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

Issue No. 27- 26th October 2006

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.

Feedback is welcome.

My PD 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.

Book Stocks Low

Kidz-Fiz-Biz has gone international with the release of the new UK version (revised 2nd edition) of the original 2 book pack.  This has been released simultaneously throughout the UK, USA and Canada.  When stocks of the original are all sold in Australia, the UK version will replace the original.  What that means is that the original will become a valuable collector’s item.  It will not be reproduced so if you own a copy, celebrate!  As there is limited stock still available, if you would like to purchase a pack or know someone who would, please get them to get in touch with me asap before they all go.


Each morning I try to start the day reading Sarah Ban Breathnach’s ‘Simple Abundance ‘ A Daybook of Comfort and Joy’. The passage for 19th October was about the importance of compliments.  What a gem. The giving of compliments seems to be an outmoded convention these days.  Everyone is so caught up in the hurly-burly of life or, more destructively, in the competitiveness of life, that even if the thought of a compliment enters our minds, we often fail to utter the words.

Positive thoughts which create positive words and deeds, like the giving of a compliment, are creative and empowering. I remember going through a particularly low patch a few years back, while putting on a brave face. I was working too hard and not looking after myself. I thought I looked old, ugly, fat and frumpy.  A male friend called in unexpectedly and paid me the most wonderful compliment about how young, lively and beautiful I looked. Talk about the Universe calling in to change my beliefs. I can’t begin to tell you how it completely changed my day and changed my outlook from then on. As he was a friend, and not someone trying to chat me up, I could take the comment at face value. I was reminded of this incident when I read Sarah Ban Breathnach’s words, ‘We’re all so fragile, especially when we put on a brave face. A sincere compliment can penetrate beneath even the most sophisticated masks to soothe troubled souls.’ 

And yet we often tend to reject compliments.  Have you noticed that? I believe it is the way we are socialized. This relates to the Victorian notion that anything that draws attention to ourselves somehow smacks of vanity and is to be eschewed. And so, when someone says, for example, our hair looks lovely today we respond by saying, ‘It needs a wash’. When someone says our outfit looks lovely we say, ‘What, this old thing? I’ve had it for years’. Or someone says we are looking slim and trim we say, ‘I’ve got heaps more weight to lose’ or ‘I’ve just put on 2 kilos’. In other words, we are rejecting the compliment. What that does is tell the giver of the compliment that we don’t feel worthy, that our self-esteem is too low to accept it. Worse still, it insults the giver by not validating their viewpoint.  It’s just as easy to be grateful.  Simply smile and say, ‘Thank you’.

Sarah Ban Breathnach says, ‘Remember, if we send good things away or aren’t open to receiving them, at some point the Universe may no longer bother with us’. No-one enjoys hanging around an ingrate, and that’s exactly what we are when we discount the marvellous about ourselves.’

She ends with ‘Cultivate the habit of giving at least one compliment a day to another human being, as well as to yourself. You’ll feel good when you do, and soon it will become one of your habits of being. Just as words can hurt, words can heal.’

These ideas are so important when dealing with children. Encourage them to develop such positive habits. Parents too. When a parent receives a compliment about their child they often reject it because they are unable to enjoy the reflected glory. Try to teach them that it’s OK to be proud of their child and of their child’s achievements. Pride is not a sin in this case.

Quote of the Week

Nowadays we are all of us so hard up that the only pleasant things to pay are compliments.    Oscar Wilde


Various gems from children.  With thanks to Julie Duckworth, Hereford, UK, for the letters.

Dear God, I think about you sometimes even when I’m not praying.  Elliott

Dear God, I bet it is very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only four people in our family and I can never do it.  Nan

Dear God, If you watch in church on Sunday I will show you my new shoes.  Mickey D

Dear God, Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms.  It works with my brother.  Larry


I have used your ideas on daily basis since the CPD day and the children just love every aspect.  I particularly love the parachute activities and we all love the dinosaurs going for a walk!

Please keep in touch Marlene and good luck in promoting your business further, you truly are an inspiration.

Julie Duckworth, Hereford, UK

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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