For some schools it was half term in the UK last week, but this week my son has been on half term, and it’s not quite gone to plan. Monday I took Henry to a park in Putney near the river thames, and because I forgot his ball which I remembered once we got there he was completely miserable for most of the day.
I tried to explain that I had forgotten it but there are swings in the park and we can sit by the river to watch some boats, seagulls, planes fly over, trains, buses and may see a few helicopters, which my son is obsessed with at the moment, however he was still fixated about his ball.
He did cheer up in the end once he had a complete meltdown, and I felt like a complete failure. I did think about his ball, but in the end because I wanted to get there early so not to be back home too late, didn’t think about the ball until we got the park.
Kids can get obsessed with items its part of how they built their likes and dislikes, and so the next day I did bring his ball, as we went to Wimbledon Park and he was my friend again.
To handle half time blues:
I have got down to his level and talked it through with him and got him to focus on the other things he loved and in the end on Monday, we did have a good time sitting by the river watching the world go by. If you do feel yourself wanting to scream, what I did is let it out quietly so I did weep a little, whilst trying not to see my son see my cry and then brushed myself off and concentrated on the time we had together.
Count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 which is the Mel Robbins technique, which I share a lot about on my other blog site Everyone Can Built A Castle, or count to 10 in your head if this counts
If you are with someone else, take a few seconds out. Putting children in timeout hasn’t always work but getting yourself out of the situation for a few seconds can help wonders
On Tuesday after we had been to Wimbledon Park, I surprised him by meeting Nanny (my mum) for lunch up London. Result! Not gloating, but that’s how you feel when things do go to plan. He did still kick off a little because the one thing Henry struggles with but can do with persistence, is waiting, but once he saw nanny he was all smiles again.
If your son has ADHD and struggles to wait try:
Getting them to focus on something. Reading the book The Baby Whisper, hits the nail on the hand with this one, and is useful because it can work, depending on the child. What I did was say to Henry “See if you can spot someone we know” and he did.
If you are waiting for a train or bus, get them to see how many different numbers they can guess of the buses, which was one thing we did on Monday, which worked, and this helps them wait for when its time to get on their bus or train.
The one thing they said at school is that he won’t sit down for very long, but on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, he has. It is often is dependent on what it is, because he sat there lovely yesterday especially watching the birds and the ducks, so if there is something that gets their concentration, then use it.
Yesterday we were out for most of the day. I took him to Battersea Park, where there is a pond, an area to play football which we did and played the crossbar challenge, sat and had our sandwiches that I took with us, and some snacks and then watched the birds by the pond and then walked along the river up to Fulham Broadway. We did have to stop a few times as children do get tired quite quickly but we still did it, and Henry loved walking along the river, going over the bridge and then he got to go passed Chelsea Football club, which I wanted him to see. I wanted to show him a big football stadium, I would love to take him to a match at Stamford Bridge, but just walking passed seeing his face light up I could still he got something out of it.
Henry still had a few meltdowns throughout the day yesterday, because he finds it hard to change from doing one thing to another, but once I showed him that we are going there and perhaps I should print off pictures and map to show him next time to see if this will help, he was fine and as said in the end stopped getting frustrated which is a lot to do with it and didn’t want to go home.
Today he had a bit of meltdown too because we are stopping in for part of the day, but I have an eye screening appointment at my local hospital and then later (my husband and I) are going to take him over to Wimbledon to get his feet measured in Clarks, a great place to get kids shoes, to possibly get Henry some new trainers.
Quick tip# If children start to trip over a lot with their shoes, it is a possible sign that their shoes need changing and their feet are starting to grow out of them.
In any case he really did kick off and I felt myself heat up, so sat down in the Living room and then took a deep breath went back to him and calmly explain things to him trying to use simple words and to see that today we have to do other things but tomorrow we can do a park and walk by the river again.
He did calm down. I am finding talking it out with my son to be a lot more effective then raging which can be tempting, but I can see that this has no effect but can cause an even more a meltdown.
As it is Halloween, time for spooks today we have decorate our home for Henry and my husband too, we won’t be trickle treating but still going to have a bit of fun, going to see if I can make our dinner, burgers, Salad and chips, into something scary.
Even if your children aren’t trickle treating then it can still be a great day to dress up and have some spooking fun.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!
You can keep up to date with my blogs by following me on WordPress.com and please share what you did this years half term and how you have handled the half terms blues, as a parent speaking and sharing things with other parents can really help. You can leave a comment below.
I have had the following video in my drafts for a while because it hit “INSTANTLY” as soon as I saw the title “SPEAK OUT TO ME” and I was really determined to today to share this, because it can challenging and true this time of the year.
Now this isn’t saying we don’t love our kids, we do, but there are times when they can be A NIGHTMARE and play up, moan because they don’t want to sit and eat their Christmas dinner and there are many things that people often won’t say, but what others are thinking because it may be misinterpreted, and no matter how much you try to avoid kids from arguing and kicking off, they try to do it.
KIDS WITHOUT BEING TAUGHT CAN PICK UP ON HOW TO PRESS SIBLINGS AND PARENTS BUTTONS TO CAUSE UPSET AND TEARS AND WHEN THEY DO, ITS NOT NICE!
So I wanted to share this video because of this and to show that these feelings are COMPLETELY NORMAL AND IT IS OKAY, WE STILL LOVE OUR KIDS EVERYDAY BUT NOT NECESSARILY IN EVERY WAY!
Check out the video below by Jessica Hover, and she does brilliant videos for parents and subjects that are not always mentioned but they do exist.
She is sharing about why “I don’t like being a mom”.
Our children if you show them aswell as tell them, know that you love them, but I do think about the life I once had. Pre-child I would go to rugby with my friends and be able to stay out without worrying about being back to do bath time or be awake in time the next day for the school run, they were fun times and I do miss them.
This doesn’t mean I don’t love being with my son, I do, but when they won’t allow you to chat on the phone without them shouting down it or try to grab it from you, those are the moment I don’t enjoy.
ALL JOBS LIKE PARENTHOOD COMES WITH THINGS WE DON’T LIKE AND THAT’S A FACT.
This doesn’t mean I like my child any less, I don’t always like the work or the pooh explosions or the pinch scars, because my son couldn’t watch his TV programme, ITS HUMAN NATURE!
I don’t like everything about blogging, but I enjoy creating the content, I do get a buzz from when I see someone new following me on my blogs, but I don’t always like blogging because of editing and proof reading, I find it tedious.
I still love to blog because I love to share tips and tricks to support and inspire others, but that bit of the work I don’t enjoy. THAT’S OKAY!
So I hope that helps you if you feel like “I don’t like being a mum” but feel guilty for feeling that way, DON’T ITS OKAY, YOUR HUMAN AFTER ALL. Our kids don’t always like us, hence why they will kick off in a supermarket or when having a coffee, but when they give you cuddles or you sit and watch a Christmas film you both love and have a hot chocolate without no tears and tantrums, parenting can still be fun and you can still enjoy your children.
I wrote a blog yesterday which can relate to this blog, as I do find this lady empowering and inspiring and you can Use empowerment and inspiration when its just not your day, see below for details:
I created this blog site to share my experience and what I have learned as a new mum, and to give support as much as I can, and to keep it real.
Being a parent it is not always a “Fluffy story” we can often feel overwhelmed and it can knock-you-for-six. So when push comes to shove YOU DO WHAT YOU GOT TO DO and we can often feel guilty for that.
For example: When we feel too tired to play with your child who really wants you too help them build some Lego or when we have taken their favourite toy away because they have played up, not done as they have been told.
We as adults need respect from our kids and so when they misbehave it is good to make them understand that how they are behaving is wrong.
We will get tired, it doesn’t have go be “Play time” all the time.
Taking time out for ourselves and doing other things
Teaching children that you need time to yourself and wanting to do other things, let’s them understand about giving people their own personal space and that its not “play time all the time”. Having quiet time, doing chores and errands, which I do schedule in my Google Calendar and I would recommend you do to, is just as important as having “play time”.
Scheduling your “quiet time” or “free time” to yourself just helps remind you and them that it is time to stop and do something else. We need to take time off the computer, from cleaning and running errands. For me, and I understand that it isn’t the same for everyone, but I find it helpful. Henry and my husband and I work better when we have a routine to our day.
You have to be able to recuperate and allow yourself some free time, how else are you supposed to recharge your batteries?
Why should we feel guilty?
That is a question I have often asked myself. There is no need. As parents we are learning too and we will get things wrong, it’s how we learn, all of us and no one is perfect.
When it comes to telling our children off, it is because we want them to be respectful to others. When people behave badly it doesn’t help them, because people will tend to stay away. It can effect them if they don’t learn to behave as kids to behave well for when they get older.
We want to install values, that is how they learn to be good and not bad
So telling your child “That is wrong, we say nice words not bad” that is okay.
It is important they learn what is right and wrong. We want them to be okay socially and interact well with others, that is what how learn to build good relationships.
Having incentives and rewards
I have watched many a program where they have discussed about giving kids a reward and I feel from learning myself that this really does help our children. It helps them to understand that we often even as adults have to earn what we want in our lives.
Again, “why should we feel guilty about this?”. Constant judging I find a lot of the time and we are DOING WHAT WE GOT TO DO.
How can giving a reward to a child for doing a good thing, be a bad thing.
For Henry this is really helping and it can be something really simple like:
A sticker chart for good behaviour
Chore chart as learning to make the bed for example helps teach them to look after their things and keep areas tidy and clean
Extra play time activity
A favourite snack of their choice
We are only human
That is exactly that. “We are only human” and we aren’t put on this earth to feel bad, but often as parents we do. We beat ourselves up, and become critical of ourselves and why?
There is no need to.
We are who we are.
Yes it is important to set a good example, but we also want our children as I have talked about in previous blogs, to express themselves, and to do that we should be able to express ourselves too. We want our kids to be themselves and so should we. We need to stop feeling bad or critical, because we feel due to comparing ourselves to the “So called perfect parent” that we aren’t doing a good job.
Let me tell you, you are and be kind to yourself. You are doing a fantastic job and its okay to say “Not now but we will do that later or tomorrow”.
Thank you to those who have followed my blog so far and if you would like to be kept up to date with my blog posts then you can do so by following me on WordPress.com. If you have tips or tricks of your own about parenting and you wish to share these on my site then you can do so by leaving a comment below:
If you didn’t read my previous blog then please check this out:
WELCOME TO BLOGMAS DAY 3! IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW I AM BLOGGING EVERYDAY ON ONE OR MORE OF MY BLOG SITES UP UNTIL THE 25TH DECEMBER, AND IF YOU HAVE N’T READ MY LAST TWO BLOGS OF BLOGMAS THEN PLEASE CHECK OUT THE LINKS BELOW:
The Parenting Network I discovered by researching other parenting sites, which comes as part of the job when blogging to find out what topics have already been covered by other bloggers and what I could add or do different that noone has talked about yet. With Parenting there are so many topics to share that would be helpful to other mums and dads, and I came across this article.
Through checking the Parenting Network I subscribed as they had some great tips and tricks, that can help you with many parenting dilemmas, and here is one that really caught my attention.
I often have this battle with my son where he will on some days choose option A and B, but then on some days will choose C and it can be like “Why have you chosen not to today what’s changed since yesterday?”.
In one had you want your child and in the article in the link above that I have shared talks about this too, is that you want your children to make choices because it is part of their independence but you still got to get out the door to school or in the car, and so what I tend to do is say “Okay so you don’t want your shoes on today, okay whys that don’t you want to go to school?” and this does make my son think and then “You know you have to go to school because you are there to make friends and learn, and you enjoy it so why don’t we put on our shoes and coat and I am sure you will be much happier and wanting to put on your shoes wants we are there”.
Talking to a child rather than shouting is the best way to communicate effectively with your child and can lower a tantrum that is brewing. Check out my blog about Effective Communication
So I hope you find this helpful should your child often choose option C and what you can do to help still get out of the house but allow them to learn that sometimes option C isn’t always a good choice, and option A or B is better instead.
If you have tips on how to help children make decisions and how to still get you and them out to school or to the shops when they refuse to on a particular day put on their coat and shoes then please comment below. All tips and tricks from others is well and truly welcome as the more we support we give to one another the better we can often feel that we aren’t on our own and there is a solution, which often we feel there isn’t.
To keep up to date with all my blogs you can follow me on WordPress.com, please check out my other sites below:
Working in customer service for many years and becoming a nursery assistant it is drummed into us about #effectivecommunication and it is important because the customer isn’t able to see what I am looking at and vice versa, especially when you have to speak to customers over the telephone.
You have to be clear and precise so they can understand what I need for them to do and I at the same time need to understand what they need help and support with.
When it comes to our own children, we can often get lost in translation and have #communicationbreakdown and can lead them and us feeling frustrated.
Henry (check out my previous blog: When times are tough) has had some behaviour issues, and from speaking with his teacher on Friday as it was his parents evening for him, she thought it was because he feels a bit overwhelmed with the new structured learning that the children have to do now they are in year 1, and he was struggling with this.
In the previous year at school in Keystage 1 (early years) it was a lot of learn and play rather than sitting down doing lessons, and Henry finds it hard to sit down for a long time and has to have intervals where he does some form of physical activity so his one to one teacher, will take him outdoors or in the hall (when raining) to play ball.
This is only for a certain amount of time, but helps him with each transition and doing different activities throughout his day. We have implemented this at home too.
The areas I have been working on myself:
Mine and my husband’s own behaviour, as this can have an effect on our son too, and so we are making sure we are more polite to each other and practice kindness and consideration. Parental relationships with each other can effect our children if not careful so it is important you build on your own relationship aswell as the relationship with your child
Our communication, my husband and I are on the same page and we both have the same intentions, and we both follow the routine we have and support each other.
The way we communicate with Henry, so making sure we give clear simple instructions and have him say what he would like to do and what is upsetting him. Try and avoid the word “No” and give him choices and options.
Getting our son’s input is so important as the more involved he is the more he can become independent and make choices and decisions by himself.
Creating fun games, and worksheets and activities for Henry to learn at home and at the same time allowing him time out to play and do other activities such as screen time, watching TV or his tablet or play ball.
Getting behind at school and building skills
This is not comparing my son by any means to other children, but he is behind the other children in his class and we don’t want him to feel excluded because of that, so the more we can help and support his learning through effective communication and helping him make choices, the better it will be for him so he will eventually catch up.
He does attend some of this sit down sessions in his class but not for very long because he can become disruptive.
I know this will help improve his behaviour aswell, because at the moment where he is having one to one time at school whilst the other children are sitting down and learning, it is effecting his social skills with the other children in his class, and this in turn has changed his understanding of how to respond correctly and play with other children. To help this the school has now had Henry to return back to the early years classes on some days to get that interaction still.
Focus on what they can do not what they can’t
When communicating effectively, try and focus on what they can do rather than what they can’t, and say to them for example when Henry has a strop about doing his homework “You can have your ball when you’ve had your treat and done your homework”.
He can still be defiant but I see from observing him, that he will think about this, so allow time for it to sink in and then he will sit on the sofa whilst we do his homework. The treat by the way is for if his has walked nicely to and from school and behaved at school and is a snack of his choice.
You don’t have to shout to get your point across
The other communication behaviour I have stopped doing now is stop shouting and it has made me aware of my own voice when telling Henry something, as when I feel I am on the verge to shout, I take a deep breath steady my voice and then continue to talk. When I have shouted all that has happened is, Henry has just laughed and not taken me seriously at all and then I have gotten into having a tantrum myself. So instead I stay calm and say this is what we have done, now we are doing this and then you can do that, and it seems to be having a more better effect.
Also when Henry has misbehaved or about to kick off, I get to his level, so crouch down and hold his arms or shoulders gently and say “Henry look at me please” and then spoken to him keeping my language simple to help control him control his behaviour and not kick off.
I will say things like:
“You must behave at school and be nice to your teachers”
“Be kind, with kind words and say please and thank you”
“Listen to the teacher and do as they say otherwise they won’t play”
“When we don’t behave it makes us sad” and show them a picture of what sad looks like (I talk more about visual communication below) and I say “When we are good it makes us all happy” and again show them what happy is by making a visual reference.
Honestly it really helps
Using the naughty step and time out
The naughty step never worked for me as we didn’t really have a step to do this on, so what I did instead was use a corner of the room or take him to his bedroom and say “Now calm down and then we will talk” and when I did this, it had a better response and he would calm down and we would go over what he did, and why it was wrong and then got him to say sorry, to then continue our day without bad behaviour.
Releasing a child’s unused energy
My son is full of energy and watching a TV program the other night called the “Britain’s naughtiest nursery” and there was a little boy like Henry, who would lash out and what they realised, the nursery nursers watching this child was that it was due to having so much energy, he didn’t know what to do with himself. So what they did to help this, they had the dad help the mum by helping his son use up his unreleased energy by bouncing him on this big large bouncy ball, and it meant that the mum could have a break, the son got to spend some fun time with dad and allowing the dad and little boy to bond a lot more.
A lot of the time when kids lash out its their way of either getting frustrated or because they are trying to communicate to you, because they want to play more or want more interaction. Many kids have a lot of energy that they need to get rid off. So now I will get Henry to do extra activities at home to help use up his energy which in turn helps him eventually to relax and control his behaviour a lot better.
Love and understanding
Showing them love and understanding rather than getting annoyed with your child can have a massive effect and really helps them to calm down and say what they need to get off their chest better. Kids get insecure and overwhelmed like we all do and need reassurance and understanding so give them that time. Plus when they do a new skill, say a new word or do something like put their plate away or said thank you, give them praise as this will help them to see what is good behaviour and what is not.
Avoid criticism and blame, as this can really effect a child’s confidence and be frightened of making mistake. They will get things wrong its part of their learning and putting them down will not help them. Build on their strength and weaknesses and remember that they won’t be good at everything, but acknowledging their efforts will help them to build further knowledge and understanding of what they can do and what they need to work on.
Another way to help with effective communication and decision making is by using flash cards, so they can point to the toilet sign for example if they need the loo, or they feel sad or happy.
These are also good for you too to show them that you are happy or sad. A great way to see that when they are good it makes us all happy and when we are bad, it makes us sad.
These are good, which I am going to use more of aswell for showing them what they just did, what they are going to do now and what they will be doing next, because often enough a child wants to focus on one thing, but by doing this, this will help them prepare for each step and will get them to transition from one activity to another or go from one place to another.
Listening to our children
Always listen and don’t interrupt them. Their language may not be clear as of yet but it is important that you listen, because this can lead to a child getting frustrated and have a tantrum, when all they want is to talk to you, even if it is gibberish at first, it’s still language. Repeat back what you think they have said, example “So you want to have this” and show them so they can tell you “Yes” or “No” and if they didn’t get it right first off, teach them word by word of how to say what they want to say instead of cutting them off.
Keeping language in simple terms
When I was a football coach, which now was many moons ago, the amount of times I would witness parents especially, now not being sexist but true, dads, talking to their children in football talk was unbelievable and the child ended up being more confused than they were before.
My advice, avoid this like the plague, as all it does is confuse the hell out of them, especially at the age between 6-7 when all they want to do is play football and that’s it.
You can use simple words like e.g:
“When we pass a ball we kick it like this” and show them
“Always share the ball, like this” and do. If you start hogging the ball doing kick ups showing off, so will they.
Kids copy what we do so be aware
This can have good and bad consequences, as they pick up on good behaviour from us and characteristics and reactions, but they can also pick up on our bad habits and behaviours too.
Kids copy and is another way of how they learn, so do be aware of this when carrying out effective communication and when it comes to making choices.
I really hope this has given you some tips and tricks and I please let me know of good effective communication techniques and how you have gotten your kids to make decisions. I would love to hear. You can leave a comment below.
I have come across a couple of good websites and a blog post which is related to my topic of #effectivecommunication and getting kids to make decisions, see below:
In the past week I am not going to pretend that parenting my son has been wonderful and hunky dory, I have found parenting quite tough, due to Henry purposely bedwetting, not wanting to go to bed during the night and getting into ours and having constant tantrums and strops.
We have told him he can get into our bed wants he learns to consistently keep the bed dry. This is starting to help with this situation, we think anyway.
I felt really down on some days, to the point I felt like there was no way out. I know this is just a phase and I keep reminding myself of this, but at times I do feel like there is no resolution.
When times are tough I do want to hide away and hibernate until it is all resolved. However I know this isn’t the answer.
There is always resolution. I want my son to be able to express himself so I don’t want him to feel he can’t talk to me or tell me he is not happy about something.
Check out this article about children’s communication needs:
The more open I think children are the more we as parents can help them in situations and so the one thing I do try to avoid is to shut him down completely but advise him that talking in a angry manner isn’t the way, and I try to go through with him what he is not happy about, when it isn’t clear.
Henry has development delay and we also found out during the summer holidays that he has ADHD, and there is a possibility not sure as of yet as it is still being looked into by the doctor at our local hospital, slight Autism aswell.
These are obstacles, because Henry is still learning to communicate, he now gets speech therapy on a Monday at school, to help him because this is one of the areas he is delayed on. His communication and words are getting better but still limited going on his age. Check out my blog I wrote about him on my other site I share with this site:
Going on my son’s behaviour a lot of it is because he can’t get what he wants or he doesn’t want to do something. Example after school the one thing we have set into place is he must do his homework. This after he has had his treat, which is given to him if he has behaved at school and the teacher who looks after Henry on the day will report this to me with feedback of his day and if he has walked nicely to and from school.
Of course like we all do, after a day of being busy learning, playing and being active, we don’t always want to do homework, but of course it has to be done and so we have made it into a routine for him, so he knows before he can continue to play, relax, watch TV or play out in the garden for example he has to do his homework, and boy can he kick off.
Nevertheless I say “Okay, I know your tired, this is what we are going to do, and once we are done you can choose whatever you would like to do afterwards” Within reason of course. This usually works, he may still protest a little, but once he sees that there will be silence in the room until he has completed his homework and from experience it is best to do homework in my book without distractions, he will usually gets it done.
The one thing I have now put into place is a reward system, whereby when Henry has kept the bed dry, behaved at school, walked nicely to school and back, brushed his teeth without fuss and done his homework, we tick this off and he gets rewarded with a sticker, then once the chart is fully completed we count how may ticks he got that week and if he completed all five on any of the days he gets two stickers and then once completed for that week he gets a bigger reward of his choice.
So far it is really helping matters. The one below is from Poundland but you can make your own. When making one why not get them involved.
I do use bribery too, but this is beginning to wear thin. I know many may not agree with bribery but as a parent you do what you gotta do.
I really hope this has in some way has helped you When times are tough and remember you can get through it, and it will pass. Children will continue to grow and so do we as parents. It is a tricky business at times, but then my son will do something that has me in hysterics and reminds me why, even though he does drive me mad at times, why I love him so much.
To help you as a parent gain sanity when times are tough is to take some time out and if you need to spend a few moments in another room, then do so.
Whenever I have problems that can effect my mood, my feelings and emotions the one thing I practice a lot is mindfulness. Check out my website below where I talk about this technique a lot.
Another way to go deal when times are tough is to keep a journal. This may sound Cliche, but it really does help reflect on your emotions and gain perspective. It can help identify why your child is behaving in a certain way that is effecting their wellbeing and yours, which can then create bad habits and journalling can help you get to grips with it.
I wrote a blog about The Art Keeping a Journal and why I have always followed this method to help whenever I feel happy or down.
Do a Bullet Journal if it helps and list all the emotions and feelings and the behaviours and issues you are having with your child or children.
If you would like to be kept up to date with my blogs on this site, then you can do so by following me on WordPress.com. If you do have had tough times then please share or get into contact with me if there is a topic you would like me to write about that I haven’t covered in terms of parenting. You can leave a comment below.