My 9 year old does his own laundry, because …. he can!
He CAN carry his washing basket to the washing machine.
He CAN put the washing in, turn it on and put the detergent in (because I taught him).
He CAN take it out of the machine.
He CAN reach the clothes line.
He CAN use pegs (most boys learn this at age 5 when they put pegs on their lips, eye brows and ears!).
He CAN get the clothes in when dry.
He CAN take them to his room.
He CAN put them in their right drawers.
Now, just because we can do something doesn’t always mean we should, but in this case, if he CAN he should.
He SHOULD learn life skills that instil independence.
He SHOULD learn the value of his clothing by taking care of them including washing them.
He SHOULD learn work life play balance by scheduling in ‘boring’ chores in his week.
He SHOULD see mum as someone other than his maid.
He SHOULD carry his age appropriate share in the household lest he grow up with a sense of entitlement.
He SHOULD have responsibilities that directly affect and benefit him.
I work 38 hours a week plus. I take care of the shopping, mum taxi (omg sooo many hours clocked up as mum taxi), running the household, most of the cooking (he also cooks one night a week as do his sisters, but that’s another story) etc etc etc.
He goes to school for 30 hours a week. Spends 4 hours a week in after school curricular activities (all sport focused because that’s how he rolls) and spends most of the rest of the time playing (trampoline, xboxing, getting fit (he’s obsessed at the moment), practising magic, watching WWE, watching the NRL, watching America’s Got Talent, Running, hanging out with mates etc etc etc – therefore half an hour for putting the washing on, getting it in and putting it away leaves ample time for all the ‘kid’ stuff.
His footy team have a parent roster where on a rotational basis the families take responsibility ever 12 or 13 weeks for providing the fruit for half time and washing the jerseys. For the past two years Mr 9 has been responsible for collecting the jerseys from the coach at the end of the game, responsible for washing the jerseys, hanging them out, folding them up (still perfecting that but we go for progress, not perfection) and putting them in the jersey bag and returning to the coach. Why, because he can. Because it’s his team. Because HE plays footy not me (I pay registration, I pay for the new boots, the new shorts, the shocks, the mouth guard, the headgear, the chest pads, and I”m the mum taxi and biggest fan/cheerer). This teaches him to contribute outside himself. This teaches him to give back. It teaches him it’s awesome to have fun, but works often goes into fun. Ultimately it’s my hope that this teaches him gratitude for what others do for him.
And if he wants to earn pocket money the Bank of Mum pays $5 for a load of towels, $5 for a load of my washing amongst other chores he and his siblings can choose to do for spending money for holidays, events, going out, or saving.
That’s why my 9 year old does his own laundry.
Have an awesome week and stay warm.
Two weeks until holidays for we Queenslanders’ – hoping for snow within driving distance for ours.
Reflections usually happen around the start of the year which also coincides with my birthday – good timing! This year I’ve been focusing on what I want to be when I ‘grow up’. Contrary to what our kids and teens think, most of us adults are just winging it, and the decisions we make as seniors in high school rarely see us in the ‘career/job’ we thought we’d be in 30 years later. It’s important to keep reiterating this to your senior schoolers – it helps take the stress out of things that your decisions now, are it! They’re not. We get so many goes at creating our own lives and we get so many lives within our one life. As part of my work in the Aged Care Industry one thing that is common in across all conversations with 80 and 90 year olds is that we have so many different lives within our one life.
The good news is if you make bad choices in one part of your life, that doesn’t have to reflect in your next chapter. We get to decide. We get to make choices that change our ‘destinies’ and we get to create our own lives. Another amazing thing to teach our kids. Our choices, lead to consequences that create our life = awesome. One of my favourite sayings goes something like this “If you’re not happy where your life is, get up and change it. You’re not a tree!”. One bad choice may result in some pretty bad consequences but that doesn’t define who you are or who your teen is. Next choice can be better, and so on and so on. Same goes for us and our budgets.. just saying 🙂
But just like anything in life once you’ve made the choice to go in another direction, start a new career, start budgeting better, plan a holiday or whatever your new dream is you need to set yourself achievable and measurable goals. Teach your kids how to set goals. Maybe do some as a family this week before school goes back. Talk about what making the choice to achieve a particular goal will look like in the form of the consequences .. short and long term. And as always I promote doing vision boards. A page with pictures of your dreams on them… then setting your goals, mini and mega, on how you’re going to get there. Eg. Family holiday that will cost $10,000 in 18 months. Well that’s X amount per week we need to save, so in order to do that we will cut x from the budget, declutter our home together then hold a garage sale or Ebay to get rid of it and bring some extra cash into the home (or find extra work, or take on extra clients or shifts, or teens getting jobs or or or the possibilities are endless). Your life, your choices, your consequences remember 🙂
Since I was little I’ve wanted to be a writer. I still do. That hasn’t changed at all. So I write where I can. I get paid to write reports after my assessments. But ultimately my absolute passion is in researching and writing articles, ebooks and books that improve other people’s lives (usually because it improved mine first through learning the hard way). So with that in mind I’m still writing my blogs, I’m still promoting my book Beyond School: Practical Tips for Teens and beginning my next one “How to raise independent, responsible and resilient humans’ (or something like that… haven’t got the exact title yet), and have another venture or two up my sleeve that I won’t jinx by talking about it before it happens. Stay tuned…..
It’s still the first week of January.. first week of the new year.. a clean slate still before us.. what choices will you and yours make this year that require goals to bring about the desired consequences that create the lives you want? Go for it.. you’re all worth it and what a great thing to role model to your kids and teens.
If you haven’t joined our Facebook private group, come on over HERE
The kids spoilt me as always for my birthday… all with their own money and minds. Miss 15 got me a massage voucher, Miss 14 a spa pedicure voucher, and Mr 9 a scented candle with diamonte heart band, and Choccies. We went to the movies to see Pitch Perfect 3 and then Chinese Banquet dinner nom nom nom. Have felt the love with all the texts, calls, and posts xo xo xo I’m 35..with a ‘few’ years experience 😉 Thank you for the love, I’ve definitely felt it.
This photo was taken almost 40 years ago! And when looking for a suitable photo for today’s blog on Mindful Parenting I came across it and thought it illustrates perfectly what I want to say today. The older child, is me.. almost 40 years ago! When I turned 21 my Dad said from now on you’ll find time goes so much faster. He was right. This parenting caper we think will never end when they’re toddlers and primary school kids, goes at lightning speed once they hit the teen years. For my parents they don’t just wonder where the 18 years of our childhoods went, but where that last 40 years went! And as our own kids near their teen years or enter them we begin to think have I taught them all they need to know, there’s still so much more they need to learn for the real world, have I prepared them enough.
In Australia we have 25% of our population living in poverty! (Oh wow this blog took a hard core turn! Did not see that coming!). The Poverty In Australia Report (2016) states that 17.4% of all children (under 18) were living in poverty in Australia in 2013-2014. For single parent homes that rose to 40%! And that was an increase from the 2003 to 2004 period!
“More than 730,000 children live in poverty
(one child in six). In single-parent families,
four children in ten now live in poverty.
After 25 years of uninterrupted economic
growth, we can do better than this!”
David Morawetz, Australian Communities Foundation (Social Justice Fund)
One major way this stops and corrects itself is to break the cycle (you may have seen me use #breakthecycle a fair bit, it’s so close to my heart). And how do we do that?
It starts at home. It starts with making different choices for ourselves and our kids. We can blame the education system all we like but the harsh truth is real life lessons should be learnt and taught at home. Sadly, many adults do not know how to get themselves out of poverty or are unable to and therefore are unable to role model and teach this to their own kids. (Obviously I”m not talking about people with significant disabilities (mental or physical)).
Mindful parenting is the idea of raising your kids in a purposeful way. On top of all the extra curricular activities and being a ‘kid’, it’s about implementing things in the home that teach them life skills and more importantly money skills and strategies that will help them stay out of poverty.
Your kids only get one childhood. it goes by so fast. My parents look at the above photo from almost 40 years ago and wonder where the years have gone, let alone the 18 or so we had as our childhoods. Parents, we’re all doing our best to make them memorable, but we also need to focus on making our kids childhoods and teen years purposeful and ready for real life so they can not just survive, but thrive. THIS is how we break the cycle, together.
Of course I can’t let the opportunity go without plugging my book “Beyond School: Practical Tips for Teens” which may have some great information for parents too who perhaps had parents themselves who couldn’t pass a lot of real life skills and knowledge on to you. Sixteen chapters of guidance, advice and tips on succeeding in the real world. Only $10. If you know someone who’d benefit why not buy a copy and gift it to them, maybe even anonymously if you’re worried how they’ll react. TOGETHER we CAN break the cycle!
You may have also noticed a name change from Mentor Mumma to Parenting Australia. I felt the latter was more encompassing. If you haven’t joined our online group yet please do so HERE
Happy New Year. I have such a great feeling about 2018. Let’s make it fun and full of adventure for our kidlets and ourselves but most of all, let’s make it purposeful for them, and ourselves – we all deserve it. Together, we WILL break the cycle!
Tis the season… to batten down the hatches parents. School holidays are fast approaching, but first, the last two weeks of school need to be survived! We can do it. Hang on!
We all know what I”m talking about. That last two weeks of term. The tireds. The tanties. The “I just can’t be bothereds” and that’s just us let alone our kids.
You are not alone. Almost every parent of school kids is on the same journey.
5 tips to get you through the next fortnight:
This is the time of year to let a ‘tude or two slide, the time of year to cut your kid some slack, but not if they’re being disrespectful. It’s okay for them to lose their cool, but not at you. You are not a punching bag. Let them cool off in their own way – often hiding in their room or jumping on the trampoline for two hours! Let them know it’s okay to lose it occasionally, but not at others. Teach them how to handle the ‘meltdowns’ of life. They’ll need it as adults too!
This is the busy time of year. We’re in a hurry. Nothing sets teens, and primary school kids off more than having their every move controlled, planned, manouvered and checked. Give them some space.
You don’t have to do everything. There will be carols nights, fireworks nights, award ceremonies, concerts, mini concerts, parades, tree lightings, break up parties etc etc etc You don’t have to attend everything you’re invited to. It’s okay to prioritise what’s important to you and your family, and let everything else slide.
Kids pick up parent’s anxieties. Take an extra 10 minutes at night as you collapse into bed to meditate. Try getting up 10 minutes earlier and meditating of a morning. Long. Deep. Regular breaths are crucial as is remaining grateful – keep that gratitude list replaying in your head. When you’re stuck in traffic, running 10 minutes late for your child’s “insert any activity”, and all the mummy guilt in the world is running through your head and heart.. take a big breath, relax your shoulders and think of some things you’re grateful for. You’ll be late. That’s life.
Over dinner one night get a piece of paper and have each child come up with a school holiday FREE event that you can all do as a family. Their answers may surprise you. Set a date that you WILL do each. Write these on a sheet of paper, put them on the fridge. This gives you all something to look forward to, and reminds you just two weeks to go, you can make it!
Enjoy as much of the last two weeks as you can – swimming carnivals, school discos, carols nights, performance nights/days, awards days/nights, parent teacher interviews, excursions, break up parties etc etc etc.
HANG ON..we’re nearly there, then the real fun begins 😉
Have you joined our Facebook group yet? You can do so HERE
Looking for a book for your teens for Christmas? Check out Beyond School: Practical Tips for Teens HERE
Parents, don’t be afraid to be proud of your kids, and especially don’t be afraid to let them know just how proud of them you are. Not for what they do, but who they are. Teach them to be proud of themselves and even more important teach them to be proud of and for their friends and family.
I’m proud of you.
I’m proud when you give things a go, (regardless the result).
I’m proud when you stand up for yourself.
I’m proud when you stand up for others.
I’m proud when I hear you counselling/helping friends who are anxious, scared or worried.
I’m proud of you when you overcome fears and obstacles to achieve your goals.
I’m proud you set goals.
I’m proud you follow your passions, regardless of what others say.
I’m proud you know who you are and aren’t afraid to be exactly that, you.
I’m proud you rise above negativity and leave it behind.
I’m proud you choose to use humour, your brains and your heart.
I’m proud of your accomplishments because I know how hard you work to achieve them.
I’m proud when you are elected to school leaderships positions, but I’m more proud of you putting yourself out there, having initiative, being brave, giving it a go, and in one of your cases overcoming a fear of public speaking to do so. Regardless the result.
I’m proud when I get reports cards that state you are valued members of your class – not because of what a test tells us but because you volunteer to help, show respect to others, you step up, you show initiative, and you shine as YOU.
I’m proud when you get good grades because I know how hard you worked for them, and it gives you opportunities, now and in the future.
But most of all, I’m proud to be your mum, because you are you, a kind hearted human being with hope in your eyes, ambition in your bones and dreams in your hearts. You are you.
I am your biggest supporter. I will be proud of you all of your life, not for what you do but for who you are.
Parents, don’t be afraid to be proud of your kids, and especially don’t be afraid to let them know just how proud of them you are. Not for what they do, but who they are. (And definitely celebrate the successes and achievements too, they all combine to make them who they are). #proud #proudmum Teach them to be proud of themselves and their friends. Real self esteem. Real self confidence. Let’s build it together.
One of the most important parts of 13 years of school is friendships. For some kids forming new friendships and maintaining them is easy. For others it’s a real struggle. Below are 3 practical things I’ve done in the past with my kids that have worked in finding new friends or meeting new class and/or team mates and further down are 10 things to teach your kids to maintain and build friendships.
Firstly though have you joined our Facebook group? IF not come join like minded parents here
If they struggle with meeting new friends here’s 3 practical things I’ve used in the past:
1. Set them daily challenges to meet new people and learn their names. Teach them how to ask questions and be genuinely interested in other people without seeming creepy or stalker.
2. Encourage them to invite other kids home on a regular basis or set up get togethers yourself with other parents. For teens encourage them to take an interest in other people, step outside of their comfort zone and invite people to hang out or do things.
3. Help them write affirmations to repeat twice a day that build their confidence, encourage their friendship making and improve their mental wellbeing.
Here are some tips to help your kids and teens build and maintain friendships
1. Teach them what friendship is by role modelling. Let them see you interacting with your friends. Let them see you laughing, crying, confiding, giving, receiving, listening and just being with your friends. Role modelling is the most powerful training tool.
2. Teach them about forgiveness, conflict resolution and identifying people with intentions that aren’t good for them (toxic people, people drawn to drama, ‘users’, etc). Friendships never go smoothly ever because we’re all human, teach them how to read situations, resolve them and be a good friend as well as expect their friends to do the same.
3. Teach them about being the kind of friend you want your friends to be. If friendship is not reciprocated after a semester then teach them about finding friends who complement them in life and vice versa, finding people who are real friends.
4. Teach them to be confident. Teach them about eye contact and body language. Teach them how to speak to others their age, people older and younger, those in authority and those who sit beside them in class. Teach them social skills.
5. Teach them when friendship fires happen, put water on it, not fuel! This will save them sooo many dramas in life. Dramas only happen when someone reacts or plays along, when ignored they fizzle out super fast. Teach them not to play the ‘blame game’ nor the ‘drama game’.
6. Teach them to include the ‘lonely’ children in the playground when they’re in primary, and in activities, conversations and events when they’re in highschool.
7. Teach them everyone has something to teach them in life – sometimes it’s what to aim for, sometimes it’s who we don’t want to be, sometimes it’s a lesson, sometimes it’s trivia, .. we can all learn something from everyone.
8. Teach them to respect others and themselves. If every person did this what an amazing world we would live in. Also teach them to set boundaries and when disrespected speak up.
9. Teach them ‘we teach people how to treat us’. If you don’t like the way people treat you, look at the messages you’re sending out and speak up for yourself.
10. Confidence is key. Confidence is crucial. Help your child grow in confidence.
The above photos are from my days in highschool. Met some amazing people in highschool that I’m still in contact with (Facebook has helped with that!). Others are of today’s friends and our crazy fun antics (I couldn’t put up the ones where we’re supporting each other through some of the hardest days of our lives, or ones where we’re just being in each others companies so the crazy ones it is … )
Oh and remember, “some people are for a season, some for a reason and others for a lifetime”. Don’t know who said that but I like it!
IF as a parent you find you don’t have many friends try some of the tips above.. we all need friends. Here’s to an amazing year ahead for you and yours.
Office supply shops are doing their biggest trade of the year. Shoe shops are inundated. Socks are flying off the racks. “omg what is that smell’ has been found, in the bottom of someone’s school back from 6 weeks ago! Yep, it’s the lead up to back to school which means just one more week of school holidays *insert sad face*.
Which brings me to my question, how many memories did you and yours create these holidays?
We created some big ones. Master 8’s first ever plane ride (which was part of a work junket). Kids spending time with one of the most amazeballs people in the world in Townsville. Checking out beaches, rock pools and anywhere to keep cool. Spending Christmas with my brother and his family at mums and her pool and ocean breezes! A midnight to 6am road trip to get to Mums! Lots of memories created. Most were free or very low cost. All included lots of laughs, jokes, fun and of course the occasional tired tanty (often by me!!). Then there were the high cost events we did that were great memory makers such as taking the kids to speedway for my birthday! A trip to the movies with recliner seats and all the bells and whistles, popcorn and treats. (Almost had to sell a kidney for that one!).
One of the big tricks I use to keeping costs down is at the start of each week or holiday I give the kids a lump sum of money, they can spend that any way they like but once it’s gone it’s gone. If there’s anything left over it’s theirs to spend. This is when you see them making smart choices, learning to budget and prioritise, and it saves me a small fortune. Highly recommend it. Eg when we went to Townsville for the week I paid for them to visit Magnetic Island and they had an additional $80 for the six days we were there for the movies, lunches, outings they’d do with Aunty Jarrxi. They all came home with money! Jax wondered why they were so grateful when she bought them all an ice-cream at the movies hehehe.
Memories are created from people who love each other spending time together doing things they enjoy. That’s what makes a great holiday and lifetime memories, not the cost. I hope whatever you did you enjoyed it and I”d love to hear what you did to create memories with yours these holidays. Still a week left to create more……
aka Jo xo
Years ago I read about the chore game. If a kid says I’m bored they have to do a chore. I’ve taken it a step further with the declutter the room because let’s face it rare is the child or teen whose room does not need a good declutter.. even if it was done two weeks ago!
The rules are simple. At the start of the holidays you let them know the rules. For every “I’m bored” you are confined to your bedroom (without devices or gadgets or any of the good stuff) but with a garbage bag. Your pass out is that bag full of either rubbish or a charity bag of no longer used nor loved items. This is a parental win win.
Whatever you and yours do these holidays, have a brilliant time.
If you know someone who’s teens can’t do a thing for themselves or someone with preteens please let them know about our FREE Ebook available at: http://mentormumma.gr8.com/
And if you’re not part of our Facebook group yet come on over to Parenting Teens with Mentor Mumma (for Preteens and earlier too) .
Have fun making memories these school holidays,
oh PS I’ve started a business course with Leonie Dawson and become an affiliate for her so if you’re interested check out her Shining Biz and Life Academy if not have a great week xo
It’s school holidays here in Queensland. Most parents love them. The lack of routine. The sleep ins. The bonding and memory making times. I’m one of those parents who love them. I don’t schedule any clients during one week of the holidays and am very conscious to be mindful, present and totally connected to the kids. OMG the laughs we have, over the stupidest things.
These holidays I managed to score a really good deal on Wotif.com so we’re off to the Gold Coast for three days of living in luxury. This time last year we went camping at Noosa North Shores in tents. The year before we did a road trip to Mums in Harvey Bay.
Whatever you’re doing have the best time making memories with your kids. Before we know it they’ll be off creating memories without us!
Here’s my 6 top no to low cost holiday options with preteens and teens:
Whatever you choose to do, make some amazing memories. Feel free to share them on our Facebook group
If you haven’t received your FREE copy of Thirteen things to teach your kids before they turn 13 then click here for yours .
Happy holidays, all. Stay safe. Make memories.
Jo and the Mentor Mumma family