Posted in Family Life

Checkers Oh my goodness snacks

Oh my Goodness…healthy eating choices for kids

One of the things we are increadibly strict about is giving Hamish the option of healthy snacks to nibble on.

Especially during the pandemic when we need to keep our immune systems at their optimal best.

Knowing this we try to keep fresh fruit and yogurt in the house daily.

However we have lived through a few weeks of quarantine and self isolation over the last 17 months and have found that giving him dried fruits and other forms of healthy food options that he a longer shelf life to be just as beneficial to his overall nutrition and health.

One of those options is the Oh My Goodness snack range from Checkers.

oh so goodness snacks

About the range

The Oh My Goodness range was developed for Checkers in 2017, by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsy and his daughter Matilda.

These were designed as on the go or lunch boxes snacks and they are especially great for packing in as healthy lunch options.

The Oh My Goodness range includes :-

  • Mini rice cakes- these include no MSG and are gluten free.
  • Health bars – are raw with no added sugar or preservatives.
  • Fruit gums – these are artificial flavour and colourant, preservative and sugar free. They contain 99% pure fruit.
  • Cookies – with 30% reduced sugar.
  • Berry flavour sparkling water – made from natural spring water and high in vitamin C.
  • Yogurt melts- these are freeze dried fruit and yogurt drops.

Other products

Oh my goodness also have a range of easy to heat up ready cooked toddler /child meals.

All meals are MSG free with no added sugar or salt and contain no preservatives or artificial colours or flavours.

My thoughts

Overall I’ve been very impressed by this range and have used it since 2017 for Hamish.

I especially found it helpful when trying to pack a busy school lunch box in the rush of a morning and to quickly heat up a meal if I cooked something for the family I knew Hamish wouldn’t eat.

He loves the range. We currently buy them weekly, however as a busy and active boy of almost 5 I do find the snack portions quite small and find myself often offering 2 snacks instead of 1.

But they make the best on the go snack for little ones.

Oh so goodness for kids
Posted in Family Life, Parenting, preschool

Get a personalised call from the Paw patrol

Get Chase or Skye to call your child

The Paw Patrol movie was released nationwide yesterday and many a child is waiting to see Chase on the case.

Now, you can book tickets and surprise your child with a personalized call from either Skye or Chase himself letting them know they are going to see the movie.

Imagine their excitement as their favourite pup gives them a call.

The link is free to use and you add your child’s name. Then you choose from one of 4 good things your child has done.

Your chosen pup then calls and announces that your child has been well behaved and is going to the movie theater to see Paw Patrol the movie.

On a level of cuteness this is a ten.

I’ve just had a look at the link and can’t wait to surprise Hamish in the morning before we take him to see his favourite puppies in action.

Let me know how your children enjoyed this.

The link to get your own personalised Paw Patrol call is Here

Paw Patrol

 

Posted in Family Life, Parenting

100 Easy Ways to help your family become more eco-concious

100 Easy ways to help your family become more eco-concious

Over the last year I have started to focus more and more on the small steps we can take as a family to become more eco-concious and sustainable in our everyday life.

I recently compiled a list and thought I’d share them for anyone else on the beginning or even long into a more sustainable, green and healthy life choice.

The Earth is what we all have in common.

Wendell Berry

100 Easy ways to become more eco-concious

  • Walk – wherever possible walk to where you are going. Start a walking club, especially if you live in an area that may not be that safe and walk in groups. Walk with the kids to school or to a bus station, train station or taxi rank to cut the use of fossil fuels
  • Public transport& lift clubs – make use of public transport as often as you can. The less cars on the roads the better.
  • Lunches – pack your lunches in reusable containers or beeswax covers.
  • Takeaways– supply your own containers and eco coffee cups when buying takeaway to reduce the amount of packaging used.
  • Straws – wherever possible use reusable or biodegradable straws.
  • Baby nappies- use cloth or choose your disposables well as you do get “Green” biodegradable disposable nappies, they however cost much more than less eco conscious brands.
  • Meatless Monday- choose vegetarian options as often as you can if you can’t commit to becoming vegetarian or vegan.
  • Bathing & showering – shower more regularly and keep these short. If you do bath, use the water to flush toilets, wash items or water plants and gardens.
  • Car – using cruise control on your car will save on fuel.
  • Maintenance – service your car and big appliances often as this will ensure they last longer saving you buying new ones each year.
  • Shopping – Batch your errands and shopping to allow you to be in one space and get everything done at once. This saves on fuel.
  • Reusable shopping bags – Take your own reusable shopping bags with you when you go shopping.
  • Screen time – limit the use of screen time and technology, saving electricity.
  • Lights – switch off any lights that you are not using and switch to energy saving bulbs
  • Recycle – take the time to sort your refuse into recycling, not only is it good for the earth, the animals will be safer.
  • Repurpose – repurpose items into arts and crafts projects or new gifts, decor and toys.
  • Reuse – Buy second hand and support thrift and charity shops. Reuse containers and other items for new purposes.
  • Regift – Anything you’ve not used in 6 months is most likely not going to be used. Regift your unused items to family or friends who may need it or donate to charities.
  • Wrapping paper – reuse any wrapping for other gifts or use newspaper. Save gift bags and reuse them or use fancy scarves, dish towels or other material to wrap a gift.
  • Nature– spend more time outdoors.
  • Think of the environment– when choosing activities to enjoy as a family choose from those that have the least impact on the environment.
  • Be the example – model the change and eco friendly practices you are trying to achieve or implement in your home.
  • Talk to your family – teach your family to be eco conscious and talk to them about why it is so important.
  • Litter bugs – Do not litter. Join beach clean ups or other litter clean ups as families to highlight the importance of not littering.
  • Clean home – Keeping a clean home and teaching our children to respect their belongings as well as their environment is the foundation to teaching our children to become eco concious.
  • Washing clothing – use cold water to wash your clothing rather than hot water. This won’t affect how clean your clothing becomes.
  • Full loads– never run a machine without a full load. If you are doing the washing wait until you have a full load.
  • Detergent – Try to use a green detergent brand and if not,do not use use too much.
  • Hard chemicals– where possible stay away from hard bleaches. You can use a homemade bleaching agent which is much softer on fabrics and surfaces.
  • Dry cleaners & Tumble driers – avoid them both. Make use of the sun to dry your clothing.
  • Freezer efficiency– make your freezer more efficient by ensuring it remains full, even if just with ice as your freezer still uses energy to freeze this space.
  • Shut the door- try not to open and close your fridge door often. Take everything you need out at one time or pack everything back together.
  • Clean your fridge– a Crack to the fridge seal or a leak can cause your frqidge to use more energy. By keeping your fridge clean weekly you will spot these faults easily. Vacuum the back coils and clean the door seal often.
  • Cooking – use a pot the correct size as the burner plate to avoid losing heat and wasting electricity.
  • Put a lid on it – use a lid in your cooking pits to allow you to cook on lower settings and save electricity.
  • Ovens – only pre-heat for baking. Do not open the door often and turn off a few minutes before the food us cooked and use the heat to continue cooking your meal.
  • Appliances – purchase energy efficient appliances
  • Laptop vs desktop – when choosing a computer always buy a laptop as they use 10% less energy than a desktop.
  • Printer power– If you need a new printer, invest in an ink jet printer as it has a low energy consumption.
  • E-waste – recycle your ewaste in order for it not to full up landfills.
  • Batteries – use rechargeable batteries, saving the need to constantly buy new.
  • Disposable products – change as many disposable products like razors, toothbrushes, etc to sustainable options.
  • Organic– Buy as many organic vegetables and fruit as possible.support your local farmers and farmer markets.
  • Pesticides – Do not use pesticides in your garden.
  • Watering plants – water your plants in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid over watering in the noon sun.
  • Planting – plant more trees, bushes and indigenous flowers. Succulents look beautiful when blooming and use very little water.
  • Keep track – sit down as a family and look at how much electricity and water you use, discuss ways to reduce this and work on achieving using less each month.
  • Trash cans – have a Competition by giving each family a bin and see who uses the most dirt in a week. The winner could get a prize.
  • Trees, glorious trees – plant as many trees as you can.
  • Adopt an area – adopt an area. This could be a stretch of beach, street, park or community garden. Keep this area litter free and visit often.
  • Compost – start a family compost bin to use in the garden.
  • Start a garden – even the smallest home can have a garden. Starting a container garden or vegetable patch will save money in the long run and save you trips to the shop.
  • Furniture – use furniture made from natural materials or buy used furniture to upcycle or repurpose.
  • Containers – save your containers to reuse as pot plants, to package meals for the homeless or store small nick nacks.
  • School duties- any lighly used school supplies or unused books and other stationary can be donated to local schools and charity organizations for others to reuse.
  • School uniforms – most schools have a thrift store where you can buy gently worn school uniforms or donate back to when your child outgrows theirs. Many times these shops assist parents who can’t afford uniforms.
  • Toys & books – pass them down, recycle, donate or sell old toys to toy exchanges or on Facebook market place.
  • Old clothing – like toys and books you can pass them down, recycle, donate or sell old clothing on Facebook market place. For clothing that is stained you could turn it into rags and old tshirts can be used to make yarn wool and recreate an entirely new item.
  • Hygiene products – if you have a store of hygiene products you were gifted and won’t use, other than re-gifting them at Christmas you could donate them to a local old age home or homeless shelter.
  • Napkins vs serviettes– choose material napkins over serviettes and material placemats over paper printed ones.
  • Left overs – pack any left overs into a reusable container instead of a wax or plastic wrap. You can freeze these. We often can’t eat the left overs fast enough and will leave the containers marked for the homeless.
  • Make your own – make your own natural detergents and household cleaners.
  • A cup of water – when brushing your teeth or when men are shaking try to use a cup of water instead of running the tap. If you must run the to switch it off until you need it,do not let it continue to run.
  • In the pantry – always keep lemon juice, bicarbonate and vinegar. You’ll be surprised at how usefullthese products are.
  • Car wash – when having your car washed use a professional car wash that uses recycled water.
  • Rainwater – collect your rainwater to reuse on plants.
  • Reusable bottles– pack your coffees, teas and cold drinks into reusable bottles, cups and flasks. Take these with you when you go out.
  • Evening in – use the car less and replace an evening out for a date night in or a family meal specially prepared and decorated for at home once a month.
  • Exercize – walking or riding a bike to where you are going is a great way to exercize.
  • Make your own – convenience foods are super handy but it is easier on the environment and much less packaging if you make your own things like smoothies, cake mixes, baby foods and pre- cooked meals.
  • Water – don’t continue to buy a new bottle of water each time, use a bottle that is reusable.
  • Aircon– the air-conditioned takes a lot of electricity a much more efficient option is a ceiling fan. Allow your aircon to warm up before just adjusting the settings and service it often to prevent leaks.
  • Gas – switch off any gas when not in use.
  • House colour matters – if you live in a warm continent you should paint your house a light colour and likewise if you live in a cool continebt it should be a dark colour. This will save up to 5000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
  • Repair – repair items that are broken.
  • Minimize– Buy less stuff and only own what you need or use.
  • Free cycle- I personally live the Freecycle services on Facebook and it allows people to give away the items they don’t want or look for items they need.
  • Go digital – use as little paper as possible.
  • Online shopping – online shopping saves you needing to go into the shops, thus less cars on the road and tends to help many people stick to a budget and only buy what they need.
  • Green gifts – when gifting for family and friends choose green options.
  • Businesses– support businesses with good environmental records and policies.
  • Buy local – Buy local products. Craft fairs, farmers markets and online marjet places are the best way to source local products.
  • E- tickets – purchase all your tickets online where you can.
  • Online banking – go digital and print less. Do as much of your banking online as you can.
  • Make up – choose brands that are not tested on animals
  • Food waste – don’t waste food. Only use the correct amount of ingredients to make what you need. If you have left overs freeze them or save them to give to the homeless. Teach your children not to waste food.
  • Plastic – try to cut out plastic all together and buy products and toys made from. Wood or sustainable products.
  • Lego – repurpose and Lego or plastic building blocks by donating them to schools or charities,reading them in crafts or sending them back to the Lego factory for recycling.
  • Insulate your home– this will help you save on electricity during winter.
  • Microwave – as crazy as it sounds the microwave uses less electricity than a stove, use your microwave where you can.
  • Avoid flying – flying is one of the most environmentally damaging things you can do and besides road trips are much more fun.
  • Seasonal foods – only eat foods, fruit and vegetables that are in season.
  • Open windows – opening your windows allows fresh air into your home, avoids a mould build up in damp spots and gives you a great opportunity not to use the aircon.
  • Volunteer – use your time to volunteer in projects that you are passionate about for example I love the beach and attend every beach clean up that I can.
  • Educate – use opportunities to teach others how to become more eco-concious.
  • Energy audits- energy audits are a thing and you can get one done to see just how much electricity your family use and where helping you to conserve electricity going forward.
  • Shower – install low flow shower heads in your showers so that you do not waste water.
  • Toilet buddy – place a brick in your toilet cistern or get a toilet buddy to stop the toilet filling up as full. Many of us don’t think how often we flush the toilet nor how much water it uses with each flush.
  • Recycle – recycle all your waste correctly. Set up separate bins to do this.
  • Fish are friends – only eat fish that are in the SASSI green list. And if eating out ask the waiter if your fish is from the green list.
  • Toilet paper – purchase recycled toilet paper. My favourite is Gud sheet.
  • Bird & butterfly feeders – encourage birds and butterflies into your garden by putting out water, feeders and planting flowers to attract them.
  • Save the bees – encourage bees in your garden and only shop sustainable local honey.
  • Cellphones – unplug your cell phone if it is done charging.
  • Reuse the paper – keep any paper that kids can draw on if it’s been used on one side, or shred it to make packaging and pet rodent beds.

This is a very practical list of very easy ways you and your family can start to become eco-concious. Don’t aim to achieve them all in the beginning, rather pick one or two at a time to start to implement.

Let’s change our world for the better.

Have I missed out any others? List them in the comments below .

Posted in Blog posts, Family Life

Things to Do With Kids in Pretoria – 7 Fun-filled Activities

Pretoria is host to the country’s leading national museum (the Transvaal Museum), national zoological garden (Pretoria Zoo), many art and cultural museums, head offices of federal departments, and several foreign embassies. It comes as no surprise as to why this city is one of South Africa’s three capitals. 

The streets here are adorned with striking purple Jacaranda trees and various hip cafes. Being a family-friendly city, there is an abundance of fun stuff to do in Pretoria with your kids. From outdoor activities consisting of zoo trips and treetop adventures to indoor ice skating, go-karting, and enjoying a fascinating show at the theatre.

You can easily rent a car with First Car Hire and get an adventure for your kids started right away.

What to Do in Pretoria With Kids

Pretoria has an endless list of activities that will keep your kids engaged, while learning some valuable skills. The city has a solid list of zoos, farms, outdoor sports, thrilling activities, and indoor recreations that will keep your kids on their toes and out of your hair.

Here’s a comprehensive list of what to do in Pretoria with your kids. And if you have a babysitter and are looking for some grown-up time, take a look at these things to do in Joburg for the adults.

Things to Do in Pretoria At Night With Kids

The night brings a different kind of Tasmanian Devil out of young kids. No matter how many lullabies you sing or how exciting the bedtime story may be, it’s tough to get them to sleep. Engaging kids in daytime and early nighttime activities is an excellent way to tire them out, so by the time they’ve reached home, they’re ready to be tucked away in bed.

Ice Skating & More At The Grove Mall

The one-and-only ice-skating rink in Pretoria is located at the Grove Mall. After a skating episode, your little snowflakes can enjoy a blockbuster film at the IMAX cinema, right across the hall. The Grove Mall also has a water park for toddlers and an entertainment arena with arcade games, bumper cars, laser tag and 10-pin bowling. Your kids will never get bored here with the endless list of electrifying activities and games at hand.

Go-Karting

Are you exhausted from trying to keep up with hyperactive kids? This activity is perfect for you to relax, while your kids burn off some energy. Dyno Karting at Menlyn Park has smooth go-karting tracks allowing your teens to make the most of their adrenaline rush as they zoom down the black path.

Fun Things to Do in Pretoria With Kids – Outdoor Activities

In a technologically-driven world, where electronic gadgets and at-home media consume children of today’s generation, it can be challenging to get them to spend time outdoors. However, children need to play outside as it boosts their immunity and improves their executive function. In the warm sun, surrounded by nature, kids get to explore and learn practical skills. 

The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

Also known as the Pretoria Zoo, the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa is the largest zoo in the country. It spans more than 200-acres and is home to more than 3,000 animals. The zoo is also a research hub and features a reptile park, an aquarium, and an exotic tree collection. A trip to the Pretoria Zoo is not only an enlightening learning experience but also crucial for your kids to get in sync with nature. 

Not just for kids, even adults will love spending their time here, seeing wild animals like lions, tigers, and giraffes up close. In the farmyard, the entire family can pet cows, sheep, and pigs. In the aviary, you can hear birds chirp and sing. A cable car will take you up to a mountain, where you’ll be closer than ever to predator animals (in a safe way). And the Apies River at the zoo is a perfect picnic spot, so bring a basket of fresh goods with you.

Have you seen that you can take a photo with these 3D Google animals

Theme Park

Who doesn’t love a classic theme park with thrilling rides? For the young and old, the Cedar Junction Theme Park has mini-train rides, jungle gyms, a sandpit, jumping castles, trampolines, a zip-line, a swimming pool with a slide, pedal boats, and much more. You can spend an entire day here with your children, who will be squealing in joy at every tunnel turn and height spin on their rides. 

Treetop Adventure

Ah, to be Tarzan and swing from branch to brand with one hand on a rope and the other in the air! Acrobranch provides its visitors with a unique adventure, where the entire family can participate in different obstacle courses. It’s like a workout amongst the green trees. Kids will get to work on their fitness and feel ecstatic from their victory when they’ve overcome these challenges.

Unusual Things to Do in Pretoria

Step aside from the usual energetic outdoor activities to let your kids catch their breath while indulging in some unusual and slightly underrated activities in Pretoria.

Atterbury Theatre

For the kids who like storytelling and visual elements, Atterbury Theatre is a splendid choice. The theatre hosts concerts and plays of different genres that tell enchanting stories. Change up the scene by shifting from the blue screen at home to a live performance that will leave your kids inspired. Be sure to check in advance what shows they have for kids.

Clay Cafe

To encourage your kids to explore their artistic side, a visit to the Clay Cafe will be a relaxed and creatively stimulating experience. Adults and children can choose a clay piece and play with a colourful palette to make their unique creations while nibbling on little freshly-baked treats.

Final Thoughts on Pretoria’s Activities for Kids

And there you have it, an exciting list of fun things to do in Pretoria to keep your kids occupied on public holidays, during the weekend, and on school holidays. Pitch these activities to your kids and let them decide which adventure they wish to undertake. That way, they’re more excited for the day planned and are committed to it.

 

 

Posted in Brands we love, Easter

An Egg-stra special Easter egg hunt with Cadbury

A few weeks ago we excitedly opened a press drop from Cadbury chocolates to find all the egg-citing chocolate treats to arrange the most egg-stra special Easter egg hunt.

Chocolates for days

Inside our mouth watering box was:

  • the most adorable cardboard house
  • Fluffy mallow eggs
  • Hallow eggs with whispers
  • Hallow eggs with Astros
  • Hens eggs – candy coated hallow chocolate eggs
  • A packet of mini eggs
  • Limited edition bunny top deck slab
  • And a delicious creme egg

Hide them with love

Brent’s birthday weekend and the arrival of our box of chocolates arrived on the same day and as we had the whole family over to celebrate, I couldn’t think of a better time to hide the chocolates with love.

And I set the girls the challenge to help me with an Easter egg hunt.

How to plan the perfect Easter egg hunt

Every year, we have an Easter egg hunt, but this year I wanted to make it a little more special so we turned to the Egg-sperts and visited the Cadbury SA social media pages for some inspiration from Fluffy the Easter bunny.

To start we needed a planned route and a designated area to hide the eggs where pets or insects would not eat them, the sun wouldn’t melt them and Hamish could find them with ease.

What better place to hide them than around the house.

This decided, I put the girls to work to design the perfect Easter egg hunt treasure map. They did a brilliant job and even drew little lines for Hamish to follow with silver stars placed at each spot he would find an egg.

Next we decided which eggs to hide and how many so that we could account for him finding them all.

We chose the mallow eggs as this is a tradition in our home, since when my eldest child was little.We have always bought a box of mallow eggs every Easter to hide.

Now Hamish would need something to gather his eggs into.

Cadbury sent him a super special Team MacGregor bag which was perfect to gather eggs.

I love personalised items and Cadbury are, true to their nature of generosity, always increadibly amazing at adding a touch of personalised specialness to their press drops.

The hunt is on

Once everything was ready it was time for Hamish to get his hunt on.

Easter is a soecial time for kids and even more so for 4 year olds who are deeply invested in the magic of the Easter bunny and his chocolate factory.

The excitement was high as he rushed about followed his map and with each shriek of joy we knew he had found another one,slowly filling his Easter bag with chocolate treasures.

Ten minutes later, a bag full of Easter mallow eggs. He asked if we could do that all over again

Why not set up your own Easter egg hunt and create special memories for your children to remember with Cadbury .

Posted in Family Life, Mamma bears, Parenting

What to tell a mom today …

All day I’m busy.

I do not stop from the moment my eyes are open.

Mental load

I’m constantly teaching, watching for negatives, alert for danger, setting an example, worrying about my children, my husband, my home and trying to be present whilst also micro-managing every aspect of my life and multi -tasking the entire day to fit in my own needs.

Physical load

On top of the mental load, there is also the very real physical load mother’s carry.

Hundreds of cups of tea, never ending meals and snacks and not to mention the cleaning… I am always cleaning something.

Who cares?

And do you know who notices ?

No one!

Do you know who cares?

No one?

Do you know who praises me? Who says Thank you ?

Yes, you guessed it …

No one!

Not alone

But

I am not alone in this. I am joined by every other woman who has a home and family.

Every new mom hoping their child’s green poo is normal and every grandmother who still worries if she should have let little Billy cry it out or if her child’s inabity to stay in a stable relationship at 35 is her doing!

Yes, as moms we carry the unspoken mental and physical load of raising our families, working, looking after our home, being a partner, a good friend and still trying to remember who we are.

And more often than not we cry into showers and worry late into the night if we are doing it right …

Are we being good moms?

Judgmental motherhood

Surprisingly,

Although we know we are not alone in our overwhelmed and busy mom/wife life.

Although we wished someone knew how we felt and saw all we did….we loudly and competitively judge the mom next door.

We judge her for her parental differences.

We judge her for her beliefs, her cultural differences and the choices she makes believing they are the best for her family as she cries in the shower hoping she is doing this mom thing right.

We judge Mary for not breastfeeding and Sally from church for still co-sleeping.

We look at Jill disapprovingly, whispering how her child was expelled and to the lady in the bus we shake our head whilst her toddler screams through it’s 5th temper tantrum of the morning and we tsk! under our breath judging them for being bad parents.

Change of mindset

How strange our behaviour!

We long for approval, support and acknowledgement and yet, as moms …as women …we are the first to criticize and judge another mother who only wants the same as us.

A mom with the same worries, the same fears and the same tired black marks under he eyes as she tie up her unwashed hair into a mom bun.

This seems illogical and totally counter productive.

What if instead of judging and running down mothers we reached into the pockets of our empathy and became their greatest supporters?

What if we changed our mindset to see ourselves in that new mom, to identify our children in the toddler throwing yet another tantrum, to support the mom walking a hard journey the way we would want to be supported.

What if we stopped judging and started praising?

What if we looked at every fellow mother and told her what a great mother she really is.

Posted in Family Life, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers

I love you more than daddy :- when a child prefers one parent.

I spend the vast majority of my day with Hamish as opposed to Brent who spends 90 % of his day at work away from the home.

Because of this I am Hamish’s primary care taker.

I also take on the roles as his friend and teacher. Which means I have an incredibly large influence in his little life.

But even I was rather taken aback when my 4 year old, giving me a huge hug said last week ” I prefer to you to daddy”

He continued with sentences like ” I love you more than daddy” , “I don’t like daddy” and “I love you more”

Concern

Naturally this concerned me. So, I asked Hamish why as Brent is really great with Hamish when he is home.

They play, chat and watch stories together.

From a child’s mouth

The answer he gave was that Brent spoke less gentle than I did and was grumpy.

He said I was calm and Brent shouted.

Which if you know us is the exact truth. I am more calm and patient, using gentle tones and words.

I’m less quick to get angry or upset and my children all have me wrapped around their fingers.

Brent is more stern and his words, to a child, could seem angry or punishing.

He is also faster to get annoyed or bugged by small issues.

So, it stood to reason that Hamish, who is naturally gentle, identified with a more gentle tone and approach and thus preferred to be around me.

But …

Still wondered if there wasn’t a more logical and proven answer to this favoritism.

Primary care

Children under the age of 5 are completely reliant on their care givers in order to survive.

This natural instinct, allows them to navigate and identify who their primary care givers are and how to meet their needs.

Knowing this, you can understand that a child who makes a statement preferring one parent to the other, does so out of need and survival and not as personal attack on the other parent.

What has in fact happened is that the child has identified one parent as more avaliable than the other and so they attach themselves to that parent and fight to keep that care and connection.

By voicing their favoritism, your child is protecting the relationship that they have identified as consistant and beneficial to their needs.

What about love

Just because your child has verbally chosen the other parent or physically fights to stay with their primary care givers does not for one minute mean that they do not love the other parent.

Pushing your child away

And whilst the words may sting or be hard to hear, the parent who is not being favoured should recognize this for what it is –

Your child’s ability to have their basic needs met.

Sadly,often times, on hearing that one parent is favored, the other may instinctively start to push the child away, taking the favoritism of the other parent personally and as a form of rejection.

What should you do?

According to most of the articles I read the first step is to :-

  • Acknowledge your child’s favoritism without taking it personally

You can also:-

  • Accept that your children are identifying where to get their needs met with the least resistance.

As a Parent it is best to :-

  • Offer to assist more in your child’s daily activities or be more present during the times you spend with them so that your child knows that you are also avaliable
  • Do not push your child away because you have taken their preference personally.
  • Know that children respond to consistency, safety, acceptance and connection

And importantly…

  • If you are the parent who is favoured, build up the other parent infront of your child and let your child know that they can rely on them.

Lastly

No one can be avaliable 24/7 for their children but the most effective way to build love and trust with your child is to be 100% present when you engage with your child.

At the end of the day your child really just needs you to be consistent, avaliable and love unconditionally.

Posted in Family Life

Fabulous February babies :- why your child may be happier than his peers

My eldest son turned 25 in February and I remember as a baby he was miserable He cried for 18 months solid and I cried for 18 months along side him convinced he hated me and wondering how I could fix my poor unhappy child …

Well, years later I smartly learnt that his problem was colic, mine was PND and that neither of us was doomed to a life of tears and broken hearts.

So, I was quite fascinated to read that February babies, according to studies, are regarded as the happiest children.

True Valentine’s

Perhaps the reason why children born in February are regarded as the happiest is that they share their birthday with the month of love and Valentine’s day.

One can picture little cherubs dancing over their cribs as they lay waiting on their parents adoring gaze.

Aside from being blessed with Cupid’s arrow, here are some other fun facts about children born in February.

About February

February is the second month of the both the Julian and the Gregorian calendar and is named after “Februa” – the early Roman festival and cleaning ritual.

“Februa” is Latin in origin and means “to cleanse”

With only 28 days, February is the shortest month of the year and also the only month to be affected in. Leap year, resulting in 29 days every 4 years.

It is also the only month that can pass without a full moon. Whilst this is rare, the last time no full moon appeared was in 1999 and the next time there will be no full moon will be in 2037.

February birthstone is the gorgeous purple Amythyst and the flower to represent the month is the violet.

And those born under this month are Aquarius or Pisces according to the zodiac signs.

Interestingly ….

Uncommon

Not only is February a short month, there are also fewer births recorded in February.

Those born on a leap year, on the 29th, are also relatively uncommon and only get to celebrate a true birthday every 4 years.

Your odds for being born on 29 February are actually 1 in 1461 and if you are born on this day you are known as. ‘Leaper’

It is universally decided that someone born on the 29th February will in fact celebrate their birthday on the 28th each year.

Celebrate

February is also the month to celebrate the Chinese new year, Valentines day and many worthy and noble causes.

Some of these being:-

  • Black History month
  • National boy scouts day
  • Friendship month
  • Teen dating violence Awareness month

Academically strong

According to studies, children born in February may do better than their peers academically.

Being born earlier in the year than most of their classmates, they may have learnt a concept or developed a skill before their friends.

It has also been proven that older children constantly perform better throughout their academic career than their younger peers.

Artistic

A study done by the UK Office of National Statistics proved that the month a child is born, plays a significant role in their career path.

Several famous artists seem to have been born in the month of February.

Namely,

  • Norman Rockwell
  • Winslow Homer
  • Pierre August Renoir

Happier

Those children born in February are also said to be much happier than their siblings and peers.

According to an extensive study in a Budapest University, babies born in February are less irritable. (clearly my son missed this memo in his first 2 years)

Taller

A Harvard University study of over 21 000 children revealed that children born in February were consistently longer and heavier, with a wider head circumference.

Whilst scientists were not able to state exactly why this was they did acknowledge that seasonal issues with things like diet, temperatures and exposure to sunlight played critical roles in helping to achieve these statistics.

Early birth

Studies published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences state that babies born in February tend to arrive early.

(This I can share was indeed our experience as my eldest son was a week early in arriving. His delivery was also increadibly quick compared to his brother’s and sisters.)

Celebrate with celebrities

And if those facts aren’t amazing enough, your child gets to share their birthday month with some pretty awesome celebrities:

  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Rosa Parks
  • Steve Jobs
  • Elizabeth Taylor
  • Jennifer Aniston

So, cuddle those Fabulous February babies and know that they are destined for greatness.

Posted in Health & Wellness, Press releases

San-O-Tizer – A safe non alcohol based sanitizer for your family

SAN-O-TIZERS NEW BIGGER & BETTER SCIENTIFIC FACILTY IS ABOUT TO BE LAUNCHED


By now you would have heard about the controversy as to whether HOCl is more effective and safer to use than sanitizers containing alcohol.

What Are The Benefits Of San-O-Tizer?
Electrolysed Hypochlorous Solution is a completely natural and non-toxic sanitizing agent that is an incredible immune molecule, which is produced in mammalian neutrophils (White blood cells). It is not only a powerful disinfectant but also has other benefits to human health:
– Broad-Spectrum Antimicrobial Biocide = Effective against biofilms, bacteria, spores, viruses, and fungi.
– Anti-inflammatory = Interacts with and neutralizes the production of pro-inflammatory factors.
– Wound repair = Enhances the production and release of cell repairing compounds such as Cytokines, Growth Factors, and Taurine Chloramine.
This powerful biocide is effective within seconds of using it and does not require rinsing or wiping, as it readily degrades into a saline solution. Anolyte solutions have been shown to be 80 to 100 times more effective than potent/harsh chemicals such as bleach.


In contrast to conventional non-alcohol and alcohol-based (ethyl-, propyl-) sanitizers which are dehydrating, hyper allergenic, carcinogenic, and/or toxic to humans, animals, and the environment;

San-O-Tizer anolyte solutions are:
– Hazard free & Non-flammable
– Moisturising, Hydrating, and Healing
– Non-sensitising & Non-irritant
– Hypoallergenic
– Safe for pregnant women, infants, animals, and sensitive skin
– Contain 0% Alcohol
– Ammonia-Free
– No Bleach
– No Sulfates
– Free from Pesticides and Fragrances
– Animal-friendly and Eco-Friendly
– Non-Toxic, Non-Corrosive and Non-Combustible
– 100% Natural

Has San-O-Tizer Been Approved For Its Safety & Efficacy?

Electrolysed Hypochlorous solution is known as “Natures Disinfectant” due to its extremely effective biocidal activity as well as being completely safe for animals, plants, and humans (including pregnant woman, babies, and sensitive skin)
It has been approved both locally and internationally for its safety and efficacy.

A proudly South African manufactured product that is MDS tested for your health and wellness.

To find out more or purchase please contact info@liferetreat.co.za

Or shop at lifestyle shop online

*Press release

Posted in Alphabet activities, Family Life, Parenting, preschool, preschoolers

Are you raising a sharer or a meanie?

Sitting with Hamish after his first week of school, we were going over the class photos and I was asking him questions to learn more about his first week’s experience at his new preschool.

Laughingly he couldn’t remember the kids names, aside from the 3 or 4 he obviously connected with and he spoke me through the activities they had done with his new teacher.

I was impressed at the gentleness that he described his teachers and the new songs and games he had learnt.

The we spoke about the kids and what being a good friend was. Very aware that some kids can be more dominating in a class I asked who played nicely.

When in conversation I try to not give him the words but to let him express himself fully in his words and experience and so the general question of who plays nicely allows him to relate his experience within his peer group.

Sharers

He rattled off about the kids who play with him, pointing them out to me.

He spoke about the cars and the animals and the little girl who shared the frogs.

Then

He said but mommy there some children who aren’t sharers.

I asked what he meant.

He explained that some of the children did not share the toys and said things like “I don’t want to play with you.”

My heart fell to my feet and I looked at him honestly and said are they meanies?

Meanies

Meanies is our word for children who hurt others, use their words to intentionally upset someone or break things.

We use this word instead of bully, as Bully is a strong word to use for preschoolers who may not yet have learnt the social cues to play with others.

He thought for a moment and honestly answered…

” No they not meanies, they just not sharers!”

And so we carried on talking about why sharing with our friends is important. How sharing is how we show kindness and love and lastly what to do if someone doesn’t want to share with you.

I feel strongly that giving him the opportunity to express himself, the ability to convey how he feels and the coping skills to overcome the effects and interactions with children who may not behave as he does is important for him to be able to integrate into his class, now and in future schools and to not be affected by bullies later on in his school career.

Raising kids who share

For me it has always been so important that my children be the ‘Kind Child’

That they are inclusive, gentle and share with their peers.

But how do you raise a child who will share?

You can read many books, you can pick more gentleness parenting styles and you can introduce as many games as you like but the first and most important way to raise a child who is inclusive and who shares is to model that behaviour in your daily life.

You are your child’s first teacher and the most important influence on their personality and character.

If you use gentle words, share with those around you and are non discriminate and inclusive, it is probable that your child will be too.

In short ….to raise a child who shares, you need to be an adult who shares.