Hi there, Happy New Year! It's business as usual here on my site, but please note that the pandemic is still causing disruptions with Royal Mail, so you order might take longer to arrive, and apologies if you are still waiting for your parcel... in some areas they are taking up to a month to arrive. Please also note that I am not currently sending orders outside of the UK due to postal disruptions. I hope to do so again in a few weeks. I will have more joggers coming back into stock in 1-2 weeks. Thank you and keep safe, Lucy x

Some stuff on parenting that might be of interest / use! : - )

I have two kids aged 10 and 8, and they are absolutely brilliant children... but like all kids they can be a bit challenging at times, and as my background is in science (with a particular interest in psychology and behaviour), I have done quite a bit of reading over the years and been to couple of parenting talks as I wanted to new strategies for dealing with these challenges, so that my children can become the best they can be, and so that I could be the best mother I can be (not perfect, just the best I can be!). I am certainly not pretending to be an expert on parenting (far from it!), I just thought some of the below that I've gather from various resources might be of some use / help to any parents out there. 
 

- We are our kids ROLE MODELS, they model themselves on us, so whatever we are doing (whether it be how we deal with a crisis, how well we treat ourselves and others, whether we have fun etc!) they are watching, noting and remembering ALL THE TIME! As they say, it is not what our kids hear, but what they see. I am now more aware of this, and as a result think a bit more about how I am behaving in their presence. 

- It's so important to give your child a SENSE OF WORTH, to make them feel good about themselves, and to remember to praise them for everything they are good at, or whenever they do something right or try hard... particularly important for kids with low self esteem.
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- As far as possible, try to make your child FEEL SAFE, by having boundaries and routines in place so they know what is expected of them at all times. Kids like to feel secure. Perhaps even draw up a list of behaviours that you want them to achieve in a day, for example: make their bed, tidy their room, not fight with each other, not answer back, do their homework without complaining), then if they do all the things on the list, then they can put a marble in a jar, and then when they have collected say 7 or 10 marbles, let them do or have something they want - find out what motivates them. (Make sure that you never take the rewards away, and once they are gone they can't earn them back, otherwise they will not believe in the system and not bother!) We might know the way we want our children to behave, but they may not be, or may forget! 
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- Help the kids become MORE INDEPENDENT so they have a sense of capability - encourage them to solve their own problems and only step in when really necessary, as a last resort.
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- Make your kids feel like an important PART OF THE FAMILY TEAM - for example by giving them a job (unpaid!) such as setting the table, loading the dishwasher, feeding the dog etc - kids like to feel needed and part of a team, it gives them a sense of worth. 
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- PRAISE YOUR KIDS for all the things they are good at - sometimes we forget to do this, and just concentrate on their negatives. Often we know their strengths but they might not, and remind them frequently of these strengths. 
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- USE POSITIVE rather than negative language, and reward for positive behaviours rather than taking away for negative ones. 
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- TRY NOT TO LABEL your child by their behaviour. For example, rather than saying 'you are a nasty child', say 'that behaviour was unkind'. It's good for them to know that their behaviour is separate, and therefore something they can control and change. 
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- Another example of POSITIVE LANGUAGE would be... rather than saying 'you are still so shy', you could say 'you are becoming a little more confident...' , those three little words YOU ARE BECOMING are so positive and empowering for a child. 
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- It might be helpful to STEP BACK and think about what we would like our kids to say about what their childhood was like, and how they were brought up, what would they say their parents like if asked by a friend in years to come, and try to keep this in mind. For example I am slightly conscious that I don't want my kids to say 'Oh mum was always cross', 'Mum was always shouting', or 'Mum was on her phone all the time when we were young....' 
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- Think about the qualities that you would like your child to have in 20 years time, and how best to instil those, now. Kind & happy are at the top of my list...
- Find out by what method your child LEARNS best, ie whether they are a visual (learn through vision) / auditory (learn through hearing/listening" / kinaesthetic (learn by touching and feeling etc) or auditory digital learner. Knowing this will come in helpful when they at school, in particular when revising for exams.
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- What we believe tends to come true - so don't be too negative towards your children all the time, try to think the best of them. So if you think your child is always badly behaved, and treat them like they are, then they will probably end up being so. 
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- Try to let your kids sort out their own problems before stepping in. Try to COACH rather than rescue all the time. 
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- LISTEN. EMPATHISE
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- GIVE YOUR CHILD YOUR TIME. It's what they want more than anything!
Hope some of the above might be of interest... all common sense really, but easy to forget when in the thick of it! I am still very far from being a 'perfect parent' (it really is the hardest job in the world), and often forget to employ many of the above, but it's good for me to read over these points every now and again to remind myself of a few of them!
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Lucy x
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Resources: 
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The Whole Brain Child by Dr Daniel J Siegel and Dr Tina Payne Bryson
Why French Children don't throw food
The Opposite of Worry
The Heart of Parenting by John Gottman
Parenting talks by Hester Bancroft: http://www.effectivesteps.com/

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