Family history and parenting

‘You sound just like your mother!’ is an observation we often find cuts too close to the bone. If the truth be known, many of us have made the connection ourselves, but have been too embarrassed to admit it.

So why is it that we find ourselves instilling the same values into our children that we had instilled in us, to the point of repeating the very same phrases when disciplining our children? For most of us, it’s the convenience of drawing upon our own childhood experiences. We have a set paradigm from which we automatically draw and find it difficult to see beyond that range.

More importantly, then, how do we overcome our reliance on the automatic responses we have developed? These tips are designed to help you implement a more contemporary, considered approach to parenting.

  • Give your role as a parent some thought. Sit down when you aren’t actually parenting and review what it is you want to achieve. Write down a list of basic goals/ outcomes and values that you want to develop with your child. You can draw upon your family’s history, culture and experiences.
  • Acknowledge that you can incorporate new goals and values that were not part of your childhood and family experience. For example, some of the attitudes to relationships and work that were important to your parents will no longer be relevant in today’s society.
  • Don’t be afraid to review your values and beliefs. Once you establish a core set of values, don’t feel that they cannot or should not change with society.

Of course, as a parent, your decisions will at various times be challenged and critiqued quite ruthlessly. When a situation out of the ordinary does arise that requires you to respond, try to step back and assess yourself as you work through a resolution. This will allow you to refer back to the goals/values that you established at the outset and direct your energies to maintaining those.



Can you identify the different strategies employed by the writer in this article? What is the intention of each technique?

Remember: Consult your study guide, ‘Reach for the Sky’, for a full list of techniques to look out for.

People-power victory on live exports

Michelle Grattan

June 8, 2011

THE government’s suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia is, in substantial part, a rare victory for people power. While not the only factor driving the decision, there’s no doubt that the huge public reaction had a large influence.

It is also a win for the animal welfare movement that obtained the devastating footage aired by the ABC, and for the GetUp! push that maximised the pressure, including with an online petition of more than 230,000 signatures.

The outrage expressed in caucus last week pushed the government into action on the run. Julia Gillard was surprised at the strength of Labor MPs’ feeling – caucus is usually a docile audience for her. Amid the outpouring by Labor MPs, Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig announced a partial suspension.

It was soon clear this would be inadequate. Dozens more slaughterhouses were as bad as the dozen that were banned, and it would be impossible to track where cattle went from the feedlots.

If nothing more was to be done, Australia’s reputation abroad would be affected, as would that of the meat industry at home, a point sections of the industry seem to have appreciated. And the PM would have faced another bruising caucus meeting next week, discussing a motion from two backbenchers for a total suspension until Australian standards were met. Cabinet on Monday accepted that it had to act comprehensively.

Neither government nor industry comes out of this affair well. Never mind the government having to revisit its decision in a week; its officials should have been alert to what was going on much earlier. It’s appalling it had to fall to the animal welfare lobby. Certainly the industry did know and its subsequent feigned surprise was not convincing.

Last night Gillard said the suspension would remain ”until we can make sure cattle from Australia are treated properly at every step of the supply chain”. When that point comes, let’s hope there is the closest monitoring. A permanent ban would be preferable.


Butter Chicken by Will Duke









  1. 80 grams of butter
  2. one brown onion, finely chopped
  3. three cloves of crushed garlic
  4. three teaspoons of sweet paprika
  5. garam masala
  6. ground coriander
  7. one half teaspoon of chilli powder
  8. one cinnamon stick
  9. two tablespoons of white vinegar
  10. 10. one can of tomato puree
  11. 11. ¾ cup of chicken stock
  12. 12. one tablespoon of tomato paste
  13. 13. 750 grams of chicken thigh fillets
  14. 14. one cup of cream
  15. 15. ½ cup of yoghurt


  1. Melt the butter in the pot on a low heat.
  2. Place the paprika, garam masala, coriander, chilli, onion and cinnamon stick.
  3. Stir slowly and cook till you can see through the onion.
  4. Add the vinegar, puree, stock and yoghurt.
  5. Now place the chicken in the pan along with the cream and yoghurt.
  6. Bring the chicken and stock to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer.
  7. Leave for 10 minutes without the lid.
  8. Check that the chicken is tender.

Serve the BUTTER CHICKEN with steamed rice and mango chutney. It’s DUKELICIOUS!


Welcome to the Student Story Wall!

Edworks is delighted to be able to help students share their stories with their family and friends!

Kids can even invite their grandparents, cousins and friends from  all over the world to see what fantastic stories they have created. It is as simple as sending the link We would be happy to receive your stories for publication on our blog.

You can send it to Greg via or give it to your tutor at Edworks. The holidays is a great time to get going on your next masterpiece! Of course, just like you enjoy reading the stories on our Story Wall at Edworks, you can browse this Story Wall for fun!



Choosing the right school for your child

With the second term fast drawing to a close, many parents will have started giving serious thought to where their child will be attending school next year. Whether your son/daughter is starting prep, making the transition from primary to secondary school or simply switching institutions, there’s a host of factors likely to influence your decision. We’ve provided a shortlist of questions you will need to consider.

  • Is the school close enough to your home and/or work?
  • Does the school have programs in place to cater for your child’s needs and interests?
  • What facilities does the school have?
  • Are you comfortable with the feel of the school?
  • Is the staff supportive and welcoming?
  • What is the school’s stance on homework and discipline?
  • What other services (e.g. after-school care) does the school offer?
  • If your child has any special needs, can the school cater for them?
  • What are the annual fees? Are there any other costs to be paid over the course of the year?

Remember: It’s important you choose a school that complements your son/daughter. You don’t want your child feeling as though he/she is required to change considerably in order to ‘fit in’.

For a more comprehensive list of tips on choosing schools, see the Australian Scholarships Group’s article: Tip Sheet – How To Choose A School With Confidence.

Note: Keep a look out for Edworks’ new book, ‘The ICing on the Cake’. Written by Psychologist and Edworks Founder, Greg Nicholson, this must-read publication offers vital tips on preparing your child for school.  Available at soon!