That all important message

Parents/ guardians and other care givers, how do we tackle that all important message to our growing little ones that they should respect their own bodies and expect others to have that same respect.

Read what a poet once wrote and you may pick up some inspiration.

My Body’s Nobody’s but Mine 


My body’s nobody’s body but mine

You run your own body, let me run mine.


My body jumps and it can run all around.

It flies through the air, or crawls on the ground.


Your body loves to pedal a bike.

Our bodies do whatever they like.


Don’t hit me or kick me, don’t push or shove.

Don’t hug too hard when yopu show me your love.


Sometimes it’s hard to say “No!” and be strong.

When the “no” feelings come, then I know something’s wrong!


‘Cause my body’s mine from my head to my toe

Please leave it alone when you  hear me say “No!”


Secrets are fun when they’re filled with surprise

But not when they hurt us with tricks, threats and lies.


My body’s mine to be used as I choose,

Not to be threatened, forced or abused.


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Caring for a Child with Pain

What you should know about pain in children

Pain is an unpleasant sensation which the body experiences as a reaction to injury or damage to the body. A sudden onset of pain is one of the most common symptoms that children experience.

Common causes of pain in children include infections e.g. of the throat, mouth or middle ear, and injuries e.g. sprains, broken bones or burns.

How to recognise pain in a child

A young child cannot describe pain properly. The child expresses distress differently to adults.

>From the age of 4 years a child will be able to explain that he/ she is in pain. Listen to what the child says.

>Watch how the child behaves- look to see if he/she is moving his/her body normally.

> Note facial expressions.

> Crying is usually a sign that something is wrong.

> Watch to see how your child reacts to pain – some children experience sweating, vomiting or may become pale.

Take your child to the doctor 

> If the child persistently complains of pain that does not go away.

>If he/she avoids moving in certain ways.

> If the child is sweating, pale vomiting.

> If he/she is agitated or the opposite (withdrawn, not responding, lying quietly in bed, not talking or eating.)

> If the child has an obvious cause for pain such as a fall or burn.

You are the best judge of your child’s condition. If you remain concerned about your child take your child to the doctor as soon as possible!

What you can do

Give your child a pain-relieving medication while waiting to find out the cause of the pain & after operation (with the consent of your health professional). Oral medication is usually preferred by the child. The medication may work fast to control the pain as quickly as possible. Make sure that the pain medication has proven for safety in children. Read the instructions carefully and do not exceed the recommended dose.

Additional steps to comfort your child

Give reassurance and hold your child if they are in pain.

Distract the child from pain by playing music or reading a story.

Use a hot or cold pack and massage the area of the pain.



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Parenting a Teen

How did you feel in your adolescent years? For some this path is fairly smooth, but for others the road is bumpy and full of potholes.  This is a period of intense feelings, mood swings and unexpressed fears.  It is also a period of experimentation.  I remember coming home from school and crying for no reason at all.

How did it feel when your body started changing; hair growing in different places, voice breaking, menstruation, breast enlargement, hormones and pimples? It is at this time that parenting skills are tested to the limit!

Answer your teenager’s questions as honestly as you can. Teens do not believe in fairy tales.  Books are available and may be helpful but nothing can beat open communication.

Peer pressure and stress play very important roles in the lives of teens and should never be underestimated. Behind that outward bravado, knowledge and confidence, there is still an uncertain, scared and impressionable young person trying to establish an identity in this world of ours.

Give your teens space but set limits.  Young people need to know that freedom and trust comes with responsibility. This is a period of dreams, fantasy, adventure, enthusiasm and hopes. We all grow and learn in this period.  Those dreams of yesteryear, which we had in our teen years, are relived as we see our children reach the same age.  Don’t pressure your teen to achieve your dreams.  Rather allow him or her to establish their own and find their own motivation.

Enjoy your teenager. Give support, understanding, guidance, advice (if advice is requested) and give unconditional love. Treat your teen with respect and above all remember that you do not own your child.  He or she is a separate person, able to make decisions and choices.

Keep those communication lines open and your will receive the loyalty and the respect as you, as a parent, value so much.

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Strive for Health

Health is often defined as physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being and not merely the absence of disease.  If we accept this definition then there cannot be many people in the world who are actually healthy! The vast majority of us are stressed.  We put pressure on ourselves, our partners and even our children.

We blame the authorities; we blame the criminals; we blame the situation in which we find ourselves.  Some leave their city, country or just change their environment to find greener pastures in a ‘Utopia’.  Many of us invest in expensive cars, homes, security systems and financial deals, but what do we do for our bodies?

We eat too much or we eat irregularly.  We drink too much or we pop too many pills.  We constantly suffer from headaches, ingestion, depression and chronic tiredness.

STOP! Evaluate the situation!  Your body needs some replenishment.

Moms out there, let dad do some babysitting so that you can spend some time with your friends.  Better still, invite the in-laws to stay for a weekend with the children so that you and your partner can get away and get to know each other again.

Long term solutions lie in the hands of the politicians, but we only have one body in this lifetime and we need to look after it.  Allow your body the luxury of a rest so that your defenses can be strengthened to face the stress of our society as it strives for health.

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The Unwelcome Little Stranger

Please indulge me in my ranting.

We love our own little babies and we strive to be the best parents we can. Often we are so immersed in our own lives that we fail to see some drama playing off around us. In the past three days three incidents drew me back to tragedies that I have left behind in the past.

On a bidding website a young teenager posted an advertisement. She is 8 weeks pregnant, wants to continue her studies and her career and is badly in need of money. She stated that she was prepared to give up her unborn baby to the highest bidder.

Monday throughout the day the public phoned into the radio and angrily declared it an illegal deed for which she was profoundly condemned. Some even suggested that she should be taken into custody. Very few even considered that poor desperate girl. How she must have agonised over the posting before she actually did it? What dire financial considerations must have driven her to think of putting this unborn baby up for auction?     (the posting has since been removed )

Tuesday it was announced in a news bulletin that a desperate couple had posted on another website that they were looking for a baby to adopt. They had followed all the legal channels but the waiting lists were so long that they had given up hope. They are professional people and want a baby who will fit into their home and their lives. The legal red tape had brought them nothing but years of frustration, and no light at the end of the tunnel. Even the welfare worker had advised them to advertise their needs.

The last straw was later Tuesday night when a spokesman for a children’s charity called the radio station. In recent months their funding has diminished by 75%. Companies that had previously funded them had withdrawn funds because the government refused to grant the companies contracts because the charity did not serve the majority of black children. As the spokesman said, when a child in need knocks on the door for help, we can’t say,  “What is your skin colour?” If the child is not of the recommended colour, must the charity send him or her away?

It is so sad that the law makers often don’t actually consider the child’s needs when drafting the rules and regulations which govern children’s lives. Must political correctness decide whether a needy child gets help?

Sometimes we just need to be aware of the desperate situations of our fellow man and thank God that our lives are so much easier.

© Teresa Denton.

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The Perfect Mum


I expected a baby I loved so much,

I promised to be a perfect parent,

Read books, attended classes and such,

Information abound wherever I went.


When the baby came home at last

I was nervous but well informed,

Rearing my offspring would be a blast,

I would be judged by how I performed.


My mother and mother in law were kind,

But I felt their advice was outdated.

Any problem in my books I could find,

Unsolicited help I hated.


When baby and I were at last alone,

At first all happened as expected.

I did everything as I was shown.

I was prepared and nothing was neglected.


Then nights of broken sleep became real

And my powers of judgment diminished.

I never had an uninterrupted meal.

All accumulated knowledge just vanished.


Nothing was happening as I had planned,

I needed advice not found in books.

I returned to the help I had earlier banned.

I needed hugs, praise and encouraging looks.


The moral of story is very clear,

Individual babies do not conform.

Keep doors open for advice you may hear.

Loving support is invaluable once baby is born.


© Teresa Denton.

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Comfort Eating

Obesity is a huge problem throughout the civilized world.

Every day we, the parents of the future generation, are fuelling this world wide problem.

I know we all used ‘bribery and corruption’ when giving our children ‘rewards’ for good behaviour. It works, so we continue to use it.

How often we have not opened the cupboard and given a child a snack for good behaviour?

We also use treats as comfort food. When our child is hurt we reach for a sweet snack to comfort him/her.

Now look at your own behaviour. When you are hurt or upset you turn to a snack. When you have achieved success you are inclined to ‘treat’ yourself with something good to eat. This is a deep-seated habit was ingrained when we were young.

www.welcomelittlestranger.wordpress.comEating is associated with comfort or a treat.


When our children are young, we, the parents, are empowered to establish better habits.

A cuddle or hug does not contain any calories and it will give a lovely warm feeling of appreciation to your child when he/she has achieved success.

What about a treat like a story to take your child’s mind off a bump or bruise?

The occasional snack or treat is not a bad thing, but it should not be the everyday norm.

You can also become very creative. An outing or a toy can be used as a treat. Avoid associating eating with comfort or reward.

If you feel you want to give something to eat, why not give a healthy snack like a fruit or carrot? When this child is an adult they will thank you for the calorie-free or the healthy eating habits that you have established in their lives.

© Teresa Denton.

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