Monday 12 September 2011

Parent vrs. Me

I wonder whether there will come a time in every parent’s life that they decide what sort of parent they’ll be? I don’t mean as in a strict or chilled out parent, I mean as in to what extent you follow the ‘do as I say and not as I do’ or ‘do as I say and do as I do’ parent. 

I’ve pondered this recently as I am at a stage in my child’s life that I need to make decisions about how I act and what I say around my boys. My twin boys have just turned 3, they copy all my words and sentences and basically everything I do and say. I hear their little voices (alright, very loud voices) and I hear mini-me’s. For example J & E were in the car with a fire truck having just gone past E’s side of the car... 

E “oohhhhh, a fire truck, maybe it will go and fight a fire?” 
J “the fire truck will go past my side now? ... “ that’s a good idea, it will go pass soon?” 
E: “NOOOO, it’s going to put out a fire” 
... goes back and forward a bit about where the truck is and whether it will go pass J’s side of the car or not....
J “it WILLLLL!!!!!!” 
E: “mummy, J is being loud and naughty, he will go into his room soon?!” 
J: “I’m NOT being naughty” 
E: “mummy, he WILL go to his cot... 5,4,3,2,1... he’s going into his cot when he gets home” 
J: “mummy, I am being a good boy” 
E: “he will not get a cracker, only I will get a cracker because I am a good boy” 

They end up having a bit of a verbal tiff but distraction overruled in this instance but in all of the above I just hear me saying every sentence and even copying my intonations, I start to wonder what I’ve created (2 monsters?) or what am I creating? 

It’s no surprise that their are many parenting style and I’m not an expert but I often come across 3 different types: 
  1. Live and lead by example – just be who you are and you’re happy for your kids to be replicas of you taking the good with the bad. 
  2. Live, change a bit and lead by example –change yourself to become the role model you want your kids to follow and look up to 
  3. Do as I say and not as I do – don’t change much but making sure your kids follow your instructions even though you as an adult may go off track often.
I don’t think many people solely fit into 1 of the above but I’ll just go on and talk about my experience and my current dilemma. You see, I am of the thought process that I want my kids to copy my ‘good’ behaviour and do as I do with me becoming a ‘perfect’ role model but this has meant I have had to change certain characteristics about myself during this parenting process malarkey. 

Things I have changed that come to mind: 
- I don’t swear often and never (or extremely rarely) in front of the boys 
- I never yell at them or around them (I used to, very rarely mind you, yell out of frustration in verbal disagreements). 
 - Don’t watch TV during the day 
- I try to tidy up after I use something – big change for me! 
- I try my best to speak using full words such as ‘do not’, ‘you are’ as I like them to know the individual words rather than ‘don’t’ and ‘you’re’, odd I know? 
- Not use ‘yeh’ ‘hiya’ and ‘cause’, – now that’s been a hard habit to break but the day they came home from daycare saying ‘use guys’ really got to me so at least I managed to change it to a bearable ‘you guys’.

There are probably many examples like the above but I wonder how much of someone (like myself who wants my boys to copy my actions) changes so dramatically that I lose some of my personality just to appease their upbringing? I used to be the ‘distracts others’ in my primary/intermediate years and a rebel in my teenage years but got back on track when I turned 20. I look back at the rebel years and go ‘those were good times’! But, I wonder, do I want my boys to be ‘geeks’, ‘cool’, ‘smart’, ‘sporty’... and how much of what I’m teaching them now paves the way for the future? 

 If a parent swore, smoked, never exercised, drove too fast, use slack lingo... around the boys whether this would instantly turn them into a replica of that person – my presumption is yes. I then realise you can’t help but pave certain ways for them, I have no doubt that our boys will be sporty in one way or another but you never know how good their sporting achievements will be but I don’t care about that part provided they are healthy and enjoy active movement. I would like to think I can create fun, loving, sporty yet sensible teenage boys who know right from wrong, can take certain calculated risks in life but don’t go too far off the beaten track. 

When I read over this all I can think of is myself as I was bought up well, went to average/good schools along the way and had good parent role-models (of course I think I can do better in certain areas, sorry about that one parents if you read this ha ha). I honestly don’t think they did anything wrong to create such a rebel of a teenager and it came down to me being an extrovert so my natural personality overruled BUT I think the fact that I got myself back on track is a testament to their parenting. I knew I was being stupid, knew how to change my behaviour and chose not to until I was ready. 

I feel there are so many rights, wrongs and in-betweens offered to parents to become such an amazing role model you have to put everything in perspective. To realise there is only so much control you can have over the environment they grow up in versus what success they’ll have in life (defining success is another kettle of fish altogether) and only so much of yourself that you can change if indeed you want to in the first place! 

I don’t really have a conclusion for this but your thoughts and experiences are much appreciated and in 20 years I’ll let you know how my boys are going! 

Yvette, Director Little Kickers NZ

Sunday 21 August 2011

Player Profile - Emma - 3

Queen Emma’s Player Profile

We had the pleasure of asking Emma some questions in our Player Profile, read Emma’s answer to ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ – what an awesome answer!

Name: Emma
Age: 3 years old
Venues of Little Kickers attended ? Meadowbank Primary
How long have you been coming to Little Kickers? Approx 6 months.
What is your favourite little Kickers game? Airplane - you just stand up and fly around like an airplane!
What do you like best about little kickers? Goal time!!
What do you want to be when you grow up? A Queen Bee.
What’s your favourite healthy food? Carrots or Prawns.
Who is your favourite coach? Coach Rachael.
What do you love? Playing with my friend Sophia.

Your Mum and/or Dad’s perspective on Little Kickers: Little Kickers has been great for Emma. She's learnt how to follow and execute very specific instructions. The exercises are at a level that the kids can understand. The coaches are very patient and enthusiastic.

Tuesday 7 June 2011

Player Profile - Daniel Doherty - 4

I have had the pleasure of coaching Daniel Doherty while a Junior Kicker at Takapuna, he has now moved up to Mighty Kickers and continues to thrive at Little Kickers with Coach's Nikki & Lisa.

Here is Daniel’s Player Profile Interview ...

Name: Daniel Doherty
Age: 4
Venues attended around the world: Takapuna (Auckland, New Zealand)
How long have you been coming to Little Kickers? 2 years
What is your favourite Little Kickers game? “the drills that involve scoring goals and the warm up when you run around the cones and jump over the cones marked out.”
What do you like best about little kickers? “Kicking the soccer ball around.”
What do you want to be when you grow up? Doctor
What’s your favourite healthy food? Chicken Nibbles
Who is your favourite coach? Coach Nikki & Lisa (and Yvette when she comes)
What do you love? Mummy, Daddy, Natalie and all my family. Also I love playing games.

Daniel’s Dad says: It is a great activity and has really helped develop Daniel’s co-ordination. He looks forward to soccer every Saturday and the games and activities are lots of fun. The coaches offer good encouragement and Little Kickers has helped his confidence a lot.

Sunday 6 March 2011

Oh how times have changed...

On exiting Bunnings Warehouse I was met by 3 extremely excited Girl Guides who bombarded me (nicely) asking if I would like to buy some biscuits – ‘how could I resist’ – and happily went away with my packet of Original Girl Guide biscuits (chocolate versus original – hard decision but original won this time).

I went home to my darling 2 ½ year old twin boys, gave them a nice big hug and proceeded to make a cup of tea and dig into my first Girl Guide Biscuit for the year – dunked in tea is my preference! On my third or possibly 10th biscuit (I wasn’t counting) I had a read of the packet which stated...

‘...By selling biscuits girls develop skills such as decision-making, customer service, marketing and money management....’ Girl Guides

I was in awe of how times have changed and how exciting times are for women. It’s great to read such a statement which is written by an organisation built on such old foundations and morals. A statement which epitomises women of today, this statement is written to show parents of these girls and all parents that men and women are in fact equal and can strive to be in control of their own lives.

I know this isn’t news to anyone (or I hope it isn’t!), men and women are equal – we all can live independently, have own education, money, jobs... What excites me though is that young girls are being taught this by Girl Guides and in a way the timing in which I came to buy my biscuits is quite ironic.

I am a strong believer that women can do anything. I happened to be in Bunnings buying Post Caps for the picket fence and gate that I had planned and built over the summer months and it happened to be here that Girl Guides are selling biscuits - in an overtly male place (statistics still show this) but with families galore wandering the isles.

When we had the Little Kickers Head Coach come over from the U.K. for initial training he was taken aback by how many girls we had in our classes versus what they have in the U.K. I was so pleased with this, that there are no pretences as to what a girl should participate in versus a boy. They understand the importance of active movement (no matter their sex). Girls enjoy our sessions just as much as the boys and we only see this increasing because sports/ hand eye coordination/ active movement is such a vital role in development of these early years with reading, writing and numerical reasoning.

NZ Football have seen a drop in female players at the age of 8 and over the last few years have put huge emphasis in developing females within the sport which is seeing an improvement already. It is exciting that we at Little Kickers have so many female coaches who are excellent role models to show both boys and girls that it’s a multi-sex sport.

I love New Zealand for being such a young country and able to cut away any pretences of ‘yee oldy’ days. Sport is sport and a child is a child!

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Welcome to 2011!

2010 has come to an end, and what a rollercoaster year it was! Sport was at the forefront of entertainment in 2010 with the Football World Cup which the All Whites did amazingly well in – even came away un-defeated!

So what will 2011 bring? The build up to the Rugby World Cup will likely be the key topic of conversation in the sporting world. We’ve now entered the year of the Rabbit, which according to the Chinese Zodiac is the luckiest year, and I’m hopeful it will yield some sporting luck!

A New Year usually comes hand-in-hand with resolutions, and promises to oneself - to improve your life or the lives of those who surround you. Admittedly, you and I both know that a few weeks into the New Year, having promised yourself that you will eat healthily, you will be tucking into your Chinese takeaway. New Year’s resolutions often do not work for one reason or another; however, it shouldn’t take a New Year to prompt you to take steps to improve your lifestyle.

As adults (I use that term loosely!) we are constantly encouraging our children to become better at whatever they do, willing them to have the constant desire to increase their own motivation and to achieve greater things. Yet, we often fall short of it ourselves year after year. At Little Kickers, from session to session we aim to improve many different aspects of children’s lives; our carefully planned sessions include progressions that challenge the children both mentally and physically. The reason why adults’ resolutions never appear to work is because they are usually not enjoyable, or involve people making a great sacrifice. Children, however, improve their skills at our classes successfully because they are enjoying themselves.

When thinking about this, I set myself a New Year’s resolution that would both benefit me and be enjoyable. I have decided to join a social indoor football team, as great as I am with a size 1 Little Kickers kid’s football I feel I should start up or join a social indoor football team to get back into the game.

I would be interested to hear what your New Year’s resolutions are; why not leave a comment and let me know. Best of luck with them!

Here’s to a successful 2011.
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