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That boy was just scared

I’m currently reading Michelle Obama’s bestselling book, Becoming. Michelle reflects on her childhood throughout the book.

She shares how during the lead-up to the 2008 election she was supporting her husband’s presidential campaign by delivering speeches across the USA. These speeches, as you can imagine, where dissected by the press and at times she was not only misquoted but became the subject of some unkind reporting on her and her family.

Michelle reflects on this and recalls an incident from her childhood, where out of nowhere and seemingly for no reason a boy punched her in the face. Her mother, on returning from a meeting with the school about the incident, explained, “That boy was just scared and angry about things that had nothing to do with you…. He’s dealing with a whole lot of problems of is own.” Her mother’s non-judgemental words were telling her that when others do you harm, physically and verbally, it’s […]


Money Matters for Children

As parents ‘tighten their belts’ in the current economic climate, they also want to know what are the best saving schemes available for their children.

It therefore gives me great pleasure to share an informative guest blog by Kalpana Fitzpatrick who is a leading UK financial journalist with over 12 years’ experience in consumer and personal finance. She is the founder of Mummy Money Matters, a family finance website. Kalpana regularly appears on TV, radio and in the press as an expert commentator on family finances as well as a consumer expert.

Her aim is to keep finance simple and accessible, as well as helping families make the most of their money. When not doing that, she is Mum to two boys: one aged four years and the other 9 months.

As a parent too, I believe it is important we sow the seeds of positive financial management with […]


Got Any Saturday Jobs?

When I was a teenager, most of my friends and I, by the time we were 15, had Saturday jobs. If not on a Saturday, these jobs were either after school or during the holidays.

To me it was more about earning extra ‘pennies’. But I built a foundation of skills for work (which is central in my present day-to-day work) including team work, customer care and having responsibilities as an individual employee.

However I am now finding there are fewer opportunities for teenagers to gain vital work experience whilst they are at school. For example the retail industry tends to plan their staffing over a seven day period, resulting in both full and part time staff covering the shifts. As a consequence there are fewer opportunities for teenagers to be given jobs and to acquire essential skills and expertise for the future.

In years gone by, as teenagers we would walk into a shop, even the large […]


Practitioner and Child; Positive or Personal Relationships?

For a while now, I have been reflecting on what we in the sector mean by the term ‘positive relationships’ and its impact on interactions between children and practitioners. With this in mind, my thoughts are on whether we should change the term to ‘personal relationships’ and more importantly how we should look at personal relationships between the practitioner and child in our day-to-day practice?

For instance, I have a positive relationship with the staff in my local bank, but this is not a personal relationship. Indeed practitioners need to have a positive relationship with children in order for the relationship to be personal and meaningful. Time and time again, when carrying out my mock inspection visits, I observe practitioners having positive relationships with children, but not on a deeper personal level.  If done on a superficial basis and as part of the daily routine, the relationship is one where it is routine led rather than […]