SCHOOL WORK ETHIC

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I have watched all my kids address their homework and study needs in differing ways. One of my kids has always left her homework until the night before it is due, believing she works better under pressure, whilst another does her homework and assignments as soon as they are given. The job gets done either way, however when they reach more senior years of schooling, leaving things to the death knock brings about unnecessary stress and under preparedness.

I try to suggest (okay I nag) my kids to do revision of the work they have learnt that day so that the information sinks in. Then when exams rear their ugly heads, it’s not so daunting to have to revise months worth of work. Similarly, I recommend that they chip away at an assignment as soon as it is received, so the end result is more thorough and therefore scores higher.

Although the school and I try to drum into the kids this form of study work ethic, it seems to me that a child’s nature is the over-riding factor in the way they approach work. In my experience, the kids who have always been crammers remain to work that way and the methodical plodders continue that way too.

As a parent, how much should you interfere with your kid’s study? After all, the only one that is affected by their preparedness or lack thereof is your child. Should they be left to sink or swim? Having said that, as a parent you really want to see your child reach their highest potential, so I’m sure there wouldn’t be too many parents that don’t encourage their kids to study and work hard.

It’s a fine balance between being an inspiring and supportive parent versus creating conflict that may stress out an already frazzled kid.

As with everything in life, finding that balance is the key! What are your thoughts?

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HAND ME DOWNS  

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I had a system – a perfectly good system! With three daughters, I would buy clothes for my eldest, when she grew out of them they were passed down to her sister and again in turn to my youngest daughter. Then when we finally had maximum usage out of the clothes, I would bundle them up and pass them on to my nieces.

This system worked really well, until my eldest girls became teenagers. My two eldest started to wear the same size clothes – destroying the ability to pass down clothes between them. They also decided that they wanted to wear clothes that were ‘in fashion’ – deeming them either:

  1. Out of fashion before I could hand them down
  2. Inappropriate to hand down to my youngest daughter
  3. Too large for my youngest daughter by the time they were made redundant.

Luckily I can still pass my son’s clothes onto his cousin, although sometimes my cheeky little nephew helps himself to my son’s clothes before my son has outgrown them.

I must admit; my kid’s clothes have sentimental memories attached to them. When I see my nieces in my daughter’s clothes (pre-teens) it reminds me of places we have been, or things we have done and I feel happy to see that my kid’s clothes haven’t been turned into commercial rags and still have a valid use. I once had a dress that belonged first to my eldest niece before my daughters all wore it and then my two younger nieces both wore it – it outlasted six little girls and I have a feeling my sister may have passed this onto one of her friends with a daughter. It is a perpetual dress – it was obviously so well made that it has lasted twenty years and counting!

My eldest daughters are almost fully-grown now – they are both taller than me already and all my daughters wear the same size shoes as me. The hand me downs have almost ceased and instead the system has now turned into open slather on my wardrobe! I guess the answer is for me to increase my wardrobe to allow for my daughter’s raids!

Do you recycle your kid’s clothes or do you dispose of them when your children outgrow them?

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MY MYSTERIOUSLY DISAPPEARING WARDROBE

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There is a very strange phenomenon that is occurring in my house at the moment. Items of clothing, shoes, makeup and accessories seem to mysteriously disappear from my room.

The problem with sharing the house with two teenage daughters, who by the way are almost as tall as me now, is that they see my wardrobe and toiletries as an extension of their own belongings.

This ‘borrowing’ phenomenon is not limited to my wardrobe either – my husband’s shirts and jumpers have also been known to wander.

The other day I was in the shower when I noticed my shampoo and razor had vanished into thin air. Of course I was a dripping mess by the time I came to this realization and had to wrap myself in a towel to do the dash to the kid’s bathroom to retrieve my things.

Just this morning I went to put on my joggers to go for a run, only to find they had disappeared. I sent a text to my oldest daughter, letting her know for the hundredth time that she can’t just take my stuff and received a text in return “sharing is caring J”

I don’t really mind lending clothes to my daughters if they ask in advance and return them after they’ve used them. However, I do worry that people will think that I’m raiding my daughter’s wardrobes if they spend too much time wearing my clothes.

In reality, the stream of borrowing is one way as I don’t want to wear the ‘trendy’ (aka skimpy) clothes teenagers seem to favour, nor wear their grubby converse.

I always wondered why some mothers dress in frumpy clothes that make them look years older than they are, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it is their scheme to keep teenage daughters out of their wardrobe!

 

 

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THREE COURSE MEAL

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The other night all my dreams came true! Without coaxing, our three daughters decided to prepare a three-course meal, each one taking responsibility for choosing and preparing a course (thanks to My Kitchen Rules, for their inspiration!)

We left the girls to their own devices preparing their dishes in the kitchen and my husband and I retired outside to have a pre-dinner drink. I commented to my husband that we were really living the life! Finally our kids had come to a point of preparing a meal for us, rather than just expecting a meal to magically land in front of them, as it does every night!

Our youngest daughter started with a bruschetta, which to my astonishment was as good as, if not better than, restaurant quality. She made an effort to plate the bruschetta nicely, with a garnish on the side. I must admit she set the bar pretty high!

The next course was a Spanish Tortilla prepared by our eldest daughter. She has chosen to prepare this as a cultural meal of Spain for a Food Technology assignment, so the practice came in handy. The meal was simple, but delicious, with my husband and I both having second helpings. Hopefully she prepares it as well as she did for us, when the pressure is on at school. 

Finally our other daughter prepared a dessert of chocolate mousse with crushed malteasers throughout, served with fresh berries. This decadent chocolate dessert was delicious but rich. Again the presentation was great, leaving us feeling like we had just eaten at a restaurant. 

The only difference between the experience of our home cooked meal versus visiting a restaurant was the kitchen aftermath. It looked like a bomb had gone off, with every utensil and appliance used!

As the girls dispersed after dinner, we enlisted the help of our son to assist with the kitchen clean up. I must admit, even elbow deep in greasy dishwater I still felt like we were living the life!

I now just hope that they are enthused to cook for us on a regular basis, as it is a handy life skill and relieves me of the tedious task of cooking! Seriously, Our Kitchen Rules!

 

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