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Archive for July, 2010

Top Tips For Happy Marriages After Children

Parents should remember they are also a couple, and offers advice on how to keep relationships firing on all cylinders

As well as bringing lots of joy, the arrival of children actually increases the stress on the parents’ relationship. While in the long term, parents can report that children bring them closer, the transition from being a couple to being parents together is fraught with problems such as dealing with the huge demands of a new baby and working out differences in your parenting roles.


Sunny Day or Rainy Day Crafts

Here are some crafts to keep little people busy, if you end up in again, on another rainy day.


What You Need:

  • A rainy day!
  • Heavy white construction paper
  • Powder tempera paint ( various colors)
  • Shaker bottles ( old spice shakers, salt shakers, or I used empty glitter shakers with the shake top in place)
  • Good idea to have smocks or some other slip on garment to help protect clothes.

What You Do:

1. Lay out newspaper on a flat surface such as your back counter or table.

2. Have different colors of powder paint set out in the shaker containers.

3. Give each child a piece of the paper.

4. Gently shake a color of your choice onto the plain paper. Sprinkle it randomly around your paper using a light hand with the color.

5. Choose another color or two and repeat step 4.

6. Have some plastic such as large trash bags or old vinyl table cloth to lay on the ground outside in the rain.

7. Lay the children’s pictures paint face up in the rain on the plastic.

8. Depending on how hard it is raining, let the pictures stay out in the rain till desired effect is achieved.

9. The raindrops will pitter-pat on the dry paint and will create designs when the water and paint mix. My kids were very excited about this fun project, I even got in the act!!

10. Bring in painting to dry flat over night.

11. When dry, spray with some hairspray before putting on bulletin board to help keep paint adhered.

Sunny Day Footprints

What You Need:

A large roll of wallpaper

Paper Plates

Washable Kids Paints eg. Crayola Washable Paints (4 pack)

Old clothes

What you do:

You need to go outside into the garden.  Put some coloured paint onto paper plates. Dress the kids in old clothes or painting smocks. Take off kids shoes and socks.  Encourage them to run around through the plates of paint and onto the rolled out paper.

Final result:  a lovely selection of coloured footprints.

Ladybird Pebbles

What you need:

One or two medium sized pebbles.

Red Paint

Black Paint

Paint brushes

Assorted googly eyes from craft shop.

What to do:

Help your child to paint the pebbles red.

When dry add the wings head, and spots in black.

Finally stick on googly eyes

To slap or not to slap!

This argument raises its head again as a new study claims, we are undecided in Ireland as a nation.

Most couples will argue about this at some point on and off, during their parenting years. Especially as baby starts to get older and discipline comes into play.

A lot of couples find that they have very different approaches to discipline and a lot of this stems from the way each of us were disciplined at home growing up. Some parents will revert to their parents way, others are determined to try not to and seek out other methods of disciplining their children.

Over the years with the availability and power of media parents have much more information available to them than previous generations had.  No one ever really commented on this topic people just got on with it. Dealing with Grandparents and other relations opinions can also prove to be very stressful, as most people have an opinion one way or another.

The emergence of such programmes as Supernanny and 21st Century child has opened up a whole new direction in parenting. While it appears that Supernanny has all the techniques and answers but in practice does it work?

However some parents still slap their children and stand over their reasons for doing so.

One thing is for sure discipline is one of the more difficult parts of parenting and in my experience with an 11 year old 8 year old and 2 year old it does not get any easier as they get older!

It is and I believe it always will be a very sensitive topic.

Last week the following statistics were printed about the subject.

Two recent studies, carried out on behalf of the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, reveal that as a nation we are undecided about whether physical discipline is necessarily a bad thing. According to the reports, Parenting Styles and Discipline: Parents’ and Children’s Perspectives, while most parents use non-aggressive ‘inductive’ methods to discipline their child most of the time (talking to them in a calm manner, for example), 67pc also believe there is nothing wrong with giving a child an occasional smack.

Currently, it is not illegal to smack your child in Ireland, a fact just one third of participants in the study were aware of. Some 42pc felt it should be made illegal while 34pc felt it should remain legal. A further 24pc felt that whether it was made illegal or not should depend on the age of the child. And of the 1,353 parents who were interviewed for the parents’ section of the two studies, 25pc of them admitted to having smacked their children over the past 12 months.

25pc of parents say they have smacked in the past 12 months. their child

Most of these said smacked a child they on the bottom, hand or leg

67pc believe there is no harm in giving occasional smack a child an

42pc of parents feel smacking should be banned

48pc of parents have shouted, yelled or child in the past year swore at a

3pc said they shook, grabbed or pushed the past year, either a child in (1.3pc) often (1.4pc) or occasionally

One third of parents reported being hit with a slipper or a similar  instrument during childhoods, while their own almost a quarter smacked or slapped had been on the face, head or ears

64.6pc of parents believe smacking necessary to bring is not up a well-behaved child

Almost 60pc believe parents should have to smack their children the right if they so wish

51.7pc of parents thought smacking reason for stopping was a good a child from doing dangerous something

58pc of parents did not believe smacking effective in achieving was long-term discipline goals.

Results taken from an original article in Mothers and Babies

Why I lie to my children by Juliet Bridges

It’s seven months since Juliet Bridges and her husband split up and he moved out, but why have they decided against telling their daughter, nine, and son, seven? (more…)

A break from the kids and one more lesson in being a Mum passed!!

My mother in law offered during the first week of the school holidays to take my older two away. “Let me have them there is a good summer camp here and they will have lots of fun!”  I did not need to be asked twice, although I did feel a little guilty. But the constant arguing between them here, the tensions as I tried to re arrange a perfectly working child minding pattern, I had developed while they were in school, all was beginning to take it’s toll. The worst was we were only 2 weeks into the holidays, could I even make it to the 30th of August!! It was as hard on them as on me. This may ease it for everyone.

So off we went last weekend, bags packed excitement kicking in as they realised they were about to spend a week with their fabulous young and glamorous Gran! They had indeed been booked into a great local camp every activity any 11 year old and 8 year old could wish for, including absailing, rock climbing and swimming.

Then it started the guilt slowly creeping in, kicked off by the 11 year olds nervousness as she realised the enormity of going to a camp where she knew no one. The 8 year olds solution to just announce he wasn’t staying and would have his bags packed by the time we were heading back to Dublin.

What was I to do? (more…)

Keep ‘baby on board’ with a properly fitted car seat

Three out of four child car seats are fitted incorrectly. That’s the scary fact that research from the Road Safety Authority‘s (RSA) ‘Check it Fits’ Roadshows over the last four years has revealed.

What’s more, more than half of all seats checked would have provided little or no protection to the child in the event of a crash.

With your child’s safety at stake, what should you do? (more…)

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