Beware of helicopter parenting But not for the reasons you’ve been told…

As I walked into the kitchen I was greeted with the buttery, sweet aroma of fresh pancakes. Scenes of slight chaos played out on the bench top as ingredients from the fridge and the pantry lay scattered on top of each other, mindlessly thrown to the side with the apparent belief that if you continue to ignore them they will disappear, better yet put themselves away,

I was prepared to overlook the mess, not just because the smell of the pancakes was so overwhelming but it was my 16-year old son cooking. And he was preparing the pancakes for his girlfriend.

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Money and profile are not my indicators of success

Here’s another woman whose advice I wont be paying much attention to. Her name is Samantha Ettus and I only know she exists because I read an article about her yesterday which probably gave her all the exposure she wanted. She clearly writes to alienate, in fact she quite smugly suggested she’s already getting hate mail and the book she’s written isn’t even out. Goals.

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Here’s a great way to ruin your child’s digital footprint. And their self esteem

Let me tell you something about living with teenagers; it’s Hormone City and that place is not always packed with sunshine and happy times. Teens are moody and emotional underdeveloped adults. They take risks and they rebel against their parents while still leaning on them for support and protection. They sulk, they grunt and they process things in a different way to those with a fully developed frontal cortex. (They are also pretty awesome)

And it has always been that way. Even back in “the good old days” where discipline reigned supreme, we seem to have forgotten that teenagers were always tricky subjects. [Read more…]

Motherhood guilt is a sickness

It’s a long time since I’ve been consumed with guilt by my own parenting. In fact many a month has passed since I have been tied up in knots of self-reproach and it’s been quite liberating. Admittedly it’s much easier to escape guilt when your child is a teenager and you aren’t invested in the squabbles and competitiveness of playgroups and online parenting forums, but still.

The thing is I was blissfully unaware of how guilt-free I was until this latest bout hit.

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I’m taking my parenting advice from the police

Just when I thought my days as a helicopter mother were over the police have informed me that I should continue. And I am nothing if not law abiding.

As far as labels go I never had a problem with “helicopter parent”. I know it’s got a bad rap in the press and I’m sure that there are studies that have shown kids whose parents hover are less resilient or don’t manage on their own as adults or some version of that. Just as I am certain there are studies that show that kids whose parents are present and involved feel loved and secured and are better at relationships when they enter adulthood. I guess it depends on how you interpret hover…

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Why teenagers are better than toddlers: the baking edition

I always thought I would be the mother in the Disney movie remake of real life. Not the evil witch mother but the caring, nurturing, play on the floor and bake cookies kind of mother. I loved children long before I had my own and after enduring a childhood fairy tales most definitely aren’t based on, I had it firmly in my mind that I would make my child’s life magical and wonderful. Wistful and dreamy even.

But, as every mother of young children knows, that’s not always how life goes. My attempts at doing craft quickly became sessions that will no doubt be relived in his therapy sessions when he’s older. I would not be surprised if the sight of craft paper or a glue stick instils fear in him even now. Let’s just say patience is not one of my virtues, in fact I embarrassingly remember screaming at him once for ruining my vision of his year K project. (Why on earth do they give Year K students projects?).

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Do you want the weekend off from your kids?

Rachael Finch is making headlines today for comments that she made in Sunday Style magazine.

The Herald Sun reports

On weekends, from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning, the two-and-a-half-year-old stays with Miziner’s mother, Irena. Violet’s great-grandma (Miziner’s grandmother, Elizabeth) is also on hand if the couple need some extra childcare.

“She’s just turned 85, and she walks down to our house and takes Violet for a walk,” Finch tells Sunday Style magazine.

“Every weekend (Violet) goes to Mish’s mum’s house, and we get our weekend to ourselves. I think that’s incredibly healthy for the relationship. And on Sunday, when we pick her up, we have 100 per cent energy back.”

This is not meant to incite hatred or nasty comments towards Rachael Finch in any way because she really doesn’t deserve that. Her weeks and weekends are very different to mine and when she spends time with her daughter doesn’t affect me at all. Plus Violet is surrounded by love and care and who could hope for anything more for their own offspring?

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I slept on my own last night. It was tough

It finally happened, last night I slept alone in my bed and it was awful. I watched the entire series of The Katering Show on IView followed by the whole series of When I Get A Minute. When I started thinking of writing in to tell Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabbe I preferred them on podcast I knew I was over tired. But still I couldn’t sleep. I read three chapters of a book I’m not loving and even that didn’t bring sleep. I counted sheep and did the A-Z of boys names and girls names and even attempted car types but I got bored and still didn’t sleep.

My husband is away at least one night a week so sleeping in the bed without him is not the stress. In fact it’s something I quite look forward to, not the sleeping part as much as the cereal for dinner and choosing not to watch any sport on TV part. [Read more…]

Come home or I’ll sue you

The fundamental problem with getting children to appreciate their parents is that by the time kids fully understand everything their mother and father have done for them they are parents themselves. And by that time they are often too busy/exhausted/forgetful to do anything about it.

When we are children we take the loving care of our parents for granted, when we are teens we’re so self involved we just can’t see past ourselves (it’s a developmental thing not just a horrible teenage trait) and when we move out of home the feeling of freedom is so enormous, looking back in a meaningful way to assess all you’ve been given often isn’t even possible.

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“Don’t post anything about me on social media without asking me first”

The other day my 15-year old son asked me for a photo of some biscuits that I had butchered instead of baking. Let’s just say they looked nothing like the picture in the recipe, in fact they looked nothing like biscuits. I was curious as to the reason he wanted this photo – was he now old enough to shame me on the internet? Was he going to out my lack of biscuit formation to the wider community? Had I taught him nothing about privacy or discretion?

I’ve not been a big sharer of his image online, but I consider myself lucky he was born well before the age of Facebook and so my own desire to show him off, was not a factor in his youth. I had to bore the people around me instead, and bore them I did.

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