Talking on BBC Radio about entertaining kids over the holidays

On 24 July 2017 I was invited back to BBC Radio. This time to talk about entertaining the kids and looking after ourselves as parents and carers during the summer holidays. Together with BBC Radio host Tulip Mazumdar and bloggers Nilly Dahlia and Daddy Daze UK, we shared tips on what to do with kids come rain or shine.  For me, it’s also about looking after yourself as a grown-up during the summer holidays – we need to be entertained too! The below tricks can also help you to feel more confident about what you can do together and what’s manageable.  Continue reading

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Parents suffer from separation anxiety too

As our babies and kids go through the different developmental phases we often come across separation anxiety. It’s normal for little ones to feel separation anxiety. It’s just part of them growing up. I remember reading lots about it when Big Munch was around 9 months old. I’ll be away from my two girls and Mr.H soon as I head off to the Mom 2.0 blogger conference in Orlando. I know I have mixed feelings about being away. We hear and read lots about children’s separation anxiety. So, what about the parents and their own separation anxiety? Continue reading

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Top tips for encouraging confidence in children, by Livvy Gormally, Let’s Ask Livvy

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.

 

  1. 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.img_9309
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

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Top tips on getting organised from the last Mothers Meeting of 2016

I’m always interested in how others get organised. Sometimes we talk about if there is such a thing. Does anyone feel 100% organised all of the time? It’s also about juggling rather than having everything sorted in a military style. I guess we also decide how long our to-do lists are, but there’s the daily and weekly tasks as well as our other mini life projects (family, us, or work-related). At the last Mothers Meeting of 2016, I asked the panel about their top tips for getting organised. Cherry Healey and Jenny Scott hosted the chat with Anna from Mother Pukka, Zoe from Dress Like A Mum, Steph from Don’t Buy Her Flowers, Hollie, creator of Yes Mum cards, Clemmie from Mother of Daughters and Clemmie Telford from Mother of All Lists. Here’s what they had to say… Continue reading

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Parenting: What does confidence look like for children by Livvy Gormally, Let’s Ask Livvy (part 1)

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

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Why you will always be our Baby Munch – from baby to toddler

What can I say the past 18 months have flown by. About a month ago, Baby Munch started walking. I loved it that she learned to dance before walking. That’s my girl! When you aren’t planning to have any more children (or aren’t able to) having your last baby generates lots of interesting feelings.

So good news for Baby Munch, I mean Toddler Munch, as she’s loving this promotion and next phase of her life. I interviewed her recently over a bowl of rice cakes on why she’s loving life as a toddler:img_6880

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Time to Shine: Celebrating those winning moments as a parent – Guest post by Kimberly

Hey everyone, my pal Kimberly is back! You may have seen her cool post on confidence tips she picked up from a career in TV. Thanks to everyone who read her post and left a comment. Here’s Kimberly’s second post for Lucky Things (I’m secretly hoping there will be many more..). Parenting isn’t supposed to be straightforward. We also can’t put pressure on ourselves to be perfect parents and bring up ‘perfect’ children.

Over to the lovely Kimberly who tells us about those precious winning moments as a parent… Continue reading

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