Tag Archives: Family

After The Storm…

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Since my delightful two-year-old turned into a diva on (precisely) Tuesday of last week, I have found myself taking a good long look at my parenting skills. You’d have to be pretty thick skinned not to when your child is screaming “Don’t call me naughty! YOU are naughty!” at you. And I have admitted something to myself. As much as Freya and I love going to the park, children’s centres and our weekly music class, when we do have an afternoon to ourselves it’s far more tempting to start the zillions of things I have to do around the house than it is to sit down and play a game with her. Talk about a guilty secret… Since when did the hoovering become more important (interesting?!) than playing a game with my own dear daughter?

There is a happy ending to this shameful story, we decided to come up with some ideas for games we could play together. And it’s been an epiphany of sorts, because there are far less temper tantrums and much more cuddles when we are playing together rather than apart.

Here are a few of our new favourites…

Bathing baby – we filled the kitchen sink with bubbles and water and bathed our babies (dolls, not real ones!) with cheap sponges. Then we put their nappies on and put them into bed – this also proved a helpful trick at bedtime because we had to be very quiet and soothing so as not to wake baby!

Pasta necklaces – We painted/glittered/stuck paper on to some pasta tubes and threaded them on to string to make necklaces…

Make a Face – If you want to do craft but you just can’t face the mess, we love the Mister Maker kits and they are on offer at the Early Learning Centre at the moment.

Meet the wildlife – Now Freya is walking to the park/shops/everywhere she has a growing fascination with slugs, snails, spiders and creepie crawlies in general. This isn’t my favourite past-time, especially since I have to pretend I love holding a ladybird (least favourite thing) in the palm of my hand for several minutes at a time. But, we’ve found the Chad Valley Insect Collecting Kit and it’s a great way to keep them entertained either at the park or in the garden for hours. Time enough for a cup of tea while they hunt them out if insects aren’t your bag either…

Music – If all else fails, we bought the Jump Up and Sing CD which has most of our favourite songs – Wheels on the Bus, Happy and You Know It, Music Man (personal fave because it stays in my head for days on end… I find Pia, Pia, Piano! has a habit of popping into my head at around 4am when I can’t sleep) etc.

I’m still looking for fun new games we can do together so if you have any ideas please let me know!


Cherry’s Parenting Dilemmas

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Since becoming a mum I’ve developed an insatiable need to read, view, listen, heck even overhear, every little bit of advice going. The woman at the Sainsbury’s self checkout is practically my parenting counsellor. In fact, I’ll even take advice from the crazy lady at the bus stop!  Why? I hear you ask. Because, with every new stage, I feel like I need it. So when I heard Cherry Healey was back with a new documentary on BBC3 entitled Cherry’s Parenting Dilemmas I sat up with interest. I had my baby around the same time as Cherry had her daughter Coco and I’ve loved her programmes on becoming a mum. Her documentary Cherry Has a Baby looked at whether there is a right time to become a mum and she bravely took on a sensitive subject with her programme Is Breast Best?

Within a few seconds of last night’s programme, Marko and I were looking at each other with relief. Cherry’s beautiful baby Coco was a) refusing food, b) hitting her mum in the face, and c) throwing tantrums. So, it’s not just us.  During the programme Cherry met mums from all over the country who have each developed very different parenting styles. A mum who smacks her child, a mum who home schools, a mum who lives in a gated community for fear of knife crime, a mum who gives her children absolutely everything she can – even if that means practically owning shares in the Disney Store. And she finds both positives and negatives with each style.

Here are some of the issues we related to from last night’s programme:

  • The pain which comes with watching your child push away a healthy, nutritious, expensive meal. Even having the cheek to throw it in your face. And it is painful. And infuriating.
  • To smack or not to smack?
  • As a mum you want to give your children the very best of everything, but at what point do you go too far?
  • No mother wants to put their child in danger, but when do you let them free in the outside world and how do you equip them for that?
  • What kind of mum do I want to be? Laid-back earth mother or pushy preppy?
  • And, finally, what kind of teenager is Freya going to be??

The mind boggles, but it’s nice to know other mums are going through it too…

Check out Cherry’s Parenting Dilemmas repeated on BBC3 at 8pm tonight, or on BBC iPlayer for the next seven days.