I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the importance of stories. Not the kind in books (although books stories are totally essential) but rather ‘people stories’.
Every person has their own story – often we have no idea about the hardships people have gone through but not only the hardships, the fabulous adventures and exquisite romances.
My husband’s 96-year-old South African granny tells a brilliant story of her husband who went off to fight in the war against Hitler on the side of the British. He ended up in a Prisoner of War camp but managed to escape with a friend over the Italian Alps.
Tired, hungry and ill, the men found a farm house and were nursed back to health by an Italian mamma before making their way back home to South Africa (I am not too sure how that bit happened).
The story is just too cool to forget!
I am big on the idea of generational storytelling and find it pretty sad that the oral tradition has been lost. If I think about it, I know very little about my grandparents. I know the odd story here and there but it’s just not good enough. I have very few family stories to pass on to my children.
I recently read some interesting statistics that formed part of a study commissioned by From Me to You, which said that more than half of us do not talk to our parents or grandparents about our family heritage and reveals an insight into the importance of family story-telling.
Over 40 per cent of us don’t know where our maternal grandmothers or paternal grandfathers were born, a quarter of us don’t know what our grandfathers did for a job, and almost a third of us don’t know our grandmother’s full name. And it gets worse…
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Children get colds, it’s pretty much a given. The stats, according to WebMD, say that pre-schoolers contract between 9 and 12 per year, which seems like a lot; our children could suffer a cold a month.
Although our kiddies most certainly will have their fair share of snotty noses and wheezy chests (no matter the season) there are some things that we can do to help prevent colds. Here are some tips to prevent your child from getting a cold:
1. Sleep – make sure your little ones are getting enough sleep. Sleep is an immune booster; if sleep is minimal, immunity is bound to be low and children will thus be more susceptible to getting a cold.
2. Wash hands – colds are usually spread through touch so teaching your child to wash his hands at regular intervals during the day is a good way to prevent a cold. If you turn hand-washing into a habit hopefully your child will comply at nursery when you aren’t around to remind him. Also keep a bottle of hand hygiene gel with you when you’re out and about.
3. Hand over mouth – if your little one does end up with a cold, teach him to put his hand over his mouth when he coughs or sneezes; this will (hopefully) help prevent his siblings from getting the same cold.
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Once your child is settled into the school routine, you may decide the time is right to start them in some after-school clubs. My children’s school doesn’t allow the reception class to join after-school activities, so for us, this started in Year 1.
Although you might already be taking your child to various activities outside of school, such as swimming, dancing, gymnastics or a martial art, school clubs are a great option for several reasons:
- They are free, so your child can try out new skills without it breaking the bank
- You don’t need to rush to get your child there after school
- They are in familiar surroundings with familiar faces
- They extend the school day, which can really help working parents
- They can help your child establish themselves within the school, get to know different teachers and make new friends
Discuss the different options with your child, and find out if any of their friends are going to a particular club. Then make sure you know whether they need to take any equipment with them, and what time and where to collect them.
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Starting school is a daunting prospect, both for the child and for the parents. Some children may never have been away from home for much more than a morning or two per week before they start school, while others may have been in nursery or pre-school anywhere up to five days per week.
Whatever your circumstances, starting primary school is still a big step. But it is one you can prepare for, Here’s our starting school tips:
* First day: The first day is nerve-wracking for all involved, but being prepared can really help. Find out what your child will need to take with them and get everything ready in good time. This could be anything from the right uniform and a lunchbox to a P.E. kit, book bag, snack and branded water bottle.
Make sure you get it all before the end of the previous term, especially if you need to buy items from the school office, as the school will be closed during the holidays.
If you think you might struggle to get your child over the threshold, promising a special trip to the ice-cream parlour or their favourite playground at the end of the first day can give them something else to think about and help them over the initial hurdle. But be aware that they will be tired. Continue reading →
Deciding to send your child to nursery or pre-school is a big step. For many of us – myself included – there is little or no choice: we have to work to pay the bills, so our children have to spend at least part of their week in childcare.
For others, who are able (and willing!) to spend all week at home with their children, sending them to a setting outside of the home can be a way of developing their social skills in preparation for starting primary school.
Whatever your reason for choosing to start your child in a nursery or pre-school, it can be a daunting prospect – usually more so for you than for your child! Quite apart from the practicalities of finding a setting that you and your child are both happy with, you might be battling with internal feelings such as guilt, doubt, and separation anxiety.
In my experience, the best way to maintain your confidence (and, therefore, that of your child) in taking this step is to be quite clear on your reasons for doing it. While opinion is divided on what age is best for a child to spend time away from home and parents, attending childcare at an early age can have benefits in terms of social interaction and emotional development.
Of course, every child is different, and as their parent, you are best placed to know if your child is ready.
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