Individual Learners' Blogs

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Week 7, Term 3

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends,

In my last post, I introduced three quotes I have found helpful in parenting. In case this resulted in a feeling of 'overwhelm' for any of you struggling with challenging behaviour (probably all of you!) I thought I would share a bit more from Henry and Cloud.

The quotes were:

"You need to interpret a child's behaviour as a response to your own."

"Children will mature to the level their parents structure them and no further."

"Don't ask 'Why won't he stop....? But "What was my part in creating this problem?"

In their book, Henry and Cloud talk about how the world works on the principle of sowing and reaping. We need to teach our children this. Often when our children are exasperating, we complain and get angry.

However, these two wise men helped me immeasurably. Here is what I learned from them:

Make the child's problem the child's problem. Think about what you can do to help him experience the problem himself, and about what you are doing to keep him from experiencing the problem.

eg: If your child is not doing his morning jobs by the time he is supposed to, you can nag or yell or help him to complete the task because you are in a hurry. This means that you are experiencing the problem and you are dealing with the consequences yourself.

How can you do it differently?
1. Realise that your child will have pain for bad choices - either now while you are teaching him, or later when he is grown up and hasn't learnt the lesson. Don't try to protect him from pain. It isn't possible. It is easier for him to feel the pain now. Take a deep breath and realise that his short term pain will result in your freedom - and ultimately his - from the consequences of his actions/attitude.
2. Give the child a choice
eg "I have decided that we need to get better at getting jobs done on time. So if you do your jobs by 8.20, I will be so pleased and you will be able to play. However, if they are not done by 8.20, unfortunately you will need to go to bed 15
minutes early/you can't watch TV tonight/you can't go on the iPad this afternoon. I am going to put the timer on now."
3. When the child makes a poor choice, don't get angry. Empathise with him.  I found this probably the most powerful thing in my parenting. To be able to calmly empathise with the child and not to engage with the drama revolutionised the way things happened in our home.
"Oh that's a shame that you didn't get your jobs done in time. I was really hoping you could play when you finished your jobs and then have time on the iPad tonight, but you have chosen not to play then. Disappointing. I hope you will be able to to play tomorrow night." End of discussion.

It takes a bit of training OURSELVES! It is so hard to break habits we learnt from our own parents, and to ignore triggers that 'hook us in' to feeling sorry for the kids, or doubting ourselves, or feeling mean and nasty. It is hard to stop parental 'anger' being the consequence. But when it is not, the child learns self-responsibility and becomes less anxious, and more in tune with what needs to be done. They know the boundary beforehand, and don't have to wonder when the final blast from an angry Mum is going to destroy the peace of their inappropriate playing...

I hope this helps you to reorient your responses. I reminded myself of this many times a day for a good while, until it became normal for us as a family. It has resulted in much less drama, a much happier mum (and kids that can get a whole lot of housework done in a short amount of time :) )

Have a great week.


School News                                                   

 Mahurangi Christian School Parent App
We now have an App for the school.

The App will enable parents to:
-To report an absence, and
-Check the school calendar for upcoming events.
-View the weekly Newsletter.

In addition to these features we now also have the ability to contact all parents through the app with reminders about meetings, and to be able to quickly contact parents if there is an emergency at the school.  Everyone who has downloaded the app onto their phone will receive the notifications like a text message.  The app is completely free.

In order to download the app to your phone, go to your app store and enter “The Parent and Teacher Calendar App”  and then click “install”.  Once installed you will need  to go to the MCS page.

The hockey draw this week is:

MCS Rockets – Tournament Day

We would like any nails that people wish to give us for the carpentry table

This Friday, Room 2  will be taking assembly.   Parents, caregivers and friends are all welcome to attend.

Praying for the school
Every Monday morning from 8.45 – 9.15 we have prayer time for the school. All parents, caregivers and friends of the school are welcome to attend.

We are in need of some older people or mums to listen to children reading on a rostered basis. Can you, or someone you know help once or twice a week for 30 minutes to half an hour? Please contact Helen.

Parent Group
Parent lunches are on again this Friday. Order forms will be coming home with your child this week.

The Parent Group are having their meeting on Wednesday 2nd September at 2pm in the school office.  All parents are welcome to attend.

As part of our Minute to Win it fundraiser we were donated a beautiful wool rug.  We would like to offer it back for sale to our school community to see if anyone is interested in purchasing it at a discounted rate.

Cavalier Bremworth Foss Rug
It is 100% Wool
Light brown

Measurements are 2.9m long by 1.3m wide
RRP $400.00

Isabella can email photos of the rug if you are interested.  Please contact Isabelle at or call her on 021 985508

Community Notices                                          

Wired to Connect – a Fresh Look at Behaviour and Learning
Internationally renowned Canadian Developmental Psychologist – Dr Gordon Neufeld will be speaking to parents and professionals on the latest in attachment science.  He will be speaking at either The Parenting Place or Laidlaw College from Monday 9th November – Friday 13 November.

Further details can be found at, and tickets can be purchased from

Onboard Skateboard School
Onboard Skateboard School run skate board holiday programs and events.  They will be running a hub event on Sunday 13th September at the Snells Beach Skate Park, from 9am – 12noon.  They provide all the gear, and cost is $5 per person.  Register at

Children’s writing competition
This is the term of the Children’s Writing Competition! It’s a great chance for students to see their work in print. All those whose writing is selected for publication will receive a free copy of the book, Kids in Print 2014. There are other prizes too and $50 for the winner of the Val Shearer trophy.
The closing date for the competition is Friday 11th September. Students can send in one piece of writing or they can enter in all three categories: fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The entry fee is $5, however many pieces are submitted.
Further information is available on or you can email
Parenting Evening
Westminster School is running a parent evening with guest speaker Yvonne Godfrey, on Thursday 10th September 7.30pm – 9pm. 

Yvonne Godfrey is the author of Parenting Yadults.  The meeting will be held at Westminster School  - 31 Westminster Gardens, Unsworth Heights.  Gold coin donation.  Further details can be found at

Blue Light
The local Bluelight Organisation is organizing a trip to Rainbows End for Year 7 & 8 students on Sunday 13th September.  Cost is $35 and includes, entry, transport and a sausage.  Enquires to the Blue Light Office on (09) 423 8545.

Spring Flower Show
The Snells Beach Garden Circle are having a Sping Flower Show on Saturday 5th September, at Mahurangi East Community Centre.  Doors open at 1pm.

Kids Holiday Programme                                                                                                                        
The Presbyterian Church in Warkworth will be running a holiday programme again in the next school holidays.  The programme is for students in Years 1-6.
October 5 – 9,  9.15 - 12.30
Suggested donation: $2 per session             
Contact  Ann Cates for more  information (425 0966)

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