October Issue 2014

Welcome to this issue of my free parenting E-zine in which I bring you small snapshots of the joys and problems of raising children.

  • SPECIALS - Child Protection and Responsibilities



SPECIALS  -Child Protection and Responsibilities

The second week of September was Child Protection week and the emphasis was on everyone doing their part to protect children from harm. Children must be protected from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. They must be safe from danger of all kinds, from violence both inside their homes and in the wider community. They need the basics of food, clothing, shelter and love, but much more. Children need education, space to play, friends to interact with; they need role models and a whole community of people to support them and help them develop their potential.

Unless our work is in the child protection area, we focus mainly on our own families and extended families. Sometimes we are shocked by our TVs into the realization that there are children who are injured or die because of war. Sometimes we are shocked that children in our own country are not okay. During Child Protection Week one family of three beautiful children and their mother were shot by their father who then took his own life. What could have been done to protect that family? Why did nobody know that a crisis was looming? Could new technology have been used to alert Police that the family was in danger?

As children grow we must help them to know their rights, and also their responsibilities.


  • to themselves by keeping healthy habits

  • to their families by showing love and being willing helpers

  • to their carers by listening, respecting and remembering to thank them

  • to friends by watching out for them, sharing with them and supporting them

  • to the community by learning and keeping the rules and seeking to improve the environment\.

When your children become adults, will they be ready emotionally and educationally to provide safe, happy and loving environments for their families? Training for parenthood really begins in early childhood.



Ages and Stages -Picky Eaters

Some babies seem to take to food like a duck to water while others in the same family are picky right from the first day that solid food is offered. There are a number of reasons why kids donít want to eat

  • It may be teething, tiredness, a sore throat or indigestion

  • The touch or smell of the food

  • The food is too hard to chew or takes too long

  • Lack of a routine or a routine that doesnít suit your child. For example the child may be too hungry to eat or not hungry at all.

Babies who have been good eaters often become fussy as toddlers. Keep presenting small quantities of the rejected food and usually the child will accept it again. New foods can be confronting for a child. They may decide they donít like it just from its look.

Some strategies to try are

  • encourage your child to help with the cooking by cutting, mixing, stirring etc.

  • allow him to play simple games like touching the food on his plate, arranging carrot sticks in squares or triangles, standing up bits of broccoli like trees

  • allow the child to spit it out after a little taste.

  • serve pieces on it tooth picks

  • cut it in different shapes

  • arrange small pieces in an iceblock tray


Kids in the news ĖLittle boy Lost

Little William Tryell was three years old and his sparkling, happy face looked out at the world from the TV screen. He was wearing his Spider-Man suit and his Mum had taken this photo just a few minutes before he disappeared from a game of chasings with his sister. The family was visiting Grandma in her lovely house in a bush setting at Kendall on the North Coast of New south Wales. The police began searching very soon. No one dreamed that six days later no trace would have been found. How can a lively little boy disappear so completely? No trace of torn clothing, no scent for dogs to take up, no sound at all.

An enormous search has taken place through thick forest close to the home. Dams have been drained and creeks searched too. Police have looked into abduction theories, but in this quiet area, there have been no strangers seen and no shred of evidence that William was abducted. Police and searchers are completely baffled.

There is no hope now of a happy ending. What can we teach preschool children to do if they become lost in the bush? I suggest we teach

STOP: Stop. Donít go any further as someone will come looking for you

LOOK: Look around. Can you see shade to sit in? Can you see a helicopter to wave to?

LISTEN: Can you hear voices calling you, or cars on a road?

SHOUT: Shout HELP as loudly as you can

SIGN: Make a sign from sticks or stones that a helicopter might see from the sky.

You may have better ideas. When you talk to your children, explain why these ideas will help the people searching. You can also practice using these ideas in games. Adapt these ideas for children lost in a store or at a zoo or event.


Kids 'n Gardening Ė Finding inspirations

This month Iím hooked on fairy gardens because of the book I mention below. Looking for further inspirations I visited Facebook and Pinterest and found plenty of information. At pot, there are ideas for using broken pots both large and small to enclose a garden. There are two pages of delightful gardens made in pots of different shapes and sizes and an online shop too. Iím sure kids will be inspired to make gardens like some of these with your help.

At there are also tons of ideas using stones, pebbles, sticks, moss, real and artificial plants and almost anything you can think of. All the pictures pinned there have websites you can visit to see how clever people are when it comes to gardening in a small space. Help your children to find the tools and potting mix suggested and let them create their own fairy gardens populated with little figures that can be made from artificial flower petals and pipe cleaners.


Healthy Living ĖThe ABC exercise challenge

ABC radio Life Matters and Health and Wellbeing programs have started a six week exercise challenge to help people get fit. You can see pictures of the volunteers at This exercise challenge of 300 minutes or five hours a week, is part of their Mental Health week initiatives from 5th to 12th October. Although it has already started, you can plan you own family challenge for anytime that is convenient to you.

Now that it is spring itís an ideal time to begin walking either early in the morning or at the end of the day. Choosing the end of the day will work well for most parents as when daylight saving clicks in this first weekend of the month, it is hard to get the kids to bed while it is still light. A walk will help you all to unwind, get the kids physically tired and ready to sleep, and allow you all to enjoy the outdoors before nightfall.

Other physical activities that may work well for your family are

  • taking a ball to the park for games

  • swimming

  • yoga

  • tai chi

  • taking the car to a different location each time then walking for fifteen minutes before walking back

  • introducing the kids to golf at the practice range

  • cycling on the cycling track


Indigenous news - Bush Bands Bash

At Yipirinya School in Alice Springs, a special music program is bringing joy to all the community. This school is an independent school so instead of full government funding, money for special projects has to be found somewhere else. As this is one of the most disadvantaged schools in the country, parents cannot afford to put in money for musical instruments or for special events and specialist teachers. This year however, a sponsor has come forward. This has allowed a drumming band to be formed which is the centre piece for the students to perform their own music. They are also able to attend the Bush Bands Business Camp where the kids can talk to well known bands like running Water and also listen to them rehearsing. As they listen and talk they are gaining an insight into the discipline needed to become musicians. They meet role models and mentors from their own language groups and this will help them to write and sing their own songs not only now but into the future.

The Principal of the school said that the music program helps kids overcome emotional problems and challenges that are such a big part of life in remote communities. May the program continue.


Book Review: Ė Fairy Gardening 101

by Fiona McDonald

Skyhorse publishing 2014

I found this delightful book by accident and just had to buy it. It has beautiful photos of many fairy gardens. Most are simple to make with a child and will inspire you and your child or grandchild. There is a list of tools you will need, a short history of fairies, simple directions for both indoor and outdoor gardens and step by step points to help you create gardens. The emphasis is on using recycled materials and pre-loved containers with little fairies to decorate them.


Play ideas Ė Wet days in summer

Wet days do occur on holidays and in summer although we usually wish they wouldnít. How would you cope in a tent for two weeks of wet, wet days? No doubt youíd soon move to a motel or go back home.

Here are some ideas:

  • Dress-ups. Swap clothes with the kids and take photos of the results

  • Play pass the parcel with a bundle of kidsí books. Wrap up so that a book appears each time a layer of paper is taken off and read that story before the parcel goes forward.

  • Draw funny faces on your stomachs or your bare feet and make them talk like monsters

  • Buy a packet of plain biscuits and make funny icing faces on them

  • Buy some shaving cream and make snow or surf pictures on the kitchen table

  • Make a family of stick people with matches, or paddlepop sticks

  • Fold paper in concertina fashion and draw a person then cut out so that you have four or five little people holding hands. Colour them and use in story telling.

  • Draw 2 or 3 figures about 20 cms high onto cardboard. Create a fancy wardrobe for them out of coloured paper that can be attached to the figures with paper clips.


Reading that will help you understand children

Between three to five years of age children are very busy little people. Their questions, energy and enthusiasm are amazing.

This book will help parents, carers and educators to plan fun activities in essential learning areas. Ideas include cooking, music, storytelling, maths, science, outdoor games and craft. There are also hints on organizing play spaces.

 Available as an E-book from Amazon at this link:         

see all three book in my Mothers' Guides series at my Author's page

The Busy Mothersí Guide to Happy Toddlers

by Helen Evans

Toddlers are delightful little people who will both charm and challenge their parents and carers. They thrive on being busy, playing, exploring, helping, creating and talking. What are the best toys to buy? Which games and activities will help toddlers to develop skills?

This book suggests toys and games that toddlers love. It outlines safe activities for toddlers from 18 to 36 months that will help develop physical, social, emotional, cognitive and language skills.

Available as an E-book from Amazon at this link. 


The Busy Mothers' Guide to Happy Babies

by Helen Evans

Talking to and playing with your baby is one of the delights of being a parent. But what can you do what your baby cries? How can you communicate? Can you help your baby to develop skills? This book outlines easy to follow, safe, sensory activities babies will love. 

Mobiles, tickling rhymes, toys, books, music, messy play and creative ideas are suggested for each stage of development. These activities will keep your baby happy. Mums and dads, family members and child educators will love these ideas for babies from birth to 17 months of age.

Available as an E-book from Amazon at the link below.

Helen's  books, Everyday learning about storytelling and Simply Storytelling, will help you to tell stories to your children. For Everyday learning, go to and look at the catalogue


For Simply Storytelling (ISBN 9780864588104 published by Tertiary Press)  go to and search

Three of Helen's picture books are available as downloads or CD's from Writer's Exchange . Children from 3 to 10 will love them.
Here is the link:
 This will take you to my author's

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