Monthly Archives: April 2014
We have the course for you! Beginning on Tuesday mornings for 3 weeks we will discuss how to:
- discipline children without arguing, yelling or smacking
- encourage kids to start doing the things you want them to do and
- stop doing the things that drive you crazy (such as constant debating and arguing)
May 20th, 27th, June 3rd from 10.00-12noon
Galilee Catholic Primary School
Quinliven Rd, Aldinga
Creche is available!
Family & Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) has published a recent fact sheet on Family Strengths (FRSA Information Factsheet November 2012) drawn from an interesting Australian study on the qualities that make families strong.*
1. Communication: strong families have frequent, open and honest interactions
2. Togetherness: a sense of belonging and connectedness. This can be the knowledge that we belong to a special club or tribe or team.
3. Shared activities: families who do things together like playing games, sport or even reading to each other. I have three children: two avid readers and the sporty one who couldn’t tell the difference between a book and a boomerang. Connection can emerge from simply reading the sports pages in the daily newspaper to each other and if you are really pushed – even the TV guide.
4. Acceptance: strong families share some values but respect individuality and difference.
5. Affection: strong families are interested in each other often using small rituals which reflect love and concern. In our family we regularly sign birthday cards with the salutation “To my chudda”. Meaningless in any other family but in ours it grew from the two year olds early attempts at speech when he regularly saluted family members with “you my chudda”. Six months later when his language developed it was expanded to “we-lub-ee-chudda”. “Chudda” has lasted the distance as a significant landmark for affectionate connection in our family.
6. Support: strong families are comfortable in both offering and seeking support which is encouraging and reassuring.
7. Commitment: individuals within the family are loyal and dedicated to the family as a whole.
8. Resilience: strong families have the ability to bounce back from adversity.
Family structure makes no difference to the effectiveness of these qualities and applies to couples without children, stepfamilies and single parents as well as coupled parents with children. We need routines that support bonding in families like shared meals and making time to be together and the willingness to hear each other and respect our differences if we are to create strong families.
*Robinson E & Parker R (2008) Prevention and early intervention in strengthening families and relationships: Challenges and implication, Australian Family Relationships Clearinghouse, Issues Paper No. 2.
The debate about how much screen time is too much continues with research presented at the Australian Council for Children and the Media conference in Sydney in October last year. Lecturer at the Institute of Early Childhood at Macquarie University, Kate Highfield, suggests too much time in front of the screen playing the wrong kind of computer games can be responsible for developmental delay in children. The Raising Children Network website recommends that children under two years have no screen time at all (including TV) and children under five years less than one hour a day. Too much screen time can affect language development, attention spans, creativity and social skills. It is suggested that even adults can be damaged by too much screen entertainment and should have no more than two hours per day. Kate Highfield’s research found many of the apps purchased for children were just “drill and practice” games which lead to lower-level neural development and often include excessive rewarding that can create unrealistic expectations in children. The good news is that apps that require input from the child such as ARTmaker and My Story can have a positive impact on development. She gives some common sense advice to parents:
- Have consistent rules and don’t buy computer games or gaming consoles if you don’t want a child to play with them
- Some computer time per day is not damaging but can be problematic when these games displace other activities like sleeping, playing and making real friends
- Offer meaningful alternatives to screen based entertainment
- Pick apps based on the potential to create from scratch instead of rewarding practice
- Help your child to self-regulate screen time. Be clear about the range of activities available to your child each day
- Treat screen time like junk food in a sensible diet: it’s about getting the balance right.
Battersby L ‘Little brains suffer with too much screen play http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital -life-news/little-brains-suffer-with-too-much