Helping kids to create dreams

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If you have read my posts for a while you’ll see that I talk a lot about teaching kids many things, and the one thing I would always encourage is to help kids to create dreams. There is no age restriction when it comes to developing dreams of their own.

Children will begin when they become 4 or 5 aware of themselves and start to build likes and dislikes more as they continue to grow. My son love buses and trains, and so last year for Christmas I made him a homemade book about buses.

There are books available also about buses. I bought my son a couple of books from Amazon about buses.

If you child loves football then go for a kick about with them, and invite some of their friends if they can come along. I know there is another lockdown, but doesn’t mean you should stop being with people, and in my local park, South Park Gardens there are a load of kids having a good time having a game of football.

As a kid I loved music and was bought a new single or an album. If they love playing a musical instrument then buy them a simple books of tunes to play, or book them some lessons on playing an instrument.

School Children Play Musical Instruments Together Stock Photo 53973289 -  Megapixl

I knew a guy I worked with at Sitel who played the Guitar, and playing a musical instrument is a great skill to learn, because it helps them with co-ordination.

Have them write down their dreams and help them create a board of all the thing they dream of doing too, and have a chat about it.

Helping kids use their imagination unlocks the key to their mind and encourages them to talk, make decisions and be a kid.

They should have a good childhood and those that stop it, are selfish and are imbecilic. I have come to see that there are those that want to bring you down towards your children, but letting them dream and create memories is a childhood to remember and that is all we want at the end of the day, for our kids to be happy and have a fantastic future.

Stay Safe, Stay Strong.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

P.S: Please check out my JustGiving page:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/theparentingadventuresprematurebirths

Check out my Pinterest for some more posts:

Teaching kids about bullying and abuse

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I think in this day and age that any act such as bullying and abuse carried out, should be looked into immediately and investigated, because it still does go on and I remember when working in the nursery in Wimbledon, when we had what was known as a “Peanut Drill”, that someone was trying to get in.

I was absolutely shitting myself, and tried to keep myself calm, but getting all the kids together without a fuss became a difficult task, and I couldn’t help but panic and the children were hysterical.

People who do this kind of act aren’t worth the blood they were born with, and as far as I am concerned, is the worst thing a person can do and they have no remorse at all.

It makes me see that abusing a child aswell as bullying can be hidden in families and you wouldn’t even know it, and yes they should all be locked up with the key thrown away and given life.

If they take a life they should get life and I am going to fight for it and have all Paedophiles nicked and given life with no rights at all.

My dad could bully me, but he never abused me and I do miss him so much. I am sad I never got to see him before he died and I am gutted about that, I thought he was against me too, but he was just angry.

He taught me how to fight back and yes, I did, and I will continue to fight for children’s rights and stop all abuse and bullying from happening and it is tricky and often controversial topic, but I feel I want to talk about it, as I would like victims of these kind of acts to tell their stories to help others do so aswell.

All kids who have lost their lives I want a monument built and all the names of kids that have died due to abuse in memory of them all, be called “The Angels of Heaven” and have their names on it.

Once a child’s life has been taken you can’t bring them back and yes it causes suicide too, and I felt that a lot this year and is not good when you hit rock bottom. I did take an overdose last Christmas, and I yes my son didn’t know what was going on, but I literally took 3 to 4 Diazepanes in one go. I was a complete mess.

Abuse and bullying can turn a happy go lucking child into a mess and is so soul destroying that it can cause hurt to an entire family, and those who I felt were there to look out for me weren’t and yes it has changed who I am, and it can make a child feel like that too.

If you are abused remember you can always called Childline and they will act straight away.

Those who laugh about it when doing an act of bullying or abuse aren’t human, they are animals and cowards and need to be taught that if you do this, then you need to do the time for doing the crime, and yes all schools, kids clubs, nurseries and playgroups should have a Safeguarding officer to stop it or a welfare office, which I would like to do one day and get it kicked put.

Stay Safe, Be Strong.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

What to know about Premature Babies

My Little Dude Henry 2 days old

This time seven years ago, I was in the neon natal ward in Epsom, looking after my son Henry, who was born prematurely at 31 weeks and there are a lot of things that you should know about What to know about Premature Babies.

  1. The hospital before you give birth whether naturally or by Caesarean, they will give you an injection to help the babies lungs, as if born premature their lungs would not have been fully formed, depending on, when the baby arrives
  2. They can have trouble breastfeeding which I have written about in my previous blogs, and so if they don’t latch on don’t worry , you can still express and give to your baby by bottle or the neon natal nurses would help to feed them by a cup. Yes they do. I didn’t know they did this, but I saw it in my own eyes, and was amazed
  3. They can be prone to chest infections in their early years. Don’t worry, seek medical support and they may prescribe and inhaler and antibiotics, but you can use over the counter products, like Calpol, Vics and Oabis Oil
  4. They become full term babies usually around the 8 weeks of their lives
  5. If they are Jaundice they will be in a incubator, if first born with a little mask on to protect their eyes, with a blue light
  6. They will continuously have blood taken from their foot to make sure they don’t have a metabolic disorder
  7. They are regularly weighed, have their length measure and their head circumference measured
  8. They will test their ears to see how sharp their hearing is
  9. Have Development Delay
  10. Be prone to having Reflux issues

Please do not feel that I am scaremongering in any way, I just want give this information because not many parenting books I have read or blogs, share this information, but want to be one of the first, as Premature births are a lot more common than you think. When I talked to people about Henry being Premature, I had many parents or people saying they were born premature too.

I have one more thing to tell you, and that is, I am raising money for the charity called, Tommy’s who support and raise awareness, of Stillbirths and Premature Births, and so if you would like to make a contribution, please follow the link below:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/theparentingadventuresprematurebirths

If you would like to read many of my other posts I write on my different websites then follow this link below:

https://carriesblognetwork.squarespace.com/

Many thanks for reading,

Carries X

P.S: I have teamed up with Amazon this year, to show some of their Christmas Gifts, Advent Calendars, Decor, Stocking Fillers and much more. Check out my first video showing their Top Of the Range Advent Calendars:

Little lady called Cassidy

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I wanted to write this blog because I was watching one of my favourite Youtube families, Phil and Alex who have 3 gorgeous girls and one being a little lady called Cassidy who has had open heart surgery and wanted to talk about this as I have wished her to grow up, touching wood, and look after other little babies with heart defects, like me.

I want her to have her own family one day and the most important to be happy, along with her two older sisters who love life aswell, and I hope she will too.

If you have a baby with a heart defect please don’t allow it to stop you from enjoying your baby as the worry can often overpower you and babies are a lot stronger than you think.

Henry’s heart was dropping when he was in my tummy and the hospital did do the right thing in delivering him. This kept my faith in maternity wards as there have been many bad stories of a few hospitals in England of babies dying, but they did potentially save his life and mine as my heart was going berserk.

The procedure of heart operations has come so far that they can now do the same operation I had when they are babies, rather than waiting and yes it can be worrying, but the surgeons who do these sorts of operations know what they are doing, and if you have questions do ask.

Hospitals will allow you stay in the hospitals so they won’t send you packing, they will be on hand if you have any worries.

I did become unwell with the anaesthetic but that is unusual and there are different anaesthetics now to stop this from happening and won’t send you and your baby home until they make a full recovery and is safe too.

If you need a coffee whilst they are in surgery have one and to help them recover as they may feel some pain, but they will give them safe medicine for this too, play some peaceful music or read to them. You will be surprised when they are sleeping on what they can still hear.

So if your child has a heart defect ask as many questions as you want and know exactly what they are going to do, to give you that peace of mind.

I hope this is helpful to you, and please should you have questions about this blog then please leave a question in the comments below.

All my blog post can be found on my Blog Network:

https://carriesblognetwork.squarespace.com/

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

P.S: I am raising money this year for a charity called Tommy’s who help support families who have experienced Stillbirths and Premature births, which can be so heartbreaking. If you wish to make a contribution then please visit my JustGiving page to do so, many thanks in advance:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/theparentingadventuresprematurebirths

Is Breast the best form of milk for your baby?

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Image from https://depositphotos.com/stock-photos/breastfeeding.html

This has been a controversial subject at times, of people posting images on social media of them breastfeeding, and should women be allowed to breastfeed in public? Is Breast the best form of milk compared to Formula? When should you stop breastfeeding?

In my opinion I think do what you think is best, not on what someone else says. For me I wanted to give Henry my breastmilk and I did. However I did have a hard time 1. as mentioned in a previous post (See below) it took a lot to produce my milk, which can happen when you have a premature birth, but also when you have a full term baby.

2. When I expressed at first I had to do it for about half hour to get a lot of milk out, and then was told that this was too long, and should only express 10 minutes or so at the time, as expressing for half hour can make my boobs sore.

In hearing this news I was like,

What do I do then?

Cartoon Stressed Mom Stock Illustrations – 160 Cartoon Stressed Mom Stock  Illustrations, Vectors & Clipart - Dreamstime

Here’s a link to my previous post about Breastfeeding:

My Experience with breastfeeding

I would never tell anyone off for deciding to put their child on formula milk straight away, and as said in a previous post, when I do have another child I will still give them my breastmilk and have some counselling and advice aswell to help me, but not give myself a hard time over it, like I did when Henry, my son was born, because you have enough to concentrate on and it is important when you have given birth to have some time to recover, as if you don’t have enough rest, that can effect your breastmilk too, which it really did for me.

It can be very distressing when you can’t breastfeed and you do feel this pressure of if I don’t I am a failure.

Let me tell you,

NO YOU ARE NOT!

1,580 Stressed Mom Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime
image on Dreamtime

Everyone is different, not everyone’s body is the same, and see it that every persons body is unique to them. Some can produce endless amount of breastmilk, where some, like me, couldn’t.

There was one mum who’s baby was also called Henry and she didn’t breastfeed because she had, had breast surgery, and so was paranoid in doing so. I heard the nurses putting her under pressure about it, which I don’t blame them really in doing so, its just that they obviously have been advised to encourage us to breastfeed, its just not the be all or end all, if you don’t feel happy to breastfeed then it should be your choice.

Yes it was the NICU nurses who put Henry on Formula milk aswell as mine, which I didn’t mind, because I knew he was still getting the nutrients that he needed and took to it really well.

Sometimes if we gave him too much, it would shoot straight out of him, which at first frightened the life out of me, but most of the time he did feed well.

Just be vigilant about it because as a baby who lived on Breastmilk up until 18 months old, I did get a milk allergy.

The other thing I would say,

TAKE IT AS IT COMES!

12,711 Breastfeeding Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from  Dreamstime

Giving a baby breastmilk does save the hassle of bringing loads of bottles out with you, but you can get the already formed formula, just be aware that sometimes it can cause constipation, as spoken about in one of my other posts above, but if you can’t produce enough or worried then don’t feel bad about it.

As a baby myself I never went onto formula and was breastfeed up until I was 18 months old as said and wait straight onto cows milk.

Basically you decide if you want to give your child breastmilk or not, and don’t allow those that tut and judge other mums dictate, because it all depends what your child likes.

There are no one ways when it comes to being a parent, and the less you worry about the better you can focus on loving and nurturing your baby without stressing out.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

Bringing Your Baby Home For the first time

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Bringing your baby home for the first time can be a daunting prospect, but it can also be a relief. The first thing I would say is:

  1. Don’t worry about getting into a Routine yet, get to know your baby still, even if they have been in hospital like my son, Henry was Premature and was in there for a month.

The day I bought him home was the 8th of December 2013, and it did take a while to adjust. We did try to follow the schedule that the hospital had done, but that didn’t continue as when they are home it is completely different, and so that plan went straight out of the window.

As there is still COVID and because babies immune systems are still not fully formed as of yet,

2. Make sure anybody holding your child has washed their hands, don’t have a cold and do tell them to stay away if they do. Not meaning you have to be rude, but just pre-warn them.

If they end up going back to hospital they won’t go back into the delivery ward or Special care unit but a ward with all different age children, which can lead to more illnesses and infections.

When your baby is born,

3. Don’t go buying loads and loads of stuff first off, because if you know of friends or relatives that have had kids, or this is your second child, never be afraid to use hand-me-downs. I felt so blessed that I had family who did this, and saved us a lot of money and hassle.

Plus if you have a huge stack of friends and family they will be buying items for your new baby, so don’t go overboard, because babies once born grow very quickly.

4. Make sure that you have a crib or a Moses basket first, for them to sleep in, as they will be too tiny for a cot yet, and you can get basketnets too, that are suitable for new born babies.

If you know someone who has one of these that they are offering to you, to have,

5. make sure you check it out first to make sure it is in good condition, before saying yes.

The Moses basket we had was given to us from family and they also gave us their cot, for when Henry was bigger, and so the one item we did buy was a Crib, from Mothercare.

6. When you are in hospital ask the nurses at the hospital as many questions as you can, if you are worried about something when taking them home. The nurses and midwifes are there to help, so ask away.

To help you not forget write the questions you have down, so you have them to hand, because when you have given birth you end up with “Baby Brain” for a bit. Be ready to ask and get them to show you, how to swaddle a baby, how to breastfeed, because like me I thought it would be easy, but in reality wasn’t. Please check out my blog post:

My Experience with Breastfeeding

7. You don’t need to give a new born baby a bath as soon as they are born as their skin is still very delicate, so do it about two to three weeks later, unless they have a pooh explosion, which you do have to get ready for.

The first nappy changes you do, make sure you use cotton wool balls and warm water to clean them and do it before they eat, as from experience if done after can cause them to be sick.

When a child is first born they will usually do a pooh soon after, as they have been eating from the food you have eaten. This is what helps them to grow inside your tummy. When they start to breastfeed or go straight onto Formula milk,

8. feed from you or from a bottle write down how much if from a bottle or how long they fed for, to make sure they are taking in enough.

If your baby loses weight when they are first born, don’t worry, because this is normal.

Should they continue to lose weight then it is time to be concerned, but health visitors and nurses at the hospital are there to help you and give you support.

9. Don’t worry about others wanting to help you when you first bring home your baby, as after your child is born and you have them home, you need some help too, so take them up on it.

It does not mean that you are a bad mum for wanting some well earned rest yourself and if you say no a lot to those who want to lend a hand, will begin to stop asking.

When you first bring you child home, relax and enjoy your buddle of joy and be weary of those who will start to say, “When’s the next one going to be due”.

I have put together a Cheat Sheet for you, if you would like to print this off.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

P.S: Just a quick note, I am raising money for the Charity Tommy’s who help to support those families that have experienced Stillbirths and Premature births and so if you would like to donate the link is here below:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/theparentingadventuresprematurebirths

Child Abuse and spotting the signs

 

Children May Be Afraid of Masks. Here's How to Help. - The New York Times

The image above is from the New York Times.

I want to write about this as, because living on a housing estate it went on a lot, and it is the most soul destroying thing you can ever experienced. 

There are angels in heaven that have been abused and killed, and it can devastating to everyone involved. It is soul destroying and can take over your childhood. 

No child should be made to feel like can’t have a life, as
every child deserves to have a childhood that is filled with fun and happy
memories and I want to make sure that every child in the world is protected.

I am going to campaign for all Paedophiles and rapist,  to be punished and be given life and spend their life in jail, with no rights.

How can you sense that a child is being abused:

Body language

·      If they are quiet not playing with other kids

·      If they have bruising near their private areas,
arms and legs

·      If they are bleeding from the bottom

·      If they have any discharge

·      If they start to abuse other kids

·      If they are argumentative, disruptive and
aggressive to others

·      Withdrawn

 

What are the signs of an abuser?

·      Grooming a kid to try and to see the child
privately

·      Taking inappropriate photos of children

·      Asking inappropriate questions

·      Breaching Data Protection

·      Seeing an adult whisper in a child’s ear

·      Treating a child differently to 

If you know of a child being abused or you are a child, teenager reading this, then contact Childline.

Please do teach kids about not talking to strangers. The thing about those who abuse kids, they come in all different shapes and sizes. In the 80’s they did
do adverts about this and be careful about sharing details online on social
media pages, as pictures of kids can be temptation for Paedophiles.

I do think they should do another advert about talking to strangers
including talking to strangers online and sharing too much information.

One thing I would take out from social media sites is areas where they ask
you to share your location, and can be seen by anybody.

We need to be sensible when it comes to this because we don’t want our children’s information being breeched by those who carry out these crimes.

Those who abuse and rape children, may not have previous, because the hardest thing is proving it, and there are those who make it up, which makes it difficult for those who have actually been abused as a child, and many will be too scared to say anything and so it can be difficult to track it down. 

Doing a CRB or DBS check is one way, but as said many don’t have previous convictions, so it is still hard to track down, and be stopped. 

I am in the process of developing a Child Safety online course and so once it has been completed I will let you know. 

For now though lets keep our kids safe and stay strong, and have a good week ahead. 

Before I end this blog post I would like to tell you about my fundraiser I am doing again this year as I like to do this every year, as we get nearer to Christmas, and I am raising money for the Charity Tommy’s who support parents whom have experienced Stillbirths and Premature births. Here is the link to my site below:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/theparentingadventuresprematurebirths

Many thanks for reading, 

 

Carrie X 

P.S: Here is a free printable to help you spot the signs of a child who you suspect is being abused:

Talking About Screen time for kids

I wrote a blog some time last year about Screen time, and how it should be limited as it can keep them awake at night and they can become dependent on it.

Since that blog many things have changed and my outlook on it is very different to that post. When Henry is watching his tablet it keeps him calm, being that he can have meltdowns, and I find when you take it away it becomes more of a tantrum than it needs to be. I HOPE YOU ARE READING THIS BORIS AS YOU LIKE YOUR SCREEN TIME, ASHAME THAT NOONE ELSE DOES!

Anyway, I was going to share a video on Youtube of the comedian Micky Flannagan talking about this very subject and his son watching his iPad, but it looks like it has been taken down.

He says it just gives us, as much as we love our kids a rest for a bit, as kids can be very demanding and now want money to pay for their computer games, yet when I was a kid it was money for the ice cream van. Years back when I was a kid it was “Can I go out and see if my friend Kelly is playing out” now it is “Can I do facetime with Louie” and thankfully he doesn’t have his number yet, only being 7, but if he did, he wouldn’t get off his tablet and want to talk to his friend at school all night and day, have more of a meltdown when it would be time to say goodnight, to the point I’d have a meltdown too, and we learned to swear from the age of 2, now it is almost as soon as they are born.

All jokes aside, is it that bad if my son watches a couple of kids doing the “Crossbar challenge?”, or watches babies fighting over a toothbrush?

I have seen worse as a kid growing up in the 80’s, such as films, like the Hounds of the Baskervilles, which I thought was The House for the Baskerbilles being I was very gullible and my dad would never allow me to see the end, but tell me what would happen, and his interpretation was, that the hounds get eaten and killed by a load of Doobie Noshers. Now please don’t ask me what they are. I had an image of these being red scary faces, and every time we would walk back to our caravan that we stayed in at Clacton I would think of them getting us on our way.

My dad would often watch a comedy called Steptoe and son, and seeing this acting of a father and son duo play scrabble, putting as many swear words as they can down was probably called a form of child abuse now, and then there was Chain saw massacre, where a bloke with a clowns head tries to use a chainsaw to kill who ever was in his sight. Thank fuck it wasn’t real but made me scared of clowns, even now being 42 years old.

They say that watching an iPad and tablet can keep them from sleeping, but not in our case he sleeps soundly when he watches it before bedtime. It all depends on your child, as they can be different.

There are many parent books that say you shouldn’t allow them to listen to music before bedtime, because it can become the norm of them thinking that, that is how you get to sleep, and at one time when Henry was about 6 months old I thought this could be true, because as soon as the music stopped he would become awake but then got used to it and when you are shattered and sleep deprivation is different to when you become a parent, you do whatever it takes, for them to go to sleep.

As far as I am concerned it all depends on your child, and if it works, do it. Of course I would not recommend The Hounds of the Baskervilles or Chain saw Massacre, but something less tame, Jaws, especially if you end up with a kid that bites a lot. Only joking, I am not being serious there, just so you know! Your best bet is who I call a Pork Scratching Peppa Pig, Spongebob, Mr Tumble or the Telly Tubbies.

There was many people saying that even the Tele Tubbies were offensive at one time, because of Tinky Winky having a hand bag and thought he was a male tubby, no he is actually a she, and Dipsi and Pooh are male tubbies. I have a feeling as I write this, that perhaps I have been watching them too much now, to be that sad of knowing this information.

Bring bag Knight Rider.

You know when someone is a parent of storing this information and feeling offended when others would get it wrong.

However, I say let them watch their android devices, still monitor what they are watching, but if it is someone kicking a ball at a crossbar, what harm can it really do?

I know there will be those parenting police being shocked by this blog, but I am strong believer that all the information in many parenting books are not true to real life, and I want to help you all have a easier time with your children and let them be kids and be happy. That is what is important at the end of the day.

I hope this blog has been helpful to you.

Before I finish, this blog, I want to tell you about the Charity I am supporting this year, as I like to do this every year as we lead up to Christmas. I am raising money for a charity called Tommy’s who provide support to parents who have experienced, stillbirths and premature births, being that they helped me when Henry was born premature 7 years ago, when I was 31 weeks pregnant and was a bit of a shock and their help did wonders to me and helped me get through that time. So if you would like to donate, here below is the link to my Just Giving page, and if you do many thank you’s.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/theparentingadventuresprematurebirths

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

My experience with breastfeeding

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Hello and welcome to another blog post. In this post I am going to talk about my experience with breastfeeding, because I had real trouble when my son was born seven years ago, to express milk and breastfeed, as Henry would not latch on and it really stressed me out, as I suppose I took it for granted or was naïve to the fact of how difficult it would be. I thought it would naturally happen, but didn’t and when I only got a bit out into a syringe, I felt defeated.

I was told to help my milk come out to do all they say, massage the breast, use a warm flannel and rest as much as possible, but it took me ages and was told that I had to keep trying and expressing for 8 to 12 times a day, but after Henry was born, and I hadn’t slept for an entire three days on the trot from when my waters broke on the Saturday, I was completely exhausted.

Any how I kept trying and finally got the first part of the milk the Colostrum, which is really important especially for baby’s who were born premature. If I had known it would be that difficult I would have had breastfeeding counselling before hand, and not have bought a manual pump as they are hard work, and not good when you are hormonal and feel like punching my boobs at one point because I could only manage a little amount to come out.

In the end I did get an electrical breast pump, which I would totally recommend and being in the special care unit they had one there too, that I could use and did make all the difference.

I hope this does not put you off, because if I do have another child I would still breastfeed as it is more natural than formula, but in the end, because even by expressing a lot I still didn’t produce enough for Henry, gave Henry some of my milk along with formula milk.

The formula milk they recommended was SMA, and then because Henry had really bad eczema as he began to grow during the summer, which had become infected, so had to use Steroid cream prescribed by our GP, as over the counter creams didn’t work, I changed his formula milk to HIPP, which was an organic formula milk and did help his eczema a lot.

I still though would have preferred Henry to have my milk instead, because formula milk can cause constipation, and so to stop that you then have to start making them drink some water, which at first Henry was not interested in and can make their pooh very hard.

With breastmilk, they can have pooh explosions, but is best when they get constipated can effect their eating and in take of milk, when it is formula.

I in the end I still kept trying to see if Henry would drink from my breast, realised that he was not going to, and felt so guilty. I did speak to a breastfeeding nurse, who was recommended to me, as there was a medication I could take that would help my breastmilk, but I couldn’t take that because of having a heart condition.

Once I bought Henry home, I talked to the Health Visitor who said, that if it is stressing me out that much, as I did also have Postnatal Depression, to stop if I wanted to, because as long as my son had my milk in his first month, then it is fine and just enjoy getting to know my baby, rather then stressing over breastfeeding.

So I hope this had not scared you in anyway, that truly is not my intention. I just wanted to write this, because noone mentions his in any baby book , of how difficult breastfeeding can be, should you have trouble too. I have shared this in my first book of The Parenting Adventures- Pregnancy to the first nine months aswell, which is available from Amazon.com.

Never be fearful though if you are expecting to discuss this during your prenatal visits and it does not matter about size of a breast either, and have learned that some woman have milk pouring out of their boobs and some don’t, its like a toss of a coin unfortunately, just do what you can. However the more prepared you are, the more reassured you will feel.

The most important thing is to enjoy your new baby and getting to know them as it is a life changing experience, and does overwhelm you, and make the most of them being tiny, as they do grow so quickly.

If you didn’t read my previous post, then I am raising money for the charity Tommy’s who carry out a lot of research into stillbirths and premature births, and do an amazing job helping NICU departments in hospitals to care for tiny babies and those babies that have died at birth, by supporting parents who have gone through such a sad time in their lives.

Here is the link to my JustGiving Page:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/theparentingadventuresprematurebirths

So I am going to end this blog here, but should you have any questions on this topic then please do ask by writing a comment below.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

My experience of a Special Care unit

I was inspired to write this post after watching a Youtube video by two of my favourite couples, and families, Phil and Alex, who’s new baby Cassidy had open heart surgery, as I had that too as a child and it can be very daunting.

When I first went into the Special Care unit at St Helier Hospital in Sutton, London, I had no idea what to expect. I did before then see mothers with their babies who were in these units, and its until you go into a NICU Special care unit, how frightening at first it can be.

As a new mum I was super hormonal and cried a lot, like many of the mums and dads, too, as a baby in these units can effect everyone in your family, and I kind of at the time, shut down and I am a super planner of the future, but it hit me like a knife at first of “What is going to happen from here”, and for once felt I couldn’t plan ahead just in case.

My experience of a Special care unit of how long the NICU nurses and doctors worked and how much care they took, and did a fantastic job. They spoke to me about Henry, as if he already had a personality, and I know you may not believe me, but even when they are tiny, they can still start to form into person, and how alert they still can be. I knew from that moment when I walked in their it would take me sometime to adjust, didn’t think once about when my son Henry would be able to come home, and just focused for once on the present moment.

My son was born premature at 31 weeks and it was because his heart rate kept dropping and mine was going berserk, and in what I recall as a flash, he was delivered and taken away to the Care unit, who would look after him for a week and luckily was strong enough to be transferred to the hospital nearer to where I lived at the time, and again was well looked after by the NICU unit there too. Many moan about the NHS, but the staff who work in these units do a great deal of work to help you take care of your baby, as even though you think it will come naturally does change your life and it does become about them and not you, and all you can think of is making sure they thrive, by feeding, growing and how alert they are.

They gave us this booklet, which was written by the charity Tommy’s and it told you things that noone ever shared in any of the baby books I read. Premature births are a lot more common than you think. I before Henry was born, even came across an article about it, and I remember saying to myself “I won’t need to read that” and I wished I had.

I would like to do a Youtube video talking about this, so when I do I will post it on this site and I will let you know once it is up.

I remember one time when sitting quietly looking at my new born son, watching the screen which measured his heart rate and breathing like a hawk and suddenly it starts beeping and dropping, and I was beside myself, but then one of the nurses said to me for reassurance, “It’s okay, has he changed colour, is he moving?”, and I nodded and she went onto say, unless they change colour and don’t move then yes worry, and we would be with him like a shot and so if we don’t react, then you have nothing to worry about and all that happened was the wire attached to his foot that measured his pulse had fallen off slightly.

Children are a lot stronger than what you think they are, even as tiny babies and what I loved the most was that they encouraged you to do the self care of your baby yourself without intervening and would talk us through it a lot and the one advantage of having a baby in special care, even though by choice they wouldn’t be, was that they showed you and took more time in sharing how to properly bath your child, what were the best bottles to use, the recommended formula milk, as I had problems with my breastmilk and if you would like me to talk more on this then leave a comment below, and what the best nappies to use were. They also outside the special care unit, details of other babies who were born premature and are still alive and kicking today.

A lot of the time in the UK if you have a full term baby you are sent home without being given this information and are often sent home on the same day, and no, noone wants their child to be in the special care unit, but looking back in a positive note they do take more care of you. Not all maternity units, may I add, but some of them, and they wanted to get ride of the maternity units in our local hospital and St Helier, but glad they haven’t because they do take a lot of care of you in their maternity units, and I would not have gotten through it without their help.

It is scary and nothing prepares you for any type of birth, as it can just happen, but I would if I could turn the time back to reading the article I saw about premature births read it, and would like to think by doing this, would have given me more of a piece of mind.

If you would like to ask me further questions on this topic then please go ahead. Their is a comment section below, and to keep up to date with all my blogs on this site, then you can follow me too.

There is one other thing I would like to tell you about, and that is this year like I have done every year leading up to Christmas, like to raise money for a good cause, and was going to have this post up on Facebook to help me do that, however Facebook wouldn’t let me, so I have set up a Justgiving page to raise money for Tommy’s, so if you would like to donate, then please click on the following link to do so.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/theparentingadventuresprematurebirths

So if you have just had a baby, congratulations and enjoy their babyhood as much as you can, as once they begin to grow there is no stopping them.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

Inspirational Newborn Quotes - new baby sayings and verses | Newborn quotes,  Baby quotes, Baby love quotes

Am I a Supermum

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DO I CLASS MYSELF AS A SUPERMUM?

No I don’t as I am human and don’t mind showing the mistakes I have made. Parenting can be plane sailing for some, but it has never been like that for me, I have struggled and I know I am not on my own on that.

I always knew as a kid I wanted to have children of my own one day and you think it is something that comes naturally to you. Let me tell you if you are thinking of having a family and no I am not a spoiler or a mum who likes to share horror stories, just my own struggles, is that it didn’t at all. I found breastfeeding I didn’t have enough hands to get it right, I was all finger and thumbs when I first held my son Henry when he was in the special care unit, and held onto him like he was like a bomb that if I dropped him he would explode and being so tiny, I held on as you are frightened at first of dropping them, and changing nappies, not just me but every parent that first changed one, on their child put the nappy on the wrong way round.

Can it become easier?

At first I wanted to throttle those who said it did, but now that my son is almost seven, which will be in two days time, yes it does and I am more relaxed now than when I was at the beginning. Parenting is a new skill for everyone and as much as your child is adjusting to being out in the world, so are you. There is no child that is the same, some sleep. My son however and I am not gloating, as he still wakes up early still, can sleep through a tornedo and still stay a sleep.

Can a child’s sleep pattern change?

Yes, Henry slept from when he was born through the night, but became less when he began teething, which wasn’t long after he was born. They can make themselves go to sleep, but doing story time or letting them listen to gentle soft music can help too, and I would say with bedtime, definitely establish a bedtime routine.

What about food and meals?

Well, where do I begin, I thought I was being Supermum putting together home made baby food, until some evenings my son refused to eat any of it, and then feeling disheartened, and wanted to say to him “Please give some sympathy it took me ages to make that”, but do babies and kids care? Did I when I was a kid who was the fussiest child in the world when it came to food and dinner? NO.

So if your child turns their nose up, don’t feel that you let the side down, kids make choices from early on in their development and always have a back up. Left over fruit, veg and meat can be pre-cooked and warmed up, and have a few already made baby food pouches or jars to hand, just in case.

I do love being a mum and there are parts I do enjoy, like cuddles, watching some TV together, playing connect 4 not letting my competitive side show, even when he does cheat and when we dance to music.

Meal times have got better and I like having a family meal at least once or twice a week if not everyday, and having chill out time for yourself too.

So stay safe and well, and I will blog again soon.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

The Life Of A Blogging Parent- That’s kids!

I love writing blogs about being a parent, because I know like me we love it, but there are times where we feel baffled.

Is everyday as a parent different?

Yes! Children like I could be lovely but yes there were times I played up too. I would do the child stomp as if my head lost its hinge and flop my arms down, sulking into my bowl of frosties when told off. That’s kids.

My son volunterley will turn his back to me fold his arms and look towards a wall yet when I was a kid it was a sign of punishment when a school teacher told you off and said to sit towards a wall with arms and legs crossed.

Blogging as a parent helps to highlight areas that other parents struggle with also, which can make me look back and laugh at, like one day a child will put his shoes away no problem or hassle and other days he won’t. That’s kids.

I do find it funny when Henry finds it hilarious during story time as instead of getting sleepy and the way I will read a story we both end up in hysterics and can’t reach the end of a book because we are laughing our heads off. That’s kids.

When I first blogged I talked about giving Henry his first bath at home which thanks to my ex-husband became a shambles and we all couldn’t wait until it was over.

Do I have a schedule?

I do have a kind of schedule but because kids can be unpredictable like pick up illnesses especially at school I plan day by day usually following a to do list which is also done on the go, and it is the case of prepare for change of plans which comes with being a parent and still trying to still get stuff done at the same time.

So should you plan for the unexpected?

Yes! I have learned that being flexible with scheduling helps and not too plan too far ahead, just in case.

I worship a cup of coffee and tea like you wouldn’t believe now as kids keep you on your toes like when Henry thought opening the fridge door continuously was a new game. That’s kids.

When do I tend to write my blogs?

Well as he is with his dad at the moment during the day, but when he is with me in the daytime in the evenings when he is a sleep. No rest for the wicked.

Do I mind?

No! There was a time I did get stressed about it, but now I take a break and chillout. When it comes to blogging it’s about quality not quantity.

So I am gonna as my favourite band Bon Jovi sings, I’m going to rest my weary head, and relax for the rest of the night so I can blog ahead as the weekend commences and be fresh for tomorrow morning.

Life as a blogging parent has its challenges but wouldn’t change it for the world.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

Keep our kids safe

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Due to the internet it is so easy to share pictures of our kids, of days out and when they have started school and birthdays, but it is also important to be vigilant .

With Ipads and Tablets they can share anything they want to, but the other side of it , is that you have no idea who is reading and seeing that information, because Peodophiles thrive on pictures of naked pictures of kids, and this is why I never share pictures of my son naked in case the pictures ends up in the wrong hands.

I want help stop child abuse because it wrecks their childhood and to keep our kids safe, we must be aware of what content they watch, who they speak to and do they stop watching something when you walk into their room. When abusers target kids it is for one reason because they can and they will.

My first tip is:

  1. Monitor what your child looks at and there are settings you can put on your child’s tablet and iPad, parental lock on certain sites, same with TV’s and computers/laptops

I remember there was a guy who lived in the New Croft Estate that would watch pornagraphy and would make his kids watch it. I know this because my brother would hang out with his son’s and saw it for himself.

2. Get to know other parents well enough before allowing them to go to their friends for a playdate and if you do run a sports or children’s club to always do a CRB check first on volunteer helpers and make sure they have an up to date DBS.

They can put their DBS on an update service, which shows that their DBS is up to date.

When your DBS expires then you do have to have a new one when working with children.

Going on my experience though these channels don’t stop adults from abusing but it will help you see if they have any passed convictions or not.

When looking after children it is your responsibility to keep them safe and I remember when running a kids football team, one of the boys wondered off and so I told him off to the point I did make him cry because they were my responsibility as a football coach and I didn’t want any of the kids going missing whilst I was in charge, as that is something I didn’t want on my conscious.

3. The one thing I did when we had a match is made a substitute area so they could have a kickabout and keep warm whilst the game was playing and had one of the kids parents watch them whilst I coached the team on the pitch, and I would say to do this all the time, and make them wear bright coloured bibs whilst not playing as if they do wonder off they can be easily seen.

I would say to do this when taking your kids out of the day too, wearing bright coloured clothing but also if they still walking without knowledge of where they going have them wear reins just until they learn about their whereabouts.

4. If you run a kids club of any kind make sure you’re wearing bright coloured bibs or t-shirts too so they know who is supervising the club and an ID badge with their name and role within the club.

To help with child abuse if a child reports abuse or you notice abuse may be taking place, have a Safeguarding officer within the club, who will be specifically there to help kids stop the abuse and to make sure those responsible are investigated and the report is given to the Police aswell.

Also you can seek advice from Childline, NSPCC, Barnardo’s and your local authority.

5. When taking kids to the toilet always have them remove their clothing themselves if they can and make sure if you are in a children’s setting like a nursery you have trained staff who can change nappies safely following hygiene rules and no touching of their private areas, and if you see any bruising near these areas that this is reported immediately.

Do make sure if they have any soiled underwear that this is changed and clothing is washed above 40 degrees to make sure they are thoroughly cleaned and germs are removed.

6. To stop intruders coming into a kids club, school or nursery have a system like having a parent give a password that only the parents and you know, for picking up children if it isn’t you the parent or carer, and make sure keep a register of the children and their guardians.

I remember running a football team and the lady organizing the club didn’t tell the parent that I would be coaching the team and so when she turned up had no idea of who I was and was expecting to me the male coach.

Always communicate with you club volunteers and helpers of who will be attending the club and who will not be for health and safety and in case of a fire.

7. Do a medical form if they are doing sport so they can give you details if they have any medical conditions that could effect them from participating and that they give you an emergency number.

Never pass on any child’s personal information and all subs or fees are taken in and kept safe to bank, and make sure the name of the child and parent is named, and the best way to do this is a letter with fee and have a strip that they can cut to hand in, and that they have a copy of what they have paid to them too.

8. If you are a child minder then make sure you register as a childminder and that your home is checked by Ofsted and that you get to know the child first, and chat with the parents before looking after a child.

Take note of when they usually have their nap and of when they need feeding and changed.

9. When a visitor does check your club or organisation that they fill in a visitors book and they to are given an ID badge and you check their ID.

Always do a risk assessment of venues for health and safety, for any potential hazards.

10. Make sure when using equipment that it has been cleaned and that no doors or corridors are blocked and that you lock equipment away and you are aware of where the fire exits are and assembly points.

I remember when at Butlin holiday camp they did a fire test in the restaurants, and the new staff we had there had no idea of what the fire alarm sounded like and do when it went off they stood around not knowing what to do.

All volunteers, children and parents should be made aware of the fire safety rules and what the alarm sounds like and where to find the vacuation point is, and mark everyone on the register in case there is someone stuck in there.

All tower blocks should have a sprinkler system, a fire escape and an alarm fitted, and don’t stay inside evacuate immediately.

Keeping our kids safe should be top priority and so do make sure you take note of these tips and advice to protect you and your children.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

How to deal with a total meltdown to and from school

So it has only been 3 days since the return of school and we have already had tears and total meltdown, whilst getting there and coming home. Of course the easiest way to deal with it is to pretend they aren’t yours and they have just followed you, and now you can’t take them back.

Or to also pull a tantrum so they have a taste of their own medicine, but when it is in the middle of a train station, the chances are you will be escorted out, along with your child.

Luckily when this happened on literally my sons first day, so literally Wednesday just gone, some lovely man working in the station lended me hand getting my son through the gates as he was refusing to do so and wanted to continue to ride on the train.

HONESTLY HOW MANY BUSES AND TRAINS CAN YOU GO ON WHEN WHERE THEY ARE AT LAST HAPPY AND NOT BE A TOTAL NIGHTMARE.

I don’t want to be seen moaning a lot about parenting, but keeping it real by showing that however much I bribe, console and do what it says in parenting books, that being a parent of a now very stroppy 6 year old, it isn’t always a bed of roses.

Once we get to school he is fine and during school so far, but when getting him to and from school, that’s when he can play up, and I am the parent with the screaming child doing all he can to let the world know that he isn’t happy and not having none of it.

HOW TO DEAL WITH A TOTAL TO AND FROM SCHOOL ?

The one thing I have learned is to stay calm and keep my composure, as much as possible, I know this isn’t always easy, and you wish you could click your fingers or have a remote control that could defuse a meltdown, it just I feel when I get worked up adds to the fuel in the meltdown, and making it clear that their behaviour isn’t good without shouting, but being firm and also talking rather than shouting or screaming works betters.

IF ONLY WE COULD TAKE A PILLOW WITH US TO SCREAM INTO, WOULD COME IN HANDY !

Nevertheless all is okay, my son is now in bed and soon it will be another day and the weekend again, where his dad will take over.

I do love my son, alot and do enjoy motherhood, but there are times that I don’t and I think it is okay to say that, because children are like puzzles you are always trying to solve only to be broken again and I will admit there are times that I still don’t always have clue, but you just have to remember that meltdowns and tantrums don’t last forever and you can have your own tantrum once they are in bed and treat yourself to a nice evening of a cup of tea or something stronger and all is right with the world again.

So if you are like me got some peace now is the time for us parents to wind down to and to get ready to sleep ourselves.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

Looking forward to the year ahead

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As we get to the end of another 6 weeks of summer holidays, next week it is all systems go again, and so looking forward to the year ahead, has many dilemmas in front of it, like looking for a new school for Henry to go to next year, and getting him somewhat prepared for the new set of learning tools he has to do for this year.

I do think that going on the amount of homework that my son had to do last year, it is only going to mount up, so on Monday and Tuesday, will consist on doing some last minute homework, that he can have completed ready for when he begins school again on Wednesday of next week.

I think as soon as you know that you have a week to go, it is time to set a plan and have everything ready in time, so there is no last minute dashes and be panic free.

My lists have been written and now it is just about getting everything together. The one thing I am looking forward to, is having my time between the school drop off and pick up again, so I can do my work without interruption, instead of having to fit it in during the evening, which I have had to do a lot during the school holidays.

I think Henry is looking forward to going back as from when the school holidays began, he has kept asking to go back to school, and so I think he will go in no problems, I just hope he can catch up on his learning and not be so behind like he was last year.

I do feel somewhat under pressure because with Lockdown we haven’t had time to look at other schools, but now will have that time again, it is applying for a new school come next year in time, and see the schools that are for specialist kids with ADHD and development delay. So less kids per class, but then it is getting Henry used to going their instead, it may be huge transition again for him, as he will need to form new friendships and get to know the teachers again.

When a child has ADHD I find doing short spells of sit down learning to be more beneficial than long hours of learning and setting it out, so he knows this is what we are doing now, and if they do that then you can choose what to do next, to be the best approach.

Also when out and about like we have done, going through the different numbers of houses, and seeing what bus numbers we can see, spotting different coloured cars, has been really effective in his learning, every bit does count, and make it fun rather than being too strict.

The other thing you can try is extend the hours of how long they can sit down for each time, to help with their concentration, gradually and let them have a choice as said above, as this helps with their communication and make choices, and in turn you get to know what their main interests are and how you can import other areas into their learning that they struggle with, but can learn in a different way so they become interested.

Just do what you can and do communicate with your childs teacher to let them know where your child is at, with their learning, so they can be on the same page as you to help with your childs learning.

So I am going to end this blog here and will be adding more as we get nearer to the new school year.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

Good Parenting Habits

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As a parent to try and stay somewhat organized it is good to have some good parenting habits, and do things that you both can enjoy,such as:

  1. Get ready the night before. So rather than rushing in the mornings and worried that your child is going to cause havoc, when you are not with them for 5 minutes, taking my shower the night before and laying out my clothes, saves me so much time the next morning
  2. Have meals with your kids. So breakfast and dinner, as when I have eaten at different times he hasn’t always stayed at the table, so I make sure I have at least one meal with my son, to encourage him to eat and be good during meal times.
  3. Rewards and encouragement. When Henry has done well with his homework, eaten his meals, played nicely and without a fuss, he will get rewarded. By doing this I find my son gets into good habits of his own, by tidying his toys away, playing connect 4 without cheating and fussing and gone shopping with me with no fuss
  4. Creating a schedule. I live by my schedules and I do them each week and weekend. It helps me with making sure I have some relax time and self care too
  5. Chatting with your child to see how they feel and if they are trying to tell you something, but not yet fully speaking, but is still mumbled and in baby talk, then chatting with them to find out what they want is the key, and use images to help them to.
  6. Good routine, that helps you and them. It lets them see that not every hour or day is playtime and they must do some learning too, to help with their independence and wellbeing.
  7. Having mum and son time. This really helps us to bond as mother and son, example: building lego, doing some fun homework, as it doesn’t have to be strict, or watching a bit of TV together
  8. Set boundaries, which I talk a lot about, as this helps them see what is good and what is bad, and if they are bad then there are consequences, like not allowing them to watch their iPad , but when they are good then they can
  9. Both getting outdoor time. I think this is important as we can all get bored being stuck indoors all day. I know we have been in lockdown, so couldn’t be helped, but now we can go out more it does a world of good, as it breaks down the day and whilst your child is playing in the park, you can have some time sitting down drinking a coffee if you wish and both allowing each other some space
  10. Arranging play dates. Again this has been tricky with the Pandemic, but now we can socialise more, why not have a play date, it gives them time to spend with other children and yourself, spending time with other adults and parents.

If you have some good habits that I haven’t listed then please share in the comments section below.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

When Parenting is Bliss

Today was a hit a miss day. Henry did his last day of his School Sports club which was organized by Headstart, please read my previous post: Afterschool and summer clubs

So he was full of beans this morning and enjoyed his last day of the club, and was a pleasure on the journey back home.

We then later on after Henry had his lunch took him to a funfair in Wimbledon Park. Well of course as soon as he saw the playground as there are two in the park, he wanted to go in them.

However we wanted him to do this last and do the funfair first, as we weren’t sure how long it was open for, and as soon as we entered Henry wanted to go on the airplane ride. Henry has ADHD and so his patience for queuing is pretty limited and was really kicking off whilst we got him tokens to go on the rides, and also the bouncy castle.

The one thing about funfairs is like playgrounds, it is great getting them in there, it is just getting them out again that can be tricky. You can often be the parent whose child is screaming blue murder, because they don’t want to leave and suddenly you want to have a tantrum of your own and say “This ain’t fare why is it always my child?”, but then we’d probably be criticized by those parenting trolls and asked to leave.

Henry did not want to get off the bouncy castle and decided to have the poor lady who was in charge of the castle, chase him round. Honestly they say parents can be embarrassing, kids can be too, trust me. Finally the lady who was running the bouncy castle got him off at which we had to say “That isn’t right” and explained to him that he has to come off when he is told to, and we did pre-warn him first before he went onto the bouncy castle. With my son though, when he is defiant it is hard to negotiate with him, in any case he did say sorry, and then he did go on a couple more rides again, but he kept getting upset when the rides had finished and so we decided to go.

Henry I could see was tired and wasn’t really the best time to go, because he has been awake for ages, because he wakes up so early.

The one thing I would say, is if you can take them when they aren’t tired and are the most cooperative then do so, and for us that is in the morning.

However, we took Henry to have an Ice Cream and he was fine. He sat in the cafe there and ate him ice cream without a murmur.

Now as I am writing this blog, he has laid in bed no getting up because I have left the room to have a shower, like he can do one some evenings and went to the toilet and brushed his teeth happily and so if you have up and down days too, but have a peaceful evening, just take in when parenting is bliss, as like me, you never know how long it will last.

When it comes to parenting, no days are the same and one minute they can be happy and doing as their told to being a total pest.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

Afterschool and summer clubs

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Henry has joined his first summer school club. I was indecisive of what to do, as I really wanted him to take part in a school club activity, but as Rugbytots was a failure, I wasn’t sure how he would do. This club is organized by Headstart and it is teaching children all different sports.

So far he has been lovin it and done really well.

His first day, Monday was a little nervy because he did get up and run off, like he can but when I caught him and sat him back down, he then followed the coaches instructions and joined and had lots of fun.

I stayed until the first break, as they do three 45 minutes of different sports and then in between have 15 minute breaks, so they can have a drink, use the toilet and have a snack and just time so the coaches can then set things up for the next 45 minute session.

I would say to other parents thinking about joining your child to do a sports club of some kind to let the organisers know if your child has any special needs or requirements. As Henry does have ADHD, the guy who was incharge, Mark, said that the organisation can’t provide one-to-one care, so that’s why I stayed in to see how he does in the first session, just to see how he gets on.

I think it is important for your child to try different clubs, because they can benefit them so much, with socialising, communication, listening, working in teams and he gets plenty of exercise, plus he loves sport.

We still have today and tomorrow to go, so I am going to see how Henry continues on and if he really does like it and enjoys it then I will join him into doing the after school club with Headstart (the organisation that hosts the club).

When it comes to doing clubs, never be shy in asking the organisers of the club, if your child can do a trial run. They may say no, but never be fearful of asking, as all they will say is no. Once you have checked then you can decide from there.

Of course it is important that they are able to get changed by themselves and go to the toilet independently as there won’t always be someone with them, but what I liked is Mark the man in charge, asked Henry’s coach, as the kids were divided in different groups, to show Henry where the toilets were, should he need to go.

If you are not sure about joining your child to an afterschool club, then book them into a summer clubs at their school (if their school does any clubs), then see how they get on. There is no harm in trying these clubs out, as you will soon know if they aren’t ready to take part in afterschool club.

The club was £60 and that was for the four days, as Headstart clubs are in the summer and run for 4 days during different weeks. There were some kids who did all the weeks and some that did a few, you can decide, but when you do, get in early as the places for these types of clubs, get booked up very quickly.

I managed to get a place because someone cancelled the day before, so I got the last place.

Anyway so far it has been good, so fingers crossed it will be the same for all the days of the club and then will look at joining Henry up to the after school club, this coming year.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

Getting ready for the new school year

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I know we still have a few weeks left of the summer holidays, but as the weeks seem to fly by, it will soon be another school year.

First tip# Have all your school uniform in one place, so you can just take it out and go through it, and do some checking by having your children try on the uniform to see what they have grown out of, and what items they will need for the next year, that will fit them.

This will give you time to get some new bits rather than waiting to order items at the last minute.

Second tip# Label everything with your child’s name on it, even their underwear, as Henry still has the odd accident and also their socks. You can either use stickers, or write on the label or like Emily Norris showed in one of her videos, which I will link, used a stamp to label her children’s clothes and it was strong ink so it wouldn’t rub off.

3

I CRIED EDITING THIS VIDEO! HACK, BACK TO SCHOOL & DAY IN OUR LIFE | Emily Norris

Look for second hand uniform as some items don’t need to be brand new as they do grow so quickly and then you can reuse it for your next child, if you have more than one child.

Third tip# If your school does a uniform sale, which follows on to what I said above, that is second hand uniform, just make sure you relabel it with your child’s name and you wash it first before it is worn, as it would have been handled by many people, before it needs to be worn by your child.

The night before the school year terms starts, hang each child’s uniform in their room or if they get dressed in the Living room then have it hanging in their for the morning.

Tip 4# To help save you time, do a check list and to help your child to be independent give them individual check lists so they can go through their bags and clothes to make sure they have it already for school the next day.

Tip 5# Do a block schedule, so you can print one out or make one, as I have done for my personal planner and my financial planner. I am going to update block schedule by having separate google calendars for school dates, work and personal.

Using google calendar is great as you can take it wherever you go on your phone and set reminders for other things you need to remember.

Tip 6# Make Fridays your clear out day, so you have a good clear out of their school bags, wash all uniform including PE Kit and sports wear, update their diary and check for any homework that is due.

When it comes to homework set a plan of when you will do homework each day and show them. Give your child a schedule so they to can see when they will have homework, when they will have play time, dinner and then bed.

Tip 7# Start looking at booking afterschool clubs, if you would like your child to stay on after schools finishes especially if you work full time, and/or just want some extra time during the day, then book as soon as new places become available. My son’s school have already put the forms up ready and so we have filled this in.

When it comes to choosing an afterschool club, and are not sure if you child will be happy to go to one, then you usually have to contact the actual club organisers which are separate from the school, and ask if your child can try it out first. Some may say no, but there is no harm in asking. Usually when it comes to school clubs, because they are a separate company to the school, they won’t do 1 to 1 care, like they do during the school day, so if you are unsure then I would wait until your child is a more independent and can change their clothes on their own, can go the toilet by themselves and not reliant on another person.

You will soon know when your child is ready and when you do know, get in quick as going on my own knowledge, places for afterschool clubs can fill up very quickly.

Tip 8# Get them prepared for the new school year. At my son’s school they did a couple of transition days towards the end of the last year, and with Henry they did the transition for him the week before whilst he was attending school after Lockdown, and they have created a book about his new year in September to help us get him prepared.

You can do the same, just ask if you can take pictures but make sure you don’t post them on social media to protect your child and other children. In the booklet show them where their classroom will be and look like, where their pegs are going to be, who will be their teacher and assistant teachers and where they will have playtime and lunch.

Tip 9# If your child has not attended that school before or it is their first year, then do a trial run of the journey. Often at schools they will do a Moving up day or a introduction days, so they can get to know their new surroundings, there maybe some children they may already know , because often the nurseries they have been to, if local they will take the children over to the school so they can see what it is like then too. Don’t be surprised if they are a little bit daunted as it is a huge transition from nursery to school, as there are more rules and regulations that we as a parents have to follow and for our children.

There is a brilliant learning activity book that Henry chose with some money he was given and bought it from The Works, and it is a Let’s get ready for School Activity kit, and it has a activity book, instructions for parents of how to use the kit and has a book about starting school and what he will need.

Tip 10# So you can get ready before your kids have to, set your alarm half an hour to an hour before your children wake up, if they tend to wake up late. If they are like my son and early bird, then I don’t really need an alarm, because he is my alarm and gets up anytime between 4am to 6am, so no chance for me to get up before hand, as this means getting up at 3am.

So I have my shower, clothes hung up and picked for the next day, along with my sons uniform and bags packed by the door, so all I have do is get myself dressed, get my son dressed and have breakfast and then off to school.

When it comes to the school run it is always a mad dash, but if you can prepare and plan ahead it will help with the mad rush and concentrate on getting there.

There will be more blogs and tools to come for getting your kids ready for the new school term, so please keep a look out for posts and more printables.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

How to deal with the strops

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Hello and welcome to another parenting blog. In this post I writing about how to deal with the strops. My son is very stroppy at the moment, and it can be about the most minute thing, like Grandpa not opening the gates for us to park outside our home and it being nanny instead.

He gets stroppy if he isn’t pushed on the swing, because we are trying to teach him how to work the swing on his own, and he will pull the biggest strop ever, by stamping his fit, winge and then starts to get vicious. So to stop him I tell him “If you don’t want to go home I suggest you stop that otherwise you won’t get anything you want and hitting me is not going to help you”.

This will usually stop him, but when it becomes a continuous thing through the day it can really start to wear thin on your patience and then I can explode, but when I do that he can start laughing and not take me seriously which then really gets my back up, as I know he is doing it because he knows that he has got me and will continue to be defiant, so what I do then is say “Right okay, we’ll go home and you won’t play out again for the rest of the day or get your tablet”.

Kids need to know where you stand and when you are being serious and from experience shouting doesn’t seem to do the trick, but taking something he loves playing with away from him keeping a steady voice, he does.

When I was a kid my dad was very strict and if we didn’t eat our dinner we were told that we couldn’t leave the table unless we had finished our dinner and I could be sitting there for hours with my dinner was getting cold and if we started being a pain in the bum we were then sent to bed with no TV and were slapped.

That was a different time and there was no naughty step and so our punishment was to go to bed until the next day, or weren’t allowed to play outside in the Estate where we lived. Please check out my book called The Peabody Years, which documents my life back when I lived in Peabody Estate in Hammersmith. It is available via Amazon.

The roads, the park and the adventure play ground were our playground most of the time and playing in the streets were the normality of those days, before the internet and ipads, etc came along. It was a different lifetime.

Now kids have a load of activities to choose from, but if they decide to be stroppy and uncooperative, not doing as they are told then why should they get a new toy or play on their bike?

I am a great believer that if you are good then you are rewarded, but if you don’t behave then you won’t get a rewarded or get to play with their favourite toy.

Also when Henry is tired he can get super stropy and boisterous, by grabbing the first item he sees and chucks it. He will become overtired which for my son it is dangerous territory as he will start to be a pain in the bum when it comes to going to bed and to sleep.

Having a good bedtime routine can take control of that and helps them understand when it is time for bed, it is time to be quiet and chillout.

Set rules and boundaries, and put them up on the wall so they know how they must behave and what happens when they are good compared to when they are not.

The more they understand about how they must behave helps them when they start school or nursery, because of playing with other kids and how to be respectful to their teachers.

Soon they will back at school and so if you are counting down the days then have no fear it will soon be here, and I am going to post a lot in the coming weeks as we get nearer of tips and tricks of getting ready to go back to school.

So thank you so much for all that are following me on this blog so far and have liked my posts, it is truly amazing and wouldn’t go a day without you guys keeping me going.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

Reducing Parenting Stress

When it comes to being a parent there are all kinds of worries that can cause us not to sleep well at night. My son at the moment is very stroppy when he can’t have his way, hits out when he doesn’t get what he wants and keeps on and on repeating himself to see if he keeps on that we will suddenly change our minds.

Parenting is stressful at times and often we can feel like we have no control over the situation. We suddenly feel guilty for not knowing what to do, but feel that we should know what to do and be prepared for any situation, because of parenting instinct.

However they are little humans and we have no idea what really goes through their minds, like we don’t know what is going on in other adults minds. Kids are unpredictable, one minute they like eating bananas the next they don’t. They are continuously changing their minds over things so being a parent it can be baffling.

Check out my blog I wrote called: What to do when kids are unpredictable

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Reducing parenting stress I would advise you to not just put your child in time out, but you too. Not meaning that you should be punished, but moving away from the situation, to give yourself time to breath, think and then act.

When you both have calmed down, so you and your child, then explain to them, that their behaviour is not good and if you want to be happy and want me to be happy, then you must be nice and do as mummy or daddy asks.

a child and a mother

I do believe in taking items they love away from them if they can’t be good and decide to be horrible instead, because it makes them see that kicking and screaming is not going to get them what they want, and they have to understand that mum and dad, or nan and grandad, have boundaries that must not be crossed.

It is teaching kids to be respectful and kind.

The sooner a child understands about boundaries the more they will see that if they are listening and being good, then they will have the things they love and enjoy, and makes everyone happy.

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Showing a child pictures of different emotions can help them in their understanding of what makes everyone around them happy, when someone is unhappy and sad.

I watched a video by one of my favourite Youtubers, called Do It On a dime and she talked about how she felt last year that she couldn’t get into teaching her sons at home, yet she had been a teacher for many years. In the video she recommends another lady who has a website and a Youtube channel to help you when you feel overwhelmed.

She suggests looking at photos of the different ages of when you were your children’s age and what would you tell your younger self.

The other thing I would suggest is to journal and create goals for both you and your children to help with their learning and development.

Kids need to understand that there are rules set for a reason and that is to allow them to play but nicely and safely.

So lets continue to enjoy the rest of the school summer holidays and try to have a happy home as much as possible.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

What you need as parents

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Being a parent we can often neglect ourselves because we are so focussed on our kids, but what about the key things we need:

  • A place where you can take 5 minutes of peace and quiet, so why not create a place in your garden or a room where you can just sit and be quiet, and put a sign on the door, “Only come in once mum or dad has had some quiet time”.
  • A hobby. I  am loving my weekends now and so my hobby for myself at the weekends is to do some walking in many different places and sit in the sun reading a book, writing in my journals or planning my writing for my books and blogs
  • Time with friends. Being a parent we can often feel isolated and lonely at times so make a date with your friends to have some time with them, whilst someone else takes care of your baby
  • Learn something new. I love doing training courses, so I will often go onto Offcourse.co.uk and do a course to help me with my work and on my own personal development
  • Take yourself on a date. So now I have my weekends free, I will be having a lot of dates with myself and going on many trips. You don’t have to necessarily spend money but just go out and explore
  • Parks with a kiosk, so you can grab that well earned coffee whether hot or cold, whilst your kids are playing
  • Cook your favourite meal for once or go out to dinner, with no kids for a change and put on a movie or play out some tunes, respecting your neighbours or fellow public in parks, and bring some festival music to enjoy your summer even more
  • Have money saved just for you, not just for your kids, so you can save up for things you would would like on your wish list aswell as your kids

As parents, it isn’t often that we get time to ourselves so when we do, it is important I think to make the most of any free time, to help us recharge our batteries.

It is important to look after our own wellbeing aswell as I kids, as when we are happy, they will be happy too.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

When kids are driving you mad

New changes to when I will be posting blogs on this  site. Instead of posting on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I will be now posting on a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Continue reading When kids are driving you mad

Helping kids to use their imagination

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When I was a kid I loved doing pretend play where we would pretend to be mums with our dollies and toy pushchairs walking around the Estate I lived in or played indoors.

(If you would like to read about my life growing up in Peabody Estate then why not check out my book, The Peabody Years on Amazon. )

I remember when Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew and we each pretended to be a royal bride and go up some steps which used to be a laundry room or something like that,  and pretended that we were on the Royal Balcony with people cheering us.

Neither of us kissed just to say, it was never like that but we just liked to pretend we were different people for a good few hours.

Creating pretend play like having a toy kitchen area, having a dolls house or costumes were great, and we were always in fancy dress. Helping kids to use their imagination is great for them to build relationships with other children and learn to create stories.

It encourages them to speak and make associations with things so they know what a fireman looks like, what a hospital kit looks like and what you do in a kitchen.

Normally now when a kid starts school they will start of by doing more learning through play rather than beginning a child’s school life doing sit down work and Henry has really benefited through play, as he will often do pretend play with his drafts kid and play tipping point, he knows what 10,000 pounds is and pretends that the person he is imagining himself as, gets the jackpot of 10,000 pounds.

He has learned through continuing to play in the park with other kids how to climb more challenging climbing frames, which really helps with his motor skills, which are important.

Kids will learn what is washing machine if they have pretend one at home that they can play with, and what you do if you have a kitchen sink, and knows that this is for cleaning dishes.

I loved writing and creating stories since I was a kid and would often do writing and I think that kids should still do handwriting lessons like I had at school because I do think where we have electronic devices now, how handwriting can become affected, I know mine has since I have been using the computer more, and so I do make a point of actually writing, and getting kids to do fun writing games can really help with their growth and development.

Create a story with your child and make it as creative and fun as possible, then you have something you can keep forever and look back on.

With my son Henry I want him to have lots of good memories of his childhood and be able to look back and smile, and doing pretend play is a great way to bond with your children, and gets the child out of you too.

So lets get imagining and have lots of fun.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

Parenting Dilemmas and how to deal with them.

my second parenting book front cover

 

Hello and welcome. if you didn’t read my previous post called When kids run off and children go missing, then you wouldn’t have seen the free printable that I had created about Parenting Dilemmas and how to deal with them, as there are very many and so please check out my printable here for this information.

PARENTING DILEMMAS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM

When it comes to parenting it can lead you scratching your head, not meaning you have nits, but because of being baffled like I have been as to what to do, so thought I would share some of my own tips that I have learned since becoming a parent myself and how to deal with them.

Should you have any questions about parenting then please ask in the comments section below and I will be happy to answer them.

I set up this blog up because I wanted to help fellow parents because with kids there are no real instructions, so I knew I wanted to share my own experience to help others as there are many things that you are never told that I like to share in my posts.

I hope you do find my free printable helpful and if you have any feedback of topics you’d like me to cover about being a parent then do ask.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

When kids run off and children go missing

 

a child and a mother

Yesterday I had the fright of my life. I was in Poundland in Putney, London when all of a sudden I let go of my son’s had for literally a second and he sprints out of the shop door.

I then put back the item I was taking off the shelf and run after him, but couldn’t see him or what direction he took. My heart was in my mouth as Putney is a big town and lots of people, so he could have gone anywhere.

Luckily this lovely lady came and saw that I was somewhat distressed and knew that I was looking for a child, and said to me”Don’t worry we will find him” and she grabbed a security officer who was about to radio to another security guy to look for him.

We went back to Poundland and luckily he had returned, but I was at this point out of my whitsend, and boy did I tell him off, not screaming at him but to the point he was shaking from head to foot as I honestly thought for a minute I had completely lost him and did not know what to do.

I thought that he was well passed that stage of childhood, off running off and was going to write about on my other parenting blog how he is much more able to walk with me without needing to hold my hand and stay by my side, but after yesterday’s events, it made me see that when it comes to kids there is no knowing what they will do sometimes, and you do have to stay on your toes at all times.

As said Putney is quite a busy town with a very large busy road, and near the river too, so who knows what could have happened if I hadn’t been helped.

I am so grateful for other mums and parents because at the time you think you are the only one who this has happened to but it isn’t, and the lady that initially helped me knew exactly what to do, and tried to keep me calm whilst we looked for him.

I remember once when I was a kid I without telling my parents went to play inside someone elses home and so when my mum came to find me she couldn’t and then suddenly there was a search party looking for me, and then when she found out, of course I got a bollocking.

Of course at the time I was unaware of what distress I caused, until now I am a parent myself and when a child does go missing it is a parents worst nightmare; and I have had dreams where Henry has gone missing and couldn’t find him, so after yesterday I am going to make sure that he holds my hand at all times or stays close to me, if not we don’t go out.

I do feel at times you do have to be tough with children so they understand that if they run off it is dangerous and makes us all sad and unhappy, and there was another lady who saw me burst into tears afterwards, who told my son that he mustn’t do that because he had scared me so much.

I now get why my parents were so vigilant in knowing when and where we were going, because a child can go missing within a second and if there are lots of people around who knows where they could be.

Anyway, thankfully as said my son did return to where he ran from, but it did shake my up today and so we stayed local and in a park I know he won’t run out from.

If you are in a park please do the courtesy thing and put the lock on the gates just in case, as I have seen an even smaller child some weeks back who ran out of the gate, when his mum had been busy pushing another child on the swing.

Remember that parks are public areas and we should all do the common sense thing and that is,

  • To watch our kids all the time
  • Make sure they don’t walk in front of a moving swing
  • Stand to close to a merrygoround as I seen kids get hit by one of these in my Estate where I used to live in Hammersmith
  • You make sure that there isn’t another child at the bottom of a slide before your child slides down it
  • Keep gates closed and shut at all times.
  • That children don’t get too close to each other now because of COVID 19 and they wash and sanitize their hands before and after using the equipment and using the gates in the park

The more we try to keep ourselves and our children safe the more we can focus on them having a good time and some fun, without going missing or getting hurt.

I have created a new printable about Parenting Dilemmas and how to deal with them:

PARENTING DILEMMAS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

Games and toys that kids love to play with

play learn and grow

Hello and welcome to a new parenting blog. In this post I am sharing some games and toys that kids love to play with.

There are classics and new games you can play and activities, please check out this video by Jordan Paige who gives details of how to keep your kids entertained at home.

With Henry he is loving Lego at the moment and we have played this a lot in the last couple of days, and have been trying to build garage for his imaginable helicopter and I am thinking of surprising him with a toy helicopter to actually put it into his garage built out of lego.

My son loves all buses, trains and helicopters, so we will often spend some time drawing these and when out looking at the numbers of buses, the different types of trains and how many planes we can spot and if we can see any helicopters.

The Countdown game, my mum bought this for Henry, because he loves this game show and has an actual board with it, where he can put letters, numbers and conundrums on, and comes with a countdown clock aswell.

Connect 4 is a household favourite and when I was at secondary school me and my friends made up a connect 4 championship in which I won.

It is a game that I don’t think will ever go out of fashion and very easy to play and encourages kids to count to see when they have 4 counters in a column or row placed together even in red or yellow counter.

Monopoly me and brother were band from playing as kids as it always ended in a fight and argument, but if you don’t have kids that will squabble then it can be a good game to play, just don’t do what me and my brother did, which was try and cheat to make each other bankrupt. Remember it is only a game.

Wordsearches and colouring in. I loved these as a kid and still do, and you can have endless amount of fun with these trying to find letters or colouring in pictures, and everyone can get involved.

Hide and seek, is a classic and my son loves it when we hide his teddy that he has to try and find, or we hide and he has to find us, to the point he will not hide himself but continuously wants to be the one who finds the person.

There are many card games you can play the most easiest one being snap but there are other games too that I love playing when I was a kid and that was rummy and eights and twos.

Rummy is where you have 4 of one suit of cards and 3 of another and eights and twos is where if you lay down a 2 card the other person has to pick up 2 cards and if a person lays an eight card of any suit the other person misses a go, and then when you are down to the last card, you must say last card, and if you can’t lay down your card because you have to lay down the same suit card unless you lay an Ace and this means you can change suit to then lay down a card of a different suit or has the same number card.

Races is always a favourite if you have kids who like to run, cycle, skateboard, scooter or skate, making sure they where a helmet and padding gear in case of any accidents.

Have a load of balloons blown up and see how many each child can burst within a minute or you can play a game with coloured balls and have a game to see how many for example red balls they can pick up and put in a bucket or even use laundry baskets.

Snakes and ladders has always been a favourite along with outdoor games like tennis, badminton, volleyball and rounders.

When we used to stay on a piece of land in Newbury we would camp there for the weekend and play such games and it was such a laugh, and if you have swimming pool or large paddling pool you can play swimming pool volleyball and get everyone involved.

There are endless games you can play. When I was a kid me and my brother and a friend of us would have toy wars, where we would throw a toy ,of course using a cuddly toy and hit one another with them.

Table Tennis has always been a favourite and you can get good priced tables now for table tennis and great if you have a big spare room, garage or garden.

It doesn’t have to be long winded games but one that can get all your kids involved and keeps them occupied for a few hours or so.

Anyway I hope these tips are helpful and until my next blog which will be on Tuesday, many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

 

My favourite family and parenting youtube channels I like to watch

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Hello and welcome to a new parenting blog post. This is keeping in with a blog I wrote yesterday on my site:

https://everyonecanbuildacastle.com

On this site I want to share my favourite family and parenting youtube channels I like to watch, and there is quite a few.

The first one I am going to recommend is a lady whom I have watched from very early on when I first began watching Youtube and that is a lovely lady called,

  1. Kate Murnane

She does day in a life videos, parenting videos, clean with me and hauls, and gives some brilliant hacks to make life that bit easier, especially if you have children.

Kate has two boys called Archie and Elliott and does share some really good tips on entertaining your children and things you can do to save yourself a lot of time.

The other channel I like watching is,

2. Pretty Neat Living

Another person I have watched since discovering Youtube and she used to do a lot of organizational videos, day in a life videos and planner videos, but since becoming a mum of two children she has done a lot of mother and baby videos, and what her life is like now that she has two children and her family life.

3. Jordan Paige

Yes I have featured her channel in my blog I wrote in the link above on Everyone can build a castle, but she does do a lot of videos on her family life as a parent too, and I watch her channel religiously because having 8 children now, she really helps with planning stuff for your kids and how to manage them without going insane.

4. Jessica Hover 

This channel is fairly new to me, but I do like her channel and have shared a video she did a while back that really was like someone seeing into my own world and creating content about it.

Parenting is hard at times and she shares that in her content and explains what to expect that often is not talked about when having children and is very relatable and truthful.

5.  Louise Pentland

This lady I have watched since the early days and has a new book coming out about being a mum and a lot of things that noone tells you about, and about her own childhood.

Louise is a mother of two girls Darcy and Pearl and shares a lot of her life on Youtube as a influencer, content creator, an Author and being a mum to two children.

All these ladies I love to watch because they don’t shy over the challenges of motherhood or parenthood and are so real that it is like someone shining a light as if to say “Your not alone” I have been there too, and that is comforting to me, as I will admit I struggle as a parent sometimes and it is good to see that I am not the only one out there and there are resolutions to problems you just have to persevere.

6. Brittany Vasseur 

This lady is about to have another child as she already has a little boy and one on the way.

I love her content as she does content on products that are good to buy to clean and organize your home and what not to waste your money on, and hacks that are a game changer in my book.

She has also bought out her own essential oils out so please check her out, and many of her videos are focussed on her now being a mum of soon to be two children, and what is she doing to prepare for her next baby that is due soon.

7. Phil and Alex 

These two are phenomenal and have had so many struggles with trying to conceive to have a biological child of their own. They already have two gorgeous girls who were adopted and of course they love them so much, but have been trying to have a child naturally of their own too, and boy have they had to go through a lot of IVF to get there.

I am so thrilled that they finally have a child biologically of their own and my heart and prays goes out to them because I think they are truly amazing, and show that whatever challenges you face something good will come in the end.

Please do check out their videos as there journey of becoming parents will relate to a lot of people and they do give some advice to help those too who have had fertility troubles, by taking you along the way of their life on Youtube.

8. KKandBabyJ

I love watching this family of 5 as they have 3 boys and share their life as a family and again don’t shy away from showing the many challenges that come with having 3 boys.

They take you through the births of each child and the journey of bringing up 3 small boys up in Florida.

9. Emily Norris 

This lady does endless videos of cleaning up her home, being a mum of 3 boys and hacks.

She also has her own planner which she has created to help us mums be organized and plan our days especially now we are in the UK summer holiday season.

Her meal ideas and tips of keeping her house clean are great and very easy to follow.

10. The Sunday Stylist 

This a new channel I watch but have really enjoyed this lady’s content so far on organization.

She is a mum and is always sorting out her home to make it more organized and takes you through it as she reorganizes her home and what products she buys from Amazon that are really useful items to have in your home to help keep it organized.

I think for me Youtube has become my new TV as I do tend to watch more Youtube than Television because I just love what people share on there and find it empowering as a mum and inspiring.

If you have any channels you would like to recommend to me being a fellow parent then do let me know, by commenting below.

I would like to say thank you so much for those following me so far it is truly amazing and if you are new and like my content I share on this blog site, then please follow me on WordPress.com to be kept up to date with my posts I write on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting your kids to be more independent

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So as your child/children grow so does their mobility and awareness, and so as soon as they are able to move around more and pick things up, is then time to get them to do things for themselves.

Getting your kids to be more independent is a the road to helping their  healthcare and development, such as:

  • Learning to put the toothpaste on the toothbrush and independently brush their teeth
  • Put their own clothes away and into the dirty laundry basket. A hack use a pillow case as a laundry bag for dirty clothes or a storage box or basket
  • Get them a step to the sink and have them wash up their own dishes, cups and plates. I loved doing the washing up as a kid and playing, and so I would spend a lot of time washing up and playing with the bubbles
  • Have your children go round with a jug or bottle of water (example an empty plastic bottle and recycled filled up with tap water) and water the plants and flowers in your home, and digging. My son loves to get involved in these activities and it helps value these things and types of activities
  • Get them to make their own sandwiches and pack their lunch for days out and for school. My son loves being able to make his own sandwich and when I know he can be more responsible eventually I will have him pack his own bag for school, including packing lunches
  • Make their own beds and strip the bed taking it into the laundry room or to the washing machine area, and then assist remaking the bed after the bedding has been washed
  • Walk unaided along streets and parks, but reminding them to stay close by and stop before crossing a road and following road safety rules. This will help them to be aware of danger when crossing roads and to be street wise
  • Have them clean their own bikes and scooters, or have them help clean your car. Having them clean their own equipment or yours helps them to look after their toys and possessions and understanding the value of things
  • I am now helping Henry to use a swing independently so he doesn’t need to rely on me pushing him, and by doing this it did make him start to learn this skill, and it made him use other things in the park like climbing frames rather than him playing on the swings all the time
  • Operate his tablet and choose what he wants to watch on his tablet, of course monitoring him at the same time, to make sure it is suitable content he is watching

So don’t be so eager to help them even though it is parents instinct to do so, but will benefit them better when they start to do things by themselves.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

Doing homework during the school summer holidays

Hi and welcome to a new blogpost! So now my son is off for the summer holidays, until September, and to help with his learning his school has given us some printables of activities to do during the holidays (see below an example) and this maths book he has to work through.

To get kids to do their homework I have found having a structured day even during the school holidays to be more effective than doing it at random times, because I find Henry is a lot more willing to do school work in the mornings after a good nights sleep rather than in the afternoon or evening.

I have also found doing a bit each time to be a lot more effective and breaking it down into little chucks, because Henry does have ADHD and works better when he has a small amount to do, than doing say half an hours worth.

Try and set a time for when you want them to do some school work, by setting a timer with no TV or android devices as with my son he can get easily distracted with these on. So I take these away do the homework and then my son is allowed to watch some TV or his tablet afterwards as a reward.

There is brilliant website called Oak School and is a great online service that has teachers for different levels to help kids with different subjects and would totally recommend it for online learning.

If it is easier and the sun is out, why not set up a homework area in the garden so they get to be outdoors and learn at the same time.

Here are some really good books we have that have really helped with my sons reading.

My son loves these books and has quite a collection and are created for different levels of learning.

Use outdoor things to help with their learning, example my son loves buses so we will look at the many different buses and we go through what their numbers are and where they travel to and from.

We have recently bought Henry a watch to help him learn about time  and the other day he pointed at the clock and knew when it was  8 O’Clock.

Then today we were going through different door numbers as we walked to the park, as yesterday we took him to the seaside to see my Auntie and she had this talking parrot which repeated everything you said and he loved it, so took him to the toy shop to find one but they didn’t have one, so I bought him skateboard instead because he was fascinated by the skateboarders we saw when we took him to the South Bank in the week.

Teaching them about the different time zones if you are travelling abroad and seasons so they learn about the nights being lighter for longer and it becoming dark early in the winter.

There is so much you can do to help them with their learning, to the point where like my son did today asked if he can do some maths or reading.

When they start to begin to ask to do some work you know you are on the road to a winner.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

10 tips of staying safe this summer of 2020

Pin on backdrop

Hello and welcome. So my son has begun his school holidays and even though he is 6 years old he still sometimes becomes unaware of danger.

Staying safe during the summer holidays helps us parents to have a good peacefulish time aswell and enjoy the holidays with little tears and tantrums. Here are 10 tips of staying safe this summer of 2020:

  1. When out on their bikes, scooters or skates make sure they have a helmet on, with knee and elbow pads to protect them should they take a fall
  2. If travelling on transport and are a toddler or young child, encourage them to wear a mask, and this will be a requirement as of tomorrow for everyone including children to wear a mask when in the shops
  3. Explain to your children that they can hug mum, dad, siblings or grandparents but no body else, due to the infection of COVID 19, and to follow the social distancing rules
  4. When in a park always supervise them, as even the other a day I saw a young child wonder off out of a park gate and the mum had to run after them, because they can wonder off if you turn your back just for a second and can be a frightful experience when you  cannot find them
  5. If you going abroad use bottles water not tap water, as not all water is clean in other countries and can cause infections
  6. Have kids wearing bright coloured clothing. This is a hack my mum came up with and makes perfect sense, because as said kids may wonder off, but if they are wearing bright colours they will be easily seen, especially if you are going to a holiday resort or attraction, like a theme park
  7. Invest in a smart watch for your kids to wear which you can use if they are old enough to go out independently and you can see exactly where they are at all times
  8. Check all ingredients of kids meals in case they are prone to allergies like nuts, fish, eggs, milk or gluten, so you can be reassured that they can eat out without getting seriously ill
  9. Have kids wearing suncream between factor 35-50 at all times. What I tend to do is cover my son in suncream in the morning before he puts his day clothes on and then apply throughout the day, to the parts of his body that will be exposed to the sun
  10. Have them wear a hat and try and keep especially younger children in the shade to stop them from getting too hot

So I wish everyone a happy rest of the week and that you have a good start to the summer holidays of 2020 and I will blog again over the weekend.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

The Summer Holiday Begin/What you can do without spending loads of money

My son playing in Pimlico Gardens

Hello and welcome to another blogpost. So now my son has broken up for the summer holidays and so I am going to be super busy for 6 weeks apart from most of the weekends as my son spends this time with his dad.

I did create a plan for the summer holidays, but as there were demonstrations going on and because my son had other ideas as to what he wanted to do, that has somewhat been scrapped. So instead I have decided to plan on each day as they come.

However here are some ideas of what you can do without spending loads of money:

  1. Explore your local town. Where I live in Wimbledon we are very lucky in the fact there are quite a lot of parks, so I will be taking Henry to different ones around our area, including the Common
  2. Take a packed lunch with you for the day, using a cool bag. I bought a new one from TK Maxx which was just £5.99, and I love it. I used it for today and yesterday and it saved us loads.
  3. Create a movie day or evening, if out during the day, and make your own popcorn or like I did today bought some from Poundland to have film day indoors.
  4. Get an Oyster card and explore London. So today I went up to London by car as my mum was going into work, and so took advantage. However an Oyster card is brilliant if you are doing a lot of travel on public transport and top up as you go.
  5. Have an arts and crafts day, making cards for people you haven’t seen during lockdown or if you have any birthday coming up.
  6. Fun learning games. So to help keep Henry up to date with his learning we will be doing some online activities to help with his education and his development, and physical activities like play a board game or he has this maths book which is for year 1 from school and involvings counting and circling items into different categories
  7. Have picnic in your garden. You can go to a park or a beach but with the social distancing rules can be tricky so why not have picnic in your own back garden. We often do this for Henry and he loves it
  8. Pick up some vouchers online or get the Sun newspaper and collect tokens to visit a theme park. Sun does this every year and can save you a lot of money, aswell as the 3 for 2 offers, from cereal boxes
  9. Create a talent show for your friends and family to see via video or around your home, seeing that we can now have more people in our homes. Me and my friend Hayley did this once when we were kids for my grandparents who were looking after us. We never actually did the show though because some other people we didn’t quite know were there and both became really shy, but if your kids aren’t shy or you, then why not create a talent show. This is great if you are having a quite a few kids around you home during the holidays.
  10. Sort out the garden. If you have a garden that looks sorry for itself or are a keen gardener, then why not get your kids involved in planting some seeds or flowers. Or even your own vegetables, and let them help you look after them. My son loves this activity and keeps him busy for half an hour or so.

So it is time to get on and have an idea of what we will be doing tomorrow. Have fun everyone and I will post my next post on this site on Thursday.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

Looking after a childs mental health

preschool-cooperative-play3

From a young age I began to have insecurities about myself and so I know from experience that a child’s mental health can be effected from quite early on in their life.

This is why it is important when they are looking a bit frustrated or unhappy to not tell them off but to talk to them, as sometimes they just want someone’s ear to listen to them, not have an opinion or comment, but for someone to just hear them.

Even the most confident child can still have mental health problems, as like us our adults we can often put a brave face on, when really we are suffering in silence.

Creating flash cards to show them a happy face or a sad face can help them, to tell us their feelings and then this can help them to talk about it, and what we can do together to help those worries and fears.

Getting in touch with a childs feelings and saying “I am here for you if you want to talk” is a great way to let them know you support them and are there if needed. Never pressurise them, but be ready to speak to them when they want to express their feelings to you.

Having some quiet time is good, because they are more likely to talk sometimes when chilled out and calm and peaceful.

I notice whenever I get upset, because I can often struggle with my mental health, Henry will put is hands to his ears as if he doesn’t want to hear it and not sure as to what to do.

Being someone who has struggled with mental health for most of my life, I do feel somewhat guilty, whenever I have a bad day, but at the same time I have learned to deal with it, and in turn help my son with his mental health too.

It is human nature for us to a variety of feelings, and will still have when even older, can have a good day and a bad day, but once you know how to control those feelings, it can become a lot easier to deal with.

Whenever I see my son is unhappy I will try to find out why, and try not to get annoyed, but allow him to express himself. Making good eye contact is a must and whenever I have a moment of not feeling good, I tell him, “That mummy is okay just feeling not so good today”.

Kids need to see your emotions to learn about their own, and so if I am annoyed I don’t hide it away, because if he sees me expressing myself, then that encourages him to do the same.

Often kids will lash out because they are trying to communicate to you, and is not meant to be malicious in any way, even though it can feel like that.

In this case I will try by again getting to his level, making eye contact say “Don’t get angry, just say how you feel”, and then I will ask him questions to understand why he is cross and almost at point of having a massive tantrum.

Often being a parent you can be target number one, when they get angry or upset, but if you start to shout, often Henry won’t take this seriously and laugh, sending me to have a tantrum of my own.

What I have found effective is making Henry sit in his room or a quiet place for him to calm down, not really as a punishment, but space for him to think about what he is doing, and go through it with them so you can make them and you happy again.

Lets all support mental health and one another so we can all as parents have a better wellbeing too, to help our kids to grow up feeling happy about life and themselves. 

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

 

 

 

The end of the school blues

Library of unhappy baby free download png files ▻▻▻ Clipart Art ...

There are days that I love where I drop Henry off to school happily and then pick him up with smiles too, but sometimes, well in my case by the end of the week Henry can start to be a little bit grumpy at the end of school.

Henry has always been an early riser and will rarely sleep in beyond 6am, so when getting up this early every morning appart from the weekends starts to wear thin and leaving him all grumpy, he will stamp his feet and get upset over the slightest thing, like his father not come to school to pick him up, it wasn’t grandpa opening up the gates for us to park or him wanting to in a different direction to where we are heading.

The end of the school blues can be a common occurrence so the one thing you should not do, which I have found myself doing in the passed, is to get annoyed with them over the fact they aren’t happy at the end of school.

For me the way I handle it, is to try and calm him down and get to his level and ask, “Why aren’t you happy?”. Let them express themselves because this helps them talk about their emotions, so together you can both come up with a solution.

When Henry was upset today, I crouched down gave him a hug and just said “Come on lets go on home and I am sure you will feel a lot better”. In the end he did calm down, but got upset when we parked up to go indoors.

When Henry is tired, like a lot of children the little things can bother him but I think to be honest, we can all be like that some weeks and days ourselves.

I hated school and dreaded Mondays. I was grumpy at the beginning of the week and couldn’t wait until Friday came, however the way school is structured now I see many children smiling when they go to school, and Henry is the same.

If they are grumpy due to tiredness then instead of doing homework, leave this to the weekend or beginning of the week and have some well earned quiet time instead, so they can chill out.

Encourage them to have an early night and do the same, and why not have some together time and watch a movie in bed together.

If our kids are wiped out at the end of the week the chances are we as parents are too, so why not all of you get an early night so you can all be fresh faced tomorrow.

I hope this blog is helpful to you and please follow me if you would like to be kept up to date with my blog posts on this site, and many thanks for reading

 

Carrie X

 

What I enjoy about being a parent

So on this site I often write about how hard it can be and the many dilemmas that come with parenting.

In this blog I am sharing some of the things I enjoy about being a parent.

 

 

  • Having meal times together, it just nice to sit down and eat with no TV or distractions just the two of us
  • Receiving hugs and kisses. My son loves to cuddle and so do I and for me it is our bonding time, forgetting all the tears and tantrums, and just be together as mother and son
  • Watching a film or TV programme. Henry and I both love afternoon TV because of the many quiz and game shows there are on and so we get engrossed in these and pretend to play some of  quiz’s and shows ourselves
  • Going for walks. My son and I love to spend some time outdoors, and Henry loves watching buses and trains go by, so we will spend some time watching these and exploring our home town or during school holidays, we will travel somewhere to spend some time together
  • Playing games we both enjoy. So I love the classics like connect 4 and darts, and so does my son, so after school we will come back home do some homework and then have a game such as these for the rest of the day until dinner and bedtime
  • Receiving good reports about Henry at school. I wrote a blog post about How to handle bad school reports however when he has had a good day it can feel amazing, and I don’t feel such a failure as a parent
  • When they are happy taking them to and from school. There is nothing worse than starting the day with your child having a tantrum, but when they are all smiles and happy the school run can be the best experience in the world

Being a parent there is often no knowing at times how they are going to be from each day to the next, but when they are happy it can make up from the days when they are unhappy.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

Are Android/smart devices a Godsend for kids or a nuisance

 

So this week my son has kicked off in the mornings before going to school wanting his tablet.

If you have read my previous posts you would have seen that I have on some occasions allowed him his tablet before bed time, because it seemed to be the only option at the time to make him stay put in his bed, however there are times I wonder if android and smart devices are a Godsend or a nuisance.

It appears that due to these devices that we can often now be antisocial because of them and don’t spend family time like when I was a kid sharing our day and playing out on the streets.

As a kid I lived in a housing estate, please see my book below The Peabody Years which is about my life back then growing up in Peabody Estate, and we would use the arches as our houses and play around the estate with our pretend pushchairs and babies and use whatever wall we could find to play ball games.

I wrote a blog a while ago about Limiting screen time for kids I do think it is important because I see it as it can limit their learning. There is no greater game then actual physical activities like going out riding a bike or scooter, playing with other kids and board games.

When I was a kid I remember playing card games with my nan and grandad, and we would spend hours playing these. Then there is access to unsuitable content on these devices and can get them unwanted attention.

Me and my brother often told that listening to a walkmen was being antisociable, but now everyone has tablets so things like walkmens or portable CD players no longer exist and like me many people listen to music on their mobile phones.

With a puzzle or a game you can work together and have a chat about school at the same time.

However there are some good educational sites and APPs you can access on these devices and so can be great for their learning.

However I do enjoy having family time with my son watching game and quiz shows together or playing his favourite game, which is magnetic darts.

The tablet was good for when he was a baby and I would play lullaby tunes via Youtube to help settle him to sleep and that seemed to have worked for a while, but with the screen facing down so no blue light would come through effecting his sleep.

We have now have band the tablet in the mornings because when he first kicked off about his tablet, which was on Tuesday he screamed all the way from the car to the school gate and I then wanted to have a tantrum of my own.

I say monitor it and add it is in a part of your routine but only on good behaviour and while you need to get on with something other than watching endless episodes of Peppa Pig.

As with everything I think it comes down to moderation, and taking it away in the mornings and evenings does save a lot of hassle. Henry did still kicked the next, but when we set off he stopped and was alright again and didn’t even mention it come Friday. As with everything you just have to be consistent and persevere the best you can.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carries X

 

How to make everyday things seem fun for your kids

Getting kids to do as they are told can often be a hard task, but making everyday tasks fun can making a chore seem like the best thing in the world.

  • When out shopping give them a list to carry and tick things off and see how many items they can find that is on the list. Every item they find they are rewarded a point, and then this can lead to them picking a treat or a meal they love 

Getting kids to take part in everyday things is important because of gaining their own independence.

Jordan Paige who I love to watch on Youtube has some brilliant methods on having kids do their chores (see videos below):

  • Allow them to choose what they want to do by going through the list of items they can see on the list, and get them to tick it off once it is done.
  • Do a clean clothes challenge where by each child has a basket of washed clothes and get them to see how many clothes they can hang up within a minute
  • Create a check list like I have done (see example below) of things they need to do in the morning before school, afternoon (once they return home from school) and then in the evening, and then using a bucket have them pick out a reward for completely 3 to 4 things on the checklist

Henrys checklist

  • Have your kids clean your car or tidy their room for some pocket money. This will help teach them to take care of their own space and stuff
  • Have them pushing the shopping trolley or pulling the basket, when in the supermarket and have them put in items the basket and  then onto the conveyor belt at the checkout.
  • Have your children hand over the money for goods and then count the change given. Teaching kids about money is so important for when they buy things on their own when they are old enough to do so 
  • Why not get your kids involved in looking after your garden and plant some flowers or seeds and have them water them and checking on them regularly 
  • At dinner time have them set the table and prepare the meal. Often when getting kids are involved in cooking food the more chance you have of them eating it
  • During the summer holidays which is a couple of weeks away I will be helping Henry create a picture book for school of what he did during the summer holidays to show his school friends and teacher. This encourages him to talk about their experiences they have had 

Getting kids involved in everyday tasks will help them for when they are older, and if they see it is fun will want to continue on.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

What to do when kids are unpredictable

I remember the saying back when I was a kid, that you shouldn’t work with children or animals, because they can be so unpredictable.

Well since becoming a parent do I think children are unpredictable?

hell yeah

For example on Thursday I took him for a walk through one of our local parks and then all way around so he could watch the trains go to and from Wimbledon Station, because he loves trains and buses.

He was good as gold, no fussing nothing, even though he and I were both bursting for the toilet on the way back he still was brilliant.

However come Friday it was different, and he kicked up a fuss because he wanted to get on a train but couldn’t.

Sometimes there is no telling when they are going to kick off, so with the help of my mum (nanny) diverted his attention which can work and defuse a tantrum before one starts, by promising him a reward ( a cookie or a cake) (please don’t judge me as some will) and it seemed to have a positive effect.

As I keep saying in my posts there will people who disapprove of some parenting skills but bribery often will do the trick, and when you know a tantrum is brewing up, you have to do what you can and this is what works for my son most of the time.

Rather than going straight in and telling him off sometimes trying to get them to focus on something else is the way forward, however if they do keep on which Henry did then I gave him an ultimatum, we won’t go back and play darts or watch Tipping Point, or have his tablet, and he seemed to then get the message.

parenting-quote-417

When they see that if they behave they get rewarded, often enough they won’t kick off again, and will do as they are told without the use of blackmail.

If you get home or out and they haven’t stopped to the point you are at the end of your tether, then if you can have someone take over whilst you take 5 check out this blog post on what I mean (see below) then do so, even if it is screaming into a pillow for 5 minutes.

https://everyonecanbuildacastle.com/2020/06/24/take-5-if-lockdown-is-getting-too-much/

If you are on your own and you don’t have someone who can take over then take them to their room for 5 minutes or so, and walk away, giving yourself and them time to breath, and gain some perspective.

With kids they can just explode at times and so can you, so teaching kids about boundaries is a great way to get them to understand that their bad behaviour is not accepted here, and when they do behave rewarding them with praise soon gets them to understand that you are the parent and they must listen to you, and be good otherwise their toys and luxuries will be taken away.

mum and books

However when they give you that hug and cheer out “Mummy” or “Daddy” at the school gates or in the mornings like my son does, makes up from them being little monsters at times.

As I have learned being a new mum, it can take time and effort, but when you can get them to calm down or play or do as they are told without any tears and tantrums then you can get a better resolution and get through the days unscathed.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

 

 

What to invest in during lockdown for your kids

Hello and welcome to a new parenting blog. By now like me you are probably on the verge of a mental breakdown because let’s face it kids should come with occupational hazard sign.

Parent Yelling At Child Clipart

I am at the moment trying to multi task, keeping one eye on my son and the other typing up some blog posts but of course Henry wants to suddenly play with my clothes or I may have to put my blogs on hold and entertain my son with some lego he just mentioned just now until his father gets here, who will take over the responsibility for the weekend, so I can have that much loved time to for myself.

In any case there things you can invest in during lockdown for your kids to stop them and you going insane.

  1. A game like Magnetic darts. I have mentioned this in previous post because it seems to be the favourite game at the moment and so far we have played it most days.
  2. A paddling pool can’t go wrong in the hot weather, and why not put your childs bath toys in there or we use little different coloured balls
  3. Pretend money and a till. Teaches them about money and can do role play of you and them using the money, which is fake to buy something from you or them
  4. Thomas the Tank Engine cards. Henry uses these to play his version of Tipping Point and sometimes countdown. However he can spend quite a few hours playing with these and it is great for kids to use their imagination
  5. Dinosaurs. Henry has a whole tub of these and great to set out for him to again do some pretend play with him and learning about the different dinosaurs. I just wish I could remember them all
  6. Books. Henry has a load and really helps wind them down for the day and settle them to sleep. We hope.
  7. Puzzles that the whole family can do, and a great way to do something you all can get involved in
  8. Football or tennis, seems to be a regular winner with my son
  9. Walks. As lockdown has now become less strict we can venture outdoors again and like yesterday as my son was getting bored and restless, I took him for a long needed walk. It is amazing what fresh air can do
  10. Arts and crafts. Great to get kids making fun cards for their school friends and relatives they haven’t seen that they wish to send a card to, because of the pandemic, or even create a scrapbook of photos of some passed great days out and holidays

So I hope these tips are helpful and will help entertain your kid for a while, especially as the school summer holidays are approaching, who knows what will happen during that time.

Anyway as my son has gone with his dad for the weekend and so I have some more time for myself, and I will be taking full advantage.

Please remember to follow me if you would like to be kept up to date with my posts on WordPress.com and please stay safe.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

How to handle bad school reports

Library of bad things that happen to kids clip art freeuse ...So it is the end of the week and at the beginning of the week I  received some bad reports from the teacher at Henry’s school saying that he has been hurting other children.

It can be so disheartening when this happens as you do feel so responsible, but going on my own experience, kids can lash out sometimes and you just got to enforce that this is bad behaviour and won’t be accepted.

Often as much I try to tell Henry that this behaviour is bad, never sure if it is really going into his mind, or he will sometimes pretend he didn’t hear and continue, unless we carry out a punishment, which usually includes taking a toy away from him.

Parenting can be repetitive at times, but the more you try to let them know, this is not good, and we do kind hands and feet, the more I hope it does sink into his brain. There are times when I have felt that it has gone into his ears and then to his mind as he will stop.

Kids don’t come with instructions so you have to do what you can and eventually they will conform and be good.

Not jinxing it, but the last two days have been good, I just hope today we can get a third good day, but due to kids being unpredictable you never know, until you go to pick them up.

For me what has worked is being consistent and if you do warn them of a punishment you follow it through, otherwise they won’t take it seriously.

So let me know if you have any questions about parenting and I will do my best to answer them. You can do this by leaving a comment below.

Please follow me if you would like to be kept up with my blog posts on WordPress.com and many thanks for reading,

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Carrie X

Getting Ready For School Hacks

Boy and girl with backpacks, Backpack Child Cartoon , Little ...I love a good old hack that helps me save time and not rush in a hectic environment that it can be sometimes.

So the first hack is:

 

  1. Have all shoes ready by the front door with their socks inside so all you need to do is slip these on and be on your way
  2. Do the same with bags
  3. Put their bottles of water filled inside the fridge ready and chilled for the next day. If you buy an insulated cup it can keep drinks chilled or warm for longer
  4. Have an area in your house or a hook in your childs bedroom or in the room you tend to get your children ready for school with uniform already hung ready to put on your children and lay it out the night before
  5. Always have spares to hand in a place ready to grab and go
  6. Take out and replace. If you for example taken out their PE kit from their school bag put another spare PE kit back in once the dirty one has been taken out, and give their school bag a wipe beforehand using a baby wipe or face cloth, just remember to put the face cloth in the laundry washing basket afterwards to be washed
  7. Create a list of items for your child so they learn to pack their own bag for school
  8. Put in a plastic bag or reusable bag inside your childs school bag, and put on bag for dirty clothes and dirty clothes go into the spare bag and keeps school bag clean
  9. Wash all dirty school uniform including their PE kit at the end of the school week, so Friday ready and clean again for the week ahead
  10. Do a last minute check on items each Sunday to prepare for the school week ahead

So I hope this are helpful the school run can be one mad rush but following these quick hacks can soon save you time ready for the school day ahead.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

Where can you buy cheap kids clothing

Hello and welcome to another parenting blog where I share tips and advice on parenting your children. It is not to show how a “Perfect mum I am” but the many dilemmas and challenges that crop up with children and how I have overcome them.

Well in this post I am sharing where you can buy cheap kids clothing.

In this picture Henry is wearing a baseball cap from H&M which was £7.99 and the T-Shirt he is wearing, and I bought him two t-shirts in fact, and are from Uniglo costing £7.49.

Trainers are from Elys so weren’t that cheap but he has got good wear out of them, but you can get good priced kids shoes from George at ASDA, Sports Direct and even Clarks.

Do check on vouchers.co.uk as often they will have a sale on, on some items.

I don’t like spending too much on kids clothing and shoes because of how quickly they can grow out of them and have before now bought second hand items.

H&M is brilliant for cheap kids clothing, along with Primark and stores such as, as mentioned Sport Direct and usually they will do batch items so 3 T-Shirts for £7.99 for example, so do check these stores out.

When it comes to kids clothes avoid too many white items as face it they are the ones that will get dirty quite quickly, but usually unavoidable as with Henry school shirts they have to be white Polo Shirts.

Nevertheless dark or bright colours are always a winner. One tip to help keep track of your children’s whereabouts when visiting a Zoo or Safari Park to put them in bright coloured clothing like orange, green, yellow and red so you can easily see them.

It just makes life so much easier as kids do tend to wonder off from time to time. Even at the age of 6 they still are unaware of danger, so putting them in bright coloured clothing just helps with the eye sight.

I would say to follow this idea also for when it starts to get dark early. It helps to see them clearly when crossing roads, etc.

So if you know of stores that sell low priced children’s clothing then please leave a comment below.

You can keep up to date with all my blog posts by following me on WordPress.com

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

Dreading my kids homework

Picture for my parenting blog about afraid of kids homeworkSo in our home at the moment it seems that magnetic darts seems to be the game at the moment, that we took it away as punishment for a bit today, but then my son apologised and got it back.

As I have been playing magnetic darts for almost the entire week, realised how crap I am at maths and it got me thinking,

What am I going to do when he starts to bring home his maths homework ?

He has had worksheets which have included maths so far this year which have been easy to do,

but what about when he continues to go up?

Let’s face it he has quite a lot to catch up on as it is at the moment,

what about when it starts to get even harder?

I don’t stand a chance, so now I am dreading my kids homework and I hope my anxiety over it doesn’t show whilst I think of how to help him so he doesn’t end up dreading it aswell.

I watch these kids on countdown who don’t even look like they have hit puberty yet and I think,

why wasn’t I given such a brain at that age?

Why couldn’t my dad have been einstein?

But it wasn’t my dad was a dustman and a window cleaner, and when it came to needing help no disrespect to my father, with homework it was always my mum who we’d go to.

So it looks like I may have to see if I can in some way in my dreams get in touch with Carol Vorderman or Rachel to get some help because I am already getting anxious to the fact that me and maths are not a good mix because like my sense of direction I don’t have any.

Thank the lord for calculators as face it I would have been lost without one, and I was the kid in my year who got a U in my maths GCSE the only one in my year to do so, so that sums it up.

How I got a job working in accounts for two years or so is beyond me but I did learn a lot more about maths than I did at school and even now it baffles me of how that happened.

Life has a funny way of putting you through working in an industry you know you are not good at, until you reach your dream job, but that’s life.

Anyway am thinking I may have to go over my maths to try and help for when my son brings more challenging homework so I am some what prepared.

With parenting you can’t really plan but you can prepare yourself for such hurdles.

If you have any tips on how to help a child with their homework fill free to share as all help is very much welcomed.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

 

 

Adventures of Parenthood

Parenting however you try to prepare yourself can often knock you for six, and there is always something that will crop up that baffles me.

Example my son finds that playing with a sock just as entertaining as playing with a ball, going on how many balls and toys he has.

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When they decide not to eat one day, but when their isn’t that much food in the house they suddenly what to eat a feast.

I do feel like banging my head against a brick wall, and no matter how organized you become there is always that one thing that item you end up forgetting for school or when we plan to go out for the day.

You can never watch any T.V in peace if you do it is always disturbed by a child needing the toilet or they are hungry again or they want to dive on you.

When I want to do some writing is when my son decides he wants to play tennis or play catch in the hallway when we have a garden to play out in.

When it is lovely and warm outside like yesterday, and we planned to go the park, on this occasion my son wants to play indoors. As mentioned in a previous blog I am very grateful for the person who invented magnetic darts as this ends up being played most of the afternoon and evening.

When you are cooking dinner they decide that the kitchen is perfect place to play about in.

Ummm no….I do not fancy a trip up A and E or have to call in the fire brigade. 

They start to use bad language however you try and curve it, but they suddenly use it as a way to interrupt a school assembly and it so happens to be your child.

Henry this morning decided that he wanted his tablet, no other morning has he asked for this, but today as we move to the end of another week decided he would scream blue murder because he couldn’t have it.

So I just said “You can have it, but when we get back home later” and just kept repeating it up until we got to the school gate and then he was fine and went into school with no further problems.

Kids will scream out, but in a way you want kids to still express themselves but when they kick off all you want to do is run yourself. Of course not a option but boy I do feel like it on some days.

With children there is no stopping them and you just have to get through each day the best you can, and ignore the adults who may give an opinion on what they should be doing, at the end of the day I don’t always want to do school work when I can be having fun playing, that’s life isn’t it, so just do what you can and remember to stay safe.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

How do you stop yourself going insane when parenting during Lockdown

So many kids have returned to school and many aren’t and as a fellow parent it can be very hit and miss, to the point the only one having a tantrum and screaming into a pillow is you.

Kids don’t come with remote controls and what you see is what you get, not that and I am going to repeat this, don’t love my son because I do but they can be very hard work. When Henry doesn’t want to do anything he won’t and in fact he can often do the exact opposite.

Sometimes I feel this is pay back from when I was a defiant child and often got smacked as a child, not saying I smack Henry, but I was often being told off and so feel this is natures way of saying “here’s your pay back time for being a disobedient little mite yourself”.

So how do you stop yourself going insane when parenting during lockdown. Some may say do a run, but that isn’t always possible, as they usually come running after you, and then they think that this is the new game for today.

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Oh and apparently there is a National Parent Day. Well F**k me, that should be 365 days a year not just one day.

This National Parent day is on the 26th July this year, but surely it should be 365 days a bleeding year, rather than one day. The Queen gets two birthdays, oh and yeah okay we get mothers day and fathers day that’s just gone, but we should get a day every day.

Thankfully he does go to school for half a day at the moment, and is staying an extra half hour tomorrow, hallelujah.

Parenting doesn’t stop just because of Lockdown, so we have been playing lots of Countdown and Magnetic Darts for the second part of the day and did go to the park today, which is my saviour at the moment, along with repeats of Tipping Point, up until bedtime.

This allows him to learn about numbers, but to say I am bad at maths is well beyond me so I am going to be stuck when he goes up a class and gets more maths homework. I hold my hands up now and say “I don’t stand a chance” I was the only in my year to get a U in maths, so that sums that up.

At the moment though it is simple homework one that I can do if he asks me, but he is too tired at the moment to do any but we do try to do a bit each day.

Don’t beat yourself up if on one day they don’t do any because lets face it, by the time you have played, had dinner, got them to bed, it is time for you to have some down time and so we as parents deserve to grab some time to ourselves aswell.

So just do what you can do and just enjoy the evening being light for longer and take them to a park then if you don’t want to do it earlier because our local park can get quite busy and that can make social distancing tricky, so do what you can and just take each day as and when they come.

Stay safe, and many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

Keeping memories alive

Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure. You are loved ...

Hi and welcome to another parenting blog. Here I share tips and tricks for other parents as there have been times where I have struggled as a parent and come across many dilemmas.

Now that my dad has passed away along with his Uncle Bluto my son’s dads brother, who he was very close to, have passed away it is important for me to keep their memories alive through my son and any children I may have in the future.

I want my son to know who my dad was, his grandfather even though the two of them never met, and not likely too now. Apparently speaking with my brother who was able to see our dad before he died knew of Henry as my brother told our dad about him, but is just sad that they will never get to meet.

Handling bereavement is tough but I do believe that you should try and explain it to your children as I had loads of questions to ask about it when my dad’s parents both passed away when I was younger.

Show them photos like I have done with our son, and it was funny how quickly he knew that was his Grandad Robert. I am going to start celebrating my dads life each year, by doing a something special, as I want my dad memory to be kept alive.

  • Get your kids involved by still celebrating the loves one that have passed on birthdays and get the kids to make cards for the occasion, and light some candles.
  • Create a scrapbook with their pictures and memories alive.
  • Do a display with their picture and letters or cards from them with flowers and a candle to celebrate.
  • If you have a love one who is dying create a video of them to look back on, of course a bit tricky with lockdown but if they have a carer ask them to see if they would do this for you.

It can be anything just do whatever you feel will help your children remember them and to know them aswell.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

Taking a well earned break and stop guilt tripping

20 Inspirational Parenting Quotes (With images) | Parenting quotes ...The one thing I hate is guilty tripping, where some adults non-parent or another parent around you judges you for the way you parent your child, and I am like give me a break, at the end of the day I spend most of my afternoon’s with my son, but today I wanted to do something different, yet some how this is wrong.

Sorry but we all deserve a break and so this is mine, why is that so terrible?

I get that my son wants to play, but I have work to do, just like the next person, so why should you guilt trip me, when all I am doing is catching up on my work?

With children they have to learn about boundaries and that is mummy will play but there are times that they will need to play on their own for sometime whilst mummy does some work.

Once mummy has finished her work then she will play.

Some times as I keep saying when it come to parenting, you do what you gotta do, and sometimes that means your child playing darts on their own or have them write a letter to someone whilst you write some of yours.

Home schooling does take it toll, especially when your kid has other ideas of what they would like to do.

So getting them to read a book whilst you read your book once they learn how to read on their own, is sometimes the only way to have some good quality time for yourself.

Everyone deserves time for themselves so stop judging other parents and guilt tripping other parents because with children they are all are different, and so what works for one parent doesn’t mean it will work for them, it all depends on the child.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

When kids just won’t go to bed

Hello and welcome to another parenting blog.

I felt I needed to write this after battling with my son to stay in his bed. Tonight he had decided he would play up, so at the moment please don’t judge but it seems to be the only thing keeping in bed, is that he is watching his tablet.

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I tried reading a story but he just used this to play about even more and kept changing his mind of what story he wanted.

When kids won’t go to bed you can end up having a tantrum of your own and be like “Why oh God why?” when I am very tired being up at 5am this morning so the day has been a long day, and yet my little dude decides he will play up.

You just have to do what you gotta do at the end of the day and I know tablets are not great for bed time but when it is the only thing that is making him stay put sometimes you just have to give in.

Please check a blog post I wrote a while ago about Limiting screen time for kids as giving it to him all the time can make a child unsociable and can effect their sleep.

We do have bedtime routine, where by we will have quiet time before bed and I will look after him from when he comes home from school, and do different activities whilst we watch our favourite quiz shows, and then after dinner then we will start getting him ready for bed, which is brush his teeth, go to the toilet and then read a book or watch some TV in bed.

I just checked on him and yes he is finally a sleep.

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So this means I have the evening to myself which means I can work on my blogs or books, watch a bit of Youtube, listen to some music or an audiobook.

I don’t know what I would do without these pleasures and I got to say when you become a parent you see them more of a blessing than before child.

With kids come sacrifices and yes I do love my son, but at the same time some times it takes it toll, and all I want to do is hide away and say,

CAN SOMEONE TAKE OVER PLEASE

Especially when they decide that they won’t brush their teeth, have a bath or go to sleep.

You just have to grab the bull by the horns and do the best you can.

I used to play lullabies to help my son sleep which again some mothers would shake their heads at but at the end of the day if it helps them sleep I am all for it.

So do what you can and try to have a bedtime routine if you can as I find this does help when getting kids to go to bed.

Stay safe everyone and many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

 

 

Getting kids to talk about school

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So it has been two weeks since Henry returned to school, but getting Henry to talk about school can be very hit and miss.

Here is what to do when getting kids to talk about school,

  • Don’t bother wait until they tell you, as they usually decide to talk about school on their terms not on yours
  • Never ask open questions as you can hit a brick wall
  • The nearest I can get is from my son is what he had for his lunch which at the moment seems to be the same thing everyday
  • They are too knackered to care about talking about school so wait until they have slept before asking
  • Usually Henry is too hungry to care about school and gets hangry
  • He wants to do face time during the only time I get to watch TV when he comes home from school
  • They find playing with a balloon more interesting than anything to do with school
  • Use bed time as an excuse to cause havoc

Henry will say things about school like a copy a prayer or song that they have been taught, or ask about a school friend.

If you can’t get much out of them about school don’t be disheartened but they will when they are ready to.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

Busy days and School days

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As much as I am happy Henry is now back school the school days are busy days. There is no getting away from it, however much we try.

Good thing there is tea and coffee because as soon as I do the school drop off I want a cup and get desperate for one because it can be so full on, that come the weekend I am done with it.

To prepare for school days I try to get as much done the night before as I can and as soon as the 6 weeks summer holidays begin.

I try not to do anything last minute, as everything is done by email so I check for school updates on what Henry will need on his first day and week, so the first day of term and week becomes a breeze.

SO I THINK UNTIL MY ALARM DOESN’T GO OFF

If this is your child’s first year or even a new year and the school has an open day then find out when they are and go to it, because the school will tell you what to expect for each year and term.

I am part of the Whatsapp parent group, and as much as it is handy to get reminders of certain days of school, it drives me mad at the same time, and I can bet you by next week the loss school uniform begins. 

Have your child become a lot more independent as the more they can do for themselves the easier school life will be for them, unless they refuse to get dressed like it does in my house. It is a massive transition and so it is important it is made stress free as possible.

BRING ON THE CAFFEINE!

I find picking them up is the easiest part, its the dropping them off and getting them from home to school and visa versa, to be the tricky part and can lead to tears and tantrums, so pre-plan your journey and give yourself extra time, so there is no fear of being late.

Henry when we have done the school walk when I lived in Epsom to be the most testing as Henry wants to watch the planes fly over, the buses go by and if there are any squirrels around, and so by the time I get to the school I am ready to throw in the towel and say “Sod it, lets have a duvet day instead”.

I admittedly I hated school when I was a kid, that come 3:30pm I never looked back I was off and out of that dreaded classroom. Looking back I found that Primary school was lot more bearable than secondary school, because it so happens my mum worked at my Secondary school and so I would pretend I didn’t know her.

Being bullied at school I knew instantly who the potentially bullies were and kept my distance.

It was fun though taking the piss out of the teachers, but appart from English and Drama I didn’t really enjoy many of the other lessons.

I went to church schools and I loved it when we would go to church it meant we had no lessons that morning or daytime, and if we were lucky got to go home early, same with sports days.

Now my son is at school I want him to enjoy it more than what I did and he appears to love it. There is a better structure than there was when I was a kid and all kids come together rather than being against each other.

I am not saying there aren’t any clashes but the kids seem to be a lot more compassionate compared to when I went to school. At primary school a few of the teachers would walk out rather than the kids, during the school hours, as they had, had enough come 3pm.

School life was so different being back in my day, I remember praying for Friday to come as soon as Monday hit, and I remember thinking if I can sink into the duvet as much as possible my mother would end up leaving me alone. No such luck and she would be all songs of praise at first and then turn into Cruella De Vil by 8am when it was inevitable that me and my brother had no intention of getting up out of bed, however much she gritted her teeth.

Henry can be testing and I do feel when I my son doesn’t cooperate it is pay back time, but he is much more keen on going to school than I was and it is a different time of life now.

So keep safe everyone and I will blog again next week, until then many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X