Torn Earlobe from Participating in Physical Education!

Pic: Pixabay

In my almost two decades of being in childcare education, I have not come across a child having torn earlobe from participating in physical education in the UK. My aim on this topic is to bring a balance equation from both a professional and parent perspective. Research shows no incident or accidents of pupils wearing earrings or studs has occurred during physical activity or swimming. I will be glad to be proven wrong, and the evidence based on a real ratio. The keyword such as ‘Serious accidents have occurred as a result of contact between pupils wearing earrings or studs’are included in school policies and educational establishments., but none on a real accident that occurred. It bothers me that the same swimming pool the public swims is the same pool our children’s activity takes place. The public is not told to take off their earring before swimming, just a thought. In a nursery school setting, I can understand toddlers pulling other toddlers earring, which can result to torn earlobe. However, a more realistic explanation should be provided as to why children in most UK primary schools are being instructed not to wear stud earring.

The Department of Education suggests that ‘Common sense should be used in assessing and managing the risks of any activity.’ Some UK schools have lost common sense when it comes to the health and safety of children activities. The UK Health and Safety website supports this on pages 9-11 of their newsletter.

Pic: Pixabay

Parents are baffled as to why this rule exist and have asked questions on various parenting forums on if a child has being hurt from wearing stud earring. As a parent, I have experienced this too, thou the earring was the tiniest nose stud. I believe it is more unhygienic to keep having the earring taken in and out of the ears due to an infection transferred from day to day hand germs. As a childcare professional I understand rules of risk assessment are put in place to prevent any litigation. However these rules have to be based on common sense, cultural diversity and respect for the choice of parents for their children.

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Manufactured Educators

On a particular day, I was on the train going to a meeting in London. A group of primary school children got on the train in Mile End. One of them had a visual impairment and guided by an adult whom I believe is the teacher. Three of the children sat on my left side, and one of them decided to pick the newspaper to read.

educationTo my surprise, the teacher told him to stop reading the paper and to put it down. From his body language/observation, the boy wanted to ask why but said ‘yes Miss’. While I was giving the teacher the cold look of why?; that’s how you make a child display disruptive behaviour, and holding back my tongue. Another adult supervising the children noticed this child putting the paper down but encouraged him to go on reading. The boy said ‘Miss told me to put it down.’ This adult turned to the teacher and asked my thoughtful question, why? Her response, ‘we can not control the content in the newspaper.’ The other adult said, ‘oh’. My thoughts responded, ‘are you kidding me.’ At this time of the morning, 95% of the newspaper in the train carriage is metro. This got me thinking about the political correctness of the education system and wanting to put filters in every area of it. If the children were disruptive with the newspaper, this action by the teacher would be justified. What happened to;

  • Asking the child, what are you reading?
  • Having a look at the newspaper before concluding on the action to take.
  • Directing the child to a more child-friendly page.
  • Engaging the child in educational discussion linked to the curriculum.

What is happening in education? I seem to be getting more dissolution with manufactured educators and the deteriorating of common sense in education. OR am I wrong?

Futile Makeup?

It has become a visible and known aspect of life to see children and early teenagers wearing make daily. Self-help videos of how to apply facial makeup can be found on the Internet on how to achieve the perfect eyebrow, lipstick or facial contouring. Over 10 years ago, the only place to get a professional make-up lesson was either in the photo studio or an in-shop makeup session. I must confess I have used these videos myself and found them useful but being an adult of my age makes all the difference. Some wear it to school while parents get upset when their children are informed not to wear makeup to school. They believe it is part of a daily routine of a teenage girl.

I, however, fail to differ. Facial makeup should be left until at least after secondary school when children are through the initial stage of puberty. The big fashion houses use youthful faces for their big campaign. This indicates that youthful beauty and radiance cannot be bought or exchanged and should be encouraged at this age. Not all parents believe or support that children and teenagers should be wearing facial makeup. However, some have been pressured into allowing this due to their children feeling peer pressure or wanting to feel part of the pack. I have come to realise it is easy to be part of the pack and not stand out from the pack. Parents and TeenDren that have been able to stand out positively from the pack are rewarded with better confident in themselves and feel in control of their lives. Naturally when some adolescents hit puberty, they might have acne. However, the best advice from dermatologists is to leave the skin to breathe and not covered under facial makeup. Facial make-up strives for perfection but we must remember to let adolescents understand that no one is perfect and no amount of makeup or surgery can change this. kids makeup, renny adejuwon, www.rennyadejuwon.com

Different reasons for wearing makeup:

  • Age/Maturity: for the same reason adolescents wear make-up, to look matured; adult wears makeup to look youthful and young. With the aim of the flawless look of youthfulness and reducing the look of maturity and age.
  • Scar: facial birthmark, surgical scar, wound scar or burn scar can allow for makeup to be worn. In these cases, it can help strengthen the confidence of the person with the scar.
  • Emotional Masking: wearing makeup can give the guise that everything is symphonized in an individual’s life. Sometimes it mask’s abuse, lack of confidence and low self-esteem. Individuals have been known to sleep with their makeup on or never seen without wearing makeup. It should be stressed this is not always the case.
  • Social Outing: I will say, 95% of women wear makeup for a social outing. For weddings, parties, events, ceremonies and any social outing that comes to mind. A woman that opts not to wear makeup to social outing is looked on as odd and out-of-place. The topmost richest women in the world are those in the beauty and makeup industry, work the maths out.
  • Confidence Building: as a makeup can be worn for emotional masking, it can also be worn for confidence building. Women in business or top management position have reported that the application of using a red lipstick has lifted how they felt working into a meeting, conference or presentation.

What am I saying? In my post there is time for everything, this situation fits in perfectly. Let your child enjoy the youthfulness of their beauty because the time will come when they will be wearing makeup. I remember not wearing makeup until I finished secondary school and was heading to university. My makeup application was only a lip gloss and I looked perfect. Do I still have days I don’t wear makeup? of course, I do. Those days help my facial skin to breathe and I feel liberated.

I believe this should be the case for adolescent and makeup should be introduced after secondary school. Such introduction can be a prom party, being a bridesmaid, beauty contest, modelling, acting or face painting. Children, teenagers and adolescents should be encouraged to be these. As I always say to my children “you will never be this current age again, so enjoy it.” I have started informing my daughter she will not be wearing makeup until she is 16 years old and over, God help me!

TeenDren: words combination of Teenager and Children

It’s A Universal Languge

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There are some words, language and sentences that I have come to realise are universal among children, especially when there are siblings or more than one child in a space or environment. Here are some of them:

  • “She is looking at me.”
  • “Stop looking at me.”
  • “He put his leg on the way.”
  • “He’s sleeping in my position on the bed.”
  • “I took the toy first.”
  • “It’s my turn to have a go.”
  • “His not sharing with me.”
  • “She is sitting on my chair.”
  • “I got it first.”
  • “My mummy.”
  • “No, It is mine.”
  • “She started it first.”
  • “I did nothing.”
  • “My dad bought it for me.”
  • “He punched me first.”

As you can see, it is about self and not taking responsibility. That is the universal language of a child. It is our job as parents, carers and practitioners to ensure that children are balanced in their developmental process by in putting some manners and balance into their environment. It does not matter how many times these balance is repeated, keep repeating and saying because it shall surly germinate and grow into a positive adult.

I will love to hear your stories on some things your child has said that you think is universal and help other parents feel they are not alone.

Repetition, Redirection and Reaffirmation with Children

Being a while since my last blog but have been busy with the children being on summer holidays. First job of a mother is being a parent and everything else had to be on hold during the summer break but glad to be back.

I have had this topic for some time and I realised it is quite an important parenting technique  when passing across information and action point to children. Repetition, Redirection,and Reaffirmation is needed when interacting with children or trying to pass on information for them to carry out.  As we know, children are easily distracted from instructions given to them and this does not exclude my children. On several occasions, both professionally and personally, I have given instructions to children to carry out  particular task and it came as no surprise that they were easily distracted due to other interesting things happening around them.  An example is asking your child to tidy up a particular space, if for some reason there are other interesting activities going on around him/her, it should come as no surprise that there will be distractions or the child forgetting about the task at hand.

It can be quite frustrating, on the part of the parent, to keep repeating him/herself but due to the nature of children repetition is a skill that is required when dealing with children. Am I saying all children are easily distracted and will need repetition or reminder of the task at hand, no this is not the case. All children are different and while some carry out a task by one given instruction, others will have the same task repeated to them over and over again before the task is carried out.

Having looked at repetition, what has redirection and reaffirmation got to do with children. Sometimes, repeating an instruction for a child, to carry out a task, might not be enough. It may have to involve the adult redirecting the child to the task. This may involve guiding the child physically and taking them back to the task at hand. As with the example of the tidy up if the child left the tidy up space, the adult may have to take the child’s hand and guide him/her back to the task at hand. This saves parent, especially, from shouting, raising their voice or becoming frustrated with repeating themselves.

Reaffirmation with children is telling them what a wonderful work or task they have done. You has a parent are telling them well done for performing the task, finishing it and that you acknowledge their contribution. Reaffirming children’s work can involve a child going to an adult and reminding him/her about a task completed successfully. The adult, at that point in time, needs to show the child that his/her input in the task was recognised and acknowledge this by either letting the child relive that experience through talking about it or praising the child again for his/her contributions. Sometimes reaffirmation can be used to indicate to your child that parents/carers acknowledge their good effort in their academics, sport and other positive activities that they are involved in.