The benefits to children of learning music ~ #IfShesHappyImHappy

The Benefits of Children Learning Music

The benefits to children of learning music

When I was a child, I learnt the guitar and violin.  And I remember that I enjoyed them both.  Nowadays, my guitar sometimes gets an ‘airing’.  I’d like for it be more often but at least it’s not collecting dust.

Since our 8 year old took up the violin, I’ve been tempted to learn again – with her.  It’s so nice to see her with the violin – she suits it very well and has taken to it very well too.  Quite apart from the fact that she enjoys playing, it’s good to know the benefits of learning music too, particularly for our children.

 

The Benefits of Children Learning Music

From an early age, our daughter has been stimulated; she’s creative and is thriving at school.  But hubby and I were keen to get her on to learning an instrument.  The first time she took the bow to the strings, I stopped in my tracks and it took my breath away.  Yes, I’m her Mum and biased by default but she really does suit it: her composure when she holds it, her control of the bow, how she gets right into ‘the zone’.  And what a lovely zone to get into.

When we find a second hand violin at the right price, I see no reason not to join her on her musical journey.

We’ve got a violin, a guitar and a piano in our home.  Out of al of these, my personal preference is the violin and it seems that’s our daughter’s too.  That’s fine by me because…

#IfShesHappyImHappy

Does your child play an instrument?  Please tell us in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

Thanks.

~

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The benefits of school clubs vs the potential for overwhelm

How to get the School Club Balance right for Your Child Positive Parenting Wellbeing

The benefits of school clubs vs the potential for overwhelm

After months of encouraging our now 8 year old to join in with some school clubs, we found ourselves with an uber-enthuastic daughter on our hands!

Due to after-school childminding because of work commitments, she was limited to what she could do.  But come year 3, she wanted to try every club going – gymnastics, dance, science club, cheerleading, music, youth club… which was great but we had to fit homework in somewhere too.  How inconvenient!

We didn’t want our weekends taken over with homework.

When she asked if she could do this club and that club, we told her that if it fits around work and homework, no problem (so long as she got in!)

How to get the School Club Balance right for Your Child Positive Parenting Wellbeing

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Why we let our young daughter use makeup ~ #IfShesHappyImHappy

How To Make A Father's Day Card With A Difference Create Make Do

Why we let our young daughter use makeup

As our daughter grows up (and up and up!), I’m most definitely realising that her baby days are long gone, and her toddler days too.  But I often find it really hard to let go and her her find her way, let her independence grow and let her discover the world around her in her way.

But it’s vital for their development isn’t it?

One area that we give her absolute free-rein is make-up.  She loves to experiment and I adore to see her ‘apply it’, seeing the end result of invariably blue or pink eyeshadow smudged all around her eyelids.  It’s an adorable part of a little girl being no-so-little and growing her make-believe fairy wings out.  Though it makes me sad and even pine for my beautiful newborn, I can equally see my beautiful, wonderful daughter blossoming and growing, expressing herself and becoming her.  To me, that’s just as important as remembering her baby and toddler days.

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Pocket money – an alternative approach ~ #IfShesHappyImHappy

How To Teach Your Child The Value Of Money Pocket Money Spending Saving Earning Jobs Parenting Kids Virtually All Sorts

Pocket money – an alternative approach

I recently introduced a regular feature #IfShesHappyImHappy and this week I’m talking about pocket money.  #IfShesHappyImHappy is all about the cycle of happiness – you being happy, making your child happy and it coming full circle to make you happy again!  You can read it here if you missed it.

How To Teach Your Child The Value Of Money Pocket Money Spending Saving Earning Jobs Parenting Kids Virtually All Sorts

Our approach to pocket money is probably not the most common one.  But perhaps it’s more common than I think.  Maybe you can tell me!…

Whichever way you look at it, money is something that our children will have to get to grips with in some form.  Be it physical money or by bank transfers or ‘plastic’.

Money makes the world go round…

Money is said to make the world go round and even if she has modest amounts of it when she’s older, hubby and I both agreed that our daughter needs to be empowered by it and not see it as a ‘problem’ or even worse, ‘dirty’.

We both agree that our daughter should understand that generally you have to work for it.  Yes, it’s nice to have some given to you, but more rewarding to have earned it.

To that end, we introduced weekly jobs for her.  In the early days, she earned 1p for each box she ticked on her weekly ‘job sheet’, of which there were 5 boxes a day.

So that’s potentially 5p a day, if she chose to do the job.  We’ve never put any pressure on her to do a ‘job’, simply telling her that she wouldn’t get her money if she didn’t do the job.  Of course, there are days when she’s sick and on holiday from school.  In which case, she gets her money anyway, because most people get sick pay and holiday pay after all!

So, what are her jobs?

We started with tidying, putting clothes in the linen basket and helping to hoover her bedroom.  That takes us up to the present day when she also sets the table for tea (by that I meaning putting the cutlery out.)

It works really well and there have only been a few occasions when she has ‘opted-out’.  At the end of each week, she counts how much money she’s earned by counting the boxes on her job sheet.  Sometimes we purposefully over pay or short-change her to see if she’s really counting and notices – which she does!  She’s honest when overpaid too!

What’s the point?

The point is not the jobs she has to complete but that she’s empowered, just like we are (generally!) in the real, grown-up world of work.  She has free-will and has experienced the consequences of choosing not to do a job (or 2…).  But she’s also felt empowered from earning her money.

Just the other day, we were out shopping, she saw something, knew she didn’t have enough money and said she would pay me back.  I felt mean by saying ‘no’ but otherwise, there’s little point in doing this little exercise at all…  It’s about earning money, maybe saving and spending as you earn it.  Not about spending it before you’ve earned it.

Unwittingly, our 7 year old is already learning about the value and power of earning money and that fuzzy feeling you get when you’ve saved for something or simply ‘earned’ something.

And that’s good enough for me because…

#IfShesHappyImHappy

  How do you approach pocket money?   Please share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

Thanks.

~

 

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How a group activity can grow your child’s confidence ~ #IfShesHappyImHappy

How A Group Activity Can Grow Your Child's Confidence #IfShesHappyImHappy It's About You Being Happy, Making Your Child Happy, It Coming Full Circle Making You Happy!

How a group activity can grow your child’s confidence

I recently introduced a regular feature #IfShesHappyImHappy and this week I’m talking about a group activity that our daughter enjoys and has helped to build her confidence.  #IfShesHappyImHappy is all about the cycle of happiness – you being happy, making your child happy and it coming full circle to make you happy again!  You can read it here if you missed it.

How A Group Activity Can Grow Your Child's Confidence #IfShesHappyImHappy It's About You Being Happy, Making Your Child Happy, It Coming Full Circle Making You Happy!

Expressing themselves

Our daughter’s 7 and typically, she loves to dance and sing.  Very soon I’m sure she’ll be singing into a hairbrush.

For now, she loves to express herself by dancing and singing.  And so when she got a place in the cheerleading club at her school, I was really pleased.  She’d been asking to go, to join in with her friend.  And she loves it!

I even found some cheerleading pompoms in Poundland.  Of course, her eyes lit up when she saw them and off she went.

Age range

What I love about her little cheerleading group is that not everyone’s her age.  The group of around 15 range from 6-11 years old I think.

There’s a boy from her class who joins in just as eagerly as the rest, and she’s always shattered afterwards so the teacher is clearly getting  a lot from them!

And it’s turned into a family affair.  Oh yes, one rainy Saturday, we were all up on our feet waving pom-poms around and strutting our stuff to the cheerleading moves!  I was shattered, I can tell you…

Seeing their confidence grow

A few weeks ago, they did a little performance for us which was lovely to see.  As with anything, we’ve been building her confidence by using encouraging words, by telling her well done and by playing music in the house which she generally sings and dances to.  Her confidence has been growing and growing.  It was great to see her performing to the songs with her friends.

Whichever way you look at it, this group activity is good for our daughter and though it doesn’t need to be cheerleading, an activity like this could be good for your child too…

And #IfShesHappyImHappy

  What group activities does/did your child do that helped their confidence grow?   Please share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

Thanks.

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