April Fools’ Day

April Fools’ Day, sometimes called All Fools’ Day, is one of the most light-hearted days of the year. Its origins are uncertain. Some see it as a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stems from the adoption of a new calendar.

New Year’s Day Moves

Ancient cultures, including those of the Romans and Hindus, celebrated New Year’s Day on or around April 1. It closely follows the vernal equinox (March 20th or March 21st.) In medieval times, much of Europe celebrated March 25, the Feast of Annunciation, as the beginning of the new year.

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar (the Gregorian Calendar) to replace the old Julian Calendar. The new calendar called for New Year’s Day to be celebrated Jan. 1. That year,France adopted the reformed calendar and shifted New Year’s day to Jan. 1. According to a popular explanation, many people either refused to accept the new date, or did not learn about it, and continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1. Other people began to make fun of these traditionalists, sending them on “fool’s errands” or trying to trick them into believing something false. Eventually, the practice spread throughout Europe.

Strange signs

Spotted in a toilet of a London office:
TOILET OUT OF ORDER. PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW

In a Laundromat:
AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT

In a London department store:
BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS

In an office:
WOULD THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE STEP LADDER YESTERDAY PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR FURTHER STEPS WILL BE TAKEN

In an office:
AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE DOWN ON THE DRAINING BOARD

Outside a secondhand shop:
WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING – BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR WIFE ALONG AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN?

Notice in health food shop window:
CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS

Spotted in a safari park:
ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR

Seen during a conference:
FOR ANYONE WHO HAS CHILDREN AND DOESN’T KNOW IT, THERE IS A DAY CARE ON THE FIRST FLOOR

Notice in a field:
THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES

Message on a leaflet:
IF YOU CANNOT READ, THIS LEAFLET WILL TELL YOU HOW TO GET LESSONS

On a repair shop door:
WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING.(PLEASE KNOCK HARD ON THE DOOR – THE BELL DOESN’T WORK)

PARENTING TIPS

FYI

1. TEACH YOUR CHILD TO BE COMPETENT

Introduce them to experiences they can succeed in and become competent at.  They will gain confidence

in knowing they are competent at some things and be willing to try new things.

2. ENJOY YOUR CHILD AND MAKE SURE THEY KNOW IT

Make time to be together, have fun together, share athletic activities, go to the movies, etc.  Let there be

times when you talk about your own dreams and your own feelings about things, so that they can get a

sense of you as a person.

3. DON’T CRITICIZE HONEST MISTAKES

The child who spills a glass of water isn’t a clumsy oaf – but if you call them that, they may become one.

The best method is the “natural consequence”.  Allow them to clean up their own mess and think of

themselves as people who can make up for their honest mistakes.

4. DON’T MAKE IMPOSSIBLE DEMANDS

While you shouldn’t make life a bed of roses for your child, you also shouldn’t make it a bed of nails.

Don’t involve them into many experiences that inevitably lead to failure.  If they are getting D’s in English,

don’t demand they get an A on the next test.

5. DON’T LEAN TOO HEAVILY ON YOUR CHILDREN FOR YOUR OWN SUPPORT

Sometimes after a divorce – or even before it – a parent will look to their child not only for sympathy but

also as a confidante and helper.  Children may be willing to fulfil your needs, but too much dependence

on the child burdens them and takes them away from their own needs and activities.  Let your children be

children.  Find another adult or counsellor to talk with about your problems.

6. CREATE A CLIMATE OF ENCOURAGEMENT IN YOUR HOME

It isn’t enough for your children to receive praise; they need to learn to give it to each other.  Make sure

the whole family knows about their achievements.  Give each child a time to have the spotlight – such as

a family meal – have everyone say one positive thing about their day or something positive they did that

week.

7. GIVE THEM PLENTY OF REASON TO THINK THEY ARE A GOOD PERSON

Often parents encourage their kids to be good in sports or in school, but forget to teach them skills in

moral and social behaviour.  There is pleasure in doing good for other people and they should learn to

experience that pleasure – you can take them to visit a sick friend, to help a neighbour, etc.