Wednesday, June 25, 2014


A young Mom decided it was time to teach her 4 and 2 year old boys how to greet people.  She said, "Hello.  My name is Susie. What is your name?" She held out her hand to shake her two year old's hand.   He said, "Hello. My name is Nakey (naked) Boy!"

Our 8 year old grandson was sitting quietly in a cafe contemplating the delicious food he was eating.  He said solemnly, "I think I am falling in love with this pie!"

4 year old's prayer. "Dear Jesus, God bless Mommy, Daddy (and other family members).  God bless Spiderman, Batman, Superman and Ironman!!!"

Our son, aged around 3 years old, was looking at a beautiful rainbow after the rain.  He said, "You're a clever boy, God!"

Every parent in history could tell you some of the hilarious or amazing things their kids have said or done.  We remember some and, unfortunately, we forget many.


When my first child was born I wrote in an exercise book all the words he could say in his toddler years, along with some of the hilarious things he said.  I kept those notes and eventually gave them to him.  He was very glad that I did and so was I.  All of that early history would have been lost in my memory with busyness of life.

These days I see on face book many a funny or exciting thing that my friends' grand kids have said.  However, FB entries get buried within hours and who wants to scroll  down further and further to find them?  Give it a day and they are gone.
When my daughter was born I forgot to even take a picture of her until she was 6 weeks old!  I have never lived that one down.  I also never got around to writing down those funny things she said and the words she could say at particular stages. Put it down to multitasking!

It is much MUCH easier these days to keep records of your children's achievements in pictures.  All you have to do is whip your smartphone out and take a pic.  (In our day it was the old Brownie camera with a film that tended to stay in the camera for a year until you got round to  having it developed). The only problem with digital pictures is that you rarely ever get them printed off.  What is going to happen in future generations.  Where will all those digi-pics end up?  Honestly nothing beats the old Granny brag book that you can scoop out of your 'hold all' purse and poke under the nose of anyone who is even half interested your precious cherubs!

The written word and the printed picture is our link through the ages.  Don't rely on FB to tell it all.

Written by Sally Burgess

Sunday, June 22, 2014



Some time ago I had to make an emergency trip home to New Zealand because my brother passed away unexpectedly. He was a father of three and grandfather of two. His daughter and her family, who were living with them at that time, had gone to Europe on vacation for 6 weeks and they, like me, had to make an emergency trip home. The grandchildren were four and two-years-old.  They flew in from Singapore and drove immediately to Grandpa’s home. As it happened, Grandpa was lying in an open casket at the house which is a common custom in New Zealand.


I wondered how the parents would break it to them. I thought the children would freak out when they saw Grandpa lying 'asleep' there in that big box in the middle of the living area. I spoke to a family member and suggested that until they were able to understand what had happened to Grandpa, that perhaps the casket could be covered with a light cloth. I also thought they would become fearful when they saw their Mommy and Daddy so obviously distraught. Was I wrong on both counts!

They looked at Grandpa and were not the least bit afraid. Grandpa looked as though he was sleeping. Their mom was able to tell them that Grandpa was with Jesus in Heaven and that they wouldn’t see him at home any more. They accepted it. They attended the funeral so they could see what happened to Grandpa. I am sure there were many conversations that followed, but I was totally impressed by the way the parents handled the situation in the midst of their own grief.


We don’t realize that even little children understand more about death than we give them credit for. We talk to them about how and why birds, animals and insects die and where they go. They hear about death in fairy tales and see it on TV programs. They are not always emotionally attached or get the concept that they will never see that person or little creature again. It is not until they have formed a real bond with a now-departed person, that they grasp and feel a sense of loss. These little grandchildren had no idea really that they would never see Grandpa again.


The following depends on the age and curiosity of the child.

1) Talk to your kids about the circle of life.
     Take the opportunity with an insect, bird or animal to explain that we will
     not live for ever, that we are born, hopefully have a great life and that when we are
     old or our body wears out we die. We can use stories on the news or actual instances
     of sick young people we know, to explain that people can die at any time because of
     illness or accident. Tell them that when a person dies they are buried in a big box
     in the ground and they stay there. Tell them that friends and relations go and visit
     them and put flowers and other things on their grave because they want to remember
     the person. You can even point out a cemetery as you pass it so they have a picture in
     their mind and can see where dead people go.

2) Explain the emotion of death.
    We find it so hard to talk about the death of loved ones because we are afraid to let our
     own feelings show, and we think this is not a good thing for our kids to see. When
     we don’t communicate our sorrow and explain to kids what is happening they can
     become anxious, because their parent is obviously distressed. Tell them that it is OK
     to cry and that adults cry because they are sad that they will not see their loved one for
     a long time.

3) Be specific.
     When a family member such as a grandparent becomes ill to the point that they are
     very likely to die, if you think it would be appropriate, say to your kids, "One day
     soon Grandpa will go to sleep and not wake up."  Be prepared for the questions, "Where
     has Grandpa gone?"  If you are a person of faith you can talk about the destination of the
     person's spirit.  Their next question might well be, "Are you going to die?" They do
     need assurance on that score.

4) If you don't know all the answers to kids' questions, get help.
    Do some research. Accept that we don’t always have all the answers. Take your
    kids to the library, ask the school counselor to speak to them about death and grief, or go to
    the Internet for resources e.g.


Teach your kids to value life by showing them how to take care of themselves, to be protective
of others and gentle and kind with animals, insects and plants e.g. Teach them that it is cruel to
capture an insect in a bottle and just let it die there purely because they want to observe it
and then forget about the creature.

If you or your child has been through a sad loss and are not progressing through the
grief process, then professional help is readily available.

Written by Sally Burgess

Saturday, June 14, 2014


I couldn't do any better with Father's Day sentiments than this great blogger "Strong Dad "

"I can’t recall anyone ever telling me that I was beautiful, but today someone did. From the lips of my five-year-old daughter: “Daddy, you’re so beautiful.”

June 13, 2014 · by · in Fathers

Monday, June 2, 2014


I don't know how many times we have heard a parent say the following:

            "I started off trying to be a great parent, but then I realized my spouse and I were 
             not being consistent.  He/she would not back me up on disciplinary issues.  I always 
             seem to end up being the 'bad guy' because I am the only one following through with

It is surprisingly easy to become lopsided when it comes to your parenting management, particularly when it comes to disciplinary action.

1.  There was never any agreement in regard to parenting methodology that includes disciplinary   
     responses and the demonstration of affection. 
2. There was little or no discussion or agreement regarding the most important values and 
     behavioral expectations in relation to those values.

3. There was no agreement to back each other up over parenting decisions.

4.  If there was an agreement, then the commitment was not demonstrated by one parent.

The results of any of the above are likely to be over-compensation on the part of one parent to 
ensure the expectations are met.  One parent becomes the disciplinarian while the other is the 'shield'.  

1. Kids automatically  gravitate towards the 'weakest link' and try to play one parent off 
    against the other.
2. Kids do not respect a weak parent and will often become afraid of the strict parent.
3. The leadership and authority within the home is not balanced and therefore is NOT 
    presenting a united front.  One is always the 'bad guy' and the other, the 'good guy'.
4. The weak parent may make undermining remarks to the kids about their strict parent 
     e.g. "Don't worry, Susie,  Mum's just in a bad mood.  She'll cool off soon."  
5. Siding with kids puts a wedge between parents.  One is carrying all the disciplinary 
    responsibility.  The strict parent is made out to be unfair or mean by the weak parent who 
    is siding with the kids, thus reducing themselves to 'child' status in the process.

1. Recognize what is happening and agree to stand together on disciplinary style and 
    family management.
2. Talk through the reasons above and settle on the expectations you have of your kids and 
3. Discuss the changes with your children and tell them that from now on, as parents,
    you stand together on decisions.
4. Model your agreed behavior.

Written by Sally Burgess


These two little boys are brothers.  At a time when children seem to do more fighting over toys or parents' attention than anything else,  it is always sheer joy to see them spontaneously hug one another or hold hands.  These little boys hug each other when they pass in day-care, and hold hands when their Mom takes them to the mall.  Sometimes they sit on the couch and hold hands while watching a movie.  They are only 4 and 2 1/2 years old.  Sure, they have their moments, but built in there somewhere is the wish to show their love for each other.


Show them:
1. As parents be openly affectionate to each other.
2. Be openly affectionate to your children.

Train them:
1. Encourage them to hug one another goodnight or goodbye.
2. Get them to comfort one another when one is hurt.  'Kiss it better'.  If one hurt the other
    then they need to say they are sorry, and kiss and hug to make up.
3. Train them to hold each other's hand along with a parent's hand when they cross the street 
    or are in the mall.    
4.Teach them to look after each other, think about what the other is doing to make sure they 
    are are safe from harm.

If we don't make our kids mindful of one another, they remain as selfish as they were when they
were tiny tots and thought there was no-one in the world but them.  It is a training exercise to have them consciously care for each other.  It doesn't usually just happen.

Written by Sally Burgess