Posted in Parenting

Why your child needs a balance board

Hamish received the most stunning balance board from Pips and moo

   
The quality of Pips and Moo products is outstanding and it is so beautifully presented in a lovely wooden storage box.
Did you know …
Coordination & balance are essential parts of child development.

Balance

Balance allows children to do everyday activities safely and with ease and allows for fewer injuries.
Children take risks each day when they are climbing stairs, and walking along surfaces that are unsteady. A child that has good balance & coordination skills will be less likely to injure themselves when they are attempting new tasks.

Balance also helps in the development of social and emotional skills
Developing these skills allows children to build confidence in their ability to do things, therefore building and encouraging independence.

Balance & coordination skills assist your child in academics and learning.
Children need movement and should not be sitting all day.  Learning balance from a young age allows children to comfortably sit with the correct posture and be able to complete academic tasks like writing, with ease.

Developing these skills early on in childhood is so important for your child’s development. A balance board allows your child to discover movement and balance in a safe environment.

You can use a Pips and Moo balance board in small living spaces to encourage movement as we do in our flat. take it outside for some gross motor playtime or add it to an obstacle course. balance boards can also be used in a classroom as an alternative seating at circle time in preschool or for brain breaks in older grades.
Posted in Parenting

When you thought I wasn’t looking

When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking

A message every parent should read because our children are watching us and doing as we do, not as we say.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.
When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don’t.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I felt you kiss me good night and I felt loved and safe.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn’t feel good and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it’s all right to cry.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I learned most of life’s lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, “Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.
Author unkown
Posted in Parenting

National colouring in book day

The 2nd of August was national colouring in book day . We spend a lot of time colouring in but it is only recently that Hamish has actually started to enjoy colouring.
There are so many great colouring in books on the market but I love these colouring in books from Butterfly products.
They remind me of the ones I had as a child and come in a variety of affordable prices and sizes.
They are also avaliable at most retailers.

How kids benefit from colouring in

Colouring in is really good for children and here are some of the ways in which colouring in can benefit a child.
Colouring in helps to reduce anxiety and stress.
  • It is a great alternative to screen time and we actually use it as a winding down time before bed.
  • Colouring stimulates creativity and develops a child’s imagination.
  • Colouring also strengthens a child’s motor skills and grip strength
  • It also encourages concentration and focus

Tips to help kids who are reluctant to colour in

Some children, like Hamish arereluctant to colour in and this can be for a multitude of reasons from their little hands not being developed yet to them wanting to be perfect and fearing going out the lines.

It is important to first identify why your child is reluctant to colour in. Never make colouring in a chore, this will just make them more reluctant to do it.
You can rather :
  • Choose simple designs in.
  • Use picture Themes that interests them a
  • Colour in with them.
  • Display their work to help build confidence and for encouragement.

 

 

Posted in Parenting

You are my I love you

I love this poem and have added it to Hamish’s baby book as well as shared it numerous times on social media posts.

You are my I love You

By Maryann K Cusimano

YOU ARE MY I LOVE YOU
I am your parent you are my child
I am your quiet place, you are my wild
I am your calm face, you are my giggle
I am your wait, you are my wiggle
I am your audience, you are my clown
I am your London Bridge, you are my falling down
I am your Carrot Sticks, you are my licorice
I am your dandelion, you are my first wish
I am your water wings, you are my deep
I am your open arms, you are my running leap
I am your way home, you are my new path
I am your dry towel, you are my wet bath
I am your dinner you are my chocolate cake
I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake
I am your finish line, you are my race
I am your praying hands, you are my saving grace
I am your favourite book, you are my new lines
I am your nightlight, you are my sunshine
I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo
I am your kiss goodnight, you are my I love you
Posted in Parenting

Why you should let your child play with water

As a young mom with 4 young children, I remember my grandmother telling me if my children were bored, crabby, or just in general needing something to do ….to add water. Her parenting go-to was a bubble bath, a tub of water with half the kitchen cupboards utensils, or a garden hose.
She was not wrong.
Children love water and playing with water has many benefits for children.

What Are The Benefits Of Water Play?

So why do children enjoy playing with water and how does it benefit them?

  • Water Play Releases Energy
Children enjoy playing with water and water can be both calming or invigorating depending on the activity your child is engaging in. Vigorous splashing, kicking, and running around in the water is a great way for children to use up that endless supply of energy, whilst, pouring water from one container to another can be soothing and calming helping a child to calm down.
  • Water Play is Emotionally Therapeutic
Water play isn’t always loud and busy, it can also be a tranquil activity where children are quietly absorbed in an activity. Children benefit from these relaxing and repetitive activities. Things like scooping, pouring and running their hands through the water which allows children to unwind, order their thoughts and relax.
  • Water Play Develops Motor Skills 
Water play allows for many opportunities to develop gross and fine motor skills as your child plays. They use fine motor skills to grasp containers and larger motor skills for movement as they splash and run their hands through the water.
  • Water Play Develops Social Skills
Water play also offers many opportunities for children to develop the social skills they need when playing with other children. It is a great way for children to learn how to share and take turns as they share their physical space and the play items in the water.
So, if your little one is bored, crabby, or looking for something to do …why not grab some water, some water toys or containers and enjoy some water play?
Posted in pregnancy

What is fetal-maternal microchimerism ?

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful times of a woman’s life. One where she undergoes many changes.

But did you know that when a woman is pregnant, the cells of the baby will migrate into the mother’s bloodstream and circle all the way back into the baby? This is called called “fetal-maternal microchimerism”.
What is fetal-maternal microchimerism ?
For the full duration of pregnancy, 41 weeks, the cells will circulate and will merge backward and forwards.
After the baby is born, many of these same cells will stay in the new mother’s body and leave a permanent imprint on her tissues, bones, brain, and skin.
These cell imprints will stay there for decades, research has shown they can be seen up to 18 years after a mother gives birth.
But it gets even more interesting, every single child that the mother has afterward will also leave a similar imprint on her body, too.
So, as the mom of 7 children, I would have the imprint of all their cells left within my tissues, brains, bones, and skin.

I was interested to read that even if a pregnancy does not go to full term, if you should miscarry or if you have an abortion, these cells will still migrate into the mother’s bloodstream.

How Amazing is that?
The baby will protect the mother just as the mother protects and grows the baby

Furthermore, research shows that if the mother is injured, for example, the fetal cells will rush to her injury and change themselves into a different type of cell that will heal. This is often why many pregnant moms discover that certain illnesses will vanish whilst they are pregnant.

It is truly incredible how a mother’s body can protect a baby, and how the baby can protect and heal the mother’s body in order for the baby to develop and survive.

Posted in pregnancy

What is morning sickness ?

As moms, I’m sure we have all experienced varying degrees of morning sickness throughout our pregnancies.
From queasy stomachs. Light-headedness to almost fainting and being stuck with our head resting on the toilet bowl as we vomit for the umpteenth time.
But did you know that, despite its name, morning sickness, can occur at any time of the day or night?
What is morning sickness?
Morning sickness is described as nausea and vomiting that occurs during pregnancy.
Now although most women will experience morning sickness during the first trimester, many women actually do experience morning sickness throughout their entire pregnancy.
In most cases, morning sickness will begin before the fetus is 9 weeks old and symptoms most often improve by the mid to late second trimester.
What causes morning sickness?
Morning sickness is believed to be caused by the hormonal changes a woman goes through throughout pregnancy as her body changes and grows the baby.
In very rare cases, morning sickness can be debilitating and a woman can experience it so severely that it causes dehydration and will result in the loss of more than 5% of her pre-pregnancy weight.
Hyperemesis
This is a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. Hyperemesis gravidarum can lead to hospitalization for the pregnant woman as she will need IV fluids, medications, and in severe cases a feeding tube.
When should you worry about morning sickness?
Morning sickness is normal and if you are experiencing nausea or queasiness, try to lie down, relax, drink some warm ginger tea or eat small snacks of dry salty biscuits throughout the day until it passes.
However if you are experiencing any of the following please contact your health care provider :
-If your symptoms are severe and preventing you from functioning normally throughout the day
-If you pass only small amounts or any dark urine
-If you can’t keep liquids down
Pregnancy is a wonderful journey full of changes and growth, whilst morning sickness is one symptom it can be controlled, often doesn’t last long into your pregnancy, and is a gentle reminder of the beautiful life you are growing.
Posted in Parenting

Stop judging moms

I don’t know about you but my child doesn’t always behave and sometimes he misbehaves in public and then we navigate that as best as we can.

( I’m sure there’s a mommy blogger or 5 who remember me running, downhill at a certain wine farm calling my child ….loudly…. as he darted for the water. )


Reality check 
He’s only 5 year old.

So, often this is because he is tired, hungry, bored or honestly it’s just been a long day.

You see, he is still learning how to identify and control how he feels. He doesn’t yet know how society expects him to act and truthfully he needs me to be present, guide him and more often than not assist in him regulating his emotions.

These are big emotions and tasks for little people.

Imagine this
Now ….

Imagine being a bored 4-year-old stuck in an event for adults, wearing tight clothing day after day and having to sit still.

This would be torture right?

Royal toddlers are still just children
Agreed ….which is why I find the media ( and general public) scrutinizing poor little prince Louis behaviour at the Royal jubilee infuriating.


Good mom
His mother, with the world watching….did what the rest of us do ….she did her best in a situation where she most likely was bored to tears as well, slightly embarrassed and wondering what the headlines would read the next day.

She addressed him, was present, assisted him to regulate whilst staying calm and knew when to let others help.

She continued to be a parent first, disregarding the negativity of her child’s behaviour in the judgemental eyes of the world.

In fact she did a lot better than many parents would.

We need to check our own homes before judging
I recently attended an event where the parents sat back watching their children run a complete mock. They were completely disengaged, not once stepping up to parent or guide their children.

These kids were older than prince Louis. They were in an environment designed for kids and yet they continued to pull things off shelves, hurt each other, be disrespectful to other people’s property and other people and in their unsupervised play, break things.

Moms need support not judgement 

Perhaps as moms ….

Our job should be to support each other, offer empathy and look to our own parenting before we offer judgment on a mom doing her best ….regardless of her social standing.

Posted in Education, Family Life, Parenting

Reward Charts – Do they work ?

There is a lot of controversy within the parenting communities about reward charts. Some parents swear by them and others think that they are a giant waste of time.

Now what would you say if I told you they can be both.
I will explain…

Pros and cons of reward charts

I love reward charts for Hamish. I think that being used in a consistent manner they can help a child reach a goal as they are able to see and track their progress.
I love that they motivate a child to perform better and that often they are just total fun.
There is always a danger in a larger group of children that a reward chart will in fact damage a child’s self-esteem as they compare their progress to that of their peers and instead of motivating them, the reward chart will demotivate and set your child up for failure.
So, do I personally believe that reward charts should be used for every child, in every situation ….no!

Personal experience

However,we have personally had great outcomes for potty training, school work goals, bed training, and reading with Hamish using reward charts.

He is the only small child we have in the house and has no one to compare his achievements with, allowing us to use the reward chart to build up his self-esteem, highlight his achievements and assist him to reach a personal goal.
When I had 6 little ones in the home, things were a lot different. I hated reward charts.
As a family, we weren’t consistent enough to stick to one. My younger children were not motivated to learn from their older siblings’ success and I found the reward charts brought about low self-worth and a multitude of sibling rivalry as the kids judged and compared themselves.
So. I think if you are going to use a reward chart …..
  • Be specific.
  • Consider if it is the right kind of motivation for your child or children.
  • Discuss how the chart does not measure who we are, what we are good at or our worth with your children.
  • Keep the goals short and reward quickly so that your child does not get demotivated.
  • Build self esteem daily through words of affirmation, praise and acknowledgement of good behaviour, kindness, etc so that the reward chart is not the sole check list of how well you feel they behave.
We use these Reward charts and stickers from Tower products avaliable in most retailers.
Posted in babies, Parenting

7 Trending baby names for 2022

As is customary, each year brings a new season of fashion, food, outrageous Tiktok trends, and baby names.

I decided to take a look at the popular baby name website, Nameberry to see what their predictions are for 2022.

Defining trends

It was interesting to see that they have identified 7 major trends that will influence baby names in the coming year.
these are:-
  • Playful names
  • Bridgerton inspired names
  • Names with the letter R
  • Names that give a feeling of retro nostalgia
  •  Euro Chic names
  • Names ending in an S
  • Names inspired by nature
Nameberry make their predictions based on American social security administration, user behaviour on their website, current events, pop culture, and several other defining factors including categories from TV, music, nature, letters, and sounds.
So, if you are expecting take a look at these name suggestions.

Baby Name Suggestions for 2022

1. Playful
It is believed that after the harsh pandemic months many parents may want to lighten the air and will choose playful names like Birdie or Pixi
Other suggestions are
Bear
Dovie
And iggy
2.Bridgerton – inspired names
It seems the ever-popular Netflix Regency Era novel adaptation – Bridgerton has proved extremely popular among future parents with name choices like :
Francesca
Benedict
Cressida
Eloise
And Daphne
3. The letter R 
Short names that are powerful in their simplicity and strength will appeal to the parents of 2022
There has already been quite a trend of short unisex names starting with R,  mostly as middle names.
Names like
Reeve
Revel
Reign
Roux
And Rome
4. Retro nostalgia
Much of the time what is old becomes new again and many retro names evoking happier, simpler times are making a huge comeback this year.
Old names like
Betty
Bobby
Mae
Ned
And Nellie
5. Euro chic
Euro chic baby names appeal to the sophisticated worldwide traveler and would be comfortable anywhere from Copenhagen to Cape Town
Chic names like
Astrid
Bastian
Cosmo
Oona
And Stellen
6. Names ending in S
Names that end in S are quite rare and Nameberry predicts a change in this for both boys and girls.
Some examples are
Emrys
Lois
Wells
And Ozias
7.Nature
With the pandemic keeping us all indoors for most of the year, it is predicted that many a wanderlust parents will draw inspiration from nature and use names like
Horizon
Koa
Lotus
Prairie
And wood
Which is your favourite from the lists above?