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Thursday Thoughts

PARENTING
Thursday Thoughts: Do You Make Your Kids Stay at the Table at Mealtimes?
 My husband and I have had a bit of a predicament lately which has left us with this question I'd love to ask you: When your kids are finished eating, do you make them stay at the table until everyone is finished or do you excuse them? We’ve always let our girls get down when ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
Would you let your children get lost at night and let them find their own way back home?
Recently, an interesting article appeared in the New York Times, and so many of my friends and followers reached out to me about it. Is it true? Do you really do it? The topic of the article is about a particular 'game' we play in the Netherlands which is called 'dropping'. In a nutshell, children ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
Let experiences be! How playing back memories on a mobile phone can re-shape our memories.
A couple of weeks ago Lara sent me an interesting NY Times article: Is the immediate playback of events changing children's memories? It has definitely made me re-think the way I share photos and videos to my children. Don't get me wrong -- I don't think it's bad to let them watch videos of past events, ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
Are you competitive when you play games with your children?
Let me start by saying that I have huge respect for parents with an endless (endless!!) patience; parents who can play silly games with their children and let them win over and over again. I am not one of those parents. Of course I do sometimes play those silly games, and I do let my children ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
Have you taken your kids to Disney?
My sister-in-law just surprised her two young girls with a trip to Disney World for spring break. Intrigued, I asked my mother-in-law a few questions who has been several times. Her ears immediately perked up at my interest. She apparently never thought I’d ask and is pretty eager to take my kids one day! I’m ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
Do you carve out one-on-one time for each of your kids?
One of the things I get asked the most in relation to having a big family is whether I'm able to spend enough quality time with each of my kids.  And my response to this question usually surprises people... The thing is that no, I don't really spend quality one-on-one time with each of my ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
Ear piercings for children -- yay, or nay?
Yesterday, Sara and I headed over to a tiny jeweller here in the centre of Amsterdam to get another ear piercing. She already had three -- when she was 12, she had one hole in one ear and two holes in the other one pierced. In the meantime, the single hole closed up after she ...
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TEENAGERS
At what age do you give your children a mobile phone?
We live in an interesting age. Technology is developing with the speed of light and a life without mobile devices has simply become unthinkable. I find this such a strange phenomenon, especially given the fact that it's not even that long ago since we didn't even have wireless communication! (I think my dad, because his ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
Talking about death with your children. Some thoughts.
Yesterday I took Pim to the funeral of the mother of a dear friend. She has two sons Pim's age (11 and 13) and I decided to bring him along so that he could offer support to his friends. Even though he had once been to a funeral before, I don't think he quite knew what ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
How waste-free are you? Tips and thoughts about food waste.
I attended a dinner on Monday to launch the 'waste free' campaign here in The Netherlands. It was really lovely as it was prepared by a Dutch cook who is known for cooking completely waste-free with only local ingredients. For example, the peels of vegetables were used to make a tasty vegetable stock, leftover cake ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
The power of women — an interesting article about female endurance
A few weeks ago, Tamar was telling me about an article he was reading in the newspaper. About a certain kind of super-marathons, where athletes run for days and days with hardly any sleep or rest. I had never heard of these kind of races, but when he mentioned that the article discussed the fact ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
At what age do you leave your kids home alone at night?
I had a revelation the other day when my youngest daughter told me that she had spent the evening entertaining the guest. The guest in this case was the 19-year-old babysitter whom I was paying good money to! This is when I realized that my kids were probably fine at staying home alone and very ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
Thursday Thoughts: The benefits of boredom
I know we've touched on the topic of boredom in the past (in this post about after-school activities), but this new opinion piece on boredom in the New York Times really resonated with me and I thought it makes for an interesting discussion. The article touches on the fact that boredom spawns creativity and self-sufficiency, and ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
How many Christmas gifts do you give your kids?
Having recently moved house and packed all our belongings up into boxes, I have come to the realisation (once again!) that our kids really don't need anything for Christmas. As I packed up the children's bedrooms a few months ago, I found lots of broken knick-knacks and toys that I had stuck in their Christmas ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
Rest — is it a focus in your family?
I’ve grappled with slowing down and resting my whole life. Growing up, our family values were unwritten and just understood, but if you had to sum them up it would be ‘work hard, play hard.’ It laid the foundation for strong work ethics as a family, we all take on a bit more than we should, ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
How do you manage it all? Trying to stay on top of things.
Running a business as well as a household of seven is not a simple task. I'm constantly trying to stay on top of things and at the same time failing miserably. I'm behind on my email, my house is a mess, my baby needs a bath (and so do I), I have to write a ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
Making your marriage a priority
I was asked to sit on a panel at the recent Business Chicks event in Brisbane last weekend along with four other inspiring business women and mothers. We chatted and shared tips about the juggle -- juggling motherhood and careers, taking time for yourself, carving out time for your husband, learning to say 'no', learning ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
Do you argue in front of your children?
Yesterday afternoon Michael and I got in a heated argument whilst the kids were nearby in the adjacent room. As much as I tried to control my temper and stay calm, I ended up shouting and storming out of the room. Within minutes, Quin was in tears, followed by Ivy, and they both walked into ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
Interesting Article: The Confidence Gap for Girls
Today is the International Day of Girls, a perfect opportunity to share this article Courtney recently sent to me from the New York Times. The article, which addresses a confidence gap for young girls, has made me think about how one of the bigger shocks of my girls getting older is witnessing the self consciousness creeping in. I'm ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
Getting to know your baby. Did you know your newborn immediately?
I was recently browsing my Instagram and something interesting struck me. On social media I have seen several mothers say (write), that after the birth of their babies they feel 'they have known their newborns forever'. I personally have never felt that way. I have given birth to five babies over the past thirteen years, and ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
Teens - Navigating the rocky waters of social media
Teens and social media is a 'hot potato' topic (as we say in French). The fact is: as much as I love the idea of a totally unplugged childhood, we will not be able to avoid social media forever.  We ourselves use social media, and for good reason -- it is a simple way to ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
The birthday hangover -- is it a thing?
'Birthday season' has just ended in our family with six of the seven of us celebrating a birthday in the last few months -- the most recent being our eldest, now an official teenager!! So wild! With all the birthdays taking place recently, I've noticed something interesting, and I'm curious whether you've ever noticed it ...
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THURSDAY THOUGHTS
What time do your children go to bed? And you??
Bedtime! It's a bit of a challenge for us, with 5 children in our house (aged between 0 to 13). We're not overly strict, but in an IDEAL WORLD, this is our weekday schedule: Casper (5) 7:30PM Ava (8) 8:00PM Pim (11) 8:30PM Sara (13) 9:00PM Which means that we go upstairs around 7:15 to wash, brush ...
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