Tag Archives: kids

Is rubbish

Excel is rubbish at…

…getting three kids to get on with each other.  I tried explaining the benefits of using pivot tables, but they weren’t having any of it.

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A little ramble about parenthood

I like this quite a lot, and it certainly reminds me about when I was first handed the task of fatherhood to my little (now not so little – almost 9 year old) boy.  Parenthood in general is such a tricky job, especially in today’s Supernanny society where we are constantly bombarded with a million ‘correct ways of….[add anything child-rearing-related here]’ through books, television and the Internet.

One huge thing which I think comes up more than most is the issue of sleep and how to, or not to put the little angels to bed.  On Tuesday last week I watched ‘Who Knows Best:  Can’t Sleep Kids’ on television, where two families having difficulty getting their kids, and as such themselves to sleep were each given a sleep expert who, at least at the start had differing techniques to get them down.

The two ‘options’, if you like, were either tough love, or a gentler approach.  I have to say I was really quite angry by the end of the show when the lady with the gentler approach (which even involved getting into the cot with your child at some point), changed her tact to the other ‘experts’ more straightforward ‘let them cry until they go to sleep’ approach, but after spending a few weeks tiptoeing around the issue.

Basically, I don’t think there’s a wrong or a right way of doing things as a parent, most of the time anyway.  When getting my boy to sleep I used to make sure either the television was on loud or that there was loud-ish music playing at the same time.  That way I knew we wouldn’t have to walk on eggshells when moving about the house at night in fear of making the tiniest noise which might wake my boy out, and it worked perfectly.

There’s no definitive right or wrong way of doing some things I think, but you always seem to bump into somebody who is eager to tell you that their method is right.  I think personally you just go with what feels right for you and your baby.

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A chat with my grandchildren…

How many people have had that conversation with their grandparents – you know, the one where they tell you that “back in our day we used to play with string and empty tin cans and they were a luxury!  We used to keep occupied all summer holidays just playing out…” etc..

They probably did, and just recently after a few chats with the Mrs about it we’ve been thinking about today’s culture and how a lot of our kids really haven’t lived!!

Now I feel old.  BUT, it’s true.  When I am old enough to have grandchildren I’m going to be doing the same thing, and looking at today’s culture just imagine how shocking some of my statements will sound to an eight year old child in 2050:-

When I was a boy…

  • we used to have to go out to the shops and pick everything up ourselves, then bring it back and unpack it..
  • there were only four free tv channels until I was about ten, then there were five.
  • if I wanted music I had to save up and buy it.  Sometimes the songs I wanted weren’t anywhere to be bought, so I just had to forget about them.
  • we bought newspapers every day to find out what was going on in the world.
  • if we wanted to find out what our friends were up to we had to go and visit them.  By foot.  If they lived too far away we had to send them a letter, written by hand, and sent in the post, which often took a week to get there.
  • I used to listen to what my parents told me.  I couldn’t divorce them, and if I was naughty they were allowed to smack me as a punishment.
  • teachers were scary, and most of them were really old.
  • if we wanted to hear a particular popular song that we liked we had to buy a single on cassette tape.  What?  What do you mean, what’s a cassette tape?  How about vinyl?  No?  CD?
  • if we missed a television programme it was tough luck . We’d just have to hope it was repeated and not miss it again, either that or we should have recorded it on the VCR.  What do you mean, what’s a VCR?
  • if we were out and got lost or needed to tell our parents we might be late we had to hope we had enough change on us to use a public telephone box.
  • we could only buy stuff that was on shelves in shops, and sometimes what we wanted wasn’t there so we had to make do with an alternative.
  • online shopping?  The closest thing we had to that was the Littlewoods catalogue.  We had to order things by post.
  • we used to run out of milk.

On the other hand, imagining what the world might be like in forty years time I can also imagine some things which might make our lives seem somewhat utopian:-

  • we got to leave school when we were sixteen and, from then on we could decide for ourselves what to do with our lives.
  • we could go anywhere we wanted without having to write out application forms and attending interviews.
  • we got medical treatment for free.
  • hoodies didn’t exist.

Personally, I can’t wait for that chat.