Friday, May 20, 2011

The One Thing

Blogging has already brought so many new things and fantastic people into my life. The simple act of putting words out there made this small, connected planet even smaller. Today I am thrilled to introduce my very first guest post from the other side of the world - Australia!
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Jane successfully raised two children on her own, through years of serious illness. Because of this she developed great resourcefulness and creativity in her parenting.

Jane's Blog is Life @ Number 8, where she blogs holistically. She has been blogging for many years and is interested in social media, photograpy, and has recently become a Speaker on behalf of her local Heart Foundation.

Jane is also a writer, with one book at the beta-reader stage and 110,000 words written for a trilogy, She is awaiting the birth of her eighth grandchild.

The One Thing:
A Grandmother's Point Of View

There are a few things that all children need. To be loved, a place to live, warmth, care, a sense of belonging.
Beyond all this I feel there is one thing that I believe can make the world of difference in the life of a child.

And that is the ability to read.

My children began to read quite young. For us there were no struggles, it seemed one day they could not read and the next day they could. I know this is not the case for all families. I urge you to put in the effort.

Once they can read the world opens up to them.

A little bit of child-power comes into their lives.

And a little bit of freedom into yours.

We lived in a cooler climate when the children were small. Checking the weather for clothes requirements added to the early morning pressures. I solved this problem by making big wall charts.

The Clothes chart had temperatures and required clothing listed along side.

Morning. (all temperatures are in Celsius)
  •  0-7 Degrees: singlet, skivvy, fleecy shirt, jumper and jacket. Thick sox, corduroy pants and boots.
  •  8-14: Leave off the shirt
  •  15-20: Leave off the skivvy but put on the shirt. Jacket and normal sox.
  •  20 plus. Singlet, normal shirt, jumper if outside. Jacket if it’s raining.
  •  23 plus: Choose for yourself.
  •  25 plus: Summer clothes. Water bottle every day. Hat or cap
  •  27 and up. Use 15 plus every morning.

There were charts right across the kitchen walls.
Charts for the after school schedule.
A chart for Before Bed routines. E.g. No shoes to be left in the public areas of the house.
A Chart for computer time.

As we reached the teenage years, I put a sign by the phone ‘If it can’t be said in public, should it be said at all?”

One child who was often late home from school was able to read a new rule.
For every 5 minutes you are late home you will lose access to the phone for 24 hours.

The ability to read brings choices. It’s worth investing time to teach them.

It’s the one thing that will make a significant difference.

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Please show Jane some comment love and visit her blog, 
Life @ Number 8

I am going to work on my household labels right now! Even at age three, I know Amelia will benefit from consistent exposure to words and association.

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