Category Archives: Parenting Dilemmas

Effective Communication/Getting kids to make decisions #parentingtipsandtricks






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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.

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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.
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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 

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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.


Visual Communication

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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:


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The other sites I write blogs on are:

Many thanks for reading,


Carrie X

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When times are tough

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.


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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.

Check out my blog about Getting back into a school routine.

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 have written a blog a while ago about Dealing with Bad behaviour and this gives more tips and ideas of how to help when your child is misbehaving and advice on Preventing meltdown and tantrums.

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.

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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.

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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.

Please check out this ladies blog about 3 Unexpected Benefits of Keeping a Bullet Journal

Do what you feel will help you and your child, as only you know your children

Please, if you missed my last blog about Celebrating birthdays, then please go ahead and read this now.

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 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.

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Many thanks for reading,


Carrie X

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Getting back into a school routine

After the school holidays of six week of should I say bliss or at least no rushing around.

I would say lie-ins, but since becoming a parent I have discovered that because my son wakes up so early there really is no such thing anymore.

However there is no rushing around like there is on a school day, and the routine can often be lost as you are more concerned in making sure you make the most of the school holidays and take a good well earned break from the norm of a school day.

“So how do you get back into a routine?”

We began to recreate the routine for Henry a week or so before the school returned, by making sure that the first thing he has is his breakfast, without any distractions, we get him dressed by half past seven, brush his teeth at about quarter to eight and between 7:45-8am get his shoes on and then get him ready to leave at about twelve minutes passed.

Once he has eaten his breakfast then he can play, watching a bit of TV or watch his tablet.

The other thing we did during the six weeks holiday, as he was due to move up a class and finds change often quite overwhelming, prepared him for the year ahead. Our sons school kindly created a little book going through the changes that will be happening in the year head, by showing who will be his new teacher, the one to one teachers who will be looking after him, his classroom, where he will be playing outside and where the toilets are etc. This has really helped.

The Book his teachers made for him to help get him ready for the new year ahead

The other thing we have done to prepare him for the school year ahead is getting him more familiar with the roads and knowing when to cross when to stop and to keep watching at all times for his safety as last year he wore reins to school as he did have the tendency to run off, but this year we didn’t want to use the reins and have him walk to school without them, and I got to say this has really worked.

I really thought he would kick off on the first day, being that he will be heading into a new entrance and new classroom, but so far not a murmur, and when he has completed his day without a fuss we give a little reward afterwards.

In his first week we then began to reintroduce him back into doing his homework after he has had his treat, again with no distractions and the homework includes doing a bit of writing or reading his book.

His homework books
Henry’s current reading book from school

I also made sure that we took him in his PE kit on Monday too. If you find it hard to get into the routine to start off with introducing the routine in gradually.

The other thing I would suggest is if your child’s school do Meet and Greet session where they tell you more about what is happening in your child’s school year then go, because this will help prepare you and and your child too, and with Henry’s one we got to see inside their classroom, so you get an idea of where they will be learning and what activities they will be doing.

Remember you can keep up to date with my blogs by following me on and if there is a topic you would like me to cover regarding parenting and I would love to hear of your getting back to school routine is, by commenting below.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

Preparing for a baby

Preparing for a baby can be mind boggling as there are so many different products out there, that it can be pretty overwhelming and lets face it expensive too.

Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan, on their new addition, their baby boy, Archie. It’s time for those sleepiness nights and nappy changing, and life does change from this point forward.

I wish I had been more prepared, and one piece of advice I would give to parents to be, is to set up a hospital bag as soon as possible. If I had realised and done my research beforehand, I would have made sure I had everything I needed, as my waters breaking at 31 weeks was a shock.

The items you will need are:

  • Baby wipes
  • Breast pads
  • Maternity pads
  • Cotton wool balls
  • Nappies
  • Couple of baby clothes, babygrows and couple of vests, of different sizes just in case

Please don’t spend money on a fancy changing bag, any bag will do as long as it got a few compartments and can fit in your items.

Make sure you have a cot, preferably one that can be leveled down, as your baby grows and you have a baby monitor in case baby is sleeping in another room.

You can also purchase a baby chair which rocks the baby back and forwards, but not necessarily needed to begin with, but is up to you.

Get as much sleep as you can, as when the baby comes sleep deprivation can be tough and for my husband and I this was a culture shock, and took a lot of time to adjust.

Remember to enjoy your baby, and that the time flies by so try to make the most of each day, as before you know it they are starting school.

I wish I had been more relaxed and I think if I had prepared myself a lot more I would have been.

I hope you find this blog useful and remember if you would like to be kept up to date with my posts then you can do by following me on

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

Limiting screen time for kids

Limiting screen time for kids can be tricky, as wherever you look people are watching their phones, laptops, tablets and TV’s.

However I do think it is important, to do other activities aswell as watching TV or his tablet.

We will go for a walk to the park, take Henry on a train or bus, do some reading or he will play out in the garden.

Having no technology for a few hours or so a day, can help all round, as we can get lost in our phones, as parents we need to be on high alert a lot of the time, so limiting screen for ourselves is important too, and sets a good example.

Here are 12 tips on how to limit your child’s screen time:

  1. Set the example
  2. Remember your the parent so you can set boundaries in terms of screen time
  3. Set limited viewing times
  4. Encourage other activities
  5. Play with your kids
  6. Check to see what they are watching
  7. Set Parental control
  8. observe child’s change in behaviour
  9. If it is keeping them awake, limit screen time until 6pm
  10. Have some family time, at meal times and going out for the day
  11. No TV in bedrooms
  12. Listen to the radio instead of the TV on some days

So I hope this has helped you, and remember to like this post if you did below, and remember to follow me on WordPress if you would like to kept up to date on my blogs.

If there are any topic regarding parenting you would like me to cover then please get in touch, by filling in the form below.

Kind regards,

Carrie x

12 toddler plane activities

Soon we will heading into a another half term, and then the summer holidays, and if you are going on holiday and flying this year, then here are 12 toddler plane activities, how to entertain a child on a flight.

Soon we will taking Henry on his first ever flight and I will be honest I am pretty nervous about it, but something I feel I am ready to do.

Please watch this video below by The Hidden Gem.

It can be tricky but sitting Henry down for long period at a time, so we going to do a small short flight this year to see how he likes it.

Please if you liked this blog then please click below, and remember you can keep up to date with my posts by following me on

If you have any topics you would like me to cover then please let me know by filling in the contact form below.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

5 Products I’d recommend

There many products I’d recommend to parents, but as parent we can become easily become overwhelmed by choice, so I have picked 5 that stand out for me:

1.Bibs with sleeves brilliant to use whilst weaning and helps having to keep washing their clothes as let’s face it, what child doesn’t get messy during meal times?

3 Pack Sleeved Bibs Waterproof Babies Feeding Bibs with Long Sleeves Washable Baby Apron for 6-36 Months Kids Eating and Painting

2. School bottles non spill and great for taking water out and about, and to school

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3. Rubber dice, great for rolling, counting and building. If them they aren’t so hard like wooden building blocks

4. Photo books, great way to get them talking and sharing with others of memories. You can create one from your phone using your Google images

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5. Easel. Great for drawing and sticking magnetic letters on, to help practice making words and drawing pictures.



Do you have a product you’d recommend to parents. Get in touch by commenting below or fill out the feedback form.

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Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

5 tips on how to keep kids entertained

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Keeping kids entertained can be tricky but just the simplest of ideas can bring the most entertainment.

Here’s five tips on how to keep kids entertained.

1. Pack of balloons

What child doesn’t like balloon. My son can play with a balloon all day. Why not play with them and see how long you can keep the balloon up in the air for. Try not let it touch the ground.

2. Crafts

All you need is card, colour pencils or crayons some bits of cloth or lolly pop sticks, glue and stickers.

3. Explore the Garden or take them to a local common or park 

Kids love being outdoors and what best way to do take advantage and create a checklist so they have to find a twig, a leaf or a flower. 

If you leave or take them to the seaside, why not look for certain types of pebbles and shells. 

4. Flash cards

These are brilliant and Henry will ask to do these as we use these as part of Henry’s homework.

They have pictures, letters and words

5. Cleaning

Give them a duster or a cloth and make a game to see how many things they can clean in a minute or so and set a timer.

If you have any tips then please share in the comments below or fill out my feedback form below.

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Many thanks for reading,


What to do with your kids during the Easter Holidays

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What should you do during the Easter holidays?

Well why not create an Easter egg hunt, just get a load of chocolate foiled eggs, which you can get from your local supermarket and hide them in the house or garden and create clues as to where the eggs could be, and you can get the whole family involved.

Or you can visit some places in your area for local Easter egg hunts near you. Check this website link below for details:

Why not take a trip up to London, last year we visited the London Aquarium, the London Dungeon, Shreks Adventure or go on the London Eye. They are really great activities but do book in advance as they do get fully booked during these holidays.

You have Dungeons in other areas like Blackpool and Edinburgh. There also other Sealife centres aswell, in Manchester, Weymouth, Brighton, Blackpool, Gweek and Lock Lomond.

Remember in Blackpool you can visit the Blackpool Tower where they have the circus and usually they will do an Easter show, and Weymouth Tower (Jurassic Skyline).

If the weather is sunny and warm, why not take a trip along the River Thames and visit some of the top UK attractions like Hampton court, or central London, take a river boat cruise up to Tower Bridge and back.

Why not go to a Theme Park and book a break away, they are doing deals at Chessington World of Adventures at the moment, where kids go free, check out the link below for details:

Legoland Windsor is my favourite out of all the theme parks and they’re doing an offer too during the Easter Holidays if you wanted to book a break away. Check out link below:

If you are on a limited budget then fear not, there are still places to go for free, like the Museums in Kensington in London, like the Science Museum, the V&A and Natural History museum. Or take them to the Transport Museum up near Covent Garden.

Take them to see Buckingham Palace and have picnic in St Jame’s park, Green Park or Hyde Park and check out Kensington Gardens, where you can see the luxurious Kensington Palace, where Prince William and Kate live.

There are many activities to do at home too, like take them to a local park and create an Easter Egg hunt there and make a party of it, and invite your children friends to come and join in.

Create some activities at home, like get them to paint some eggs in different colours using children’s paint, and why not use some child friendly glue and get them to create some Easter cards, and pictures.

Here is a video by Emily Norris who share’s some activities to do on a rainy day.

Never fear there is always plenty to do, so why not try these out and just have fun, and remember if you liked my blog then please subscribe and follow me on WordPress.con

If you have anything you would like me to write about in regards to parenting then please contact me via my feedback form below.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

Preventing Tantrums and meltdowns

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Every now and again our little ones can turn into little monsters. When Henry has a tantrum it usually because he wants something but gets frustrated when he can’t get what he wants or because I am guilty of looking at my phone a lot when he is trying to grab my attention.

This brings me to tip 1

Put devices away and give them the attention they are after, I am forever guilty of paying attention to Youtube than to Henry so I give him the attention he needs .

Try and see things from their point of view as a lot of the time it is because we aren’t looking it at from their perspective and they are just being annoying, there is nothing worse when trying to talk to someone and they are typing on their phone or tablet.

Preventing a tantrum can be tricky but once you can notice the triggers then you can help put them at bay.

Tip 2 Create a space where they can calm down, or time to chill out and do their own thing.

Example if it is sunny outside and light outside now we are coming into spring we will let Henry, our son play and let of some steam in the garden.

Tip 3 Let treats be treats and not something they get just for the sake of it. For example if Henry has behaved at school and does his homework he can have a Kinder egg.

Tip 4 If it is frustration then get down to their level and try to go through what it is by communicating effectively by asking and pointing to things what it might be that is upsetting them. Henry for example doesn’t like it when we open packets for him, he wants to do it himself so we let him, but stand by to offer assistance should he need it. Show them what they need to do rather than tell.

See blogpost I have written in the link below:

Tip 5 If you see they are about to explode into to range or the begin to stamp their feet in anger, reinforce good behaviour and try to keep calm yourself, the last thing you need is you both having a tantrum, and if you need a bit of time out, or they do allow them that time.

Lastly remember tantrums don’t last forever and at some point in our lives we all want to have a good old explosion so allow them to express themselves, ignoring doesn’t always work neither does shouting, or smacking so try and avoid these actions the best you can.

I hope you found this helpful, and if want to keep up to date with my blog then you can do so by subscribing and following me on, plus you can contact me should you have any questions by commenting below or filling in my feedback form, see link below:

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X