UK mother and baby support network, ‘MamaBabyBliss’ has launched a national fundraising campaign in aid of the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal run by The British Red Cross Society.
In light of displaced families, bombed maternity wards and tragic loss of life due to the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, ‘MamaBabyBliss’ Founder Justina Perry has encouraged mums and babies, mums-to-be and franchisees across her UK network of pregnancy, mother and baby classes to stand in solidarity with Ukrainian parents.
I came across this post below on my WP feed and it’s just what I needed to hear today. Rosemary is the owner of Soul Essence and she writes about all things mindfulness. If you need a little calm in your life every now and then, make sure you have a read at some of her very useful posts.
If you’re not sure which S word I’m on about, it’s SEX. I wasn’t keen on using it in the title because my boy can read fluently now and I’m not ready to start the whole birds and the bees convo with him just yet. He’s already been asking where babies come from and how they’re made and I’ve just about managed to dodge it for now. He’s 7 by the way.
Let’s talk about S E X
Let’s talk about it. For me, it still feels a little taboo even though we’re online and I’m just writing all of this. I was brought up by very strict Asian parents so any talk that’s even remotely associated with sex and the sorts was banned. Luckily for them I wasn’t too much of a curious soul.
Sex since Lockdown 1.0 has not really been that different for us. We’d usually do it in the wee hours of the morning or at night when the kids are in deep sleep. However, there have been moments when we struggled with getting it on.
Your contraception can be a (libido) killer
Our sex life is pretty okay. We’re active and perhaps a little more now than in previous years. That may sound strange but I think it’s because I came off the injection (female hormonal contraception).
I loved being on the injection and used it for many years and between my pregnancies. I’m quite fertile and it just worked really well. I only needed one jab every three months which made it all convenient. I tried the implant and it left me with adult acne and the patch was great but it ended up irritating my skin. I tried the pill once when I was younger but could never remember to take it on time.
Apparently a common side effect for using the injection is loss of libido. I literally had no sex drive. I hated being touched. I was grouchy all the time. And down there was as dry as the Sahara desert no matter how much he tried to get me going. It wasn’t working.
That lockdown loving…
Naturally, I blamed it on stress. But when Lockdown 1.0 hit and I was unable to get an appointment my body started to ease up as it reverted back to its pre-contraceptive state. Being off any kind of contraception brought my libido back. I loved it. I finally felt like a human being again. That’s when I knew it had to be the contraception.
So now I’ve decided to give the hormonal pill a go again and it seems to be going well. My sex drive is pretty much back to normal and we’re getting it on a few times a month which works out to roughly once a week. We’re too tired and lazy to even attempt to do it anymore than that. Sex is tiring, you know!!
The stresses of lockdown, isolation, working from home, parenting can all get too much. As a result your sex life can suffer from it. So if you and your partner aren’t getting it on as much anymore, try to think why that might be. Have a talk about it as you might find that your reasons are not the same. If there’s one thing I learnt about our relationship (we’ve been together for 14 years) is that communication really is key. We talk a lot more about things we never did before. And being comfortable talking to each other about sex is one of them.
What if the sex is boring?
Sex doesn’t have to be a chore. Especially if you’ve been with your partner for a long time, having sex with each other can get boring. It happens! But there’s things you can do to help each other bring it back. Just remember to keep it down – I’m sure the kids and the neighbours don’t want to hear what’s going on after hours…
What if your partner’s not up for it?
This is a tricky one because it involves understanding how your partner is feeling and what their reasons are for not having sex with you. It could just be stress. It could be something more. YOU HAVE TO TALK TO EACH OTHER. It’s really the only way unless you’re psychic and don’t have to ask. I highly doubt that otherwise you wouldn’t be lacking in sex.
Even when we THINK we know what our partners are feeling, we don’t actually know so it’s crucial to talk to each other. If they’re not one to easily open up, find a way to be able to get through to them. If it still doesn’t work, perhaps speaking to a counsellor or therapist could help you both out.
PS. Don’t forget, it’s Valentine’s Day on February 14th – make an effort as we’re not able to go anywhere, you might as well make the most of it in the bedroom!
Your mini-guide to lockdown loving:
TALK IT OUT. The simplest of them all. Let each other know that the flame is burning out. That way, you’re both acknowledging that there’s something missing. Sometimes when we get too caught up in our own things, we assume our partner knows there’s something lacking but in actual fact, they don’t know sh*t all. So talk it out. Figure out what’s missing.
TRY SOMETHING NEW. This can be anything from buying sexy lingerie to introducing something new into the bedroom ie. a sex toy, oral sex, anal sex whatever you both fancy. It could even just be trying out a new lube for the first time! Whatever it is, find something that make you both feel good doing it. Being a selfish lover is never any good so make sure that you are both being pleasured – it doesn’t have to be simultaneously but it shouldn’t be one-sided.
PICK A NEW ROOM. Never tried it in the kitchen? Or always thought about it in the bathroom? How about outdoors? Be careful with that last one because, you know, lockdown and all but if you have a private garden or balcony it could be possible. The thrill of doing it in a new location can be quite exciting and is sure to be fun as long as you’re both up to it. Just be considerate of your neighbours or who’s around if you’re planning on venturing out.
RECONSIDER YOUR CONTRACEPTION. If you’ve lost your libido like I did, ask yourself if it could be your contraception. If so, would you be able to consider another method. You have to find a method that works for you so I wouldn’t promote any form of contraception over the other. You know your body best so if you’re unsure of what you can switch to, ask your GP or a sexual health advisor.
STRESS LESS. Most likely, if you’re not getting enough sex it’s because you’re stressed, or tired, or both. Exhaustion and irritation can be manifestations of stress which increases your cortisol levels. This will leave you feeling fatigue and you could experience a loss of libido because of it. Stress is also not good for the body, in fact it’s actually really taxing on your body as it puts it in a constant state of ‘fight-or-flight’.
So chill out. Give yourself some time. Have a hot bath soak. Listen to some music. Read a book. Do some yoga. Get some downtime in to really calm your mind and body.
KNOW YOUR BODY. Sounds pretty simple. You see your body every day, you know what it looks like therefore you know your body right? But do you know how it feels like? Self-love is not just about loving yourself from the outside in. It’s also about loving what your amazing body can do, how it can feel… and sometimes we have to discover that intimacy with ourselves first.
If you’ve never tried exploring yourself before and you want to, you to give it a go. I know not everyone approves of this so it’s up to you but if you want to, try it. Some women are unable to orgasm with a partner but when they’re touching themselves, they’re able to orgasm multiple times. And if you know your body well and know how to make it feel that way, you can help your partner figure it out too.
WATCH PORN. I wasn’t sure if I should list this one or if it falls under the ‘try something new’ heading but sometimes a good porn can get you both going. Or at least the one of you who’s watching. Watching porn together is something I don’t do – I still find that weird and it’s something we like doing separately, in our own time. It is easier to get aroused after watching porn so it could be an easy place to start, and it’s mostly free nowadays too. Woop woop!
There is a widely-held belief that humans are omnivorous (both meat- and plant-eating), so eating a solely vegan-based diet with no meat, fish or poultry cannot be safe in pregnancy. However, I and many others, would disagree with that statement.
I was almost 40 years old when I was pregnant with my first child. At that time, my diet mainly consisted of whole vegetables, small amounts of wholegrain, tofu, lentils and pulses, nuts and seeds. I ate as I normally would throughout both of my pregnancies. I had no morning sickness, no particular cravings, no complications or deficiencies, and was able to deliver both of my children safely at home by home birth. During both of my pregnancies, I took multivitamins and folic acid as recommended by health professionals.
I then started to wonder if my experiences were rare ones, or were there many vegan women out there experiencing the same problem-free pregnancies like I did. So I did some research and found that there were many other new mums who were also vegan during their pregnancies.
All of the new mums I spoke to adopted a ‘wholefoods natural diet’ during their pregnancies
None of them experienced any cravings
Two out of the seven experienced severe morning sickness ate plain toast for their first trimester
Two were diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GD) in the second trimester which was successfully managed by eating a wholefoods-vegan diet
Soups and stews were frequently mentioned as the main ‘go to’ meals
Marmite, tofu, tempeh, brown rice, aduki beans, miso soup, and ginger were also popular food options
“When I had morning (all day) sickness I ate a lot of baked potatoes, as I didn’t fancy much else. Luckily potatoes have vitamins in the skin, and so I felt they were better than other bland things. I supplemented potatoes with vitamins and iron. I also remember eating dried mangoes, cucumber, and miso at some points, and drinking orange juice. When I recovered from the morning sickness, I ate a lot of everything.”
For mum, Holly (one of the women diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes) said nut butters were a life saver for her special diet, thanks to the high-fat/protein and low-carb content in nuts, to sustain her through her pregnancy.
For Danielle, who developed cholestasis in her second trimester, meant she could only eat foods that were low in fats explained that “the vegan diet was great for this”.
Can you get the right nutrition from eating a vegan diet?
All the vegan women I spoke to were very knowledgable about vegan nutrition in pregnancy. They were all well aware of the need to increase protein intakes by 10-20%, and did so with greater attention based on eating good, balanced meals. Not all of them ate protein/rich foods like tofu, with many of them preferring pulses, grains and organic vegetables.
It is recommended in pregnancy for all mothers to take folic acid. With vegan pregnancies, it’s also highly recommended to take vitamin B12 and vitamin D supplements as these are not found in plant-based products. Half of the women I spoke to did mention they take diet supplements, but the other half only took the recommended folic acid supplements.
Helen, who has been vegan for many years, said: “I always try to follow a balanced diet. Supplements are recommended to pregnant people of all persuasions. I took vegan vitamins and iron before, during and after my pregnancy.”
Angie, who was vegan pregnant then raised her children on vegan diets, said she “just ate sensibly – mainly fruit and veg. I’d been vegan thirteen years before I became pregnant and had never been unwell so I assumed it all was ok…” shows it is possible to be healthy and vegan during and after pregnancy.
This was reiterated by Lee, who has been through two pregnancies as a vegan; “I didn’t even think about nutrition, I just followed what my body craved and had zero nutritional issues”.
Do pregnant vegans feel well?
None of the women I spoke to reported of any nutritional issues or deficienciesa during their pregnancies, and aside from the complications mentioned by some of the women, all of the mum-to-bes said they felt healthy during their pregnancy.
Danielle stated: “I am very strong and the muscle of the household, even when pregnant if something needs lifting, I’m your girl”.
Another mum, Emma said she continued to be vegan whilst breastfeeding and had a wonderful pregnancy with no issues whatsoever.
“I wasn’t sick once, I had no cravings, I felt great the whole time, had energy, my skin was the best it’s ever been and I continued to work-out throughout the entire pregnancy. Postpartum I was told I had great colostrum, since my baby only lost 70g initially and I had a plentiful supply of milk, the health visitor actually said I had too much!”
Emma, new mum
What do health professionals think of pregnant women following vegan diets?
All of the new mums I spoke to remarked on how compassionate and empathetic their health care teams were of their vegan food choices. None of them was pressured or advised to eat animal products, including the women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Emma: “I didn’t tell my midwife that I was vegan because I expected a negative response which I didn’t want to deal with at that time. However, in hospital (after the birth) the team were very supportive in providing me with decent vegan food to eat.”
If you are vegan or vegetarian, don’t let the myth that you need animal products during your pregnancy put you off sticking to your plant-based diet. Eating a healthy and balanced vegan diet during your pregnancy can be good for you and your baby – and as long as there aren’t any vegan foods that are on the ‘no go’ list during your pregnancy, you won’t have to give anything up either.
This is a contribution post from guest writer, Louise Palmer-Masterton – founder of multiple award-winning restaurants Stem & Glory.
One of the most crucial life skills is learning how to communicate. Research shows that children with effective communication skills have a better chance of fitting in the community than their peers. They also learn better and are able to cope with stressful situations. Going through communication kids training can help improve your child’s personal development.
Communication is fundamental to kids’ development. It directly impacts your kid’s progress, more so in the information age. According to studies, effective communicators are more successful in life than those who aren’t. Now that you’re at home with your little one all day and night, you need to improve your responsiveness and look for communication games that you can participate in to stimulate their development.
We’re going to discuss some fun games you can engage in to build your kids’ communication skills interactively. You can also check must-have baby items for fun games to help you teach your kids to express themselves better. Let’s dive in.
1. The Telephone Game
This is a fun-filled game for children of all ages. And no doubt you’ll enjoy the game too. If there are not many children around, you can include other adults in the house to engage in these communication activities for kids. To play the game, have everyone participating sit close together to make whispering easy. Start with the child and whisper a simple message in their ear, then ask them to repeat the same message to the participant on their right. Make sure every participant gets a chance and make the messages complex as you continue with the game. This old school game is an entertaining way to develop your kid’s listening skills.
2. Show and Tell
This is one of the most interesting communication games for kids. It fosters confidence, eloquence, and vocabulary. Ask your little one to speak five lines and exhibit an item related to your topic of choice such as a favorite toy or meal.
3. Emotional Charades
Do you know some people struggle with understanding facial expressions? You wouldn’t want the same for your child. This is one of the communication skills activities for kids that helps them understand facial expressions. They also read body posture and signals that are a huge part of communication. You can write a few things on cards and hand them out, asking your child to depict the indicated emotion. It could be anger, sadness, or boredom. You can reverse the game and ask your kid to draw emotions that they experience daily.
Talking about emotional development, we need to mention that animal communication for kids is necessary to improve their empathy and respect for every living being.
4. Pointing Directions
Using communication worksheets for kids can enable your child to improve their written communication. It also helps them in successful navigation. Have your kid write down directions to a nearby place. Once that happens, start the journey with them towards that location. You can make suggestions on what they should have included.
You can use communication devices for kids to create a presentation. Inform your child that they’ll make a presentation in front of an audience. Topics could be about anything; for instance, a simple poem about something they love. This teaches your little one to present them and can be done with kids of all ages. Research shows that people who are comfortable speaking in public make more money and become more successful than their less eloquent peers.
6. Identify the Object
You probably played this game when you were a kid. If not, here’s how to do it. You can have a few kids around and blindfold one. The others will choose an item that can be described easily. They should take turns describing a feature of the item for identification. They can also take turns with the blindfold. This effectively helps them learn essential skills for communication with kids.
7. Storytelling Using Pictures
You know this by now that kids love telling stories. Here, you present your kid with pictures and ask them to arrange all the photos in a way they tell a story. Using one picture and asking your child to describe what he sees is an exciting game that improves communication for kids.
Unrehearsed speech is a vital activity that aids your child with communication. It sharpens their public speaking ability, improves how fast they think, articulate, and organize thoughts. This is one of the most popular communication kids’ activities to build both their quick-thinking skills and public speaking ability.
9. Change the Leader
This game helps your child recognize and identify body language. Here, you choose one child to perform a few actions, such as stomping their feet, jumping, or clapping. The other kids repeat this action. Through smiling or winking, your little one can choose another child to become the leader and keep the game going.
10. 20 Questions
Does your child struggle to ask questions? This is an excellent game to build this skill. Gather some kids—the more, the merrier. Here, children can stand in a circle with one at the center. The kid at the center will think of a place, and the others have to ask a set of questions to determine what he thought about. The child at the center responds with a yes or no to the questions. If the group fails to guess correctly, the child wins. Simple and fun, right?
When it comes to communication definition for kids, there are many ways to look at it. However, at the end of the day, you want to have a well-adjusted child able to communicate effectively. Playing games such as pointing directions, presentation, show and tell, using pictures to tell stories, or the telephone game can lay the correct foundation for building essential communication skills. Write to us and let us know about the games that you have been playing and how they’ve improved your kid’s communication skills.
Guest Post by Amalia Liberman
This is a contribution post written by guest writer. Amalia is a wife and a mother of two as well as a novelist and writer, the author has been featured in Women’s Health magazine and also written different articles in lifestyle magazines. Her passions lead her to search out knowledge with all her searching and she doesn’t mind sharing her findings.
Last week was the week of National Breastfeeding Week. It’s been sooo long since I’ve breastfed but can still remember the anxiety that it gave me both times. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with breastfeeding in public, it should be more encouraged but it’s the not-knowing of how other people might take it but you know what? SOD THEM!
Do what you need to do. Feed your baby, don’t feel ashamed to do your duty.
While breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed a baby, many mothers feel nervous about doing it in public. A recent study by breastfeeding company, Lansinoh (who’s been supporting breastfeeding mums for over 35 years!), found that three quarters of mums feel more cautious about breastfeeding in public, as a direct result of COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions.
To help all new mums feel more confident about breastfeeding in public post-lockdown, Lansinoh teamed up with midwife and antenatal educator, Marley Hall, who shares her top tips for new mums:
Tip #1 – Go out with a breastfeeding mum
With lockdown measures easing slightly more, you can now meet up with several people outside your household so why not go out with a friend who is also breastfeeding? As the saying goes, there’s ‘safety in numbers’, and having another breastfeeding mum with you can help to give you the confidence to feed your little one in public for the first time.
Alternatively, if you don’t have any breastfeeding friends living nearby why not visit a baby-friendly café, where there’s more chance of being around other breastfeeding mums. There are also local NCT baby groups that you could join – check out your local community to see if there is one near you.
Tip #2. Know your rights
Many new mums who have given birth in the months since March will have never breastfed their child in public before. So it’s important to know your rights. The UK law gives mums the right to breastfeed their babies in any public place, such as shops, hotels and restaurants. You are also covered by the law to feed in cinemas, theatres, petrol stations, and hospitals.
While it’s extremely unlikely that anyone will question you for breastfeeding your child in public, this can often be a cause of worry for new mums who have yet to breastfeed in public, so it might be worthwhile to have a response prepared should the situation arise.
Tip #3. Plan your outfit beforehand
Make sure your clothing is as comfortable as possible, whilst also being easily accessible. Planning your outfit beforehand can make breastfeeding in public much more convenient, and also a lot more discrete for any mums feeling slightly nervous.
You don’t need to splash out on a new wardrobe either – you’ll most likely already have items in your wardrobe that will come in handy, such as tops and dresses with buttons or zips, wrap cardigans and stretchy tops, which you can easily pull down and back up again. A good breastfeeding bra with clips can also help to make breastfeeding easier.
My Emma Jane nursing bra was one of the best investments I gave myself as a new mum. It was super comfy, affordable and had those magical clips to make breastfeeding life easier. If you want a prettier style, these brands do some seriously nice nursing bras that can even match your outfit of the day.
4. Make sure to have a drink on hand
When you are out and about, ensure you have a drink and snacks handy. Breastfeeding can be thirsty work and there’s nothing worse than being thirsty or hungry when not in close proximity to a shop. It’s also very easy for both mum and baby to become dehydrated especially in the hotter, humid summer months so have a bottle in your bag.
If you want to be a little fancy, you can infuse your water with lemon slices and mint for a light refreshing taste. The smell of fresh mint too is delicious!
5. Focus on enjoying the moment
You might be surprised to hear that most people don’t notice when a mum is feeding her baby at all but, if you notice someone watching you feed, try not to worry or feel uncomfortable. It’s most likely they are simply intrigued by what you are doing. Just try to continue to focus on feeding your baby and enjoy the moment with your little one.
If you think you will still feel uncomfortable, bring a spare muslin cloth with you and throw it over your shoulder as you’re feeding to give you and baby a little more privacy. There are also cool nursing covers that you can buy – they look like an apron and you just put it on over your neck and there’s plenty of breathing space for baby to feed comfortably underneath. Do be aware with either of these things on a windy day as they can easily blow around.
Feeding baby in a sling is also another method but you’ll have to make sure you follow Tip #3.
Practice makes progress!
A good latch is vital for achieving a smooth breastfeeding experience, and this comes down to practise. Finding a comfortable position for both you and your baby will help to ensure that they are getting enough breast milk and prevent you from developing sore nipples. If you do have sore or cracked nipples lanolin cream is one of the best things you can put on. Lansinoh’s nipple cream is amazing and one of my top 5 breastfeeding products I couldn’t live without.
Some mums prefer to raise their baby to breast height, whilst other mums prefer to hold their babies diagonally across their bodies. To make sure that you feel comfortable and familiar with getting into position in public, make sure to try out a few positions at home and practice until you find the position that works best for you.
Forget the time-outs and the naughty step, many British parents are giving in to their child/children’s every whim during the lockdown and the repercussions could cause detrimental consequences for their health.
Did you know that…
• 1.9 million children at risk of obesity due to lockdown eating habits
• One third of UK children overweight or obese
• 97% of UK children at home during lockdown
• 45% of parents are being pestered for sugary snacks by children
Before the pandemic hit, one third of children in the UK, aged between two and fifteen were classed as overweight or obese, with the health crisis costing the NHS £6.1 billion per year. A recent study also showed that 45% of British parents were being overthrown with requests from their children for sugar-filled snacks and drinks whilst stuck at home during the lockdown.
Parents fight an ongoing battle between working-from-home, homeschooling and good parenting. Sometimes, it becomes easier to compromise on the little things help to offer some relief for the other things. So the children learn to use this to their advantage and get that sugary treat whenever they felt like it. Some parents might even do it out of guilt – feeling like they’ve subjected their children to these harsh times so a treat can help keep them happy and positive.
With around 4.5 million children in the UK – 97% of those were cooped up at home during the lockdown. We were one of those families – our children didn’t go out at all during the lockdown but since the easing, we’ve been able to get out and about a little bit more. We don’t always treat the kids to sugary snacks, sweets or drinks but can definitely agree that we have been giving them it more often post-lockdown compared to before.
The NHS could well see a spike in obesity in the next few years to come. Wayne Starkey, CEO and Co-Founder of healthy food and drink brand, The Skinny Food Co, said: Sugar can have detrimental short and long term effects on our children, from mood swings and anxiety, to depression, tooth decay and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
“As a Dad myself, I understand how difficult it can be to change bad eating habits once they start, so opting for healthier alternatives is a much easier way to limit high calorie snacking for everyone in your household.”
The Skinny Food Co is a food and drink brand dedicated to zero calorie sauces, syrups and healthy snacking options. They also offer Free-from food and snacks including sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan-friendly, protein-heavy, diabetic-friendly and keto-friendly.
Best ways to AVOID consuming high sugars:
Eat the fresh fruit whole and cut down/avoid eating too much dried fruit
Avoid juicing as you don’t gain any nutritional intake, only sugars
If you make smoothies, include the whole fruit to make use of the pulp and flesh and add in a variety of vegetables for nutritious smoothie, a fruit-only smoothie is not ideal as it can be high in sugars
Eat high-sugar fruits like bananas, oranges and melons when they’re just ripe. Over-ripe fruits have a very high sugar content
Avoid or at least limit sugary drinks, foods and snacks – if you might, opt for sugar-free or low-calorie alternatives
For the full range from The Skinny Food Co, to place orders or for more details, visit www.theskinnyfoodco.com, alternatively pop into your local Morrisons, Holland & Barrett, Co-Op and Spar stores.
The closure of schools in response to the Coronavirus pandemic has meant millions of parents are having to play the role of ‘full-time teacher’ to their already busy work schedule. Murray Morrison, founder of learning program Tassomai and ex-supertutor explains why it’s more than OK to lean on technology for support.
Article by Murray Morrison
Let’s get one thing straight right from the start: it is not your job to replace your child’s teacher for the duration of the school closure. Parents all over the country are piling on way too much pressure to meet their own expectations of what homeschooling “should” be, while also trying to maintain their day-to-day job. Be under no illusions that your main obligation should be to your own work – you are not a teacher, and that’s fine.
Give yourself a break – and remember school will cover everything
When school resumes, the first thing that will happen is that teachers will run over everything from last year, and teach everything that had been planned for teaching during the “lost term”. There is no new learning that is meant to happen now that won’t be taught – so there is no pressure on families to exclusively cover this new content.
That said, getting your children to read what the school sends, and spend time practising, reading around the subject (and making notes where they can) will be positive – it means that when the material is taught in class, it will be easier to absorb. That’s going to be useful when the teaching next year is necessarily compressed.
Find things to occupy them so you can do your stuff
Self-directed learning will be a great stand-by: not only does it make for better, longer-lasting learning for your child, but also it gives you time to focus on your own work. The key thing is to make sure that work is done in a structured way with tangible outcomes that you can check periodically. Don’t let them just “read some notes”; instead ask them to make flashcards, make a video or write an essay. Technology comes in very useful here – especially if there is interactivity: Tassomai helps students practise knowledge through personalised quizzing while parents can see exactly how much has been done; other softwares teach through videos that track engagement.
EdTech can really be your friend when it comes to getting your children studying under their own steam: BBC Bitesize has fantastic learning games for all age groups, and a few minutes browsing YouTube will yield plenty of excellent learning channels for occasional use through the day.
Make the time you spend together happy, enriching, positive time that school cannot offer
When it comes to working one-to-one with your children, if you can take a few hours off for it, I’d recommend parents spend their time doing activities that schools cannot provide. There are a wealth of “enrichment” activities that schools struggle to support, but parents can do fairly easily. There are obvious options like craft projects, story-writing and baking which allow you to be creative and discuss words, ideas, maths and science. But you could also try some gardening projects or – with just a few materials like cardboard and tape – tackle some STEM projects like making beautiful 3D shapes, building bridges or constructing gliders.
Use technology where you can to make learning effective and powerful
My advice to parents is to spend a little time seeing what technology platforms are best-suited to solving your most pressing needs as parents: you want education technology that occupies your child’s attention so you have time to do your own work; you also want products that have a solid evidence base underpinning them, so you can be confident that their use will be beneficial.
Check sites like Edtech Impact and Edtech Evidence Group to see which products can be trusted to have a real learning impact so that you can focus on your work and make the time you spend learning with your children as wonderful as possible.
This is a contribution post written by Murray Morrison for The Expert Agency with consent to be shared on this blog.
Looking after children’s skin is very important. For my own kids, they don’t go a day without cleansing with water and a face cloth and moisturising with shea butter/coconut oil whip that I made. I know that when the kids get older I’d have to step up their routine.
Children can grow up so fast. One minute, they’re running around and scattering Lego on the floor, and the next thing you know, they’re spending lots of time in front of the mirror, worrying about their skin and hair. Throughout the changes that they’ll go through in life, it’s important to be there for them every step of the way, especially when it comes to hygiene and skincare.
According to a survey, 81% of young girls said that having clear and healthy skin was very important to them. However, because of lack of skincare knowledge, 45% of girls ages 12 to 14 are choosing to wear too much makeup to cover up their bad skin. It is important to let children know that applying too many layers of makeup can lead to greater skin problems and having a skincare routine is essential to one’s overall health. It’s never too early to let your child know some healthy skin habits, so follow these tips to help your child develop a skincare routine.
Teach your child about her skin type Most children have healthy skin, but by the time they turn 11, some will experience having acne, oily skin, or even dry skin. Assess your child’s skin and teach him or her about her skin type. If you’re not certain, you can find out by doing this simple test to determine his or her skin type. Have your child wash her face with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water. After two hours, observe how the skin looks. If her skin looks tight, dull, and feels itchy, then she has dry skin. Oily skin looks and feels greasy, has large pores, and is prone to breakouts. Knowing about skin type helps you and your child find the right skincare products before he or she starts doing a regular skincare routine.
Cleanse well The first thing that you need to teach your child is to cleanse his skin well. Proper cleansing can help to clear up acne and prevent breakouts, especially if your child has very oily skin Encourage him to do this at least twice a day—once in the morning before going to school, and once in the evening before bedtime. Your child should cleanse all the way up to the hairline and behind the ears every single time. Choose a mild, pH balanced, milky cleanser with little to no scent. Gentle face washes, hypoallergenic products, and cleansers with few synthetic ingredients are ideal for young skin.
Moisturise Applying moisturiser is an essential part of any skincare routine as it keeps the skin supple. Moreover, it is beneficial in improving the skin’s texture, and whether your child has oily or dry skin, it is crucial to use the right type of moisturiser to ensure the skin’s health. A gel-type moisturiser may be more suitable for oily skin, while dry skin will benefit from a lotion or cream formula.
Sun protection Protecting one’s skin from the harmful rays of the sun should be a priority. Sunscreen prevents sunburn, premature ageing, and skin cancer, so kids, especially those who participate in outdoor sports, should make it a habit to use sunscreen every day. Let your child bring a small tube of sunscreen to school as well so he or she can reapply as needed.
Having good skincare habits at a young age can help a child have healthy skin that will benefit him as he gets older. Try these tips to help your child develop a skincare routine. In case of serious skin problems, consult your dermatologist.
A new study has found that 75% of women in the UK want to exercise more. But having a busy schedule, taking care of the family’s needs, or fear of being judged at the gym are holding women back from accomplishing their fitness goals. Fortunately, there are ways to workout while staying at home and you can squeeze exercise into your day in more ways than one. To stay healthy, adults aged 19 to 64 should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week and strength exercises at least two days a week. For you to meet the recommended amount of physical activity per week, here are 5 brilliant ways to sneak in exercise while at home.
1. Clean your home
Cleaning your home not only gives you a healthier environment to live in but it also allows you to fit in exercise into your day. Mopping, dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming, or cleaning the bathroom can give you a good upper body workout, and it’s even better if you do a couple of lunges or squats while doing any of these activities. However, make sure to avoid using allergy-causing cleaning products as you can end up getting rashes or serious burns and undo all the good that you did to take care of your body. Opt to use natural cleansers whenever you clean your home and move vigorously to make your cleaning workout more intense.
2. Hand wash a load of dirty clothes
Instead of using the washing machine, try hand washing a load of dirty clothes to exercise your arms and shoulders. Hand washing your clothes correctly has so many advantages, you get to workout while doing your chores, save on water and electricity costs, and prolong the life of your clothing.
3. Start every morning with a few exercise moves
After you wake up and make the bed, start your day right by doing some gentle stretching, a few crunches, and as many push-ups as you can. Set aside at least 10 minutes every morning to do these exercises which can strengthen your muscles and core. Doing exercises the moment you get out of bed also helps to make you more awake and ready to face the day.
4. If you’re heading outdoors, speed walk or jog to wherever you’re goin
Instead of walking at a leisurely pace, speed walk or jog to the grocery, the bank, or any other place where you need to go. Doing so counts as your moderate aerobic activity for the day. To motivate you to do this, wear running shoes before heading outdoors and bring a small bottle of water with you to stay hydrated.
5. Walk the dog a little longer
If you usually do just one circuit of your neighbourhood while walking your dog, try doing another circuit to fit in some extra cardio into your day. You can also take the dog to the park and play with your pet so you get to spend more time being outdoors, which is essential to good health.
There are many ways to fit exercise into your daily routine, all you have to do is to turn daily activities into proper workouts. Follow these tips to sneak in exercise while you’re at home for your health and well-being. 🙂
A contribution post by freelance writer, Jane Sandwood. If you enjoyed reading this post, don’t forget to share it with others below.
There are so many things to teach your children. Whether it’s how to handle money, the importance of emotional intelligence or staying safe in public, parenting has to cover a lot ground. One important area that can sometimes be neglected is chores. While these may be just simple day-to-day tasks, ensuring that your child is both competent in them and understands their importance is absolutely vital.
In this article we give a few reasons why children should get involved in a range of household chores from learning how to defrost a freezer step by step to properly putting out the recycling. And for anyone out there whose children are less than excited about this idea, here are also a few top tips of how to get your kids enthusiastic about their domestic duties!
Honing useful practical skills
The first reason why it’s important to get your little ones involved in household chores is so they learn useful practical skills. As a child you are learning everything from scratch so whatever you are doing will contribute to your development. For example, if a child learns how to defrost a freezer not only will they get specific skills in this task, but also start learning about food storage and safety.
Learning the importance of personal responsibility
As over-stressed parents we often think we need to do everything for our kids, but anyone living in a home has a responsibility to contribute it. Involving your kids in day-to-day tasks will help them understand their responsibilities as members of the family. After doing a few chores they’ll probably appreciate all your work a whole lot more too.
Making them better housemates and partners
Finally, when children are brought up as hard-workers, helping to clean and tidy a house from a young age they make much better housemates and partners after leaving home. This is absolutely vital to the maintenance of friendships and relationships in early adulthood when they are likely to be sharing accommodation for a good few years. Teaching good habits early will pay dividends down the line.
How do you get kids involved in household chores?
Incentivise the task:A controversial strategy, but a fail-safe one. If your child is reticent to help out, link their pocket money to their efforts. This will get the average youngster up and cleaning in no time.
Make it fun: Chores don’t have to be boring. If your kids aren’t keen to get involved, make the tasks fun. Turn vacuuming into a dance party, take the rubbish out while wearing funny wigs… Anything to get them enthused.
Give them responsibility: We all know how much more satisfying it is to do a task when we have actual responsibility for it. Give each of your children an area of the house for the week and ask them to take responsibility for all the chores. They will soon learn to take pride in their work.
Getting your kids involved in household chores is a great way to make them responsible, hard-working adults. Find ways to make it fun and engaging and in no time at all you’ll have a few busy worker bees helping with your daily tasks.
A guest contribution post by freelance writer, Joana from Cleanipedia