Sunday, 11 October 2009


Halloween is all about fun for the children so each year i try to think of new ways to jazz it up a bit. One year i held a party for the children in my road, after they had been trick or treating. I made the sandwhiches in the shapes of pumpkins and ghosts, they had fish fingers which looked like fingers with a piece of cuecumber for the nails and they were cut with ketchup as blood. Red jelly is one they like but it has to be mashed up like blood and guts and i put in jelly sweet worms and bugs. My children helped making cakes and icing them with spider webs and spiders on them in black food colouring. We made cakes iced liked flies and ones with red and black lady birds on. All the kids enjoyed the fact it was different. Another year i prepared some surprises for the trick or treaters who called at my door; two big bowls with custard in each but one coloured green and one red with food colouring - a bowl of snot and a bowl of blood! in the bowls i hid all the treats and they had to get their treat out with their teeth! That year i noticed someone else up the road doing something similar, she had one bowl of custard and a bowl of flour with the sweets in and they had to get them out with their teeth from the custard first then the flour which, of course stuck to their faces. Last year i needed to change it again so myself and my neighbour decided to play tricks on the kids who knocked. Outside was our pumpkin and other halloween decorations but all my lights were off. Just inside my front door was loud spooky music playing and i was waiting for them to knock. My cat flap is in the front door so as they knocked i put my hand through and grabbed their legs. They all screamed of course and were unsure what to do as i hadn't answered the door to them, most of them turned and walked down my path where my neighbour was hiding behind a bush dressed as a skeleton (which was funny in itself as she isn't of small frame) she jumped out scaring them again but she did have the bowl of sweets for them! You can't do this to the really little children of course as it would scare them half to death and probably give them nightmares!
It has been such fun here for the last few years but this year i am stuck and can't think of anything different to do!

Change in behaviours???

One thing i have noticed during my career working with children is the change in behaviour, or is it childrens' behaviour that has changed? Yes unwanted behaviour is much more noticable in schools and even pre-schools but i feel we nedd to question why? Behaviour in children is as it has always been, it is a natural part of childrens' development and learning to hurt other children to get what they want, to answer back and to genrally push the boundaries.
So if it's not the behaviour that has changed or got worse is it the way teaching staff deal with their unwanted behaviour? In my experience the answer to that would be no. Teachers and people who work with children don't ignore the behaviour, they correct the children and punish them in an appropriate manner. Is it the change in the way teachers punish children now? we can all say 'a smack never done us any harm' and we would be just in saying that but years ago not every teacher smacked the back of your hand with a ruler or hit you with a slipper, there were teachers that didn't use physical punishments and still managed to get children to behave.
So why is it that unacceptable behaviour is more noticable now than it has ever been? After observing childrens' behaviours i feel there could be a couple of reasons why. 1, adults working with children need to  connect better with children and keep in mind they were children once. When i work with the children  at my school i make time to listen to what they have to say no matter how trivial it may seem, when they ask questions about me and things about me i answer them rather than saying something like ' i don't think that is anything to do with you, i'm an adult and you are a child'. I want them to feel they can talk to me about anything, i don't mean be their best friend and act like their school friends, but adults can be friends with children. This way i have found that when i need them to listen to me and behave, they respond  majority of the time. So one reason for noticable bad bahaviour could lie with the adults guiding them at school?
2, When working with children you also have to work as close as possible with the parents, this becomes an obstacle when parents don't back up the teaching staff. If the parents aren't behind the staff 100 per cent then there is no point the staff trying to correct unwanted behaviour. When i had told a parent how her child had refused to do his work, swore at me and hurt other children i expected a totally different response to what i got! The mother had a nervous giggle, from embarassment, and just said 'oh dear, better have a better day tomorrow' and took her child home. I was expecting her to have a cross face, tell him off, make him apologise and back me up by giving him a punishment of her own; such as grounding him! How can i or any other member of staff teach the children how to behave correctly if the parents don't give us their support. The children pick up on it straight away and automatically the respect is lost : children won't listen and do as they are asked if there isn't any respect. I, as a parent, haven't always agreed with the punishments teachers have given my children or why they have given them but i back them up every time so my children know they won't get away with bad behaviour. It is so fustrating when there is no back up from parents, it makes our line of work so much harder and there is no point teaching them how to behave at school. So please this is a plea to all parents ; please back up your teachers even if you don't agree at the time, you can always see the teacher about your grievance when your child isn't there.
So as far as i'm concerned children behave the way they always have and they don't need a good smack, they need to learn RESPECT with parental support and guidance to continue through school and gain RESPECT through the teachers and staff getting on their level, being someone they want to communicate with and having time for them.
What do you think? Is the nation getting parenting wrong? should we bring back a 'bloody good hiding'? Is it childrens' behaviour has worsened through change in diets or change in lifestyles? Or is it all the adults faults?

Sunday, 27 September 2009

scientists evidence

I have recently been on a very interesting site called impactlab which has reported their findings on a scientific investigation in the USA, which states how children who are spanked have lower IQs than children who are disciplined in other ways. What really amuses me is how can anybody be shocked by these findings? I'm certainly not surprised as i feel that children who are spanked regularly are taking a beating to their self esteem which has an affect on their emotional well being. If a child's emotional development is affected in this way then, of course, it will have a knock on effect on all other areas of development especially their cognitive development.