Tough Love

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

Issue No. 100 – 15th February 2011

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers, including those whom I met at the recent ASME Summer School in Perth.  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.

New Classes

The Kidz-Fiz-Biz classes start again for children aged 2-4 at Ocean Reef in Perth’s northern suburbs. Please pass this on to anyone you know who might be interested. Thank you. They can enrol online or contact me directly for more information on 0410 642 781 or at

Competition – Win a Copy of KFB Multicultural valued at A$95.00!!

At the recent ASME Summer School I ran a competition to gauge interest in various media. Readers of this newsletter should be given the same opportunity but be quick. The other entries have been sitting around since 21st January so I’m anxious to find a winner. Please completed this questionnaire and send it to by the end of February.

Mary Mountstephen PD

Mary is looking for a school to host her visit to Perth and Sydney. This in one PD you will not want to miss. Mary is a well-published author and teacher and is a specialist in motor development in children. I still don’t have dates as yet but it will be around Easter, which is not far away actually. Please get in touch with me if you can help at

Employment Opportunity

Looking for a part-time teaching opportunity? Love working with children? Love teaching music and movement? I am looking for people to train to run Kidz-Fiz-Biz classes. I have had 25 years in this industry (23 specifically with children) and want to start up more classes again due to ongoing demand. Good income and lots of fun. If this is something of interest to you now or in the future, please contact me at or phone 0410 642 781.

Tough Love

I read with great interest the article, with the above title, by Susan Maushart in a recent The Weekend Australian Magazine. It was of great interest to me because in it she refers to a new book by a Chinese mother and Yale law professor, Amy Chua, called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. The book, and Maushart’s opinion, clearly points out the vast difference in parenting styles between east and west, specifically China and the USA, and the results of those differences. As someone who has had some experience teaching Chinese children, I have found many of them to be extraordinarily talented. It is very obvious to me that if we in the west want our children to grow up to be not only well-balanced individuals but also to have the best opportunities scholastically and professionally, then we had better start investing serious time, money and energy into our young children, not only as individuals but as a society. Perhaps the picture painted by Chua is a little extreme and surely does not represent every Chinese parent, but we should be taking a leaf out of her book (if you’ll pardon the pun) and paying attention. Somewhere in the middle ground is where we should be; not the opposite extreme which is about where we seem to be in the west. Although Chua (and Maushart) refers to parenting, the same notion can be seen to be reflected, to some extent at least, in our education system. In case you missed Maushart’s hilarious column, I reprint it in part here –

‘…The takeaway? That traditional Asian child-rearing practices … create elite Mathletes and HSC virtuosi, while laidback Western parenting styles produce the human equivalent of steamed dumplings: bland, soft and prone to collapse under pressure.

Ever since Spock, choice has lain at the very heart of Western parenting … But Chua tears strips off the notion that life is some sort of yum cha trolley – and points as proof to her two teenage daughters, who have never had a sleepover, played a computer game, or “been allowed” to get less than straight As. They are also musical prodigies. At an age where my own kids’ preferred form of self-expression was finger-painting with chocolate pudding, Chua’s were practising violin and piano for several hours a day. (“For a Chinese mother, the first hour is the easy part. It’s hours two and three that get tough.”)

Chua cites one study that showed 70% of Western parents believed “parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun.” Among Chinese immigrant parents, 0% did. An unrepentant overachiever herself, Chua admits that enjoying life is “not one of my strengths.” She is candid, too, about the quality of her relationship with her girls…But parenting’s not supposed to be fun either, you see – and that part even I can get.

Chua observes that parents who fetishise freedom of choice are simply following the crowd, just as mindlessly as their teenagers do. “They just keep repeating things like, ‘You have to give your children the freedom to pursue their passion’ when it’s obvious their ‘passion’ is just going to turn out to be Facebook for 10 hours.”

Status update? Busted, bigtime.’

Susan Maushart – The Weekend Australian Magazine 29 January 2011 (page 7)

Want some more statistics? According to Professor Susan Greenfield, world renowned neuroscientist from the University of Oxford, speaking to a Perth audience last year, in one year a 10 year-old child will spend an average of 900 hours at school, 1200 hours with family and friends and 1900 hours in front of a screen. Think about this next time a parent complains that you are giving the children too much homework, or that they shouldn’t have to listen to their child practise their reading every night. Now you have some ammunition.

Quotes of the Week

“Fix your eyes forward on what you can do, not back on what you cannot change.” ~ Tom Clancy

“Watch, listen and learn. You can’t know it all yourself … anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.” ~ Donald Trump



“A great refresher course for me and [I also learnt] not to push children who are not ready yet. Come along – you must do it! Thank you!” ~ Lucia Di Vincenzo, Springfield Primary School, attended ASME Summer School

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.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E:

Enjoying Kidz Newz?

Perhaps a friend or colleague would enjoy it too!  Add their contact address and click “Forward”. (Be sure to include this entire message, including the subscription details) By doing this you will help us grow.

Looking for lots of ideas? Visit the Kidz Newz archive where you will find back issues of Kidz Newz.

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our blog for more interesting information, articles and discussions or connect with Marlene on Linked In.


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

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

{tag_subscribe} if you would like to stop receiving these advices.

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00