Friday, October 29, 2010

New baby in the house

When a child is no longer the centre of attention, no wonder their behaviour changes
One of the biggest challenges parents face is dealing with sibling rivalry.
And it can occur at any age from toddlers unhappy about a new baby in the home, to teens battling each other for more rights. 
I have written about this topic before, but today I want to focus on how to help young children adjust to a new baby in the family.
Sibling rivalry can often start before the arrival of the second child.
The older child may become aggressive, or may regress by acting more like a baby.
There are many things that contribute to a child not accepting a new sibling.
A child’s developmental stage will affect how well they can share your attention, and if a child is particularly close to their mother, it can be even more difficult for them to accept a new baby brother or sister.
Stress in the family can also make the adjustment harder.
But there are many things you can do to make the adjustment easier.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Go get grubby

Although it’s time for a Spring clean, it’s okay to let your children get grubby on a regular basis
It’s the middle of Spring and how many mums and dads can say they’ve successfully tackled the yearly Spring clean?
You know the tops of your kitchen cupboards are grimy and the floor under the fridge has a lovely carpet of dust, but who wants to clean places that no one can see?
It’s dirty work, but someone’s got to do it.
Unless you’ve got plenty of money to hire someone to do it for you, cleaning is an important part of running a home.
I’ve written before about how to get your children involved in household chores, but it’s worth pointing out that there is a difference between an untidy home, and a dirty home.
Untidy homes generally belong to those families with young children who tend to pull out every toy they have and leave it on the floor.
A dirty home is one that hasn’t seen a mop bucket in a while.
The problem with the latter is that dirty homes are unhealthy homes.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Routine goes out the window

Some babies are just better off without a strict routine
“With your first born, you fit your life around your baby. With subsequent children, your baby fits around your life.”
This was written by a mother of five, who has no doubt “been there, done that” when it comes to parenting.
And now that I have two children, I can wholeheartedly agree.
I never realised just how much pressure I put on myself when I had my first child.
I thought I was really laid back and just went with the flow, but really I was still stressing about how many hours she slept for, how many hours between feeds, was she getting enough “tummy time”, how to deal with her cradle cap, and dealing with nappy rash (which I realised later was due to her being in disposable nappies).
The witching hour went from 6pm to 11pm so I always ate a cold dinner, and I worried endlessly about how to settle her to sleep, and if she would ever learn to “self-settle”.
The truth is that while I certainly followed my instincts, and preferred to feed her on demand, I was also trying to get her into a routine because that’s what the books tell you to do. Constantly counting hours was a nightmare.
I remember planning my days around my daughter’s nap and feed times.
I couldn’t meet a friend for coffee at 10am or 2pm because that’s when she went down for a sleep and there was no way I was going to disrupt a sleeping baby!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Perplexing parenting

Modern day parenting dilemmas can sometimes fall into a grey area
It has come to my attention that every parent has their own set of standards.
What’s okay for one, is not okay for another (not that there’s anything wrong with that... but please read on).
To elaborate on this, I’m going to put forward some examples, and reflect on these everyday dilemmas.
Case #1: Parents who leave their kids in the car.
Recently a friend of mine who lives in a small town, popped into a shop leaving her two kids in the car (air-conditioner still running). 
That night, the police knocked on her door asking questions because apparently someone had reported her.
This obviously came as quite a shock, and she was given a warning by the police, who seemed to have nothing better to do with their time.
But the fact is that there is no law against this except to say that parents must not leave children unattended in a car for an unreasonable amount of time.
So what exactly is unreasonable?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Win! Win! Win!

To win a copy of Animalia, become a follower of Mumologues, or leave a comment! I'd love to know what sort of topics you want to read about. This giveaway will be open until next Saturday, October 9  for eternity, because it appears I don't have any online readers! Well... if ever this lark called blogging actually takes off and I'm no longer a Nigel, I'll do a random draw and announce the winner! Good luck!  (No luck needed, because of so few entries.) Happy days!

Friday, October 1, 2010

The amazing world of Graeme Base

The illustrator who creates picture books that say more than a thousand words 
There are not many Australians my age (or younger) who have not read Animalia.  While it may be just another alphabet picture book, it is one that lives long in your memory as having the most fantastic, imaginative and wonderfully intricate illustrations. It was first published in 1986 and received instant international acclaim with sales of more than three million copies worldwide.
The author and illustrator is one of Australia’s best-known and leading creators of picture books: Graeme Base.
After studying graphic design in his early years, Graeme spent a rather brief and unhappy period working in a string of design studios before eventually being sacked for incompetence. He spent his last pay check preparing his folio to showcase to book publishers with the hope of getting some illustrating work. The first publisher he met with was impressed, and it wasn’t long before his first book My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch was coming off the press in 1983.
Now 27 years on, Graeme’s books with their humorous stories and amazing illustrations have captivated many generations. I was lucky to have a chat to Graeme recently, about his extraordinary career, and his latest work, due to hit book shops this month: