Getting the basics right

Your kids are bored? Fantastic!


It's the second week of the school holidays, the weather is lovely yet your kids are irritable because they are bored, fantastic!


Psychologists and child behaviourists tell us boredom is good for kids as it encourages creativity whereas constant entertainment breeds irritability and restlessness under the law of diminishing returns. 
If you would like your child to develop their own creative interests they need the time and space to do just that.

Of course at first it won't be comfortable for them (or you)  if they are unfamiliar with the sensations and used to someone / something else creating a distraction. 

"I'm bored"


"I'm bored" are words that seem to strike fear into the hearts of many parents who then try to solve the 'problem' by suggesting all kinds of things, arranging yet another outing or allowing yet more screen time. 


Stop! 


This is a vital life lesson for your child. Boredom is not something to be feared, rather it is an opportunity, an opening into another world; the world of thoughts, of ideas, of quiet contemplation, the world of decision making.  


It is also about responsibility, about who is in charge of your child's feelings.  


So when your hear "I'm bored" instead of providing a list of suggestions, try something different such as "OK, what would you like to do about that?"

As that is an opened ended question you might have to put in qualifications such as " remember we are having an at home day today" or "Remember today we're having a screen free day".

At first there will likely be lots of complaining and even anger if the child is used to being constantly entertained. Here is where you stay calm and just hand the situation back to child.

"OK I hear you're bored, perhaps you can think about what you're going to do". Don't at this stage give in and start making suggestions such as "You've got all that Lego you could make something, or there's lots of craft material what could you make....."

Allow your child to sit with their feelings

Allow your child to sit with their feelings and decide what they will do about them, and yes it may be a very long day. If you are able to do this you will clearly demonstrate to your child you believe they can solve the 'problem' at hand. 


Changing patterns of behaviour is not easy for children or adults so be patient and keep your focus on the end goal. A child who is able to draw on their creative instincts and who has a wide range of interests and activities is in a position of strength. 

 Space and quiet time


 Space and quiet time will give your child the opportunity to develop the skill of listening to themselves, of finding their creative instincts and interests.

In the modern 24 hour electronic world quiet space can be hard to find.  

There's a great deal of money to be made out of convincing parents that children need constant entertainment, so this school holidays try something different, stick with quiet time for a few days and enjoy the results.  
 

How to give your child what they really crave, calm simplicity.

What does your child really need?  

More experiences, more educational toys, more outings, more play dates, more, more...., more?

Perhaps what they really need, what would really make them happier and more satisfied is not more but less. 

Many adults are attracted to the philosophy of de-cluttering, and find that simplifying their life brings a sense of peace, the same applies to the young child.  

Less for most children would very definitely be more.

A simple Montessori-inspired approach to parenting has a lot to offer busy parents.

It offers practical, easy to understand strategies to simplify home life and most importantly it helps parents understand and focus on the needs of young children.

How to start?

Step 1. Press the blue button

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Families do well when there is consistency, order and security.

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The choices we make for our young children lay the foundation for all that is to follow in their lives, the way we talk to them becomes their inner voice.

Raising children is like building a house from the foundations up. However parents interact with their children, they are building the future of their child.

Support

You'll be relieved to know it's not a matter of doing more but of developing a clear idea of what sort of parent you want to be and understanding your child’s needs.

A great way to start is by allocating a block of time to discuss and decide what type of parenting you want to practise.

Alone or with help?

Deciding on your parenting priorities can be done with or without the help of a supportive parenting mentor. 

If you want things to be different it's really important for you to get the support you need.

Families thrive when there is consistency, order and security.

There's a maze of parenting information out there and lots of people offering any number of quick fixes. Instead of a quick fix (which is almost never quick nor a fix), developing knowledge gives you a compass to guide you on your parenting journey.

Instead of random quick fixes, I advocate a thoughtful, considered approach inspired by the philosophy of Maria Montessori. Having an underlying philosophy they can refer to is a a great support to many parents.

Even if you've never head of Maria Montessori or know nothing at all about Montessori education it doesn't matter. 

Montessori-inspired parenting takes a respectful and very very practical approach based on understanding the developmental needs and stages of the child.

With their developmental needs are met your child will be happier, your home calmer and there'll be a lot less stress and tension all round.

Using a modern Montessori-inspired approach gives you wonderfully practical tools to encourage independence, build skills and develop resilience, resulting in greater happiness and harmony for parents and children alike.

 
 

Parents are you drowning in kids toys? Have a huge clear-out and feel the calm descend

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Many parents of young children express frustration that their house is filled with toys yet the toys don't seem to satisfy their child for more than a moment.

There are many reasons for this:

  • the activities are designed for an older child and are too difficult or they are too easy and provide no challenge at all.

  • Parts are missing or many different toys are jumbled up together

  • The tools/materials required are not on hand or they are not effective

So how can you make better use of the toys you have so your child will be able to select an activity and work with it (on their own)?

Yes, this is possible!

  1. Sort through the toys you have, discard any which are incomplete or if the pieces are lovely use them to create an entirely new activity.

  2. Decide which activities are right for your child's stage of development and interests. Remove those which are too easy or too hard

  3. Shelving: safe, child-height - shelving is vital.

  4. A designated work space (perhaps defined by an attractive mat) which contains a child-sized table and chairs.

  5. Trays / containers/ baskets which contain all the pieces of an activity.

  6. Trays / containers which are practical for containing materials which may be used in different activities e.g. scissors, paper, pencils,crayons, glue etc.

  7. Arrange the activities attractively on the shelves, categorising them where possible.

  8. You don't need to put all toys (or books )out at once, rotate some from regularly.

If these changes sound like exactly what's needed at your place, but you haven't the time or feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, don't worry because help is available, this is one of the services offered by even better parenting.

Come along to my Seminar on the 24th October and learn in greater detail how you can do this yourself at home.

The transformation will make a huge, positive difference to you all.

The world is a wonderful, beautiful place - help me see it.

Small children are learning about the world, what do we want them to see?

Do we want them to see the beauty in the detail of a flower or a leaf as they pass a garden? 

Do we want them to see the beauty and the power of their bodies?

Do we want them to see the wonder of the earth as it supports life?

Do we want them to see the beauty of creativity in all its varied forms?

What is it that you most want your child to see?

Clearing away clutter, simplifying life, creating calm and establising order helps us all to see more clearly. 

Make a place for me - please!

You prepared your home for your new baby, have you now prepared it for the needs of your young child?

Maria Montessori described the classroom as the prepared environment. The home too, if it is to meet the emerging needs of the child, needs to be prepared.

If the child is confronted by obstacles and frustrated at every turn is it any wonder toddlers can be cranky?

Your child wants and needs to do things by themselves, every non -essential help is a hindrance to the child's development and it demonstrates to the child that the adult is an obstacle rather than a partner on the path toward independence..

To create a home environment which supports the developmental needs of your young child realistic expectations and child friendly time frames are essential along with ordered, age-appropriate physical organisation.

Starting with the physical organisation often helps with the rest. De-cluttering your child's play space/bedroom is a great place to start, it will help you to see more clearly and decide on the next step.  

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