Due to some of the childcare service Eden Mobile Creche provides, mobile creche and hotel babysitting, there has been several times friends, families and clients have contacted me for short term childcare. However, you might say this should not be news as of cause, Eden Mobile Crèche is there for short term and emergency childcare. This however is a complete different type of emergency childcare. The conversation tends to be:
” I have to travel and be at a meeting but I need some one to be at my house for 7 am when am leaving.”
“My shift at work has changed for the week so I need someone to pick my children from school, until late into the night.”
“I need to travel for a short period but I do not want to take my kids with me.”
These are examples of parents, especially mothers, needing short term childcare. I call it Save Mummy’s Soul childcare service. As with myself, there are times when parents need immediate or emergency childcare needs for occasions that have to be attended to urgently. Here are my suggestions:
- Look for a local child minders: Contacting your local family information service is the best way of finding a child-minder within your location. On contacting them, you are sent a comprehensive list of the local childminders in your area (this can also be seen on OFSTED when you type in your postcode). It is important to remember this is short term, so if no available space within your immediate area be ready to expand the search to about 10 miles of your locality. Some child-minders offer night or sleep-in childcare service.
- Speak to your immediate network of childcare practitioners: If your child already attends a nursery, pre-school or school, you can ask one of the staff you are close to and your child relates to the most. This seem to work with must parents. This will save you time on background checks has contact is already established, but it is still advised to ask to see documents such as DBS (formally known as CRB).
- Ask a close family member: This might be the obvious choice but it is always good to ask. Although you might say it’s my mum, dad, sister, brother or friend, it is still courtesy to ask them first of their availability before mentioning the situation.
- Contact a childcare service company: If you are a parent that is good at planning ahead (some of us are not) then you can contact childcare companies such as Eden Mobile Creche or childcare web data base such as Find-a-babysitter.
I recently carried a six months old baby that was about to sleep, but he just kept on crying. Thou am a childcare practitioner it’s being a while since I tried putting a baby to sleep (due to teaching more of childcare and interact with other older children), however it felt great. As the baby kept crying, thou it was obvious he wanted to sleep (scratching his eyes) the mother kept asking if I was OK. I explained I was fine putting him to sleep (not wanting to give in by passing him back to his mum ). I got into the zone of rocking him to sleep, placed him vertically across my chest and started rocking. Then I remembered my profession that, of cause, my body need to be relaxed before this baby could sleep. I remembered the so many babies I have rocked to sleep, including my, while my body language was relaxed at is best.
You may say what has Body Language got to do with a baby sleeping but experience, both professionally and personally, has shown that a body that is relaxed when rocking or putting a baby to sleep tends to achieve this faster than a non-relaxed body. Research has shown that babies pick up on body language and they react to it based on if it is tense or not. A parent/career that is trying to put a baby to sleep but has a tense body may not achieve this faster than a another parent who is not tense and also trying to rock another baby to sleep. A tense parent might move the baby from one hand to another (unsettling the sleeping process of the baby) and get anxious that the baby is not sleeping. The more effort that is actioned into getting the baby to sleep can rather unsettle the baby. On the other hand, a relaxed parent that is aiming to put the baby to sleep may achieve this faster by being calm, having a relaxed body and not thinking that the baby crying is due to the process of you not getting him/her too sleep.
Techniques of getting your baby to sleep include:
- Ensuring that the baby is feed,
- Ensuring he/she has no wet nappy,
- Ensure he/she is not illness or does not have a body temperature,
- Ensure no discomfort of any sort within the sleeping environment, that is, not too noisy, not too hot or not to cold.
I understand that getting the body to relax can be difficult for some parents due to circumstance that may be surrounding them at the time. However, I can indicate that a person with a relaxed body and right attitude will get a baby to sleep faster than a non-relaxed person.
Of cause every parent try their possible best to impact on their child’s life positively. Some parents are natural at being parents, while others do their best and others are crying out for help. As parents I feel we all need some help at some stage regardless of if we are the best or worse parent. Getting help can be direct or indirectly. Direct help can involve asking support from a professional childcare practitioner be it a counsellor, teacher, educationalist, nursery nurse etc. Indirect help can involve learning from other parents, friends or families experiences on how they dealt with certain issues with their children. You have not ask for help directly but from what was shared you were able to pick one or two things that could help your parenting skills.
I asked the question, Am I a good parent? My definition of a good parent, for today, is someone that can reflect on their parenting skills. See what is working and what is not and is willing to improve on it. We all aim to be the perfect parent but if you do not reflect on your parent skills, you and your child might be heading for troubled times ahead. Reflecting on your parenting skills can include:
- Changing the way you talk to your child as he/she develops. Is it that you were quite soft but now you need to be firm or you were quite firm but now you need to negotiate.
- Listening to your child’s opinion, sharing yours and concluding on the one that best suite your child at this point in time.
Reflecting on our parenting skills helps us to become better parents and helps us to develop, knowing we are making progress for ourselves and children’s seek.
Most parent are interested in teaching their child how to save money or the worth of money. Parents ask, ‘When can I start teaching my child the worth or value of money?’ OR ‘At what age can I teach my child about money?’ OR ‘How can my child have a practical understanding of money?’ I understand that children are taught numeracy at school from about age four and by the time they get to year 1 class they are introduced to using pennies to add or subtract, however, this is theory and not practical. I understand that some parents or childcare practitioners may say “children have role play or play shop in the pretend area” but as the name indicate, it is role play and pretend.
How do we actually teach children to understand the value of money? There has been debate about introducing money matters into UK secondary schools with the help of money advisers, accountants or stock brokers visiting classes, but will this actually work. For me, this is still all practical and not real life experience. I feel parents have a greater role in teaching children the practical aspect of spending and saving money. I have come across parents that indicate they encourage their children to watch money matter programs such as Bloomberg and read stock market shares. These are all good steps in helping children understand money, however this can help in the long term rather than giving instant result.
As parents we give our children pocket money or outing money but how many of us do encourage our children to save, during the month, from their pocket money or return with change at the end of a school outing. Our children go on lots of school trips and are given money to buy souvenirs from their outing but how many parents ask for change left from the money buy the end of the day. Regardless of how much money that is given to children for school trip outing, be it £1.00 or £5.00, I feel parents should always ask for change. This is not an austerity action but rather a starting point in teaching children to save from whatever income they have. I have been trying to teach my 7 year old son money saving tips and always told him to have change from school trip money, regardless of how much was given to him. For the first school trip outings, of cause he spent the whole money, but with me repeating and encouraging him, he finally got it and had some change for me by the next school trip. Did I collect the change from him, of cause not, I asked him to put it in his piggy bank and that it was his to save.
I came across a 12 years old child that has just opened an account. She was very much excited about bieng able to remove money from her account but she was not sure how to put money into the account. My suggestion, children should have a piggy bank at home where they can save money from their pocket money and at the end of the month should be taken to the bank, by the parent, to save the money into their account. It is about developing a culture of giving into the saving accounts and not just collecting from it. Start your child, practically, on the money saving journey and get them into the habit of saving money.
Being a while since my last blog but have been busy with the children being on summer holidays. First job of a mother is being a parent and everything else had to be on hold during the summer break but glad to be back.
I have had this topic for some time and I realised it is quite an important parenting technique when passing across information and action point to children. Repetition, Redirection,and Reaffirmation is needed when interacting with children or trying to pass on information for them to carry out. As we know, children are easily distracted from instructions given to them and this does not exclude my children. On several occasions, both professionally and personally, I have given instructions to children to carry out particular task and it came as no surprise that they were easily distracted due to other interesting things happening around them. An example is asking your child to tidy up a particular space, if for some reason there are other interesting activities going on around him/her, it should come as no surprise that there will be distractions or the child forgetting about the task at hand.
It can be quite frustrating, on the part of the parent, to keep repeating him/herself but due to the nature of children repetition is a skill that is required when dealing with children. Am I saying all children are easily distracted and will need repetition or reminder of the task at hand, no this is not the case. All children are different and while some carry out a task by one given instruction, others will have the same task repeated to them over and over again before the task is carried out.
Having looked at repetition, what has redirection and reaffirmation got to do with children. Sometimes, repeating an instruction for a child, to carry out a task, might not be enough. It may have to involve the adult redirecting the child to the task. This may involve guiding the child physically and taking them back to the task at hand. As with the example of the tidy up if the child left the tidy up space, the adult may have to take the child’s hand and guide him/her back to the task at hand. This saves parent, especially, from shouting, raising their voice or becoming frustrated with repeating themselves.
Reaffirmation with children is telling them what a wonderful work or task they have done. You has a parent are telling them well done for performing the task, finishing it and that you acknowledge their contribution. Reaffirming children’s work can involve a child going to an adult and reminding him/her about a task completed successfully. The adult, at that point in time, needs to show the child that his/her input in the task was recognised and acknowledge this by either letting the child relive that experience through talking about it or praising the child again for his/her contributions. Sometimes reaffirmation can be used to indicate to your child that parents/carers acknowledge their good effort in their academics, sport and other positive activities that they are involved in.