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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Karvol incident

Today while I was giving my eldest Calpol cos she has a fever, youngest tries out a Karvol capsule.  As I am giving daughter a hug and settling her back in bed I hear gagging/coughing from the other room. I run in and find Edward coughing and drooling and holding a slightly dented Karvol capsule in his hand.  I rush him to the sink to get him to spit and throw the capsule in the bin. I brush his teeth so he'll spit some more and then give him a drink then I read the empty packet (which I know only had one in there) and it says if swallowed seek medical attention immediately.  I call NHS Direct who respond very quickly and despite the fact that the lines are busy they call back within 5 minutes. So that's not great.  And the symptoms I have to look for are not good either, but I feel relaxed as much as you can in such a circumstance, because he doesn't have any symptoms once I have made him spit out  but then they say he has to be observed for 4 to 6 hours and then if nothing has occurred I can breathe again and not have to rush him to A&E. The nurse on the phone gave me a sensible lecture on keeping medicines safely which is fair enough.  But he is so different to his sister. She would have had no interest in looking into a cupboard or climbing up to try something like that. I'm not sure that unless its locked I can keep him out of everything.  She said that her sister had a merry dance (exact quote) with her daughter who was in and out of A&E including when she drank bleach as a small child - eeek   Loo Cleaner too??! Oh my word.  Some children require a whole lot more PPE than others.  So I have to blog that post parenting course the progress made depends on having a well stimulated child who does not have to compete for attention.  I'm not sure that there is a course that actually faces the reality that you don't just deal with one child at a time.  

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Parents who bunk off the parenting course

I am not very proud of this but, pretty much like when I was in school, I didn't do the homework. At school I would tend to calculate which homework was significant and do that to make the grade but not more than that. Its a strategy which has served me very well in school and in life. I am excellent with deadlines. I am hopeless with a lack of pressure to achieve.

You can't really do that with parenting, whether or not you assimilate all the handouts the children are still giving you marks out of ten with their behaviour or appearance of contentment or otherwise. There are no deadlines, except that they do seem to be ahead of where you thought they were five minutes ago. Just held up every pair of my daughter's pjs to find one pair that would not be embarrassingly short at school residential trip next week.  Exactly when did she grow?? I so seldom need to get her new stuff why did she grow now??

 The idea was to use half term to bond with the children in designing a specific issue reward chart for each of them and decorate it lovingly and include at a centre a picture of the child's self selected treat.  We all talked about this - the treat would be a farm visit and Aslana had great ideas about a chart that looked like space five stars to get a planet, two planets for the sun level star prize with lift the flap final prize under the sun. Since then I have been telling her I would have put that on the chart and so at some arbitrary point I will have to deliver the reward.  The tangibility is missing and I think Webster Stratton will expel me for this travesty of her technique. I am pretty useless really.

However in my defence I have to say the whole week was ruined by house hunting and school researching and trying to get organised in clearing out our garage and packing and generally dealing with the shake of the carpet under our feet. Tried still to make half term special. Aslana really enjoyed her pony care day and we all still had some fun here and there but it wasn't really that great. Probably should have had our chart project on the go.

 I'll catch up on the reading instead because I also missed the session today and I think, realistically am not going to make it to graduation, so from here on you may feel rather disappointed. I will get the book so that the blog can legitimately continue but I really can't see the course doing much good while I resent it for stealing time from finding a home and preparing for the move.

Anyway. like I said will try and keep to the themes of the course.  Thanks for the posts by the way - really wonderful support. Have tried couple of suggestions.  Where I have said to Edward "I like it when you . . ." it hasn't helped.  Am now experimenting with another suggestion "Parents or grown ups like it when children hold hands by a road" also a bit fruitless. Today opted for shameless blackmail.  Edward and I went to the newsagents by Aslana's school. "If you hold my hand by the road every time we are out this week I will get you a new magazine on friday" Now I suspect you are shaking your head at my meanness. But my hand was gripped very tightly as we went round the corner . . . it didn't last but he does seem to have a better concept of time than I expect. Last week Edward asked when he would see his friend from the childminders.  I told him Next Week on Tuesday. Tuesday came and as I do every morning I told him what I planned to do (following up from the night before where we say thanks to God for the day just gone and talk about what will happen in the morning after sleep) I said you will see your friend (name) today at Becky's to which he responded see (name) next week! Tuesday!

None of that has anything to do with parenting course. That's just showing off cos I am so proud of him. Sorry about that, but its nice to be proud after all the battles of a few weeks ago. Feeling much happier today think we may have a solution to the housing problem. And here's some more random showing off, my eldest is writing hundreds of words a week in stories and letters to friends.  Just suddenly took off with it because of the 500 words competion on BBC Radio 2 which closed this week.  She finished her entry the night before the deadline. She gets that from her mother you know.

Coda

I can't close this blog without recommending that if you feel at the end of your tether in terms of parenting you do reach out.  Join a parenting course - Webster Stratton though looking very dated and American has some good stuff to offer, but the main thing any parenting course offers is the combined blessings of an hour without the children to stop and think and breathe and be a grown up with grown ups (role play not withstanding!) and you have the chance to make friends with others who are in the same position and who have also dared to reach out.  You won't be judged or rejected (assuming you are a normal parent who just needs some guidance and support) and mistakes are not as we would sometimes believe the end of the world for our family, just a sign we need help along the way.  I have made friends on this course that I hope will be lifelong friends and our children are turning out okand on their off days and ours we know there are at least 5 other people out there who will take our call and who will understand and none of them is any less of a friend for how we met. So whether you choose this course or another, if you are struggling do go to your children's centre, your health visitor, your GP or your church and ask what support they can offer for parents. Call parent line or seek support from Netmums but the best thing by far is to talk with parents in the same boat who did not stay there but sought help.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Review and Evaluation - 3 months later

As I write the ocuntry is still reeling from the bizarre riots and looting that occurred  in August this year.  There are many people offering their opinion and and repeating the phrase "lack of discipline".  That might be part of it, but cannot be the whole.  Will the generation that has benefited from parenting courses like this one grow up to commit such hate filled acts against strangers for no better motive than fun, gained through theft and destruction?

A lot of criticism is placed on the emphasis of praise and ignoring negatives to create confidence - does this confidence become arrogance in adulthood?  I think that is simplistic - but neither do I think that one parenting style is better than an another.  Parents need to be present in their children's lives but as they grow older children should be respected as adults and gradually be given responsibilities and be taught to consider other people first. If you are alienated from your family that is one evil, if you are alienated from society and only find meaning in destruction that is quite another. Gangs exist surely because people find greater sense of belonging there than they do in the home and greater acceptance - even if that is based on sharing destruction.  We don't need "more discipline" as such  we need more families where someone is at home to teach and love and cherish their chldren be that offering only "good enough" and terribly flawed it has to be better than the absence most children seem to be expereiencing where both parents are out at work to sustain their lifestyle - be that ever so basic or ever so luxurious presence is what is missing in family life, it is far more absent than discipline.  What I have gained from the course is mainly to learn how to be present and to create and sustain positive local friendships vber and above distant ones because these people arte present for my children too where through no fault worse than distance my family are not

Monday, 27 June 2011

The Blogger Unpacked

We have moved. We have unpacked - and then hastily  repacked some of our boxes ready  to move again. Next move to our very first home of our own. If we could just come to a decision about where . . .  E now 2 has been much better with fewer tantrums, A becoming increasingly independent  just had her 9th birthday. The party was great - her friends are good ones who really do like her. We must be doing something right. The parenting group "Quorum" which stayed the course has stayed in touch and we are meeting up fairly often at a toddler group. The children are lovely.  Have made some good friends here.  I am ending this blog at this point feeling that I learnt something on the way, gained some new friendships and discovered that how we feel our parenting is less relevant than whether our children are happy confident in themselves and when they lack confidence or feel unhappy they know that they can come to us and we will know what to say or do.  When they come to us in that way and we have no clue, that's when a parenting course helps as much because of the peer support as because of the content. The rewards and praising were slow burn, but praise is really working with E now and he even self praises - eg he passed me some washing to hanging on the line and said "Well done, Good helping with the washing" He's happier and settled in this house at last but it has taken the full two months and the realisation that he can go by ride on car to the children's centre and the park to do it.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Boxes, Boxes,Boxes

I had some words for this blog but I think I packed them

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Graduation Day

The course ends and I join the party tomorrow - I'll join up again in mid May so not to be a total fraud.  At the Children's Centre today creative kids was about fine motor skills, threading cheerios and pasta on to edible shoestrings. The brightest children ate the cheerios and shoes strings without wasting energy on trying to fit them together as a necklace. Edward persevered and did manage to thread the necklace - but he wanted and needed lots of help. I used good Webster Stratton praise and encouragement techniques which did pay off - not only that part of the session. His listening to me is improving - the second part of the session was to play "stop" "go" "come back" in the centre garden which all the children really enjoyed. Edward didn't stop on command when other children did but he noticed other children did and so the next time he did too and really enjoyed the game. When B who was leading called the children he went with the children but hung back from physical contact (other kids high fived or hugged her).  When I called him to come to me he just didn't. But as the game was ending he was getting it so we walked home together playing the game and by the time we reached the door he really enjoyed it and had cracked it.  I took the children out for cake after school and bought him a book. We celebrated how well he did with holding hands both then and going to get his sister after school and across the car park.  "Didn't let go hands Mummy" he said to me proudly. Both of us learnt something today.