Quick Note On… Kids and Inflight Entertainment

Earlier today I saw someone asking about top tips for keeping children (4, and 5 years old) entertained on a flight. Below is what I answered.   Kids don’t need to be entertained all the time. Getting bored (and learning to get bored) is essential for creativity and well-being. Of course, if the flight is long, and admiring views outside the window (getting window seat is a good thing to make sure you arrange when booking/ choosing seats even if it costs a bit extra) is not enough, then a book to read or colouring book are great. If your children is too young to read themselves, read for them. Or make up a story, tell about place you travel to or retell stories of what has happened when on the way back. If using screens (in-flight entertainment or own devices), it would be great to stick to “screen time” rules[…]

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2 Friends and a Big Wave (Boxing Day Tsunami Anniversary)

This is a very special guest post. Written in early 2005 by Timothy Barco (then Senaviratne) from Sri Lanka. I’m publishing it again today with author’s consent as a reminder of the 2004 tsunami. The title of this post is from me and it refers to Tim’s children story “3 Friends and a big Wave”. Some scenes described in the story are pretty graphic – paragraphs containing such fragments are marked with <!>. Some facts*: The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on 26 December with the epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia The shock had a moment magnitude of 9.1–9.3. It was the third-largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph Tsunamis triggered by the earthquake killed 230,000–280,000 people in 14 countries. Sri Lanka was the second hardest hit country (after Indonesia) – with 38 195 deaths confirmed, 16 665 wounded, 23 000 missing and over half a million displaced More than 10 thousands British citizens were in the affected areas (Sri Lanka and[…]

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Dealing with nightmares

I recently took part in an online discussion about dealing with child’s nightmares. I have shared the solution that worked for my daughter. It worked when she was about two and recently, around her 6th birthday. When she was 2 she was dreaming about “a tall man looking inside her room from outside”. It didn’t matter she had blinds that were closed every night. She knew he was there. Given that we lived on a 2nd floor (3rd if your “ground floor” is referred to as “first”) this must have been a one tall guy! More recently her dreams were about some creature that was rather ugly (can’t remember what it was exactly). Since in both cases the dreams were bad enough for her to wake up or cry in the night, and in case of the first one it was happening for several days in a row, something needed[…]

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Dad, help me get the ball!

A girl and a spider “Dad, help me get the ball” said Helena – my 6 year old daughter. “What’s happened?” was my brilliant answer. “I want to get the ball, but there is a spider web…” Oh yes – spiders, spider webs, cobwebs – show me a parent who hasn’t dealt with them one way or another – one way being doing something about them, another one being calling someone, often dramatically, to deal with it NOW! As I was in the middle of something and didn’t want to spring up from my chair, I’ve decided to use some of my… … superpowers “How can you get the ball yourself while avoiding the spider web?” – of course I had a clear idea in my head that a long stick should do the trick. Helena’s face started expressing deep thinking. “I could go around, over stepladder and I can[…]

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Who is Barack Obama?

I just came across Twitter profile of Barack Obama (if you don’t like him, it doesn’t matter – start reading this post from at least a neutral perspective). Have you seen it? Did you notice something? Do you know how the (former) most powerful man on this planet refers to himself in the first place? In his eyes, his most important role is not a political one, not related to his country, not related to his power. He is dad. Not even “father”, but exactly that – a dad! In second place he is a husband. President, and citizen come after family. We may be ashamed(?) to show our love and commitment for the family. We may consider it unprofessional(?). But think about it for a moment – does Obama seem “weaker” to you by referring to himself as dad first? Or the contrary? Does he convey the message of[…]

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Meet Sifaan Zavahir – our new blog contributor

This is an honour, a privilege, but first of all great joy to welcome Sifaan Zavahir from Sri Lanka as our new blog contributor  Sifaan is a father (since 2015) who found himself enjoying parenting much more than he expected: instead of a mix of joyful moments and frustrating moments he discovered a mix of joyful moments and challenging learning opportunities. His experiences in corporate development (in leadership and team building) have given him lenses through which to reflect* on his approach in parenting, and those reflections have, in return, led him to critically evaluate some of the paradigms he was using in his work, creating a fascinating, if somewhat roller-coastery, learning journey. As a strong proponent of restorative justice – rather than retributive/ punitive justice – Sifaan wants to not only raise his son without any physical punishments (neither Sifaan nor his wife had been spanked/hit, so this was[…]

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36 years later it still hurts – #SuicideAwareness

When I heard about Robin Williams committing suicide, I was sad. When it turned out that Chris Cornell took his life, I was sad. But it was Chester Bennington’s suicide that shocked me. It was the first time in my life that I shed a tear for an artist. Part of my sorrow was related to my memories of Linkin Park’s music being present in my life in my early 20’s, but part of it was due to the fact that six children will never be with their father again. For a moment I imagined my 6 year-old daughter left without me and it was a devastating thought. I felt sorry for the Bennington’s children, and I feel emotional even now, writing this post. This situation reminded me of a message below that was shared* by a friend of mine. Sifaan (that’s my friend’s name) is an adult man, with a[…]

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A Falcon That Would Not Fly

I first read this story a day after my employer decided that my role was no longer needed in the organization. Whatever my emotions were, they were immediately replaced with a sense of liberation, and joy. Yes, it hurt to loose my safe harbour. Yes, it was unexpected. But had it not happened, I would not have courage to embark myself on many journeys that led me to where I am now. I remember the king and the falcon every time I need a solid kick n my… past, so I can head towards the future. I hope you enjoy it as well! Read it, share it, and fly! A king once received a gift of two magnificent Peregrine Falcons. He gave the precious birds to a newly appointed royal falcon trainer. A few weeks later, the trainer informed the king that though one of the falcons was flying majestically,[…]

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