Tag Archives: kids

Wording for the Childern’s Rights Referedum released.

So finally the date has been set, November 10th, a Saturday, and the wording has been announced.


Thirty-First Amendment of the Constitution



The State recognises and affirms the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children and shall, as far as practicable, by its laws protect and vindicate those rights.

1° In exceptional cases, where the parents, regardless of their marital status, fail in their duty towards their children to such extent that the safety or welfare of any of their children is likely to be prejudicially affected, the State as guardian of the common good shall, by proportionate means as provided by law, endeavour to supply the place of the parents, but always with due regard for the natural and imprescriptible rights of the child.

2° Provision shall be made by law for the adoption of any child where the parents have failed for such a period of time as may be prescribed by law in their duty towards the child and where the best interests of the child so require.

Provision shall be made by law for the voluntary placement for adoption and the adoption of any child.

1° Provision shall be made by law that in the resolution of all proceedings –

i brought by the State, as guardian of the common good, for the purpose of preventing the safety and welfare of any child from being prejudicially affected, or

ii concerning the adoption, guardianship or custody of, or access to, any child,
the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.

2° Provision shall be made by law for securing, as far as practicable, that in all proceedings referred to in subsection 1° of this section in respect of any child who is capable of forming his or her own views, the views of the child shall be ascertained and given due weight having regard to the age and maturity of the child

What does this mean?

It means that we are one step closer to being in line with the United Nations Convention of the rights of the child, which was written in 1989 and which we as a sovereign state signed up to in
1990 and ratified in 1992. The rights referred to in the amendment are those listed by in the
UN Convention of the rights of the child which are pretty extensive and you can read through it here.


This referendum and the tackling of the imbalance of the patronage system of schools are part of what has been needed to be done for the last 20 years but previous governments have failed to do them.

So make sure that you can vote by checking http://checktheregister.ie/ and remember that this referendum is on a Saturday November 10th, so no day of school for the kids and hopefully we will have a good turn out.

Inspiring quotes needed.

Start of the new year and with it comes the two homework journals.These days they are very swish compared to what I had secondary school. The school my brats attend have opted for the 4Schools.ie’s student journal.
Which their site http://www.4schools.ie/student-journal states

The 4Schools.ie’s student journal is a learning focused journal which can be tailored to reflect the unique culture and ethos of your school.

Our standard A5 student journal includes:

A choice of hardback or spiral binding
A choice of five attractive full colour cover designs with your school name and crest overprinted in black
Either 8 or 16 pages of your customised content printed in one colour
A choice of two learning modules
A full colour weekly diary featuring facts, quotes and think-links
16 pages of notes for communication between parent/guardian and school.

It really is a kick ass resource, with inserts on the school rules, parental contact sheet, log tables, maps, info about college courses, all the school polices laid out in it so that they are easily accessible by parent and students. The homework journal which a parent has to sign off once a week is a good way of keeping track for parents, teachers and students. Just above the space for a note from a teacher or parent and the sign off it as an inspirational quotation.


I was flicking through them with my daughter, her first thought was cool and then we noticed a pattern.
Can you spot it?

Thomas Edison, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Fredrick Nietzsche, Henry Ford,
Mathatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Ralp Waldo Emerson, Aristotle, Plato,
Solon, Ernest Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald, William Shakespear, Edwin H Cahplin,
Oliver Goldsmith, Jonathon Swift, Henry B Adams, Jermy Collier, Napoleon Bonapart,
Arthur C Clarke, Alber Einstein, Aristotle Onassis, Brian Tracy, Brack Obama,
Franklin D Roosevelt, Napoleon Hill, Alber Camus, Lawrence Peter, Francis Bacon,
French Proverb.

She spotted it before I did. There are 41 term weeks so that is 41 quotes and 1 of them is attributed to a french proverb but the remaining 40 are all men. They range from Plato to Obama, over 2,300 years and not one woman included.

So yes I will be sending a note to the school and to the provider of the journals but we decided we would write in quotations by women along side the quotations by men, I might also send them to the school and provider.

So we are asking for help in compiling a list of suitable quotations, we have a few already, but we need more.


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.”
Rosa Parks

“A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back – but they are gone.
We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you.”
Marian Wright Edelman

“Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out.”
Iris Murdoch

So please share with us your favorite inspiring quotes by women.

I had to talk to my kids over breakfast about the bombs on a bus in Maynooth and on the LUAS this morning, they were worried about going to school, our friends in Maynooth and family members who work in Dublin city.

WTF this is not the Ireland they know and it is one which I hoped we would never return to.
Those carrying out these pointless terrorist attacks on Irish people need to stop.

A slice of life.

It’s funny the challenges that come with having a kid on the spectrum but with them also come victories and hope.

Yesterday as I am swamped with this cold, and my co parent was gone out, I made a list of bits for D to go and get for me at the local shop. It’s only 5 mins away and he is 13; but on the list was something he’s not bought before and would be a challenge for him. Due to his ASD (Aspergers Disorder) I do have to push his comfort levels to get him to do things he’s back out of otherwise.

In this case it was to go to the fresh baked bread display and get one of the Vienna rolls he likes so much. Thinking about it made him nervous, he has in his head all the things which can go wrong and people might be looking at him. This sort of stuff is par for the course with him. He came back with out it, but with everything else on the list, so I was happy enough.

The he said ‘Damnit, Mam can I go back over and get the bread? I failed last time and I really like that bread, so I want to go try and get it again’. I was so proud, of him and even if he didn’t come back with it, the fact he pushed himself to go over and even to pass by the people he just passed by on the road and to see the shop assistants again in such a short space of time is a huge step for him. A year ago the idea that people would think it odd to see him going back over the shop or that they would think he failed and so had to go back was too much for him to bear.

So off he went and he came home with the loaf and after two slices settled down to do his homework. I am so pleased and proud, I know it’s just a loaf of bread but the fact he choose to go back over and did it with no fuss or no prompting means a lot to me, makes me more hopeful for him living a fuller life and not being stuck in the same routine all the time.

My Grand Dad used to say, we don’t own our children, we are entrusted with them for a short time and we teach them their first steps and one day they will walk way from us to their own lives.

I pretty much take the fact that I have to prepare and skill up my kids to be able to walk away and start their own lives independent of me as my mission statement. It was before I knew my son was on the autism spectrum, and it hasn’t changed. Yes it means that it’s more complicated, there are slightly more hurdles and certain things are harder on him and us as a family but days like yesterday give me hope and let’s me know I am getting it right, well at least some of the time.

Gaming with your daughter is good for her


By Winda Benedetti

Listen up parents: If you’re not a video game player and your child is, now might be a good time to pick up a game controller and pick up a new pastime.

While many parents worry that letting their children play video games will have a negative impact on them, a new study from Brigham Young University has found that when parents play games with their children — specifically their daughters — it can actually be good for them.

Researchers from BYU’s School of Family Life in Provo, Utah, found that girls who played age-appropriate video games with a parent felt more connected to their families, had fewer mental health issues and fewer problems with aggressive behavior.

And the researchers say this is the first study to show that gaming with an adult can be good for a girl.

For the study, published in Tuesday’s issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, researchers Sarah Coyne and Laura Padilla-Walker had 287 families with children between 11 and 16 years old complete video game-, behavioral-, and family-related questionnaires. They report:

We found an association between co-playing of video games and lowered internalizing (e.g., depression/anxiety) and aggressive behavior. Furthermore, girls who co-played with their parents reported more prosocial behavior toward family members, which may be a function of higher relationship quality between daughters and parents who co-play. These findings certainly confirm parents’ own views of co-playing, who believe that co-playing would result in positive social and emotional outcomes. Furthermore, they allay fears that co-playing video games results in negative outcomes, at least for girls.

So why the positive impact? According to the article published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the researchers surmise:

[I]When parents play video games with their daughters, they may be sending a myriad of messages. First, parents may show that they are willing to engage in an activity that is important to daughters. Second, playing video games can represent quality time between a daughter and a parent, especially when such play involves conversation between parent–child.[/I]

As a gamer and parent myself, this all simply makes good sense to me. After all, parents and their children have been playing games together since the dawn of time. Just because a game now appears on a TV, via a sophisticated machine, doesn’t mean it has to be any less of a healthy, positive experience for a family.

But there are a couple of interesting twists in the study’s findings.

The researchers found that playing games with a parent did not have an impact on the behavior or family connection for boys. Compare that to girls, for whom playing with a parent accounted for as much as 20 percent of the variation on the measured outcomes.

The researchers said it’s possible that the time boys play with parents doesn’t stand out as much because they spend much more time playing with friends. The researchers said they plan to explore the reasons behind the gender differences as they continue working on the project.

Something else worth noting: The BYU researchers found that 31 percent of the children reported playing age-inappropriate games with their parents (42 percent of boys, 15 percent of girls) and they report that “heightened parent–child connection was not found for girls who played these age-inappropriate games with their parents.”
“It is possible that exposure to such inappropriate content may influence both parent and daughter mood and ability to respond to each other,” the researchers write. “Additionally, such games are often very intense and may interfere with conversation or interaction that may lead to heightened levels of connection.”[/I]

And finally, the researchers point out that few of the mothers surveyed played games. So it was really the father/daughter time that was having an impact on the girls.

To that I say: Kudos to dads who play games with their daughters. And to the moms who don’t: Give it a try. It’s a lot of fun and your daughters and sons will love you for caring enough to give gaming a go.

In case you’re wondering, “Mario Kart,” “Super Mario Brothers,” “Wii Sports,” “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero” were the games played most often by the girls in the study. Meanwhile, boys reported “Call of Duty,” “Wii Sports” and “Halo” as their most-played games.

All of which makes me wonder … parents, which games do you like to play with your sons and daughters? And which games do you think do the best job helping you connect with your kids?

Being a gamer myself I may be sligthly biased but I do think playing with your kids is awesome, for me and mind it’s co op games on the xbox like castlecrashers or being each other’s henchmen in Fable or cardgames like Munchkin or boardgames.

My parents played with us when I was growing up from the atari system to boggle, scrabble, card games endless games of ludo and chess. Some of my best memories are of time spent sitting about playing games and I try to make that happen for my two.

MineCraft and my brats.

This has been a huge hit in our house and with a lot of my gamer friends.

Both kids have their own accounts and work together and with others to build, mine and explore. It’s been my daughters first foray into online servers for a pc game and it’s going well. Yes she has discovered asshats but is learning that as with real life if you don’t like how people are playing there comes a point where you walk away.

She has been playing that more then online games for the xbox as chat is the norm on xbox live and she no longer wants to be in a situation where she gets hassle for being a girl and young and playing on xbox live.

This doesn’t happen with Minecraft, both my brats know well how to stay safe online and not to give out info and how to quit any conversation they are not happy with and how to block people who are annoying asshats and to be careful they aren’t the annoying asshat.

Notch/Markus Alexej Persson (the creator of minecraft) currently is the desktop picture on my son’s pc. It seems that he may have replaced Peter Molyneux as the person he wants to be when he grows up. Yes Santa is bringing Fable 3 but the indie start up of Minecraft has certainly captured his imagination and at almost 13 he has already decided that he wants to do Computer Applications in TCD and then the MA in game development in DIT.

Minecraft is giving them both a chance to have control and crate the virtual environments they play in. They have both toyed around with level editors for games, usually race track games but the scope of minecraft is something they keep coming back to.

And they are not alone, they are reading the wikis and sharing knowledge on how to make and create things with others who log on to the sever to share the experience. I guess I have to face up to the fact my kids are pretty much immersed in gaming culture esp when I dragged from the kitchen to
watch this.

Minecraft and country music, my daughter is thrilled and is doing her best to learn all the words, I guess that will join Jonathan Coulton‘s song ‘Still Alive‘ from portals as a sing along in the car song.

I guess I don’t write that much about the types and amount of gaming we do esp as a family, I guess I should. So be warned there will be more posts.


Every now and then my kids come out with things utterly unexpected which make me very proud. The latest is, re the new Harry Potter movie, “It’s just not a good as the book” Says the first, “Yes the books are much better” Says the second, “Mam can I borrow the first book of Lord of the Rings to read?” asks the first, “Mam could I get a copy for christmas so we can be reading it at the same time?” Asks the second. Sometimes it’s hard not to punch the air with jubilation and to calmly reply that they can borrow it and to explain what the term abridged means, when your kids are made of so much WIN!

bibles, mass and school continued…

I had two scheduled meeting in the school today, one was with my child’s tutor and SNA
the other was with the head mistress re the bible and a few other things which have cropped up re having a non christian child in thier school.

The first one went well and as I was walking away told my son that I would see him at lunch time as the school has a half day on Wednesdays and and his tutor said ‘Well after mass, as the school as a mass on.” “Excuse me” was my reaction “Oh yes, did he not tell you the whole school is going to Mass at 12:40 for the remember in November the parish priest was in to talk about it yesterday and the kids gave up names for the list of those gone.”

I looked at her and looked at my son and asked him if he wanted to go and that he didn’t have to if he didn’t want to but if he did as his classmates were going I was ok with it. He said he didn’t want to and I then asked the Teacher did he need a note and she said no as it’s out side of school hours…..WTF.

Out side of school hours but the students are being told to go, expected to go told the mass is for them and that they are going directly when school ends.

I told her that my son is not part of the parish, is not christian and that he doesn’t have to attend any masses what so ever. I am raging.

As for the other meeting it was cancelled, grrrr they tried to fob me off with the home school illsason teacher who barely had 5 mins, didn’t know what the meeting was about and when I asked for a copy of the schools policy about non christian children wasn’t sure if they had done and then couldn’t think of were to look for it.

I have a new appointment again on friday morning.

You know your child is a geeky gamer child when…

Their complaining about the size and weight for their school bag runs along these lines:

“Stupid bag why can’t it be like a T.A.R.D.I.S. and be bigger on the inside then on the outside. Why can’t I have grav gun to carry it to school? Or better yet have a school bag made of sapient pear wood, but it might eat the teachers. Or why can’t
school bags be bags of holding or why can’t I cast a Mobiliarbus spell on it but I would still have to walk with it. Why can’t there be portals from home to school,
that way I wouldn’t have to walk with it and I would never be late or get rained on. Life’s not fair!”

This was the rant at lunch time when he came home and was switching his books for this afternoon classes, I had to try not to roar laughing.

“For the honor of Grayskull!” She-Ra is 25 year old.


Female superhero ‘She-Ra’ marks 25th anniversary
By Katie McLaughlin, CNN
October 6, 2010 9:19 a.m. EDT
She-Ra was the alter ego of Princess Adora in an animated series that began airing in 1985.
(CNN) — For the honor of Grayskull!

2010 marks the 25th anniversary of “She-Ra: Princess of Power,” otherwise known as “Princess Adora,” aka “The Most Powerful Woman in the Universe.”

Last week, “She-Ra” was released on DVD, iTunes and Hulu.com. And throughout the year, toy manufacturer Mattel has been releasing collectible action figures based on characters from “She-Ra” and the character’s twin brother He-Man, also known as Prince Adam.

“She-Ra: Princess of Power” began airing in 1985. Ninety-three episodes were produced, along with a Christmas special, books, a magazine, comics and of course, the toys.

At one point in every episode, Princess Adora would transform into her alter ego, She-Ra, whenever justice on Etheria was threatened.

She would reach for her sword and utter her famous phrase, “For the honor of Grayskull! I am She-Ra!” Then in a tornado-like swirl of colorful glitter (and a theme song), she would morph into her alter ego.

Lisa Baron, who runs a She-Ra fan site, told CNN, “She-Ra holds a special place in my heart because every afternoon for 30 minutes, I could escape into a fantasy world of the magic that was She-Ra. Her voice was captivating, she had great messages for children and kids looked up to her as a great female role model.”

CNN spoke to the voice behind She-Ra, actress and voiceover artist Melendy Britt, about the anniversary, her experiences on the series and the character’s lasting relevance as one of the first female superheroes.

CNN: How did you approach the character of She-Ra?

Melendy Britt: She-Ra was very different from any other character I did. She had more of an impact on my psyche and I had a strange instinct about the character when I auditioned for it and I knew she was a spiritual character who had a basic concern for everyone. I wanted to make sure my voice showed the change from Adora’s youth and innocence to She-Ra’s wisdom and self-assured power.

CNN: Did you know the actor who did the voices for He-Man and the other characters?

Britt: Absolutely! It was an incredible cast with a group of very, very talented people. John Erwin was the voice of He-Man. He has since moved away from California. He also did the voice of Morris the Cat. George DiCenzo, who was Hordak; he was another very talented man. Alan Oppenheimer, who played Skeletor in the series, gave us great laughs. He’s still in L.A., and we talk to one another every now and then.

CNN: Did you have any of the toys? What’s it like to have your own action figure?

Britt: I do have the She-Ra action figure. You see, my kids were in junior high when the series premiered, so they weren’t interested. But I got She-Ra, Swift Wind and Catra. Over the years, I’ve let kids who’ve been visiting me play with them, so they’re not in pristine condition.

As far as having my own action figure, I think if I’d received a lot of money from it, it would be like winning the lottery, but since I don’t get any payment from that, it just feels kind of interesting. I do remember that when I first saw the action figure, I thought, “Gee, I think she kind of looks like me.”

CNN: Did you ever meet kids who grew up with She-Ra? Did they make you say the lines?

Britt: When I was doing the series, I met lots of kids who watched the show, and they’d ask me to do the lines, particularly “For the honor of Grayskull!” And then many times parents would ask me to call their kids on their birthdays and talk to them.

CNN: If they made a live action movie version today, who do you think should play She-Ra?

Britt: That is such a hard one. I’d have to have a big list and kind of narrow it down to one person, if it could even be one person. Right now, my brain goes to Angelina Jolie, Beyonce and even Lady Gaga with a little Meryl Streep thrown in.

CNN: What other characters have you voiced in your career?

Britt: Well, on “She-Ra,” I did Catra, Castaspella, Hunga the Harpy and some others I can’t recall. Before “She-Ra,” I was Batgirl and Catwoman in “The New Adventures of Batman,” and Aura from “Flash Gordon.” I did various characters in “Transformers,” “The Wild Thornberrys” and I was the Wicked Queen in “A Snow White Christmas,” among many others.

CNN: Do you have a favorite episode?

Britt: I have a few, but for different reasons. Some because of the emotional content of She-Ra’s voice, and then some were my favorites because of the impact of the show.

CNN: What was really going on between She-Ra and Sea Hawk?

Britt: Not a lot. I think honestly that She-Ra had a calling, maybe as Adora. If she was only Adora, maybe there could have been a relationship with Sea Hawk, but she had a much higher calling that really didn’t include him.

CNN: If the show had continued, how do you think it would have wrapped up?

Britt: Maybe they’d have continued with She-Ra and her challenges with people trying to bring evil into Eternia, but if she exhausted all the challenges, I don’t know if there’d be any drama.

CNN: How does She-Ra compare to the current crop of cartoons? Could She-Ra even be made today? Or would there be too many parental concerns about violence?

Britt: The only one [current cartoon] that I have watched that I think is funny is “Spongebob Squarepants,” and it seems there’s a lot of white-collar violence going on there.

CNN: Why do you think She-Ra’s 25th anniversary is so special?

Britt: For me, it’s a chance to, again, have these memories of a series character which made me realize that I had a real part in people’s lives and that they love and remember her. For others, it’s a chance to relive and share the days of their childhood. I think each person has their own memories.

CNN: Why do you think She-Ra still holds a special place in the hearts of women who grew up watching She-Ra as little girls?

Britt: She was one of the first role models who combined femininity with feminism making her truly, really the most powerful woman in the world. I’ve been told by some of the female fans — particularly this one woman who set up a fan site for She-Ra, and for me — that they were really able to identify with her. That they felt great that not only boys had someone to look up to and meant something special to girls who were able to watch it.

Personally I identified more with Madam Razz then I did the long legged blonde, funny that.

Who was your cartoon role model growing up?