Let the children cry!

February 14th, 2019 robin Posted in Pro-Parenting | Comments Off on Let the children cry!

Yes – the title is click-bait… But bear with me! 🙂

Kids fall over and bump themselves all the time, and as a parent your automatic reaction when you think your precious little meat-ball has hurt itself is often to jump up, squeak in concern and proclaim “Ouch! Are you ok?! Does it hurt very badly?!” (or something to that effect). In this short interaction you have already made three assumptions:

  1. Ouch! – the child got hurt
  2. Are you ok?! This implies that they probably are not.
  3. Does it hurt very badly?! They are hurt and you need to find out how much.

Sometimes you may be right, but 9 times out of 10 you are not and by saying this you will be teaching your child the expectation: “when I hit my head like this everyone else expects that it will hurt a lot, that I will not be ok, and that I will need a lot of consoling to get over it”. Kids are great at fulfilling our expectations, and if you repeat this behaviour they will learn to behave as you expect them to.

My tip to you – when a child (seems to) hurt itself, bite your tongue and observe. If the child does not immediately start crying before it looks for you stay calm. If the child looks at you expecting a response, try something jovial like “Oopsi-doopsi!” and smile. If it really hurt itself it will let it be known – don’t worry about that – and if it needs consoling then it is really important that you do that and without delay. But if it smiles back at you and continues on with play, it’s quite likely that it just got a bit of a surprise and didn’t really hurt itself, and you have just helped it learn the difference between a real ouch and a light bonk that is not worth getting upset and loosing play-time about.

Just to be clear – this recommendation is _not_ intended to be tough or insensitive to children. It is really really important that when a child is hurt and needs its parents that you are there for it.

Pro Parenting

February 14th, 2019 robin Posted in Pro-Parenting | Comments Off on Pro Parenting

I’m starting a new section on my blog called “Pro Parenting”. We are not professional parents, and we don’t know all the answers, but we do have opinions. I’m sure we’re unique on this… I haven’t looked on the internet yet, but I don’t imagine that any other parents have opinions, and definitely not as meaningful or good as ours. In any case… these are my opinions for you to adore or ignore as you see fit.

What makes us qualified to write about parenting? Not a lot… we have three children, the oldest of which is now 7 (February 2019), and we have put a lot of thought into how we rear our children. We get it wrong a _lot_ (do as I say, not as I do…), but try to learn from our mistakes, and try to not repeat our mistakes. We repeat our mistakes a lot…

Why write this? We are amongst many other families all having children and often get asked “what did you do when little J was 2 years old?” and so I thought rather than giving a partial summary answer each time, it might be more helpful and efficient to write the answers once in long-form here, and then just pass a link. 🙂

Analogue DSL Bandwidth meter

March 20th, 2016 robin Posted in Just for Fun, Photon | Comments Off on Analogue DSL Bandwidth meter

Got round to doing some hardware hacking again! 🙂

I put together an analogue DSL bandwidth meter display – it shows the current percentage of bandwidth (upstream/downstream) used:

DSL bandwidth meterfinished-meter-sidebreadboard

That’s some ugly MDF board to hold the Particle Photon, two 3V voltage meters, and an LED which lights up if the data is stale (hasn’t been updated in >20s).  I soldered a little breadboard together with the sockets for the photon, cables out to the meters, and a resistor for the LED.

The components are:

Thanks Jeremy for the inspiration for this project! 🙂