Prime -Time-Parenting

Dear parents

We hope you liked our last year’s series with the joys of…… If you have not gone through everything, you will always find it again in older posts.

In the meantime, we feel compelled to share more articles in support for busy parents. Therefore our new series titled Prime-Time-Parenting is tailored to bring your parenthood to top notch quality. Without further ado we let the article speak for itself.



Prime-Time Parenting will teach you how to get the biggest benefits from the limited time you have to spend with your children. You can work & be a successful parent. It is possible to combine a paying job–even a demanding career–with the job of parenting, & raise healthy, happy, competent children. But it isn’t easy. And there are no magic formulas that produce immediate success. Just as you must study & strive to become more skilled at your “job-for-pay,” you must be willing to study & strive to become more skilled at your prime-time parenting job. This book is an essential starting place.


Time is a precious commodity in which we all have been served an equal portion. How we choose to spend that time is our decision. Time can be wasted or invested. As I see it, there are two ways to invest our time. One is in the building of things–better jobs, a good reputation, a clean house, professional competence, a new home, a gourmet meal, a vacation by the lake, a summer cottage, or an extra TV set. The other is in building of relationships–with oneself, a spouse, children, family & friends.

You may have a lifetime to build relationships with friends, neighbours, or even a spouse. But the critical time to build a meaningful relationship with your children is limited to the few short years they are growing up in your home.

How much time should parents spend with their children? The amount of time a child needs to develop to his optimum capacity cannot be measured in minutes & hours. It can only be measured in the child’s total physical & psychological well-being. If you were to err in the amount of time you give your child, err on the side of too much time rather than too little.

Here is the dilemma. The ideal child-bearing time is between the ages of twenty-one & twenty-nine when the female body is at the peak of its performance to insure a healthy, normal baby. However, this is also the very worst time period for most young parents to find the extra hours needed to care for & nurture their offspring. In most families Mom & Dad find themselves the busiest during the very years that their children’s needs are the greatest.

During these critical child-rearing years, parents who choose to invest some of their time in responsibilities outside the home must commit themselves to quality time together with their children if they wish to build a solid parent-child relationship. Such a commitment involves two key ingredients:

1) Parents must carve out as much time as possible for the family; &

2) they must use that time as effectively as possible.

Quality Time Together versus Negative & Nothing Time Together. Every minute that you spend with your children is prime time. You’re on stage, so to speak, influencing & teaching them by your words & behaviour–whether you want to or not. So, in parent-child relationships, spending time together is not enough. To make that time meaningful it must be quality time. Careful thought & planning must be a prerequisite for successful parenting.

There are three ways in which parents & children can use time together. Q.T.T–quality time together–is the key to success. The other two types are N.T.T.s–negative time together & nothing time together.

N.T.T. #1–negative time together–is deadly to parent-child relationships. Such time is filled with discord, dissension, & conflict. The home, the car, or anyplace where the family assembles can become a battleground. Although the primary weapons are usually words, it is not uncommon for “fists” to follow.

N.T.T. #2 refers to nothing time together. Although the family is “together,” or at least in close proximity, & there is no outward conflict, the TV is blaring, the dog is barking, & Dad has barricaded himself in the study to do the income tax. Mom has been gossiping on the phone for an hour. Her message to Junior is, “Go outside & play & don’t bother me today!” Nothing time together may not destroy relationships as quickly as negative time together, but it does eventually tear them down, & certainly does nothing to build or repair them.

Q.T.T. is the most important factor in building healthy & wholesome parent-child relationships. Q.T.T. may be a noisy family celebration; a quiet evening at home listening to daughter practice her music–correcting her when necessary; a sleepless night nursing a fevered child; a holiday spent cleaning out the garage; or an hour spent in animated discussion of a family problem. Whatever the activity, quality time together should convey several all-important messages: “I love you,” & “I want to be close to you,” “I enjoy you,” “You’re fun to be with.”

Putting Quality Time Together into Practice. The importance of quality time together can hardly be disputed, yet agreeing with the concept is much easier than consistently putting it into practice. It is easier to know what you should do than to take the time to do it.

How do you determine whether a child is receiving enough parental time? If he is old enough, ask him. In a recent survey eleven-year-olds were asked this very question. Over 50 percent of the children with working mothers said they wished their mothers would spend more time with them. But the surprising finding was that approximately 30 percent of the children whose mothers were classified as “nonworking” wished the same thing! Apparently this is not just a working parent’s problem!

Negative behaviour is often a sign of parental time deficiency. Young children equate love with parental attention. If they do not receive their fill of positive attention, they sometimes resort to behaviour that will, without question, bring negative attention. In their way of thinking, even negative attention is better than no attention at all. Therefore, parents must learn to distinguish the hidden meaning behind a child’s action.

Preschoolers generally thrive on parental time. A ten-year-old, on the other hand, may be happy with an audience for her memorised tuba solo, a fifteen-minute rough-&-tumble session, & a good-night kiss.

There is no single pattern that all children follow. To fill a child’s need for parental time successfully, you must tune in to your child & fill a need as it surfaces. There is one important rule to remember: Ignoring a need for parental time will only increase the intensity of that need.

Make Parenting an Equal-Status Career. Parenting is the most important career a mother or father can pursue. It has critical, deep-seated, & long-term effects. In this one career no one else can substitute for you with the same degree of meaning. No one can ever really take your place. Yet, in our society, parenting has been relegated to a rather low-status position because it doesn’t measure up on those variables that usually determine status.

A low-status career often negatively affects the attitude of the worker. If you feel parenting is a second-rate job & therefore unworthy of your time, your best efforts, & your full attention, you will do a second-rate job.

The only answer to the problem is to give parenting equal status with other careers. Nothing can equal the value of a child’s life!

Specifically, if you view parenting as an equal-status career, you will:

  1. Prepare for your employment. Learn all you can about child development, discipline, & methods of effective parenting. When you prepare for your parenting career thoughtfully, you will do a better job & enjoy it more.
  2. Devote adequate time to the career to assure success. Don’t just rely on the few minutes of leftover time from another career.
  3. Perform as a professional. When you accept a job that you hope to keep, your behaviour must be professional. Plan & organise your job of parenting as you would execute your professional career. It will make the job easier & it will also help to insure Q.T.T.

If you, as a prime-time parent, consider your parenting job as an equal-status career, then you will more readily see that time you spend with your children is time put to the highest use.

Take Advantage of “Wasted” Time. A prime-time parent can create more Q.T.T. by utilising time that must be spent with children to the fullest advantage. Young children must be washed, diapered, clothed & cuddled. Older children have to be chauffeured, chaperoned & disciplined. Parents who are eager to use their skills to reach above & beyond the fulfillment of these basic needs sometimes feel that these common daily chores are a waste of time. But are they really?

It is the time we “waste” with (& for) our children that will assure a good relationship with them & convince them of our love. This time has to be given joyfully with our wholehearted interest in their affairs. Never let your child think that you would rather be doing something else (although you may need to do something else), or that you feel you are wasting your time when you are with him.

One evening my friend Marilyn was in the midst of preparing gravy for dinner when her teenage son rushed into the kitchen shouting, “Mom, come outside quickly. I’ve got something to show you.”

There is a critical point in the preparation of gravy when it must be stirred in order to have a smooth consistency. Marilyn, who is a gourmet cook & relishes the thought of a perfect dinner, was at that critical preparation point & almost said, “Can’t you wait a minute? I’ve got to finish stirring the gravy.” But an inner sense said, “Go.” After all, it had been weeks since her son had asked her anything–or even wanted to be with the family. So she turned off the stove, removed the gravy, & went outside. Her son pointed to the western horizon & exclaimed, “Mom, look at that sunset! Isn’t that the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?” They both watched until the last rays disappeared.

A wasted moment? It may have seemed so, if smooth gravy is the thing you value most in your life. But as this mother said, “I’d eat lumpy gravy every night of the week to have that kind of daily experience with my teenager. After all, gravy soon disappears, but the relationship I establish with my son can last a lifetime.”

Diapering, feeding, dressing, or bathing the young child:–How to Redeem Low-Quality Time

  1. Talk (and listen) to the child.
  2. Pay full attention to the child with eye contact & touch.
  3. Encourage the child to participate.
  4. Teach the child something with each encounter (how to count, recognise colours etc.)
  5. Tell the child something that will build a healthy self-concept.
  6. Play games (when appropriate).
  7. Use this time to observe the child carefully.
  8. Convey your enjoyment of the experience.

Doctoring scratches & bruises:–How to Redeem Low-Quality Time

  1. Be helpful.
  2. Sympathize: Say, “I know it hurts.”
  3. For younger children who want it, apply a bandage whether needed or not.
  4. Give a hug, a kiss, or a love pat.
  5. Be willing to hold them for a few minutes.
  6. Accept appropriate crying. Ignore the inappropriate.
  7. Do something. Apply ice, blow the hurt away, hold it under cold water etc.
  8. Tell them about a similar incident that happened to you.
  9. Pray with the child.

Practicing musical instruments:–How to Redeem Low-Quality Time

  1. Let him know you are always willing to help.
  2. Show you are interested by saying, “When you are ready for an audience, I’d love to listen.”
  3. Sit down next to the child & listen for a few minutes even without an invitation.
  4. Focus your full attention on the child while you listen.
  5. Find something positive to say.
  6. If you think you have some helpful criticism, cushion it by asking if the child wants advice.
  7. Plan a performance time for the whole family.
  8. Let the child overhear you telling another family member how well he is doing–but be honest.
  9. When the child is discouraged, help him over a rough spot.
  10. Attend the music lesson occasionally–if the child wants you to.
  11. If you can, play something with the child.

Housecleaning (cleaning one room):–How to Redeem Low-Quality Time

  1. Work together in close proximity so you can communicate.
  2. Sing as you work.
  3. Tell a story or an experience that happened at work.
  4. Make a game out of it.
  5. Have a tea party when finished–just the two of you.
  6. Compliment the child on something specific.
  7. Plan a surprise for another member of the family together.
  8. Make a cassette recording for the relatives by chatting back & forth while you work.
  9. Offer advice judiciously.
  10. Don’t expect perfection.

Preparing meals or washing dishes:–How to Redeem Low-Quality Time

  1. Let the child help with the planning.
  2. Encourage the child to make one dish alone.
  3. Make a point of telling the family about the dish your child prepared.
  4. Don’t rush. Plan a meal that is simple enough to prepare in the time allotted.
  5. Don’t expect perfection.
  6. When mistakes are made, don’t rub it in. Laugh, help clean up the mess, or tell the child about a similar incident when you made an even bigger mess.
  7. Find a kitchen job that fits the interest & skills of the child.
  8. While you are working, encourage the child to pull up a chair & read to you.
  9. Have the children do their homework at the kitchen table while you are working, so you can be available to answer a question if they need you.
  10. Work together on the dishes & clean-up.
  11. Surprise the child occasionally by doing one of his routine kitchen jobs for him.

Exercising & jogging:–How to Redeem Low-Quality Time

  1. Do it together.
  2. Find something the whole family enjoys.
  3. Talk as you exercise.
  4. Exercise with one child alone. Make this your special time together.

Shopping:–How to Redeem Low-Quality Time

  1. Take the kids along (sometimes one at a time for a special outing with Mom).
  2. Give each child a list & have them find the right items.
  3. Teach them how to compare prices.
  4. Let them purchase something special that they want (within reason).

Schedule Time Together–How to Redeem Low-Quality Time

For many parents, job obligations become so pressing that they take more & more time away from the family. In addition, when a man spends so little time with his young children that they hardly know him, the children will tend to seek out mother for help & attention & may actually reject their father’s offers of help. Unless Dad is highly motivated to change the situation, he may leave more & more of the parenting responsibilities to Mom as he finds rewards & success in his career. When this happens, his wife & children see less & less of him & may begin to resent his career. They may even interpret the time he devotes to this career as an indication of his lack of love & concern for them.

Scheduling quality time together may be the only way busy families can ever find time for each other. But scheduling is just the first step. Keeping the appointment is equally important.

Connie Gils had this problem. She had a demanding job as an executive for a large international firm. She kept all of her important appointments in her “little black book.” Whenever her children wanted to do something special with her, she would take out her book to see if the time was free. In the majority of cases, she would have to shake her head & say, “No, kids, I’m sorry. I already have an important appointment.”

One day her son asked, “Mommy, do you think I’m an important appointment?”

“Well, yes, I do, Son,” she stammered.

“Then why don’t you write my name down in your book?”

Connie couldn’t argue with that so she handed the appointment book to the children. “You kids decide what you want me to do with you & then find a time that is empty & write it down. Then it will become one of my very important appointments.”

By planning time with her children weeks & months in advance she found it easier to schedule her business appointments around the children. She would just pull out her appointment book & if there was a conflict she would say, “I’m sorry, I have a previous commitment!” Those appointments to go backpacking, deep-sea fishing, rafting down the river, horseback riding, & stargazing are now among the family’s most meaningful memories.

Every family should set aside a regularly scheduled family time with which nothing is allowed to interfere. I suggest a once-a-week STAFF meeting. (That is S.T.A.F.F., as in “Steps to Active Family Fun.”) You may find it difficult to turn down the chairman of the church nominating committee when he says, “We must meet Tuesday night,” if you tell him that you had planned to pop popcorn & bob for apples with your children. But if you say, “Sorry, I have a STAFF meeting that night,” he seldom will persist.

When you begin to schedule quality time together, it is important that you & your child do those things that have the most meaning. List all of the family’s favorite activities. Brainstorm. Then rank these items from the most important to the least important. Finally, schedule those items that have a high priority. If you schedule only the easiest activities, or those that take the least effort or time, you probably won’t be able to do the most important ones.

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Sunbird Quote of the Month

Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree.   Marian Wright Edelman

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Birthdays at Sunbird

Two birthdays in a row for our support staff were enjoyed by all, the children appreciated each of them for their help and time they make it work for all!! Parent Sunila made the cakes and they tasted yummy. Ahan shared his birthday in school as well and was most happy with all his friends around him, our sunny boy!

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Sunbird Salutes the Flag

In a twist from the classical attire on India’s important day, August 15th, Sunbird’s students all showed up as different freedom characters, from Rani Jhansi to Subra Chandra Bose. The best part was, that these youngsters already knew the role those freedom fighters played. At Sunbird, we also saluted Dr. Abdul Kalam, who is a freedom fighter in his own right. His inspiring ‘freedom speech’ that leads to peace for the nation, can be listened to on this link:  :   It is wonderful for teachers and parents to know what important role they play!


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Of Learning, Blue’s and Fun

Part of Sunbird will always be having a great time while learning important facts! This is a little glimpse through the July month, where everyone, even the smallest, experience happy learning times in a safe, outdoor surroundings!

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You Have Arrived

I hope that the series served as an inspiration and skill builder of how to get the best out of your relationship with your young child. This article completes the series. Well done to all those who followed and applied!


“The only ones around you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”–Albert Schweitzer

I have a friend who taught me a lesson about joy. He is a public person: That is, the public knows him. (I would guess that 50% of all persons in the Western world recognise his name, and perhaps 95% of those interested in sports.) One of our conversations was about pleasure. What did we do with our spare time? What did we do with those rare moments–rarer for him than for me–that we really had to ourselves? (Keep in mind, he could do anything, go anywhere, have anything that money could buy.) He said, “When I have a moment for myself, I try to use it to find some way to help someone. That’s where I find real happiness. It’s so much more fun than doing something for yourself.”
I’d heard that you can judge a man by what he does with his spare time. I used that criteria and judged this man to be great; maybe more importantly, I judged him to be joyful, because the joy of giving is so deep. The joy comes from losing one’s self in helping others, from dismissing self-worries to make room for other-worries. We make our living by what we get, but we make our life by what we give. Emerson said, “See how the masses of men worry themselves into nameless graves…while, here and there, a great, unselfish soul forgets himself into immortality.”
A personal recollection (Linda’s) may further illustrate the joy:
I remember that a particularly miserable time in my life came when I was in the sixth grade. I was 11 years old, considered my leftover baby fat anything but cute, and wore salmon-coloured “cat-eye” glasses which I abhorred. I sensed that I had no style &, worst of all, thought I had no friends. I was worried about who liked me and who didn’t, and each day I wondered whether or not the one marginal friend I thought I had would be nice to me.
One Saturday afternoon while I was getting ready for a school party, I began telling my mother my feelings. I don’t remember whether I just had not bothered to tell them to her before or whether she had passed them off lightly as childish whims when I had mentioned them. On this particular day, however, she took me seriously and could see that I was really concerned. As I donned my clothes, I said, “Mom, sometimes I feel so left out when I’m with other people. I just can’t think of anything to say and yet I feel so uncomfortable if no one talks to me.”
My mom, in her wisdom, gave me some counsel in those next few minutes that changed my life, “Linda, whenever you are with a group of people who are socialising with one another, look around; just stand back and look around a few minutes, and you will almost always see someone who needs you, someone who is feeling insecure and in need of a friend. You can tell by a look in the eye, a nervous mannerism, someone off by herself. Decide who needs you and then go to them; relate to them, ask questions about them, show them you care!”
This advice was like a miracle drug for my ailing soul. I went to the party. I stood back and observed. “There she is,” I thought as I saw Beverly, the girl with the stringy hair and the buckteeth, sweet but not too bright. Everyone knew that she lived in a strange, broken-down house outside of town with about nine brothers and sisters, equally untidy and shabby. I remember her as though it were yesterday, sitting quietly in a chair, looking at her hands, while those around her giggled and chattered and ignored her. But what will everyone think? I cringed in my immature mind. If I talk to her, everyone will think I’m dumb and “out of it” like they think she is. But my conscience told me it was right, so I walked over to her. Suddenly, instead of muddling in my own misery because I didn’t have any friends, I became her friend. I started by asking questions about her family and farm, and as the party wore on, I felt her warm acceptance and saw the joy in her eyes as she understood that somebody cared about her. But even more important to me, I was needed. I was providing a service to someone that, in time, made me grow to appreciate her. I also noticed that no one shunned me because of my association with her.
The experience gave me such a good feeling that I tried to pick out those who needed someone in other situations. As I began to forget myself in other people, I found that I was surrounded by a host of friends who really liked me for what I was.
If I could instill this in our children at an even younger age, how great their rewards would be. So often we say, “Oh, they’re too young to understand.” I wonder. Try teaching this principle to a four-year-old–you might be surprised.
You might start by performing “services” for each other. Services include anything from helping brother find his socks to letting sister use the new crayons. If we want children to love, we must teach them to serve. Older children can serve their younger brothers and sisters in countless ways!

Dare to Be Different–Poem by Helen Marshall

Dare to be different; life is so full
Of people who follow the same push-pull,
Poor, plodding people who, other than name,
Try to pretend they’re exactly the same.

God made men different; there never will be
A replica soul made of you or of me.
The charm–the glory of all creation
Rests on this very deviation.

Your charm–your own glory, too,
Lies in being uniquely you–
Lies in being true to your best,
That part of you different from all of the rest.

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Quote of the Month

Sunbird’s Quote for the month:

Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.

–George Bernard Shaw

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Welcome to the Outdoor School

If you feel, that your child does not have enough opportunity to play outside, at Sunbird, the children spend at least two hours everyday, learning outdoors, having snacks outdoors and of course have lots of playtime!

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Sunbird Carnival 2015

Dear All Thanks to all the children, parents and visitors Sunbird Carnival was a blast with exciting games, face painting, arts and crafts stall and of course  funny Jockel the Clown. All were in for a healthy treat with Mrs. Sunila’s yummy bakes from undercover bakers. Hope to see more of you soon in our fun place, where learning and happy times don’t stop.

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Just About Done


I once knew a middle-aged man, an accountant, who had a ledger-book-size Christmas-card list. In this thick book all the pages were filled; there were hundreds and hundreds of names. “Business contacts?” I asked. He glanced over, paused for a moment as though considering whether he should tell me something important, then said, “No, they’re relationships.” He anticipated my next question and went on in his accounting terminology, “Every relationship you form, no matter how small, if it is genuine, can be an asset of eternal duration. No other entry can cancel it out. Some of us spend all our time on temporary assets: Money, positions, achievements. We ought to spend more on the eternal assets like relationships. Whenever I earn one, I make an entry on my Christmas card list.”
I watched the accountant closer from then on and found that he practiced what he preached. When he met someone–on a plane, in his business, at a PTA meeting–his attitude seemed to be, “What can I learn from you? What is interesting and unique about you?” For him, life was a fascinating kaleidoscope of relationships, of endless people, each endlessly interesting and each offering more potential joy than a new car or a new position.

How To

General ideas.
1. Develop a tradition of listening. Really listen.
2. Have a sense of humour. Laugh at your own mistakes and laugh with children at every opportunity.
3. Always encourage children to hug and make up after a disagreement.
4. Show romantic love between parents: Holding hands, kissing as you leave, opening the car door, sitting close together, avoiding harsh words, emphasising loving words.
5. Teach and explain the Golden Rule.
6. Role reversal: Let the children play parents and you play child, so they see and appreciate your problems.
1. Speak candidly, graphically, logically to children.
2. Help children write letters–you write what they express. Praise them for phrasing things well.
3. Give lavish praise whenever children explain or say anything particularly well.
4. At dinner, encourage a child to talk about something that he knows a lot about–perhaps something he has just learned and is proud to know.
5. Talk on the phone with children whenever possible.
6. Encourage children to take advantage of any speaking opportunities. Help them really communicate to an audience.
1. Make their relationship with you a truly beautiful one.
2. Talk out disagreements. Sit them down face to face to work out problems or disagreements they have with each other.
3. Don’t always step in on children’s relationships or try to steer them too much–let them work things out. (My children were having a terrific fight in the back seat of our station wagon once when I had laryngitis. I found that they worked it out better on their own than they would have with my direction.)
4. Do something special for your children to stress the importance of your friendship with them. Take them for a drive, or bring them a surprise.
5. Play the game “Which is the better way?” in which children act out a good and bad way of deciding who should have the first turn, getting the dishes done after Sunday dinner etc.

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Dear Parents, Patrons, Friends and Well Wishers

It is with great pleasure, that Sunbird Early Learning Centre, announces the fifth anniversary of its existence. Without your support, belief and input, this occasion would not be happening.
We would therefore like to invite you to the official opening of the new centre on Haralur Road. After a quiet start on the second floor of a clubhouse, Sunbird moved to a first floor apartment and was ‘hidden’ from the world. Although both Centres had adequate space, they were only a step to what we believe we have found in our new place: and 80% outdoor space on the Main Haralur Road. (opposite to Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant)
Sunbird is a wellknown Early Learning Centre after five years. Our main USP remains as a centre committed to excellence of offering the children unique learning experiences, a low student to teacher ratio, a place with parental interaction, participation and counseling, an opportunity to go for monthly unique field trips, and recently, a place with over 4000 sft of open space to play, learn, plant etc.
Thank you for gracing the occasion, looking forward to seeing you!

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Ready At Last

Dear Parents and Friends

Thank you for your continued patronage over the last 5 years.

Sunbird brings you a learning Centre like quite none other: Believing in the outdoors, we can offer you a place where your child can now go to school in a safe and spacious playground area! Enjoying over 4000 sqft of outdoor space with 500 sqft of sand play area alone, children are reluctantly going indoors for some ‘other type’ learning. The amount of activities outside are unlimited, ranging from races on the 1000 sqft lawn to the ever loved trampolin, and balancing cycles. Introducing shortly with be an organic garden planting, to keep the curious little minds interested. Not to forget that the daily Gymnastic times are now also kept outdoors, there is really not much missing to an amazing playground. Planned still is a traffic area and the swings.

For more pictures, please view the ‘faculty’ section in ‘Gallery’

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Getting There


Last time I tried to give three-year-old Josh a bath, the big new shampoo bottle was empty. “Did you dump it out, Josh?” His brow furrowed as he anticipated the worst. “Yes, Dad.” We have a family law against “dumping,” and Josh knows the law, so he needed a little punishment. But I praised him so much for telling the truth that it outbalanced the punishment.
As I dried Josh, I had candor and honesty on my mind and happened to hear Saren, now six, in whom we had tried so hard to preserve that quality. She was in her bedroom with a new friend from school. They were discussing their dolls.
Saren: “This doll has a problem. Her skirt has lost its elastic, so it slips right off.”
Friend: Let’s tie a string around it.”
(Silence for several minutes.)
Saren: It scares me when Miss Christie calls on me to read in school. Does it scare you?
Friend: A little.
Saren: I’m getting over it, though.
Friend: The more you do it, the easier it gets.
Saren: I guess so. There, we got the skirt almost ready.
Friend: Saren, do you like me?
Saren: Of course, silly. I like everything about you.
Friend: Everything?
Saren: Except I didn’t like it when you played with Patty at recess–but Mommy says I was just jealous.
Friend: What’s jealous?
Saren: Not wanting someone to have more fun than you.
Friend: I like you, too, Saren.
To be honest, to be open, to talk freely about the real feelings–what a joy!

How To

Example. Be as real and open as your children are. Verbalise your real feelings, fears and insecurities as well as your joys and loves. Show control, but show honesty! Tell them how you feel–“I’m upset about what happened this afternoon, so I got angrier with you than I should have.” Never let them hear you lie about anything to anyone.
Reinforcement and praise. Whatever they get attention for, they’ll probably do again; whatever they get praise for, they’ll very likely do again; whatever they get joy and praise out of, they’ll almost certainly do again. Encourage them to always tell how they feel–to tell not only you, but also other family members, teachers and friends.
Honesty discussion. Ask the children, “Do you know what it means to tell the truth?” Add to the children’s answers, if necessary, to bring out that telling the truth means to tell things as they are: What really happened, what you really think and how you really feel.
Questions & Answers. Example of a question: If you accidentally bumped into your mother’s plant and knocked some leaves off it and then told Mother that the baby pulled them off, would that be telling the truth? (No) What would that be? (A lie.)
Before going on to the next situation, ask, “How do you think you would feel if you told a lie?” (Sad, bad, worried, ashamed, awful.)
Another question example: What if you forgot to wash your hands for lunch and your mother said, “Did you wash your hands?” If you said, “No, I forgot,” would that be telling the truth? (Yes.)
Bedtime is a good time for a little honest, important dialogue between parent and child. Years ago we started a tradition of asking each child as he was tucked in, “What was your `happy’ and your `sad’ today?” Children like to think back through the day to recognise and talk about emotions. “My happy was when my friend came over to play,” or “when I got two snacks,” or “when I jumped in the leaf pile,” or “when Daddy came home.” “My sad was when Lisa wouldn’t play with me after school,” or “when I couldn’t hop very well in hopscotch,” or “when I cut my finger,” or “I didn’t have any sads today.”
The answers open up quick, golden chances to talk about real feelings. “How did it feel to play with Susan?” “Why do you suppose Lisa wouldn’t play? Did something sad happen to her?”

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Getting There

Dear parents and friends In case you have been wondering, where Sunbird had flown off to, we have good news: The new premises are just about ready!! Here are the projected last stages: Week 3 May 2015: Interiors finished, Exteriors finished Week 4 May 2015: Ready to accept new students, final adjustments Save the date: 30 / 31 May 2015: CARNIVAL AT SUNBIRD. By next week we shall keep you posted with the exact program for the Carnival.

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More Joys


When I was growing up, I knew a group of brothers and sisters, schoolmates of mine. I was always impressed because they seemed so unconcerned about being with the “in group” or the “right people.” They didn’t even care much about wearing the newest thing, the latest style. They were all friendly, though, and all well liked. They seemed so secure, unafraid of failure.
Each of the six had his own personality, but all possessed one similar quality, a quality that I grew to greatly admire. It was a peace, a calm, a security, a naturalness, a confidence. None of these adjectives quite describe it, but it was there. You could feel it; you knew they had it. I was always interested in where it came from. It wasn’t from individual brilliance, exceptional athletic ability, or particular handsomeness or beauty; they were pretty average in each of these categories. The clue seemed to be in their love and acceptance of each other.
One day an unexpected opportunity came to discover the true source of their confidence. The family moved into a house just across the block from my house. Now, instead of seeing them just in school, I saw them at home, and the secret was revealed! The confidence, the assurance, the security, the unity came from the unconditional love in their home. From the outside their home was ordinary; on the inside it was extraordinary.
I remember the youngest child, who was just turning two. The first words he ever said were, “Ah, mush,” a phrase often used in the family to poke fun at the frequent hugs and pats and physical affection that were shown in the house.
I know now that the secret was in the warmth and acceptance and security of that home–a joy irreplaceable, and unavailable from any other source.

How To

Genealogy. Children love knowing “where they came from” in the genealogical sense. Some ways to convey this are:
1. Frame old family pictures and group them together on a special wall.
2. Draw a simple family tree, with each child as a branch and the parents as the trunk, and the grandparents as individual roots. Put pictures of the parents and grandparents on the trunk and roots and of brothers and sisters on the limbs. Frame it and hang it on the same wall as the ancestor pictures.
Consistency. Children need to be able to depend on certain constants in their lives. There are four areas in which consistency is particularly important:
1. In discipline. If a family law is broken, the punishment or consequence should be automatic, expected & consistent.
2. In example. Make yourself predictable to your children–trying to always do right in their presence, but admitting mistakes.
3. In regular schedules for certain important things such as the evening meal or a weekly family meeting.
4. In always keeping promises.
Constant awareness of promises.
1. Support each other’s activities
2. Show love for your spouse openly. As the saying goes, “The greatest thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
Family song or chant: “Because We Are a Family.”

Mom always loves me, don’t you see,
Because we are a family.

When I’m scared, Dad holds me on his knee,
Because we are a family.

Who helps each other? You see, it’s we,
Because we are a family.

We hug a lot and kiss…well, gee,
Because we are a family.

We work at becoming the best we can be,
Because we are a family.

We keep our house as neat as can be,
Because we are a family.

We work things out when we disagree,
Because we are a family.

My mom and dad are proud of me,
Because we are a family.

I cheer for my brother and he cheers for me,
Because we are a family.

When someone needs us, we try to see,
Because we are a family!

Display open gratitude for children. How simple–and how incredibly important–it is to let a child know how much he is wanted and needed, how precious and important he is to the family.
Tell the child a simple story about the day (or night) he was born and about how much you wanted him and how happy he made you.

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