Managing Behaviour, PARENTING TIPS, PLANNING AHEAD, PLAY, Powerful Parents, STRESS-LESS PARENTING, Us Time

Half Term Hel…p!

Well, if like me you live in Wales, you’ll be half way through half term by now Yippee!

You’ve probably done the cinema, soft play and visits to Gran’s, you’ve bought half of Asda’s toy aisles and your home is a complete and utter mess.

Like most mums you’re probably willing on Monday and praying there’s no inset day you’ve forgotten!

Well done you for getting through the toughest few days, now it’s time to chill out.

So, here’s 3 ways to help you through the next 3 days!

1) ENCOURAGE BOREDOM

Sometimes, we give our children too much choice, and this can overwhelm them.

We think giving them lots of toys or laying out different types of creativities to do that we’re keeping them occupied, but this can have the opposite effect.

Their choice of what they want to play should be for them to freely choose but if you follow your child’s every desire and whim, then no sooner than getting the paint brushes out, they’ll be onto the play-dough shouting ‘Finished, what’s next?’ continuously flitting from one activity to another.

Sometimes we just have to let them just get on with their own business of playing.

We can’t do this if we keep providing things for them to do. They have to learn how to amuse themselves and become creative.

So, think less is more when it comes to play, less intervention, less toys, and more freedom and imagination.

Toys today are designed to do everything so our children don’t have to think. Dolls now talk, wee, eat, and cry, cars and trains move by themselves powered by batteries, electricity, and computers, nothing is left to imagination anymore. Even physical books are replaced by e-book readers, so there’s no need to even read the words on the page with audio books. Everything is already done for them, but is this better for our children?

We’ve got to allow our children the privilege of boredom so they can discover imaginative play again. There’s not much left to the imagination anymore, so when children are left to play out in the garden, they say there’s nothing to play with. We had no kids TV channels when I was growing up and certainly no computers or phones to ‘play on’ we played out in the rain with fresh air. And I look back fondly on those memories of the ‘good old’ days.

But even today, children can have just as much fun playing in the garden, having picnics in the park, or playing with a cardboard box than they do with a computer. They have to be given these opportunities and experiences though.

The absence of a TV, mobile phone, or computer can make our children feel bored because they’re used to this type of stimulation, and they can’t play alone or even with each other anymore, they just don’t know how to occupy themselves without these props, so they say they’re bored.

I have an answer for that; ‘Only boring people get bored.’

2) CHORES NOT CHOICE

My children learnt early on never to utter those words ‘I’m bored.’ As soon as they did, they knew I would find them a list of things to occupy them, such as cleaning jobs or homework.

On hearing what I had to offer to alleviate their boredom, they suddenly remembered they ‘d lots to be getting on with and got on with it!

Ironically, we help alleviate boredom by allowing them to become bored. This means occasionally removing toys and electronics. This is not a punishment, so to prove that to them, we have to join them in this practice too. This is probably something we’ll struggle with more than our children; I mean can you actually imagine a day without your phone, computer, or TV? You’d fall so behind on the soaps, social media, and junk email!

Boredom would eventually disappear, however, and our children would come to realise all there is naturally around them. They may struggle at first to find things to do, but given the alternative, such as cleaning their bedroom, they’d soon find something to do which is more fun.

What could you be doing that’s more fun instead?

3) JOIN IN

When was the last time you had some real fun playing with your child?

As grownups we have so many rules and we often try to impose these rules on our childrens play. But there’s no rules to playing. We may feel we have to take them to soft play or the cinema so they can ‘be occupied’ or ‘do something’ but what fun is that for us?

Do YOU really have fun watching animated films or watching tired, teary, toddlers fighting over the balls in the ball pit?

Us Time should be about engaging in fun together, it’s not about spending money or going anywhere in particular.

A spontaneous walk in the woods spotting squirrels is just as good as any day out.  You can find adventure anywhere when you look for it and you can relearn from your child how to enjoy doing that too. Stick or conker collecting, climbing trees and finding objects hidden in the clouds, are all fun, free ways to engage with your child.

Regardless of what we do with our children, if we’re having fun, then we’re playing.

It’s not the activity that counts, it’s how we feel when we do it.

Genuine play always feels good as it replaces control for freedom, anxiety for laughter, and learning for entertainment.

Stay Present, Em x

GOALS, HEALTHY EATING, PARENTING, PLANNING AHEAD, WEIGHT LOSS

WHAT CAN YOU CHANGE MOVING FORWARD?

Eating high calorific foods, reduced activity levels and increased alcohol consumption were some of the thing’s lockdown comforted us with.

wine, cheese and processed meat a thing of the past or occasional treat?

But moving forward it’s time to get out of our comfort zone on the couch and get going again.

With the easing of lockdown many of us moving forward will want to make some changes. Whether its healthier eating, more exercise or reducing our alcohol intake.

NO PLAN IS A PLAN TO FAIL

For positive change to be effective we have to plan ahead.

KEEP A DIARY OR JOURNAL- If you write down your goals in a way that inspires you, you increase your chances of success in achieving your goals by a whopping 30%!

KEEP FOCUSED – If you can measure your progress when working towards your goals, this figure increases to a staggering 60%!!!

SMARTER- As a Coach one way I help clients increase their chances of success in any endeavour is to, make sure my clients create SMARTER Goals.

These are: –

SPECIFIC – YOUR Goal, e.g. to be a certain dress size.  

MEASURABLE- Size 10 e.g. is the measurement you want to be.

ACHIEVABLE – Make a meal & exercise plan to achieve your goal e.g. fruit salad for breakfast, soup for lunch, fish & salad for supper- aerobics 3 times a week.

RELEVANT- It must mean something to you, e.g. to look amazing in your bikini.

TIMED- when do you want to see the results, e.g. 6 months from now in time for your holiday in Spain.

ENTICING- How would that impact your life in exciting ways e.g. feel confident to start dating again.

RECORDABLE- Recording and Reviewing your results along your journey will keep you motivated to continue and help you change your plan if somethings not working.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT- So for example if your goal is not to drink alcohol on a weekday, you have to make sure that you have no alcohol in your house to tempt you. If its to eat healthier then a good plan would be to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables, so you have a handy snack available when you need it and have fresh wholesome foods to include in your meals.

Theres always healthier alternatives to your favourite high calorie foods.

PREPARE AHEAD- when going to work planning what you’ll have for lunch and taking your own packed lunch will not only save you some pounds money wise but also weight wise if you choose healthy options, so if one of your goals is to lose weight or just be healthy this will help you achieve that goal.

Also, by shopping in advance for groceries (when you are not hungry, I recommend eating something before you do your grocery shopping)  that are healthy and batch cooking meals on your day off and freezing them, you ensure that when you get home from work, exhausted and starving, that you’ll have something quick, convenient and healthy to re heat.

My 5 Moving Forward Changes are;

  1. To eat at least 2 servings of fresh fruit a day
  2. Make a third of my diet vegetables
  3. To only drink alcohol at the weekend
  4. To do weight bearing exercise 3 times a week
  5. To stop eating processed meats like ham, bacon, sausages etc…

What’s YOUR 5 Moving Forward Changes?

  1. ———————————————–
  2. ———————————————–
  3. ———————————————–
  4. ———————————————–
  5. ———————————————–
My favourite home made soup is my Tomatoe & Basil. Comforting but kind.

Now its time for you to break each change down into mini changes and make them SMARTER by answering the following questions.

  1. I will achieve the following (e.g. Lose weight and be a dress size 10) ————————————————————————————————————————————————————
  2. I will achieve this because (I want to look good in my bikini on holiday)————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
  3. Here are the things I need to do (my mini goals) in this order to achieve my goal.

First: (e.g. snack on fruit) —————————————————————————–

Secondly(e.g. increase my vegetable intake)  : ———————————————————————–

Thirdly (e.g. remove all alcohol from my environment):—————————————————————————

Fourthly (e.g. order some home weight bearing equipment such as handy dumbbells and some resistance bands and make an exercise plan):————————————————————————-

Fifthly (e.g. make a shopping list to include plenty of fresh fruit vegetables and fish and no processed meat):—————————————————————————–

  • Today I will start by (e.g. looking for healthy vegetable soup recipes on the internet) ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
  • For this I need access to the internet, find some recipes to follow, to buy a hand blender and some ingredients and I will get these from the supermarket and the internet  ———————————————————————————-
  • I will know when I’ve been successful in achieving my mini goal when- (e.g. I find a healthy soup that I enjoy eating and is quick and easy to make.)
  • I will reward myself for achieving this by –  (e.g. buying a new bikini in my goal size 10) ——————————————————————————
  • The obstacles I may face are (e.g. not finding a recipe I like or can quickly or easily cook)————————————————————————————————————————————————————
  • To over come this I’m going to-  (e.g. try a few different recipes on my day off, when I can take my time and then make  a big pot of my preferred soup and freeze for the rest of the week) —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
  • I will review my progress ( e.g. in 2 weeks’ time on the 15th of July)——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
  • This is the progress I’ve made (e.g. I’ve lost 4 pound)————————————————————————————————————————–
  • I will be ready to tackle my next mini goal when (e.g. I have formed the habit of having home made soup for lunch everyday for 2 weeks)———————————————————————————————————
  • My next mini goal is (e.g. to start weight bearing /resistance exercise/ to join my local gym or buy some resistance weights I can use at home or do push-ups & sit-ups)——————————————————-

And then start the 12- step process above again for measuring that mini goal. Until eventually you will be on the path of achieving all 5 of your Moving Forward Changes.

Don’t dive straight in and try to achieve all 5 Moving Forward Goals at once, start with the easiest one first then, once you feel you are in good stride with that mini goal move onto the next, ideally leaving two weeks between them.

Don’t forget to keep a journal or diary of- your goal, your progress, your setbacks and success!

Let me know your goals moving forward, you can tweet me #My5MovingForward or DM me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. When you share your goals, you make then real and commit so share with your friends and family too

Or if you’d like 1:1 help in achieving your goals email me today emma@happychildcare.club or take a look at our  Mumatherapy page for more information. link here

Until next time Stay Present,

Em x

Photo by Yukie Emiko Obi Onyeador Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis Rawan Yasser Yulissa Tagle on Unsplash