At times we all get colds – so what can you do to enable your child to look after their snotty nose? Snot is never a good look on anyone – not cats, kids or grown-ups! Continue reading
Spookje Stories – WAKE UP AND FEED ME!
Hello! Do your children constantly wake up early on a morning, demanding attention or to be given breakfast? It can be very annoying and there are things they can do to solve the problem. Continue reading
Welcome to the Spookje Stories!
Hello and welcome to the Spookje Stories! Ever wonder what your children do on their computer and iPads all day? Well, one thing they are doing is spending a great deal of time on YouTube. “You tubers” have a massive following these days. So, meet the latest You tuber – my cat – Spookje! Continue reading
How to Get My Child to Think …
Children can ask many – many – questions; it is a sign of their innate curiosity and is key in developing how they think and their problem solving skills. Continue reading
How to Get Kids to Help at Home and Take Initiative
Ever wondered how to get the kids off the sofa or iPad and have them help at home? Do they seem to lack any kind of problem solving skills, or seem unable to take the initiative? Continue reading
What to do when You Find Out Things in the School You Weren’t Aware of
Finding out things you didn’t know
The end of year school report is about to be issued; for the majority of children, teens and parents, this is a celebration of what has been achieved and ways in which to move forward. However, some parents can be disappointed by what they read. Read more!
How to Talk to Children About Terrorism
Once again a terrorist attack has necessitated the need for parents to once more consider how to approach this subject with their children – or even if they should. Continue reading
How Not To Break Promises to Your Children
We make promises for all sorts of reasons; we want to make someone happy, we are afraid of disappointing them or, as can often be the way with kids, to keep the peace. Making promises is usually done with genuine intentions.
7 Ways to Give Compliments and Praise – and Make It Meaningful
Done correctly, praise can be motivating; it serves to validate our pride and pleasure in our achievements. The ugly truth however, is that much of the praise we give can be demeaning, insincere and detrimental to self-esteem. Continue reading
7 Secrets of Getting Kids to Help at Home
Ever wondered the secret behind getting kids to help at home? Parents are incredibly busy – and much of that time is spent running around after your children. Continue reading
Helping Your Kids with Test Stress – Surviving the SATs Part 11
With the Year 6 SATs just a few weeks away, parents often ask me how they can help their kids manage test stress. They want to help with children with passing or preparing for these tests – and how to manage during the actual testing week.
The Benefits of Saying, “I love you,” to Your Kids – and Tips on How to Say It
Love – never has something been so prolifically written or sung about, lamented or celebrated. Experts all agree that feeling and knowing that we are loved can improve our self-esteem and enhance our feeling of being accepted in the world. Feeling loved boosts self-esteem, fosters an environment of trust and self-confidence, lessens the fear of making mistakes and increases in children the confidence to try new things. It enables them to feel part of something bigger than themselves, that they are important and valued. Children who grow up feeling loved, go onto be more successful in relationships when they are older.
7 Reasons to Hire A Life Coach for Your Child
Life coaching for children is now becoming more of a social norm, rather than being viewed as something slightly new age or out of the box. Slowly we are becoming more aware of what coaching – and what it is not – and how successfully it can bring about sustained personal growth, especially for children. No longer does there need to be “something wrong” with your child before seeking the services of a life coach. Nowadays “Kids Coaches” deal with many issues such as positive friendships, bullying, low self-esteem, awareness of how others view them, divorce and positive thought among a whole host of other topics. They support and work alongside the child, working to reach goals and solve problems. More and more, kid’s coaches support parents in enabling their children to learn important life skills such as taking responsibility, respect, communication and self-care. The role of the parent has become even more challenging in the modern-day world – as has growing up in it.
Below are 7 reasons why getting a life coach for you child really is a good idea – for you and them.
- A non-judgemental approach
As a kids coach, we are a completely neutral and non-judgemental third party. We have respect for your child’s values and opinions and we work with those to support them in finding viable solutions to problems or aspirations that suit them.
- It’s not a one size fits all
You child, with a bit of support from their coach, can easily identify ideas and solutions that will work for them. Not every idea or solution works for every child which is why when they think of an idea they want to put into action, generally it’s an idea they know will work for them.
- It’s goal or aspiration focussed
Coaching is all about a positive change – looking at the situation from the point of view of already having solved the problem or situation and then putting into place actions that will make it happen.
- It gives children life tools, skills and strategies
Life coaching is not going to make situations go away – yet what is does do is give the children the tools, and strategies to successfully manage the situations. Children role play and develop thing to say, or do and identify who can help them at certain points. They learn to acknowledge and manage their feelings better and in turn manage the situations with far greater success.
- It’s fun and creative
Coaching is a fun, interactive, creative and enjoyable process. The children draw, or write things down, or use toys or role play – anything to enable then to talk openly about what they really want to achieve. It’s a creative and though provoking process, all based on the child’s own needs.
- It takes the pressure off parents, leaving room for a more positive relationship with their child
It’s not easy being a parent and more often than not it’s easy for arguments with children to get heated, leaving both sides feeling angry, frustrated and hurt. A life coach takes the heat out of these frustrations and enables children and parents to communicate more positively and openly.
- It’s an investment in your child, their future and your relationship with them
If you need a haircut, you see a hairdresser – if you feel like you and your child/ren could do with a bit of positive, forward thinking, support then a life coach is just up your street. Having a coach for your child will enable you to understand them better, develop their life skills – and improve your relationship in the long run.
Coaching is always a choice – why not have a chat with them and see where it goes? You never know, they may want to make positive steps forward for themselves as much as you want for them too.
Going Back to School With a Smile
Going back to school after the holidays isn’t always that easy; the whole family are used to lazier days, more relaxed routines, later nights and longer lie-ins. Returning to a normal routine can mean mixed feelings. Parents and children may well miss the relaxed and precious time as a family, enjoying the break from getting up early, homework, and the pressure of performing well at school. etc. Conversely, it’s also a time when things can get back to a normal a familiar structure and routine.
So, what as a parent can you do to make the transition a bit easier?
Firstly, it’s a great opportunity for a fresh term and a fresh start.
Hopefully you have had time to share their termly report with your child/ren. If not, why not sit down over the next few days and go over all the positives and talk about the targets the teacher has set. It’s the perfect time to re-fresh everyone about some key areas for focus and attention, and how you can work on these together. Remember, keep it light, as holiday mode isn’t yet geared up for the full on mode!
Share the positives of being back at school.
The children will get to catch up on all their holidays news with friends and peers they may not have seen over the break. Many children respond well to the structure of the school day and focus on the positives if they like their class teacher, or new after school activities, and enjoy learning new things.
Be honest – share that you enjoy the holidays and having them at home too.
Children love to have the time and attention of their families. Share with them how much you love it too and pick out all the positives. “I love it when….” Tell them you feel the same way, yet this is what life is – we have periods of school time and periods of holiday time, and we can look forward to both.
- Yes, time to get the school bags out, go through them and throw anything away and re-pack for a fresh term. Ignore any old letters squashed at the bottom dating back to last November, yet merely remind the children to pass on to you any letters they get from home!
- Check that school shoes, gym shoes and indeed school uniform still fit while you have time to get a few shopping days in around any national holidays.
- Check for any forgotten homework activities while there’s still time to get them completed without too much of a rush!
- Time to get a back to school hair cut?
- Recheck the school timetable – do they need their gym kit etc for the first day back – it’s amazing how quickly these routines get lost in the slumber of the holidays
For the whole family, holidays mean later nights and longer lie-ins (if you’re lucky!) Body clocks have become used to this rhythm and so to avoid in inevitable resistance to both going to bed and getting up earlier, start to talk about with your children now. If they are old enough ask them what time they think they should start going to bed this week – striking the balance of being on holiday, yet preparing for the start of the new school term. One idea could be to start going to bed half an hour earlier per night, and start the day a little earlier too.
6.If your child is starting a new school – check it out
If a new school term also means a new school, why not go to the school and test the route and where to park? Yes, it will be busier on the day but at least you won’t be caught out by one way systems, no parking zones, or limited parking. Have a look at the building and the playground. Perhaps you could call the school, and they would be amenable to a visit – it all depends on the school.
Talk about stress / anxiety / worries
Perhaps there are reasons your child is not looking forward to going back. Listen to their worries and tell them they have done the right thing in talking to you about it. If you are worried or unsure how to help them, please get in touch as I’d like to help them – and you be – prepared and feel like they have tools and strategies to successfully manage their concerns.
Enjoy the last few days of the holiday!
Enjoy the holidays – ask the children what they would like to do and share your ideas too. Perhaps there are one or two things that were promised at the start of the holiday that there hasn’t been time to fit in as yet. So, why not plan them in for the remainder of the holiday or even at the weekend if the school term has already started? Family time is precious, so while it’s great to prepare for the back to school routine – enjoy the holiday feeling and time together as much as possible!
Hopefully these tips will make the back to school transition a little smoother. When the children are in school – what will you do to be good to yourself?!
Dealing with Children’s Expectations at Christmas
Worried about your kid’s expectations this Christmas?
Well, now that the battle of the Christmas TV adverts has well and truly began that can mean only one thing – it’s 5 Mondays till Christmas and it’s time to start getting organised! Christmas can be a magical time of year when family and friends celebrate together. Continue reading
Top Tips and Activities to Survive the Half Term Holiday
It’s the week everyone’s been waiting for – half term holiday! It’s great if you’re going away, but there are times, especially if the weather isn’t so great, that a whole week at home with the kids can easily drive parents up the wall. This is NORMAL. So, what can you do to make sure they’re having fun and being entertained – yet not wrecking the house? Furthermore, where’s the balance of managing all the excitement with minimal fuss, no extra expenditure – and less tidying up?
1. a more relaxed home routine
Accept the fact that the usual routine is out and the holiday one is in. Talk to them about what that looks like and agree some basic, lighter conditions. It could be simple things like:
- It’s OK to be in pj’s until lunchtime, but we have to have had a shower and brushed our teeth before lunch.
- It’s OK to spend longer on the iPad, but this is a holiday rule not a normal rule.
- We want to spend time together doing different things – but we all agree to help each other tidy up afterwards. There’s nothing more frustrating than making pizzas together and as soon as they’re in the oven, the kids have disappeared over the sofa to fight over the iPad and you’re left tidying up the carnage in the kitchen
2. go somewhere different
Escaping the house can be a great way to enjoy time together in a different environment – and it means no mess in the house! Lots of families opt for the pool or the park – why not go somewhere different like a market or a garden centre? Buy a few bits and bobs and then go home and each make a miniature garden. Rules about tidying up are in place so you know you’re safe there – either that or have fun playing with water outside!
If money wont stretch to that – go on a nature walk – find stones and take a few clippings from trees in public areas. when you’re home, make a nature image or picture. Or, do this in your local woods or park. Take photos and then they can play with using the images once they get home.
3. movie afternoon
Close the blinds and curtains, get the snugly blankets, a big bowl of homemade pop-corn and watch a movie together. Print out the Cinema Ticket below, have them decorate it and collect it in before entry is granted! The only trick is that they have to complete one chore / job around the house to pay for their ticket! Great – you get to celebrate the fact they can do chores (very good for later talks about taking responsibility) and then you all get to enjoy movie time together. Let them choose the movie – even if it’s something you don’t want to watch. It’s a great way into their world and you’ll know more about what they are talking about if you do. You’ll get to know more about your children and they will love sharing their interests with you.
4. cooking at home
What about making salt dough and have lots of fun creating shapes and characters. The link below takes you to the recipe and ideas of what to make.
Alternatively, make pizzas with them – a great way to introduce them to new vegetables.
Here’s a link with some fun ideas to help: https://www.google.es/search?q=receipe+for+salt+dough&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab&gfe_rd=cr&ei=t0sYWNe_LoTY8ge2jYGQAQ
5. be a bit silly
The week will be over before you know it – take a chance to tap into your inner child and have fun in the way they do – they will love it and you’ll be surprised how much you could too! We have to be grown-up all the time – why not take a few hours off? Try some of these :
- Get the dressing up clothes out – your clothes too – and dress up in combos that would never EVER leave the house and play dressing up and do their make-up for them, paint their nails (boys can like this too!) Take photos and have the kids make an album on the iPad afterwards
- Have a back to front day – ice-cream for breakfast, cereal for dinner
- Create a story or a play together and film it as a trailer or imovie – if you don’t know how, they will!
- Play one of the board games together (be clear of the rules first!)
- Teach them a card game or how to play draughts
- Teach them how to play dominoes or another simple game you might have in the house.
- Play football, swing-ball, hide and seek with them outside – really!
Half term is over before you know it and I hope these simple tips help you, and them, get the most of your time together. My name is Andrea Robson and I help support families to make life and family relationships stronger, happier and more successful for everyone. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch.
How Can My Child Learn to Take RESPONSIBILITY?
We know learning to take responsibility from a young age is a key life skill and actually helps children to develop great self-esteem when they are older. The thing is how to get kids to take responsibility – because more often than not, it can feel to them like they are having to do more, with less fun. So, if your kids are fighting against taking responsibility, here are a few quick tips that might help.
it has to be fun
Learning to take responsibility does not need to be something that is boring or means cutting down on things they like doing – or even that they are told off for not doing. Find a time to sit down quietly together and explain that you really need their help with a few things at home. Even young children can help out at an age appropriate level, such as putting their books away, tidying their toys, helping to keep the living room tidy, making their bed etc. When they need to do their helping out at home put some music on, or have a chart on the fridge to keep track of how many times they did it. There’s a FREE star chart on the resources page.
2. Ask your child how they can help
Kids do love to help out and feel valued – ask them what they could do to help out at home – you may well be surprised how much they volunteer or by the ideas they have. If they can’t think of their own ideas, let them choose one or two things from your list. Plan when they are going to do it, so it’s clear to everyone what the expectations are.
3. Know what it looks like
If you ask your child to make their bed, it’s more than likely that how you want that to look, and what they actually do are two completely different things. It’s MORE than worth taking the time to show them how to do it the way you expect, so they know what to do in future. Show them how to straighten the sheets, put the pillow in the right place etc. Even better, take a photo of the perfectly made bed you did together and have it in their room or on their iPad so they can keep checking they are on the right track.
This way, if they are trying but not quite getting it you can say, “I really like how you’re taking this seriously and I am proud if you for that. Let me help you to make this bit easier.” They will feel valued, the expectation will have been met and they will feel good about it . Most importantly, you won’t need to keep nagging them!
4. let them do it
Once kids know what is expected, you can take this model even further. Packing their bags for school is a classic. Work out together what the best plan is to be ready for school the next day. Have them check what they need and pack their own bags. Again, show them what do do and have a list on the fridge or in their room of all the steps they need to take. It does not matter if they get it wrong a few times – they will learn from this and become more resilient. When they get it right, they will feel great.
5. consequences empower – not punish children
If they are learning how to pack their bags, and they forget something – don’t rush to fix it for them. Yes, they may get into trouble at school for forgetting their PE kit – but accepting the consequence for this is a life skill. You can’t keep rushing in to fix their problems – otherwise they will never learn to do this for themselves. Naturally, you can remind them to help them out – but honestly, letting them learn through consequence is far better for them, than knowing that no matter what they do or don’t do, you will always sort it out for them.
What helped you to learn to take responsibility?