Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cheaper by the Dozen - Hilarious and extremely well written

What a larger than life family.

This book had not only myself, but also my 9 yr old, 7 yr old, and sometimes 5 yr old laughing out loud, sometimes to the point of tears.

Imagine having to have you tonsils removed so your father can take movies of it for work...
Or riding in foolish carriage with 13 other people, most of them shouting 'Road hog!!' at the top of their lungs. It is bad enough that 4 of my children have taken up the habit whenever we are in the car. And luckily I can make sure the windows are closed as we drive up to intersections.

Besides the laughter, the authors portrayed some very fond memories of their father and the family times that were spent together before their father passed away.

An excellent read for families. I would whole heartedly recommend this.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Les Miserables

This is my next book and I think it will be slow. Not because I cannot read this kind of book, but I want to fully be immersed and read every word. It is so hard sometimes to just push through the slow beginning.

This is not the first time I have tried to read it. My mum bought it for me in my teens. My mum knew the value of classics... yet I have taken a long time to find this out for myself. So Les Mis... I love the show, I love the music, but I know I cannot truely say I love it until I have read the book... where the true lessons and pearls lie.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Entitlement Trap... getting your children to take responsibility and get off the dole

Do you ever wish your child didn't just keep asking you over and over again for more stuff at the toy store, or the supermarket? Or do they drive you insane by losing their school hat or sweater or shoes on a weekly basis? Or maybe it is their incessant arguing or lack of respect that drives you crazy? 

Richard and Linda Eyre give a compelling and workable description of how to help your children become motivated and take ownership of their own possessions, body, work and values. They walk you through a 3 step process which begins with creating a sense of belonging within the family. This is done through family traditions. It is through the regular fun things we do as a family that create the foundation to bind us together. 

In our own family on Sunday, we have pancakes for breakfast, and a roast for the evening meal, and we usually have family friends or family to share this with. We like to spend Christmas together with our extended family. The Eyres also develop this sense of belonging by sharing stories with the family from the lives of their ancestors.

Secondly, the Eryes suggest establishing a set of family laws. It may sound heavy handed and old-fashioned, but they have limited these laws down to 5 simple words... which as you know, for kids - the simpler the better. Obviously you need not repeat these laws for your family, and may need different rules in your own home, but the point is to involve your children in establishing them, and then to have set consequences for the breaking of the rules.

I found this advice brilliant. This is where me and my husband fall down a lot. We have quite different views on parenting and have never just sat down and discussed such rules and consequences so our disciplining of our children is a little ha-hazard, so... look out kids. Things are going to change.

Thirdly - upon this foundation, they recommend establishing a family economy. In a nut-shell it basically entails giving children some responsibility and they receive payment for fulfilling those responsibilities. Now here is the neat part... that their earned money not only covers their fun money, but also their snacks, treats, friends birthday presents, movie money and can even be extended to clothes. It is a simple action and consequence scenario. Version 1 - Do jobs, get paid, can buy stuff or save. Version 2 - Don't do jobs, don't get paid, can't buy stuff or go places or save. They suggest a minimum age of 8 years for this. I can't wait to introduce this concept to my own kids, but I think we will focus on establishing some strong family laws first.

What are your family laws and economy like?