Learning through play is so important, because that’s how they build up their listening, observation skills, memory and motor skills.
Henry learns through play at school and it has benefited him so much he is speaking a lot more, picking up new words and skills such as he couldn’t open any packaging now he can and its through play he has done that.
Here is a video which talks more about learning through play.
There are so many skills you can teach a child through play, such as cleaning, dancing and walking.
At Henry’s school they use visual cards to let Henry know what other items he can play with next, or what the next activity is going to be.
During half term you can still learn through play by taking them to softplay, bowling, to zoo where there is also a playground, to some gardens like Kew Gardens for example and have a great day out.
Bath times in our house are tricky, because our son doesn’t like it, I don’t know why he doesn’t I make it as relaxing as possible and he goes in okay, but soon as he goes in he wants to come out.
He doesn’t like getting his hair wet and really puts up a fight to get out of the bath when it comes to washing his hair.
Building a child’s confidence with water is an essential part of their growing and I am going to in the summer take him swimming again, as last time we did it really helped build his confidence.
One tip I would give is to get into the bath aswell. If you can get into the bath with them so they can see that you are seating down and it is okay, and usually children will follow by example, once they know it is okay.
Once I have finished washing my sons hair I say “All over” and then he is fine and I take him out of the bath.
Sometimes I will encourage him as much as possible to play in the bath with his boat and there was a point he would, but he has become weary of sitting in the bath again.
He will stand in the bath, so we have put in a bath mat to stop him from slipping, which isn’t a problem I just wish he would be a lot more confident.
It is always me he trusts to give him a bath, he doesn’t like it when my husband gives him a bath, which I again not sure why, as at one point they were really bonding through bath time. It was kind of their time together.
So it a working progress, but like everything else, doing it gradual and being persistent is the key to helping them to build their confidence. Not allowing them near water at all won’t help, as they need to see there is nothing to be scared about.
I talk about how I get so stressed out when it comes to taking my son to school, and I have even written a post called Getting children to school where I talk about getting a child to school and doing it gradually.
If you suffer with anxiety like I do, doing things gradually rather than all in one go, really helps lower the pressure and helps me get through the morning.
Once my son is in school I breath a sigh of relief and get on with my day.
Why as parents do we get so stressed?
I wish I knew the answer but I think it is the overwhelming pressure in my case of getting my son to school safely as there are some big roads in between.
I picture the worse case scenario to help make myself aware of the dangers that can happen. It makes me take extra care not to let Henry cross the road without checking whats coming first, so he will eventually learn to do the same.
My husband says I panic over the slightest thing, but I am worrier, and I can’t help but worry, it is part of my DNA I have come to realise.
Does it make me being a worrier effect me as a parent?
I think so but I’d rather be aware of the dangers rather than not, and I know that the stress isn’t gonna last for long, it is only for 20 minutes or so.
The same goes when it comes to toilet training, has Henry had an accident at school or not, so far he has been accident free, and getting to bed especially during the night can be stressful aswell, but again I just tell myself eventually he will go back to sleep, and everything will be alright.
Getting a child to school can be tricky, getting my son ready for school can take its time as my son, if he could walk out the house naked or in his Pajamas he would.
I do things gradually so we gradually have Henry eat his breakfast and then at 8 minutes passed seven each morning that’s when we get Henry dressed ready for school. We have started to get him to do it himself, so putting on his pants, trousers and shirt.
I will admit some mornings I do have to wrestle with him to get him dressed. So not always easy.
Once my son is dressed I then I find everything else just fits into place. Getting into a routine is helpful, for both you as the parent and for the child so they know at this time of the day, this when we get dressed, put our shoes on, brush our teeth and one last trip to the toilet, as my fear is getting caught short, and Henry needing a toilet stop on the way to school.
Once we are out of the house it takes a long time to get to school, because my son wants to look and watch everything going passed, the birds, the buses, the squirrels, cars and other children going to school, so I make sure I leave with plenty of time.
The worst thing I hate the most is rushing, and if I can avoid it I will do.
If they do have a melt down on the way then stop, get down to their level and explain that it is OK, and try and take their mind off of it, by looking at the nature or things around them.
Keep letting them know how far away they are and that they doing really well in walking, and don’t worry if they have a meltdown as these will pass.
Children are just like us we get anxious over new experiences and changes, and children aren’t any different. As they start feeling their emotions they become more aware of what is happening around them.
I get anxious but I try to hide it, as I don’t want my fears to effect Henry in anyway and be afraid to go to school.
As a child I was always coming home with a plaster on my leg, cut my head open whilst playing with my brother who when playing football disclicated his arm, it happens accidents do happen and this week I got a phone call from my son’s school because he had split his head open.
It so happened I was on a course for the whole day, but my husband was off so I had to give him a call to go to the school, but to keep me posted to let me know how he was.
If they do come home with a cut leg, clean it up with a sterile wipe and cover with a plaster, if it is a broken arm, leg, cut on he head seek medical advice, as with head injuries could lead to other problems, such a dizziness and sickness.
Never leave them standing up, they should be seated or lying down. If unconcious, lay them into the recover position, don’t move then if unsure, and seek medical help straight away.
We were advised by the doctors to give Henry 24 hours before he returned to school and must not get his head wet, as the glue holding his cut together could come away and start bleeding again.
Try and stay as calm as possible even if the child is hysterical. Get some support for yourself as it can be traumatic for everyone.
Make sure if it is done at nursery or at school an accident report is written and signed.
This time of year at least someone I know will get a sticking cold, and usually Henry my son will get a cold as soon as the weather begins to change.
So how can you avoid those horrible coughs and cold?
Teach your child to put their hand in front of their mouth, and make sure you have plenty of tissues to hand. Teach them to wash their hands regularly and give them a nice warm bath.
Keep them wrapped up and use Calpol if your child is not allergic but if they have a temperature and always have a thermometer to hand, as we keep us near by in the kitchen at all times just in case.
Sometimes a cold is unavoidable and having a cold will help make their anti bodies stronger and their immune system, but at the same time you want to make sure it doesn’t get any worse, and if you are concerned then do book an appointment with the doctor or speak to your health adviser.
Make sure the child is well hydrated and check their diet. I am guilty of giving my son sugary food and I know it is bad, so I do make sure now that when he goes to school he has a piece of fruit to take with him aswell as his cup with water in it.
If they are really bad then do avoid then going to school especially if they have a temperature as coughs and colds are contagious.
I wrote a blog a while ago about Sometimes I find it a Struggle, and I still now there are times when it is so hard, that I just wish I could click my fingers and it all be right again. I can get my son’s uniform on without a fight, I will be at school without the long dreaded walk, and I will get a good report each day after school, but that wouldn’t be life.
Life is about facing good and bad times and parenting most definitely has its ups and downs. No one tells you the truth and if someone tells me now that it gets easier, I ignore as I know that isn’t the truth, it just changes as your children grow.
Sorry to break the bad news, but it’s true, there are still hard times it comes I have found with parenting.
Last week was my toughest so far as Henry refused to get dressed and put his uniform on, so I would raise my voice and have tantrum of my own, he wouldn’t go to the toilet when told I had to pick him up and take him there, and I literally had to pull him out of the house to get him to school, as he wanted to watch his tablet, and we had a few bad reports back after school too.
I think a lot of it was due to tiredness as when he is tired he will play up, so we are trying to get him to sleep for longer and not wake up so early, even though that’s a challenge in itself.
Come Friday he was a lot better and has been this week so far. I feel nervous in saying that, as one thing I have learned from becoming a parent, is it can all change again tomorrow, and I will be having tantrums of my own again.
I do try and stay calm but I slowly feel the heat rising and just want to scream, but staying calm as much as possible helps more than when I have a tantrum and when I begin to rant and rave.
No one told me what a mission it was to get a child to school on time, especially as Henry wants to stop every minute or so to watch the cars, vans, lorries, buses and planes fly over, and see if we can spot any squirrels. I try to be patient and just walk without rushing, but when time starts to tick over I can’t help but worry about being late, even though we have so far made it time, it just takes forever to get there.
The one thing I am pleased about is that he is happy to go to school once we are out and once we are there, he goes into his classroom without a fuss, and he ran in there yesterday before I could catch him, he was gone, but then when we (my husband and i) picked him up he wanted to run out of the school aswell, which I don’t blame him as I hated school when I was a kid and could’t wait to leave.
If you are having a hard time then remember is doesn’t last forever and Henry like I say has been OK so far this week. Yes it can all change, but I also don’t want to wish his little life away either and yesterday he actually told me for the first time of what he did at school, which is a break through, as before when we asked the response we got was “Yeah” and nothing more.
So lets see how today has gone, I feel nervous about picking him from school because I never know what the report back will be, but I will keep my fingers crossed and keep being persistent with teaching Henry to be good at school and hang on in there, as I hope like most things do they will work out in the end.
Yes it is true, and I do feel mortified that my son swore apparently during assembly, in front of the whole school.
How do you stop your child from swearing?
This is a tough question, because my son being 5 years old now still doesn’t get that those words mean. He says them in the right context though, so we teach him to replace the words, with shoot or instead of Bloody, “oh my goodness”.
He began swearing back when he was at nursery and he had nipped it in the bud, but it seemed he had started again.
Both my husband and I are aware we have to watch our own language in case our son repeats them.
A lot of it, is to do with attention and seeing what reaction he is going to get, so I try to ignore or replace the words so he knows what words are OK and which aren’t.
Band the F word
I have now band the F word from my lips, and have tried to get my husband to do the same, even though it still comes out whilst my husband is driving so I do have to keep reminding him that the F word shouldn’t be used, or I say “Stop swearing”.
It can be tricky but try not to bring too much attention to it, as if they see they get a reaction they will continue, well my son does, so we have to try and make him see that this word is fine, but we don’t say that word, as its a bad word.
There hasn’t been any more reports of him swearing which I am relieved for, I hope I am not tempting fate, but so far he has stopped.
Here is a video by Pappa Stig of how he stopped his son from swearing.
So if you have any dilemmas such as your child swearing get in touch. I feel as a fellow parent we should support each other the best we can.
As we are now coming into November, this is the time you should be looking at visiting schools and applying for your school of choice, before January 2019 for your child depending on their birth date.
This was my husband and I last year, and thankfully we go out second choice.
You want to visit during school hours if possible as you can see by the children’s expression and body language if they enjoy their school or not and can usually pick up a good or bad vibe.
You wanna go by the way the school has presented itself and what their Ofsted report is like. Luckily both of the schools we wanted for our son were both Outstanding, which I appreciate not everyone is that lucky, but nevertheless it is good to check out the Ofsted report, and if the school will get the best out of your child.
I know in the UK it all comes down to distance and if you live in the catchment area, but like my nieces they go to go a school further from their home because ones in their area to where they lived were really bad, and didn’t have good reputation at all.
Consider whether or not they Will be able to give your child the care and attention they need. I knew for Henry our son, he would need one to one support as he has slight development delay, and so it was important that the school could provide that for us.
How will they introduce your child to school? Do they do home visits? Going to school for any child can be daunting so you want to lower the stress of school as much as possible and have them look forward to it, rather than dreading it.
To find the schools in your area check out your local authority and how you can apply and what date you need to apply by.