Category Archives: Parenting Dilemmas

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

 

 

 

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.

Library of free juggler vector black and white library png files ...

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.

Kids Playing, Family, Child, Extended Family, Father, Drawing ...

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