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Will There One Day Be No Santa?

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You might think I caught Santa off guard with this photograph but no- it marked a moment for me where I felt actual sadness at the way our society has evolved to be one that is scared to trust people.

As I got my camera ready to take a photo-Santa spread his arms wide to show he wasn’t in contact with my little girl. I could cry now- my husband and I were there with two little elves. How awful that this man had to do this. It really did upset me. I know evil things happen but so do accidents and sickness- you can’t live life being untrusting of everyone.

Maybe one day there will be no Santa?

It got me thinking this afternoon-actually it got me thinking a lot about how parents can ensure their little ones are safe. And I’m afraid ignorance is not one of the options I came up with.

So what can a parent do?

The NSPCC launched a campaign called The Underwear Rule

Learn the Underwear Rule and you’ve got it covered

PANTS is an easy way for you to explain to your child the key elements of the Underwear Rule:

Privates are private

Be clear with your child that parts of their body covered by underwear are private. No one should ask your child to touch or look at parts of their body covered by underwear.

If anyone tries to touch their private parts, tell your child to say “no” and to tell an adult they trust about what has happened.

In some situations, people – family members at bathtime, or doctors and nurses – may need to touch your child’s private parts.

Explain that this is OK, but that those people should always explain why, and ask your child if it’s OK first.

Always remember your body belongs to you

Let your child know their body belongs to them, and no one else.

It can be helpful to talk about the difference between good touch and bad touch:

Good touch is helpful or comforting like a hug from someone you love.

Bad touch is being touched in a way that that makes you feel uncomfortable.

No one has the right to make them do anything with their body that makes them feel uncomfortable. And if anyone tries, tell your child they have the right to say no.

This can be a good time to remind your child that they can always talk to you about anything which worries or upsets them.

No means no

Make sure your child understands that they have the right to say “no” to unwanted touch – even to a family member or someone they know or love.

This shows that they’re in control of their body and their feelings should be respected.

If a child feels confident to say no to their own family, they are more likely to say no to others.

Talk about secrets that upset you

Your child needs to feel able to speak up about a secret that’s worrying them and confident that saying something won’t get them into trouble.

To help them feel clear and comfortable about what to share and when, explain the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ secrets.

Bad secrets:

•make you feel worried, uneasy, sad or frightened
•may be asked to be kept in exchange for something
•bad secrets often have no end time.

Good secrets:

•can be nice things like surprise parties or presents for someone else
•will usually be shared in the end

It’s important that your child knows the difference because ‘secrets’ are often an abusers greatest weapon in stopping a child from telling anybody about abuse.

Phrases like “it’s our little secret” are their way of making a child feel worried, or scared to tell someone what is happening to them.

Speak up, someone can help

Tell your child that if they ever feel sad, anxious or frightened they should talk to an adult they trust.

A trusted adult doesn’t have to be a family member. It can also be:

•a teacher
•a grandparent, uncle or aunty
•a friend’s parent, or
•ChildLine

Whoever they feel most comfortable talking to, reassure your child this adult will listen, and can help stop whatever is making them upset.

The more your child is aware of all the people they can turn to, the more likely they are to tell someone as soon as they have a worry.

Remind your child that whatever the problem, it’s not their fault and they will never get into trouble for speaking up.

Many people tend to shy away from this subject and while I think you can’t protect your children against everything I do strongly believe that it is your job to teach them the ways of the world and how to deal with them.

Ignorance is not bliss- ignorance is danger.

Thank you to the NSPCC for helping parents to be powerfully knowledgable

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Winter Family Cooking

It’s turned much colder so I’ve been cooking some nice heart warming meals for my family. I have a husband who doesn’t eat vegetables and a daughter who doesn’t eat much meat and me with an ever increasing and decreasing waistline. It’s not easy to find recipes we all like.

My little girl is in nursery and school all day so I always like to have lots of meals in the freezer for her- one pot meals are best because I can hide vegetables in them and they freeze easily. I often have similar meals for my lunch in work although I was the butt of some ridicule when my colleagues spotted my tiny jacket potato, my spoonful of beans and my tiny pear. Maybe I have taken my lunches to the extreme-I can often been seen eating out of my girls plastic bowls and my favourite spoon is a pink plastic one!!!!!!!!

I love cooking but I don’t enjoy slave labour so you’ll find my ideas quick to make and fairly basic.

Hope you enjoy and try some of these ideas:

Macaroni cheese with ham and hidden vegetables:

No recipe-I just cooked some macaroni, added vegetables to the water. Drain and add cheese sauce and ham. Simple.

Soya Bolognese over a jacket potato.

Fry in olive oil some onions, carrots, garlic and herbs. Add a great big jar of pasatta. Add some soya mince which has been left in water to expand for a while. Add pepper and Worcester sauce and cook until the soya mince has absorbed the tomatoes and taken on their colour. This is great left in the fridge to have with pasta or a jacket potato. It’s surprisingly meaty!

Cauliflower and lentil curry.

curry

Found this great recipe today and will be trying it out this afternoon. I think the addition of coconut milk will make it really appealing for my daughter.

Warming soup.

soup

Whether you open a can, cook a ready made mix of fresh vegetables or make your own soup from scratch it doesn’t matter-soup rocks in winter and is a fantastic way of getting your family to eat their vegetables. I found these great soup mugs in a charity shop-I’ll be making some soup later today-ASDA do a brilliant soup mix which I just love! It costs just £1 and will serve me and my girl for 2 days. Bargain!

If you get change to go to a market stock up on vegetables and then find some recipes when you get home. I have found a great fresh vegetable stall locally and yesterday bought a punnet of grapes, raspberries, big bag of white potatoes-big enough for baking, a cauliflower, a curly kale cabbage, onion, carrots, pineapple and a swede for £10. It will feed my family for the whole week.

There are some great recipe sites I use too-just Google the item you want to cook with and you’ll get loads of suggestions.

My top five sites are:

All Recipes

BBC Good Food

Good To Know

UKTV

Jamie Oliver

Thanks for stopping by-ironically now I’m off out to Sunday lunch-well even mums deserve time off

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Christmas card competition

Christmas card competition

(For South West Wales Evening Post readers only-entrants must reside in South West Wales)

Amazing competitoin for you to get your child to design a Christmas Card competition.

Festive fun as
cards pour in
ENTRIES are pouring in for our Evening
Post Christmas card competition —but
time is running out.
There are now just eight days left for our
young readers aged under 18 to send in
entries, and be in with a chance of winning
£250 in high street vouchers by designing
the front cover of a Christmas card.
Post editor, Jonathan Roberts, said:
“This is the perfect opportunity for our
readers to show off their creative talents,
help us celebrate the festive season and
win a little extra to help with Christmas.”
All designs must be hand-drawn on an
A4 sheet of paper or card, if being
submitted as a hard copy or as jpegs if
entered digitally, and should be either
delivered to the Evening Post offices at
Urban Village, 220 High Street or by email
to rachel.moses@swwmedia.co.uk, no
later than 5pm on November 30.
The Post will print the best designs in a
December edition of the paper.
All entries must be accompanied with a
completed entry coupon.
Usual Local World rules apply. All entries
will be judged and the winner chosen by the
competition sponsor, Shillingfords Chip
Shop, Neath and Celtic Mitsubishi, Victoria
Road Kingsbridge , Gorseinon.

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Children In Need

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I find it very difficult to watch Children In Need because my daughter nearly didn’t make it three years ago. I’ve not talked about it too much-I thought it might be ‘therapeutic’ to write a little about it in my blog.

My little girl was 12 days overdue when I went in to hospital to be induced. I’m very much a deal with a problem inwardly type person so during labour I was quite quiet even though I felt like a scene from Alien was going on inside me. At around 11am the hospital showed concerns about baby’s heartbeat and to cut a long story short without due care at 12.45am my little girl came in to the world not breathing.

When she was 6 months old an MRI scan showed signs of brain damage and from the little bit of research I’ve done since I have found out that the damage caused to her during birth could have manifested itself in Cerebral Palsy. This condition can be very mild or extremely severe leading to disability. I still cant relax about the medical possibilities but as she gets older and reaches each milestone I become more confident in her abilities.

So even though I am extremely lucky to have such a bright and healthy little girl the amount of worrying I have done has sometimes taken the edge off of some special moments.

When she learned to crawl, talk, walk and laugh instead of being excited I felt a huge wave of relief-yes she can do these things. These things you see were milestones I wasn’t certain she would ever reach.

My daughter spent 9 days in intensive care when she was born- and I had to go home before her. I cannot tell you how sad I was the day I walked through my front door without her. Her room all ready and waiting, congratulations cards on the bookshelf and an overly tidy house from 12 days of ‘nesting’. It really broke my heart.

When I went back in to hospital to visit her I saw proud mums leaving hospital with their bundles of joy wrapped in new blankets and proud Dads carrying pink or blue helium balloons. I felt so very sad that my moment had come and gone and I couldn’t even hold my baby.

For 9 days I couldn’t really bond with her properly-I’m making up for it now. I’m sure sometimes she thinks Oh Mum just leave me be!

So Children In Need time for me is a tear jerker because I know I’ve been really lucky-I’m still very upset about the whole experience. More than that though I feel for any parent who’s child is in any way suffering. You find such strength but there are times when all you want to do is cry.

Thank you for taking time to read this.

I will always support Children In Need- no child should ever have to suffer and money shouldn’t be a reason support can’t be offered.

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Crafts For Christmas

All of a sudden Christmas seems to be everywhere. For me it’s a great time to have some fun with my little girl making Christmas Crafts.

Here are my Top Five Christmas Crafts to make this year:

ONE: DRIED ORANGE SLICE FESTIVE GARLANDS

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TWO: JAM JAR CHRISTMAS SNOW GLOBES

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THREE: HOLLY WREATHS MADE FROM CHILDRENS HANDPPRINT

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FOUR: COTTON WOOL SNOWMAN

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FIVE: MAGAZINE CHRISTMAS TREE

Paper-Christmas-Trees

Thank you to all the bloggers that make it so easy to find inspiration on the interest.

Pinterest is an amazing site for creative ideas- I also like E-how.

Hope you like these ideas- I’m really excited to get crafting for Christmas-please share your ideas with me-I’d love to hear them

More ideas to follow soon