Another Year Older!

20140206-135728.jpg

Another school year has started. The routine of being out of the house by 8am has stumbled upon us once again. School lunches are always needing to be sorted, as well as making sure uniforms are washed and ready and bags are packed! And of course the afternoons are now spent doing homework!!!

20140202-162309.jpg

It’s been quite a smooth transition back to school and work this year. Bay started grade 3, loves his teacher and has a few of his old-time friends in his class. He is mister cool this year and kisses me goodbye at the car and I don’t see him again until the bell goes at 2.30 when he walks down to Sienna’s classroom. Then there is my little (but big) grade one girl, who if you’re a regular follower of my blog would remember how she had separation anxiety at the beginning of prep. She had been super excited all holidays to be going into grade one, especially as she has Bailey’s year 1 teacher. The tears started the night before school started back…it’s never because she doesn’t want to go, it’s always because she’s going to miss us!

After lots of positive encouraging and keeping the morning quiet and calm, I’m so proud to say my baby girl started grade 1 with NO tears…they came the next day and the next…but no where near as bad as last year! They are very minimal and stop very quickly. I’m so grateful that Sienna has the most beautiful natured teacher who is very understanding and has taken her under her wing and nurtures her like her own. I really can’t wait for the day though when she happily skips off without needing 5 minutes of reassurance;(

20140202-163147.jpg

20140202-163159.jpg

Sienna has come such a long way from the little girl who started school 12 months ago though. Already her teacher has noticed the confidence in her, that even her brother didn’t have in year 1. It’s just that pit in the bottom of her belly (you know that home sick feeling) she gets and when she doesn’t have that, she oozes confidence and spark!

Each morning always brings a new start to the day and I wait with positive encouragement and distraction when I can see my baby girl let her emotions take over….separation anxiety sucks – for everyone involved! But my tough love approach is the only way to kick it to the kurb….this parenting gig was never meant to be easy! We are almost at the end of week two and there are still a few tears, but they are decreasing and I know she is so happy as she is making so many new friends…and OMG girls at that…and always comes out of class each afternoon with a smile from ear to ear:)

20140204-202550.jpg

It’s comforting knowing that Sienna has her big brother and cousin there. The other day Bailey was walking past Sienna’s classroom when she had a few tears…quick thinking from her teacher promoted her to call Bay in to comfort her and that helped heaps! She sure pulls at the heart-strings this girl. I asked her yesterday who she played with at lunch. Her response…”no one today, just myself!” I asked Why? Her response…”I just couldn’t stop thinking about you mum!” “I was picturing you where you stand and wait for me!” God bless her…it’s so nice to be loved!

My response to her innocence was “I love that you love me and want to see me, but I don’t want you to let your thinking of me spoil your fun at school!” “You know I will always be back to pick you up when the bell goes…school time is your time to learn and have fun!” I know exactly how she is feeling as I did the exact same thing to my mum…karma really is a b;$@ch Lol! I know she’ll get there…time is the essence to this issue!

20140206-135154.jpg

It’s hard to believe that my babies will be turning another year older – 8, 6 and 3…where has that time gone?? As I watch them grow and develop, it makes me proud to be their mum. I’ve certainly been dealt some rough times with my trio, especially when it has come to their health, but apart from the usual ups and downs of children, we are in a good place at the moment!

20140206-135937.jpg

Now that things are in full swing and we are back to routine, life ain’t that bad. Yeah things are busy again (especially on my two work days) but they are going to get a whole lot busier next week when all the after school sport starts again. But like usual you manage and when the chips are down and the exhaustion sets in, I will be making sure I still stop and smell the roses….and look at all the wonderful memories we created on our summer holiday lol!

20140206-135654.jpg

Advertisements

The Year of Independence!

When a new year begins I often just sit and gaze at my children while they are enjoying a splash in the pool on a hot summers day and think about what I’d like to see for them throughout the year. I guess you could call it new year resolutions for the young:) In past years I’ve concentrated on things like following an instruction straightaway, cleaning up their toys before they go onto something else or little things like put your pjs on your bed when you get dressed in the morning or take your plate to the kitchen when finished. All these little things when chipped away at, leads to the molding of a respectable and responsible little human being!

I’m quite happy with where my children are presently at! They are capable of so many more things now that they are getting older and it’s nice that there are a few of us now to pitch in and help when it’s needed! Even though they are almost 7, 2 and four and a half, they are all becoming helpful in one way or another! The success of this I believe is consistency. For anything to work, it has to be consistently practiced and from a young age, otherwise it just doesn’t sink in!

Just recently my two eldest children have really discovered the benefit of money and love receiving it for gifts! But of course once it’s spent they want more! So I thought it was time, time for the two little words I have been waiting to use until the time is right…pocket money! When I mentioned to them that they could earn pocket money by being responsible for certain things around the house, they were super excited and listened attentively while I explained that we go out to work to earn money and that is how pocket money works.

Each child has been given 5 jobs that I know they are capable to do. This was done by negotiation between myself and the child. Most jobs are daily ones that are a huge help to the running of our home. At the end of the week, if they have done their jobs well and consistently without any complaining, they get $5 (basically $1 per job)! They asked what they were allowed to spend their money on…my reply was something specific that they need wanted or needed. They are always saying I need new shoes or I need a new skate board. Now they can learn the art of saving for things they want or need!

20130113-184231.jpg

20130113-184237.jpg
Jobs chart that reminds them what they need to do to earn their money:)

It’s day 3 and so far so good. All I have to say is “Bailey or Sienna you need to do your job!” and they ask which one and do it! I’ve had the occasional whine and all I’ve said is “a dollar will be taken away if you don’t do your job properly!” and they soon change their tune! My aim of this is to create independence and responsibility around the running of a home. At this stage I don’t expect them to be cooking dinner or even doing the dishes yet, but it’s never too early to create independence in a child.

Right from when my children start toddling I start teaching them to pack their toys away, get the stuff to change their nappy or get a cup or plate out of the cupboard. By the time my kids are one they are usually pretty good with their receptive skills and can follow a command quite well. Again it’s the consistency in this practice that makes it a success. For Mia this year her independence will come from toilet training. She is about to turn 2 next month and is coming along so well with both her receptive and expressive language, so at some stage between now and mid year I’d love to think she will be toilet trained.

2 is the perfect age for establishing independence with feeding themselves and helping with odd things around the house. Mia loves helping (sometimes too much lol) and of course it’s so important to praise them when they do! Even my two older children thrive on praise. Bailey asked “when we do our job well do we get extra money?”…my response “no mate I’ll praise you and give you a high 5!”…his response his beautiful little grin:)

I don’t for one second think that children are our human slaves, but if we start teaching independence and responsibility from when they are little, it not only will help them when they start school, but hopefully will carry onto their adult life. Now that my husband has a new job with long hours and I work two days a week to, it’s all about pitching in and helping together! And I don’t care what gender you are, everyone should be taught this. I know it’s way off, but I’d love to think once my children marry, their respective partners appreciate the up bringing our children have had!

So it’s a big year in My Party of 5’s house! We’ll have 2 children in school now Sienna is starting prep and once Mia is out of nappies we won’t have a baby anymore:( But we have so much to look forward to!

20130113-184908.jpg
Thumbs up for pocket money:)!!!