126 articles Tag kids

5 Great Benefits of Skiing for Children

If you are undecided on whether taking your children skiing is a good idea, you may be pleasantly surprised by all the benefits it can have for them. The benefits for their physical and mental health are endless, not mention the amount of fun they’ll have. So, if you need an extra push to get you on the slopes, read on.

Pixabay

Boosts Positivity

If you’re currently dealing with a stroppy teen, a trip to a ski resort could be just what you all need for a bit of sanity. Sports like skiing and snowboarding have been proven to improve your mood and increase positivity. The bottom line is – children who are active are generally happier. So, if you’re looking for a family holiday where everyone will leave happy, skiing is a great choice.

Overall Health

When you go on a skiing holiday, you’re not only spending a lot of time in the great outdoors but you’re also exercising your body fairly rigorously. Your children will benefit from the fresh air, vitamin D and skiing is ideal for keeping the heart and lungs healthy. The great thing about this for kids is that they won’t even notice how well they’re looking after their bodies because they’ll be having too much fun.

Pixabay

Balance

Taking part in skiing requires a lot of balance. It’s very physically demanding to keep your balance on skis for hours on end but it does the body good. Similarly, it isn’t just adults that need to unwind and relax at this time of year. Kids need a break too and spending time in a place like Chalet Iona can help to destress their minds and bodies. There’s nothing quite as easy as a relaxed child.

Get Back to Nature

Children spend more time than ever indoors thanks to technology. So, if you have a gaming enthusiastic or a child who likes to spend a lot of time on their phones or tablets, going on a skiing break could open their eyes. The breath-taking views, snowy mountains and beaming sunshine are just some of the perks to being on the slopes. You may even bump into some wildlife while you’re there.

Pixabay

Confidence

Every child needs a confidence boost every now and again. Whether it’s because of a failed test, a friendship gone wrong or a broken heart, it’s always nice to be reminded of your worth. Skiing is a great way to boost self-esteem and confidence. It can instill a sense of achievement when you master something new and children will develop a new found pride in themselves. When a child gets a confidence boost it can change their whole perspective on life, and parents may just get a well-deserved break.

There are so many benefits to skiing, including everyone getting a good night’s sleep and muscle toning for the whole family. But the main reason to go skiing is the pure enjoyment each and every family member will get from it.

Five life skills your kids don’t learn at school

Five life skills your kids don’t learn at schoolThere is no “right” way to bring up children, and sometimes the more advice and opinions you hear, the tougher it can seem. Even the views of the greatest teachers and psychologists always differ to a certain extent.

Still, there is one thing on which everyone is in broad agreement: if you give your children freedom and value their individuality, they will grow up confident and happy. Another basic truth is that parents have as important a role in educating their kids as schoolteachers. With that in mind, here are five lessons that will be of value to every child, which you can help them to learn:

Independence

Before doing something for your children, step back and ask yourself whether they can do it themselves. Everyone needs freedom, but keep in mind that freedom and permissiveness are not the same thing. Let them try to do their own shoelaces, for example. Encourage, guide and most of all be patient. They will get there in the end.

Housework 

Here’s a secret: Kids love to help out with things. The only reason they get lazy and reluctant is through habit if you don’t let them get in on the act from a young age. The sooner children learn to perform ordinary household chores, the more confident and self-sufficient they will be in future. Aside from that, it’s always nice to have an additional pair of hands to help with cleaning or washing up, and it’s a great time to chat without the intrusion of a TV screen or games console.

Of course, kids don’t become skilled in domestic chores overnight, and role play games are highly valuable here. Those toy kitchens and toolkits are the perfect start, and you will see how much they love preparing pretend meals or repairing their toy cars.

Choosing and analysing

Your children will ultimately live their own lives, not the ones that you or the teachers in school have in mind. Where you can make a difference is to coach them on how to make wise decisions. Provide your child with the opportunity to choose as often as possible. For example, what to wear or what colour backpack to buy.

Beyond that, get the kids involved in broader family decisions, so that they can see how to research options and make the right choice. Whether it’s booking a family holiday or choosing the right printer cartridge, there is research to be done. Using the latter example as a case in point, show them the price of cartridges on the high street, then search online for Canon MG5750 and decide which is better!

Outdoor activities

Children need to spend time in the wide world. This is where they learn to observe, see the beauty of nature and live in harmony with the world. That doesn’t mean throwing them out in the morning and hoping they come back in the evening, as some generations maintain they spent their childhoods. In truth, it’s a great opportunity for us, as parents to spend more time outside too, not to interfere, but just to be around.

What Was Your Favourite Part of the Playground Growing Up?

Remember running out to the playground at break time after lessons, or a walk down the park, as a youngster and getting all excited because your favourite spot was free? For some, it is the slide, while others immediately run over to the bars.

Not all playgrounds are created equally, with some encouraging more play than others. Yes, you may have loved playing hopscotch, but did anything really capture the imagination like an all-singing-all-dancing structure filled with endless possibilities?

It probably depends on what type of child you were. Here, we take a look at some of our favourite parts of any playground.

Slide

What young child didn’t love the slide? Of course, some slides were better than others – there was nothing worse than getting stuck halfway down the slide, only for the next child to dislodge you on their way down. The best slides were, of course, the slides that had a spiralled design, rather than a straight slope down.

You might also remember the unfortunate discovery of a landing pad that wasn’t quite padded enough in parks that hadn’t been maintained as well as they should be. It was all good fun, though, wasn’t it?

Seesaw

The seesaw could be a lot of fun, as long as you had someone to actually go on it with. If you were something of a loner, the seesaw only served to compound your loneliness. But it was okay, because you could make friends on the playground and jump on the seesaw with them – after all, you are in a social setting.

This was a very simple piece of equipment that would keep us entertained for a long time. Of course, if you would get a little overzealous, your parents would get a little twitchy, but that was what the rubber matting was for.

Field

Is the surrounding field technically part of the playground? At school, everyone would be excited when they could play football on the grass, so for that reason we are saying yes. When we were at school, the grass field was used almost exclusively for sport, especially football.

Do you remember sliding around in your new school trousers and seeing your mum’s face drop when you returned home? Now we know how mum felt because, as any parent will tell you, grass stains aren’t fun to get out of clothes. Especially whites…

Rocker

Going back to those that loved to play on the seesaw, anyone that couldn’t find a friend to participate with them could jump on the rocker. This is a one-man seesaw, if you will, where the child can swing backwards and forwards or side to side to their heart’s content.

The best part of the rocker was that you were not reliant on another’s momentum (or lack thereof) and could go as fast or as slow as you wanted. The simple things always made for the best park equipment when we were young.

Swing

A staple of the playground, the swing was the reason for many a bump and graze when you fell off. You would always hear fables of how one kid managed to swing all the way over the bar (almost always when no one else was present, funnily enough) and foolishly try to replicate the feat yourself. It would never end well, or you would chicken out at the point your body would become inverted.

Looking back with an adult’s perspective, playground’s seem such a simple concept but, through the eyes of a child, they really do represent a world of opportunity.

Practical ways to help make school transferring easier

Changing schools is occasionally required for children who will benefit from it. It does present a difficult situation both for parents and students. This makes your child a “new kid” amid a classroom of strangers and he’ll need to navigate a new building, catch up on new lessons, as well as make new friends.

Regardless, changing school mid-year doesn’t need to be a bad experience for kids. Oftentimes they can be simply happier in their new school environment. What you need is a little preparation and thought. Here are a couple of practical ways to help make school transferring easier.

Check out the school 

Take your child to visit the school before school starts by arranging a private tour. This will allow the both of you to have a sense of what it will be like walking into the first day of class. Knowing in advance where everything is, including the library, classroom, cafeteria, and lockers are located can reduce first-day anxieties.

Young children may also benefit from visiting his class for just a bit while you stay with him, so when he attends on his own, the experience will be easier. You may also try having a meeting with your child’s teacher to make sure that a desk and any necessary supplies are already prepared before the first day. You may also inquire about any paperwork on policies or homework guidelines.

Assess the included advantages 

There are always some things that could be better even though your child might love his previous school so much. Talk to your child about the advantages of going to the new school. Maybe your child has been labelled by the other kids and find it hard to break away from that. Perhaps the coursework isn’t at the right level or the teacher isn’t spending enough time explaining the homework. A new school means a new start, making those negatives a problem of the past. It’s quick for kids to just see the negatives of a situation and forget that there can be benefits as well.

Get yourself involved

See what organizations or groups exist in the neighbourhood as well as your child’s school. Connect with the school’s local Parent Teacher Association. These organisations have great resources and can inform you about the issues and events that happen at school. You may also meet other members who have kids in your child’s class, which can help them make friends faster

Seek out extracurricular activities

Joining outside programs is a fantastic way for new students to easily make new friends as well as feel accepted by their new school. It also gives students the chance to learn new skills and it is helpful for college admission as well. Local clubs outside of the school also be a nice place to make new friends.

Considering a new school for your child

If your child needs to change schools, you need to weigh your school choices. Choosing One World International School (OWIS), one of the top international schools in Singapore, is an excellent way to start off your kid’s new educational journey.

The OWIS campus is filled with adaptable learning environments that allow students to work together and to think creatively. They provide the latest technology that improves the learning process for students they encourage outdoor learning prospects that invite students to connect with the world around them.

There you have it. Make use of these practical ways to help make school transferring painless for you and your child. Best of luck!

It’s Okay to Be Sad: 10 Simple Points That Outline How to Explain Divorce to a Kid

Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

Kids are more resilient than they get credit for. Many of them survive their parents’ divorce with some ease. But, many children are pressed by the incidents leading to the divorce. The divorce finalizes an emotional crisis that children may be less able to manage psychologically.

It’s tough on them. It’s simply confusing, frustrating, and scary for their developing minds. For instance, children need security and being self-concerned as they are, they cannot see what’s in it for them. They may worry about the security of home and hearth or about which parent will have custody.

Children of divorce need to know it’s okay to be sad, but there are ways to help them through the stress.

10 simple points that outline how to explain divorce to a kid:

Psychology Today notes, “Sadness is valid and useful and alerts us to how we need to treat ourselves.” And, that’s an adult understanding, but children don’t have this perspective. The experience of divorce lawyers and counselors has developed some simple points that outline how to explain divorce to a kid.

These strategies would vary with the age of the child, but for our purposes here, we are talking about young children:

  1. Be age-appropriate. Parents must understand to whom they are talking. They should meet with the child personally rather than offloading the conversation to a grandparent or lawyer. They should collaborate on a script and keep it short and direct.
  2. List the child’s needs. The divorce conversation is not about the parents. It is about how the change will affect the kid’s needs. Every child is different and values somethings more than others. Kids might worry about the future of their pet. They may worry about where they will live or what school they will attend. These concerns are selfish on the surface, but they also reflect their fears and insecurities. The kids aren’t after sophisticated answers. They want assurances.
  3. Listen actively. Young children have difficulty expressing their feelings in words. They are more likely to show anger, confusion, and/or tears. So, attentive parents will listen proactively. That means nodding in agreement, summarizing what they say, and reiterating their word choice. Active listening shows respect, leads to better understanding on both parts and clarifies future relationships.
  4. Prepare with patience. The older the child, the more drama surrounds the conversation. The child’s confusion creates many “why” questions. A series of why questions if the child’s way of focusing. They are trying to discover a sensible solution by funneling the responses into an explanation they can appreciate and accept. They are trying to build context once parents have told them their existing context will end.
  5. Keep it pointed. Divorce is not the time to overshare. The child who asks “why” is just as likely to ask why the sky is blue. The child is not looking for a legal or psychological explanation. They do have parents at a slight disadvantage because the parents don’t know what direction the conversation will take, what needs are priorities for the child, or how the child will express their confusion. So, parents are advised to answer accurately, simply, and responsively.
  6. Aggressively avoid blame. The child must not feel fault in the divorce, and parents only confuse the child more by blaming their spouse. Blaming diminishes the kids’ values and perceptions. It makes more sense to help the child cope by allowing their responses. It’s okay to be sad, so parents should make room for their emotions and behaviors.
  7. Promise futures. In the first conversation and in talks thereafter, parents should stress what will stay the same. Assurances of the things that will stay the same will reduce fears and build confidence in going forward. It should also reduce the questions asked.
  8. Make the child part of the process. The first conversation does not solve the child’s problems. Without overwhelming or burdening the child, parents should keep the child informed on the process. With as much prior notice as possible, parents should explain where the spouses will be living, what the custodial process and decision means to them, or how the divorce court process works. Keeping them informed about the process respects their role and answers their questions.
  9. Look at other divorces. Chances are good that there are divorced families in the immediate family and among the parents social circle. Hopefully, those families model good resolutions to divorce. If they have handled their divorce well, parents can refer their children to observe what does and doesn’t work.
  10. Listen to the divorce lawyer. Experienced divorce lawyers have observed the best and worst divorce events. While it’s not their job to assume parental responsibilities, they can be a knowledgeable and compassionate voice. At KM Family Law, LLC, for example, they opt for an approach that frames divorce as a collaborative transition and resolution rather than a devastating split.

It’s okay to be sad!

Huffington Post says, “We are a culture of doing and fixing. We want to make it all o.k., and we want to do so as quickly as possible.” So, sadness becomes a weakness. As sadness is stifled and suppressed, it turns to anger. Then, anger is restrained and punished.

Conscientious parents want their kids to avoid this black hole. The should want their children to handle the stress and change, and they should want their children to grow and mature through the otherwise unavoidable divorce.

Conscientious parents, emotionally involved in the drama of their own divorce, must understand their children are part of the divorce. The kids’ problems are not after effects; they are current with the divorce process and must be addressed and managed with a shared plan and strategy for reducing the kids’ sense of threat and loss.

It’s okay for the children to be sad. They deserve genuine and clear explanations. And, they need confidence in their voice and the strength to handle the process.

No Time to Make Meals

Guest Post

One of my biggest struggles as a mum is trying to find time to cook decent meals for my kids that they will eat and that I feel good about them eating. I know they will always eat all the mac and cheese and chicken nuggets I make for them, but what about their broccoli, fruits and other foods that their little bodies need?

There will be many times where I will work extra hard to make something for my kids that I think they will like and that I feel good about, but then they refuse to eat it. We can sit together at the table and have a battle of wills over who will hold out the longest, but nobody wins there. Honestly, I don’t have time for that kind of struggle. I need to find foods that they will eat without a problem and that I don’t have to feel guilty about.

The Extra Effort

I found that if I make the food fun, then that can help my kids to eat it. I cut the fruits into shapes like stars and dinosaurs, and the kids love them. Some of my kids are so picky about the kids of foods that most kids will eat without a problem. Bananas, strawberries and apples are all tough foods to get my kids to eat, but once I make it fun for them, then they will tend to eat it without an issue. Making the extra time to make food interesting and exciting to them is tough to do sometimes, but it is worth it. I find that if I prepare things the night before, then I have the extra time I need throughout the day to get other stuff done. If we spend an hour and half on lunch, then I feel like my entire afternoon is shot, so I try not to put elaborate meals on my schedule for noontime.

The Sneaky Meal

Another way I manage to get my kids to eat food without spending a lot of time making something is to take foods that they like and add a bit of nutrition to it. So, I make the aforementioned mac and cheese and add just a hint of broccoli to it. Other veggies can go in there as well. I have added cooked carrots to great effect as well, and I know there are some kids that will pick through their food and pick out the pieces they don’t like. If you make the pieces of veggies or whatever else small enough, though, then your kids might be less inclined to take them out. It’s hard for them to complain about something so small, especially if you cover everything in cheese so that they can’t tell what is good for them from what is creamy pasta. This works pretty well, and it doesn’t take a lot of extra time.

I am constantly trying to find ways to give my kids the food they need to have without spending a long time in the kitchen, and this is a doable solution. I do the same thing with pizza, adding some pineapple or whole tomato pieces onto it, but I run into the pickiness problem there sometimes. Kids are likely to pick things off their pizza that they don’t like, so I have to encourage them to eat all their food if they want dessert or something like that to get them to overlook the healthy stuff on their pizza. There are ways to deal with even picky kids when you want to incorporate some healthy food into their regular diet, and every kid is different. There are a few tricks that work for me, but I can’t promise they will work for you.

Make Lots of Food

Probably the biggest time saver I ever use in the kitchen is just mass producing whatever I am cooking. If I am making a casserole, I make two dishes of it. If I’m making a soup, I use my largest pot. That way, there are plenty of leftovers, and I can just heat them up later in the week to feed myself and the kids. If I did a good job on the food and the kids like it the first time, then they have no problem eating it again. They despise eating leftovers that they were not too crazy about in the first place, though.  

I try to only make large portions of those foods that I know my kids will love. Otherwise, I can be stuck eating it all by myself over the next week. Sometimes, when I mass produce the food, I end up neglecting my chores around the house, so I like to hire a cleaning company, for example Diamond Clean Calgary to take care of things for me for that day or just ask my husband to pick up some of the slack. One way or the other, I make some concessions and do things a bit differently so that I have time to make the food I need to make.

There is a chance that when you make foods in large quantities like this that something will go wrong. The more you make at once, the more likely it is to all just burn or fall flat or something. So, I take my time and try not to multitask too much. And when I do that, it usually turns out okay.

I know some kids are really difficult when it comes to finding foods for them to eat. It can also be time consuming to try to cook different things throughout the week to see what your kids will eat. I say just stick to the things they like and spice them up in some different ways or give them something tangentially related to what they like. Hopefully, my methods will work for you, but you may have to come up with some of your own for dealing with your kids.

Play More and Win a Sudocrem My Little Adventure Pack!

One of the reasons that we moved to our little house in the countryside, back in 2015, was so that we could spend more time outdoors as a family. Living in a very suburban area meant that we were constantly surrounded by noise and pollution, our garden was overlooked by about 100 other houses and to get anywhere even vaguely quiet or secluded, we’d need to drive a fair way.

Where we live now, there are less than 15 houses in our entire village and we have a lovely big garden for the girls to enjoy, as well as public footpaths leading through the countryside, right on our doorsteps. It means that screen time has been massively already reduced this summer, with the girls choosing to play outside in the paddling pool, riding their bikes, or walking with me and Husband when we take Maureen out (which hasn’t been until about 9pm in this heat!)

We’ve teamed up with Sudocrem to get involved with their latest campaign to get kids outside. As part of the campaign, they are encouraging parents around the UK to nominate a nursery and give them the chance to help improve the nurseries outdoor play area – just click the link to go through the the page for nominations. 

They said: “Children are spending more time indoors than outside and they are missing out on exploring the natural world around them. In fact, research found that 1 in 9 British children have not visited a beach, park or forest in twelve months, and on average, a British child only spends 4 hours a week playing in the great outdoors. [1]This is why Sudocrem set up the award-winning Play More campaign, an initiative designed to encourage parents and children to get back in touch with nature and explore the greatest playground on earth- the outdoors. As part of the campaign, Sudocrem carried out a survey which asked 200 children between the ages of 4 to 8 years old to identify some of the creepy crawlies in Britain. The survey revealed that 9 out of 10 children (89%) were unable to recognise a butterfly even though there is an abundance of native British insects, with around 27,000 insect species calling the UK home. Moreover, 51% didn’t know what a Bumblebee looks like. And, surprisingly, 1 in 3 (29%) didn’t realise that bees make honey[2].

Children are not only unable to identify some of the most distinctive insects, but they are also missing out on the adventure which comes with playing outside in a natural environment.  Over half of those surveyed (59%) admitted that they had never climbed a tree, 89% didn’t know what a Buttercup was and 77% couldn’t identify a Sunflower. Are children losing their sense of wonder and adventure?

According to children’s TV presenter and naturalist, Chris Packham, who’s an ambassador for Play More, parents should be encouraging their children to get outside and explore the natural environment around them. “I was very fortunate when I was a child because I was encouraged to interact with the outdoors- looking under rocks and searching under logs and hedges to find creepy crawlies. If you just open your eyes, you’ll see that there is an incredible natural world out there waiting to be discovered”.”

They’ve given us one of their gorgeous Sudocrem My Little Adventure Packs to give away to one lucky reader.  The kit is worth £40.00 and includes:

– Play More t-shirt
– Play More sun hat
– Bug Pot
– Frisbee
– Butterfly Net
– Magnifying glass
– Trowel or fork

To be in with a chance of winning, leave me a comment below telling me your favourite place to get outdoors with the kids. You’ve got until midnight on 31st July 2018 to enter.

T&Cs: winner will be chosen at random. Winner will have 48 hours to provide me with their postal address once contact has been made. If winner doesn’t respond within this time a new winner will be chosen. No cash alternative offered, prizes supplied and sent by PR company for Sudocrem. Mum’s the Word accepts no liability for supply of prizes.
[1] According to a government report, ‘MENE: A pilot for an indicator of visits to the natural environment by children- results from years 1 to 2 (March 2013-February 2015)’.
[2] National report conducted by Sudocrem, April 2018.

Keeping the Kids Entertained This Summer

keep the kids entertained this summerEven if you’re going away this summer, there’s a good chance that you’ll have at least a month at home, which you’ll be wanting to fill with activities for the kids, keeping the dreaded cries of “MUUUM, we’re BORED!” at bay for as long as possible! There are loads of things that you can do across a variety of budgets, which will fill their summer nicely, and this is just a few of them:

Pony Camp

If you live near a riding stable and have kids who love animals, find out if they’re doing any sort of pony camp during the summer. Last year, Sausage went to a pony camp one day a week for the entire holidays, and although it wasn’t cheap (we paid about £25 per session), it meant that even during quiet weeks, there are at least one day with guaranteed fun! Our stables bought all of their Horse Nutrition Products from Spillers, so we knew they were well cared for.

Shopping Centres

Take a look at the shopping centres near you; many of them have fun days for kids all the way through the holidays, with various characters like Chase from paw Patrol or Anna and Elsa from Frozen turning up. They’re generally free or very cheap, and give you a chance to pop into town for an afternoon of low-cost fun.

Pick Your Own

The nice weather means that you’ll be wanting to get outside as much as possible, and a PYO farm is a lovely bit of wholesome fun for the whole family. You generally only have to pay for the fruit you actually want to take home with you and the kids get to spend a few hours doing something which is about a million miles away from screen-time.

Fun Classes

Okay, so I’m not suggesting you get them doing school work in the holidays, but there are a few different places you can take them where they’ll get to learn something fun. YO! Sushi do awesome sushi making classes for kids, which we tried last year and the girls ADORED, but you’ll also find stuff at your local library, like coding classes, which your kids might enjoy, and again, they’re usually pretty cheap.

Litter Picking

This summer, Husband, the girls and I have decided that we’re making it our mission to go litter picking at least once a week. We live in a beautiful rural spot which is popular with dog walkers and cyclists, but we see an alarming amount of trash and mylar balloons when we’re out on walks. We figured, if we pick up as much as we can, we might offset some of the damage, doing a good deed and spending time together in nature at the same time. It might not be hugely glamorous, but it’s free and we’ll get a nice warm glow for having dome something for the environment.

Ways to Fill the Summer Holidays When You Aren’t Going Abroad

pony schoolIt’s fair to say that Husband, the kids and I are all homebodies. We love the idea of going abroad on holiday but when we had Chuck is was impossible and Maureen is still a little bit too young for us to leave her for too long, so a jaunt abroad is off the cards for now. We do, however, like to fill the summer holidays with as many days out and activities as possible, so that the kids don’t get bored and do that annoying bickering thing that kids do when they spend too much time at home, with only each other to play with! This is just a few of the things we do each year:

Pony School

We’re lucky enough to live close to a few different riding schools and some of them run pony schools in the holidays where the kids spend one day a week riding, grooming and generally “horsing” about (HA!) with the friendlier ponies at the stables. It’s usually about £25 per session and the kids need over the knee boots from UK footwear specialists Uppersole, but it’s pretty good value when you think about how long they get to spend with the ponies.

Garden Beach

Last year, we bought a massive paddling pool, set up the slide, sun loungers, a Bluetooth speaker and some mocktails and had what we called “The Garden Beach”. It was like a very miniature version of lazing around the pool on holiday, the kids thought it was amazing and I loved the chance to sit in the sun and read my book! This year, we’re planning on elaborating and even having a tent by the pool which we may spend the night in, if the kids are brave enough!

Fruit Picking

One of the things we have planned this year is a bit of Pick Your Own – it’s something I did when I was a kid and I absolutely loved it, and as soon as I told the girls about it, they found the idea really exciting so it’s on the list of things to do this summer.

Get the Bus

The kids are lucky enough to have Mummy’s Taxi Service which means they get ferried everywhere in the comfort of our car, but neither of them has ever really experienced public transport much, so they’ve asked if we can take a trip into town on the bus! This may sound very run-of-the-mill, but when you consider that we live in the countryside with one bus stop a mile away and buses which run quite sporadically, I suspect it may be more of an adventure than your usual bus trip!

Cookery Classes

Our local supermarket has a test kitchen and every year they run kids cookery classes throughout the holidays. They’re about £7 per session and include all of the ingredients they need to make a different dish each week. It’s a really nice way for the kids to spend a morning, plus they learn new skills and have the thrill of bringing home and eating what they’ve made.

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sexuality

Talking to Your Kids About SexualityI’ve written before about how Husband and I have a “no B.S.” policy with the girls and how we try to answer questions as honestly as possible, without patronising them or flinching away from difficult subjects. One of the things I’ve always been passionate about is teaching the kids to be both honest about themselves and non-judgemental about other people, and one of the things this covers is sexuality.

I’ve never written about it before, but I’ve had relationships with both men and women, and my kids know this. I figure, if they see how much of a non-issue it is for their Mum, it will be a non-issue for them too, and encourage them to be honest about their own feelings. I know a lot of people struggle to talk to kids about difficult topics, so I thought I’d share some tips with you. There are some good online resources out there where your child can get support such as safe gay social networks however it is a good idea, certainly initially, for you to lead the discussion.

Be Brave

If your child comes to you with questions about sexuality, be it their own or someone else’s, you’re going to need to put your big-girl pants on and HAVE THE CONVERSATION. If you obfuscate, they’ll know, and who would you rather answer their questions; you, or their friends? I’d much rather info came from me so I know it’s true and accurate, rather than other sources which may confuse them more.

Be Honest

As with anything, you know your kid and you probably know how much detail they can cope with, so give them the information within these parameters but always be honest (kids have an uncanny B.S. radar at times!). For younger kids, there’s no need to go into more detail than “men who love men, women who love women, people who love people” to give them a broader idea that sexuality is a spectrum and not confined to the ‘traditional’ image of a couple.

Be Prepared

There’s a good chance that answering questions on this subject will open up a whole list of questions from your kids so be prepared to answer them. Having half a conversation and putting the rest off until a later date will just leave them hanging, or maybe send them in search of the information elsewhere.

Be Open

If your sexuality isn’t something you’ve ever discussed with them, it might be a good idea to do it when they start asking questions. Normalising sexuality by offering your own experiences can give them a relatable focus for their understanding and will show them that you’re open to talking about things, making you the ideal person for them to confide in if they ever need to.

Be Non-Judgemental

I think this is the single most important point of all. If your five year old comes to you and says “Mummy, I think I’m gay”, DO NOT say “No you’re not”. Some people report knowing they were “different” from a very young age, and refusing to accept this can cause added confusion and shame to an already questioning child. I’m not suggesting that you run our and buy rainbow flags for their bedroom but allowing them to express their feelings and helping to guide them through can be the difference between years of mental health problems and a healthy, happy person, whatever their sexuality.