I just wanted a map Daddy…

At our recent trip to Underwater World (see Man..door… – other adventures whilst there), Master 3 announced as we were arriving that he’d like an Underwater World map.  This was no surprise as even though we have an annual pass, he likes to collect one each time.  He also has a map from Australia Zoo and about anywhere else we’ve been that has maps. It’s the symbols, the letters/numbers down the sides, it’s the stories he can create himself after the trip…

UWW

When we got there, we were surprised to see they had cordoned off the front section for renovations and the lady explained the different entry.  Master 3 called out for a map however the lady at the desk had none left.  I knew this wasn’t great for Master 3 but I had distracted him other times with ‘let’s not waste more paper/you’ve got more at home’.  Today we distracted with a shark stamp on his arm instead.  Off we went.

We had a good time and upon leaving, my husband noticed that Master 3 was quiet and appeared sad in the car.  My husband asked if he was okay and Master 3 replied ‘yes’.  However, it was unlike him to be seeming so sad, especially after Underwater World.  So he probed again.  Master 3 replied, ‘I wanted an Underwater World map’.

We had been so focussed on the trip and what we thought was the point of the outing, that we had not seen what was important to Master 3.  Being persistent, he could not forget about what he had set his mind on.

By this stage, I felt that we had done enough ‘brushing off’.  Option A would be to respond ‘but we had a good time, don’t worry’.  But this was telling Master 3 that his interests didn’t matter.  It was telling him that ‘everything is okay’, even when it’s not.  Option B was to help him to face the situation and the feelings that went along with it.  We talked about how he was feeling disappointed and that this feeling won’t last forever.  We talked about the map situation further to help him to understand, to work through his disappointment.  The truth was, they were most likely not giving out any maps as quite a chunk of the attractions were closed off.  Presenting a map to patrons would show them how little was actually left to see!  And then, we helped Master 3 to work through the disappointment by reminding him he could look at a map when we got home, which was easier for him to accept now that we were halfway home.

Moral of the story – remember to notice what your child’s interests are and sometimes when they say something, they REEAAALLY mean it!  If they can’t have it, explain to them and talk them through their feelings until they are happy to move on.  By ‘brushing off’, it is like we are telling them we are not brave enough to go there and experience their feelings with them.  We obviously brushed Master 3 off too soon and he was left with his feelings of disappointment to deal with.

🙂 Heidi

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Toy or treat?

With Halloween coming up, a few questions come to my mind.  Are we here in Australia, just taking on an American tradition that has nothing to do with us?  Am I relenting to marketing by those companies that convince us to buy the lollies and paraphernalia?  Am I promoting unhealthy eating for other children, when I wouldn’t be happy with my children tucking into a bucket of lollies?  Or is this just a fun occasion that happens once a year when children can dress up and do something different?

I don’t think Halloween will be going away any time soon, so I guess we are embracing the ‘fun side’!  However, I just don’t feel right buying lollies (we gave out over a packet of lollies last year we saw so many kids at the door) when I wouldn’t condone it for my kids and goes against my ‘teaching kids good eating habits’ principles.  So!  We’ve decided to break a bit of the tradition and find something else to give out.  I love that a dentist friend gave out toothbrushes one year.  But I’m not affording handouts that pricey!

So we came up with these!  We have found out Master 3 is intolerant to latex but we hadn’t gotten around to giving away his water balloons.  So Master 3 will help us to give them out to the kids (maybe with some spooky gloves on!?).  I took the opportunity to talk to him also about why we aren’t going to give them lollies.

halloween

What does everyone else give out?

Happy Halloween!!

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Cruuuuunch!

[18 months +] Knowing that raw veges are so healthy yet Master 3 doesn’t have the attention to stay crunching at the table until they are all done, I have decided to allow some ‘unconscious eating’ in front of the TV. So instead of one green bean and maybe a bit of carrot at the table, he will polish off a few green beans, half a celery stick, a whole carrot and some pieces of cucumber in one sitting!

But I make it clear, ‘only crunchy veges with these shows’.

greens

The thing is, I’ve realised Master 3 still won’t have the attention to eat all of the above veges at the table before the big 4 years of age. This is the age when according to research, the majority of a child’s food preferences are set in.

Master 19 months is just being exposed to these raw veges to have a play with and put his teeth into.

Raw veges not only provide great nutrients but are also alkalising. And knowing that disease and cancer can only survive in an acidic environment in your body, I will be educating the boys that they need to keep up the alkaline foods to keep good health.

Any thoughts from anyone??

Mixing it up at the table

[12 mths+] If you don’t want your child getting ‘stuck’ on the thought of having a particular food every day, the best way to prevent the obsession is to only offer it every second day (or so).

I purposefully only offered this heaven in a mouthful every second night to my two boys or the night I stopped giving it, they would’ve been beside themselves! (if only everyone was happy to ditch dairy yoghurt for this, it might be a tad cheaper…!)

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Becoming a play engineer : Tip #6.

Taking the time to set up toys the night before, buys you more sleep in time the next day! Of course you also need a well-established ‘go to the play room/loungeroom before you come into our bedroom’ routine too.
The more inviting the set-up (think favourite toy in a random place, puzzle pieces pre-grouped, stack of pillows never before seen), the longer you’ll get in bed. This also works well with Murphy’s Law – the nights you set up toys, the next day they will be sure to sleep in!  Except when you have a younger teething beast!

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It’s National Children’s Week!

[National Children’s Week] Whilst I am all for taking the opportunity (when your child presents it) to encourage language and cognitive development, I hope I also balance the posts here on I Raise My Kids with suggestions on developing your child’s emotional well-being, making the most of being a parent, encouraging interests and just having fun with your children.

If you haven’t already seen this post around on Facebook, please take the time to read it…. ‘What should a 4-year-old know?’. It says everything that this Facebook page and blog started for! Heidi

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alicia-bayer-/what-should-a-4-year-old-know_b_3931921.html

Have box, will play

[6 mths +] National Children’s Week : One experience a child will always say ‘yes’ to, is playing with a cardboard box! Leave them around and see what your child will do with it. Not much more to it than that (of course you can get fancy and decorate)!
From ~11 mths – your baby might be interested in putting objects into the box
– play in the box – think ‘row row row your boat’, ‘rub a dub dub’
From 18 mths – your little one might be interested in pretend play – a pretend bath in the box or pretending a doll/toy is having a bath in there or it could become a bed
– a big box could become a house with a door to play knock, knock or lock the door with a pretend key

box
From 2 mths – let your child’s imagination go wild by just leaving them to it. Different sized and shaped boxes are great and don’t forget leaving them in different places (eg. on the trampoline versus in a cubby versus on a rug).

And of course when they are finished with them, they can help to take them out to the ‘recycling bin’ (a term you can talk about).

Balancing the parenting act

[National Children’s Week]  Whilst I am all for taking the opportunity (when your child presents it) to encourage language and cognitive development, I hope I also balance the posts here on I Raise My Kids with suggestions on developing your child’s emotional well-being, making the most of being a parent, encouraging interests and just having fun with your children.

If you haven’t already seen this post around on Facebook, please take the time to read it…. ‘What should a 4-year-old know?’. It says everything that this Facebook page and blog started for! Heidi

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alicia-bayer-/what-should-a-4-year-old-know_b_3931921.html

Out with the processed foods, hello wholefoods – Chookie’s Cookies

[12 months +]  So who is interested in cooking and baking without refined sugars?  It just doesn’t make sense to use refined sugar with all the health issues it brings (more on that later) when you can make tasty food without it.  So, I am turning to Wholefood Simply on Facebook for delicious baking ideas that involve wholefoods and nothing processed or refined like sugar.  You can do it too, just check out the recipes and you will see it just requires replacing a few things in your pantry.  Things like desiccated coconut or coconut oil (extra good fats), tahini (great source of calcium) and dates (sweet yet nutritious).  Bianca was inspired to create these recipes after witnessing young children eating bags of lollies and chocolate bars and knew there was better treats!

Baking is not a common occurrence in our kitchen after I have made all of our staples and nor do I want the boys to expect ‘sweet stuff’ all the time.  But I’m sure as they start to discover the processed foods out there, I will be baking more 🙂

We buy tahini by the bucket as it is so good for salad dressings, quick addition on pasta for the boys, or even on toast.  And of course our weekly batch of hummous.  I used the tahini in these cookies so the boys could take them to daycare (nut-free).

tahini by the bucketload

tahini by the bucketload

Here is the link to Chookie’s Cookies on Wholefood Simply’s website, otherwise check out the recipe below.  Yum!

Chookies Cookies

150 grams (approximately 3/4 cup) roasted almond butter (for a nut free version use hulled tahini or sunflower seed butter)

150 grams cooled roast pumpkin or pumpkin puree (approximately 3/4 cup)

150 grams (1.5 cups) desiccated coconut (finely shredded dried coconut)

6 medjool dates, deseeded

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celcuis or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a tray with baking paper.

Place the ingredients into your food processor or blender. Blend the ingredients until well combined and your dates are chopped. Using your hands shape the mixture into cookies and place on your oven tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool. Enjoy.

whole foods only thanks

whole foods only thanks

Man…door…

So Master 19 months is starting some primitive ‘stories’.  His first was ‘mower…daddy…hat…shoes…bin!’.  Which would have translated to ‘Daddy uses his mower, he wears his hat and shoes and he takes the catcher to the bin’.  Master 19 months told this story many times, many many many times!  It meant a lot to him.

Today, out of the blue, he finally started a new story.  ‘Man…door’.  After the tenth time of this story, it would’ve been easy to brush him off and say ‘yes, man door’ to quieten him but instead, we went with it.  We gave him more details in his story so that at least it became longer than two words!  ‘Man…..door….yellow… Underwater World….swimming ….eat…..hello’.  The real translation – ‘We saw a man swimming in the tank at Underwater world, who was giving the fish food to eat, he waved ‘hello’, then he opened a yellow door, swam out and closed the door’.  The fact that we don’t normally see people in the tank, nor in scuba gear and that we didn’t see what happened to this man afterwards had Master 19 months completely intrigued.  So each time he said ‘man…door’, I added another detail, ‘yes a yellow door’, ‘the man waved ‘hello”, ‘he opened the door’, ‘the man closed the door’, ‘he said ‘no don’t come out’ to the fish’, ‘the man was swimming’, ‘he gave the fish some food to eat’.

A child will repeat a story over and over until they have processed it properly in their head.  By going with them and confirming they have the correct facts (or adding to it), helps them to ‘put the story to bed’ so to say!  This might be true for an intriguing event like Master 19 months’ or an alarming event, such as witnessing an accident or a new experience, such as a concert.

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