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The other day a parent friend of mine came over to me citing that she needed to stage an intervention with her children because they were refusing to eat breakfast, to listen to anyone and/or do their homework and then the inevitable question came… how do you do manage with four children?!
Honestly I just do. They are what I have so I work accordingly.
There are a few things that I did share with her that made me think that it maybe helpful to others. Now I am no parenting expert but I do have some experience under my belt what with well four of my own children and on occasion my niece and my nephews.
Feeding the masses for breakfast:
Breakfast is important but most children could miss it. Well most of mine can and they try very hard to skip it. So as a rule I always ensure they have something hot to drink- Milo, herb tea, Horlicks you name it. If hot wouldn’t do try a glass of milk, pediasure or a glass of orange juice works as well.
Ackee and saltfish and cornmeal porridge are great options but only if you know for sure that your children absolutely love them. Keeping it simple may get better results.

  • Cereal dry or with milk .
  • Toast is always acceptable in my family. yes plain old toast with just butter with maybe a bit of cheese on the side.
  • Vienna sausages or hot dog sausages with ketchup with no bread. Egg scrambled or boiled. On very rare occasions I make sandwiches.
  • Oatmeal and Cornmeal porridge just may work for your kiddies.
  • Bananas

How did I come by these options you may wonder, well after many years of uneaten breakfasts or maybe tiny little nibbles of what they shriek as being their favourite breakfast I think I have gotten wise to them.
Also, I think the limited time and the anxiety of getting to school interferes with their abilities to eat properly so I dont force them to sit and eat. And GASP i allow them to eat in the car. yes! my car is a mess, but they actually most days finish their breakfasts. Trying to get them to eat and dress in a timely manner use to have my nerves and their nerves frayed before we even left the house so I cut that out. LOL
Please listen:
Now this is something I am still working on. My children only hear me when they want and most days never hear their father. 3 times is the required amount of times to say something before movements happen. The best way I have found to get rapid action is when you lower the voice, lower the tone which is hard for me because I am very high pitched, and say what ever it is with conviction. Also being consistent and doing what you have said you would do also plays a part in how well you get your children to listen. If you are a push over and are wishy washy then they will take advantage.
Homework vs play:
Hmmm homework. This use to gave me grey hair trying to get all the homework done before bedtime. And then one day I stepped back and viewed homework as my children must. After spending the entire day couped up in a classroom trying to be on their best behaviour and failing possibly. The last thing they want to do is focus on homework they want to unwind, back chat, run around jump about and quite frankly not follow rules for a little. So I started allowing my children to play outside at least an half hour after school. And if you remember I turn the television off during the week. Not a crowd pleaser but hey sometimes you have to tough.

I also suggested to my friend instead of fighting with her son to do homework before she got home ( he invariably always stayed until she got home to do homework) just schedule homework to happen as soon as she stepped thru the house. So he gets his play in or relaxes eats dinner etc and then homework starts when she arrives.

Hope this is helpful.

Do you have any tips that help you with the kiddies?

I know we have been sooo scarce these last few weeks.

Still struggling with the ChikV after effects but guess what today is the first day of December which means that woohoo in just 24 days Christmas will be here.

Keep CalmThe children are totally buzzing about it, that and the fact that Christmas holidays are almost upon us.

And so am I.

It is my most favourite time of the year. Love it love it love it .

See you again soon as we plan to be more present.

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends. Do hope that everyone had a wonderfully thankful, fun and family filled weekend.

Even though we are not Americans I find that I always enjoy the concept because it does a body good to be grateful.

And I am always full of thanks for the four beauties I call my children, for waking up everyday, that both of my parents are alive and that I have a wonderful family. I could go on and on

What are your thankful for?

surviving ChikV

In an household of 6 plus one auntie. We have all except one little girl succumbed to the ChikV (Chikungunya virus)

Yikes

I have to say it was not a pleasant experience at all … I think this sums it up best for me ” at least I didn’t have to clean vomit” yup I heard myself saying that.

Taking care of 4 persons who are hubbling around in pain while you are not feeling great yourself is no fun. And then having to watch those 4 hubble around while you are stuck in bed is still swollen and spotted. Yup not fun.

Happy to say though that we are all slowly and I mean slowly on the mend. Joint pains and achy heads and necks still occur but it is not really keeping us down. Lets just say we should buy shares in the Cetamol family because the amount of Cetamol that has passed through this house.

Here are a few tips for those who haven’t gotten it so far or who are just getting the ChikV that really do help:

Papaya Leaf juice/tea:

The leaves of the papaya plant are boiled or as we did blended or juiced and then drunk. It is suppose to help with the symptoms and overcoming the virus. Honestly it is the most foul concoction you would ever taste HOWEVER we found that if mixed with orange juice or cherry juice even the most finicky eater or drinker would drink it all up.

Bissy Tea:

Made from the grated kola nut it is recommended to cool the itch that comes with the rash. This is actually not bad tasting and I can attest that it works 2 of my people never actually got the full rash and those of us that got the rash was fortunate to not have any scratching. So don’t skip the bissy any at all.

Paracetamol:

Take it. Even if you don’t think it is relieving anything it is. Trust me I learned the hard way. I missed a dose of Panadol and figured what harm well I woke up fingers swollen and legs not functioning properly. Sigh.

Fluids/Water:

Drink lots of fluid, lots of water. You need to be kept hydrated.

Rest:

Taking the time to recoup is very important. This virus is really ridiculous if you don’t take the time to rest and really recoup then you relapse and have to lay in bed even longer. This can be hard for your energetic youngsters but I found the couch, colouring books, television and the tablet all very useful in keeping them quiet and resting. Mind you the painkillers made them drowsy too. :D

Stay healthy all

Keep the mosquitoes at bay.

I am still a big believer in the repellent qualities of Johnson and Johnson original pink baby lotion. Oh and Vape mats.

(We just have too many mosquitoes where we live.)

He was my grand dad

10549660_10152222257755848_4044768077271397036_oAs crazy as it seems the day of the last post was also the day that the children’s grandfather died.

Strange how life is. We were all concerned about the drought and rain and frolicking for the summer.

How did the children handle the death of their grandfather who they had seen every day for the last six years? Very well actually. Very matter of fact about it even.

I believe it is because we the parents didn’t break down and we were straight using clear words.

We are very aware that they may not fully grasp what has happened so we are keeping the lines of communication open.

I also volunteer that I am feeling sad when I am feeling emotional actually is all it takes to start the conversation going.

The youngest in the bunch actually gave the best response when I asked them all if they missed him.

Her response:

Of course I miss him because I loved him. He was my grand dad.

I have found these links to be useful in preparing me if they do suddenly get hit with a wave of grief.

http://grandparents.about.com/od/growingintoyournewrole/a/DealWithDeath.htm

http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/death.html

It is currently Hurricane season which started in June and would be over at the end of November.

We are also currently experiencing a drought. Yup we haven’t had rain…. and for someone who prefers the sun I have been looking daily at the clouds to produce a heavy shower. Even have the children joining in.

The showers haven’t come yet but as strange as this is going to sound there is a tropical depression that is heading our way and definitely hoping for it to bring lots of rain to fill up the reservoirs and turn the grass back to green.

Saw this link to 7 Easy Water Conservation tips on twitter that I thought needed to be shared again during our time of limited water. Need to work on these two here:

 

  • Take shorter showers.  A typical shower uses 5 to 10 gallons of water per minute.  Try using the water to wet your body to lather up and then for washing off instead of running it the whole time.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. You could save 25 gallons a month.

 

So as you can imagine it is HOT HOT!!

Thank God for the pool in Grandma’s complex. Children splashing around in the pool has always just symbolised holiday to me. Love to hear the bursts of laughter and pure glee as they jump into the water.

Even though there may be no rain now if there is a hurricane or tropical storm to head our way we should be prepared. So lifted some tips from our KidFriendly hurricane preparedness post we do each year.

Have your children help put together the items necessary in the event of a storm such as:

“batteries, lanterns, candles, alternative light source, matches, bag packed with clothes and spare blanket and pillows (just in case you need to evacuate), canned food, bottled water, stored water, bleach, garbage bags, can opener and paper plates.”

And also have them help with the preparation of their special ‘survive the hurricane stash’.

This should include but not limited to:

  1.  psps or electronic toy going
  2. activity books
  3. drawing books
  4. journals
  5. lots and lots of crayons, pencils and glue ( notice no paint because in the event of water shut outs then you would want to waste water on overly messy hands.)

And as much as I don’t want to have a big storm or hurricane to past through the land. If there was one we would definitely be making  some of these glow in the dark jars with glow sticks. It does look like a lot of fun.

453104412480472788How is your summer going so far?

 

Looking through KidFriendly I realized that we have been missing in action. Going to try to fix that.

 

YAY!!

Summer holidays is almost here!!!!

Okay we technically don’t have summer here in Jamaica, but whatever school is over and we are so looking forward to it.

Just one more day and the children are gearing up for two months of  TV watching. LOL that is what they hope but seeing that big daughter is heading into GSAT year come September I can tell you that there will be some studying as well and definitely summer school and/or camp

I came on to gather all the information on  summer camps that are available.  And lo and behold Jamaican Parent had already done a wonderful job of compiling them. So excited to share.

http://jamaicaparent.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Jamaica-Parent-Summer-Camp-Guide-2014.pdf

http://issuu.com/giovannablake/docs/jamaica_parent_summer_camp_guide_20/1

This year I am really interested in the in the Lego Yuh Mind Jr Summer program because I believe we have a budding engineer/scientist/builder/innovator in one of our twins.

lego yuh mind jrs - logo_large

 

 

There is also a cooking a course that I think the older children would love.

So this summer should be busy.

Yup busy with past papers, revision, learning new things, and of course fun splashing in water of some kind.

Yes very excited.

IMG_2335

Oh by the way check out the summer issue of B3 magazine I wrote an article in it and well it is a totally awesome publication

Have a good one.

 

One of my pet peeves is that ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ seems to be a thing of  a long lost past.

I have been wondering if I was fighting a losing battle teaching and enforcing the please and thank you, say sorry when you hurt someone, excuse me please rule if there was no one including adults about to help them practise.

Have you noticed that as a people we very rarely say any of those we mostly grunt and barrel our way through. Very rude.

So I was so excited to hear  Jamaican Mannaz  sung by Wayne Marshall and Jana Bent  released just in time for Child’s Month.

Give it a listen.

If DoGood Jamaica has a say this would stick in the heads of the children of Jamaica and make a change for the positive.

I hope so too.

The children are looking forward to Children’s day on Wednesday for two reasons. First being it is a ‘no school’ school day and is supposed to be filled with fun :D and secondly it marks the beginning of mid-term.

Boy this term is short. I fluctuate between alarm at the shortness of it and excitement that summer is almost here. woohoo.

Have a great weekend.

Happy Child’s Month.

 

 

 

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