Entries Tagged as 'kids'

bragging about your kids

When you praise your kids to friends, is it bragging?  Schools out and I could not be more proud of Anya.  She has achieved so much this year – getting the achievers award for her year as well as a fabulous report.  A report that made me cry because not only was it great on the learning and academic front, but the wonderful things they wrote about her as a person made my heart swell with pride.  But why is it considered boasting to tell others that your child has done well?  Why is it not acceptable to be proud of your child in public?  Why do some parents feel the need to put you down if you praise your child?

As a habit, I don’t speak much about Anya’s achievements to anyone apart from family.  But I happened to mention these latest achievements to a ‘friend’ and she immediately turned around and said something jokingly (but with a clear sarcastic edge) along the lines of how I couldn’t stop talking about my super star child.  I had mentioned it once.  It was the day I found out about her achievers award and naturally I was bursting with pride.  This is a recent example but I have been faced with this same situation before. 

I get that if you constantly talk about how great your kid is then it is annoying, very annoying and that is showing off.  If every update on facebook is about your how your 2 year old is reading War and Peace then yes, that’s not cool.  But to once mention an achievement or something fabulous they have done should be more than ok.  After all you should be able to share your proud parent moments with friends and expect them to be happy for you.  I am equally happy to talk about Anya’s faults (like her making crazy faces every time I get the camera out 😉) and I don’t ever hide them so why shouldn’t I speak of her accomplishments?  When friends tell me about the wonderful things their kids have achieved, I am genuinely happy for them.  It’s not a competition – if my kid did something great, it’s not a reflection on your kid.  In fact it has nothing to do with your kid.

On the flip side, if you talk about your child’s faults or shortcomings, everybody seems more than happy to listen.  Those same people that dismiss the good stuff, are all ears when it comes to the bad stuff.  Strange.  This isn’t a rant, but I’m genuinely wondering how parents feel about this – maybe some people will say that me mentioning it even once was showing off.  I personally think that we should be comfortable praising our kids to others beyond family.  If they’ve done something that made you proud, why not tell people and expect them to be happy for you.  Of course, I’m not saying that every conversation should revolve around your ah-mazing kid who can do no wrong.   But there is a big difference between bragging about your kids and just being proud of an achievement.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and any ‘bragging’ experiences you’ve had, good or bad?

how to limit kids screentime

The other day I was told a story about a three year old girl who was given a book.  She opened the book and she tried to press it.  She then started sliding her finger to get the pages to move.  She continued pressing, sliding, scrolling and got increasingly frustrated when nothing happened.  This child had never seen a real book before.  Her only experience of books had been electronic.  I haven’t made this up even though I wish I had.  This was told to me by someone who knew the little girl, while we were discussing technology and kids.  And that got me thinking, how much tech is too much but also is there such a thing as too little?

People often ask me if I let Anya use my ipad and other devices and how much I let her use them.  The answer is yes, I do let her use the devices but there are rules and restrictions.  Since I’m asked a lot I thought I would share some of the things I do to limit her use of iphones and ipads.  I do believe that our kids are growing up in an age where technology is everywhere and that they need to be exposed to it as it is so much a part of our lives.  And there are a lot of good things about technology so I want it to be a part of her life but not take over and or become her main source of entertainment.  So here are a few things I do to limit her ipad time:

1.  She has to ask before using the ipad/iphone.  She can’t just help herself!

2.  We treat the ipad like a treat!  So just like any treat, she knows that it’s not something she can have everyday but instead it’s something that can only be used once in a while.  But I never use it as a reward.

3.  If she asks for it when I don’t think she should have it,  I suggest another activity rather than just saying no.  So I’ll suggest colouring, dressing up or anything else that she loves doing and this often works because thankfully children forget easily!  Or if that fails, I will suggest reading together or something else we can do together.

4.  When she does get to use it, I usually limit her time and tell her that upfront.  Then when times up, it’s up. Sticking to your resolve really counts here because the inevitable ‘5 more minutes, please, please, please’ will always happen. (Of course , there are times I’ve given in to extra time especially when I’ve got stuff to do myself – naughty mama!).

5.  Buy books.  Lots of them – story books, activity books, colouring books.  And keep books accessible so your kids can reach them easily.  I’ve found that a new book for Anya is far more exciting than a new app.

6.  There are certain situations where I don’t allow the ipad at all like mealtimes and car journeys because once you allow it, I think it can easily become the norm.  So sticking to never is easier for me and for Anya because she doesn’t ever expect it at these times. 

7.  Obviously don’t buy them their own device because that’s just asking for trouble.  This might sound very obvious but I actually know 5, 6, 7 year old kids who have their own ipad and it never fails to shock me no matter how many times I come across a kid with one.

There is one exception I make to all the above and that’s when she wants to listen to music because she loves music.  Right now the ipad and iphone are our only sources of music so if she wants to listen to something I never stop her.  In fact I encourage it.

We all know kids learn by example so the amount of screen time you have will have an influence. I rarely watch TV but I am guilty of spending too much time on my laptop and this has naturally influenced Anya and her tech consumption.  I’m trying to make sure that once she comes home from school I shut off and then do anything pending after she’s gone to bed.  There are days when I manage this but there are others where I fail miserably.  What can I say – I’m still a work in progress!

Having said all that, there are times when rules go out the window.  I’m not perfect at following my rules and especially recently with all our house renovation upheaval she has had more ipad time than I would have normally allowed.  But sometimes you just have to do what makes life easier and not feel guilty about it.

What do you do to limit your kids screentime?  Any tips for all of us?  Or do you prefer your kids never to use ipads and iphones?  I’d love to hear in the comments.

P.S. This is a fun book on tech vs. real books to read with kids.


It’s Friday!  To end the week I wanted to share some recent conversations I’ve been having with Anya.  Some are funny and sweet while others are brutally honest – kids have no editing facility do they?!

On the theory of evolution:
Me explaining that many people believe that we started off as apes and evolved in to humans.
A: That’s wrong.
Me: Why?
A: We all start off as babies and become grown-ups.
(Can’t argue with that!)

Latest excuse not to sleep:
A: I’ve forgotten how to sleep. I really have.

Out of the blue one day:
A: Mama, why do you always have bags under your eye’s?
(That made me feel good – not!  And how does she even know what under-eye bags are?)

We are in the midst of house renovations and living in one room.  A lot of the rest of our home is still a building site so we can’t use it.  I overheard her telling her teacher:
A: I have a broken house and my mum keeps me locked in one room.
(Oops! Luckily her teacher knows the situation!)

What are some of the funniest things your kids have said or even brutally honest things?  I’d love to hear in the comments.

Have a wonderful weekend and lets hope for some sunshine! – nomita x

"excuses kids use to delay bedtime"

I love bedtime with Anya.  We snuggle up together and read a story often surrounded by a menagerie of stuffed animals.  After lots of kisses and cuddles we say goodnight, I turn the light off and leave.  That’s the good bit.  Then comes the painful part – getting her to actually go to sleep!  I’ve found that as she’s getting older, she is coming up with more and more imaginative excuses not to sleep. Of course we get the usual ‘I’m thirsty’, ‘I’m hungry’, ‘I need the toilet’ type excuses but recently her imagination seems to have gone in to over-drive and here are some of her latest reasons not to sleep:

“I don’t like sleeping, it’s too hard”

“I’ve forgotten how to close my eyes”

“I think my heart is sick, it’s beating too fast”

“My eyelashes are hurting” (what?!)

Anya: “I can’t sleep”
Me: “Count sheep then” (I explain how to count sheep)
Silence.  I’m feeling smug because at least for today I’ve cracked it.  But two minutes later, this:
Anya: “I’m scared”
Me: “Why”
Anya: “I think I saw a sheep in my bedroom”

And the latest one from last night:
“I have chicken pox”

What are some of the excuses your kids use? I’d love to hear them in the comments.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone x

*I’ve linked up to Honest Mum’s brilliant blog posts.

"where do babies come from?"

Last week, Anya and I had this conversation:

Anya:  Mama, where did I come from?
Me:  You came from my tummy.
Anya:  I already know that!  But where did I come from?
Me:  I don’t know what you mean?  You came from my tummy…
Anya:  No mama, how did I get inside your tummy?!

I wasn’t ready for this conversation as I never dreamed that I would be having it with my 5 year old.  Maybe I’m naive but I always thought these questions come up much later.  I quickly changed the topic and distracted her but I know that this will probably come up again soon.  And I’m really wondering what to say.  Do I go down the creative route and make something up or do I keep changing the topic?  I know I’m not going to tell her anything even close to the truth yet.  I do think it’s good to be honest with kids but this is just too young for me but I still do want to give her some answer.   So I’ve been trying to think of a few and the one I’m leaning towards is when you want a baby, you wish really, really hard for one and it just appears in your tummy! 

Have you had this conversation with your kids?  At what age?  What did you say?  Can you think of a better explanation?  I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.

Have a lovely weekend and I hope it doesn’t come with any awkward questions! x

{photo by ebabee: Anya aged 10 months}

Happy Spring!

March 21, 2014

"kids making friends""kids playing outdoors""mama and baby outdoors ebabee""kids enjoying wildlife ebabee"

Today I’ve been interviewed by the lovely Ana of pink nounou.  I talk to her about playing with Anya and all that this involves.  In my interview I chat about how, more than anything else, Anya loves to play outdoors and just spend time outside.  Now that Spring is finally here (yay!) I look forward to spending a lot more time outside as a family.  Not just in our local parks but visiting some of London’s fabulous outdoor spaces for a picnic (Holland Park is my favourite) or outdoor markets or the zoo.  Anywhere that offers some family fun and is outside.   I leave you with a few pictures of some memorable moments from our Spring last year.

Have a wonderful weekend and happy Spring! x

{all photos by ebabee}

"how quickly kids grow up ebabee"

I’ve been keeping a little photo log of Anya ever since she was born.  My idea is to photograph her in the same chair, wearing white, sitting next to her favourite stuffed toy over a period of many years.  I started when she was 5 months old and took the latest picture last week.

When I look back at the original picture and compare it to the latest one, I can’t believe the huge change in 5 short years.  I’ve often been told ‘kids grow very quickly so make sure you enjoy them at every stage’.  I never really understood or appreciated this sentiment till Anya came along but now I totally get it.  Time is moving fast and life is busy for most of us so it’s really easy to forget to enjoy every little moment of bonding and love that we share with our kids every single day.  I love looking back at these photos once in a while because they are a constant reminder that every age, every stage is fleeting so it’s important to enjoy the moment you’re in because it won’t last long.

I’m so glad I’ve kept this photo record and I plan to continue till she’s 18!  Have you done anything similar with your kids? I’d love to hear.

Have a fun weekend and enjoy those amazing everyday moments with your kids. x

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