Acknowledging the Inner Child

The way you can measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 35 – 22nd March 2007

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.  Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children.  You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list.  Thank you.  Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to.

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My PD/Conference Updates

ECCPA (Early Childhood Conference of Performing Arts) Genazzano FCJ College, Cotham Road, Kew, Melbourne 16th and 17th June 2007.  My presentation will be on multicultural music and movement.

ASME (Australian Society for Music Education) 40th Anniversary Conference. Perth (Western Australia) Convention Centre 6-10 July 2007.  I will be presenting two workshop sessions –
Movement and Dance in the Early Childhood Classroom
Multicultural Music and Movement.

CAYPAKS (Children And Young People Are Key Stakeholders) Conference Perth Western Australia 23-25 July 2007.  I will be conducting a Skills and Activity Based Workshop titled “Using Music and Movement to Empower Children at Risk”.

Acknowledging the Inner Child

If you work with young children or are the parent of young children you are incredibly blessed because there before you stand tomorrow’s world leaders, complete and perfect in every detail.  Somehow along the way though, some of these perfect souls lose direction and end up far off the beaten track. Some don’t make it at all. So what happens?

All sorts of things happen. All boiled down, their self-esteem gets eroded and they give up.  All it takes is for someone to believe in them and to encourage them to continue being exactly as they are.  

I look back to when I was four years old. I loved climbing trees and playing ‘men’ with the toy soldiers and other toy people and would place them in the little village I would create in the garden beds.  I was always happiest when totally absorbed in my imagination, and dressing up was an almost daily occurrence. My grandmother taught me to dance, my mother read stories to me, and the almond tree in the backyard offered plenty of opportunity to be by myself to explore my imaginary world.  When allowed, I loved to draw. I wanted to be clever at the piano like all the adults in the family so I would sneak into the lounge room every now and then and try to play tunes on the piano. In time I would invent tunes. It never occurred to me that the noise actually carried right through the house and into the back garden.

As an adult I worked in all sorts of jobs before I realized I needed to just look inside myself to find what gave me joy. When I stopped and did this, I found my inner four year old, still there playing happily in her world of make-believe. Today I enjoy working with children and empowering those who work with children because I have such a highly developed sense of my inner child.  I believe this is because I was nurtured as a young child.  My school experience reinforced it.

When you observe the children in your class, stop to ponder their individual futures. You will have every personality type and permutation of that under the sun, but however they behave and whatever their interests, recognize they are totally perfect just the way they are. Validating their existence along with their choices, goes a long way towards ensuring they end up following their hearts.  Not every child is blessed with a happy home life, so the education system is doubly important in supporting them. Choose to make the difference in every child’s life.

Quotes of the Week

Pablo Picasso said … 

“My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier,
you will become a general.
If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’

Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.’

We do not stop playing because we grow old.  We grow old because we stop playing.           
George Bernard Shaw


Why We Love Children


I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, “Mom!  That lady isn’t wearing a seat belt!”


While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, “Are you a cop?” “Yes,” I answered and continued writing the report. “My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?” “Yes, that’s right,” I told her. “Well, then,” she said as she extended her foot toward me, “would you please tie my shoe?”


I loved the integration of Phys. Ed type activities to music.

Brooke Bevan, Frankland Primary School, Western Australia

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

57 Henry Lawson Walk, East Perth WA 6004
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: 0410 64 2781 E:

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Until next time – continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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