Being a parent is hard work and I’m sure many of us have come across the list of jobs parents do. You know the list? The one where it says a parent is a cleaner, nurse, translator, taxi driver, party planner, personal shopper, negotiator, photographer, cook, travel agent, stylist, secretary, teacher, conflict resolution expert and more. On call, 24 hours a day, with no retirement and the only payment is cuddles and possibly big, smooshy kisses from a toddler with biscuit round their mouth.
Starting school is a big event for any child and with those first steps into the reception classroom comes the first steps to learning reading and writing. Some children seem to take to all this like a duck to water and start school already knowing how to form some letters, write their name and maybe more.
Though what if your child is one that finds learning to write hard to get the hang of? What can do you at home to encourage your budding Shakespeare to practice writing? Also importantly, after spending a day at school, how can practice be fun so that it feels more like playing than working?
Learning to talk and be understood is a key part of a child’s development. So what do you do when it doesn’t seem to be happening quite as it should? How do you encourage your child’s speech development when you talk and read to them all the time but you don’t seem to be getting anywhere.
Both my boys, despite all my efforts, have had speech delay. My eldest, who I refer to on my blog as Big Robot, had a series of ear infections and a repeatedly rupturing ear drum when he was 12-18 months old. Right at the time he’d be learning to say his first few words he couldn’t hear properly. He learnt to talk and he’d happily chat to anyone but, every time he chatted to a shop assistant, playgroup worker or even his grandma, they’d be looking to me to translate. I was the only one that could understand him. My youngest, Little Robot, came along when Big Robot was 2. By the time Little Robot was learning to talk we had sought referral to speech therapy for Big Robots problems (he was 3.5 at this point) and were starting work on correcting his speech. Unfortunately, Little Robot copied some of his older brothers speech and, whilst his speech was never as unintelligible as Big Robots, I’m now working through speech therapy resources with him at home to help his speech.
You’ve probably heard the word mindfulness many times before. It seems to be the latest thing for dealing with stress, anxiety and just living a happier life. There’s articles about it everywhere. Though how can mindfulness help children? And how can we teach them to be in the present moment?
I’ve noticed as my children have gotten older, they pick up the habits from grown ups. What I mean by that is babies tend to live in the present moment and, as children grow, they start looking to the past, wishing they could go back or looking to the future and wishing it would come faster or not happen at all.