The p word. Regardless of how you try to bring up your daughter colour-style wise, girls always seem to love pink. When we knew we were expecting a little baby girl, I avoided buying her lots of pale pink clothes. The closest to pink I bought for her baby wardrobe was coral (which is actually one of my favourite colours). So as a baby, Big Munch was dressed in lots of grey, navy, bright colours but rarely pink. Three years later and the colour scheme has switched. Big Munch is in charge of her style decisions. She does not need any guidance from me on what to wear. It’s all about pink, pink, pink. To be honest I don’t mind her wearing so much pink now but I do wonder why little girls are drawn to pink. So why do girls like pink so much?
In part 1 of Livvy’s guest blog for Lucky Things, we looked at children’s confidence as a behaviour and how confidence needs to be taught, learnt and nurtured, modelled and reinforced. She also talked about how it needs to be taught across environments and in different situations. Confidence can dip and how confidence can be boosted and the importance of praising the behaviours that we want to see more of. With this in mind, here are Livvy’s top tips for encouraging confidence.
- Break down big or daunting tasks or new activities into bite sized pieces and offer appropriate praise and reinforcement for each little step towards task completion. Breaking things down and praising the little steps helps build confidence by boosting the kids at every step along the way.
- Make sure you have realistic and age appropriate expectations for your children. Pushing a child into something that is not age appropriate, where they are yet to develop the necessary skills can have a negative effect on confidence levels. Similarly, pushing a child into something that you feel they should be able to do by a certain age can also greatly affect confidence. For example, leaving your little one at their first parents don’t stay party or your older one for their first sleepover, may not be easy, it may need preparation and work from all involved to enable them to have the confidence to try.
- Try to work out the function (the reason why) of any behaviours you see as result of trying something new. If your child experiences an increase in challenging behaviours when trying something new, try to work out why? Are they due to avoidance because the task is too hard, are they escape behaviours because they do not have the skill set to complete the activity, do they need increased support, are they getting too much support and want to do it themselves?
- Gradual increases in independence leads to confidence. It is essential to encourage your children to become independent, try new things knowing that to find something tricky is ok, have a go at something knowing that it is ok to fail as this is how we can learn and adapt for next time.
- Teaching your kids that sticking at something you find challenging can be so rewarding and even though they may find the activity difficult. Overcoming those difficulties with support and reinforcement along the way leads to more confident and independent learners.
- Reading is a good example of this as becoming a confident reader happens in baby steps it takes time, effort and practice and the child who refuses to practice is not necessarily saying I hate reading, they may just be really confused by the concept of language, feel frustrated they can’t read the book they want to or have a fear of failing. Teaching your kids how and when to ask for help. Knowing your own child, their levels of independence, resilience and how best to support them through their challenges. Knowing that each child is different and you have to work out what each child needs and play to their strengths, while trying to encourage further development by helping them tackle the tricky things.
- It is important to stress that we all lack confidence sometimes and it is not to say that if you feel like you lack confidence as a parent you are unable to raise confident children. Our children’s confidence comes from being loved and nurtured, from learning it is OK to fear things and that it is OK to fail at something. However, in behavioural terms every day is a learning day and I would encourage every parent to try and work out what makes them lack confidence. Is it the parents who make things look like a doddle, our parents, our friends, our partners or social media lives? I can assure you that each and every one of these people has their own struggles and lack confidence at times.
- I think it is important for our kids to know that even as adults we face struggles and lack confidence sometimes, but even as adults we are still learning and growing as people. That it can be strength to admit weakness, to ask for help and to being open to growth.
Whatever the weather, it’s good to get some fresh air. Sometimes there are days where the weather is unpredictable so you have to grab those opportunities to get some outside play-time with the little ones. A few parents have been asking me for ideas for free things to do. Here’s seven things I love about a walk around the block with the girls…
- We’re going on a mini-adventure...Let the kids know you’re going on a little adventure to see what we can find. Wrap up warm and bring the waterproofs if you need to. You don’t have to be out for long so it’s a nice activity before meal times.
- See your local area in the eyes of a child…Kids seem to spot things we may not notice. I love it when three-year old Big Munch spots new flowers or notices something different down our road. Acknowledge the random things they discover and talk about them when you get home. You can also praise them for their discoveries.
- You’re not far from home…You don’t have to pack the changing bag or other kit as you’re not that far from homely facilities and food supplies. This might mean you can get out of the house quicker. On the other hand, it could mean you decide to leave the house with a Frozen Princess or superhero. Guess I’m more relaxed about the dress code when I know we’re not venturing far. Check out Big Munch’s walking socks below. Serious business. Big Munch also loves bringing her umbrella as a prop.
- Walk slowly…There’s no rush when you’re having a stroll around the block (or down the road). Enjoy the slower pace. It’s nice to take your time and walk at the little people’s pace. We still take Toddler Munch in the buggy so she can watch things from her wheels.
- Number and letter spotting…This game is great for pre-school children. Ask them to spot “their number” (their age). Big Munch loves doing this.
- Colour spotting…Similar to Eye Spy, you can play another game where you spot different colours (or patterns). Usually Big Munch wins as Toddler Munch is too young to play!
- Letting them explore with their feet…When you spend time focusing on your surroundings, kids have the chance to discover new things. Big Munch spotted a special building near our home the other week. Something I never noticed before.
What ideas do you have for getting out of the house with kids? Any ideas for free activities? Do you ever go for a walk around the block? What do you love about where you live? Leave a little comment below…
I guess over the years most people known me for my long hair. When one of my close friends left for travelling she requested that I didn’t chop my long locks. I did chop it off after Big Munch was born. Beyonce started rocking her bob and I felt like a big change. I missed my long hair too much so it’s just a quick trim for me now. It’s interesting seeing what my daughters’ hair will be like. Will they end up with their daddy’s tight curls or my thick straight hair? When three-year old Big Munch was a baby, she rocked a cool mullet for a while. We refused to trim her lob-sided hair as it was her signature look. Now her hair is growing each month. One thing I love everyday is brushing her hair. Here’s seven things why brushing our hair together has become a special bonding moment for us both. Continue reading
On Lucky Things blog, we talk a fair bit about confidence. It’s something that comes and goes and impacts all of us. So what about confidence for our children? I met Livvy Gormally a few months ago when she shared her top tips on managing routines. Livvy is a children’s behaviour expert, applied behaviour analysis (ABA) consultant and parenting coach. I asked her to share some top tips on how we can help our kids to feel confident. Over to Livvy for part 1 of her guest post… Continue reading
Toddler Munch has been enjoying a full set of teeth for a while now (although the other week she seemed to be teething?!). So brushing teeth is very much part of our get ready and bedtime routine. Luckily she likes doing this due to her sister’s influence. But it hasn’t always been easy to encourage the little ones to brush their teeth. Sometimes they want to just eat the toothpaste and run. So here are some top tips for encouraging your children to brush their teeth… Continue reading
Crikey the girls routine has been all over the place this weekend as we’re away at a hotel with the fam for early Christmas celebrations.
Here’s our seven highlights…
1. Toddler Munch skipping her daytime nap yesterday – too much fun at the Science Museum (check out our Insastories) Crikey please don’t let this be the end of her daytime naps. Mummy anxiety is hitting in. Highlight for her. Lowlight for me.
As a parent, I know I will forever have questions about whether I’m doing the right thing when looking after, nurturing and teaching my two girls about everyday life. It was fab seeing Livvy Gormally from Let’s Ask Livvy talk about all things parenting at the Mothers Meeting at Shoreditch House in London. From sleep routines, weaning and navigating tantrums, we all hit some critical parenting topics. We also talked a lot about how to encourage our babies and children to follow routines or adapt to changes in everyday plans. The Mothers Meeting crowd in the house also had the chance to ask Livvy lots of questions. Continue reading
Over the past couple of months I’ve been much better at getting out and about on my own with three-year old Big Munch and Toddler Munch. To be honest, it’s taken me a while to feel really confident about going into town with two in tow. But now I’ve kind of mastered it. Seeing my friends at different events and gatherings recently reminded me why it’s so important to get out and about with our babies, toddlers and kids. Continue reading
We’ve been discussing the golden rules in our house recently. Three and a half year old Big Munch has been the chair of the discussion. Me and Mr H have to just listen. We have secretly been chuckling about her golden rules but they do make sense (well most of them anyway). Here are the golden rules according to Big Munch… Continue reading