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  • Parenting Tips for Happy Children
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Blog Posts

Parents and Children – Who is Raising Who?

By – 02/05/2011 – 10:17

My six-year-old daughter has decided that she is going to be a builder. I’m over the moon. She is very logical, she loves constructing things – we have a large collection of artifacts made of boxes and masking tape to prove it – and I can tell you that she ‘don’t take no nonsense from no one’. I’d get her to build my house any day. I suspect that we all have a secret (or not so secret) wish list for our children. Maybe you want yours to be strong, or resilient, or kind, or loving, or successful – or all of the above. Read full post


3 Questions Answered about Parenting with Soul

By – 02/05/2011 – 10:37

Yvette Vignando asked Sally Collings about how to get the most out of the boring parts of parenting, why children are like gurus and how to stop feeling so busy and get more connected with what we are doing. In this short video Sally shares some pearls of parenting wisdom that will refresh your day with your child. Read full post


Are You Raising a Good Husband or Partner? I’m Trying.

By – 04/05/2011 – 15:04

When my boys were little, I lived in an environment where the men went to work during the day, and came home at night to sit on the couch while the women waited on them. True. This happened regardless of whether the women worked outside the house all day too. Needless to say it never bode well with me and I promised myself that my boys would never expect this of their wives. One of the most important things I could teach them is how to be a good husband. Read full post


Young Children Lying – Doesn’t Bother Me Much

By – 09/05/2011 – 18:21

There has been a great deal of fibbing going on in our house recently. Telling of porky pies. Pulling the wool. Stretching the story to fit the circumstance. Blatant bald-faced untruths. Many parents I know find the discovery of their children lying to get out of being blamed for something, or manipulating a game to enhance their chances of winning (also known as cheating) quite disturbing. They are often unimpressed, to say the least. I have a friend who is a school teacher and she readily admits that any kind of lying and cheating is a real bug-bear of hers … But (to tell you the truth), I’m not particularly bothered by it … Read full post


Suri Cruise is 5 Years Old – She is Not a Woman

By – 11/05/2011 – 12:42

Yvette Vignando, Melissa Hoyer and Melinda Tankard Reist on Channel 7, The Morning Show, discuss decision by Glamour Magazine to include 5 year old Suri Cruise in the Best Dressed Women of 2011 list. Was this a good decision by Glamour magazine. Can we just allow little girls to be little girls please? Read full post


Early Wakeup Calls with Kids

By – 13/05/2011 – 15:02

I was up at 5.40 am today to wake our 13 year old – we wanted to see the planetary alignment of Mercury Venus, Jupiter and Mars. The next alignment like this will not be until 2056, and not being confident I’d be around then to see it with my future 58 year old son I thought it was worth it! Needless to say, we gazed at it for 5 minutes and then Mr 13 went back to bed, but happy. What crazy things have you got up for with your kids? Tell me here? Read full post


Teenage Boys Under Pressure to Look Good

By – 16/05/2011 – 11:50

Boys are under increasing pressure to look good. How is this impacting on boys’ healthy body image? Yvette Vignando appears on The Morning Show Channel 7 and discusses briefly what parents can do to promote a healthy body image in their teenage sons and protect them from developing eating disorders. Also appearing, Danni Rowlands from the Butterfly Foundation and Loveena Guilford from Styed with Love. Read full post


Marketing Body-Toning Products to Girls aged 7

By – 18/05/2011 – 13:10

A shoe manufacturer is marketing shoes to 7 to 12 year old girls that are designed to tone and shape legs – is this appropriate? Yvette Vignando spoke about this with Christine Morgan from The Butterfly Foundation and Julie Gale from Kids Free to Be Kids. Read full post


Peacekeeping and Parenting – A Lesson from Chickens and a Dog

By – 18/05/2011 – 13:30

I once had a dog that loved to tease my three chickens. She teased and she teased until the chickens died from that teasing. This went down in local folklore as the “Great Redmond St chook massacre of 2002”. Prior to that deadly day, there was a long and idiotic time where I, hugely pregnant with child number four, had employed a very complex routine of chickens out- dog in, dog out – chickens in … Looking back, it was excellent preparation for having four children, some of whom also try to tease their siblings to death. Read full post


A Reason to Love Tom Hanks – Toddlers and Tiaras Spoof

By – 18/05/2011 – 18:24

There have been a few posts on here lately around the issue of children and body image. And now the whole beauty pageant fiasco is coming to Australia. I do not like children’s beauty pageants (not one bit). Here’s a light-hearted but powerful video spoof that covers many of the issues, starring Tom Hanks and his daughter. Another reason to love Tom Hanks. Read full post


Helping Kids During Separation and Divorce – Video

By – 19/05/2011 – 13:06

People watching the publicity surrounding the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver separation, and thinking of their children, are reminded of how challenging but important it is to look after children’s emotional wellbeing during divorce and separation. On The Morning Show, Channel 7, Yvette Vignando shares some important basic tips for parents during this stressful time. Read full post


Children and Hotel Rooms – Cancel the Champagne

By – 23/05/2011 – 17:36

There was a time in my past when a visit to a hotel was all about fluffy robes, long luxurious baths, champagne and room service. It was decadence, lazy afternoons, sleep-ins and in-house movies. Quite often there was a meal, which went late into the evening, wine and maybe even cocktails in a little bar, before walking hand-in-hand back to our room. Now a visit to a hotel room involves much luggage and in our case two adjoining rooms, a bag of snacks and colouring-in books to keep the kids occupied. Gone is the champagne and lazy mornings Read full post


My Memories are Alive with The Sounds of Motherhood

By – 25/05/2011 – 13:46

I remember reading once that a mother’s hearing is programmed to be receptive to the cries of her baby while she is sleeping. I’m not sure if this has been scientifically proven, but I’m willing to bet on its validity. This is partly because I’ve been thinking of how noise influences our experience and shapes our memories. Like the other senses, I suspect noises have an almost unacknowledged power. Read full post


Will this Pen Licence Be Valid in High School?

By – 27/05/2011 – 13:24

For the last three weeks Mr 9 has had something on his mind. He wants a licence. Not a driver’s licence, nor the pilot’s licence that one of his big brothers is craving, but a ‘pen licence’. At his primary school, a "pen licence" is permission from the teacher to use a pen in his school books; this sought-after privilege is granted to children who’ve been using pencil for three or four years but have developed their handwriting skills to the level required by their classroom teacher. Read full post


Cyberbullying – Don’t Cross the Line – Video

By – 27/05/2011 – 13:40

With thanks to Bullybust for the heads up on this excellent 2 minute video from the "What’s Your Story?" Contest run by Trend Micro Inc – a contest that empowers youth to be leaders in educating others about cyberbullying and being safe online. This video was the Grand Prize winner. Teenagers might enjoy sharing this on Facebook. Read full post


Stephane Pois, a Gourmet Pied Piper Inspiring Children

By – 30/05/2011 – 08:43

Today I saw something wonderful. And unexpected. My kids know about real food. Fresh food. They don’t think cakes come from packet mix because Mum says if you’re going to have chocolate cake, have a real one. They know how to make dumplings. They’ve had chooks in their backyard (and will have them again when I build a proper pen … long story) … Today at the farmers’ market we met Stephane Pois. Read full post


A Letter from A Mum to Her Children on Mother’s Day

By – 09/05/2012 – 14:06

A Mother’s Day gift you won’t find in the shops… Read full post


Little Girl Tells Marketers – Girls like Superheroes Too

By – 10/05/2012 – 13:28

I had to share this from a friend’s Facebook share: a little girl called Riley passionately complains about how marketers try to "trick" children – she asks why everything is pink for girls – why boys get all the superheroes? Good questions Riley! One minute video. Read full post


Parenthood Can be Very Funny

By – 15/05/2012 – 13:17

Parenthood can be very funny. These little people we are helping to become big people can come out with some funny things, especially when they are learning to talk. My personal favourites from my kids are: “where are my gubbles (GOGGLES)?” “look at that man’s mooshraka (MOUSTACHE)" “I love wearing chiuauas (TIARAS) on my head" Then there’s the toilet humour. Read full post


Opening the Conversation – Smacking and the Rights of a Child

By – 15/05/2012 – 15:02

Can there ever be enough articles about The Slap, or The Smack? Channel 9 show 60 Minutes re-ignited an ongoing conversation adults are having in Australia about whether it is okay to use corporal punishment with children. And today on Channel 9 show Mornings, I was asked about smacking …I think it is topical given that the Australian government has announced its intention to create an Australian Children’s Commissioner whose important role will include the consultation of children about their human rights and other issues affecting their wellbeing in Australia. Read full post


Don’t Chase Your Happiness – Let it Land on You

By – 17/05/2012 – 11:38

It was a little difficult for me to compose a blogpost mainly about happiness because I don’t believe in chasing it. This might seem ironic coming from the publisher of a website called happychild. But happiness is just one of many rich feelings that give me, and I think most people, a feeling of humanity and a sense of living a full and meaningful life. When happiness is absent in our daily lives or is fleeting, that’s a sign that something is more seriously wrong – and it’s the time to get support from experts, not the time to chase happiness. Because if you run after happiness you may never catch it. Read full post


Why Stay at Home Mums Might be More Depressed – New Poll

By – 23/05/2012 – 13:40

A Gallup poll in the United States of over 60,000 women found that mothers who stay at home with their kids, when compared with working mums, experience – more worry: 41% compared to 34%; and – more depression: 28% compared to 17%, as well as slightly more anger, stress and sadness.Today, I discussed this in more detail on Channel 9 show, Mornings. View the short video here and join the discussion: What do you think about these figures? Do you think as a society we need to get better at valuing parents who stay at home? Read full post


I Thought I Was Prepared for Parenting

By – 25/05/2012 – 11:09

No matter how much you try to prepare for motherhood, you really won’t know how you feel about it until you experience it. No matter how many books you read, you will never find that elusive recipe for how to look after your brand new baby, let alone a toddler, pre-schooler or teenager. I thought I was prepared. I had read the books and spent a great deal of my childhood and adolescence in the company of babies and young children. The reality was nothing like the books. Read full post


Four Girls Who Have an Opinion – a Child Rights Case?

By – 25/05/2012 – 14:31

This week the rights of a child are in the news in Australia. What? You didn’t see all the media? Did you see the numerous television and news stories about four girls (aged 9, 10, 13 and 14) ‘on the run’, trying to avoid a court order that they return to Italy where their father lives (their mum is Australian)? Without knowing the details of those four girls’ experiences and knowing nothing about the mother or father, it’s a mistake for any of us to pass judgement on where those girls should be living right now. That’s a judgement for experts and the courts – but you know what, it’s also something about which each of those four children would have a strong view. Read full post


The Night the POTUS Dined in Our Neighborhood

By – 25/05/2012 – 22:10

Last night, after an epic afternoon of activities followed by an Open House at my oldest child’s middle school, we headed downtown for dinner …Driving home from dinner I noticed an unusual number of police vehicles lining the main street. And then I remembered that President Obama was in town. Earlier in the day my big boy had begged me to take him to see Obama, not understanding that he was here to raise campaign funds not discuss policy issues with an enthusiastic 12-year-old. Read full post


Are You a Helicopter Parent? Here is Some Landing Gear.

By – 29/05/2012 – 11:28

Are you a helicopter parent? Please don’t let this article give you anything else to be anxious about – instead use it to think about whether there are areas of your child’s life where he or she could become more independent and more self-reliant. I am sharing brief ideas with you about signs you may be a helicopter parent and four simple tips to pull back a bit and build your child’s confidence, self-esteem and independence. Read full post


Marvel Comics Helps Hearing Impaired Child Love his Hearing Aid – Video

By – 29/05/2012 – 13:10

We had to share this one: thanks to @AnIdleDad on Twitter for the heads up on this short and lovely video. A four year old boys is inspired by the generous people at Marvel Comics, who on hearing about his reluctance to wear his hearing aid, created a comic character called Blue Ear. Say no more, just watch this and smile. Read full post


I am a SAHM – My Experience of Depression

By – 30/05/2012 – 12:12

I found Yvette’s blog post last week about stay-at-home mothers and depression thought provoking. I am a stay-at-home mum and last year I was diagnosed with depression. It never occurred to me to link the two, however in the past few days I have given quite a bit of thought to the connection and the different pressures and expectations experienced by stay-at-home mothers compared with women who work outside the home. Read full post


Free Talk in Sydney – ‘What is Good Education for Girls AND Boys?’

By – 01/05/2013 – 11:33

Santa Sabina College Principal and Gender Education Expert, Dr Maree Herrett invites you to a free talk about gender relations in education. Read full post


Cute Video – Children Tasting Food for the First Time

By – 06/05/2013 – 11:59

Showed at TEDx Sydney April 2013 – a slow motion video of children’s faces tasting certain foods for the first time: anchovies, yoghurt, pickles, Vegemite … by Saatchi. Called The First Taste Read full post


Four Babies Laughing – Can’t Ask For More

By – 17/05/2013 – 14:19

I confess this was located by HuffPost Parents and I full acknowledge their cleverness in finding this. Surely this will go viral – an adorable one minute of video – quadruplet boys laughing at their dad. I still remember how beautiful and special it was when our three babies laughed at us. Read full post


The Internet is Changing the Way Our Kids Access Music

By – 21/05/2013 – 11:17

As our kids get older and start to dictate the sort of music they want to hear, the bands they want to see, or the music they want to play themselves, I think we are going to see some radically different musical directions being taken in the future. Now, my 15-year-old doesn’t really listen to the radio, or buy CDs. Read full post


Posting a Child’s Photo Online – Is it Safe?

By – 29/05/2013 – 13:38

This post is in response to a recent story about a Melbourne mother’s frustration at not being able to remove her 18-month-old’s image from Instagram after she found out it was being misused. Comments on this story include: "why did she post the pictures with a public account" and "why didn’t she set her photos to private". And … Read full post


The Government Seeks Your Definition of Quality Teachers

By – 07/05/2014 – 09:38

The Education Minister has asked us all to contribute to a public consultation on how to get quality teachers in front of our children. But what does ‘quality teacher’ mean? Can we quantify ‘quality’? Every year I ask my graduating preservice teachers why they came into teaching. It inevitably comes down to a teacher they remember – sometimes it’s a bad memory of a teacher who was cruel or thoughtless, and a determination to be the antidote to such teachers, but mostly it’s due to an inspirational teacher. Read full post


An Interview Between Son and Mother – Heartwarming and Affirming

By – 08/05/2014 – 14:30

Joshua Littman, a 12-year-old boy with Asperger’s syndrome, interviews his mother, Sarah. Joshua’s candid questions and Sarah’s honest, unguarded answers reveal a loving relationship that reminds us of the core of what it means to be a parent. Read full post


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