Child Safety – One Small Action Could Help Your Child In An Emergency

child safetyToday I placed a sticker on the car seat of my 8 month old daughter that could help save her life.

The identification sticker detailed not only her name and date of birth, but also contact details for my husband and  I.

The motivation for this was reading about the CHAD (Child Has An Identity) program that orginates in the States.  The program was begun after emergency services at the scene of a car accident could not identify the toddler in the car seat.  The driver, the babysitter, had been killed.  It was only because a hospital emergency room employee recognised the baby, that the parents could be notified.

It is a fear of every parent.  How would your children be cared for if, god forbid, you were not able to?

I think this is a terrific idea, especially for those children that my have medical conditions that should be communicated in time of emergency.


Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

How To Be A Good Mother

I yell at my kids, they eat junk food, they watch TV they even play video games. Does this make me a bad mother?

What does it mean to be a good mother?

love heartBeing a good mother means putting your kids well-being first. It means showing them they are worth interest. It means showing them love.

It means taking the kids to the park when you would much rather be reading. It means putting down the laptop and looking them in the eye when they have something to tell you. It means spontaneously hugging them and telling them how much you love them. It means sometimes saying ‘ok’ when they ask you to play with them.

It means knowing and caring enough to do the right things by them most of the time.

Yes, I yell at my kids. But not as often as I could. I strive not to because I don’t want to yell at them at all. (I keep this post uppermost in my mind – Yelling At Your Children – Succumbing To The Dark Side Of The Force).  But I tell you, you have to be some sort of Zen Master to never yell at your kids.

And yes, they can have McDonalds or Pizza Hut as a treat, occasionally.  Not all the time.  This is because I recognise that for my kids to be at their best, they need to eat healthy food most of the time.  So that means cooking yummy and healthy meals most nights.  Even if I don’t feel like it.  Even if I’d rather be eating pizza.

Being a good mother or father means not slavishly following every new fad.  It means listening to your gut instincts and always exercising common sense.  Baby Led Weaning and leaving your baby to cry to make them ‘learn’ are BAD IDEAS.  Just think about it for a second.

And speaking of exercise.  It means understanding that most of the time, kids need to be active physically or imaginatively.  But in exercising (!) some common sense I realise it is unrealistic to ban TV, video games and computers.  So we have rules.

Each weekday they can pick one of these activities to play for 1/2 an hour.  After that they have to go outside to play.  Or play inside if the weather is bad.  (Hello, this is England, the weather is nearly always bad so sometimes they  get to put on their wet weather gear and go and splash in puddles.)  And you know what?  It works, most of the time.  The kids know the score.  They have boundaries.

So that is the other thing.  Having boundaries.  Have you ever thought that Justin Bieber, or Miley Cyrus or good forbid, Lindsey Lohan might have turned out a little better if someone had said ‘no’ once in a while, that someone had set some them ground rules and stuck by them?  I bet the adults those kids are today would agree.

Parenting well is hard.  It is relentless.  It is frazzaling (is that a word?) and exhausting and depressing and aggravating and annoying and dispiriting and despairing and hard.  But it is the most important job in the world.

You know, I think we would be able to cope in a way that was better for our children if we bought a more professional mindset to parenting.  I’ve worked for many years in the corporate world.  So I know what professionalism and work ethics mean.  Let’s apply some of that to our parenting, I bet we will get on a lot better.  (The subject of another post me thinks!)

How to be a good mother.  Being a better parent.  Would some make more of an effort if they had yearly performance appraisals tied to a bonus structure?  Scarily, probably yes.  But we have to make more of an effort because they are our kids.  And we love them more than anything.

Take a look at these other posts…

Yelling At Your Children – Succumbing To The Dark Side Of The Force

25 Ways To Show Your Children You Love Them

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

11 Things I Wish Every Parent Knew

Motherhood How to be a better parentA really lovely post from Dr Stephen Cowan at MindBodyGreen

After 25 years practicing pediatrics, and caring for thousands of children, I’ve noticed some patterns that offer me a deeper vision of health. Here are some of those invaluable lessons:

1. Growth and development are not a race.

These days we’re in such a rush to grow up. In our mechanized, post-industrialized world of speed and efficiency, we’ve forgotten that life is a process of ripening. To get good fruit, you need to nourish strong roots. Pay attention to the ground that supports your child’s life: Go for a walk with your child, eat with your child, play together, tell him a story about your experience as a child.

2. Creating family traditions encourages strong roots and a healthy life.

This takes time and practice. Personal traditions are sacred because they promote exchanges that strengthen bonds of love and intimacy and build the kind of confidence that will carry your child through this world.

3. We grow in cycles.

There is a rhythm and pulse to each child’s life – sometimes fast and intense, sometimes slow and quiet. Just as each spring brings a renewed sense of appreciation for life, each stage of a child’s life is a time of new discovery and wonder. After all, learning is not just a process of accruing information. It’s the process of transforming our ideas, and sometimes this requires forgetting in order to see with fresh eyes. Some children will take a step backward before making a giant leap forward.
To continue reading this post please click through to MindBodyGreen here.


Mamasimx About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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Try Not To Cry While Reading This Post

A heartwarming and heartbreaking story.

nunerys0331 In 2009 Ben Nunery married his wife Ali.  They  bought their lovely new family home together and had decided to have their beautiful wedding photos taken there.  Tragically, Ali died 2 and a 1/2 years later of cancer.  She left behind Ben and their daughter Olivia.

Deciding on a fresh start Ben sold the house.  But before he left he decided to recreate his wedding photos with his daughter, in memory of his wife.

The pictures are loving and beautiful.  They pay homage to his wife and are a permanent reminder of the home the little family of three shared.

Here are Ben’s own words.

Saying Goodbye….Again.

The last two years have been a rollercoaster of emotions to say the least.  There have been ups and downs to such extremes that it leaves me wondering how I’ve managed to piece together anything that resembles a normal and happy life.  But, hindsight being what it is, I can look back now and recognize the progress I’ve made as a grieving widower and a single father to an amazing little girl.  These past two years have had no shortage of emotional hurdles to overcome, some small and some large, but none as big as saying goodbye to the home that Ali and I built together.  The home we started our married lives together in.  The home we brought Olivia to after she was born.  The home we turned from a shabby little fixer upper into an award winning showcase property (according to the Price Hill Press!).  In many ways it felt like the last vestige of the life that we set out to build together.  It felt as though leaving that house would be the first step in a new life that Olivia and I would build together. . .without Ali.

We said goodbye to Ali two years ago but her presence has remained undeniable in that house.  Every square inch of it was carefully and thoughtfully decorated by her and it was as if she had never left.   I remember, in the days and weeks after she died, it was impossibly difficult to live there day in and day out with constant reminders of the loss we all suffered.  I walked around the house with blinders on just trying to avoid looking at every little item that she left behind.  And slowly those reminders of the pain turned in to little moments of comfort.  I knew she was gone but I could look at her things, all those untouched little artifacts, and know that she was there with me.   I found comfort in bottles of shampoo and drawers full of socks and jewelry still neatly organized.  But always in the back of my mind I knew I would eventually have to say goodbye to the shrine that I was building up in my mind just like I had to say goodbye to her.

Ali and I bought our house on the day before our wedding and we thought that having some of our wedding photos taken in the empty house would be an appropriate and memorable way to commemorate such a big step in our lives (see the original wedding day session here).  As wedding days go, it all happened in a blur, but those images represent some of the happiest moments in my life.  It was the beginning of what we planned on being a long and happy life together.  And so, when it came time to pack up the house and schedule the movers, I struggled with the thought of saying goodbye and walking away without something to commemorate such a big step in mine and Olivia’s life.  Having world-class photographers in the family is a nice perk that I try not to abuse, but I managed to sneak into Melanie and Adam’s busy schedule and we set out to once again do a photo session in that empty house.  Only this time I would have a different partner, although one just as beautiful.   It was fun and strange and sad and comforting and just about every other emotion you can think of.  And, it wasn’t until I drove away that the significance of what we had just done hit me like a ton of bricks.   These would be the last memories in that house.



Side by sides from the original photo session on our wedding day.nunerys023nunerys022nunerys014
nunerys008nunerys019nunerys025nunerys027nunerys017 nunerys031

I did it for me.  I did it for us.  I did it so I would have something to show for the love and beauty that occupied that house for a short time in our lives.  I wanted to be able to show Olivia the place where her mother and I started our lives together and dreamed of raising children.  I thought it would be much harder to say goodbye in this way, but as I sat in the driveway, ready to drive away for the last time, I realized that it’s just a house.  The memories of Ali don’t live in that house.  They live with us, in our hearts.  We take them with us wherever we go and they will live with us in our new house too.  A house is just a house.  Yes, I will miss it but I still have the memories of Ali and I still have Olivia, the most precious evidence of the love Ali and I shared and still share.  Since Melanie posted the photos on her blog, many people have asked me how I felt while doing that photo session.  What I want them to know is that this isn’t a story about grief and loss and hurt.  Yes, I’ve gone through those emotions and still do but that’s not what I want people to see in these photos.  This is a story about love.  The pain is nothing compared to the love that I feel for Ali and Olivia and that’s the story I want these pictures to tell to Olivia in the years to come and anyone else that sees them.  The pain will subside little by little but the love never will, no matter where we live.   Our lives will continue down a curvy and uncertain path but Olivia and I will be able to look at these photos and know that for a short time there was a place where I was the luckiest man in the world, even if just for a little while.

– Ben

See the full photo session here.


Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

Seven Steps To Being Less Hard On Our Kids

Here is the article mentioned in my post yesterday.  I found this post by Andrea Nair really helpful in dealing with that all important trigger moment,  to use that deep breath to formulate kindness not harshness.

Tips to shifting thoughts and actions from the negative to the positive

After reading Rachel Stafford’s moving post, “The Bully Too Close To Home,” I thought a lot about the choices available moment to moment that make such a difference in our lives and the lives of our children.

Stafford realized she wanted to stop being hard on her children and decided to put that wish into action. Many parents have asked me how to be gentler with kids, which can certainly be hard to do.

The most important thing to remember is that we have a choice. We can actively choose to be friendly instead of harsh. The trick is to have a strategy in place — I call this an Angry Plan which helps when you don’t feel friendly. In an angry plan, you list the steps to follow each time anger brews. When a plan is in place that is repeated often, eventually the plan will automatically be followed without much thought to it. This is not a quick fix but can help immensely with continued practice. You can use the steps I have listed below to create your individual plan. This is what mine looks like.

One of my mentors the other day asked, “What radio station are you emitting over the air waves? Stop-Annoying-Me? I-don’t-have-time-for-this? Life-sucks? or J O Y?” People can feel what we are giving off. It seems to me that children can really pick up the vibes their parents give off. When we are aware of the station our head and body are on, and have a plan to alter that, connections improve all around.

Here are my suggestions minimizing harshness in a method I call “Thought Awareness & Correction.”

See your negative thoughts

The first step is to notice when your thinking turns sour and your radio is on the Negative Nelly station. Initially, don’t try to change your thoughts, just notice them. You can use the 3-A’s rule: notice when you are aggravated, agitated or annoyed. Observe when you think it is everyone else’s fault or that your world would be so much better if this happened or that person did it right. Awareness can actually make the thought less powerful.

Don’t try to suppress a thought at this point we need the chance to process it a bit, before we can make it stop; otherwise the effort may backfire and the thought becomes more powerful.

Hit the pause button

Before your negative thought turns into a negative action, hit “Pause” or “Stop” as Stafford does. We need to stop ourselves so we can move from our more primitive part of the mind (that I call the “freak out” part) which might tell us to panic, snap or lose it, to the rational part (“check in”).

Think of a way to pause that will work for you. I say, “Freeze Sister!” which works (most of the time) for me. I sometimes hold my hand up and say, “Stop” out loud to myself. Think of what might work for you — try a few different pause buttons until you discover one that is effective.

Release the pause button slowly

Honestly, the best way to do this is to breathe. Fill your lungs entirely with air from the bottom to the top then empty them completely out. Do this at least three times. After your last deep breath, go into slow motion. Don’t speak until you feel fairly certain you are doing no harm, at which point you are shifting nicely into the “check in” part.

Create an alternate thought to the negative one

When you feel calmness coming in from the breath, try a thought correction. That means to create a thought you’d like to have instead of the negative one. What do you want to believe right now? Even if you don’t believe it, identify it. For example, Instead of “I don’t have time for this!” try changing to, “Okay, time is tight. But I think my doctor won’t cancel my appointment if we’re ten minutes late.”

Act on the new thought

If you believe the new thought, act on it. If you don’t believe it, ask yourself how someone who believes it might act. In the example above, a person who accepts she and her child are just going to be late might loosen her jaw, lower her shoulders, and speak more calmly. Perhaps instead of stuffing the child into the car seat, she can remember some clever tricks to firmly, but not harshly, invite cooperation from her child.

Regularly adjust your tuning to an empathetic station

The last step from moving from harshness to kindness is to continually be aware of improving empathy. This means really attuning to what you and your child are feeling. If your child is having a complete and utter melt-down or has made a mistake, remind yourself what it feels like to be overwhelmed and to wish things would go your way. Those things that you want when you are experiencing big feelings are likely what others want, too — space, help, understanding, or a hug.

Changing the dial to friendly requires making an active choice to do so. Even if you are weighed down with intense feelings and telling yourself that your child is such a jerk, you can choose to not react from this state. You can choose to change your dial to the more empathetic, “My child is angry — I wonder why.”


This will not eliminate your blow-ups right away but with continued awareness and practice, things will improve. Becoming more empathetic and being able to see your child’s inner loveliness even when you’re angry and stressed is like learning a new language. It takes trial and error and lots of practice.

See more here.

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The Top 10 Things Children Really Want Their Parents To Do With Them and
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Mamasimx           About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

The Children Three Day Rule

the three day rule

No, I’m not talking about the old dating chestnut, but a technique I use to introduce my baby to new patterns or things.  I have my ever wonderful sister and brother-in-law to thank for this pearl of advice, given to me early in my parenting ‘career’ and it is something I have found very useful ever since.

It sounds a little stringent, but basically in our experience it generally takes 3 days/nights for a baby to get used to new routines or things.  For example, when you move baby from your room to their own, or when you take away the dummy (oh, thats a whole other post in it’s own right!) or when you introduce a new food you need to persevere for a period of three days before it will generally be accepted by your little one.

Now you may be lucky, and have success with your changes immediately, but generally, as we know, little ones do not take well to the unfamiliar or the different, they like repetition and to know what is coming so with anything new you are introducing you need to give it time to become familiar.

This means that you are going to have to battle through the tears and/or the sleepless nights for three long days and nights, until the little one understands or at least accepts the new routine.  Always try your utmost to persevere with kindness, patience and good grace; remember it is as difficult for your little one as it is for you.

But at the end of the 3 days I find that my baby is, if not happy, is resigned to continue  to continue as if the new routine has in fact, always been this way.

Perseverance is key!


Don’t forget to enjoy your day.


© 2012 Simone L Woods

10 Things New Moms Should Know about Motherhood

This is an excerpt from a great post by Annie Reneau from her site Motherhood and More.  Make sure you click through to read the rest of the post.  It is worth it.cosleeping

10 Things New Moms Should Know about Motherhood

Several new moms have entered my life recently, so I’ve been revisiting my list of things I wish I’d known before I became a mom. You can never truly prepare for everything that’s coming, but I think it helps to be aware of realities that may peep over the horizon.

Here are some of those realities, in no particular order:

  1. Cutting your baby’s fingernails for the first time is one of the scariest things you’ll ever do. And after that, it’s pretty much a full-time job until they’re old enough to do it themselves. I wish I was exaggerating.
    It also doesn’t get any easier with subsequent kids. I thought I knew what I was doing with our second baby and drew blood the first time I cut her nails. With our third, I gave up the clippers and just tore them off during the newborn phase. Sometimes asking the question, “What would a mom living in a tent in the Outback do?” helps to simplify things.
  2. You will be up close and personal with someone else’s bodily functions—on a daily basis—for years on end. Assuming you have more than one child and space them 1 to 4 years apart, you will literally wipe butts more times than you can count. Pee and poop. Poop and pee. Every single day. You might be saying, “DUH, Annie,” but you really should consciously prepare yourself for this reality. Motherhood is not glamorous.
    You’ll know you’ve officially been initiated into motherhood when you have to carry the entire car seat—baby included—into the bathtub, peel layer after poopy layer off your child, and hose the whole business down while trying not to heave. Or when your child wakes up at 2:00 a.m. with a tummy ache, and while you’re feeling for a fever, the little darling suddenly pukes down the front of your pajamas. No, no glamour at all here.
  3. The word “Mama” can be the sweetest sound you’ll ever hear. It can also make you want to poke your eyes out with a crochet hook. We mothers look for those first discernable babbles, that first verbal recognition, with rapt anticipation. When your baby finally gazes at you and says, “Mama,” it just takes your breath away. Treasure that moment, because in four years when you’re trying to drive through traffic or talk on the phone, you’ll do so with the incessant, whining chirp of, “Mama, Mama, Mama!” ringing through your ears, over and over and over again.
    Just hide the crochet hooks during those years, and you’ll be fine.

Click here to go directly to the post on Anne’s site to read the rest.  It is so worth it!!

Mamasimx  About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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The 4 Best Strategies To Raising Your Child’ Self Esteem. And Keeping It There.

Are you tearing your child’s self esteem to shreds?

Nature has a large part to play in determining our children’s self esteem, however we as parents have just as powerful an influence on how our kids will see themselves.Praise your child constructively

We can tear their self esteem to shreds.

But we equally have the opportunity and the obligation to ensure we do our best to foster as strong a self belief in them as possible.   As parents we all want our children to have happy lives.  How many times have we heard, or said “I don’t care what they want to be as long as they are happy?”  Strong self image and belief is one of the most important tools for ensuring a fulfilling and happy life as possible.

Abusing others and being abused or taken advantage by others is all behaviour of a person that is unhappy with themselves.  Rearing children that are happy and comfortable in their own skins is a task (a pleasure) all parents need to embrace.  It is all too easy to have preconceived ideas of what and how we want our children to be.  Less shy or introverted for example.  Good at sports or math or the piano.  But forcing our prejudices onto our children only needs to feeling of sadness and guilt.  The cornerstones of poor self esteem.

Steve Biddulph in his practical and humerous book The Secret of Happy Children: A guide for parents  lets you into the mind of your child to show how the positive ways in which you relate to a child will have a strong effect on growing self esteem. I highly recommend the book if you would like some further reading on this subject.

Here are my 4 top strategies for fostering high self esteem in your children.

  1. Really listen to your children.  Most of us parents jump very quickly to conclusions about what are children are telling us, or start forming the answer to a question before they have finished asking (apparently everybody does this!!) Or we react to how our children are saying something (will you stop whining!) rather than addressing what they are saying.

The takeaway here is to listen, really listen to what it is your children are saying.  Often you will be surprised by what they say.  Your attention also validates their ‘voice’.  Validation is a key process in building self esteem.

2.  Never criticise, mock or put your child’s behaviour down in public or in private.  This is a hard one because this type of parenting behaviour usually is the result of exhaustion, anger or being just plain fed up.  The key here is to think before speaking – count to 10 (0r 50) if it helps.  Take the time to form a positive message to your child regarding their behaviour.

The key takeaway here is , children learn by example, so behave the way you want your children to behave.  With kindness, politeness and with self respect and dignity.

3.  Spend time and effort developing your child’s strength’s and less time battling their weaknesses.  Encouraging your child to pursue and strengthen a talent or skill is easy.  They enjoy it and it comes naturally.  I’m not saying to ignore weaknesses but if you have a choice, choose to expel your energy on what your child is good at.  They will have plenty of time when they are older to work on their weaknesses.

The key takeaway here is it creates so much positive energy when your child is working on something they are good at, in them and for you.  It is an uphill battle and generates so much negative energy focussing on weaknesses.

4.  Ensure they know that you will always be there for them.  Having a strong support system is vital to ensure your child has the confidence to go out and embrace the world with positivity and enthusiasm.

Key takeaway here?  LOVE your children and tell them EVERY day you love them.

Hug your children.  Every day.  And make one hug a really long one (20 seconds or more) as it releases lots of feel good chemicals like seratonin in you and them.

Have fun with your children.  Put down the laptop and switch of the tv.  Ask your child what they want to play.  And play it.  For at least 15 minutes.  And make sure you enjoy it!!

Mamasimx  About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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Jamie Oliver – Teach Every Child About Food

National treasure and personal hero Jamie Oliver addresses the TEDS conference in California where he talks about the poor ‘landscape of food’ Americans build around their children.

It reminds us that as parents it is our responsibility to educate our kids about good food and it’s benefits. That means teaching by example.

It is a terrific speech and you can see how much this mission to educate kids about food means to Jamie.

Jamie’s food wish.  “I wish for your help to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”

Do you teach, cook and show your children what is healthy and what they should be eating?


Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

Have you read these other posts…?

7 Principles for Peaceful Parenting

Sunday Humour – Kids Behaviour

See a lot more posts on the right hand side.