Child Care News for Parents August 27, 2014 -®
Child Care News for Parents & Carers
August 27, 2014
Our mum in profile, Lorna Parry, is managing director of Underwater Earth, an NGO that aims to promote awareness of the plight of the world's oceans. This month you get the chance to receive a copy of new book 20 Tips for Parents: The realistic parent's guide to understanding and shaping your child's behaviour, and let's face it we could all do with that. Plus we look at kids who bite.
Kids who bite
Biting is an almost inevitable part of life for children in child care. As you will have noticed, young children explore their world with their mouth and biting is a natural extension of that process. For children under three years the urge to bite arises from this natural curiosity and it can also be linked to feelings of stress, frustration and excitement.

In a child care environment biting is an emotional and stressful experience for both the biter and the victim and for the parents of both children. If you are advised that your child has bitten another child, or has been bitten, make sure you work with your child care provider to deal with the situation as quickly and effectively as you can.

Ask to read your service's policy on biting. Ask about any strategies the service uses to manage biting and where possible apply thesestrategies at home so that your child's biting is managed consistently regardless of whether they are at home or in child care.

In addition to working with the guidelines set by your child care service, watch your child at home and see if you can figure out the reasons why your child is biting, once you have worked out what motivates your child to bite you could try applying some of the solutions suggested below:
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Mum in profile:
Lorna Parry
Lorna Parry is a former marketing and advertising consultant who co-founded Underwater Earth, an Australian not-for-profit organization set up to promote the protection of the world's oceans. She lives in Sydney's East with her daughter Lola, 4. They have no pets, but are very proud of their worm garden.

C4K: What is Underwater Earth and how did the idea come about?

LP: Underwater Earth was founded by a bunch of ex-advertising friends, all passionate about the oceans and scuba diving. We recognised that the oceans and the issues they are facing go largely unnoticed. No one can care about things they do not know about and understand. We saw this as an advertising issue. How do we reveal the oceans to the world - and in doing so, get people to love and care for the oceans more? From here our idea of mirroring the Google Street View concept underwater was borne.

We designed an innovative underwater camera system which took 360 images, structured a unique sponsorship program that combined ground breaking scientific research with impactful communication, landed a commercial sponsor, Catlin Insurance, and the power of Google as an outreach partner - and suddenly, our first major project was a reality - the Catlin Seaview Survey.

After months and years of dreaming, discussions, planning and pitching, I was leaving my advertising job behind me, and making Underwater Earth my full time job. Daunting and very exciting.
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A realistic approach to parenting
Everybody always has an opinion on parenting, and many people are not shy about sharing their opinions either. So how do parents, especially new parents, navigate their way through the minefield of bad advice and half-truths from nanna, Uncle Pete, their mother-in-law and the myriad other 'experts' out there?

Here is a list of ten pieces of parenting advice. Which do you consider true and which are false?
  1. Aim for perfection when parenting - true / false
  2. Love is important; don’t give it away lightly - true / false
  3. You can train your children to be the way you want them to be - true / false
  4. You should only need to say it once - true / false
  5. Television is a useful baby sitter for toddlers - true / false
  6. Children are too immature to have serious opinions - true / false
  7. Always give your children as much help as possible - true / false
  8. Discipline stifles creativity and isn’t necessary in a loving family - true / false
  9. Childhood experiences are easily got over - true / false
  10. Parents need to rule the roost - true / false
All ten statements above are FALSE and examples of the bad parenting advice that is frequently handed out to new parents says Prof Kim Oates, paediatrician, Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney and former CEO of the Children's Hospital at Westmead.

'In a career spanning (40 years), I've never met a parent who doesn't want to do a good job,' says Prof Oates. 'The problem that parents face today is the high expectations they and others have of doing a really good job. This makes them feel inadequate.'

In his new book, 20 Tips for Parents: The realistic parent's guide to understanding and shaping your child's behaviour, Prof Oates explains why the advice above is wrong and goes on to give twenty practical tips that really will make a difference to your parenting skills and strategies.

'The good news is that parents don't have to be perfect. They don't even have to be almost perfect. Rather, they just have to be a "good enough parent".

'Children need love, clear boundaries, consistent rules, positive stimulation, nurturing and respect for their feeling. They need these things as much as they can get them. But if you don't manage to supply these needs 100 percent of the time, your children won't be psychologically scarred for life,' says Prof Oates.

The 20 tips he gives in his book may not address all specific problems; however, they are very useful broad principles that do work and can be adapted to most family situations. They are not only helpful but reassuring for all parents. The book also contains features on subjects ranging from 'The amazing brain of a child' to 'What parents want for themselves' and 'The effects of stress on children'.

20 Tips for Parents: The realistic parents guide to understanding and shaping your child's behaviour by Prof Kim Oates is published by Finch Publishing. It is available nationwide in paperback ($24.99) and ebook ($9.99).

We have THREE copies to giveaway worth ($24.99). Just tell us in 25 words or less what was the worst piece of parenting advice you have been given.
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