Friday, 3 July 2015

Talking to children about death

Before I had children I had a huge list of things, that I as a parent felt sure that I wasn't ever going to do, and one of those things was talking about death, I truly believed that you have your whole life to take things seriously and to worry, I believed that worry shouldn't be put onto a child's shoulders, after all death is sometimes hard to comprehend as an adult, but when you are a child there is so much confusion and they have far more time to worry and become upset.

After Easter, the subject of death has become very popular with Liam, he had learned about Jesus on the cross and his resurrection at school and had lots of questions, for a while I tried to ignore the constant questions and I did the whole nice thing telling him that you went to the sky and you could play in the clouds, but to be quite honest I knew he didn't believe me, the questions were repetitive almost everyday, it was almost as if he knew I was lying. The thing is I wasn't lying I was just trying to protect him from something I knew would upset him.

Until this question "Mummy I could hurt someone and then they would come back to life"

It was in that moment, I realised you cant protect them or lie to them because it brings confusion and there was no way I wanted him thinking he could go round hurting people and they would come back to life like Jesus.

The trouble is if we leave children alone with fears and misunderstandings, they can grow and grow. We need to talk to children about dying so that the myths don’t take over, and so that they don’t feel isolated or guilty about what they think. It’s much better to have helped your child to have an understanding of death, funerals, burial and cremation before being confronted with these things when someone close to them dies. I have learned children are never to young to talk about death and dying.

Talking to a child about death and dying isn't easy, it is a difficult subject all round to approach but I have found ignoring questions that a child has can make a situation far worse, your child needs to know that it is alright to ask even if you feel you don't have all the answers.

  1. Listen to the question your child is asking has even if you think it is silly, to them they need real answers.
  2. Use language that a child can understand using words such as "passed away" can leave a child confused.
  3. Don't tell them things like People only die when they're old, as it is not true and can cause future confusion and upset.
  4. Try to answer questions as soon as they arise, as a child's attention span is limited.
  5. Use life examples such as insects that have died or the leaves on the trees dying to show them that all things have to die.
  6. Get your child to repeat back to you what you have told them so you know they have an understanding of what you have taught them.
  7. reassure them it is alright to feel sad and upset, as naturally they are going to feel that way, just be there to support them by listening and talking through it with them.
  8. If you feel that you don't know the answer to a question tell your child that but tell them you will find out the answer.
  9. Ask them what they're thinking about what you have told them
  10. Remember that children of different ages will differ in what they understand the younger the child the more literal they will take what you are say so be honest.  

I think the biggest thing I have learnt along the way from discussions with Liam is that I can't, no matter how hard I try, is to protect him from death. It is something that they are going to come across a lot through out there childhoods, whether it is a dead bird in the garden or a close relative or maybe even just and Easter story, but whatever the case maybe it is always going to be just as hard or harder for a child to understand as it is for grown ups.

A Cornish Mum

Binky Linky

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Jack is five months old

Today Jack is exactly five months old I do not know where the time has gone, he seems to be growing so much faster than the other boys did, he is so big now it really is unreal but he is such a happy little baby boy his eyes dance when he laughs and he hardly ever cries.

This month Jack has begun to grab objects in front of himself and concentrates on pulling them towards his mouth, he puts his arms out now when he wants picking up sometimes and When I laugh he will laugh as well its really lovely to watch. he also responds when you call his name its funny but I never remember my other two doing that until they were much older.

Jack has learnt to roll over as well his little face is a picture when he does it, like he cant believe what he has just done. he has also started babbling to himself and blowing raspberry which both the older two boys find very funny. He has also started playing with toys, he has had a Fisher price Jumperoo which he loves, because he can see everything and likes to be on his feet more than laying on his mat.

I still cant believe just how fast the time is going I am glad I have been taking lots of pictures of him because if your not quick you blink and the times and moments have gone.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Keeping children safe in the sun #Heatwave

With the temperatures rising and a heatwave truly upon us keeping safe in the sun is paramount for children, who are in one of the top categories for being at risk in the heat and sun. I have put together a list of how to keep risks of sunburn and hear stroke to a minimum.

Be sun safe 

  • Babies less than six months old should be kept out of direct sunlight as there skin contains a lot less melanin, melanin is the pigment that give skin, hair and eyes their colour and is usually what forms a protection.
  • Older babies should be kept out of the sun as much as possible particularly when the sun is at its highest between 11am and 4pm if you need to go out, make sure they are covered with a parasol or sun shade whilst they're in their pram or stroller to keep them out of direct sunlight.
  • Make sure you apply a high factor sun protection to your babies skin of factor 30 or above, always apply frequently especially if your child is in and out of of a paddling pool or the sea.
  • Dress your baby in appropriate clothes, thin clothes but ones that keep there arms and legs covered its also worth investing in a hat with a peak and the part on the back to keep there head and neck covered.

Stay cool 

  • Playing in a paddling pool is a fantastic way of keeping babies and small children cool, just make sure you keep the paddling pool in the shade, and provide supervision at all times.
  • keep your babies or child's room cool by closing the curtains in the day time it helps to keep the room temperature down.
  • Giving children and babies a cool bath will help too cool them down, plus they love to play and it keeps them out of the sun during the hottest times.
  • If you do need to go shopping try to go to places that have air conditioning. 

Keep children fed and watered

  • Keep drinks flowing regularly, avoid using ice and don't wait for them to become thirsty.
  • Avoid giving children food or drinks that are going to cause dehydration for example drinks that are high in sugar and caffeine
  • If you are breast feeding drink more water your self and feed your baby more often.
  • Give bottle fed babies cooled boiled water between feeds.
  • Give your child or baby small meals but regular and try to minimise hot food where possible.

There has been a lot in the media about children in the heat lately so just a reminder never, ever, ever leave children unattended in hot cars.

As long as you are sensible the sunshine makes way for lots of fun activities and the sun never lasts forever in this county so make sure you enjoy it and stay safe in the sun! 

Monday, 29 June 2015

Things I wish I had known before becoming mum

When I think back five years ago to having my first baby Liam, whilst I was pregnant I think I was completely in denial about the harsh reality that was about to change our lives, no one can prepare you for the chaos that bringing a baby home will bring, whether it is your first baby or third they turn a household into mayhem even though all the do is eat sleep and poop!

I remember at the time of being pregnant with Liam, I had friends that had just had babies, I remember them moaning about sleep deprivation, there boobs hurt, how horrible the birth was, there baby was teething and how it was difficult to find a spare moment to themselves never mind having a shower uninterrupted!

I actually thought none of this was ever going to apply to me, I was going to be organised... the perfect mother with the perfect baby that was an angel.

After over a week in hospital an emergency C-section and three days at home with a baby that cried a lot the alarming realisation set in I was very wrong.

There are so many things that I would now do differently and I do, do some differently with my third born but even still now its a huge learning curve, but from the first year of there life, these are the things I wish I knew before becoming a mum. 

  • Waking up at 7am is considered a lay in.
  • There are days when you will miss being at work because its easier.
  • "Me time" is a phrase that is mainly used if you actually make it to the toilet do your business and get out alone.  
  • The terms Holiday, feeling ill, bank holiday or Weekend no longer apply to you.
  • Take A photo everyday no one tells you how fast the time goes by.
  • It doesn't matter how good your baby is it will always take it will always make other relationships difficult.
  • It doesn't matter how often you you have been up through the night or how grumpy, tearful or naughty your child has been your partner working full time will always insist he is more tired than you. 
  • No Matter how much Ironing you do the pile never seems any smaller.
  • You will have the washing machine on everyday!
  • Babies really don't do much in there first six months.
  • Don't spend huge amounts of money on them while they are a baby........they will definitely prefer a card bored box.
  • "sleep is for the weak" this is not true, the actual sleep deprivation that new babies and children bring is actual torture.
  • There is no other job in the world you can work 24 hours in a day and realise that one smile from your little bundle makes it all worth while, children are rewarding and an adventure every day.

Can you think of any more to ideas? what would you would add?