Sunday, 1 August 2021

Kensington Gardens

Our first London outing was Kensington Gardens.
We headed off on Thursday to meet up with Kelly and the girls and have a picnic in the sun.
Noah wasn't with us, as he had gone off to work with my dad for the day.
My dad works in the Natural History Museum, so Noah was having a whole day of fun himself.


Bea had her first-ever train journey, and she enjoyed it much more than her usual car journeys, where she normally screams from the instant her bottom touches her car seat until the moment it leaves it.


After we had our little picnic the kids all ran around the pond and then fed the swans



Once everyone had finished their lunch and were done running around the pond and feeding the ducks, we headed off to the Princess Diana Memorial Park, I'd never been before but it has been on my bucket list of places to go.


It really did not disappoint. We had to queue up to get in but we weren't in it long, and the kids kept themselves entertained. Once we got closer to the entrance the girls showed the boys the fairy tree, they were all very impressed as was I!


When we got in, Kelly, my mum and I headed off to find a place to sit down and the kids all kicked off their shoes and ran off for an adventure.

For a day that was meant to be all rain, we got really lucky as it was beautiful and we all managed to catch a bit of a tan!




The park was amazing, the best park the boys have been to. They all loved pretending to be the lost boys from Peter Pan, as it was so hot kelly started a water fight, which resulted in all the kids being drenched to the skin! Obviously, none of them complained, and once our kids had started a lot more started their own water fights.



Unfortunately towards the end of the day, Oscar cut all the back of his leg up by falling off one of the pirate ships and Alex got punched by another child in the park. So we decided that we would head off on a walk and explore the rest of the gardens.


On the way out of the play park, we saw the carousel so cheer the boys up we let them all on it, it did the trick and everyone came off much happier and more willing to go and run around the rest of the gardens.

We went in search of some parakeets, as Kelly said they were really tame and would come and take bird feed out of your hands.

We did see some flying about but none came down for the seeds, so the kids all fed the millions of pigeons instead.

We at Kensington Gardens till at least six o'clock, so before we jumped back on the tube to head home we treated the kids to McDonald's dinners!
Definitely a winning end to a winning day!



 

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

A Parents’ Guide To A Levels

 If your child’s looking to go to university the most common way is studying A Levels either at a Sixth Form College or through the high school they’re currently at. 

It’s a huge change from their GCSEs and they’ll need more of a helping hand as they go through them, which is why parents should be clued in. Here’s a guide to A Levels from this Sixth Form College in Hampshire.




They’re a much bigger jump from GCSEs

While GCSEs are a challenge for young students, there’s a much steeper hill to climb when they reach A Levels. Your children should be prepared for such a big jump when they start the first year and choose subjects that they have a defined interest in that they know they’ll excel in. 

Look at A Level specifications

Take a look at what’s expected of each student when they take a subject at A-Level. This will give your child a gauge of how much they should be prepared for when they begin studying. Past exam papers and subject specifications from exam boards will help with this; there are a few different exam boards that your child may encounter so make sure they’re looking up the correct curriculum.

Don’t completely abandon the work your child did on their GCSEs

In parts, the curriculum for A-Levels will directly lead from what students learn in their GCSEs. It’s tempting to get rid of all the revision work after you’ve finished it and got the grades you wanted, but at least keep the work from the subjects you’re going to continue studying.

Get a headstart - start revising!

Your child will have a big break from their GCSEs before starting A-Levels and they deserve the chance to have time off. However, having 2 weeks head start with a bit of revision of what they learnt for GCSEs will take the load off when they return to school or college, and be a kickstart to their confidence.



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Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Pretty flowers, swimming and lazy days

School is officially over for the summer and we're still homeless.
We have been staying at Jon's parents whilst the boys were still at school but now we have ventured down to London to stay with my parents until we can move into the new house, which hopefully will be in a couple of weeks.


In the run-up to the holidays, I had to do a bit of running around getting bits of the information to the estate agents and whilst doing so I found the cutest little sweet shop in Downham market called Mabels, so I treated us all to a couple of bags of pick a mix.


Bea also had her first dip in the swimming pool which she really enjoyed, but I couldn't keep her in for too long as the sun was too hot and I didn't have her UV suit as that's packed away, I have since managed to buy one from Sainsbury's, so once we're back at the in-laws ill be able to use it. 


Bea also had a little playdate with my friends and one of their younger sons.
She wasn't too fussed, but it was nice to get out of the in-laws and see some of my friends.


Just before we headed to my mums I went and had my hair cut and coloured.
I can't really rave about my haircut experience as it wasn't all that great, my hair looks nice enough and all the dead ends are gone but just wasn't what I really wanted, but I did get some nice bumble & bumble treats to use.


The boys have all started doing martial arts on a Saturday rather than twice throughout the week due to the move, so Jon and I get two hours with Bea to do as we please, so last week we went for coffee at the Norfolk Deli Cafe and we were really impressed with their new flower wall.


I've been buying some nice little bits for the new house, I really can't wait to do Bea's room!
There are just so many nice bits on Etsy, I've had to put my card away to stop me from buying it all.


We took the boys to Sculthorpe nature reserve last Sunday for a stroll and it was lovely, it was nice getting some fresh air and seeing the boys off their consoles and looking at nature.
Unfortunately we couldn't peel Noah away so he stayed with Jon's parents.

                                                                                                   





I'm hoping to do a few trips into London whilst we're here, it's just a case of planning it and making sure I have someone around to lend a hand as Jon is still in Norfolk working.

 

Tips for Discussing Peer Pressure with Your Child

Your child may be pressured in beneficial ways, like trying a new activity for the first time or joining a club with friends they know. 

But there are also other ways your child can be pressured into doing things that worry parents often - skipping a school lesson, cheating on a school test or even more extreme things such as alcohol or shoplifting. 

The teenage years are turbulent for a lot of parents, but there are healthy ways to approach your child and have conversations with them about things you’re worried about.


 

Here are some ways to talk to your child about peer pressure and strategies to overcome them from this independent school in Hertfordshire.

Talking to your child

There are a few ways to approach this situation. Start by talking calmly to your child about their feelings. When you’re a teenager a lot of emotions can be at play, but allowing your child to be able to express themselves freely will help you understand them too. 

It’s important to acknowledge your child’s feelings regardless of what you may feel about them.

 

Knowing your child’s friends will help you gauge what interests they have and what your child might also sway towards in time. 

Invite them over for a sleepover or for dinner to better understand their relationship with your child and encourage honest but relaxed conversations. 

Your child will also appreciate you taking an interest in their lives.

Strategies

Pay attention to your child’s thoughts and feelings. Sometimes they may come home reserved or upset about something and run-up to their bedroom. 

This is when you should come to their aid and ensure you can identify your child’s feelings.

 

Model conversations that encourage your child to say no. Show that saying no is an acceptable response to a situation that they’re not comfortable with. 

Practice saying no with your child and praise your child for making healthy and responsible choices when they’re identified.


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Monday, 26 July 2021

How to Raise a Resilient Child

With a pandemic, huge changes to normal life and plenty of common struggles in school for your child to tackle - it can admittedly be a lot for them to handle. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a curveball for a lot of children if they’re not able to be resilient and focused, but with that and other stresses in life, it can be difficult without proper direction.



 

In this guide, we look at ways to develop resilience in your child, courtesy of this prep school in Hertfordshire.

Teach your child to recognise feelings

When children can name and describe their emotions, they’re more likely to connect these feelings towards strategies that will make them become more focused individuals. Speak to them about these feelings and suggest ways that they can combat negative thoughts or emotions. Examples of ways to handle emotions are meditating, doing exercise, going for a walk or helping around the home - activities that distract the mind.

Build a supportive relationship with your child

Promote a positive environment for your child so that they feel comfortable and more likely to open up to you if they feel upset or have a number of conflicting thoughts. Show them that it’s okay to be upset about things but also encourage openness between each other. The more you encourage this, the better your child will be at handling different situations.

Show your child coping strategies

At some point, your child will struggle with something where you’re unable to help. In these situations, it’s wise to practice coping mechanisms. Having a series of strategies in your child’s bank can be used to refer to when they’re handling bouts of stress or feeling overwhelmed will help when you’re not around. Suggest going for walks, take part in regular sports activities and extracurricular activities to help test their social skills and handling areas of conflict. Remind them to access these when they’re in distress, but also show that you’re a phone call away should they need you.


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Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Helping Your Child Settle Into A New School


A new school awaits your child and so does a whole range of nerves, new students, different subjects and teachers to get used to. 

Whether they’re changing schools in-between years or advancing to high school it can be a daunting prospect that can be made easier if there are a few changes made at home. We’ve teamed up with an institution that specialises in International Education to provide a few ways you can help your child as a parent.


Make the school drop-off easy on them

When they’re younger the school drop-off should be as stress-free as it can be. Arriving 10 minutes early may help your child manage the struggle of dealing with hundreds of other parents and children arriving at the same time. Alternatively, say goodbye to them from home and let them go with a friend or a relative to drop them off if they associate home with being safe and secure. 

Take the pressure off them when they’re at home

With your child being a bit more stressed when they go to a new school, they may be acting differently when they’re at home. This could be because they’re venting out anger or general stress from school - allow this at your own discretion. 

They could be holding in a lot of emotions from their first few weeks at a new school and until they settle in they may be reacting differently. The key is to be a bit more lenient when this happens until they begin to get used to their new routine.

Keep an eye on their routine

There are a few changes to their morning schedule, but the foundations will still be there. Check in to make sure your child’s having enough sleep, going to bed at the right time and is feeling well in the mornings. 

Food is also integral too; you may be worried if your child starts to eat less but try to give them some pick-me-ups throughout the day instead - like adding their favourite snack to their lunchbox.




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Thursday, 8 July 2021

5 whole months of Bea

5 months already!!
Where is the time going?


5 whole months of exclusively breastfeeding Bea, the longest I've ever made it with any of the kids!
it's now like second nature, on the odd occasion ill get a sore nipple but otherwise, we are all good.


She has found her voice recently and loves to use it, she will chat away to anyone who will listen and if no one wants to, she'll only get louder. Her little personality is really starting to shine through.
She's very cheeky.


At the moment she loves nibbling away at her toes, and she has nearly mastered sitting up unaided.
She can last a minute before she faceplants the floor.


Bea is a proper little bumblebee and loves being outside and looking at all the flowers and hearing the birds tweet away.



We bought Bea her highchair this week, it was something we were going to do once we'd moved but now that's not happening and we are stuck at Jon's parents for a while we decided we just get it as she is pretty much ready to start her weaning adventure.

I love Cosatto so I went with the Heidi design as it suits her bumblebea (see what I did there?!) nature!
Pretty flowers for my little wildflower.
Along with the fab designs, Cosatto do they also come with a four-year guarantee!!
We had a hand-me-down Cosatto highchair for one of the twins and then that went on to be used with Ru and it never ever broke so I know Bea is in good hands with her own one.


I think Bea is ready for weaning now, so in the next couple of days, I'll be starting her messy journey.


She still isn't the best at sleeping but we are getting there, little achievements of being able to put her down in her crib or on the bed for her naps or at bedtime are getting longer and she seems a bit more content without being in my arms constantly.

Things are at a bit of a stand still as we are crammed into Jon's parents and there isn't much room but I would love to get her a bouncearoo as I'm pretty certain she would love that!
Any recommendations on a good one would be helpful.


xxx