SOS Childcare

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.” sos

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.

Body Language = Baby Sleeping

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.

baby ready to sleep

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.

Am I a good parent?

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.Parent.Child

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.

Repetition, Redirection and Reaffirmation with Children

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.