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Blog Posts

This Week’s Featured Video

By – 23/02/2010 – 17:06

This week’s featured video is with Seana Smith and Benison O’Reilly, authors of Beyond the Baby Blues. Read full post


Children of Celebrities – Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith

By – 01/02/2011 – 11:48

In the past few days there has been interest in a story about author Terry McMillan’s comments (on Twitter) regarding the parenting decisions made by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Two of their three children are building a career in the entertainment industry and appear to be making a success of it. Sure, their parents’ wealth and connections would be playing a large part in the opportunities presented to them, but are Jada and Willow Smith being harmed by their early career development? Read full post


Wednesday 2 February 2011 Latest Parenting and Education News

By – 02/02/2011 – 11:16

Wednesday 2 February 2011 – Links to Latest Parenting and Education news: Foreign Language Teaching Australian Schools ~ Julianne Moore Talks Parenting ~ Teenagers and Alcohol ~ Children’s Artwork ~ How Much Television Children are Watching ~ Single Mothers and Boys Read full post


Teenagers on the Internet: Parents Need to Be Involved

By – 03/02/2011 – 18:36

So the research is in and it tells us that social networking can be a positive influence on teenagers’ lives … Valkenburg and Peters, from the University of Amsterdam reviewed ten years of research into Internet use by teenagers and concluded that social networking sites increased positive internet use amongst healthy teenagers and enhanced their social functioning. Read full post


Monday 7 February 2011 Latest Parenting and Education News

By – 07/02/2011 – 08:17

Monday 7 February 2011 – Mum of Bullied Child Sues $1million ~ Free Preschool for Aboriginal Children ~ Diet and ADHD ~ Value of Books and Libraries ~ Teaching Maths is Fun ~ Obesity and Double Income Families ~ Autism and Testosterone in Womb Read full post


A Chocolate Cake to Feed Lots of Children

By – 07/02/2011 – 08:43

Chocolate Cake can assist in raising happy children! At the request of a friend on Twitter this morning, I’m sharing my favourite quick standby chocolate cake recipe that feeds a truckload of visiting children. We have three boys in our family so this chocolate cake recipe comes in handy. They think it’s the best chocolate cake ever, especially as they can make it themselves. Read full post


P!nk’s Latest Music Video – Perfect, or Not?

By – 09/02/2011 – 06:49

P!nk (Alecia Moore) has just released her latest music video for her current song, “Fkin Perfect”, being given airplay. I must confess I’m partial to P!nk and her music. This is because of what she represents and stands for, and the tunes of course. As I was playing the footage on my computer my 6 and 3 year old wanted to look. I do let them listen to P!nk. I know some of her lyrics contain explicit language so I either sing loudly for those songs and cover the swearing, or I don’t let them listen to those but I don’t believe that she should be censored. Read full post


Friday 11 February 2011 Latest Parenting and Education News

By – 11/02/2011 – 10:34

Friday 11 February 2011 – Bullying and Social Status ~ NSW Teacher Standards ~ Increase in Bullying Girls in Australia ~ Working Parents’ Guilt ~ Effectiveness of Time Out for Children ~ New Assessment Methods for Students ~ Children’s Sleepovers ~ Children’s Diet and IQ Read full post


Glee Star on Cosmopolitan Cover Shot – Is Parental Guidance Required?

By – 11/02/2011 – 12:35

Glee star Lea Michele appears on the cover of the March edition of US Cosmopolitan. The actress is apparently 24 years old but plays the role of a teenager in the internationally popular television series Glee. In the news is the reaction by some Texas newsagents who have removed the magazine from display and others who have said that the cover shot is overtly sexual and inappropriate for a celebrity who plays a teenager. The implication is that Lea Michele is also something of a role model for young women who watch Glee. Read full post


My Child is Being Bullied – He’s Four – My Heart Hurts

By – 14/02/2011 – 09:01

My Bear is 4-1/2 years old, and he is a sweet, bookish child who makes a point of sharing and complimenting and thanking. Every time he is given something – a lollipop at the doctor or a piece of candy at swimming lessons or a toy – he insists on getting something for his little sister, too. And for 2 years now, he has been the target for aggressive kids. I hate labeling it “bullying.” Whenever I do refer to what happens to him as bullying, the whole thing seems so harsh, so huge … my heart hurts too much. Because he’s 4-1/2 years old. Read full post


Tuesday 15 February 2011 Latest Parenting and Education News

By – 15/02/2011 – 08:19

Wednesday 2 February 2011 – Links to Latest Parenting and Education news: Curing Childhood Cancers ~ Teen Blogger Jailed ~ Behaviour of ‘Poor’ Children in UK ~ Swearing in US Schools ~ School Achievement and Race in US ~ Police Taking Teens Home off Streets ~ Influence of Technology on Childhood Read full post


Children Swearing – How Do You Handle it in Your Family?

By – 15/02/2011 – 09:18

I often swim with some girlfriends at our local gym. It’s great for the exercise, the post-swim coffee time and to talk about the critical issues of the day – like our kids swearing. Each family has different levels of tolerance for swearing and even within a family, two parents would often have different views. I remember when our oldest son was at preschool how shocked I was by some of the words used by his peers who had older siblings. My shock wore off pretty fast … Read full post


Monday 21 February 2011 Latest Parenting and Education News

By – 21/02/2011 – 08:34

Monday 21 February 2011 – Links to Latest Parenting and Education news: Coffee Shop Skills Helps Kids with Autism ~ Teacher Suspended for Blog Comments on Students ~ Brain Arousal and Emotions ~ Social and Emotional Learning in Schools ~ UN Report on Fatherhood ~ Working Mother Stress ~ Fatherhood Needs Redefining UN Report ~ Bilingual Children Better Multitaskers ~ Risk of Super Schools Read full post


I Have a Young Daughter and I am the Language Police

By – 21/02/2011 – 09:58

I once saw a study that showed that teenage girls’ self-esteem was linked to how represented their race was in the mainstream media. It was an American study. So Native Americans who were the most under-represented racial group in the media had the highest level of self-esteem, followed by African Americans with Caucasian teenagers at the bottom of the pile. They drew the conclusion that it was because if you see somebody of the same racial group on the front of a magazine you think that if you just lost the right amount of weight, did the right exercise, had the right clothes or wore the right make up you could look like that. Whereas, somebody of a different racial group would never be able to look like that no matter what changes they made. Read full post


Christchurch Earthquake 2011 – Grief, Media and My Family

By – 28/02/2011 – 11:43

Last week was a quiet week for blogging and writing on happychild. I was distracted. My brother, his wife and their two little boys live in Christchurch New Zealand. They are fortunate and we are relieved – they are safe and their house has only minor damage. … Since September, many people in Christchurch have continued to feel anxious and stressed and this has been compounded by the frequent aftershocks that jolt them out of temporary distraction, and remind them that they’re living with risk. Read full post


Dear Son Starting High School – My Letter to You

By – 01/02/2012 – 10:59

My older son starts high school this year, transferring to a school where he will know no others students on his first day …I have been giving some thought to what advice I would give my son if he asked me. Not that he is likely to, of course, given that he is now All-Grown-Up-and-Not-A-Child-Anymore, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared, just in case. Read full post


Unisex Toilets in Schools – What Do You Think?

By – 03/02/2012 – 10:00

Two schools in Tasmania have started using standalone unisex toilets as part of a startegy to reduce bullying. But is it really the unisex toilet that is reducing bullying or is it the ease of supervision that is really the answer. Listen to thos discussion and let us know what you think? Read full post


My Child has ADHD – So Now That’s My Fault?

By – 08/02/2012 – 09:30

Recently my fifteen-year old middle son, N, said to me, "Whenever I tell my friends my mum is allergic to the cold they think I’m making it up." I’m most definitely not making it up and have a written diagnosis from a rheumatologist to prove it. However, I thought it was ironic that N brought this up, as he also has a condition which many people seem keen to claim is â€?made up’ – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD … I get extremely annoyed when so called â€?experts’ suggest that ADHD may simply be a result of bad parenting, as in the case in this recent New York Times opinion piece. Read full post


Beauty Pageant Mom Gives Daughter " Pageant Crack "

By – 09/02/2012 – 16:43

You might think the outrage about the Toddlers and Tiaras – type shows has been done to death – but here’s something else to think about. A U.S. mother says she gives her young daughter a boost of what’s apparently known as ‘ pageant crack ‘ to give her the energy needed for the long days of beauty pageants – her daughter says the mixture makes her "hyper". I said the word "concerning" about a million times in this clip – but I really am concerned. Read full post


Living in the Present – Really Seeing My Kids

By – 13/02/2012 – 17:43

I’m trying not to begin the countdown. Last night at the dinner table everyone started making their calculations. How many weeks until our guests get here? How long until Easter? And then it came "well how many weeks until we go back to Australia for school holidays?" Last year we began the countdown at 17 weeks … This year I am living in the present. Read full post


Teenage Love – What Are Your Tips?

By – 14/02/2012 – 16:55

On Valentine’s Day we talked about what parents can do if their younger child has a "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" or their teenager is in love – Yvette Vignando shared some ideas but we bet you have plenty more. How can parents keep the lines of communucation open about what’s happening with their child’s new romance? And does it matter if a younger child says they have a boyfriend or girlfriend? Watch the video and please let us know what you think? Read full post


Laptop Shooting – Shaming, Naming and Parenting

By – 15/02/2012 – 13:56

…And this week a laptop shooting dad decided to use YouTube and Facebook to punish and humiliate his ungrateful 15 year old daughter for her disrespectful comments about him and his wife, and about all the chores she was expected to do … I want to briefly comment on two things: Humiliation or shaming of children …. and mainstream and influential media commentators’ comments … Read full post


25 Words Your Toddler Should Know and More

By – 21/02/2012 – 12:24

Perhaps intriguingly called "Is Your Child Normal" in this segment on Channel 9 Mornings I talked about a recent conference topic of the 25 basic words most toddlers should know – and then we chatted about some preschool and school readiness issues. Parents should not panic if their toddler does not know how to say all the words on this list but it is interesting to read what Professor Descorla (Professor of Psychology and Director of the Child Study Institute, Yale University) recommends parents look for. Read full post


Work Family Balance – One of the Holy Grails of Motherhood?

By – 27/02/2012 – 13:44

More than 9 years ago, I became a parent for the first time. Since then, I’ve tried on some of the many combinations of work family â€?balance’ that are on offer. Nine years on, I’m not yet sure that I have it right. As much as income generation and work satisfaction are important, the question that ends up being the deal breaker is always – does this fit for the children too? How do you know when you have got the balance right? What is right? Read full post


Take the ‘Two Things’ Parenting Challenge

By – 29/02/2012 – 12:09

Glen Whitman, an economist, is a fan of The Two Things Game. Have you played it? The idea is, that for any given subject, there are two key things you need to know. For example, when asked for a Two Things rule for economics, Whitman replied, “Okay, here are the Two Things about economics. One: Incentives matter. Two: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”… What is your Two Things rule for raising children? Read full post


Inspiration – a Teacher’s Belief Helps an Angry Child

By – 11/02/2013 – 09:44

I had just one year of teaching under my belt and was taking classes towards my master’s degree in special education. Though barely qualified to teach students with challenging behaviour disorders, I quickly assessed that academic training wasn’t going to make me a successful teacher…Vince’s mother repeated the words that seemed incomprehensible, unbearable, and repulsive to my ears.Vince killed his kitten that afternoon. Read full post


You’re Only Ever as Happy as Your Unhappiest Child

By – 11/02/2013 – 11:06

Last year, my twelve year old son went through a tough time at school. It happened in grade six, his final year at the tiny local primary he’d attended ever since he started prep… attended, that is, until we pulled him out in grade five, when our family decided to spend a year living in the north of Australia. Up until this time Declan had loved school, and was close to pretty much all the nine other boys in his year level, with whom he’d always shared a class…When we left everything was perfect, but when we returned everything had changed. Read full post


Violent Toys for Kids – Surely There are Boundaries?

By – 12/02/2013 – 15:57

This was one of those segments where I was genuinely shocked – a toy maker selling a toy for a young child to "play" at robbing a bank. MSN reports "The toy features a bank manager, armed shooter, gold bars and a cash machine. In case kids can’t envision how to use the pieces, photos accompanying the set show the robber pointing a gun at the manager and forcing a blonde woman to empty the machine. Way to get those young, creative minds flowing." Read full post


HPV Vaccination Program is Vital for Boys – a Cancer Story

By – 15/02/2013 – 12:27

This year in Australia the cervical cancer vaccine is being given to young teenage boys in Australian high schools. The vaccine has been available for girls since the program began in 2007 and the aim has been to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer. Even if you are aware of the expansion of the HPV Vaccination Program to include boys, you may be wondering why. After all, boys don’t have a cervix, right? Read full post


Here’s a Downside of Honesty with Children

By – 25/02/2013 – 08:46

…Reading new research results from the University of Illinois about the downside of parents honestly revealing their experiences with drugs and alcohol made me realise that my views on honesty and openness come with … qualification…Results of the new study involving over 550 young teens indicated that children whose parents had shared details of their own drinking, smoking and marijuana use were less likely to think drugs were bad. Read full post


Sticks and Stones do Hurt – To This Day Video

By – 27/02/2013 – 09:42

This video is poetry, art, music – a performance piece powerfully demonstrating the lasting effects of bullying on a child. Take the time … think what actions you can take … to reduce bullying, to support children, and to just be there for the kids that need you. Read full post


Reducing the Risk of Harm from Allergies with Empathy

By – 04/02/2014 – 11:19

The adorable first-day-at-school montages crowd my newsfeed on Facebook – little legs swimming in kaftan-sized uniforms, half a face emerging from under a too-big hat, tiny shoulders swallowed by cavernous backpacks. I love the end-of-day pictures the most – pigtails askew, shoe laces lying like puddles around bitumen-scuffed shoes, tired but happy smiles that say “I did it!” Read full post


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