Tag Archive | "joyful parenting"

My child is biting…. what do I do?

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My child is biting…. what do I do?

Posted on 13 August 2014 by Kristrun

IMG_2162Let your child know immediately that biting is unacceptable. Use firm, short and simple commands: “No, no biting”. But don’t dwell on it, don’t shout and be careful not to scare your child. Distract the child and try to focus on something else almost in the same moment…. “look, the moon”, and walk away from the scene where the biting took place.Don’t explain why they should not bite, don’t say anything else about the biting and don’t mention it again. You are actively ignoring what happened, and that works! Praise the child for doing other, unrelated things. Make sure to support positive behavior and the child will be a lot less likely to bite again.Remember: toddlers don’t understand the concept of apology until the age of 3 or 4 (depends on the child). By spending time on forcing the toddler to say “I’m sorry”,  you are dwelling on the negative behavior and it’s a lot more likely to happen again. Children don’t care if the attention is positive or negative, just as long as they get your attention. Support and praise positive behavior and actively ignore bad behavior.
It works!
Conchita Amende
Specialist community health nurse (health visitor UK)
To book consultation with our health professional click the link – available as home visit, skype, phone or office visit.

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Travelling with tots

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Travelling with tots

Posted on 18 December 2013 by Kristrun

Ask any parent who is traveling long haul with a little one for the first time what they are most worried about, and the disruption of baby’s sleep routine is likely to be high on the list.
We stagger, zombie-like, through the newborn stage and then slowly but surely, with luck, things settle down and we are soon sleeping for several hours in a row during the night. A few months down the line and how proud and happy we are that a bedtime routine is established and sleep can almost be guaranteed at certain times.
And then we fly across the globe and it all goes out of the window.
Being thousands of miles away from “home” is a reality for many of us, and therefore long haul flights and the resulting disruption is inevitable. With babies and small children, we see jet-lag in its rawest form and there is very little we can do to stop it. Trying to adapt as quickly as possible to the new time zone and plenty of outdoor activity and exposure to daylight can help, but there will be a few days of crazy sleeping and waking up times.
Our best advice? Try not to worry about it. Holidays are a time for fun and to relax with family and friends. Accept help. If you have been up since 4am watching cartoons and reading “Where’s Spot”, then let Grandma watch your precious one while you take a nap during the day.
Don’t fret too much that things will never be the same again. On your return to HK, of course there will be a period of craziness again – in general it takes a day per hour of time difference to lose the jet lag – but your little one will settle back into their regular routine again. It can take up to 2 weeks to establish normality again, so be kind to yourself and try to arrange it so that you have nothing too taxing to attend to on your immediate return. Try to go with the flow.
As for the journey itself, little else strikes such a chord of fear into the heart of any parent than the thought of many hours in a cramped, closed environment with a baby or toddler whilst surrounded by other paying passengers! Again, try to relax – it almost always turns out to be easier than you expected. Ask friends for tips and advice. Lots of healthy snacks, spare clothes (for you and bub), suitable activities (a pack of post-it notes provides hours of sticky but harmless fun), an ipad….. ask around and you will get plenty of age-appropriate advice to make the hours pass as painlessly as possible.
Be reassured that once past a certain age (of child, not parent!), it does become much easier. Flights, dare it be said, can even be fun.
Most parents of young children (who live overseas) have had one or two disastrous flying adventures. If this happens, take comfort in the fact that it will end and it will make a great story eventually. Also, most of the other poor passengers on the plane will be parents themselves and will (mostly) be sympathetic to your plight.
If all else fails, read Hulda’s blog about her recent trip to Iceland with her two little girls and thank your lucky stars you were not in seats 31F or 31J on flight AY070 on the 9th December!

Happy travels everyone!

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Learning to let go – Trusting your helper

Posted on 12 September 2013 by Kristrun

We want to be great parents. We want to be there for our children every step of the way. Still, for many of us who are living away IMG_1641from home, employing a domestic helper is an inevitability. Hong Kong is just not set up to provide child-care by any other method, and we have no family network around us to help out. Added to this is the common situation of a husband often away traveling with work.

So it is during pregnancy that many of us contemplate this for the first time, and it can be a very strange notion – this idea of a complete stranger sharing your home and personal space. Most women, wisely, employ a helper well before the baby arrives as common sense will tell you that it is best to do his a) whilst you have time and b) so that you can get to know each other before the whirlwind of a newborn comes about.

Your baby comes home, and you hold her close to you and never want to let go. You are appreciative of the fact that your helper is doing the laundry and the cooking, but the idea of her helping with the baby – such an obvious thing before – suddenly seems unfathomable. Indeed, nobody is able to take care of her the way you can.

This is true. But it does not mean your way is the only way. Daddy’s way or helper’s way may not be exactly the same, but it can still work well.

The important thing is to make sure the fundamentals are in place and that your helper knows what you want and what you think is important. They need to know why as well as how. Training is essential. What job do you know offers no training to the chosen candidate? And there are few jobs more important than taking care of a baby.

Arrange for first aid training in Toronto before the baby is born. First aid and CPR, it goes without saying, but baby-care courses are also important. These ladies who have such an important role in our lives may have had a hugely different life-experience to us and the most basic things can differ widely – sleeping, bathing, eating, playing, stimulation, hygiene, priorities in case of an emergency – the list goes on and on.

Some mothers will go it alone, and prefer to do it all themselves, and that is wonderful. But, choosing to accept help is also fine. Neither is the better mother. Indeed, having help enables a lot of women to be better mothers! And of course, for those of us returning to work, there is no other real choice.

It is so important that, as the dust settles, and routines are established, that you find a little time to take a break. Be it for exercise, a hobby, a relaxing bath, or to catch up with a friend. This, for many of us, inevitably means leaving our baby with our helper. Let her do it in small steps – she also needs to get to know your child and to learn his cues and ways. Take a shower, leaving baby with helper. Catch up with emails. Then leave the house for a short time. Build it up, so that all three of you feel confident and comfortable. Your helper needs time to hone these skills.

Letting go is not a sign of weakness. As is often said, it takes a village to raise a child and it just so happens that our helpers are a large part of that village for many of us. Equip them with the knowledge, skill and confidence to do this safely and well. It will then be a positive experience for all.

 

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do you know the truth about motherhood?

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do you know the truth about motherhood?

Posted on 18 March 2013 by Annerley

Do you know the truth about motherhood? I mean, the real truth not the version that is presented in movies and magazine and novels. That version presents a lot of lovely images of sleeping babies and smiling parents and smooth sailing down the path of parenthood … some of which is true. Ok maybe ‘some’ is a slight exaggeration. But it’s not exactly a true and fair representation of what to expect. The reality is a whole different kettle of fish…

Orla Breeze

orla breeze, joyful parenting

 

Hubby:          “Honey I’m home!”

You:             (jolted awake) “Whaat? Who? Who’s that? Where’s the baby?”

Hubby:          “In the Moses Basket. How could you not know that?”

You:             “Ha ha! Of course I knew that. Just kidding. Am completely on top of this mothering lark!”

Hubby:          “What are you wearing?”

You:             “Oh this? It’s a sleepwear/maternity clothes combo. I’m calling it Majamas. You don’t like?”

Hubby:          “It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s em, different. I’m just wondering why you’re still not dressed at 7pm”

You:             “I am dressed.”

Hubby:          “Ooookaaaaay. So what’s for dinner?”

You:             “Hahahahahahaha! Oh you’re hilarious. Wait, that’s not a joke?”

Hubby:          (Hesitatingly) “No? I mean, yes! Yes, it’s a huge joke! Let me get into the kitchen and throw something together.”

You:             “Excellent. Away you go.”

Hubby:          “Oh my God! Have we been burgled?”

If you’d like to read more of this article, click here

 

For full information on her Truth About Motherhood evening, click here!

 

Orla Breeze is the founder of Joyful Parenting — workshops, evenings and individual sessions focussing on simple and effective ways to create a joyful family life. She runs her workshops in collaboration with us here at Annerley. Orla also writes a humorous column on parenting for Playtimes magazine.

 

 

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happy-mom-and-baby

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Simple Steps to Joyful Parenting

Posted on 08 October 2012 by Annerley

 

Switch Your Focus

Spend 5 minutes each day focusing on all the things in your life that are good and positive and beautiful. We have become so used to dwelling on our problems and our pain that it’s no wonder we struggle to see the joy in every moment. As soon as we switch our focus and remind ourselves of all that is ‘right’ in our lives, we begin to attract more positivity into our daily life. The happier we are in ourselves, the more joyful is our parenting.

Stop Worrying

As a parent, we often worry about situations that simply don’t exist. We look at our children and wonder if they would happier if they had more friends or more toys or clothes. Maybe they would be happier if we moved to another country or took more holidays or joined another activity club. But if we simply stop and look at our children right now, it may very well be that they are perfectly happy just as they are. The measure of a child’s happiness is a child’s happiness.

Look Inward

When a baby is born s/he is a blank page so as they grow, they learn all they know from us. How we behave, act and react becomes the norm for them. So when an aspect of your child’s behaviour really irritates you, it’s time to look inwards and ask who they may have learned that from. As soon as you recognise it in yourself and change the way you’re behaving, guess what? Your child’s behaviour changes too.

Quell Your Anger

Children are loving and beautiful beings but let’s face it, are often the complete opposite too! When your child’s repeated behaviour triggers anger within you, this is an opportunity for both of you. For you, it is a chance to realise that you are not controlled by your anger. That you can walk away until you calm down or simply take a deep breath and count to ten before you deal with the situation at hand. As your child watches, s/he learns that it is natural to pause before reacting to a situation and this will greatly assist them as they grow.

Let Go Of Guilt

Everyone loses their temper with their child at one time or another. It’s really very commonplace. But instead of following up with a good dose of guilt, just accept it. Accept that your child has pushed your buttons and that you reacted to that. Then decide what to do about it. Sit down with your child no matter how young and explain that you were tired or upset about something else and that you took it out on them. Tell them that you’re sorry and that you will do your best not to let that happen again. But most of all let them know that it wasn’t their fault. That sometimes grown-ups say things that they really don’t mean. By explaining your behaviour to them, your children will gain a greater understanding of their own. And they’ll never be afraid to say they’re sorry.

Stop Shouting!

If you find yourself shouting at your kids when they don’t seem to be listening, the good news is that you’re not alone. The bad news is, however, that your shouting is unlikely to have any real effect on your kids. Our children see us as we are. If we shout often, they just take that as a normal part of our personality. Why not try the opposite approach? Maybe a calm voice that gives them the option of doing as you ask or losing their favourite toy for a week? You may be surprised at the effect that has on them. It also has the added benefit of reducing your own stress levels.

 

Workshop Facilitator & EFT practitioner, Orla Breeze works with new parents and parents-to-be here at annerley where she runs her popular workshops Daddy 101 & The Truth About Motherhood 

 

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