Tag Archives | boys

the world is going to shit, mum: why my boy is learning survival skills

The Little Man (not so little anymore, but always to be my Little Man) has recently developed quite an interest in survival skills.

He’s been shaping a bow shaft and making arrowheads from bits of wood. Whittling knife blades and learning about flint napping. Reading about what you can eat and what you can’t eat in the bush. And learning how to make rope from tree bark and vines.

While driving to Armidale last week, I questioned him about this new interest.

(Seriously, mums of soon-to-be teenage boys – the best place to have conversations with them is in the car. They are your captive audience! Put on a few of their tunes and start a conversation. You might be surprised at what you learn…)

His response was not what I thought it was going to be…

“Donald Trump is going to fuck things up, Mum. And we need to be prepared because it’s not only going to affect America. It’s going to affect us too.”

I took a few minutes to formulate my response, because, to be honest, his answer kind of floored me.

Little Man followed the recent U.S. election with great interest and was as shocked as the rest of the world at the results. He now listens carefully to news reports and reads world news from a variety of sources, obviously coming to his own conclusions from what he reads.

An honest and open conversation about imports, exports, trade agreements and sustainable living – interspersed with our shared love of black humour – lasted the next 30 minutes to Armidale. It was a conversation that made me grateful I have a son who takes an interest in the world at large.  Grateful even more that I have the relationship I do with him.  And it made me realise that having conversations like this with your children are important…

…because you never quite now what another person is thinking until you ask

Little Man and his pocket knife getting ready to shape arrowheads
preparing to make a blow dart gun
the Little Man is not a boy anymore
hammer and chisel blows
hollowing out a section of wood
my Little Man deep in thought

As to his choice of language, we’re a family that allows swearing, which you can read more about here.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Do you have regular, deep-and-meaningful conversations with your kids?

And what has been their reaction to the new president of the United States?

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Meet Bob the Assassin

Meet Bob. The assassin.

Bob the Assassin has become something of a regular feature in our house of late.
He has his own arsenal of weapons.
A lair  – “Because the good guys have bases and the bad guys have lairs, Mum”.
A sworn enemy named Steve.
And a predilection for beheading his sworn enemy and sticking said head on a pike.


Bob’s entry and staying power has got me wondering again… Why is it, regardless of the fact that we’ve raised our two kids in exactly the same way – dump trucks, dress ups, soccer balls, Lego and Bratz all round – that boys brains seem to be hardwired for chaos and death.

At the same age Daughter was in to fairies and dress ups and Bratz dolls.  Death never entered in to it.

And yet Bob is about to feature in his own stop-motion animation…!

While I’m not worried about Bob’s behaviour (or the Little Man’s for that matter), it’s made me more aware of what he is watching on television and the games he is playing on his Nintendo.  Husband and I are pretty strict on ratings – G or PG, and only M if it has been viewed by us first and deemed suitable – so again I wonder… where is it coming from?

And should I be worried?

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365 Project – Day 140

Day 140 - Backtrack Boys Double Flip

The final shot I’ll share from the Paws Up Boys.

As part of the show 3 of the Boys do flips – these 2 up the wall and the third from the top of the jump (you can just see the shadow of his feet at the very top of the photo – it’s high!!)

Can’t wait to hear how it went for them at the Sydney Easter Show…


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365 Project – Day 138

Day 138 - PawsUpCollage

Spent the most amazing day today shooting the Boys of the Paws Up crew, as they practised for the Sydney Easter Show, out at Marinka today.

Paws Up is part of the BackTrack program – a program designed to offer pathways for youth through mentoring, training, and education.

Paws Up works through the magic of the dogs that are an integral part of the program.  Through the dogs, the boys learn to connect with others and build trust.  They learn to aim high, jump higher and always raise the bar.

It was a privilege today to be able to shoot the boys and their dogs as they ran through their practice session.  Best of luck in Sydney fellas – I’m sure that you will WOW the crowds!

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