Monthly Archives: April 2014


“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for a reward, we are a sorry lot indeed” – Albert Einstein And I thought that Einstein was purely a theoretical physicist. He clearly had a far greater perspective on life than his passion and genius for physics and relativity would lead us to believe! I think that it is safe to say that all parents would like their children to behave. Ideally we want to stimulate their cooperation so they choose to behave in an acceptable manner without the use of punishment, bribes and reward. These methods of control force children to behave for fear of punishment if they don’t and for a reward if they do. What do you think drives / motivates your child’s behavior? Themselves, fear, rewards, bribes or a mix of a few? Our Goal The goal is to make our children want to behave, to foster intrinsic motivation in them so that they can make the wise choice of socially acceptable behavior. Punishment – does it work? Punishment is a negative form of discipline that might work in the short term because it is fear based. It forces the child to behave for …Read more →


Kids nowadays have so many more scheduled activities than kids used to that it can leave them precious little time to just be kids and play. The importance and value of self-directed and un-scheduled play for children is vital to their development and cannot be understated. THE BENEFITS OF UN-SCHEDULED PLAY It empowers them to feel capable It provides them with opportunities to problem solve and work things out for themselves It offers them the chance to be responsible It encourages them to be creative It gives them the opportunity to develop their social skills and connect with other kids It gives them the opportunity to feel that they count and have a voice If playing with other children, it might give them the opportunity to perhaps take the lead in a game or adventure where they otherwise wouldn’t It might give them the opportunity to feel courageous and try new things From a developmental perspective (which is a whole other blog in itself) it is of paramount importance that children get the opportunity to have plenty of time for age appropriate free un-scheduled play I am always amazed at just how creative children can be when they are given …Read more →


It’s been two weeks since Spring Break and in our house, some of the limits and boundaries that lapsed (as they tend to) during the holidays are still lapsed! I notice it, my children notice it and my sanity, or perhaps lack thereof, certainly notices it. Bedtime springs to mind……. It is a firm belief of mine that children need limits and boundaries because they are essential to healthy emotional development and well-being. Parents tend to set limits around things that reflect values. For example: If your children getting plenty of sleep and being well rested is a value to you, you are more likely to set limits around bed times If eating meals together as a family is important to you, then you are more likely to set limits to ensure that you have family meals together If your kids spend lots of time playing games on their devices and you don’t like it or value it, you are more likely to set limits on screen time Having limits helps to guide our children, offer them a sense of security and comfort and teach them to develop the capacity to be able to live within them, a very basic …Read more →


Homework…………. just the mention of the word is enough to raise the hairs. What is it with homework, why does it cause so much anxiety in so many homes? The first question I like to ask parents is “whose homework is it?” and the second question I often ask is “what role do you play in the process?” I think we all have to ask ourselves the question “What purpose does homework really serve?” and of course the answer to this lies largely with the individual teachers and the homework policy in your school. I like to put homework into three categories: Homework given for the sake of giving homework Work to be done at home that for whatever reason cannot be done during school or supplements that which is being done at school Work to be done at home to give students an opportunity to work alone and manage time What I call “constructive homework” (2 and 3 above) can teach children a myriad of things about life in general and many life skills. As parents, we need to take the time to explain to our children the purpose homework serves and get them to see the potential benefits …Read more →


I don’t know about you, but for us, the holidays came upon our family with a huge collective sigh of relief. As a family we are not over-scheduled with lots of activities and after school stuff but in spite of this, we were all still in much need of a break; a break from routine and the opportunity to just chill out. Monday 17th March found us all in our pajamas at 10am where the only decision required was whether to have pancakes or waffles and the day to come was ours for the picking. Whoo hoo, the holidays were here! This holiday was a time for family, a time to relax and be free from routine. A time to connect, for puzzles, card games, board games and a time to have dinner together every night of the week. What a treat! With three kids and only one activity each during the week, it still means that most weeks, we only manage about five meals together where all five of us are present at the table. According to Eisenberg, M., et al. (2004) in their paper on “Correlations between family meals and psychosocial well-being among adolescents”, they found that: “Families …Read more →