Blog for kids

Towards the end of last year, our eldest daughter began asking if she could have her own blog - since she sees both of us blogging a lot.  Euan wrote a post about our initial thoughts on this, and we had lots of great comments encouraging us to let her have a go!

Well, she has now set one up and started posting, about the cakes and sweet things she makes:

I have to say that it certainly seems like a fantastic thing for her to do!  I helped her set it up - but it took very little direction from me - she's very good with comupters already at age 8!  She designed and made her own header - see the picture above?  and has no problem writing her own posts - editing the photos and putting it all together!  I'm very impressed!

We waited until the long summer holidays to start this with her - so that it was established before back to school.  That done, school now starts again in just over a week, and we'll have to establish a bit more of a routine to bake cakes and post about them.

Not only are we getting some tasty cakes baked for us, which is helping her cooking skills, measuring the ingredients and following instructions.  She is also getting practice typing, composing texts and  editing her photos!

She loves the fact that she has her very own blog - just like mummy and daddy!

As to how her blog can grow and develop - I stumbled upon an interesting website the other day which may belp us:
It's called Kids learn to blog, and is full of articles and resources all about this topic.  I haven't had a chance to explore it yet - but certainly will as our daughter continues to blog, and our younger daughter has now started asking to set up her own blog too!! 

Do any of your kids blog?  Have they asked to?  What do you think about kids blogging?

And please do go and visit our daughter's blog, she's put a lot of effort into it, and loves getting comments! 


Did you know?

Watch this video and see why it's so important to help our kids be the best they can in each and every way to help prepare them for the future! Things are growing and changing fast - who knows what they will face when they grow up!
The stats are a few years old now - which makes you think about the growth and changes that have happened in the short time since then! 


Scary ages - men and women

Have you pondered your longevity?
I have always said that it would be great to be given your expiry date from the get go and then be able to live your life to it's fullest before knowing the inevitable has to happen. There are some definite positives (and negatives) in this- think about it!
I had never heard of scary ages and haven't even watched the Sex in the City movie (or series) which gave the phrase recent popularity but the topic is interesting.
When you are a kid, time is so slow, as a teenager you wish it would speed up and only live in the moment and then time flies in your late teens and 20s as there are never enough hours in the day. The it seems the world catches most of us up and whether we have kids, partners or work and mortgage or rent in our lives, we are caught and forced to think about the future. The endless time stops, we have to plan ahead, not all the dreams are readily attainable and reality sets in. Reality or mortality- interesting how they rhyme.
From a female perspective, look at a typical 23 year old-young, no?
A different slant can be taken if you imagine a fairly standard definition of what life may be like at 30 if you asked a young teenager (or older one, perhaps). Many would respond that by the ancient age of 30, they would have two kids (the traditional stereotypical 'one lovely daughter and an energetic son too') which would mean that marriage would be by 27, engaged by 26 and then needing to meet the correct or perfect partner by 24. Wow, where did the years go!!!
I can understand women discussing the fertility issue or watching the body clock. It certainly seems unfair that the first half of a female's life has worries regarding falling pregnant too early or earlier than personal freedom may dictate and the second half wishing they were pregnant and wanting kids! You can also fast forward from there and look at the paradox of singles enjoying life of holidays and ongoing experiences but no kids with the opposite of marriage, family and school fees. It is certainly true that the grass always looks greener on the other side.
From a male perspective it is only really the event of kids that forces a man to mature and accept responsibility. The teenage years and young adulthood has traditionally allowed huge scope for freedom and lack of boundaries both self imposed and societally for males. Moving from one conquest to another whether personal or business is often the norm. Settling with a single partner falls into place and then either becomes a norm or something to escape from. Assuming becoming a parent and sending the kids to school happens, it is then that the mortgage and family experience force you to think of longevity, caring for others unconditionally and even the idea of passing on a legacy all come in to play.
Wow, isn't life complex!?
Whilst consistency and caring is a key part of a successful partnership and provides the foundations to build a family on, it is always vital to continue living in the moment. Yes, we should all have plans and goals, both long and short term but if we lose sight of now, the journey that is life ceases to have the same meaning.
Carpe diem. Seize the day. This was one of my New Year themes and one which I think we can all benefit from revisiting.
What is you take on scary ages and also the male - female differences in experiencing them?

Jobs for kids

After being sick last week, and as a result not getting much housework done, it has made me realise that it's time our kids stepped up and learnt how to do more of the small household tasks and chores to help out, so making things easier for me - in general, but also when I'm sick, or things are busy!

The girls do currently help out by setting the table for dinner, keeping their room tidy and clean - and also they do have a chore chart of jobs they can do for some extra pocket money.

But at the ages of 6 and 8 how much should we be expecting them to do?

We started the chore chart of jobs for cash as a way to try and start to teach them about money - and its value.  This works a little bit in spurts.  When there is something particular the girls are saving for - they may go a few days looking for jobs to do to earn money to buy their new toy.  But there is very little they really want or that excites them enough to want to work towards saving for. - Unless you count a big trampoline for the garden, but it would take several years of chores at the rates we pay for them to save up for that!!

In the last couple of weeks, the girls have started emptying the dishwasher each morning together, and they now have a 'shared' money box for money they earn together.  This is becoming routine for them now - and they can see how the money is adding up for doing a task that takes very little time and effort.

My dilemma now is that I want to get them more involved in household chores, but have I made it difficult to ask them to do more chores without them expecting to be paid for them?

This morning I sat down with them to explain that I wanted to show them how to help out with more jobs about the house.  I tried to use the example of setting the table as something they do every night which helps out but they don't get paid for it.  I explained that last week very little housework got done because I was sick - but if that happens again in future, I would like for them to be able to help me out a little more.  I really think they understood this and took it on board.

So I showed them how to do a few more chores they've never done before. For example empty the inside bins into the larger bin outside and how to sort and put on a load of washing.

 I'm also working on making things more accessible for them. I just moved things around in our laundry - so now they can reach their own sets of pink rubber gloves, rags for cleaning and the white vinegar spray I use for cleaning. 

Each day - particularly in the last two weeks of our school summer holidays here, I want to show the girls how they can help with various household jobs.  I'm not expecting them to take over and do all the housework for me (although that would be lovely!!)  I just want them to understand how things are done, and to help out now and then, so that if the need arises, they could do things for me!

I found an interesting article on how to help you child build self-confidence. In the latter part of this article it mentions what jobs and tasks kids can and should be doing by particular ages!  For example:

 "By three years of age, a child can be taught to clean sinks and tubs "

And then there's:

"By seven, a child can be cooking at least one meal a week from start to finish."

This last one about cooking is one I've been having a chat to our 8 year old about and she's keen to try.  Both girls have helped lots making meals, but have never made one all by themselves from start to finish!  So this is going to be an interesting thing to try this week!  I will let you know how that goes!!

I also found another interesting list of 'Age appropriate chores for kids'.

How about you? What jobs do your kids do? Do you pay them? How do you distinguish between chores they are expected to do, and those that you will pay them a little extra cash for?  Do you think there are particular ages that kids should be doing particular jobs by - or should you just go by your own children and lifestyle?