Archives For Modern Parenting

Parenting, the flip-chart way
Before we get into the detail of the article, I really want to thank the team here for letting me post here with them. It means a lot to be able to get something published for my Fantastic Johnny’s Food Blog at great site like this.
Maria, small and feisty, is in full flow. She is telling a circle of mothers at a parenting class in Camden, north London, how tough it is to resist the demands of her 10-year-old daughter for a mobile phone and access to the internet. “I tell her that to be different is not bad, but she says most of the kids in her class are on Facebook,” Maria explains.
“My husband is laxer than me, he would give in and buy her a phone, but I remember that when I was growing up what counted was hanging out with my brothers, not having the latest gadgets.”
Around the room in Argyle primary school, near King’s Cross station, a circle of heads nods sympathetically.parenting
Maria, a mother of four, is taking part in a pioneering pilot — a parenting class run by a company called Parent Gym and funded by the government.
Under the scheme, formally announced by David Cameron on Friday, families in three areas — Middlesbrough, Camden and High Peaks, Derbyshire — can collect £100 vouchers at Boots entitling them to up to 10 free parenting sessions by a range of providers. Classes will cover everything from sleep problems to discipline.
Can Parent, as the scheme is called, is designed for all families with children under the age of five and will be extended throughout England and Wales if it proves a success.
How do you teach someone to be a better mother or father? Last week the parents at Argyle school were being told of 99 ways to show their children they love them — laid out in a glossy Parent Gym magazine.
“I thought there was only one way,” mutters one mother as she contemplates a list of ideas, which include decorating children’s lunch sandwiches with animal faces (stick raisins and bits of carrot into the bread to make eyes and a nose).
Chris Pearson, a volunteer coach who has been trained in parenting techniques, coaxes the mothers to open up about their problems, with jokes and disclosures. Homework, she tells them, was a particular bugbear for her. As a working mother (her son and daughter are now grown up), all she wanted in the evening was a glass of wine and the chance to put her feet up for an hour. Instead she had to supervise prep sessions that often ended in tears with books flying round the room. “I was the first to cry,” she tells the circle.
There’s a lot of chat about fathers and how much (or little) they do. At one point several mothers start giggling when Pearson gives one a tiny star to stick on her husband’s coat for helping with the kids.
Good parenting — or lack of it — has stalked our politicians for years. Irresponsible mothers and fathers have been blamed for everything from illiterate teenagers to last summer’s city riots. Research says Britain’s children are among the unhappiest in Europe, with mental health problems at record levels. A recent survey by the Prince’s Trust suggested 19% of children were not even sure that anyone loved them.
‘The classes that do exist are for people with problems. That seems to me the wrong way of approaching it’It is not just members of the underclass who are failing their children. Last year St Paul’s girls’ school in London, one of the country’s poshest private schools, said it would hold parenting seminars

High mistress Clarissa Farr told her high-flying parents, who include lawyers and bankers: “We’re deceiving ourselves if we think we can bring up our children through an iPhone.”
A book out this month entitled Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting by Noël Janis-Norton, a former teacher, carries a tribute from the Oscar-nominated actress Helena Bonham Carter, a mother of two. She said Janis-Norton’s parenting tips had taken “the stress” out of her family life. “I’ll probably live 10 years longer,” she quipped.
All these efforts to boost our child-rearing abilities are not without controversy. Last week Cameron’s parenting project attracted unwelcome publicity when a newspaper reported that Parent Gym, one of the 35 organisations appointed to run the pilot parenting classes under the government’s tendering process, was co-founded by the multi-millionaire Octavius Black, a contemporary of the prime minister at Eton.
Last week Black told The Sunday Times that far from being a moneyspinner, Parent Gym is a charity, a philanthropic offshoot of his company Mind Gym. While Mind Gym sets out to improve people’s performance at work, Parent Gym tries to do the same at home. It has been running classes across London since 2009, long before Cameron’s announcement last week.
Black said he created Parent Gym after a chat with his wife, the barrister and former Tory parliamentary candidate Joanne Cash, who felt there was a “need for parenting classes across the country”.
“Bizarrely, when you look around, there are no parenting classes unless you want to watch Supernanny,” he said. “The classes that do exist are for people with problems. The council will say, ‘The father of your child is in prison, so you will attend a parenting programme’. That seems to me the wrong way of approaching it.
“There is no correlation between the quality of parenting and wealth. There are great parents at all levels of the social scale and there are parents who could do better.”
What makes for good parenting? Black says that although his own childhood was “very happy” — his mother was a JP, his father was in advertising — he is keen to bring up his children differently. Setting boundaries and a routine are important, so is “one-to-one time and the amount of time you spend talking to a child”, he booms.
He also mentions “secure attachment parenting” — child-rearing that depends on rather a lot of contact between parent and child in the early years. Can you really teach people how to be better parents? Yes, Black says firmly. He has been practising Parent Gym techniques with his 21-month-old daughter. “She can say, ‘Sit there, Daddy’,” he says proudly and she “sleeps from 7pm to 7am”.
For some mothers Cameron’s project is not ambitious enough. Dilara Begum is a mother of eight who started going to parenting classes in east London to help deal with her six-year-old, who was throwing tantrums in shops.
He responded to the reward chart and list of rules she was advised to pin up on the wall but Dilara would like the classes — for parents with children under the age of five — to be available for parents of teenagers, too. Her biggest worry is her 16-year-old: “He mixed with the wrong kids and hung out with boys stealing bikes. He got caught and the police gave him a warning.”
Black wants to recruit enough volunteers to run his own Parent Gym classes nationwide so they are as much a part of family life as antenatal appointments. It’s a contentious idea — but then there are an awful lot of worried parents out there.
This post was contributed by the Mens Style who is a regular poster both here on their own blog. You can catch them on twitter, facebook or even their very popular youtube channel.

3 Easy Ways to Boost a Young Child’s Self-Esteem

Being a parent is a both a fulfilling experience and an enormous challenge. The way you behave as a parent will have a lasting impact on your child. It happens too often. Someone with low self esteem and limited accomplishments could have found success if they had received more praise as a child. The thing is: giving a child confidence is not rocket science. Below I discuss three easy ways to boost your child’s self esteem so that they can grow up comfortable in their own skin.

1. Assign your child responsibility.

If you give your children responsibility, it will make them feel more valuable. This practice has the added benefit of giving them a strong work ethic, a trait that has obvious value later in life. The best technique is to not simply hand over chores to your young child but to include them in the jobs you do around the house.

Giving your child responsibility can be fun for both of you. A great outdoor activity would be to plant flowers. Give your child the seeds and help them bury them. When the flower grows, your child will be thrilled that it was their doing.

To give your child a true sense of responsibility, reward them every once in a while for their dependability. For instance, offer to buy them a gift but only if they can prove that they can take care of their belongings. Don’t simply purchase them numerous toys. They should feel that they have earned the gift.


build self esteem

2. Give them the attention they need to boost their confidence (and keep them from acting out).

The key here is to give your child the extra attention they need. If you seem distant to them, they will continue to act out and you might damage their self-esteem. It is their way of finding out if you still care. If you give them ample attention when you are with them, however, it should prevent them from acting out as often. This does not mean that you need to spoil them with gifts every time they behave themselves. But if your child gives you a hug, be sure to show them affection back. When you are home, give them a fair amount of quality and exclusive time. Bring them to a park, play a board game with them, read to them. These small gestures of affection will remind them that you still care.

3. Commend them when they do something good.

If you do not often give your child praise when they feel that they did something worthwhile, it could have a negative impact on their self-esteem. You do not need to give them too much acclaim. If you do that, they might grow up with an impractical view of themselves and their accomplishments (besides, if you fake it, they will be able to tell). If your child writes you a poem, however, you should tell that child how lovely that poem is and how impressed you are. In this case, the acclaim will give the child some motivation to use their creativity. If you were to passively thank the child for the poem, they might feel that their creativity is not adequate.

Giving your child ample positive feedback is also a great technique to help them avoid bad behavior in the long run. If you give your child positive feedback for something, they will like that feeling and will want to do more of whatever it was you praised them for.

Above are just a few techniques you can use to boost your child’s self esteem. The right balance of attention, praise and responsibility will give them a strong sense of value and they will likely find success throughout their life.

how to make a decision in less than 90 seconds

Me and my young men

I have made a decision today-I want to stop telling my boys what to do. Especially in the morning in between swimming kits, tennis kits and art projects , lunch boxes and water bottles before we leave the house I am like a parrot , that knows only 10 sentences.My boys are at a stage now where there is no need for me to constantly “do things for them”.

how to make a decision

Aristotle is 10.

how to make a decision

Stellion is 9.

Sotiris is 6

Sotiris is 6

I made a decision to STOP stressing myself if I am a good mother or not , as I have this blockage , that if they are not ready or organized I feel , that I failed as a mother.I am one of these people , that loves being prepared and organized and I feel very responsible ,but in order for them to become prepared and organized I have to let them be and learn their own way. As one of my friends said at the school playground “One of the hardest thing a mother should do is to let go.”

So here is today’s video .Please press play to watch it.
By making this decision public I believe I will get rid of this bad habit and all the tension , that I give to myself.
As always thank you so much for all your support and love.
Lots of Love,