When things get tough…..

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Do you parent your children differently?

IMG_3058While I was out this weekend at one of our many sporting commitments, I fell into a conversation with another mother about my youngest child. Being the youngest of 4, he can be very lazy and I find myself constantly either telling him off or justifying why he hasn’t picked up after himself. I am more lenient with my youngest child that is for sure.

Then I began to think about the way I parent all my children. Ashlea is very easy to parent (at this stage anyway) as she seems to understand what the needs of the family are. If I ask Ash to do something around the house, she gets up and does it, no complaining, no whinging, she always helps out. I have very little need to tell her off.

Breanna (my second daughter) likes things her own way or she will let me know she is not happy. I am constantly telling her to hurry up on school mornings as she is very slow and gets easily distracted. She also has a fiery temper and this has a tendency to clash with other members of the family. I need to keep a close eye on her, gently guiding her in the right direction.

Jackson (my eldest son) is at the age where he loves me and wants to be around me but is trying to pull away to become a man. This makes him behave in a way I don’t always agree with, causing an argument. He loves to push the boundaries, testing just how far he can go before I reel him back in. His favourite trick is to stir his siblings, pushing, pushing until he gets the reaction he was hoping for. Then he claims he did nothing wrong. Sometimes I believe him but all too often, I have to trust my gut feeling, knowing he loves getting a rise from his siblings and bring him back into line.

I have the same rules for all my children but I definitely enforce them differently. Sometimes this brings those guilty feelings back but all my children have different personalities and require different styles of parenting to help them learn and stay safe.

Do you parent your children differently?

cheers natalie

Book Review – “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is one of those novels that takes a bit to get into, but once you’re hooked there is no setting it down. I found the first half of the book slow and quite difficult for me to read. I think this is because the first half of the book is basically a big lead up to the second half. Once you hit the half way mark, you hit the really interesting part that makes you seriously think about everything that is happening in the book.

This is the first mystery book that I have ever read and frankly, I loved it. I loved the constant thinking you had to do to figure out what happened to Amy. I loved analysing the characters and the reasons and motives behind every single thing they do. The second half of the book had me on the edge of my seat and constantly made me second guess the theories I was positive were correct.

The characters were the type of characters who developed as you read. For the first few chapters you really didn’t know much about Amy and Nick which was one of the first things that really bored me in the beginning. It gradually built up the storyline until finally, around that amazing half way point I keep mentioning, you get a major plot twist that basically refused to let you stop reading.

Once I had finished Gone Girl, I was in shock at the ending. As per the rest of the book, every theory I had about the ending was wrong. I’m not sure whether this says more about the authors writing skills or about my obviously terrible sense of judgement. I really enjoyed the book though, despite its slow beginning. Hopefully, mum and I will be able to read her other books and review them at a later date.
Ash xxx

I love doing book reviews as reading is such a passion for both Ashlea and myself. It also brings us closer together as it gives us a common interest and another line of communication. Now that’s off my chest, let’s discuss the book.

I read this book while away on a family holiday to Bali and can recommend it as a perfect, light holiday read.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is her third novel and, for me, the best so far. The book is set in Missouri and is based around an imperfect marriage facade. Nick and Amy have been married for 5 years and from an outsiders point of view, seem to have a perfect marriage. When Amy unexpectedly disappears, all evidence points to Nick.

When the police find Amy’s diary, Nick realises just how poor their marriage was. If Nick didn’t kill his wife Amy, then who was responsible? Nick and his twin sister set out to find what really happened to Amy.

Gillian is a wonderful mystery writer and keeps the suspense through out the novel. ‘Gone Girl’ has many twists and turns to keep you deeply enthralled in the storyline.
Cheers Natalie

Related reviews of Gone Girl
seejy.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/book-review-go
http://margotmcgovern.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/book-review-gone-girl-by-gillian-flynn/
http://reviewedbymarkleonard.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/finchers-gone-girl/

When you work hard….

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I am woman, hear me roar….

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Malaysian Airlines tragedy…

5606422-16x9-220x1245606220-16x9-220x124graphic-showing-range-of-buk-missiles-and-altitude-of-mh17-dataAs I’m sure everyone knows by now, there has been a Malaysian Airlines plane that has been bombed straight out of the air in the Ukrainian air space. I am absolutely disgusted by what has happened because to me, it seems so inhumane. People who are willing to bomb a plane full of people (knowingly or not) are barely worth a second thought except to let them pay the price for their disturbing actions.

The MH17 carried 28 Australians who all perished in the missile attack ,which through no fault of our own, brings Australia into their war. The plane had 295 people on board, all of whom are without a second doubt dead. Even though all these people have died in one go, the thing that haunts me the most is the fact that not a single distress call was made by a single person on board the plane, meaning that everyone on board died instantly.

I think that all the excuses we have been hearing about why the missile was launched are totally bogus. I have heard that they thought the plane was either a supply carrier or filled with spies, either of which would result in deaths no matter what. I think that the whole ordeal is something that could have been avoided ( by Malaysian airlines). I don’t know much about what is going in between Russia and Ukraine, but I do know that no war is a good war.

💕ash

Such a tragic topic to discuss but one which cannot be avoided. Australia is generally a peaceful country and one many people from other countries would love to have the opportunity to come and settle. When a tragedy such as the Malaysian airlines missile attack occurs, and so many of our innocent people were targeted, we can no longer claim to be neutral. It is unfair on the Australian population who want to remain at arm’s length on what is happening in other war-torn countries, but this horrific event only proves that the world is a small place.

We are in this together, whether we like it or not, but how can the world ever get along?

I hate war ( like so many others) and I hate discussing it. However, it is out of my control when a world event like this happens and my children are asking me questions like WHY? I just don’t know why and I do not understand how people can have such disregard for human life. The passengers on the plane were just like you and I, living their lives peacefully, hoping to stay healthy and happy, spending precious time with loved ones.

Was there a baby on board who was giggling while being held tightly by mum? Was there a young child on board colouring in a picture, careful not to go outside the lines? Were there school mates leaving home for the first time to explore the wonderful world around them?  Was there a newly wed couple, beginning their new life together, dreaming of all life’s possibilities? Was there a retired couple, cherishing the time together they deserve having worked all their lives for this moment? Just normal every day people who were struck down because someone decided it was a good idea.

I have struggled talking about this event as it is so far out of my league. My children are confused, as am I, and we would like answers on why life has become a throw away commodity. Life is there to be valued, every single one, not discarded as pawn in a war over land. Have you discussed war with your children?

cheers natalie

Related Topics

http://vickynanjappa.com/2014/07/19/is-it-safe-to-fly/

http://sperrydox.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/458/

http://rachelfurolo.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/stepping-back-from-tragedy/

 

Are your children resilient?

IMG_0250Recently at a girlfriends house, I had my tarot cards read (secretly I love this stuff but can be a closed book when they are trying to open me up). My cards revealed that I need to let go of the reins a little and let my children make their own mistakes. I thought I was doing this but now I look back, I do try to protect them from being hurt or rejected, which may not always be the best way about it.

This got me thinking about how my children would handle a major set back in their lives. Are my children strong enough to handle rejection? Can my children pick themselves up after being knocked down and have a stronger ‘I can do it’ attitude? Are my children resilient?

As parents we do not want to see our children fail at anything, especially when they have worked hard to achieve it. As parents we know that failure or rejection is a part of life and at some stage everyone is going to have to face it. So as parents, we should be allowing our children to experience failure when they are young so they are more equipped to handle it when they are older.

I am definitely a person who looks at the world with the glass half full. Every now and then, the glass appears to be half empty but that usually only lasts a day or so. Recently I had a down 48 hours resulting from a few things that happened all at once. I cried for what I had lost, I felt sorry for myself for what I hadn’t achieved, I complained about how hard I work yet still not getting what I wanted and I cried again for failing. Once these emotions passed, I took back control of what I could and I let go what I could not change.

Baby steps is the way I will approach this. Letting my children feel rejection, not just understanding it, is the first step. When they do not succeed, I will allow them to feel the pain of failing before I try to step in to patch things up. I hope by doing this while they are still young, it will build a resilience to be able to pick themselves up and be strong enough to keep going when things get tough.

How do you help your children to resilient?

cheers natalie 

 

Since I’m only fourteen, I haven’t really faced anything that has made me want to give up what I’m doing. As well as this, I have, luckily, never had to experience something as horrible as some people have in the world. However, after talking to mum about my next big life event (year 12 exams), I have been forced to consider how I would react if I didn’t get the grades I needed to do what I want to do with my life (law school).

Obviously year twelve is a while a way but after talking to mum I was actually at a loss as to how I would react if I scored poorly in my exams. At the moment, if anything big happened to me I would most likely just brush it off and continue on with my life but something as big as exams, I have no idea how I would react. Unlike the mundane problems that I face today, if I failed my VCE, or even if I didn’t quite do as well as I would have liked, it would affect the rest of my life.

You have to score high marks to get into a university course for law so if I didn’t do as well I would never have my dream of becoming a lawyer. I think that it would be extremely hard for me to move on and do something different if I didn’t get my desired marks because if would drastically affect the future I want. Personally, I think that would be something that I would never really be able to let go of because it has been a dream of mine for years.

Of course, I would be able to move on with my life. It’s not like I would just give up and become a hermit who lives on fast food, I don’t think I could ever do that. If I couldn’t become a lawyer it would be a major setback in my future goals but I’m sure that I could bounce back (eventually) and find another dream to set my sights on. It would be hard, failing in something that can affect you’re whole future, but I don’t think I would ever let something stop me from living my life out happily.  

see ya Ashlea xx

If you created an emoji, what would it look like?

Image 2Ashlea designed an emoji of herself, the queen flicking her hair….

Being happy is not something you achieve….

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If you had 3 wishes to create the perfect day, what would you choose?

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So obviously, in an ideal world I would automatically answer; fly overseas, win a lot of money and basically get everything I want. Unfortunately, the world is not a wish granting factory ( The Fault In Our Stars quote hehe) and I must choose three things I would do for my perfect, but realistic, day.

First I think I would read. I absolutely adore reading and I could easily spend a whole day just reading whatever is available to me. I would probably just head over to my local library and read every book that I’ve been meaning to read for a while.

Secondly I would write. I have all these ideas running through my head all the time but I never seem to have the time to sit down and write them out. If I had a whole day available for me to do whatever, writing would definitely be one of the things I would choose to do.

Lastly, I would sleep. As a teenager, I cannot get enough sleep and a day doesn’t usually start off well unless I have slept half the day away. Obviously, if I had a whole day to spend on myself, I wouldn’t waste half of it sleeping but having the choice to sleep as late as I want is a luxury I only really get on school holidays.

See ya Ash xxx

I often dream of having a day like this, where I can pick whatever I like and over indulge in my dream hobbies. Instead, I try to take some time out from most days and indulge in a little of the following activities:

If I could pick my perfect day I would devote time to my writing. This has been a passion of mine for over 12 years but unfortunately it is not something I can simply switch on when I have a spare half hour. Writers block often comes into play and opening up my mind at a specific time can be a challenge.

Another love is my friends. There is nothing more enjoyable than sitting with people you care about and catching up over a coffee (in the morning) or a wine (in the afternoon). I often hear people say ‘there is not enough hours in a day’ to do everything so the time given to me would be spent indulging in laughter and gossip.

Finally, when the day is running at a pace that exhausts me, sitting down with a good book is guaranteed to put a smile on my face. Letting my mind merge into another world, feeling the characters and dreaming of being a published author myself one day would make the day perfect.

When Ashlea and I write our blogs, we do not read what the other person writes until it comes together. It is amazing how we picked two identical activities. No wonder we get along so well.

cheers natalie

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