36 articles Tag Parenting

College Homework: 8 Essential Study Habits for Parents

If you are a parent and attending college, you are likely to have problems organizing your time. It becomes even more difficult when you are working at the same time. The thought of juggling between work, studies, and parenting is overwhelming in itself. Therefore, you have to find the right tricks that will help to survive under such conditions. Here are some tips for you to get your college homework done.

IMAGE: Parents Attend College Too

  1. Create time for everything

Although it may seem like there is not enough time to perform all your duties, you will be surprised to find out that you can create it. Proper planning ensures that everything is done at the right time. When you do this, you will even have time to spend with your children and family.

  1. Invest in the right study apps

The use of applications in education is one of the best things that ever happened to students. As a parent who still has to work and study, you need applications that will help you to organize your functions. They should also make it easy for you to access your notes and communicate with your tutors.

  1. Look for online courses

Since you will be spending most of your time at home taking care of the children, an online course could come in handy. You will notice that it allows you more flexibility compared to traditional classrooms. You can feed the kids, put them to bed, and proceed to take a few lessons.

  1. Technology will be your savior

In this age, you cannot overlook the importance of technology when it comes to education, especially when you are a parent and a student at the same time. Find the latest trends in technology and see how they can help to ease the pressure on your shoulders.

  1. Invest in high-quality educational gadgets

What are some of the gadgets that you use for your college education? If you want to enjoy the best experiences, you have to invest in high quality calculators, laptops, document readers, printers, and all the tools that you may need,

  1. Find online forums for parents in similar situations

There are many parents who are juggling between many tasks the same way you do. Find them through online forums and find out how they cope with it.

  1. Rest is important too

It is good to focus on your studies and give them your all so that you may succeed. However, do not deprive yourself of rest because a lack of it will only lead to unfortunate situations.

  1. Find someone to help with your homework and essays

Since you have too many other things to do besides education, you may want to find experts to help you with your assignments and essays. You can find such experts online, and they will save you a lot of time and energy.

In a nutshell, the fact that you are a parent should not make you abandon your dream of getting a college education. By suing some of these tips and getting help , there is no doubt that you will complete the course.

How To Enjoy ‘Mum Time’ When The Kids Are Out The House

As a Mother it can be hard to get yourself some free time for rest & relaxation, we spend all day dealing with work and kids and even when you don’t have the kids with you, it’s likely that Dad requires some attention too. But every so often you’ll get some peace and quiet, maybe Dad has taken the kids to the cinema to watch a film. You’ve got the house to yourself for a few hours and you’re going to enjoy it. So this brings up the question of what to do when you have your Mum time.

First off, we have the go to for anyone looking to relax: The humble bubble bath. It’s really understated how much a nice bath can take the edge off, especially when you’ve been running around after your children all day. Draw a nice warm bath, maybe light a candle & put some music on, then hop in and relax with a nice glass of wine. Really as a Mother, you never get a nice bath uninterrupted, it’s likely that if you have a long bath one of your children will want you whilst you’re in there, so finally getting to enjoy a soak without being dragged out half way through is amazing!

Next up, we have an unconventional activity for mothers, video games. Games are often seen as the activity for Dads & teenage boys, but Mums can enjoy gaming too. If you can get a hang of the controller (or even just play a mobile game), you’ll fall in love with games for the same reason the boys do. Gaming is a big stress reliever, whether it be getting some anger out by shooting some zombies, or getting engrossed in an amazing story gaming can be an amazing way to cut loose, especially with all the options available, if you have a smartphone you can get yourself a free game to play to distract you for a while.

Have the girls over, so often when you’re a parent it can feel you spend more time with your children’s friends than you do with yours, so a free house is a perfect opportunity to catch up with some old friends, have a cup of tea and talk about life, maybe even split a takeaway and a glass (or two) of wine and just enjoy hanging out with your friends.

Catch up on all the TV you’ve missed, you know how it is, the kids have control of the TV until dinner time, so you’re stuck watching cartoons all day, then when your partner gets home from work they take control of the remote, so it can be hard to actually get to watch what you want to watch, so why not take advantage of the alone time with no competition for the TV, put on whatever you want & get caught up on everything you’ve missed.

The Next Big Thing in Parenting – Sleep Education

There is a lot of information out there that teaches you how to be a good parent. It talks about how to deal with tantrums, stubbornness, how to improve cognitive development, how to feed your child well and so on. There are so many issues you have to begin addressing as parents and the first thing to do is find the root of these issues. As with all roots, it lies in the dark.

Sleep, or the lack of it, is one of the biggest issues that need to be addressed by parents. It is a behaviour that is to be observed from infancy to the later years of the child’s life. It is one of the biggest contributing factors to the cognitive and physical development of the child. Here’s why all parents need to take a good hard look into the sleeping behaviours of their children.

Sleep and Cognitive Development

The cognitive development of a child begins in its infancy. It is observed that infants who slept less than 12 hours a day experienced poorer cognitive and language skill at two years. This is because there is a lot of activity in the brain during sleep and therefore, resulting in cognitive and memory consolidation. REM sleep is important as it is during this stage that the brain is active.

As they grow up, children who struggle to sleep have trouble paying attention in school. They have behavioural issues and are mostly irritable. During sleep, memories are reactivated and transferred from short term to long term. Sleep deprivation can make them forgetful, impacting their academic performance. Therefore, it is imperative for parents to provide a good sleeping environment for their child. Clinically proven products are available in the market to foster good sleep at any age.

Sleep and Physical Development

80% of the growth hormone ‘somatotropin’ is released during the Non-REM stage of sleep. Lack of sleep can create a deficiency in the production of the growth hormone. The growth of a child can be slowed down or stunned by sleep deprivation. It not only affects the child’s height but also the weight, lung strength and immune system.

It is important for parents to ensure that children sleep well throughout the night. If they have trouble sleeping, encourage naps during the day. However, the body functions much better while sleeping at night. It is critical for parents to check for good quality mattresses in the UK and compare features and reviews.

Sleep and Mental Illness

A lot of people are suffering from mental illnesses and many teenagers now fall under the category. Sleep deprivation has been perceived to be a consequence of mental illnesses like depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder and anxiety. However, it is also noticed that sleep problems can, in fact, be a contributing factor to mental illness.

Sleep deprivation can affect levels of neurotransmitters and stress hormones causing the brain to go into chaos. It impairs thinking, emotional regulation and leads to psychiatric illnesses. The treatment of mental illness is also affected if the patient continues to lose sleep. Participants in a study with a history of insomnia were more likely to develop depression. It is important for parents to keep a watchful eye out for behavioural changes in their children. CDB oil for sleep is a revolutionary product to reduce anxiety, combat insomnia and help improve sleeping patterns. The product has no side effects and is approved by doctors.

Sleep and Obesity

Sleep deprivation is directly linked to weight gain and obesity. The hormones leptin and ghrelin become irregular with lack of sleep, leading to increased BMI. Ghrelin is the hormone that stimulates appetite and increases with one night of sleep deprivation. Leptin is the hormone that regulates appetite, metabolism and calorie burning. It essentially sends signals to the brain that you are full. Sleep increases the level of leptin, telling your brain that you have enough energy. Lack of sleep reduces the levels of leptin and motivates you to eat more than you need.

Parents need to notice unusual appetite changes and regulate sleep cycles. Uncomfortable mattresses can often lead to sleep deprivation. Before purchasing popular brands like Kluft mattresses, it is imperative to first compare brands by features and quality of materials.

Sleep and Immune System

Sleep is essentially important for the body to rest, repair and heal. The relationship between sleep and the effective functioning of the immune system is quite complex. Sleep deprivation fundamentally suppresses the immune system. With increasing sleepless nights, the body’s ability to fight germs and illnesses decreases, making your child more susceptible to ailments.

With each phase of sleep, our body builds the ability to function efficiently. In a completely relaxed state, our body takes the initiative to repair damaged tissue and regrow new tissue. It is not through sleeping more but with sleeping efficiently does the body function the way it needs to. Parents can visit mattress brands, carpets and rug stores and do sufficient research to create a relaxing, nurturing sleeping environment for their child.

Sleep and Risk of Injury

Children who don’t get sufficient sleep are groggy, clumsy and tired. They may not be able to react to emergencies at the same speed. This can lead to children getting frequently injured and requiring medical attention. It can also slow down the process of healing from an injury. A research conducted among student athletes found that sleep hours was the strongest predictor of injuries.

It is a vital part of parenting to take on an active role in determining the sleeping behaviour of the child. In case symptoms of sleep deprivation are noticed, parents need to immediately encourage the child to use relaxation techniques like meditation and breathing exercises to help them sleep faster. The best way to combat insomnia is to create rigid sleep schedules from a very young age.

Healthy Sleeping Rituals

It is never too late to start healthy sleeping rituals. It can be beneficial for both, the parent and the child. Some healthy sleep rituals include relaxing music, warm chamomile tea, avoiding caffeine and sugary treats, a warm bath and an active life. It is a lifestyle change and would require you to take a closer look at how you treat your body. Physical exercise during the day can also help you fall asleep faster.

Reading stories in a tranquil voice to your child is not only a relaxation exercise but also a bonding opportunity. It is imperative to take time out to ensure that the child feels safe, comfortable and protected during the night. Anxieties during the day can often keep the child up at night if they are unable to process their emotions thoroughly. Therefore, it is important to spend time with your child every day, asking about their day and consciously creating a safe space for them to disclose information.

How Can We Encourage Our Teens to be More Independent?

As parents, we all want to wrap up our kids in cotton wool. We want to protect them from the world and provide everything they could ever want and need- but as they grow up and become teenagers we know that’s not best for them any longer. While we’ll always be (and want to be) responsible for our children, one of the greatest gifts we can give them going into adulthood is independence. The ability to stand on their own two feet, and the confidence to know that they can do anything they want. If your child is quickly transforming into a teen, here are some of the things you can do in the coming years to pave the way to becoming a successful adult.

via Pexels

Teach them to cook

Cooking is such an important skill to take into adulthood. Knowing how to cook healthy, balanced meals to a budget will allow them to manage their money as well as their weight and health. Too many teens and young adults leave the family home not knowing how to cook much more than beans or toast, macaroni and cheese or microwave meals. Encourage a love and passion for cooking and good food, teach them basic skills as well as inform them of the kinds of ingredients that go well together. You could get a cookbook for their age range, and work on perfecting a number of recipes. By the time kids leave home, they should be confident in their ability to feed themselves without needing to rely on takeaways and convenience meals.

Get them driving

Once your teen reaches the legal age to drive, getting them onto the roads can be really beneficial. There’s no doubt that this will cost you a small fortune, but once they’ve passed their insurance will gradually decline and by the time they leave home it should be affordable for them. Their age and lack of driving experience will go against them enormously when it comes to insurance, and if they’ve managed to gain some points you’d have to use a specialist young driver insurance with points. But the sooner they pass and the more experience they gain, their insurance will go down each year. Starting out in the world as a young adult is hard enough, but having a car and the independence this brings can make life much easeir for them. It can broaden their job horizons and means that you don’t have to ferry them around.

Encourage them to get a job

Whether it’s to pay towards their car or just for their luxuries, having a job teaches responsibility. It teaches the value of money and can show them how to manage it at a young age. They can learn how to budget and the importance of saving if you really want something. When you give your kids everything they want and need, they can struggle to see the value of them or understand the time and effort it takes to earn that money. So by them getting a job there are some important lessons there.

Why ‘Me Time’ is Important as a Parent

When you become a parent, it’s pretty safe to say that your whole world changes forever. No longer are you able to cater solely to your own whims and wishes; instead, there is a tiny baby relying on you for care, support, love and attention.

Of course, welcoming a new baby into the family is an exciting time unlike any other, but as the weeks, months and years pass by, despite your best intentions, sometimes things can become a little overwhelming.

Many prospective parents underestimate just how much work goes into raising a child, which is sadly why some find it difficult to cope. After all, it’s not just an increased level of care and responsibility. For most, it’s also sleepless nights and lack of sleep coupled with a disrupted routine and, in the early days, often a lack of adult social contact.

For these reasons, it’s important to remember to take some time out to just be yourself. Parenting is hard work, so sometimes, it will do you good to take a step back and spend a few hours as yourself rather than just ‘mummy’ or ‘daddy’.

What Makes Self-Care Essential?

Of course, self-care is important throughout life. Taking the time to look after yourself will improve your mental health and wellbeing, helping you to become a happier, more confident person in yourself. Even just a few hours a week can help you to relax, unwind and de-stress, enabling you to refresh yourself ready for the upcoming week.

However, many parents struggle to find time for themselves. Young children require around the clock care, and the need to be constantly on hand can end up taking away your personal time. One solution is to find a trusted family member or close friend who won’t mind babysitting for a few hours every now and then. Alternatively, there is always the potential to squeeze in a couple of hours in the evenings once you’ve put your little one to bed for the night – as long as they sleep through the night!

What are the Benefits of Time to Yourself?

‘Me time’ allows you the capability to pursue your own hobbies and interests, as well as ensuring that you are able to adequately relax. Of course, how you choose to spend your personal time is entirely up to you, but it is a good idea to try and vary things so you can fit in everything you want to do.

While catching up on your favourite TV series or finally getting to finish that book is a good place to start, why not consider pampering yourself with a little indulgence? Whether it’s a full-blown home spa experience or just taking the time for a catch-up with a few friends, these are all great ways to unwind. For those parents who are regularly pressed for time, why not treat yourself to your favourite dish for dinner or take five minutes out to enjoy a luxurious cup of coffee? Investing in the best quality coffee equipment can be a nice way to treat yourself every now and then – after all, being a parent is the most difficult job on earth!

While bringing up children is an incredibly rewarding experience, it’s also essential that you are in the best possible position to be able to give them your all. Being stressed and overworked can be detrimental to your health in both the short and long-term, so it’s important to do what you can to combat the pressures of everyday life. At the end of the day, regularly taking the time to properly look after yourself is a surefire way to lead to a happier, healthier version of yourself.

From Schools to Car Seats – Making the Best Choices for your Kids

One of the most daunting things about becoming a parent is the constant second-guessing when it comes to making the right decisions for your kids. When you’re young and single, your decisions largely only impact yourself but once you throw another human into the equation, it becomes all that much scarier! Today, I thought I’d take a look at some of the decisions that we found most overwhelming and what we did to help.

Safety

One of the main things that’s at the forefront of a new parents mind is safety, be that at home, in the car or anywhere else. Husband and I probably wrapped Sausage up in cotton wool to an extent and are definitely more relaxed with BB, but the best advice I can give you when it comes to things like travel is to read a whole bunch of car seat reviews before making your choice. You’ll benefit from the experience of others and ensure a bit of peace of mind for yourself.

Money

When Sausage was born, each kid got a grant from the government to start a savings fund but by the time BB came along this was no longer a thing, but we still wanted to start a savings account for her. Looking online a sites which offer bank account comparisons really helped us to find the right account to give us the most for our money.

Schools

This one was a biggie for us and will be again next year when we have to start thinking about secondary schools for Sausage. In our experience, schools can have great Ofsted reports but this doesn’t always equate to the best school for your child. Speak to parents who have kids at the schools you’re looking at who will be able to give you much fairer insight into what the actual society within the school is like.

Medical Issues

In this day and age, information is so easily accessible online that it’s really easy to think you can diagnose medical problems after reading a couple of webpages. However, this doesn’t take into account years of medical training needed to have ALL the clinical knowledge and context, so Dr. Google should always be avoided! The 111 service is really useful and they can give you an idea over the phone of whether your child needs to see a doctor. Pharmacists can also offer a lot of useful info.

Food

When you become a parent, you’ll realise that pretty much everyone will have an opinion on how you SHOULD be feeding your kids, even if they don’t have kids of their own. The fact is, as long as both Mum and Baby are happy and healthy, it doesn’t matter if milk comes from a boob or a bottle. There will ALWAYS be friends/relatives/health professionals who want to impress their ideas upon you but frankly, their opinions don’t matter!

 

Little Emergency Guide for When Mums Need Help

With mother’s day approaching, there are plenty of cards in the shops that are dedicated to the perfect mommy. Mom knows best, the best mother ever, wonder mommy, you name it, there’s a fair bet that the shops have it already! Or if they haven’t, you can probably make you own on an online card provider, so that’s you sorted in a matter of clicks. But to come back to the main topic, mothers, it does happen that sometimes even mommies need a little help to get by. So if you are a mom and you are going through a lot of stress to sort things out, here are the top 6 cases where you can ask for professional help without feeling guilty at all.

Even Mommy needs help

#1. Picking The Perfect Home

If you are looking to move house, you have probably already experienced the difficulty to find the perfect house at the perfect price for your family. For some families, finding their ideal nest can take several months up to a year, and sometimes even longer! It is often a hard task that requires a lot of research and a lot of visits and appointments. More importantly, there’s also the problem of getting a mortgage, preparing for the move and decorating the new place. It’s no wonder that moving house is the third most stressful event after bereavement and divorce. While you can work with a professional estate agency to get on top of the latest properties on the market, you can also set up notification alerts on real estate websites. This will keep you updated with the new houses available in your preferred locations, and it will also help you when you are preparing your application for a mortgage.

#2. Managing Money Effectively

Managing the household budget can be a tricky task, especially when you are facing sudden and unexpected expenses. Financial matters have become a lot more complex nowadays, with the introduction of credit cards, different interest options and dangerous loan scams that promise easy money and drain your budget in repayment. As if things were not complicated enough, the cost of energy and education are rising dangerously too! In short, moms have difficult tasks to keep the budget under control. If you find yourself struggling with repayment to multiple creditors, it may be time to ask for debt management support. This will put you in touch with financial experts who work out a repayment plan that is fully tailored to your personal case. Expenses are easier to manage when you can plan ahead for the end of your worries.

#3. Staying Healthy Every Day

Health is no matter to take lightly. Whether you are looking after your eyesight, your teeth, your skin or even your bones, there are very little elements that you can control about your health. In truth, what you can do is make sure that you have an active lifestyle and a healthy diet so that your body receives all the nutrients and energy that it needs. But you still need to book a regular medical appointment to check your health and the one of your family. Think of the big ETC: Eyes, teeth, and cardio. Additionally, if there is any known issue in your family, such as diabetes or allergies, it’s always a good idea to get it tested regularly for those who are likely to develop similar problems too.  

#4. Recharging Your Batteries

Sometimes everyday pressure gets you. Whether it’s stress at work or family problems, it is difficult to keep a cool head when too much is going on. You need to plan every week a few hours that are entirely dedicated to your mental health. This will help you cool down and relax. What you do during this time is entirely up to you, but it’s best to leave the house and let someone else look after your nerves. A visit to your local spa centre can be just the thing you need. If you’re not one for a massage, have a look at your local gym for yoga classes. Not only this will keep you fit and active, but yoga is great to soothe the soul and the mind during hard times. So make time for yourself and let someone help you relax.  

#5. Maintaining The Home

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, there are certain areas of your home maintenance activities that you can’t do by yourself. Checking the roof, the quality of the insulation and the plumbing and heating systems are some of the elements that need to be trusted to professionals. You will find the exact list of home maintenance and renovation works that you need to rely on professionals within your home insurance contract. Indeed, certain types of work can invalidate your home insurance if they are not performed by a certified expert. Additionally, if you are a working mom, there’s no reason not to hire someone to keep the house clean when you are at work. After all, you surely want to spend more time with your family when you are at home.

#6. Going On Family Holiday Together

There’s no such thing as easy family holidays. Indeed, when you are planning holidays for the whole family, it’s never easy to find the best deal and the best package for your situation. This is why you need to trust travel agencies to help you organise the best vacation at the best price for your family. Whether you only need children-friendly places, or whether you are also looking at specific travel insurances to cover for medical needs too, travel agents have direct access to hundreds of options and travel packages in a matter of a few seconds. They can find the best solution for you while you wait on the phone. This can save a lot of your holiday stress!

In short, whether you are looking after yourself, your budget, your health, your home, your holiday or your family, there’s nothing that says that a super mom can’t use a little help from the experts from time to time. In the end, you want to save as much time as possible to be with your family, so cut the stress and get in touch with qualified advisors.

“It Never Did My Kids Any Harm”

It Never Did My Kids Any HarmWhen Facebook first started, way before I had kids, it was a way to catch up with old friends, let the world know what you were doing, share photos and “poke” people, virtually. It’ll be TEN YEARS AGO this year that I joined Facebook (I know, right?) and in that time, the things I use Facebook for has changed quite dramatically. I think the thing I spend the most time doing on FB now is using groups and I’m in various ones, some for diet and fitness, some for make up and fashion, lots of buying and selling and a couple for parenting, and it’s in that last group where I hear my pet-hate-phrase.

There are lots of different questions to which “it never did my kids any harm” gets trotted out as a standard response, everything from smacking to cot bumpers to sugary drinks to watching Mister Tumble and I really wish it would be stricken from the English vernacular. I think I see it used most often in relation to controlled crying, something to which I’m hugely opposed and I just wish people would see how damaging this kind of ‘echo chamber’ response is.

I get that everyone makes different choices and that’s entirely up to them. It’s also good for everyone to have support and camaraderie, especially when it comes to parenting as it’s a lonely old job at times. However, using your own experience to bias someone else’s choices is SO wrong.

The reason things change as generations move on is because of research and development. We advise against cot bumpers and sleeping in certain positions and sleeping in car seats for extended periods and all of these other things because of years and years of extensive research, NOT because someone, somewhere said “Well, my friend Janet fed her kids lead paint and THEY ALL TURNED OUT OKAY”.

THAT’S NOT HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS.

I appreciate that there’s a lot of inherited wisdom which is passed from generation to generation, and generally speaking those things are fine, but basing your opinion of a whole facet of parenting on the equivalent of ONE case study is absolutely bonkers. Would you trust a medicine which had been tested by one person? Or drive a car which had only one safety test done on it? No, I don’t think you would.

If we’re being realistic, there are SO many things that older generations did (giving the baby brandy or whisky in their bottle to help it sleep? Giving it a sniff of the gas tap?! Leaving them outside the shops OR EVEN THE PUB in their buggy??!) that you absolutely would never dream of in this day and age.

The fact is, the reason that rules and regulations change is because people spend time and money working things out in a lab, with finely tweaked variables and control tests and all of those other things that we’re supposed to trust. They produce QUANTIFIABLE results. You can say “smacking my kids didn’t do them any harm”, but on what are you basing that? The fact that they aren’t on top of a bell tower with a high-powered rifle? Because, believe me, when it comes to the psychological effects that spill over from childhood there’s still a VAST space between “fine” and “bell tower” and they aren’t all kittens and roses.

The trouble is, people don’t seem to want to listen to quantifiable evidence when they’re of the “never did any harm” school of thought. MY argument against controlled crying comes from reams and reams of research which was done with kids living in orphanages – children who were left to cry for hours on end eventually stopped expecting comfort and therefore stopped asking for it, leading to an inability to effectively produce cortisol in later life, affecting future relationships and greatly increasing the likelihood of depression into adulthood. But if you bring this up, people latch on to the supposed absurdity of comparing their child to an orphan to poo-poo any sort of data. What you’re saying doesn’t reflect their opinion and therefore it MUST be crap.

I’m not advocating the judgement of other people’s methods as such, I just really wish people would think a little beyond this attitude and realise that things move on FOR A REASON. I swear, half the time people use this phrase as a way to make them feel better about their own doubts about methods they used, or as a defence of their own parents because they see criticism of old methods as some sort of accusation of failure.

What do you think? Are you of this school of thought or do you try to follow current advice and research? Is this something which drives you potty, too? Leave me a comment below.

Teenage Dream: Tips On Dealing with Tricky Tweens

Flickr Image At: Tammy McGary

Sometimes it can seem like that no matter how nicely we ask them to empty the dishwasher, set the table, tidy their rooms, or even come downstairs for dinner the response can be, well, not good. Due to hormonal changes taking place, both physical and mental, it can often feel like your good natured, peaceful and quiet child has been replaced by a stroppy, shouty being from another planet.

Remember Their Brains Are Still Developing

As a fully grown adult you’ll have all your cognitive reasoning skills, be able to see something from someone else’s view and have a firm grip on your emotional responses. Unfortunately, teenagers, not matter how much make-up they wear or how loudly they play their music, are still children and their brains are still very much developing. Puberty may also play a part in their emotions, don’t forget they’re dealing with some fairly stressful situations and will be fairly sensitive about their looks, emotions or even their ability to straddle the child / adult barrier i.e. they might want to curl up and watch TV with you, but their brains will tell them ‘that’s not the adult thing to do’.

Teenagers these days are quite obsessed with documenting every aspect of their lives on social media, so the last thing they want is for someone to snap them reading, doing homework or worse actually talking to their family. The good news is that this phase won’t last and gradually they will settle down and possibly end up confiding in you even more than they did beforehand. Surprisingly, even though it’s very hard to deal with the constant disagreements, arguments and back chat it does have a purpose as they are testing the boundaries and flexing their independence.

They may even develop some strange, out the box ideas or become introspective overnight. However this sudden pattern of deep thinking is important for their developmental response to complex emotional or philosophical questions. Eventually, if behaviour doesn’t improve it may be worth speaking to a psychologist or getting conflict resolution tips. For example, BHP Law have experience as family run solicitors and deal with dispute resolution and family law cases.

Use Your Communication Skills

First of all try to keep calm because most of the time they’re looking for a strong reaction, once they realise they can’t wind you up as much the chances are the behaviour will improve. You can even try using humour to diffuse a situation. Once they’re laughing they won’t feel quite as angry so it’ll take the heat out of the argument, lighten the tone of a difficult conversation or get siblings to back down from each other if they’re locked in a lengthy standoff. The chances are they’ll look at one another, ask ‘why’s mom or dad being so weird?’ and laugh together at your attempt to crack jokes.

Remember, humour is a great leveller but make sure they don’t perceive your diffusion tactic as an insult, think you’re mocking them or being sarcastic as that’ll make things much worse. Not every teenager knows that their being rude, mean, or stupid and we’ve all said things we shouldn’t have when our brain’s asleep. Gently, respectfully ask them if they meant what they said or say ‘that was offensive do you realise you’re being rude’, as chances are they had no idea or just weren’t thinking. Tell your child you value, and respect their opinions even when they aren’t respecting yours, as this way they’ll know that you are treating them like an adult, which sometimes is all they want so they might adjust their attitude accordingly. 

Let Them Know The Behaviour Is Unacceptable

Set clear guidelines about what’s acceptable conduct in your household and what it isn’t. if your child mentions that ‘ Amy’s mom let’s her eat sweets before dinner’ simply tell them that Amy’s mom is not theirs and ‘we do things differently here as you well know’. You may get a stroppy comment wishing Amy’s mother was, in fact theirs, but they don’t mean it, very few children actually want their parents to be replaced by someone else. Tell them why they have done something wrong but avoid focusing on them, don’t mention anything linked to their personality or character and instead use strong statements that show what you’re feeling.

Decide what the appropriate consequences for bad behaviour are in advance. For example, calling their sibling a swear word could involve a handwritten letter of apology, stealing money from your purse would mean equal amounts docked from their allowance for three weeks and being rude to relatives loses them their smartphone for the evening.

Parenting Groups: Five Reasons for Quitting

parenting groupsFor a fair while, I’ve been part of a few different parenting groups on Facebook, places where mums and dads can go to ask questions about anything from “does this rash look like chickenpox?” to “which shops have Hatchimals in stock?” and largely it’s been good. I’ve asked plenty of questions myself and try to help others where I can. But, as of yesterday, I’ve removed myself from these groups (all but The Motherload) because it’s just messing with my head. There are questions which get asked over and over and OVER again and they’re things which make me so cross that I can actually FEEL my blood pressure rising. Here’s just 5 of those questions:

1. Vaccinations

This was the one which prompted me to remove myself yesterday and it’s probably the one which makes me the MOST angry. Someone asked “Have any other parents refused vaccinations for their kids and has is caused them problems with school and nursery?”. The comments are full of people who think they know better than the World Health Organisation (despite the fact that they get their info from American websites with URLs like VacTruth.com and nothing with any basis in actual science). Just in the last month, I’ve seen people cite the inclusion of mercury and aluminium in vaccines as a reason not to give them as well as one woman who claimed that the flu vaccine contained MSG which is, WAIT FOR IT…WORSE THAN GIVING HER CHILD COCAINE. (FML)Another woman claimed that she knew all about herd immunity and it meant that her child didn’t need vaccinations, thus proving that she actually knew nothing about fucking herd immunity.  I was one step shy of spamming the group of pictures of kids with smallpox, so I decided it was best to step away.

2. Baby Names

I’m aware that what people on random parenting groups name their kids is absolutely NONE of my business, but every time there was a “can I have suggestions of names for my unborn child?” thread, I’d read through with my head in my hands, feeling really sorry for the future generation of children who were going to have names like “Aliviyah” (pronounced Olivia, just in case you were wondering) and feeling like I was living in a real life Idiocracy.

3. Nub Theory

“Oh hi everyone. Can you look at this scan picture of my baby (who is probably too young to have even properly developed reproductive organs yet) and guess what their gender might be based on a totally theoretical and unproven method of working it out?”. Nub theory is a THEORY. Asking strangers to guess the gender of your unborn child is stupid.

4. Keeping Up with The Jonses

Do you know what I found myself Googling the other day? Matching Christmas dresses for me and the girls. Thanks to the people on Facebook parenting groups who go absolutely fucking OVERBOARD every Christmas with their EXPERIENCES and their CHRISTMAS EVE BOXES and their “BOOK-A-DAY” ADVENT CALENDARS and ALLLLLLL the other overblown shit that everyone MUST do and MUST talk about at length so that they can lord it over everyone else, I am seriously considering matching outfits for myself, my eight year old and my two year old for Christmas Day. And I’m pretty sure that makes me a massive twat.

5. Nastiness

I’m aware that what I’ve written above may seem like a bit of nastiness but this is NOTHING compared with some of the vile behaviour I’ve seen from grown people in parenting groups. There’s a LOT of stuff which gets discussed that I don’t agree with but I always try to be respectful and give replies to people based on actual knowledge and not just knee-jerk reactions. Often though (I assume on days when there’s a full moon and everyone’s menstrual cycle is syncronised) things can get NASTY. Simple threads about bottle feeding can lead to struggling Mums being called c*nts and being left wishing they hadn’t asked in the first place and it’s that kind of behaviour that I just don’t want to be a part of.

Are you a member of any of these kid of online groups? Do you find that they enhance your life or do you step away from your phone or PC feeling like your head is going to explode? I’d love to hear from you!