Encouraging my Children to be Adventurous

‘Fill your life with adventures and with stories to tell’

Children need adventure, they need to experience risk in order to develop their ability to deal with situations and to build up their self confidence. It encourages them to be more resilient and to think for themselves. Whether the adventure be small or big, indoors or out children should be experiencing adventure to build up their skills and to able to assess the danger around them. Not only do children develop trust, empathy and compassion but they  learn to master their own fears and are able to help others get through them.

As parents we should be teaching our children to assess the danger and how to deal with the risk of being adventurous. As much as I want to wrap my boys up in cotton wool and lock them away from any danger I know that I must allow them to experience adventure to gain knowledge and new skills.

I want my boys to have memories of us being adventurous together and hopefully they will last a lifetime and something that they will then take on with their own families.

I want us to visit new places together.

I want us to try new challenges, like rock climbing and diving.

A couple of years ago I took my boys camping in Lee Valley, we travelled around on our bikes and spent the summer nights out walking along the River Lee. It’s a holiday that they still talk about and are constantly requesting to go back. It didn’t cost much and wasn’t a glamorous holiday but it was something we did together as a unit. We cycled along the river bank with an unknown destination, stopping where it took our fancy. We cycled for miles using only our sense of direction to get back. Searched for geocaches. Played hide and seek in the forests. Climbed trees. And picniced in fields.

Enjoying the scenery

It was the first time I had ever gone out cycling alone so far with the boys, but I am so glad that I did it. As we don’t live too far from there, we travelled there and back on our bikes with just clothes in our rucksacks. We had to deal with getting lost, bee stings and how to deal with punctures. It was amazing, in fact I am too scared to go back as I don’t think we could experience another holiday like it.

Now, we’re not the most adventurous family but we still try new things, even if we are scared.

We have hiked up Mount Snowdon as a family  ,entered Mud races, jumped from a crane, been canoeing, open water swimming; not all that adventurous compared to some but it’s a start 🙂

We spent this summer in Malta. The boys went swimming in the sea everyday. They taught themselves to dive, to snorkel and faced their fears by jumping off of cliffs into the crystal clear water below.

I, myself, am not that confident and would call myself a scaredy cat. As I watched my boys jump in but couldn’t face doing it myself. It took me at least a week to pluck up the courage to jump in from about 2 metres high. I was so glad that I did it, my boys just kept hugging me. I felt that I had achieved something, although it was little in comparison to what my boys had been doing. I felt a sense of adrenaline rush through me.

Here are a few things the boys got up to in the summer

Exploring caves
Exploring under the water

Jumping from cliffs into the sea. They were taught to assess the danger first. To swim around first and to see how deep it was. And to also look out for any jellyfish.

Having a mud wash

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In this day and age where children would rather communicate via social media and spend most of their spare time with their face in front of a screen I think that it’s important to encourage our children to venture outside and explore, to learn for themselves and to achieve that sense of adrenaline from adventure. I want my boys to be challenged and to be comfortable in their surroundings.

I want to spend time with my boys outside, it’s something we can do together without the distractions of modern technology. It’s about making memories, enjoying each others company and creating stories to tell for when they grow up.

 

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Bonkers about Conkers

It’s that time of year when the ripe seeds from the Horse Chestnut tree fall to the ground.  The conkers are encased inside a green spiked capsule, which are attached to the branches of the tree. When the spiky capsule begins to turn brownish in colour they fall to the ground. It’s a sign that Autumn is on it’s way.

My youngest has never really been that into conkers, that is until this year and he has absolutely gone bonkers for conkers! Collecting well over 400 of them; with the help of friends.

Wherever we go: on the way to school, to the park, to football practice or walking to the shops, he is always on the lookout for a conker. When we get home he empties his school bag, trouser pockets and even his lunch bag and places them into his growing collection.

With so many conkers I asked him what he wanted to do with them. His reply was just that he wanted to collect them and see how many he could find.

I know conkers are, apparently, good for keeping spiders away if placed in the corner of the room. So I think we will be safe for a while from our eight legged friends.

Apart from the obvious of playing conkers we decided to get our craft heads on and do something a little different with what we had. We made conkers paintings and snail conkers.

Conkers paintings are really simple but can get quite messy.

You will need :

  • Conkers
  • A tray
  • Paper
  • Selection of paint

Place the paper into the tray. Then add in the paper and squirt some poster paint around the paper. Place some conkers on to the paper and now the fun and messy part. Start to shake the tray so that the conkers roll around in the paint leaving a coloured trail behind them.

About to roll
Finished picture

Conker snails were so much fun

You will need:

  • Conkers
  • Paint pens or acrylic paints
  • playdough

First we made up our playdough. We added in chocolate powder to give it that earthy colour. My son loved making the playdough as he likes to get messy and it’s really good for the children to practice their measuring and motor skills.

Then, we decorated the conkers with the paint pens, we used my posca pens but you can get cheaper versions which are just as good. Once the conkers were dry we moulded the playdough for the snails body and placed the conker on top for the shell.

Aren’t they just so cute!

You could even hide the snails around your local park for other children to find or even just the decorated conkers ( just like the rock decorating craze)

As a child, I used to love playing conkers with my friends and big brother. It was something that my parents had taught me. Who had the strongest conker? There were even methods that you could use to strengthen your conker; keeping a conker for a year, baking, soaking, boiling in vinegar, or painting with clear varnish. Nowadays, children don’t seem to want to play the simple, but fun games that we played when we were younger.

Conkers is a game that could dates back as far as 1821. To score in Conkers you must break the opponent’s conker to gain points – you can score when you are attacking or defending. If strings become entangled the first player to shout ‘strings’ gets an extra turn.

I have not given up on introducing the boys to the game, as I know they will just love it as much as I did.

All ready for a game of conkers

But, this activity is for another day 🙂

 

 

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Christopher Robin: Afternoon Tea with the Voice of Pooh and Tigger – Jim Cummings

Just over a week ago we were invited along, by Disney, to celebrate the upcoming release of Christopher Robin for an afternoon tea with Jim Cummings.

It was truly a magical experience.

If you are anything like me and you grew up watching/reading Winnie the Pooh, then you will understand how excited I was to be able to meet Jim Cummings and listen to him read a short extract from the book of the film. Winnie the Pooh was the first teddy bear that I bought for my eldest boy when he was a baby, you which he still has now.

Christopher Robin is a heartwarming film about a young boy, who on embarked on countless adventures with loveable animals, who has now grown up and lost his way. It is now up to Christopher’s childhood friends to help him remember the loving playful boy that he once was by venturing into our world.

‘Sooner or later your past catches up to you’

The afternoon tea was being held at Claridges. We arrived and was quided to a room that was full of Pooh themed food, tea (obviously, as it’s afternoon tea), face Painting, colouring in tables, old fashioned games, biscuit decorating and a lovely big chair – hmmm, I wonder what that was for!

The boys quickly made themselves at home, grabbing some of the delicious cakes and sitting down in the corner on the cushions to eat them whilst cuddling their Winnie and Tigger teddies.

They designed some balloon shaped cookies with lots of sugary items and ate some ‘beary’ ice cream.

I’m not sure what this design was but he assures me it tasted nice.

As the children enjoyed getting their face painted us adults sat down to tea and cake.

It wasn’t long before we were joined by Jim Cummings, he sat down in the chair and the children gathered around him on the cushions. Clutching on to their Pooh bears, Tiggers, Eeyores and Piglets they say mesmerised as Jim read an extract from the book to them.

The room was silent.

Adults and children around the room were quickly joining Pooh and Christopher on their adventure, getting lost in imagination as Jim brought the characters to life.

I couldn’t help but smile.

I looked around the room, I could see the magic I the children’s eyes as the story was coming alive. It definately was a wonderful thing.

Once Jim finished he kindly waited around for photos and chatted to the children.

We had a wonderful time and are very thankful for the invite. The boys came away with a plush teddy and a memory that they will cherish forever

Christopher Robin opens in the Cinemas on 17th August.

We can’t wait to watch it! How about you?

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My First BIG Concert with the Children

Last year I went along with a friend and her daughter to watch Ed Sheeran at the 02. It was my first real concert; by real I mean big. The first concert I ever went to was when I was 15 years old, my Dad dropped myself and a friend off at Crystal Palace to watch a selection of acts on stage, which included Take That, East 17 and Right Said Fred. I think it was a Capital FM Roadshow at Crystal Palace. I remember the car journey there and being really excited that I was off to watch the bands that I loved to sing along to. I remember screaming along with the rest of the crowd when the acts entered the stage. I remember dancing away to their songs and not being able to sleep for days after with the sheer sense of euphoria.

I wanted my children to have that special memory, I wanted their first concert experience to be a memorable one. I wanted my boys to experience being in an arena filled with thousands of people screaming their heads off while a musician ran around a lit-up stage, belting out hit after hit. But above all, I wanted to be their with them whilst they had this experience.

After watching Ed at the 02 in 2017, I decided that when he next went on tour I would try to get tickets for myself and the boys to go. We all really enjoy listening to his songs, so I thought that it would be a brilliant choice as a first concert to attend for the children. I managed to grab 3 tickets to see him at Wembley, it wasn’t a choice venue as I would have preferred the 02. Not only is the 02 nearer to us but it is also a smaller venue than Wembley, But nevertheless we got tickets and that’s all that matters.

So last week, the boys and I jumped on the train straight from school and headed on over to Wembley Stadium. We were all very excited and the boys couldn’t wait to get into the Stadium. As soon as they saw Wembley Stadium, there mouths dropped agape. It is huge!

We had bought seating tickets as the youngest is only 10 and children have to 12 to be standing in the arena. Unfortunately, our tickets were not amazing ones. We were quite high up but we were to the side of stage so we had a good view. It helped that the stage was massive and Ed and his supporting artists stood at the front which meant you could see them.

We had made our way to our seats and got comfortable ready to see the supporting acts; Jamie Lawson and Anne Marie. I must say they were both great but Anne Marie was brilliant. It helps if you know the songs of the artists to really enjoy the experience. My boys were singing along and really getting into the mood. The artists were warming up the, now very crowded, stadium.

We were having a lovely evening and I wouldn’t have wanted to be there with no one else.

We laughed, we smiled,we danced, we sang, we screamed, we bounced, we held hands and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

I had never seen my younger son dance so much, he jumping about to the music and singing at the top of his lungs.

I will never forget the sheer excitement on my boys faces as Ed Sheeran came onto stage, I didn’t think their smiles could get any bigger

I knew that this night would be a night that they wouldn’t forget, etched in their memories, the night that they went to their first concert with their Mum.

We finished the evening with sore throats and tired feet.

We left before Ed finished his set as I knew just looking at the amount of people in that stadium that there was no way we were going to get out of their in a hurry. It was late already and we were getting very tired. We was very lucky, even though the crowds were gathering at the exits, that we managed to get out without any stalling and actually got a seat on the train.

The boys had a little nap on the train as we had many stops to get home. It was a very late night for them but worth it.

We now all have the concert bug and are looking for our next one to attend. Although, I think we will make sure that its at the 02 next time as Wembley is just too huge a little too far for us to go to.

 

 

 

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BBC ANNOUNCE MORE TOP NAMES FOR ITS FIRST EVER FAMILY FESTIVAL

Taking place on August 3 to 5 at Croxteth Country Park in Liverpool, CBBC Summer Social is the biggest ever kids event, and the only festival to give 6-12year old’s and their families a unique lineup of CBBC favourites, alongside a host of international music acts including Union J, Johnny Orlando, Matt Terry and Mackenzie Ziegler.

CBBC Summer Social is being organised in partnership with Liverpool City Council and forms part of Liverpool 2018 – a year of projects marking a decade since Liverpool was European Capital of Culture.

Max and Harvey, Sophia Grace, KIDZ BOP and more were recently added to the line up.  Having previously announced a range of international music acts including Union J, Johnny Orlando, Mackenzie Ziegler and Matt Terry alongside CBBC favourites Mr Tumble, Swashbuckle’s Cook and Line, Andy Day, and Sam and Mark, to name a few, brand new festival CBBC Summer Social has added a second wave of incredible artists to an already jam-packed line-up.

Needing no introduction, teen music sensations Max and Harvey, who’s refreshingly fun and authentic sound has connected with listeners across the globe racking up over four million followers on social media, have been announced for the festival. Having previously been nominated for “Muser of the Year” at the 2017 Shorty Awards which garnered over 6million total views, the singer songwriter duo’s performance is guaranteed to be a festival highlight.

Speaking about their appearance at the event, Max and Harvey said: “We are so excited to announce we’ll be heading to Liverpool this summer with CBBC!! The line-up this year is crazy; Johnny Orlando, Sophia Grace, plus so many more, and we can’t wait to see our fans. It’s going to be a legendary weekend!”

Other acts announced include online star, Sophia Grace who has three million followers on YouTube, kids’ music phenomena, KIDZ BOP, and popular Britain’s Got Talent dance act, Merseygirls, who’s energetic stage show will certainly not be one to miss.

Also joining the bill is the world famous BBC Philharmonic who will be bringing a full orchestra to the event, introducing a young audience to classical pieces in a family friendly setting.

West End and Broadway hit, Shrek the Musical, has also been added to the bill.  The theatre adaption with a feisty Princess, a lovestruck Dragon and all the charm of an Ogre. Preformances are sure to bring the magic of the big screen.

Set against the historic backdrop of the Grade II listed Croxteth Country Park, revelers can expect the very best of CBBC programming including immersive activity zones, theatre shows, interactive and inspiring art workshops, top class musical experiences, cool outdoor and sporting activates, junior discos, themed treasure hunts, gaming areas, character walkabouts, vlogger meet and greets, live appearances from the most popular children’s authors and much, much more.

Early Bird Tickets are on sale priced from £28*. To purchase tickets and for more information visit bbc.co.uk/cbbcsummersocial

*Please note, all ticket prices are per day. Booking & Transaction fees apply.

Line-up

Friday 3rd August

Featuring: Andy Day, Art Ninja, Bars & Melody, BBC Music Introducing in BBC Merseyside, Ben Shires, Clangers, Everton in the Community, Go Jetters Disco, Got What It Takes, Hacker T Dog, Johnny Orlando, Liverpool Football Club Foundation, Liverpool LIMF, Mackenzie Ziegler, Mr Tumble, Naomi Wilkinson, Opera North, The Pets Factor, Sam & Mark, Saturday Mash-Up!, The Next Step, Worst Witch. Yolanda Brown and more to be announced.

Saturday 4th August

Featuring: Andy Day, Art Ninja, Bars & Melody, BBC Music Introducing in BBC Merseyside, Ben Shires, Clangers, Everton in the Community, Go Jetters Disco, Got What It Takes, Hacker T Dog, Johnny Orlando, Liverpool Football Club Foundation, Liverpool LIMF, Mackenzie Ziegler, Mr Tumble, Naomi Wilkinson, Opera North, The Pets Factor, Royal Albert Hall, Sam & Mark, Saturday Mash-Up!, Swashbuckle, The Next Step, Union J, Worst Witch, Yolanda Brown and more to be announced.

Sunday 5th August

Featuring: Andy Day, Art Ninja, Bars & Melody, BBC Music Introducing in BBC Merseyside, Ben Shires, Clangers, Everton in the Community, Go Jetters Disco, Got What It Takes, Hacker T Dog, Johnny Orlando, Liverpool Football Club Foundation, Liverpool LIMF, Mackenzie Ziegler, Matt Terry, Mr Tumble, Naomi Wilkinson, Opera North, The Pets Factor, Sam & Mark, Saturday Mash-Up!, Swashbuckle, The Next Step, Worst Witch, Yolanda Brown and more to be ann

 

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Motivating Test Treat Bags for Children

I don’t know about you but my son has spent the last 9 months being anxious in taking his year 6 SATs. It doesnt matter how many times I had sat down with him and tried to reassure him about the tests he still felt inadequate and kept saying that he just wasnt ready for them. We expressed this worry to his teacher, back in September, at the start of him starting year 6. His teacher was lovely and reassured him that there really wasn’t anything to worry about and that he would do fine.

Over the past few months he had become more confident in himself. With the help from his teacher and support staff, his school levels improved and he began to feel happier about taking the tests.

But this didn’t stop him from having a few moments prior to the test starting, where he began to question himself and his abilities.

His teacher was always there giving him encouragement , motivating him and instaling a sense of self belief in him.

I know, from talking to other parents and his teacher, that he was not the only one who feeling anxious about sitting the tests. Children, of such young age, shouldn’t be feeling the pressure of tests and stress. They should just be children and enjoy their time at being young and care free. They have plenty to face when they are older.

I wanted to do something for my son and all of his class friends. So I made them little treat bags with an inspirational quote attached to the back. They didn’t cost much, mostly it was time more than money.

  1. I gathered together some coloured card and small cellophane treat bags.
  2. Found an inspiration sweet quote on line. Wrote it up on word
  3. Printed off some inspirational quotes from relaxkids and laminated them
  4. Bought 6 treat bags of Starbursts
  5. Stuck on the sweet quotes onto the card and cut them out 
  6. Shared out the sweets equally and then placed them into the treat bags, folded over the edge and then stapled the card on the top
  7. Lastly, I placed the laminated quote on the back 

We handed them out to the children on the first day of their SATs. The children kept the little quote cards in their pockets and in their pencil case for the rest of the week.

I am hoping that they took that a little bit of their concern away just for a moment and showed that we care about them and beleive in them.

 

 

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The Most Love-a-Bull Animation: Ferdinand Review

Blue Sky Studios and director Carlos Sadanha (Rio, Ice Age) brings you FERDINAND.

ferdinand

A charming tale of a giant – lover not a fighter – bull with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies together a misfit team for the ultimate adventure and proves you can’t judge a bull by its cover.

Inspired by the beloved book “The Story of Ferdinand,” FERDINAND (Voice of John Cena) is a heartwarming family comedy adventure with an all-star cast that includes John Cena, Kate McKinnon, David Tennant, Sally Philips, Gina Rodriguez, Anthony Anderson and many more.

We was sent the DVD to coincide with the Digital Download, Blu-ray and DVD release on 16th April.

The boys were really excited to watch this new animation. I must say it was the quietest my boys had been all Easter holidays. From the moment the film started to the end, I didn’t hear a peep from them-apart from giggles.

“My brother and I watched ‘Ferdinand’ and we thought it was hilarious, but also upsetting at times. Ferdinand is a great film and I would recommend it to all ages, young and old. Our favourite bits were the ‘Last Battle’ and ‘The bull in a China Shop’ because they were both funny and dramatic. My favourite character was ‘Paco’ who makes a great comedy duo with Ferdinand, his ‘brother’.”

Ferdinand really is a love-a-bull rogue who inspires the world by just being himself. He is unlike his stable mates whose ultimate goal is to face a matador in an arena, Ferdinand just wants to smell flowers. He has an unlikely bond with a young girl (Nina)

The movie is delightful with cute animation. A story of love and friendship that makes a great family movie.

SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE:

  • Ferdinand’s Guide to Healthy Living with John Cena
  • A Goat’s Guide to Life
  • Ferdinand’s Team Supreme
  • Spain Through Ferdinand’s Eyes
  • Confessions of a Bull-loving Horse
  • Creating the Land of Ferdinand
  • Anatomy of a Scene: The Bull Run
  • Learn to Dance with Ferdinand
  • Ferdinand’s Do-It-Yourself Flower Garden
  • Creating a Remarka-Bull Song
  • “Home” Music Video
  • Art of Ferdinand Gallery

Get set for a belly full of laughs!

FERDINAND charges onto Digital Download on 10th April and on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD on 16th April

We was sent a copy of the DVD for the purpose of this review

 

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Mum, Are You Proud Of Me?

There is nothing more that makes me proud of any of my three children than just being themselves.

I have three boys aged from 6 to 15 and they are all individuals, exceeding in different areas with talents and interests that are not the same as each other. That’s what makes them individuals.

There are no words that can describe how much each of them mean to me, I was blessed with three amazing young boys, who, without a doubt, I know will grow into three incredible young men. Being a Mum to these boys has given me a purpose in life and has shown me a new sense of being. They are why my heart beats and why blood runs through my veins. They give me energy like no other.

I am proud of all three of them and even though I tell them how much they all make me proud, the other day my middle boy (I actually hate calling him my middle boy, because they say that it’s always the middle child that gets left out and I am always conscious of that) asked me if he made me proud of him.

These 5 words stung my eyes.

There is nothing more that makes me proud of my boys than who they are. But, obviously my son was feeling a little left out.

We had had a couple of hours together doing something that he absolutely enjoys with a passion, we had gone cycling around the country park. He loves nature and the outdoors. So we spent some time, just him and I, cycling through the park looking at tress, listening to the birds and looking out across the lake at the birds swooping down to catch the fish.

He is such a sensitive soul and the most caring boy I know, he may not be outstanding academically but he is full of knowledge.

He can tell you so much about animals and their habitats. He can talk about them for hours.

He knows all about countries, there flags and where about they are in the world.

He can read a book of 600 pages, re-telling the story with passion, remembering every part of it.

He has his own fashion style, he always likes to look smart and likes to wear quirky clothes. He enjoys being different.

He is adventurous, courageous, intuitive, sensitive and loving.

I could go on describing how perfect he is to me, but like I said there really are not enough words.

I told him all this, all of the above and more.

I told him how much he means to me and that it makes me sad that he even had to ask me if he makes me proud.

I tell him and his brothers often how proud I am of them. Even for the little things. Like offering to hold the door open for someone, carrying my bag when they can see me struggling or for their caring nature.

Being proud of them doesn’t mean that they have to achieve something that is extra-ordinary or special. It’s seeing them grow. It’s watching them achieve personal goals. It’s those small moments that are giant steps of success. I give them praise when it matters and talk about the obstacles that they have overcome.

I held my son so tight and looked him in the eye and told him just look at me, with no words. Because no words could describe how proud of him I was, only the look of love and pride in my eyes could. That’s how we stood. In the middle of a country park, faces cupped into each others hands. Staring into each others eyes. (this in itself was an achievement for my son, as he finds it hard to keep eye contact) After a few moments we let go of our contact and cuddled each other. He just smiled at me and said that he saw the love nd adoration I had for him.

I myself, saw a little boy who was struggling to find a place for himself amongst the world around him. I saw a boy who needed Love. I told him whenever he needs that whenever he is feeling sad and alone to just remember the look in my eyes

I hope now he realises that words are not needed to show how proud I am of him.

 

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Funny things children say and do – Just deflating

There are times when my boys have me in fits of giggles with the things that they say and do. I am not sure where they get it from, and even though sometimes I am horrified with what they come out with I can not help myself holding back the laughter (although, sometimes I have to refrain from it, especially when they say things beyond their years)

The other day we were all sitting around the dining table, talking about the day that we had had and eating our dinner. There was silence and we all heard, what I can only describe as a high pitch noise, a bit like a balloon that has just been let off to fly around the room. We all just stared at each other wondering where the sound came from, when my son said “Sorry, I was just deflating!” His face was so serious, that we all just burst into fits of giggles.

 

My eldest was talking about his running training and why his coach had cancelled the weekends training session. My youngest misheard completely what he was saying

“Gary is taking his wife to a football match” What the eldest said

“What’s a Call the Midwife game?” Is what the youngest thought he said

 

My mum fractured her ankle and we have just got back from spending a few days with her. She has got it in cast and is struggling using the crutches that the hospital gave to her. My eldest -who is 15- decided to spend the whole time whilst we were there, on a crutch as well. He said it was to make his Nan feel better about herself. He even put on a limp when he didn’t have the crutch with him.

But, this one tops them all. It was about 9.30 in the evening and I had just gone into the boy bedroom to give them a kiss goodnight. They were sleeping soundly, but it’s something that I always do before I go to bed. My middle boy sleeps in a high bunker, so I climbed the ladder and crawled into his bed for a quick cuddle and a kiss. He stirred a little so I softly whispered to him that it’s ok and Mummy was just kissing him goodnight. I got myself ready for bed and as I turned my bedroom light and just snuggled into my duvet, I felt someone creep into my bed beside me. My son, then said that he wasn’t feeling very well and felt very tired. I gave him a hug and said he will be ok and to go back to bed. He got up out of the bed and turned the light on. It was then that I noticed he had his school uniform on. He thought that I had woke him up for school! That’s not all of it though, before coming in to me, he had gone downstairs to the bathroom and as he passed the dining room he saw his older brother sitting at the table in there. He asked him to make him some cereal and that he would be back soon for it. He then went back up to his bedroom and got dressed and then came into me. He had only been asleep for an hour and a half, no wonder he still felt very tired lol

What have your little scallywags been up to lately?

 

 

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Marathon of bedtime

Bedtime is chaotic in this household

It’s a constant battle to get the children to sleep.

You just about think your winning. They’re in their beds all tucked up and looking like little angels and just as you take a foot over the threshold of the bedroom door, thinking of how you are going to spend the last couple of quiet hours of your evening, when you hear…

“I need a wee”

“I’m thirsty”

“I’m not tired”

“Just one more story”

“I’ve got a belly ache”

Anything to stay awake for those extra few minutes of the evening

The longer they stay awake the more tired and irritable I become. I was so close to the finish line of relaxation.

For a moment there I could see it, but yet I was so far away.

Our bedtime routine can sometimes be a fast one, with  no arguments but most of the time it can take up to over an hour to get the little rascals into bed. So I set myself a goal of reducing it to half an hour by setting up a routine.

We have always had a bedtime routine but it seemed to have lapsed the older they got. Before we moved home, the boys all shared a room. They now have a room to them selves which makes it easier to stagger their bedtime. It is always hard to keep to a routine when the children get older as they attend after school clubs that normally finish near to their bedtime.

Our newest routine consists of

  • Wind down time, removing any electrical equipment from them about an hour before bedtime. I sometimes have to hide them in my bedroom away from their sneaking hands
  • An hour before bed they can have a small glass of water. Any more than that and they will be up in the night going to the toilet
  • Half hour before bedtime they are told to have a shower/wash and to brush their teeth, I give constant count down reminders about what they are doing next.
  • They get there clothes ready for the next day, placed neatly into a pile near to their bed
  • They can choose a book to read to themselves for 10 minutes
  • Once in bed I then sit down and read a book to them. This is a book that both boys have chosen. We are currently reading Harry Potter together. I normally read them a chapter a night. The two younger boys have a connecting room, so this is easy to do whilst both boys are in bed
  • I always end the day with a cuddle and a kiss and give them a praise about their day. Falling asleep on a positive note relaxes them and encourages a good nights sleep
  • Tuck them up in bed and turn off the lights

I try to keep the landing light off too, as this seems to keep them awake. Also talking a calm voice and not rushing them along helps them to the routine running smoothly.

I must admit this doesn’t always go to plan and I still get the odd shout from the boys bedroom about them not being tired enough for sleep. We’re not all perfect after all!

 

 

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