Winners and Losers

In life and adulthood there are winners and losers. Now I’m not talking about winning a race or a game of monopoly. Life is full of outcomes good and bad.

That job you really want. Sometimes you are successful and sometimes you are not. The hot guy that you have been seeing turns out to be a bit of a douchebag, you learn and move on. As Grandma would say plenty more fish in the sea!

A paper you have slaved over for weeks sometimes you pass and sometimes you have read the brief completely wrong and your lecturer wants you to re-write. Sitting your driving test and speeding and you get back to the depot only to be told “I am sorry I cannot pass you”. Life it FULL of ups and downs.

Why am I writing this?

Tonight I saw Maria from Happy Mum Happy Child shared a moment from her life on Facebook and it got me thinking …. We as parents try not to let our children fail or be disappointed but are we doing them a disservice in doing so?

Our choices and actions teach us boundaries. Even when they are small, children push those boundaries to learn how far they can go. It’s nature. Failure and disappointment is a natural part of life and in allowing our children not to experience this natural yet shitty part of life are we not teaching them a valuable life lesson.

Imagine getting to 18 and never experiencing disappointment or failure? You would not have the coping mechanisms and strategies on board to realise THIS IS NORMAL. You would not know what was happening and you would feel like your world was ending.

Now I am no expert but looking from the outside in I am seeing a generation of kids who have never experienced disappointment or failure. Never lost a game, race or been told no. There are always “winners” and “losers” in this world. Maybe the words are not the nicest but they are reality.

Are we setting our kids up to “fail” by not teaching them the crucial life lesson?

It saddens me when I hear of schools not allowing “winners” in a race, because the other children will feel disappointment. Does this also not allow the winning child to feel a sense of pride and achievement? It also allows us to be apart of society that cuts achievers down with extreme hatred ….. Tall Poppy Syndrome anyone?

Here in NZ our teen suicide rate is high, too high.

As a mother with a child heading into this turbulent time I hope that I have given him the foundations of life lessons to get him through. I hope I have instilled in him that there is more to life than what can seem like the end of the world.

I would love to hear others thoughts.

Like I said this is only my opinion. I am not a parenting expert or child psychologist. Just a mum speaking as I find.

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Sweetcorn and Kale Fritters

For a twist on the traditional sweetcorn fritter.

3/4 cup of plain flour

1 egg (free range if possible)

440g can creamed sweetcorn

 can whole corn kernels

2 tablespoons chia seeds

4 -6 kale leaves (chopped)

1 pinch chilli flakes (more if you like it hot)

salt and pepper to taste

oil 

METHOD

  • Place flour, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  • Add the egg.
  • Add both tins of corn and chilli.
  • Mix till WELL combined.
  • Add chia seeds.
  • Add kale.
  • Oil large flat plan and cooking over a medium heat til golden.
  • Serve with salad and sauce of your choice.

    I served my fritters with Lisa’s Carrot and Cumin dip and dry toasted sunflower seeds.

    SCHOOL HOLIDAY SAVIOURS

    School holidays. Love them or hate them they happen 4 times a year.

    For me if my kids are occupied and I can sit down for 15 mins with a coffee and not be interrupted then I am in heaven.

    As a parent these are the small things that get you going!!

    I will fully admit I suck at doing the educational play thing. I don’t make play-doh, I don’t make macaroni animals and I certainly don’t get amongst the messy play. Call me selfish, call me a bad mother but I don’t have the time or the patience for that kind of shenanigans.

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    One for my best friends is a Early Childhood educator and she is amazing. The simple things she does with the kids gets their brains firing and your can see them drinking in the learning experiences.  I wish I could bottle her, turns her into a tablet and take my “GREAT PARENTING PILL” once a day!

    I discovered Busy Bags last year at the Takapuna Baby & Kids Market. These bags take the idea of learning through play to a whole other level. For months I had been meaning to get some for Archie as he is one of those kids who loves sorting, matching and patterns.

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    Aimee sent me 3 bags and we loved every single one!! The Busy Bags came with instructions and a breakdown of the learning opportunities your child will get. It also (MY FAVOURITE BIT) gives the parent little tips, tricks and advice so your little one will get the most out of the bag! I actually felt like THE best parent!!

    The other great thing about Busy Bags is that you can do the learning activity outlined but you can also try different things depending on your kidlet’s ability.  We took the Bead Threading Kit which comes with pattern cards and then Archie decided to sort the colours and the shapes. Two in one learning = parenting win.

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    By far our (I say “our”, I should say Archie) favourite has been the Order and Eat bag. For us this has been kiddy crack. He can’t get enough of it. We write the order on the menu, then Chef Archie gets to work and makes our pita. The felt tomato, carrot, pineapple and lettuce gets piled into our pita and then plated up with Gordon Ramsey efficiency.

    Then we eat!

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    Every single part of each Busy Bag is well thought out and allows the kids to have multiple learning opportunities.

    We will definitely be adding to our new Busy Bags collection because they make me feel like a flipping great parent and I am down with that. The kids learning is just a bonus!!

    You can find Busy Bags on Facebook and Instagram .

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    The Age of the Asshole.

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    There is a moment as a parent where you have to let go.

    Where you have to release that grip on your kids that you have fought so hard to gain.

    Unfortunately growing up is part of life and although we want our children to learn from our mistakes and cock ups. They can’t or won’t. They aren’t their mistakes. They aren’t their cock ups. They must learn for themselves.

    We all want our children to do their best but do you remember your mother saying to you “if you just knuckled down and focus, you would do so much better!” Did you listen?

    I struggle with Mr 11. Essentially he is me and we do probably rub each other up the wrong way. Unfortunately I have to have the last word and it really takes all my capacity as a parent to ignore his attitude and walk away.

    I read a really great article about how children are just trying to “fill their cup”. Essentially what this parental guru was saying is that kids have an unexplained need to have a full emotional cup. This cup becomes full from both positive and negative interactions. For example asking a child to empty the dishwasher and them bitching, moaning that you are a slave driver is quite normal because they want their cup to be filled. Now my normal response would be something along the lines of “just empty the bloody dishwasher , your acting as if I asked you to chop your legs off” then this launches into a vicious cycle of bitching, arguing and the job taking 10 times longer.

    Child 1 – Parent 0.

     His cup is full.

     I’m just pissed off. 

    We can all relate?

    As a parent I need to learn how to stop him from “filling his cup” in a negative way. Easier said then done. Back to emptying that sodding dishwasher. His immediate response is to launch into asshole mode to fill his cup. My response SHOULD (this is still a work in progress!) be …… “OK but please realise if you don’t do the dishes you won’t be allowed on your …… (insert some beloved device, toy or activity here)”.

    Stick to your guns.

    Stop them before they launch into the “I hate you monologue”.

    Repeat the expectations calmly and reasonably.

    Don’t yell.

    Don’t let them see they fact that you really want to see them do every single dish by hand and make them really cry about something.

    Now like I said for me this is a work in progress and if your child is anything like mine they will know exactly how to play you.

    Just remember don’t let them fill their cup but remember to fill yours with wine.

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