Friday, 15 December 2017

Helping your Little One Overcome their Fear of Water

Tips to help your child overcome their fear of water
Water image, thanks to Shutterstock

Does your child have an unprecedented and completely unexplained fear of water? Whether it’s bath time that puts fear into your child or the very idea of swimming, when your child has developed a phobia it can be debilitating for the both of you.

But don’t despair, there are ways that you can help your child face their fear – without them even realising it! Here you’ll find a few tips of what might help.

Bathroom tips
Think about what is the cause of the fear. Is the bath too large and empty? Is the bath too crowded and full of toys? Is the bath uncomfortable and slippery so your child is worried about hurting themselves? Check out this website if you’re looking for a new bathroom suite that’s kid friendly.

Once you have figured out what his/her fear or fears are, find creative ways to help them overcome their fear(s). One way to help your child overcome their fears is to make the water more enticing -

  1. Try purchasing special toys that are just for use in the bath. 
  2. Fill the bath with bubbles or change the colour of the water with special water colour tablets.  
  3. If your child is afraid of getting into a full tub, try putting your child into the bathtub and then filling the tub with water. Let him/her turn on the water faucet so that they feel like they can control the situation.
  4. Have you heard of Bath jelly? It's so much fun and sure to help your little one want to bathe.
  5. Or why not get in with them!
If your child is afraid of the drain – and worried they might get sucked away like the water, then remove them from the bath before you pull the plug. You can also then show them that the plug is much too small to drain them away, and demonstrate this with some of their toys or your hands.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Maru Swimwear - Perfect any Time of the Year!

I have to admit that I get so frustrated when I head to the high street shops in Winter to buy one of the girls a new swimsuit and find there is nothing available. Maybe a plain 'school' navy swimsuit that is so dowdy it should be for the over 70's if we are lucky but certainly nothing my trendy 10 year old's would like to wear.

Girl's Swimwear
Neither of my girls like to wear bikinis, they both like a full suit but they are interested in them being comfortable, colourful and stylish. Thankfully online retailer Maru is able to help any time of the year. They have swimwear for men, women, girls and boys and offer both practical plain coloured swimwear suitable for school or lessons and also gorgeous brightly coloured suits to make swimming fun but not frivolous. Oh no, their swimwear is created for the serious swimmer who needs their suit to stay in place and not distract from the speed or stroke of their swimming.

Monday, 11 December 2017

La Petite Soirée - The Most Amazing Family Show

La Petite Soirée was everything I hoped it would be and more. This extraordinary cabaret show deserves every award and glowing review it has ever received.

Upon arriving at the beautifully refurbished Aldwych theatre in central London my family's expectations were a mixed bag. I'd done some research so I sort of knew what we were heading in to see but my family had no real idea apart from the little I'd told them and you really can't do it justice until you've seen the spectacular for yourself. The girls were up for the ‘posh circus’ as they'd named it and I could see that my husband and 14 year old son were reserving judgement.

We headed in to collect our tickets, not knowing what the PR agency had booked for us and were pleased to find we had ringside seats. These are general admission seats so we were given a wristband and able to take a seat wherever we fancied within the ringside area. Our arrival at 2.40pm (20 minutes before the show started) gave us a good pick of the seats but the closest we could get was 4 rows from the front. I'd imagine you’d need to be at the theatre about another 20 minutes earlier to get front row seats but of course you also need to be prepared to join in and be a good sport if you sit in the front row!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Completing the One4all Challenge - What will we Do?

Recently I wrote about how the people at One4all Gift Card had challenged me to treat one of my kids to a truly memorable Christmas activity.

After checking out the One4all website I discovered that we had hundreds upon hundreds of options open to us for great things to buy or do. I didn't want to use the money on the card to just buy things that might be used once and then forgotten so I decided that the bulk of the money would be spent on a night away for the two of us. When I had asked Miss E what she wanted for Christmas this year she had said 'time with you mummy' and this seems the perfect way to fulfil that wish.

Hotel Stay over
I discovered that I could book hotels via the Superbreak site using my One4all card, so after a good look round the site, I decided to book the Macdonald Frimley Hall Hotel and Spa in Surrey. My husband and I have stayed at this 4* hotel before and had a wonderful time and it is only about 30 minutes drive from my parents. This is perfect as Miss E had said she'd love her Nanny to be involved in her treat too, so this will be an extra nice surprise for her. The one night stay for the both of us booked via Superbreak is £110.

Images thanks to Macdonald Frimley Hall Hotel

Monday, 4 December 2017

12 Ways to get your Teen off their Tech this Christmas Break

Teen with Mobile Image courtesy of Shutterstock

In 2017 I think most parents of teenagers are suffering from the same thing. Deaf ears. My son doesn't hear a word I say when he has his headphones on and is in the virtual world of game play with his mates online. Manage to get him offline and he'll wander downstairs grunt a hello and grab his phone from his pocket and be at it again. Sound familiar? Yes, I thought so but fear not as I have some great ideas for you to help get your teen off their devices for at least part of the Christmas holiday.

I wouldn't recommend a full tech-free fortnight though as I think we need to be realistic as parents and nowadays our teens very much live in the digital world. Some online time is fine, that's how many of them stay connected to their friends when there isn't any school but we know that a full-day online is too much and they will just end up withdrawing even more than usual. A good balance is what we're after.

You might find it a little hard to implement changes if you've never restricted your teens tech access before but perseverance and open conversations go a very long way. Make sure you share your concerns about excess screen time with your child so they know why you are doing this and be willing to limit your own time online too, so you are setting a good example.

Try to give your teen the choice of what tasks they want to do instead of dictating to them as they will buy in to it more if they feel they have choices. I always find that once my son gets in to other tasks and puts his tech down he actually ends up enjoying them and starts self-regulating himself on his tech anyway.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Making Simple but Beautiful Christmas Tree Mini Wreaths

Tutorial for making Christmas wreath decorations that are a fantastic gift, they are simple enough for a child to make but are cheap and look really effective.

Miss E and I have been making some Christmas wreath decorations to gift to her teachers and Godparents this year. I'm really pleased with how they have come out and think they are a fab gift. The best thing is that these were made by a 10 year old and are really simple and cheap to make.

Here's what you need -
  • Curtain rings (wood ones as they ave the metal hoop at the top) We used ones compatible with a 28mm pole and picked these up in Homebase for £1.29 for 6
  • Wool in any colour you fancy, green if you want them to look like traditional wreaths (£1 in Poundland)
  • Multi-size gems - I bought 2 packs of different size ones for 99p each from Hobbycraft
  • 3mm ribbon in a colour of you choice (40p per metre)
  • Hot glue gun (or another firm glue)
  • A pair of scissors
Tutorial for making Christmas wreath decorations that are a fantastic gift, they are simple enough for a child to make but are cheap and look really effective.

How to make the Christmas Wreath Decorations

1.  Cut a long length of wool. Tie it on to the curtain hoop close to the metal ring. Take care to wrap the wool around the hoop, pushing it close to itself every so often and ensuring you keep a tight hold. If you run out of string, you can tie another piece on and the knot will sit at the back so it won't show, Once you have finished the full hoop tie off the string around the metal hoop and make sure it is secure.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Staying Focused on Gratitude #R2BC

It's not a good start when you try to write a gratitude post and hit a blank, is it? I think it might just be because I'm feeling tried and wiped out. It's that time of the month again and I feel as if all the energy has left my body. Last night I literally got about 3 hours sleep broken into about 45 minute chunks and my operation in January can't come soon enough. I pray this will sort out my issues.

I've just had a look through my diary and that's all it takes to remember how much I have to be thankful about -

  • Good session at the gym last week
  • I had an enjoyable evening with JJ at the church quiz last Friday
  • The girls and I went to see the local village panto and it was good fun (if a little long)
  • Sunday the kids and I visited my parents and it was ace to see them and go out for a yummy lunch
  • I started a new voluntary role on Monday and enjoyed getting to know the trustees of the charity
  • We had a good meeting to pray for the children that we coach for the charity TLG
  • I've bought my last Christmas present, so now onto the wrapping
  • The girls and I have made some fab Christmas decorations for their teachers and God parents
  • I got some long-due cleaning obs done - the windows, frames and banisters are all now gleaming!
  • A spot of colouring and bible reading over a good cuppa whilst I waited to pick the kids up from school

Life is good and I just have to remember to keep looking for the blessings when I feel tired and poorly.

Wishing you a good week, Mich xx

Come and Join In!

I'd love to read your Reasons to be Cheerful and it is as easy as 1, 2, 3 to join in -

1. Link up a post about something that is making you super happy/ grateful. It can be in this style or it can be anything you like - a recipe, a tutorial, a from the heart, a list - it's your blog, you choose

2. Add the #R2BC badge onto your post or blog so that people can easily find the linky and join in too if they fancy

3.  Share the love. This is the really important bit. Please don't just link and run, comment on at least a couple of posts and why not share with #R2BC too?

I'll stop by all linked up posts to comment and I'll share on twitter too

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Christmas is Coming - Lets Get Crafting! 40 Fab Ideas

There's not too long now, I am officially OK with the Christmas music being on the radio and walking in to shops and seeing the decorations everywhere. In fact, come next weekend and our house might even be decorated too and I've just started the wrapping. Yay!

Don't fear though there is still long enough if you want to get your craft on and here I share 40 wonderful craft ideas to give you loads of crafting inspiration.

First up - how about 7 craft ideas for older children over on Cats Yellow Days? Which is a guest post from the fab Maggy of Red Ted Art. Maggy is Miss E's favourite YouTuber so I know she will love these star origami bowls.

40 ideas of great Christmas craft activities that you can do with your kids. Great variety and no massive skills required
Image thanks to Red Ted Art

Becky at Baby Budgeting shares the simple formula for making magic reindeer dust/ food, which seems to be a new idea over the last decade but I think it adds a lovely bit of magic to Christmas Eve.

I'm never very good at biscuit baking but the kids and I are definitely going to have a try at these hand-made and decorated Christmas Tree biscuits. They make super gifts for teachers or Guide group leaders, it is nice to give something handmade.