Monday 23 May 2011

Open Farm Sunday - 12th June 2011

I've been tweeting about it and RTing @OpenFarmSunday, so thought I'd blog a bit more about it.  Their tag line is "Discover more about British Farms" and we read it as working farms opening to the public for 1 day a year, and we were very keen for the children to see the farms and understand where their food comes from.

Entry to the majority of farms farms is free, although some may apply a small charge for activities.  Open Farm Sunday is organised by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), who are a registered charity, that assists farmers and producers to manage their farms as efficiently and sustainably as possible.
For more detailed info head to Open Farm Sunday 

We have been to Hammonds End Farm in Harpenden and before that Pilkington Farm in Hitchin.  As well as the animals to see, and the workings of the farm there were also tractor and trailor rides, live bands and fab food.

This year Chris is doing the triathlon in Windsor in the morning, so will be heading to a farm in Berkshire, having just had a quick check there are a few to choose from!

So for a fab family day out, I'd recommend it highly!

Annie x

Friday 20 May 2011

Living with a threenager, difficult behaviour in children

Well we've all heard of terrible 2's but no-one warns you about the onset of the threenager, an apt name to describe the strops and tantrums that you may have to endure as they approach 3!

I remember all to well how Jasper turned into a little brat at the drop of a hat, and it didn't help that I was pregnant at the time too!   Of course he was an angel for his nursery teachers, I've learnt all too well that children reserve their challenging behaviour for their parents, as quite rightly it’s their boundaries they are trying to find!

My daughter at three had her moments, but in fact nowhere near the levels of difficult behaviour I found with Jasper.  2 of my friends are currently enduring the same with their sons, so this led me to investigate more about the "testosterone surges" that I had heard whispers about.

Having looked around, it appears that testosterone levels in boys double between the ages of 3 and 4, which should settle to normal levels again at around 5 years old.  Growth spurts can also affect their ear canals, so it may be that they can't hear you, not that they won't listen!

I found this website useful

It appears therefore that we need to show them patience and understanding, and I know all too well how difficult this can be sometimes.  Try not to beat yourself up if you deal with it wrongly on occasion, the guilt started at the onset of the blue line on the test stick and I can't see it getting any less any time soon.  I also find when a child is shouting at the top of their range, instead of shouting louder, almost whisper your request and they have to be quiet to hear it - thanks mum for that one :)

Thought it was worth sharing?
Thanks for reading.
Annie x

Sunday 15 May 2011

The Stranger Danger Conversation (Safety Kids)

I have found myself having to have the Stranger Danger conversation with my children.............

Last week a local mum told me she'd "heard" that there was a man locally trying to lure school children away to help find his lost dog.  That several schools close by had sent letters home to parents, although our school had chosen not to!  She ended the conversation by saying I'm not sure its true though!

I did what I normally do and went home to google it!!!!  All I found was lots of incidences where there has been rumour and urban myth, so I kind of forgot about it.  However, it was playing on my mind, so this morning I rang around and found out from a friend on the other side of town, that it was true, that a man had allegedly been arrested in the North Watford area.

I hadn't had the stranger danger conversation with my children yet, aged 3 and 7.  My Jasper in particular is a very chatty, sociable little boy,who likes to chat to anyone and everyone, and I was so reluctant to warn him against strangers, but have now done so.  There are several YouTube videos you can show your children, but I only found American ones, so didn't think it appeared real enough.  I did however find the attached a very useful read before I had the conversation.

I haven't gone as far as the discussion on sex education as yet, I think I will hold off until I can speak to his teachers on the subject!

The problem I've found is that if you ask children to describe a stranger they often paint them as menacing looking and mean and ugly, but of course we know "bad" strangers can come in many different guises.  Some parents choose to put a password system in place, whereby if a stranger doesn't know their password then they should run immediately, however I think that prolongs a conversation.  I have simply said if anyone you don't know asks you to go anywhere with them, then you say NO.  I tried to stress there are more "good" strangers than "bad", and most likely will never meet a bad one, but to be wary nonetheless.

I now feel a bit sad about it all, but would welcome any input or advice that has worked for you?
Thanks for reading!

Annie x