Our return to South Africa coincided with the global pandemic

Home schooling fun with our neighbours.

We arrived back in South Africa after 15 years of being in Europe in January 2020. A couple of months in and the COVID-19 pandemic hit. We are ever so grateful for those first three months before the lockdown. During that time we settled the boys into their new school, rented a home from friends, found a home of our own, bought a car and met some awesome people. We were super, super busy — all those things were done in warp-time speed as the talk of a lockdown turned into reality. …


Zach Bush helps to reframe the pandemic.

Thank you to Arsgera on Canva for the image.

I’m a huge fan of Zach Bush. He has a way of putting into words things I can’t quite articulate. When I heard his monologue now entitled “the best monologue EVER” on the Rich Roll podcast, my fan-status was solidified. I try to keep an eye out for anything he publishes and his website contains a wealth of information.

Recently he did an overview of 2020. It encapsulated so beautifully what was and why it was without pointing any fingers; simply recognising that people are doing the best they can with their current resources and paradigms.

Here are a couple…


Reminiscing about a school outing to a modern-day circus.

Thank you to Graemenicholson on Canva for the image.

When we lived in France, one of the most anticipated annual school outings was to the circus. Now this circus was not the circus of my youth — you know the one with the slightly dubious ring master, a frightening clown (they always seemed drunk to me) and animal acts that would be regarded as cruelty today.

No, this circus takes place annually in Auch, France which is famous for being the home town of D’Artagnan the Musketeer. Although you can visit D’Artagnan’s statue, Auch is increasingly celebrated as the centre for excellence in circus arts.

A Modern-day Circus: “In your Heart”

I joined our youngest…


A few words for new parents from a mum with high expectations.

Image Source: Canva

Practise presence

Is it just us, or do all first-time parents tend to rush things a little? With our first child, I remember a constant need to look ahead without taking the time to fully appreciate each tiny accomplishment and moment. I think it comes with the territory of being a first-time parent and not knowing what comes next.

When our second little one arrived, I had a much better understanding of what to expect and let him do everything in his own good time without any pressure. If you’re a first-time parent, slow down a little, breathe, appreciate each moment and…


Making awesome memories along the way

Image from Anthony Rosenberg on Canva.

I love a good road trip — it’s such a magical time to chat with your partner and catch up without any distractions of home and things to do. Travelling with children, however, can be a slightly different experience. It can cause tension in families, but if you manage to get it right, it becomes something you always remember and time you all treasure. A few years ago we travelled with our boys, then aged six and eight. It was awesome — even the long car journeys.

If you are planning a road trip with the whole family, here are…


It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about playing the game… or is it?

Determined youngster at the start of a running race.
Determined youngster at the start of a running race.
Photo by Imgorthand on Canva.

When our children were very little, we lived in London. When they were aged one and three, we moved to the French countryside where they enjoyed their early school years. Now, we find ourselves in South Africa and the boys are aged 10 and 12.

I’ve noticed that these three very different countries — UK, France and SA — each have a very different take on competition. I feel it reflects something about the people and the place and the culture that I can’t quite articulate.

Competition in the UK

In the UK, there was a focus on participation to the extent that it…


An easy and fun family activity…

Photo by BarbaraALane on Pixabay

During lockdown last year, we watched the 11th series of Masterchef as a family. It became a firm favourite with each of us championing our preferred contestant. Our youngest son called the winner pretty early on. He absolutely loves Larissa, her creativity and especially her unusual flavour pairings.

So, with this as the background, it’s not surprising that we started a family Masterchef competition. It’s also not surprising that we were a little concerned about what our youngest might concoct!

It has since been such fun. We have tried a couple of different challenges and each one has taught us…


Five ideas to entice your children from their screens. They will thank you!

Three boys playing with a football outdoors.
Three boys playing with a football outdoors.

It can be difficult to find activities more compelling than video games… Our young people love their games and in these strange times, we all need a certain amount of distraction and relaxation. I’m happy they get so much out of a video game!

That being said, it is awesome to have a few go-to activities that do not involve a screen. It’s also great to find activities that the whole family can enjoy. Below, I share what works in our home with our boys, aged 10 and 12.

Competition

Competition is a thing in our household. Sometimes, I find myself…


An insight into popular video games for pre-teen parents…

A video gaming controller with an interesting blue background.
A video gaming controller with an interesting blue background.
Photo by Pawel Kadysz on StockSnap

Our boys were aged 6 and 8 when they first started gaming. They started with the Lego games which I agreed to, despite not being a huge games fan. (There are storylines and characters, challenges and team work… You can read more about them here.)

A couple of years on and our boys have started playing other games. I can see the value in some of them. Others, I’m less convinced by, but we maintain an open conversation. I communicate why I might find some games less appealing than others. The boys, in turn, share why they enjoy the games…


Do your children want to start gaming? There’s no need to worry — it might even be fun!

Dad and boys enjoy a PlayStation game
Dad and boys enjoy a PlayStation game
PlayStation gaming with Dad

Talk to most parents about their frustrations around raising children and the issue of screen-time is usually high on the list. Our children are growing up in a very different world from the one we grew up in…

Where I may have watched the Sunday night movie or an occasional documentary film at school, today’s children are inundated by screens. Many studies suggest that screen-time is negatively impacting our children and, it’s worth taking heed. We need to let our children know about the dangers. …

Nicole Erasmus

Exploring! Writing about intentional living and raising mindful kids.

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