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Turn The Page

World Book Day is coming soon-March 6th 2014 and my little girl has just brought a letter from school saying they have to go in dressed as a character from their favourite book.

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I’m so excited-I mean my daughter is so excited.

This comes on the day, however, that as I was tidying her room this morning I found two crumpled pieces of a gorgeous pop up book in her bed. I was a bit sad to see she’d ripped this as it really it a lovely bright book with lovely thick glossy pages.

She loves books though and has a bookcase full in her bedroom and a book box in the living room. At Christmas time we have a Christmas book box filled with stories of Santa, Snowmen and the Twelve Days of Christmas.

I love books and have a floor to ceiling book case-full of art books, novels and hobby books. I have a case full of cook books too.

But I rarely get to read which is sad.

Books are a way of escaping, a way of dreaming and a great insight in to other people’s lives.

So what are our favourite books?

My daughters:

  1. Daisy Duck-A delightful story of a little duck who swims off with out her Mummy
  2. Peppa Pig and the tooth fairy
  3. Flip and flop-a story about two penguin friends
  4. Santa needs a wee-yes it’s still out and being read
  5. Day Monkey and Night Monkey (Secretly my favourite book of hers too!)

My favourite books:

  1. Phantom of the Opera by Susan Kay
  2. The Chronicles of Narnia
  3. The Diary of Anne Frank
  4. Lord of the flies
  5. We’re going on a bear hunt (Love reading this to my daughter)

There are some great resources for parents:

WORLD BOOK DAY ONLINE STORY http://www.worldbookday.com/videos/dr-seuss-on-the-loose/

TIPS ON HEARING YOUR CHILD READ http://www.topmarks.co.uk/parents/ten-tips-on-hearing-your-child-read

BUY BOOKS TO SUIT THEIR AGE http://www.thebookpeople.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/cms_rhPlainArticle?storeId=10001&catalogId=10051&langId=100&articlePath=%2Fjamboree%2FRed+House%2FTop+10s%2FTop+Ten+Books+by+Age%2FThree+years+%2B

So celebrate World Book Day and get reading.

I’ll let you know if my daughter goes to school as a duck or a pig!

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Is My Child Safe?

The sad news today of a little missing boy found after going missing days ago really touched me. I cried as if I knew him-I wanted so much for him to be found safe. Why did it affect me so much?

Because I think every parent thought-could this of been my child?

The reports initially said that the little boy had let himself out of his house in the middle of the night. Although this has turned out not be true it has forced  me to think about how safe my daughter is. Our children can be clever, devious, surprisingly clever and ingenious when it comes to getting what they want.

I’ve seen my daughter climb on to a radiator to get a sweet from the windowsill, I’ve seen her unbuckle her seatbelt and stand behind me and I’ve seen her switch the oven on and get her oven gloves on!

I think I’m quite a relaxed mum-I think the best way to learn is by experience. Obviously I protect my daughter from dangers that can cause her serious harm but I let her be as independent as I can-I’ll let her put the wrong shoe on the front foot, read a book upside down, struggle putting on her own jumper. I’ll sometimes watch her throw a tantrum because she can’t do something and then watch her delight as she realises she can.

My fundamental belief is the best way you can keep a child safe is by giving them the knowledge they need to make the right choices. Of course we’re all bound to get it wrong every now and again.

So what do we need to do to keep our children safe-children of any age

*Stranger danger-I’ve always found it odd when as proud parents we encourage our just talking children to say ‘hiya’ to everyone who might give them attention-then we have to re-teach stranger danger. It’s really important to make sure that they know how to keep themselves safe. And of course there is stranger danger online now too. How and what do we teach?

Remember Charlie Says?

The best advice I could find is on the Kidscape website-click to find out more.

Home safety-Make sure doors are locked and keys taken out of the door if your children are young. Keeps keys at close reach in case of fire.

Green Cross Code-Practice not preach the code so it becomes a behaviour. Talk  about the importance of not using a mobile phone or texting while crossing the  road. How many times have you seen someone crossing and texting who doesn’t even know you’re there?

Teaching your child to cross the road safely

  1. Find the safest place to cross with a clear view all around, away from parked cars, junctions, bends or the brow of a hill if possible. Explain to your child why it’s important to choose a place with a clear view.
  2. Holding hands with your child, show them how to stop on the kerb, look all around and listen for traffic before they cross.
  3. When there is no traffic coming, walk straight across (not diagonally) and keep looking and listening.

There’s danger everywhere but you can’t live life in a cocoon-all we do it make what we think are the best choices and as mums these will differ amongst us.

It’s really important that you know what limitations your child will have at a certain age-for example my little girl is three and although she’s very bright I need to be aware that sometimes she can get distracted. She is learning about road safety and I am trying to teach her that running in and out of the clothes rails in shops is not funny-she’s like a whippet a times.

There’s so much for her to learn-I don’t want her growing up frightened of everything.

I do want a savvy little girl who knows how to help keep herself safe.

Easy right?

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Mums The Word

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I asked my mum friends six questions on being a mum-their answers makes for a great honest read:
1) What was the hardest thing about being a working mum with a toddler
2) What was your lowest point?
3)What is your most treasure memory?
4)If you did it all again what would you change?
5)What would be your top tip to pass on to another Mum?
6)Who is your ‘mummy’ idol?
My own answers were:
1) What was the hardest thing about being a working mum with a toddler?-for me it was ‘having’ to become very domesticated. I couldn’t really cook before.
2) What was your lowest point? When I went to a baby group and felt so fat and unattractive and embarrassed.
3)What is your most treasured memory? When my daughter had a test in hospital to see how she was developing she was given some cereal hoops to see if she had a good pincer grip. Instead she sucked the hoop in to her mouth and ate it
4 )If you did it all again what would you change? I wouldn’t have bought soooooo much stuff! Babies and toddler don’t need everything there is on the market. I bought way too much. My house became a toy shop
5) What would be your top tip to pass on to another Mum? Have good people around you who can help you but also keep being an individual and have fun.
6) Who is your ‘mummy’ idol? Probably my friend who is quirky, quite laid back, headstrong and independent.
My friend
1) What was the hardest thing about being a working mum with a toddler- not having any time for anything… for my son, for the house, for me, for my husband or life in general.
2) What was your lowest point? To be honest I have had a few, mostly due to lack of sleep and life’s stresses
3)What is your most treasured memory? Again so many, most recently me and my son in shop-he grabs my face kisses me loads and tells me how much he loves me. Lush
4)If you did it all again what would you change? More family time …it’s so precious and he grows so quick.
5)What would be your top tip to pass on to another Mum? Don’t stress over the milestones, relax they will happen when they will and just enjoy your child they grow soo fast
6)Who is your ‘mummy’ idol? many of my friends are working mums whom i respect greatly for keeping sane… and I take my hat off to and those with children who have medical problems … All good mums are Heros and mummy idols x
Another friend wrote:
1.Hardest thing about being a working mum with toddler is having no me time to do the things I used to do.
2.lowest point was when my daughter was unwell as a baby, nothing too serious but it made me really sad and I cried a lot.
3.most treasured memory was hearing my girls first little cry and cuddling her when she was born. Also everytime she says I love you, Mummy tank fills right up.
4. If I’m ever lucky enough to do it all again I would labour longer at home before calling the midwife. Every day I also struggle to be calmer than I feel.
5.top tip: all children need happy/ functioning mummies. So find what keeps you happy/ functioning.
6.my Mummy idol is my friend as she’s cool, calm and creative.
And another friend was kind enough to share this:
1. Having to say goodbye.
2. Seeing them ill and not being able to take their pain away.
3. First sight of them.
4. Make sure I enjoyed every tiny thing they did, not to do the ‘I can’t wait until’ routine.
5. No matter what happens you are an amazing mom and don’t let anyone or anything make you feel different.
6. Every mom who loves their children for who they are, not what they want them to be.
Whatever situation you face in life it’s always good to have friends you can share experiences with. You never have to struggle on your own.
Please share your thoughts-I’d love to hear them
Thank you to my friends for being so open and honest.
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25% of parents do this….

25% of parents are so afraid of upsetting their children they do not discipline them.

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I’m not in that group and consider my daughter to be quite well behaved-with an odd tantrum thrown in here and there but generally she’s good.

Not with Dad though!

I’ve witnessed her walk behind him and spit at him, smack him, throw things at him, hiss at him, snarl at him, scream and shout at him. None of which she does to me. And none receive any discipline. (These incidents don’t happen all the time-I don’t want to paint her as a little monster because she’s not)

Why?

Because she’s Daddy’s little darling and she gets everything she wants.

I remember telling my husband that if he continued to give her everything she wanted she would turn in to a right little handful and that it was his job to show her that she can’t always have what she wants. Some of what I said is starting to come true-but of course I wasn’t certain this would happen-I’ve never done this before.

Daddy is great with her and will play games gently for hours.

But if our little girl gets given a blue spoon-she wants a pink spoon and that’s what she gets. If she’s given a cup of milk-she wants water and that’s what she gets. And so on.

I’m not a shouty mum, I don’t lose my temper very often but I am very clear that I will not accept smacking, spitting, throwing things in a temper and shouting. Why would I let her think it was ok to act like that when I wouldn’t accept her doing that to someone else?

As she gets older I find myself being much more patient than when she was a baby because I know she understands what I’m saying. Last night at 4am she woke asking to go in my bed. I said no sorry you aren’t coming in my bed there’s no room. She then started shouting loudly and crying then screaming. In a calm voice I kept saying ‘I’m sorry but you’re not coming in to my room-it’s night time’. I told her stories about a day monkey and a night monkey to explain that some ‘monkeys’ get up in the night because they can see in the dark-some sleep and enjoy the daytime. After about an hour I was set free and snuggled back in to my bed where we all slept until gone 8am.

The easy option would have been for me to let her come in to my bed but tough love-I think-is a way of teaching right from wrong. Plus I’ve been warned by a friend who’s lovely girls still get in to bed with her at eight years old- “Don’t Do It!”

In an effort to try and help my husband understand that his lack of discipline is making his life more difficult not easier I showed him this apt article I found-it summed up exactly what he’s going through:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2101786/My-soft-parenting-monsters-children.html

I think my husband knows he has to change but I can’t make him. I want him to see that he’s doing it for our daughters good. I really don’t like seeing her crying but I know I’m doing right by her. I’ve gone downstairs of a night in tears myself. The proof is in the pudding though-generally with me my daughter is well behaved.

I’m sure Daddy will see a way through this-I really hope so.

Have a good weekend

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Vegetable Leftovers

Vegetable Leftovers

Always got leftover veggies? Cut leftovers in to smaller pieces or quickly blend and cook until golden in olive oil. Add flavoured cous cous and hot water. Leave until cous cous has expanded. Delicious and healthy.
My little girl just ate it with leftover sprouts and carrots in. She turned her nose up at sprouts so this is a great way to get her eating all sorts of vegetables.