Reading should be a shared experience between parent and child in order to ensure a love of books from an early age.
Ensure your child sees you reading regularly whether it’s a book, a newspaper or a magazine as it will instil a love of reading for pleasure.
Let your child help you choose the books you read together. If your child doesn’t like a book, don’t force him or her to read it. Let them put it down and come back to it after reading something else.
Read in a place that’s comfortable for both you and your child. During and after reading a book talk about the story and take time to discuss the ideas in the book in order to ensure a greater understanding.
Give your child plenty of praise while reading. If they have a favourite book or author let them read them again and again but also introduce an author or book similar in style. Our Like-for-Like feature (see below) will help here.
Parents can enjoy online-time with children as much as watching TV with them. Specialist websites like Lovereading4kids are not only fun for online browsing, but have developed specialist tools such as the facility to download free Opening Extracts and search author Like-for-Like functions.
Many of today’s parents are not aware that there are whole rafts of childrens’ books written by great authors especially for them. These days, children don’t have to be forced to read Dickens or Bronte. Harry Potter is not alone!
Above all, make reading fun.
Posted in Discussions, Favourite kids books, Information, KIDS, Leisure activities, Tips for mums and dads, tips for working mums | Tagged kids, poems, poetry, postaday, read, reading, reading fun | 5 Comments »
I walk to find
A peace of mind
By the water’s edge,
River bursting from the rain
Still it looks the same
White feathered friends
Swim by my side
Silently they glide
Creating ripples of calm
A window of still life
Walking by the waters side
A gust of wind now picks up my hair,
I’m in a place where I really don’t care
We should all take the time
To go somewhere tranquil
To a beautiful place
Avoiding the human race
Leaving it all behind
Just to find a peace of mind
Why not check out
More of Gillian Sims
Posted in Poetry, Poetry By GILLIAN SIMS, Poetry written by Gillian Sims, Your favourite poems | Tagged allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners animals aviation books breakfast cars children climate cooking dessert FAMILY food frog gaming Gillian S, dedicated friend, feathered friends, ripples | 2 Comments »
the characters support children in developing their manners.
Age range 4-10
Available from http://www.amazon.co.uk
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor 13:4-7 NIV)
Perhaps you’ve noticed that good manners have become an endangered species, although they have yet to gain “protected” status. Almost everyone still enjoys being on the receiving end of polite treatment, but few seem to care to cultivate the behavior in themselves-and good manners have to be cultivated, they seldom grow naturally. Clearly there is a lot to be said in favor of practicing good manners, much to be gained by simple politeness, but it takes some real effort and motivation to incorporate good manners in our normal behavior. For Christians that motivation is simply expressed when Paul says that “love is not rude” (or “ill-mannered” or “unseemly,” 1 Cor. 13:5).
Though it can be shown that good manners are of value to everyone and good for all of society, people cannot generally be expected to behave well for a vague or intangible reason. The easiest and perhaps most natural response to bad behavior is bad behavior. Even if we know that bad manners contribute to societal decay and an overall atmosphere of violence and intolerance few people think about such concepts in a moment of anger, frustration, or impatience. Many of the ways that we interact with strangers today seem to be almost designed to promote the attitudes that provoke bad manners (freeway driving, shopping lines, drive through service, telephone sales, etc.) In fact, in keeping with the general decline in the practice of good manners, there are multitudes of training programs today that actually encourage bad manners as a device for personal success under the banner of “assertiveness.”
Some seem to think that the solution to the problems associated with bad manners in general is to be found in fear (“an armed society is a polite society”) or else in regimentation and mandated conformity (dress codes, regulations). These are unlikely solutions though. They do not address the basic problem of (not) respecting and caring for other people. While either fear or rules can provoke an attitude, neither can provide effective motivation for a sustained good attitude. The attitude that produces good manners is a product of training and motivation. People will not behave well unless they 1) want to behave well and 2) know how to. “Love is not rude.” People (you and I) have to learn-again-to value people. Christian leaders are directed to teach people “to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show every courtesy to everyone” (Titus 3:2 NRSV). The gospel of God’s love supplies the motive to want to behave well and the church is to be a training ground for good manners, teaching believers how to behave well. The Christian way of life is directly based on values that demand good manners, respectful and polite treatment of other people-thoughtfulness, even toward anonymous strangers. Wherever society’s manners may go, the Christian mandate is to behave well among the misbehaving. Good deeds truly begin with good manners. Jesus summarized the concept by saying, “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” (Matthew 7:12)
Where Have All The (Good) Manners Gone?
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK. MAKE A COMMENT.TELL US WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT MANNERS IN TODAYS SOCIETY.
Posted in All about manners, Books, dads, Discussions, Favourite kids books, Information, KIDS, Manners, New books we have published, Tips for mums and dads, tips for working mums | Tagged allaboutmanners animals aviation books breakfast cars children climate cooking dessert FAMILY food frog allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners , good manners, motivation | 3 Comments »
1. Parents just don’t understand that not all teens like Justin Bieber and One Direction.
Parents, sure a ton of teens are Beliebers and Directioners (just look at how many followers they have on Twitter!), but I can assure you, there are plenty of us who aren’t exactly happy about the fact that if Biebs were our boyfriend, he would never let us go. And there are many of us who would run away if we saw five British boys chasing after us on the beach. So, to all the parents who are thinking about what to get their teens for their birthdays, ask us before buying the new Justin Bieber perfume at Macy’s.
2. Parents just don’t understand that we know they weren’t perfect in high school, either.
Parents, when you get mad at us for staying out past our curfew and going out with our friends on the weekends, stop pretending you weren’t doing the same things when you were teens. We have all seen the hair you guys tried to pull off in the ’80s. And if those weren’t “out past your curfew” boots, then I don’t know what were.
3. Parents just don’t understand that they don’t need to apologize for cursing…
Parents, as nice as it is that you guys try to protect the innocence of our ears, you really don’t have to apologize for cursing. Believe us, we’ve heard curse words before. In fact, we need curse words to get us through bad test scores and annoying classes. So, when you forget I’m in the car and curse out the driver next to you for cutting into your lane, please don’t apologize. Thanks!
4. Parents just don’t understand that we’ve heard worse than Howard Stern.
Similarly, parents, you don’t have to change the channel on the radio or the TV whenever Howard Stern comes on the screen. Right when you leave the room, we can stream his radio show or watchAmerica’s Got Talent on the computer. No need to be martyrs. We can all enjoy Howard together.
5. Parents just don’t understand that we don’t “Twitter.” We tweet.
Parents, you would never say that we should “books.” You would say that we should “read books.” So don’t tell us to stop “twittering.” If you are going to pester us about what we do on the Internet, at least use the correct verb and tell us to “stop tweeting.”
6. Parents just don’t understand why we would want to make our photos look “old.”
Parents, we get that you might be self-conscious about aging. That’s totally normal! But seriously, when we make photos look old on Instagram or Hypstamatic, we aren’t giving ourselves wrinkles and turning our hair gray. Aging photos and aging middle-aged parents are not the same thing. We make our photos black and white because old photos look cool. Unlike old people. Unless, of course, they are named Betty White.
7. Parents just don’t understand that a movie being rated “R” won’t prevent us from going to see it.
Seriously, parents, how do you think The Hangover did so well if no teens under the age of 18 lied about how old they were on Fandango to buy tickets? As much as we like acronyms (LOL, OMG, JK) we don’t really care about what the MPAA has to say about what movies we’re allowed to see.
8. Parents just don’t understand that we find it creepy when they give us the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
Parents, we don’t need your endorsement to look at the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. We are just as weirded out by the prospect of you thinking that we would enjoy looking at those pictures as you are by the prospect of us enjoying looking at those pictures. So please keep the Sports Illustrated with Kate Upton on the cover wherever you keep the Sports Illustrated with Lebron on the cover. Thanks.
9. Parents just don’t understand that we know what going away to “celebrate their anniversary” means.
No explanation needed. Ew.
10. Parents just don’t understand that we honestly do love them.
No matter how annoying they are or how much they don’t understand, we know how much they love us. And we love them back.
A Crazy Cooking Poem for Kids
A box of melted crayons.
A cup of Elmer’s glue.
A pint of watercolor paint.
Some Silly Putty too.
A half a pound of Play-Doh.
About a pint of paste.
A tablespoon of flubber
to improve the final taste.
I looked through all the cupboards
for things I could include.
If it was marked “Non-Toxic”
I just figured that meant “food.”
To guarantee it’s healthy
I topped it with a beet.
Then smashed it all together
so it should be good to eat.
I’m hoping that you’ll try it
and tell me what you think.
Just close your eyes and open wide
and nevermind the stink.
On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
and the monkeys all say BOO!
There’s a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang
And you just can’t catch ’em when they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning
Trees go ping
Nong Ning Nang
The mice go Clang
What a noisy place to belong
is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!
Toddler temper tantrums: How I learned to stay stress free
Picture the scene, it’s a beautiful day, you’re at your favourite restaurant about to sit down to a fabulous Sunday lunch, when suddenly all hell breaks loose.
How many times have your meals out been ruined by a toddler tantrum?
I had my first experience of the ‘terrible twos’ one beautiful Sunday afternoon. We had attended our favourite family restaurant for Sunday lunch. My daughter, Tilly, was sitting between us in her high chair. The menu looked mouth-watering and everything was dandy. Then suddenly the crystal clear wine glasses began to vibrate over the crisp white table linen and knives and forks started to shake. At first I thought it was an earthquake. But it was far worst. Tilly was having a tantrum.
[Related: How I help my two year old get over shyness]
With her tiny little feet she kicked the table from underneath. She then tried to break free from her chair. Then came the screaming, causing all eyes to turn on us. “I want daddy” she screamed. Thinking this would calm her, I took her out of the chair and handed her to daddy. The wailing stopped for exactly six seconds before she once again tried to break free. “I want to get down,” she wailed. Threats like “If you don’t behave we’re going home” fell on deaf ears. By now the tantrum was in full swing.
We were attracting more attention than Joan Collins. I couldn’t understand it. She wasn’t even two. It wasn’t fair. I felt cheated. My daughter was only 22 months. Had she begun the terrible twos early, like some kind of early menopause syndrome?
A bemused waiter came to take our order. “What would you like?” he asked. “Just our coats,” I replied. Yes, it was time to leave.
We suffered the terrible twos for quite some time. My daughter did not mind where she had a tantrum. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to it.
Rather than let it spoil our time, I thought up different ways to deal with the situation so that when a tantrum struck, I was armed and ready. I even gave it a name: ‘Tantrum Tamer’. It worked most of the time, which was definitely better than none of the time. More importantly – it got us through. Here’s how I coped.
[Related: How to switch off the waterworks]
Whenever a tantrum struck I would go through a series of five stages with my daughter:
Physical contact and understand helps with toddler tantrums
1. Even if my daughter was screaming at the top of her voice and showing no signs of listening, I would get down to her level so we were face to face. I would explain in a low calm voice that I understood that she was feeling upset. I would then say that if we both took a deep breath together we would start to feel better.
2. I soon discovered that if I made things more child friendly and more like a game, I got better results. Hence the name ‘Tantrum Tamer’. I would say to my daughter, “Shall we try the Tantrum Tamer?” This consisted of a series of actions, starting with a hug. For me this was twofold. If she was totally running wild I could restrain her. Secondly, children quite often respond to touch.
Next we would breathe deeply. I would ask my daughter to take a deep breath in and then blow out with puffy cheek at least twice. It usually calmed me down, too. I would then tell my daughter the lovely warm feeling in her tummy was the Tantrum Tamer working. It would take a little time but would definitely work faster if sheHow to amuse toddlers in the car sat quietly.
3. I would not only talk calmly to my daughter, but physically look and act calm so that she could see The Tamer was beginning to work. I would smile widely, and say things like “I feel so happy” or “I’m ready for a nice nap”. Anything my daughter would respond to.
4. If all of the above failed, I felt it was time for more drastic measures such as taking away a treat. I would say that she would not be able to go to the park until she was better behaved. If you decide to try this, you need to use your judgement on what penalty will work best for you and your child at that moment. The thing to remember is that this is the last warning.
5. Stick to your guns. If things are not better at this stage then you must carry out the penalty. Don’t be hoodwinked into giving another chance because this will only come back to bite you next time.
For me the terrible twos were a huge learning curve. Although I feel grateful for the experience, I have to admit that now that it’s over, I can breathe a sigh of relief – at least until the teenage years!
I’m not a big fan of “dieting” — a word that conjures up images of hunger and chewing on celery or doing some kind of fad diet — but I do believe in trying to eat a healthier diet.
Don’t diet, but do stick to a healthy diet, in other words.
But that’s easier said than done, as we all know. The healthy diet goes out the window around the holidays, for example, or when there’s a family party or a function at work full of unhealthy food, or when we go out to eat with friends, or when we go to a ballgame or amusement park or the beach, or when … well, you get the idea. There are lots of ways to get off a diet.
And there are just as many ways to stick to your healthy diet.
I’m not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, and I often will give in to temptations. But I’ve gotten better over time, partially because practice makes perfect and partly because I’ve learned a lot of great tips, from my fellow bloggers and from you, my favorite readers in the world.
So today we’re going to look at a few of the tips and tricks that I’ve found useful in sticking with a healthy diet.
1. Know your motivation. I have a friend, Jerry, who is getting healthy so that he’ll be alive and well to see his 3-year-old son grow up. When he gets tempted by evil junk food, he asks himself whether he’d rather eat the sweets or see his son grow up. When you have a powerful motivation like this, and remember what choice you’re making whenever you face temptation, it’s easier to be strong when you’d otherwise cave in.
2. Take it in gradual steps. You don’t have to overhaul your diet overnight. I highly recommend changing your diet in small steps — just drink water instead of soda, for example, or eat fruit instead of candy or chips. Once you adjust to this small change, make another a week or two later, and so on until you’re eating much healthier a few months later. This small and gradual process makes it much easier to stick with a healthy diet.
3. Don’t be drastic. I’ve seen fad diets like the Cookie Diet, Atkins, the Banana Diet, and different cleansing fasts — and I don’t recommend a single one of them. They’re drastic, and very few people can last with them for a long time. And the fact is, while you might lose a lot of weight with a drastic diet in a short amount of time, as soon as you get off the diet and go back to eating unhealthily, you’ll gain the wait back. Don’t do anything drastic — make long-lasting changes.
4. Choose foods you love. This is incredibly important. If you hate eating salads, don’t make salads a key to your new diet. I happen to love salads, but everyone has different tastes. Don’t eat foods just because they’re good for you — eat them because they’re healthy AND you love them. For me, that means berries and almonds and oatmeal and salads and yogurt and cottage cheese and tofu, but for others it might be salmon and lean grass-fed beef and asparagus and walnuts. Find the foods you love that are healthy, and you’ll stick with the diet much longer.
5. Pack food. Always bring healthy food with you, wherever you go. Sometimes this just means packing snacks if you’re going on a few errands (I like almonds and fruit), other times you might want to pack more substantial meals and pack them with ice to keep them fresh. Packing your lunch to work is a great idea, along with a bunch of snacks to keep you satisfied all day without eating the donuts someone brought in.
6. Eat before you go. If you’re going out to a restaurant or party, eat a small healthy meal first. That way you won’t be starving and won’t need to eat a huge amount of unhealthy food. You can get by on a salad or some fish and steamed veggies or an appetizer or something like that, and still enjoy the company of your friends and loved ones.
7. Don’t get hungry. When you allow yourself to starve, you will often binge, because your blood-sugar levels are so low that you crave instant sugar (or refined flour). When you’re starving, you are more likely to indulge in donuts or cake. So eat snacks throughout the day, or small meals, so that you never get super hungry.
8. Choose healthy when you eat out. If you go to a restaurant or party, look for the healthy choices. I love a good salad bar, but you could also choose a lean cut of meat, grilled not fried, with steamed veggies, or some black bean or lentil soup, or something like that.
9. Indulge in little bits. I don’t believe in going extreme and not allowing myself to eat treats such as … mmm, chocolate cake. But the key is to eat healthy most of the time, and when you do indulge in a treat, do it in small amounts. Two or three bites of cake or ice cream, for example, won’t kill your diet but will satisfy your sweet craving. Eating a whole tub of ice cream? Not recommended.
10. Eat small portions when you go out. If you go to a party with lots of food, try for small portions. Just eat until you’re slightly full, then have some water and talk with people without eating for awhile, then when you get hungry have another small portion, and so on. Try for the amount of food that will fit in your hand. If you space out several small portions over the course of a couple hours, you’ll feel satisfied but never take in too much.
11. Have tasty substitutes for your weaknesses. When I feel like eating something sweet, I’ll often have berries or fruit. My sister Kat likes to mix berries with almond butter, chocolate protein powder, and water — a weird but satisfying treat. Whatever your weaknesses, find a substitute that will satisfy your cravings when they inevitably come up.
12. Clear your home of unhealthy snacks and foods. If you have junk food in your home, you’re more likely to give in at some point and eat it. But if you clear your home of these foods, you won’t have that temptation. Clear your fridge and cabinets of candy, baked sweets, fried foods, foods made with refined flour, fatty and greasy things like chips and fries, and so on.
13. Bring your own healthy food to a party. If it’s allowed, bring a dish to a party you’re planning on attending, and make it a healthy one. I like to bring a couple of my favorites: Leo’s chili, and my Best Soup Ever.
14. Fill yourself up with water, fruits, veggies, and lean protein at a party. Lots of parties will have at least a couple of healthy options — some fruits or veggies, maybe some lean protein that’s not fried. I will fill myself up on these, even if they’re not entirely a meal, and then eat a healthy meal later.
15. Don’t stuff yourself. Make this your ultimate rule. Even if you break down and get fatty, fried food at a restaurant or party, just don’t eat until you’re stuffed. Try the Okinawan rule of eating until you’re 80% full. This way you can eat the unhealthy stuff and still limit the damage.
16. Don’t starve yourself. This might sound like the “don’t get hungry” tip above, but it’s bigger than that — don’t eat so little that you’re starving. For most women, that means don’t go below 1,200 calories a day — for men, it’s 1,500. But even those are too low for many of us. You only want to cut a moderate amount of calories from your diet — if you starve yourself, you’ll lose muscle, you’ll get unhealthy and you’ll end up falling off the diet eventually.
17. If you indulge, burn it off. Sometimes all of the strategies above will fail. That’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up about it — just get back on the wagon, back on track. Look at it as a small bump in the road. And better yet, get outside and burn off the calories by running, walking briskly, playing sports, whatever it takes. Then start eating healthy again.
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