I know kids are never going to be spitting images of their parents (well some are). For some reason, I always imagined our kids to be mini-mes. As my daughters are mixed-raced, I wonder if they will think about why we all look so different as a little family? Daddy is English-Brummy and Mummy’s family is from Mauritius. It’s an easy explanation but will our daughters get it? So will my daughters question why they look different to mummy or the other way around? Continue reading
So many parents and carers have to spend time away from their children. I’m not just talking about during the day when we’re working or running businesses. Overnight stays away from our children and families can be hard too. Sometimes they can be short-notice or even unplanned trips away from the family. On Lucky Things blog, we chat a lot about confidence. We don’t always feel confident as parents, especially as we adapt to new situations for our families. In January I stayed about a week away from Mr.H and my two daughters. It was an emotional time not being with them. You can read more about how I felt travelling away from my children for the first time here. So I wanted to see what could help this temporary absence and that’s when I came across the Scamp and Dude Superhero. I love that Scamp and Dude is all about inspiring confidence in children.
Anxious about being away…I knew the girls would be fine as they were with their original superhero Daddy (AKA Mr. H) but I knew we’d miss each other. I was also anxious about how the girls would feel about being not being at home. There were quite a few things we organised to help the girls and in particularly our three-year old Big Munch adapt to my temporary absence. It’s not often we need to treat the girls to new teddies or toys but instead of bringing back loads of gifts from my trip, I wanted to leave Big Munch with something new. One of the things that me and Big Munch picked together was our new lodger – our Scamp and Dude Superhero rabbit.
In part 1 of Livvy’s guest blog for Lucky Things, we looked at children’s confidence as a behaviour and how confidence needs to be taught, learnt and nurtured, modelled and reinforced. She also talked about how it needs to be taught across environments and in different situations. Confidence can dip and how confidence can be boosted and the importance of praising the behaviours that we want to see more of. With this in mind, here are Livvy’s top tips for encouraging confidence.
- Break down big or daunting tasks or new activities into bite sized pieces and offer appropriate praise and reinforcement for each little step towards task completion. Breaking things down and praising the little steps helps build confidence by boosting the kids at every step along the way.
- Make sure you have realistic and age appropriate expectations for your children. Pushing a child into something that is not age appropriate, where they are yet to develop the necessary skills can have a negative effect on confidence levels. Similarly, pushing a child into something that you feel they should be able to do by a certain age can also greatly affect confidence. For example, leaving your little one at their first parents don’t stay party or your older one for their first sleepover, may not be easy, it may need preparation and work from all involved to enable them to have the confidence to try.
- Try to work out the function (the reason why) of any behaviours you see as result of trying something new. If your child experiences an increase in challenging behaviours when trying something new, try to work out why? Are they due to avoidance because the task is too hard, are they escape behaviours because they do not have the skill set to complete the activity, do they need increased support, are they getting too much support and want to do it themselves?
- Gradual increases in independence leads to confidence. It is essential to encourage your children to become independent, try new things knowing that to find something tricky is ok, have a go at something knowing that it is ok to fail as this is how we can learn and adapt for next time.
- Teaching your kids that sticking at something you find challenging can be so rewarding and even though they may find the activity difficult. Overcoming those difficulties with support and reinforcement along the way leads to more confident and independent learners.
- Reading is a good example of this as becoming a confident reader happens in baby steps it takes time, effort and practice and the child who refuses to practice is not necessarily saying I hate reading, they may just be really confused by the concept of language, feel frustrated they can’t read the book they want to or have a fear of failing. Teaching your kids how and when to ask for help. Knowing your own child, their levels of independence, resilience and how best to support them through their challenges. Knowing that each child is different and you have to work out what each child needs and play to their strengths, while trying to encourage further development by helping them tackle the tricky things.
- It is important to stress that we all lack confidence sometimes and it is not to say that if you feel like you lack confidence as a parent you are unable to raise confident children. Our children’s confidence comes from being loved and nurtured, from learning it is OK to fear things and that it is OK to fail at something. However, in behavioural terms every day is a learning day and I would encourage every parent to try and work out what makes them lack confidence. Is it the parents who make things look like a doddle, our parents, our friends, our partners or social media lives? I can assure you that each and every one of these people has their own struggles and lack confidence at times.
- I think it is important for our kids to know that even as adults we face struggles and lack confidence sometimes, but even as adults we are still learning and growing as people. That it can be strength to admit weakness, to ask for help and to being open to growth.
Whatever the weather, it’s good to get some fresh air. Sometimes there are days where the weather is unpredictable so you have to grab those opportunities to get some outside play-time with the little ones. A few parents have been asking me for ideas for free things to do. Here’s seven things I love about a walk around the block with the girls…
- We’re going on a mini-adventure...Let the kids know you’re going on a little adventure to see what we can find. Wrap up warm and bring the waterproofs if you need to. You don’t have to be out for long so it’s a nice activity before meal times.
- See your local area in the eyes of a child…Kids seem to spot things we may not notice. I love it when three-year old Big Munch spots new flowers or notices something different down our road. Acknowledge the random things they discover and talk about them when you get home. You can also praise them for their discoveries.
- You’re not far from home…You don’t have to pack the changing bag or other kit as you’re not that far from homely facilities and food supplies. This might mean you can get out of the house quicker. On the other hand, it could mean you decide to leave the house with a Frozen Princess or superhero. Guess I’m more relaxed about the dress code when I know we’re not venturing far. Check out Big Munch’s walking socks below. Serious business. Big Munch also loves bringing her umbrella as a prop.
- Walk slowly…There’s no rush when you’re having a stroll around the block (or down the road). Enjoy the slower pace. It’s nice to take your time and walk at the little people’s pace. We still take Toddler Munch in the buggy so she can watch things from her wheels.
- Number and letter spotting…This game is great for pre-school children. Ask them to spot “their number” (their age). Big Munch loves doing this.
- Colour spotting…Similar to Eye Spy, you can play another game where you spot different colours (or patterns). Usually Big Munch wins as Toddler Munch is too young to play!
- Letting them explore with their feet…When you spend time focusing on your surroundings, kids have the chance to discover new things. Big Munch spotted a special building near our home the other week. Something I never noticed before.
What ideas do you have for getting out of the house with kids? Any ideas for free activities? Do you ever go for a walk around the block? What do you love about where you live? Leave a little comment below…
On Lucky Things blog, we talk a fair bit about confidence. It’s something that comes and goes and impacts all of us. So what about confidence for our children? I met Livvy Gormally a few months ago when she shared her top tips on managing routines. Livvy is a children’s behaviour expert, applied behaviour analysis (ABA) consultant and parenting coach. I asked her to share some top tips on how we can help our kids to feel confident. Over to Livvy for part 1 of her guest post… Continue reading
Crikey the girls routine has been all over the place this weekend as we’re away at a hotel with the fam for early Christmas celebrations.
Here’s our seven highlights…
1. Toddler Munch skipping her daytime nap yesterday – too much fun at the Science Museum (check out our Insastories) Crikey please don’t let this be the end of her daytime naps. Mummy anxiety is hitting in. Highlight for her. Lowlight for me.
As a parent, I know I will forever have questions about whether I’m doing the right thing when looking after, nurturing and teaching my two girls about everyday life. It was fab seeing Livvy Gormally from Let’s Ask Livvy talk about all things parenting at the Mothers Meeting at Shoreditch House in London. From sleep routines, weaning and navigating tantrums, we all hit some critical parenting topics. We also talked a lot about how to encourage our babies and children to follow routines or adapt to changes in everyday plans. The Mothers Meeting crowd in the house also had the chance to ask Livvy lots of questions. Continue reading
Over the past couple of months I’ve been much better at getting out and about on my own with three-year old Big Munch and Toddler Munch. To be honest, it’s taken me a while to feel really confident about going into town with two in tow. But now I’ve kind of mastered it. Seeing my friends at different events and gatherings recently reminded me why it’s so important to get out and about with our babies, toddlers and kids. Continue reading
We’ve been discussing the golden rules in our house recently. Three and a half year old Big Munch has been the chair of the discussion. Me and Mr H have to just listen. We have secretly been chuckling about her golden rules but they do make sense (well most of them anyway). Here are the golden rules according to Big Munch… Continue reading
One thing I know is that it’s really important for me to get out and about in London with the girls. Even more important to do this when I’m looking after the girls on my own. The other week I popped along to my first Mama Meet at the creative family store Olive Loves Alfie East. It was a day out for me and my two girls as we ventured over to Stratford with Big Munch on foot and Toddler Munch in the buggy. The Mama Meet is a chilled gathering organised by the store and Emma from Finlay and Fox. I heard about the Mama Meet through Instagram and spotted that Mary and Emma from Supercharged Club were doing a talk. I grabbed a ticket online.
Here’s seven things we loved about the Mama Meet… Continue reading