Blog Archives

Prevent back to school blues… For your pets

Its not quite back to school yet…

This article has ideas for you to implement now, while you are on holiday.

As kids go back to school , pets may feel left behind.

When preparing for the day that kids go back to school remember to put your furkids on your prep list.

When your human kids go off to school, your pets have to begin a new routine, after having their family home and available twenty four, seven.

This is a time when they can become bored and could start chewing things that they shouldn’t. To prevent behaviours that you would rather not deal with, prep ahead….

To help ease the transition, try incorporating some of these ideas into your new school routine:


  1. Prep for School

The best time to start is about 2 weeks before school opens.
Plan some activities away from home, and increase the time you spend away every day.
There is no need to spend too much money, a long walk, or hike is a great example.

What is awesome about this idea is that it not only helps your pets adjust, it helps you bust your children’s “end of holiday” boredom.

  1. The Same Old Routine

Pets just like children, thrive on routine, a sudden change can be stressful and disorienting.
Think about the parts of your pet’s current routine – meals, walks, and training – that can stay the same, and try to stick to the established schedule.

Once again, incorporate your children into this routine, especially the littlies, and they will find it easier to adjust to being back at school too.

  1. New and Improved

For any routines that must be altered, replace them with new ones. For example, if you can no longer walk the dog in the morning because you’re driving your child to school…why not just take your pup along for the ride?

  1. Boredom Busters

Imagine being all alone without anything to do all day long.

You can’t even get yourself a snack even though the fridge is right there!

After a few days or weeks of this, you might come up with some…ahem…creative ways to entertain yourself.

Head boredom off at the pass by leaving your pet with interactive toys that engage his mind and body.

Get your children to make toys during the holiday and introduce the toys as you prepare for back to school day. This will increase their bond with your furry family members, bust their boredom, and your pets will have some new and exciting toys.

  1. After School Special

Talk to your children about how much your pets miss them when they’re at school. Encourage them to spend some quality one-on-one time with their special buddy when they get home. This might mean playing together in the back yard, talking to them about what they learned, or curling up on the couch and doing homework or reading out loud with the pet by their side.

Pets like to hear your voice so encourage your kids to read to them. Once again this little tip benefits both pets and kids!

  1. New Year, New Responsibilities

Including kids in pet-related chores is a great way to teach compassion and commitment. So with each new school year, give your child a little more responsibility when it comes to your pet. Make sure tasks are age-appropriate so that both kid and critter are set up for success!

  1. Weight Watchers

With school in session, chances are he’s not as active as he was during the holiday. Even just one or two extra pounds can have a detrimental effect on your pet’s health. So take a second look at his diet and adjust meals and treats as necessary.

Take this tip into consideration when deciding on boredom busters…


  1. Class Act

Yes, you can teach an old (or young) dog new tricks!

And why should kids have all the back-to-school fun, anyway?

New Year is the perfect time to sign your pooch up for a new training class.
Depending on where you live, you might find options that range from obedience to agility to canine choreography!

Involve your kids to keep the holiday bond going, or make use of this idea to have a supportive and encouraging buddy at your side for those New Year’s resolutions.

If you would like to feature as a writer on 8ight contact me on links are always included to your site and social media therefore leaving all credit in tact.

You can follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Google+, Instagram

Last but not least you can fill in your email addy in the “you have mail” box (in the right hand column or in the bottom right hand corner), click the “follow” button and have up coming posts delivered to your email.
*Try it – it’s as good as having your dog bring your newspaper to you in the mornings*

AND THANK YOU for stopping by!!


My thoughts on Oscar Pistorius wanting to teach children once released

I followed Reeva’s Murder case from the get go. Yes, I certainly had my own opinions and still feel that there is information that we don’t know and that Reeva and the women of South Africa were sorely let down by Oscar Pistorius’ short sentence.

Some may argue with me and say that he had done his time and has been rehabilitated.

I beg to differ.

I have to mention that the thought is strongly there that should his sentence have been appropriate we would not be awaiting another trial for another life taken too soon. Jade’s murderer/s would have thought more carefully about the consequences of their actions and she would be alive today.

Now Oscar wants to teach children.

Sure his athletic skills were once in top form… But did he perform well as a sportsman?

From a moral stand point I do not think that he followed through on qualities that should make up a sportsman.

As a sportsman you are an ambassador for the country and children will look up to you and see you as a role model. That in my eyes morally this makes him fail before he even began.

With the values I am instilling in my children, what we as the world learned about him during the trial is not what I want my children to learn – as we very well know – CHILDREN LEARN BY EXAMPLE.

While coaching children is his temper going to flare like it did with Reeva and on so many other occasions? As someone who has anger issues and is learning to deal with her emotions appropriately, I know that it isn’t as easy as 1- 2- 3 to control.

Will he be irresponsible with the children he coaches as he was with weapons, driving, and general daily living?

I believe that these kinds of behaviours will easily be imprinted on the hypothetical children.

I have to add that he comes from a FAMILY of hunters who disregard law enforcement in our country. It’s imprinted in his genes. He and his family members take lives of animals. They take the lives of our WILD LIFE. I certainly do not want to endorse hunting especially with our rhino numbers lowering drastically. We need to sanction the safety of our wildlife and see them flourish not encourage their mortality.

The reality is that by supporting this person you will be giving him the means to do as he pleases, using children as his pawns to gain public sympathy.

Taking this a step further disregarding the law he could very well go on a hunting trip and take out a few more lives.

To live consciously one needs to take these factors into consideration. Every action has a reaction. There are consequences to EVERYTHING we do.

The women of this country have already been done a disservice.


Decisions for the future – By Vicky Downing

I came across an inspirational piece of writing on Facebook recently. It spoke about being kind to our future selves. The piece explained that, in order to do this, we need to make the decisions today which will lead to benefits in the future, things for which our future selves will be grateful. With the New Year in full swing and with Valentine’s Day upon us, perhaps it is time to consider how, as parents and adults, we can be kind to our future selves in the way we live and raise our children.

Facebook Post by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Consider a child who receives everything he desires and does not experience consequences for poor behaviour. What sort of teenager and later, adult, do you think he will become? One who becomes frustrated when “life is unfair” because he doesn’t get what he wants? Do you think he will be a success in life after always receiving his heart’s desires? What will happen to him if he misses a deadline or fails an examination in tertiary study? Has he the right to blame it on another if it was his own fault?

On the other hand, consider a child who has learned that life is not always fair as he has not always received his greatest desires. May be he has had to earn his privileges through hard work and good behaviour. May be he has had to help his parents with suitable chores around the house or look after a family pet. What sort of adult do you think he will be?

Parenting is not an easy job. It is the only job in which, if you are successful, you do yourself out of a job. If you are successful, your child will be an independent and confident young person. He only has need for you because of the emotional bond you share and not for any other reason. Of course, there are circumstances which may make this desirable situation unreachable. However, as parents, it is our responsibility to work towards the goal of independent and confident young people anyway. The odds are stacked in our favour.

So, how do we do this in the present? It starts with small actions, such as giving our children age-appropriate chores, letting them experience the consequences of their actions (whether it be by withdrawal of privileges for poor behaviour or other suitable methods), getting them into a routine with homework and daily activities, and so on. It also involves being present and positively involved in your child’s life by taking an interest in what they are doing and who they are as people.

With schools open for a few weeks already, it may be useful to evaluate your child’s routine at home. A good routine allows flexibility but still provides structure. This type of routine focuses on the order of events and not necessarily the times of events. It would not be a disaster if children bath 15 minutes later than usual as long as they bath before the next activity in the routine. This type of routine allows for unplanned events which can upset the usual flow of things in the home. The routine should also make adequate time available for homework and studying after school. One idea which many parents find suitable is to allow children a short amount of time (about 15 minutes) for the child to relax and eat a snack before starting their homework. Many parents also find it easier if children first do their homework before relaxing, watching television or playing games. If your child is in a good routine, he may manage his time better during stressful times, such as when studying for examinations. By making these decisions regarding the way we relate to and raise our children, we are working towards helping our children and ourselves in future as they are able to cope with the demands that will be placed upon them and, hopefully, be the successful young people we wish them to be.

As adults, making decisions which our future selves will appreciate include watching our health in the present, updating our skills and perhaps even studying further if that would benefit us in future. It also includes making time for special people in our lives and for ourselves. It could mean breaking destructive habits and ensuring they have no place in our futures. It could also mean ending dysfunctional relationships and stopping the cycle of hurt and pain. In the month of love, perhaps this is one idea we may consider as we show our appreciation for ourselves as people.

The best time to start is the present. As the Nike slogan advises: “Just Do It!” Your future self will thank you for it.



Article written by

Vicky Downing
Educational Psychologist
HPCSA Reg: PS 0124109

I have over 13 years’ experience working with children of all ages. As a mother of 2, I understand the pressures that children and parents face. I believe that all people have potential; sometimes they just need some assistance in realising this.

Direct email:   websitefacebook

 If you would like to feature as a writer on 8ight contact me on links are always included to your site and social media therefore leaving all credit in tact.

You can follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Google+ or Tumblr

Last but not least you can fill in your email addy in the “you have mail” box (in the right hand column or in the bottom right hand corner), click the “follow” button and have up coming posts delivered to your email. *Try it – it’s as good as having your dog bring your newspaper to you in the mornings*

AND THANK YOU for stopping by!!

I see you…

This is a little piece for those children who are just as amazing as those who have received sporting and academic awards…


Read the rest of this entry

What I learned from children’s stories

I always talk about inspiring others through the most amazing life journeys, and that by sharing your story you could just be helping another person…

I for one don’t have the greatest past but I am learning to look at my past as a series of lessons that made me a better person today, and will see me improving myself tomorrow and learning and growing through life.children blog Read the rest of this entry

What a girl wants

A few weeks ago, I chatted to Jane Linley Thomas on East Coast Radio’s Work Zone about family. I was as nervous as can be, but ended up loving the adrenaline rush of chatting live on air. Just thinking about it, brings back a taste of the hype.

One thing has stuck with me from the interview until now.

Jane asked me; what I would say to a parent who never had contact with their children.

My reply came to me effortlessly. Read the rest of this entry

Back to school – Back to reality

So today kids are back at school after about a month long break.

I woke this morning after a really weird dream. While still in the land of no longer sleeping but not quite awake there’s a loud THUD in Pretty Boys cage.




Read the rest of this entry

What is one of the worst calls you can receive as a mother?

after a few days healing...

after a few days healing…

Let me put it to you this way, I received one of these calls this week.

“I think you had better come to school. Your boy is in the sick bay. He tripped and fell and we can’t stop the bleeding. He is going to need stitches.”

I replied bravely “oh sherbet – I am on my way.”

I grabbed my bag and dialled my friend because the shakes had already taken over my body. She agreed to collect my daughter from school. Back-up plan organised.

I reversed the car out of the garage and dialled our GP. The sister was expecting our impending arrival.

I then pulled a “Michael Schumacher” and raced to the school.

In your mind you expect the worst. But seeing a bandage wrapped around your child’s head and blood pouring out and down the back of his neck is enough to question if your parenting skills will survive whatever the next hour is about to thrust on you.

I was handed a plastic bag containing his bloodied white shirt. The white lining of his brand new winter jacket was also stained red.

Two of the office ladies, the principal and his teacher were all there. All I could note was the gloves and the blood.


*No you can’t panic. Remain calm – control the shakes – and get going.*

Like I said to the sister; “if I had it in me to deal with blood and guts – I would have been a vet – I can’t – so I went into Animal Welfare”

“Those who can’t do – teach.” – and all…

Anyhow, the sister notes that this was the fastest emergency call to arrival they have ever had and she assesses the wound. Blood is still squirting out like a broken tap and every time she raises her hand I see more blood on the gauze and ice pack.

She motions to the other sister in the waiting room “Are one of the doctors available yet?”

“They are all still in with patients.”

“I’ll just keep applying pressure then.” She takes a peek and “Oops we still have a little bleeder here.”

All this doesn’t leave much in the confidence department for a stressing mother, who has already used her asthma pump to control her breathing.

I noticed that My Boy had a red mark on his cheek, but he was incredibly pale. I decided to try and find out exactly what had happened, but all he could remember was standing up to get something and hitting his head on a chair.

I turned and saw that one of the doctors had finished with his previous patient and was on his way to the bed.

It then crossed my mind that way back when I was thirteen I was bitten by a dog and I was really brave being stitched up and having surgery on my gaping wound in a GP’s office. I thought “just be brave enough for the both of you.”

I turned again and hubby had arrived. Thinking about it now; I must have sounded highly panicked on the phone, because I only called him when I got out of the car rushing into the doctors’ rooms.

The doctor took a look, and injected lovely yellow muthi into My Boys head. *HMPF I really do not like needles – even less so when they are being poked into my child’s head.*

Three stitches later and I braved up enough to look at the wound. As I walked closer I noticed the then partially dry blood caked in My Boys hair. I breathed a little sigh of relief that the bleeding had stopped. My tension remained until later that evening when I eventually could process the day’s trauma.

The doctor explained that the cut wasn’t wide – it was rather deep though, so he had to insert deep stitches to close up the capillary that had been ruptured.

After listening to the details of wound care and what symptoms I should look out for we left.
My friend’s children said that there were three cleaners at My Boys class mopping and scrubbing up blood. This I can fully relate to after soaking and washing his shirt and jacket. The smell of blood was overpowering and left me nauseous for the remainder of the afternoon.

Here I am now thinking of how grateful I am that this is over.
My Boy is sore but safe. All we need now for is healing to continue.

What really happened? My Boy got up from his desk to get something, tripped over another child’s concertina folder, slipped, fell and hit his head on a chair.

OK so now I want to hear from you. Are you good with medical emergencies? How do you keep calm and make sure that your child is okay?

Maybe you would also like to read:


Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Please, be kind and DON’T COPY AND PASTE THIS ARTICLE. rather share this post from one of the links below, or simply give me a thumbs up and like this post or the Di Doodles Facebook Page.

You can follow me on Twitter or Pinterest

Pop by News24 Voices and read my featured articles.

Last but not least you can check the box below and have up coming posts delivered to your email.

AND THANK YOU for stopping by!!

The point of things. Why do I Blog? and a survey…

Why do I blog?

This feels a little like a school essay. *laughs*

Why do I blog? 27 February 2013

OK, let’s get serious.

I blog because its a form of healing for me. There are just some things that you need to get off your chest. I tend to bottle everything up otherwise and well, just like what happens to a bottle of coke when you add a mint to it… It explodes.

I blog about what’s important to me; my kids; animals; I blog about life. If you’re a regular here you’ll know I’m a little squishy, part sentimental, passionate about animals and I LOVE to laugh.

If I blog about a subject or something really really personal, its because I feel that someone out there will gain something from it.

My main objective, my ultimate goal is to show a connection between animal abuse and domestic abuse. Statistics in SA about animals are slim and many people don’t realise the connection.

So to kick start my goal, I’ll be running my own survey. If you want to take part, and I mean be committed to taking part comment ꜜ down there ꜜ in the comments section, or email me on with your info.

What I’d like to know is:

1. If you grew up living with domestic violence or if you were a partner / wife / husband / family of an abuser;

*a) Did the abuser – also abuse your / his / her pets?

*b) Did the abuser – start out by abusing your / his / her animals before progressing to you / your children / your family?

*c) Did the abuser – abuse the animals when you / your children / family weren’t around?

Then… If you’re really brave; could you tell a bit of your story? Please tell me your real name (for statistics purposes) but I am very happy to use a pseudonym to protect your privacy, if I use your story in a blog.
Tell it all or just a bit, writing is an amazing healing tool…

If you found this article interesting you may also like to read:

Cycle of Abuse


Profile of an abuser


My Story

Please, be kind and DON’T COPY AND PASTE THIS ARTICLE. rather share this post from one of the links below, or simply give me a thumbs up and like this post or the Di Doodles Facebook Page, follow me on Twitter or Pinterest or add your email address above or check the box below and have up coming posts delivered to your email.

AND THANK YOU for stopping by!!

Buying Time

Read the following piece, and let me know what you think. I’ve had my own say at the end…

image from google images

image from google images

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.

SON: ‘Daddy, may I ask you a question?’

DAD: ‘Yeah sure, what it is?’ replied the man.

SON: ‘Daddy, how much do you make an hour?’

DAD: ‘That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?’ the man said angrily.

SON: ‘I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?’

DAD: ‘If you must know, I make $50 an hour.’

SON: ‘Oh,’ the little boy replied, with his head down.

SON: ‘May I please borrow $25?’

The father was furious, ‘If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don’t work hard everyday for such childish frivolity.’
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.

The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down and started to think:

Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he really didn’t ask for money very often The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.

‘Are you asleep, son?’ He asked.

‘No daddy, I’m awake,’ replied the boy.

‘I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier’ said the man. ‘It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $25 you asked for.’

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. ‘Oh, thank you daddy!’ he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills.

The man saw that the boy already had money and started to get angry again.

The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.

‘Why do you want more money if you already have some?’ the father grumbled.

‘Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,’ the little boy replied.

‘Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.’

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness.


It’s just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $50 worth of your time with someone you love.

If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of hours… But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.


We as mothers, do not enjoy the taxi ferrying or the homework do we. In the long run those moments, doing all those things, are moments no one can take away from us.

I will always be my kids “one man band – support team”. No one will ever be more important.

When I look at those people who desert their kids – to be raised by nannies – I am sad because they are missing out on so much.

It is also a pity that so many people are not understanding of mothers and children, how many people only see their material wealth to be important and so valuable.

The value in life is the moments that made it and not the money that bought you the things… You can’t take your money with you when you die… Memories live on in your heart and those you left behind.

If you enjoyed this article you may also enjoy

Married or not you should read this


The little boy

Please, be kind and DON’T COPY AND PASTE THIS ARTICLE. rather share this post from one of the links below, or simply give me a thumbs up and like this post or the Di Doodles Facebook Page, follow me on Twitter or add your email address above or check the box below and have up coming posts delivered to your email.

AND THANK YOU for stopping by!!

%d bloggers like this: