maths concepts (adds and subtracts) organises material mentally (match sequence multiply) expresses imagination, expresses independent ideas. can focus up to 30minutes.

Communication, Memory games, continue to ask questions and support creative and logical answers, Learn more about the wink program.

The above age groups is a guide only if your child is say 29months but still expresses characteristic of the Infant-toddler stage than teach to the stage they are in not the age group. RB ed is about a gentle approach and following your child rather than pushing them along. Respect where they are at and trust in the fact that all the info is going in. I know I am continually surprised by my dd and her knowledge all the time.

Good luck to all you dedicated parents out there. I can not highly recommend this course enough I learnt soo much. Even a few little tricks to. Worth doing and not expensive either.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Motherhood as a career choice?

I often get asked the question "So, when are you returning to work?" At the moment I answer sheepishly in Novemeber. I really don't want to go back at the moment by dream is to be at home with my two girls until they start school. It often surprises me that I feel this way, I never thought as a modern woman, especially one who grew up in a household of a very successful career woman for a mother that I would want to be at home with them rather than be in the work force even if it is just part time.

Motherhood even with its up and downs and days with defiant two year olds I couldn't think of a palce I would rather be. I know that being at home is not glamourous, there are no designer outfits here, no one to say your doing a great job, no one to comfort you when you are brought to tears by your two year old but the rewards are endless and I know that I have built something with my girls a bond that is so strong and that is priceless.

Now I know that this is not a choice every woman has. Some women want to return to work and that is fine this is not a place I will ever degrade another woman's choice. One must do what is right for them and some woman are tremendously better mothers when they are not at home all the time. Some don't have a choice and must return for financial reasons.

So why would I choose Motherhood as a career? Because it is the best job in the world and also the most challenging. You must be always one step ahead. You must be ready to zig when they zag and vice versa. You still have to keep going even if you feel like shit and the best thing of all is you get to teach them stuff. I love nothing more than playing silly sentences with my DD1 and reading the sentences and giggling away together. Or doing a flashcard lesson and hearing the words more, more Mummy. Being utterly amazed by the ever changing person that they are coming. Having my 3 month old smile her little face off when I give her a flashcard lesson or sing her Alouette. I love the bond that this builds and I feel privileged to be a part of it.

I may never reach the heights of  a CEO of a major corporation like I used to dream when I was a teen but in my eyes I am the CEO of my household and the position of mother deserves all the accolades and respect given to any CEO and the responsibility I carry far out  weighs one.

This post is to all the mothers out there those who sacrifice on a daily basis, those who say no and have the argument with the child than giving in and saying yes. Those who still battle the work force when they don't want to. Those mothers who are in the workforce who after work get in the car rush home than ferry their children to countless sporting commitments or friends place or sit down and go through homework even when they are dog tired. You have my utmost respect you truly work the hardest job in the world go and pat yourself on the back and go buy yourself something nice without feeling guilty because you've earnt it.

Kimba xx

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Just a little busy this week will be back next week with another blog

Hi everyone.

This week i'm a little flat out organising my DD2 Christening. Plan on being back next week with some blog updates.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What Adults can learn from Kids

A very interesting talk by Child Prodigy Adora Svitak. Funny with some intriguing ideas.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Right brain education the future or quackery? part 2

Hi Everyone,

I have just completed Module 2 of the Tweedlewink overview course. Module 2 concentrated on the Tweedlewink formula which is 6 Senses + 6 Stages = 12 Techniques.

The stages are:   

The Senses Are

12 techniques
Fly (Graduate to the wink program)

What I gathered the most from this Module is the importance of the parent/child relationship when it comes to this early learning program. If your relationship with your child is very tense or the other relationship's within the household are tense no matter what you try to teach or do it will not work. It is also important the reasons why you want to teach your child an early learning program as well? Are you hoping to make a child genius or wanting to build a better bond with your child? If your motives for teaching are not right your child and you will end up having a horrible time together because they will sense that your motives for being with them do not come from a place of love and yes they do pick up on this just hold a baby when you are very upset and see what happens. The baby will become upset to.

The Right Brain is the emotional brain and responds to a calm and loving environment and is at its optimum when it is relaxed. The right brain is able to take loads and loads of information not in sequential or logical order which is why you can use flashcards of many different varieties the right brain can take it all in and the left brain will put it in order later. A Right Brain programme is gentle, not forceful which many of us can recall being made to sit down in a classroom and learn something totally useless or not want to learn something. Which is why I think a gentle no testing your child programme that works is hard to fathom and I know that I have had a hard time with some of the concepts but I also have read up on the two different hemispheres and what each hemisphere is responsible for and what this course is saying does make sense.

Time to talk about the techniques:
1. Love ( Images of thought and emotion)
2. Image (Hold the highest image of your child and their future happiness)
3. Flash (High quality visual images)
4. Listen (High quality Audio classical music, world music languages)
5 Talk (talk to your child about what is going on)
6. Track (Visual movement)
7. Move (Exercise)
8. Think (Matching, Sorting, Sequencing)
9. Draw (Writing and Drawing)
10. Do (Purposeful Play)
11 Read (Early Reading skills)
12. Fly (To the wink programme)

The 6 Senses relate to learning styles. Now if you are teaching a newborn then they are less likely to have developed a learning style  but if you have an infant/toddler toddler or preschooler your child might have developed a distinct learning style. ( I will go into how to determine your child's learning style later in part 3)

Sight = Visual
Sound = Auditory
Touch = Tactile (kinesthetic)
Taste =  Tactile
Smell = Tactile
Thoughts/Feelings Energy Sensitive.

How do each of the techniques relate to the brain

The first four techniques relate to the optimum development of the Right Brain it needs love, positive images from the people that love him/her around the child. High quality visual input through flashcards, picture books and posters. Last but not least High Quality audio input which can be through book reading, languages classical music or any other calming music.

The next three a Corpus Collusem builders. The Corpus Collusum is the band of fibres that connect the right and left brain. These nerves relay information back and forth between the right and left hemisphere. Healthy left and right communication occurs through these techniques
5. Talk Speak to your baby.
6. Track - Visual tracking doing eye exercises with the baby holding an object and moving it left and right, up and down and in circles.
7. Move Exercise (exercises that cross over the mid line of your body. Touch your left hand to your right foot and vice versa, crossing arms over chest first left over right then right over left.

The next four are a foundation for optimum left brain development.
8. Think, Matching games, sorting games and sequencing games,
9. Draw  Showing and interest in writing and drawing pictures such as a person with legs and arms.
10. Do Purposeful play. Pretend to cook, look after a dolly, build things with a work bench.
11. Early reading: Able to sound out words phonetically 'g' 'o' go or 'c' 'a' 't' cat
 understands alphabet maybe able to read a few words e.g I like apples.

Well I hope this has got some of you thinking about using Right Brain Education with your children I will be going on with part 3 very soon


The above information comes from the Tweedlewink overview course by Pamela Hicken if you would like to know more please visit the website