Tag Archives: tips

Tips for starting kindergarten.

Tips for starting ‘big school’
(Otherwise known as kindergarten)

My little man is starting kindergarten next year (approx 4 months away), and my ovaries are bursting with pride and sadness.

Pride because he is growing into a beautiful little man who has so many great qualities. Sad because he is growing up too fast.

I’ve been thinking about the difference between preschool and kindergarten and what he will need to learn or know before starting his big school experience.

Here are a few tips that I have come up with.

What tips do you have that makes the transition easier?

– Eat in a timely manner
Currently his preschool provides the meals and they all sit down together to eat. They serve themselves and clear their plates etc which makes getting him ready for preschool just that bit quicker. Big school they need packed lunches and I’m pretty sure the teachers don’t go around telling the children to eat, so therefore he needs to learn to eat his recess in that time frame and his lunch also within the given time frame.

They are need to know how to open and close their lunch boxes including lids and various containers along with snap lock bags and cling wrap if the school they are attending allows. Most schools are now ‘plastic free’ which means only containers with lids etc and no cling wrap or snap lock plastic bags.

– Toilet locks and going alone
At preschool there are no cubicles. They all use the bathroom together, it’s unisex and it’s open. I was recently told to teach him how to lock a cubicle behind himself for privacy. Also being able to undo their own buttons and zippers on pants if need be without an adult assisting.

– Belongings
My little guy is pretty good with not loosing things. Good to the extent that if he can’t find something his owns, he gets worried that he will be in trouble of me for loosing it. Perhaps that’s my downfall with getting him to be responsible for his own things at such an early age? They do need to be responsible for their belongings st school because even though there may be a ‘lost and found’. If a hat is left in the playground, it most likely won’t be handed in or have a teacher do the after school rounds and find all forgotten’ items.

– Sharing
Being able to share toys, pencils and other items. Knowing when to give another a turn, and when it’s their turn without having a tantrum or meltdown. I think most kids by the age of 3 have this down pat, however it is a good skill to polish up on prior to being in a larger group scenario.

– Social Skills
Being able to interact with other children and play together rather than simultaneously. I think social skills is important to know, but again these children are only 4 and 5 years old. Are we expecting too much from them? At what stage should we expect good social skills?

– Alphabet and Numbers
I recently read somewhere that children by the age of 5, should be able to count to 30 and know their alphabet? My 4 year definitely knows his alphabet but can only count to 20-25 without getting the sequence jumbled?

– Name writing
Do they need to be able to write their first and last name? Again my 4 year old can write his first name, and really quite neatly. He jumbled up our surname but it also has 6 letters in it. Is this a priority?

– Listening to instruction
Paying attention to the teachers whomever is speaking. Using listening ears and sitting quietly without being easily distracted or distracting others. Now call me silly or naive, but I would assume that most 4/5 year old can still be easily distracted? My little man can sit quietly, but not for hours on end. He will sit through a movie, start to finish but can also be distracted in a group activity. Does this mean he isn’t ready for kindergarten or will this be something that they work with him on and expect that young ones sometimes get distracted?

Can you add to my list?

Or what do you think is important?

Stress free toddler!

Being a parent is the hardest job I’ve ever had, however by far the most rewarding.

All the academic qualifications can never prepare you for being a parent. A new adventure and or challenges on a daily or sometimes hourly basis.

Hold tight though, they are only little once and these ‘testing’ times will pass and perhaps we will look back and wonder why we thought they were so hard?

http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/blogs/andrea-nair-connect-four-parenting/20150420/handling-stress-of-having-toddler

Personal Blogs.

Personal blogs.

A friend of mine was recently asking me how I started my blog and why.

Well I started it as something ‘on the side’ of being a SAHM. Don’t get me wrong being a SAHM keeps me very busy and I love it, but sometimes I enjoy interacting with others including other adults.😉 I know some may have the opinion of ‘mmmm your not interacting if it’s words on a page’ well I am, I may not get a verbal response that I can hear, but I do get loads of emails and a few are brave enough to write comments on either the FB page or webpage. I feel done are worried about commenting publicly as there are many people out there just waiting to ‘shut down’ other people’s thoughts and feelings. What we must remember is that everyone had thoughts and feeling so why shouldn’t they feel like they are now to express them without fear or scrutiny?

I explained to her that my blog is me expressing my stories and experiences and allowing others who have also experienced similar to relate. Quite often people are a ‘closed book’ and don’t always want to speak up or feel they can share personal experiences without being judged.

I write about many different things in order to capture a larger audience. I have readers who are not mothers, but enjoy my recipes and fitness posts (sorry I haven’t posted any of late, I promise I will again soon). I have readers who are male who possibly like the female perspective, and well yes I have female and other mothers read my blog.

My readers come from everywhere any anywhere. I currently have over 6000 readers / followed (whom I’m very grateful for) across many mediums including, Twitter, linked in, Facebook and my webpage and rest assured they are not all my friends. I personally don’t know that many people. 😉

Social media and blogging is a way of people communication on various topics, subjects and issues. It reaches a very broad and large audience. I read many blogs and I sure others do also.

I was googling ‘personal blogs’ and was reading on why others start their blogs.

Below is an interesting perspective on personal blogs and how and why some start.

12 Personal Blogging Tips

Helping your child deal with frustrations.

Such a great read!

My little guy can become frustrated and angry, he is only 3, and as a result he ‘flips out’.

This is a result of many things.

– The fact that he cannot articulate his feelings at this stage. He doesn’t really know what he is feeling except happy or angry or sad. ‘Feelings’ are generally acknowledged around age 5/6.

– He cannot control his emotions properly. This is something that is generally learnt around 4/5 years old.

– He could be feeling overwhelmed.

– He may be overtired. I don’t always know if he is waking through the night. A disruptive sleep can make anyone short tempered.

– Hunger. He could be having a ‘growth spurt’ and may very well be hungry. Or he could be too busy playing or doing something that he doesn’t eat enough. We can only monitor so much so if he isn’t eating properly he may not be able to deal with various situations. I know I’m I’m hungry. I can get angry and not even realise!

A great tip that I’ve learnt from this article to help children deal with anger and frustration is creating a ‘Mad List’. I’ve copied the paragraph from this article explaining ‘Mad List’. Very easy to do and I think, would be useful.

Mad list – When my son was younger, a mad list was the secret to helping him vent his frustration. Young children need to vent (just like adults), but they don’t yet know how to do that. Screaming and flailing feels good in the moment, so they go with what works.

Ask your child to name all of the things that make him mad. Write down his list on a piece of paper while he vents his emotions. Provide empathy and understanding while you do this. Kids need to feel understood, and a simple, “Ooh, that makes me mad, too!” shows that you get it. Once the list is complete, ask your child to tear it into tiny pieces (this provides a much needed physical release of emotion) and throw them in the air. Then collect the pieces together and throw them out for good.

Go on. Do yourself a favour, click on this link and have a read.
You may already use these strategies.
You may have already heard of them.
If you haven’t, perhaps try them?
If you already use them, how have they worked for you?

Id love to hear your experiences and thoughts on these.

http://www.pbs.org/parents/expert-tips-advice/2016/02/teach-frustration-tolerance-kids/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=pbsparents&utm_campaign=parents_expert

Summer tips!

So with summer just around the corner, a lot of friends are starting to work towards their summer body.

Or if your like me, your trying to shift those last couple of baby kilos.

I know I’ve posted some foods calorie counts previously to help with weight loss goals.

Below I’ve listed a few easy ‘switches’ that can help you achieve these goals sooner!

Always remember to achieve your weight loss goals, eat healthy and your still allowed ‘cheat meals’ or snacks on occasion. With all weight loss, it is recommended that some exercise is included. Be it a walk or a class of some sort or simply running around with your children.

You can loose weight with a strict diet and without exercise however exercise will speed up the process and you will get results sooner!

Not to mention feel better as exercise releases endorphins and will give you more energy and a heather mind.

🙂

Switch a full cream milk in your flat white (123 calories) to skim milk flat white (68 calories)

Switch 100g of roast duck (313 calories) for 100g of roast chicken (152 calories)

Switch a can of lemonade (124 calories) for a diet lemonade (2 calories) – or even better sparkling water (0 calories)

Switch a pita bread pocket (190 calories) for a slice of Mountain Bread (75 calories)

Switch a glass of tonic water (135 calories) for a glass of soda water (0 calories)

Switch a 100ml scoop of Connoisseur
Vanilla ice cream (224 calories) for the same size scoop of Peter’s Light and Creamy Vanilla (75 calories)

Switch a tablespoon of regular cottage cheese (45 calories) for a tablespoon of low fat cottage cheese (26 calories)

Switch 80g of mashed potato (85 calories) for 80g of mashed cauliflower (19 calories)

Switch a tablespoon of sour cream (70 calories) for a tablespoon of fat free Greek yoghurt (13 calories)

Switch a cup of regular soy milk (185 calories) for a cup of light soy milk (95 calories)

Another tip – always read the labels of food as sometimes when something is low or no fat, it has a higher sugar count.

And what happens if we don’t burn the sugar ??? It turns to fat!

A few easy exercises!

 

 

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So it’s a beautiful sunny Sunday!

Im feeling rather lazy today but this weather is so lovely I feel I need to be enjoying it!

Hubby and I have just returned from a quick escape to the hunter valley to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary.

Yes I over indulged but it was worth it! You will never get any food guilt from me 😉 I love and enjoy food!

So here are a few quick and easy  exercises to help me feel a little more energetic!

Remember exercising and being fit should be fun and not seen as a chore or something you do simply to look good, being healthy starts with a healthy mindset.

If you have some exercise tips, email me. I’d love to share them.

What to pack in your hospital bag?

What to pack in your hospital bag?

Ok so my little guy is now 21 months and we are trying for number 2, however many of my friends are already expecting their second arrival – literally within a couple days / weeks.

My recent play dates have bought up the old conversations of ‘Are you prepared?’ ‘Have you packed your hospital bag?’ ‘Is your nursery ready?’ And many other similar questions. Which has made me think, what is it we really need to pack for our impending arrival? After the nursery is all done and the car seat is installed. What else? What do we really need to pack whilst we are delivering or staying in hospital after the baby arrives?

My bag was overpacked. I thought I needed ‘everything’ which basically meant I packed ‘everything’ which I didn’t actually use.

A few of my tips on what to pack, and what I think are essential are below. You may want to pack a few extras but next time round, I certainly won’t be taking a huge overpacked bag.

My first suggestion is 1 bag not huge but make is large enough for a smaller bag inside for bub. We do need things for them also 🙂

1. Comfy big undies.
Yes big full briefs undies. No g strings or Brazilians required. If you have a c section you need something that won’t sit on your cut, make sure they are not low cut. If you have a vaginal delivery you don’t want a g string incase you are cut and have stitches. You will also bleed so will need to wear sanitary pads so having underwear that caters for these is mandatory.

2. Sanitary pads.
Preferably with wings to keep them in place. Also I suggest thin ones that you would use on a heavy cycle. This is because you can bleed a lot and don’t want ‘leakage’.

3. Loose fitting and comfortable clothing.
Leave your skirts and dresses at home. If you are breast feeding, you don’t want to be lifting your dress up or pulling it down to feed. I found the loose elastic waste pants very comfy and I wore t shirts or button front shirts.

4. Maternity bras.
If you are planning on breast feeding, these are very useful. My breasts were huge! Underwire was very uncomfortable and with huge breasts you need support. Unfortunately that means wider straps and wider back clasps to help elevate any back pain but also provide comfort and support. Not very sexy but your body will thank you.

5. Snacks.
Yes you will be waking for feeds every few hours and you need to keep eating for energy levels in order to care for your new baby. I once heard that going through labour and giving birth is like running a marathon. You need to replenish your body. I packed nuts, jelly beans, muesli bars, protein bars and a drink bottle. I prefer to drink water but if you want to pack electro light drinks go for it. Pack what you will eat as you don’t get room service at 2am.

6. Thongs / slippers.
Comfy but practical shoes are essential. Nothing that you need to tie up or bend over to put on. You may be sore and swollen, best to be prepared. I found slip on shoes easy, ballet flats, thongs whatever you find comfortable. You may want to go for small walks within the hospital so wearing something on your feet is essential.

7. Toiletries.
Your usual toiletry bag is fine. Remember toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturiser, deodorant – just the usual. Again pending how you deliver will depend on when you can ‘freshen up’ I have birth at 5:21pm and was showering approx 9pm after my epidural wore off. I longed for a shower and moisturiser!

8. Nappies.
Yes some hospitals provide these but not all. Best pack your own just incase. Remember newborn size. I packed 10. You never know how many you may need to change. I was also only in hospital 2 nights.

9. Singlets or clothing for bubba.
Again newborn size. Remember the baby will be wrapped in a blanket which the hospital will provide so no fashion statements needed. You may want to pack some warm onesies (all in ones) if your due in winter but make them practical. The baby is wrapped so no one will see their ‘outfit’. You will need a ‘going home’ outfit though. Again keep it practical.

10. Book or magazines.
Yes I know, rest when the baby sleeps however after your guests leave you may not be tired, you do defiantly need rest though and sometimes reading and browsing magazines is a form of resting. Just make the reading light hearted.

Flat tummy? Coming up!

Are you obsessed with having a flat tummy?

Here are a few quick exercises that will have your tummy flatter in no time! However remember exercise is only part of the equation, diet is a huge factor in keeping your tummy flat! Certain foods contain gasses that can keep you bloated and too many fatty foods simply ‘keep you fat’ ….!

Give these a go, hold each exercise for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times each exercise. Make it fun and do it circuit style, do the first exercise holding for 30 seconds, then the second exercise again holding for 30 seconds and continue on until all 5 exercises are completed. Repeat each exercise 5 times!

First exercise –

Get in a forearm plank with abs engaged and feet wider than hips on sliding discs. (Or put some socks on) Raise hips in the air as high as possible, sliding feet in together, and holding abs in sucking them towards your spine. Return to starting position.

Second exercise –

Lie face up with hands clasped behind head, legs extended about hip-width apart keep feet flexed. Engage abs and sit up, bending knees and sliding heels into body. Slowly lower back to starting position. If this hurts your bottom / tail bone, use a low pillow to cushion.

Third exercise –

Lie facedown with arms overhead, open your legs hip-width apart, toes pointed. Extend spine and lift chest off the floor, sliding arms downward towards your sides as your body lifts. Return to starting position.

Forth exercise –

Get on all fours with your toes tucked under again in socks. Tighten your abs and lift knees a few inches off the floor, keeping hips in line with shoulders. Swivel your knees slightly to the right, pivoting feet, keeping shoulders over hands then swivel knees to the left. Continue, alternating sides. Instead if holding this for 30 seconds each, try rotating to each side holding at each side for 10 seconds.

Fifth exercise –

Get in a side elbow plank position with right elbow bent under shoulder, left hand behind head, legs and hips straight keeping your feet flexed. Extend left leg in front of hip (keep knee as straight as possible, bending to modify if needed) and touch toes with left hand. Return to starting position. Switch sides to complete set.

Remember feeling toned and confident is also your mindset, thinking healthy, eating healthy and living healthy are the most important things you can do for yourself!

Also remember that being thin is not always healthy, a lot of people starve them self to be thin. This will have adverse affect long term as starving your body is mainly starving your organs and by starving them you cannot function properly. Eventually your organs will ‘give up’ or ‘shut down’ from lack of nutrients, which we all get from food, eating a well balanced diet is key!

Remember it’s only as hard as you want it to be!

Positive parenting.

Positive parenting

I just came across this great article on positive parenting.

Worth a read. I’ve had a few scared and very judgemental moments where ice wanted to crawl and hide, wish I’d had read this sooner. Great tips on how to deal with such circumstances.

When Children Bite and Strike: 5 Positive Ways To Deal and Heal
Posted by Ariadne Brill

Hitting, pushing, shoving and biting are common ways for preschoolers and toddlers to deal with their emotions. Strikes and bites are often happening because something inside the child, some feeling, like a hiccup, just needs to get out. It could be frustration, upset, sadness, anxiety, fear or a mixed bowl of emotions.

What can we do about it? Very likely, you have heard many suggestions on how to deal with your child’s biting and hitting. Perhaps you have tried time-outs, yelled out of frustration, or taken away a toy. Maybe you have even heard the “bite back” and “strike back” bit of advice but don’t want to go down that path? Would you like to try alternatives based on love, empathy and gentle guidance?

Here are 5 ideas on how to positively deal with a child that hits and bites:

1. Observe: If biting, hitting, pushing has been going on for a little while, chances are you can pin-point some of the situations that bring it about. For a toddler, being upset and not having words to express herself is a common trigger:
For my 20 month old Bella, having toys taken away by her bigger brothers is a sure fire way to get a bite in return. We have worked as a team to instill a habit of “switching” and “asking” for toys as well as respecting when someone is not ready to share.

 

2. Be Pro-Active: Although understanding the reason behind the strike is not a pre-requisite to curbing the problem, being pro-active can reduce the strikes and help our children learn more positive ways to deal with their emotions.
At our weekly playgroup, one 30 month old toddler, Julia*, was keen on hitting my daughter. After the third time, I noticed Julia would strike when I was actively playing with my daughter and Julia was wandering around looking for something to do. Julia would come to strike, her mother would then rush across the room and sternly tell her NO and then walk away again. Julia would move onto the next child she could hit and this cycle would go on and on. The next week, when we started playing with some puzzles, I invited Julia to join us right away. Julia was very happy to do so, and soon her mother joined as well. Julia has not hit Bella for several weeks now – Instead, the girls are learning to play side by side with a bit of guidance.

3. Empathize: If we really take the time to look past the strikes and bites, we can see that the acts are not so much a pre-meditated crimes, but more so outbursts of emotion and a lending a loving ear can help heal the hurt.
When my soon to be 4 year old recently tried kicking and hitting me, I held him close so I wouldn’t get hurt and said “You may not kick or hurt me but I will listen to you. Do you want to tell me what you are feeling?” After some squirming, crying and huffing, he went on to tell me he was really mad. A friend that had been visiting was leaving and he just wasn’t ready to say good-bye. “I hate when people go to their house.” Crying in my arms and having a listening ear was all he needed to recover.

4. Play: For the toddlers as well as for the preschoolers, having an outlet for their frustration, anger or upset is all very important. From roughhousing to playing chase or pillow fights; games that actively allow children to release energy all help prevent biting, hitting and other aggression from building up.
During an unexpectedly long walk up our mountain, my five year old was getting really anxious to get home, he started pestering his brother and poking him (a sign he might start hitting if he gets more worked up.) I suggested we start playing animal safari as we walked. We took turns growling like bears, making elephant noises and lastly roaring like lions. The large breaths of the lion roaring helped Maxi re-focus and relieve some of his energy and soon we were home and nobody had been hurt.

5. Be Firm-Be Kind: Should your child strike you or bite you try to stay calm, show empathy and then with kindness explain the behavior is not alright. Short and descriptive phrases without loaded emotions seem to work best.
“You may not bite your friend. Biting hurts. How about we try to play together?“
“Do not bite. Please try to ask for help.”
“You seem very mad. Hitting is not ok. Do you need something?”

Biting and hitting are a normal part of early childhood and although many parents feel ashamed or embarrassed by this particular behavior, for children it is really just like learning to drink from an open cup, holding a spoon or riding a bicycle…it takes a bit of time, love and lots of patience.

How do you feel when your child hits or bites?

Have you been able to help your child curb biting or hitting?

What has worked for your family?