Do Early Pregnancy Tests Work?

At present, most of the women’s get confused concerning about “do early pregnancy test work?” because they are concerned to figure out the results. Some of the pregnancy test might provide accurate results early before a missed period. Others test are accurate when you take after you missed period. Majority of the pregnancy test might work by indicating whether the urine contains hCG hormone which might produce after the fertilized egg attached to the wall of uterus. Once the hormone is elevated then pregnancy test might indicate that you are pregnant. Suppose you test too early then H-hCG or hCG at your urine might not be sufficient to test to detect. In case you are getting negative test result but doesn’t start your period then you must wait for a while and retest. If you are looking to know about the best pregnancy test for early detection then you can get help from online which is the major resource to choose perfect pregnancy test.

What are the types of pregnancy tests available?

Do Early Pregnancy Tests Work

Actually, pregnancy test might check your blood or pee for the hormone which is also known as human chorionic gonadotropin. This happens about six days after fertilization.  If you are looking to know about best pregnancy test for early detection then two types are available like urine test and blood tests. You can get the blood test at doctor office and it is really useful to detect the pregnancy earlier when compared to home pregnancy test. However, it might take longer to obtain the results rather than home pregnancy test. Qualitative hCG test might check for the hCG which gives yes or no answer for the question. Doctor might provide this test to confirm to detect the pregnancy as early as ten days. On the other hand, quantitative hCG test might measure exact amount of the hCG at your blood. This kind of the test helps to tracks the issues during pregnancy.

You can take the urine test at doctor office or home. It can provide accurate result when you follow the directions properly. There are specific ways there to test pee. However, you must wait for a while to see the results. Urine and blood test provide accurate test rather other. When it comes to the accuracy of pregnancy test then it includes

  • Sensitivity of the pregnancy test
  • How closely follow the instructions
  • How soon after pregnancy you take test
  • When you ovulate and how soon the egg implants

When to take pregnancy test?

If you are seeking for the pregnancy test for early detection then home pregnancy test is the best choice because it provides more accurate results when you test in the morning. If you get the positive result then you are pregnant and you should call your doctor to talk about what might come next. In rare cases, you might have the false positive result which means you are not pregnant. You might have false positive result when you have protein or blood at your pee. Specific drugs might also cause the false positive results like hypnotics, fertility drugs, tranquilizers, and anticonvulsants. There are tons of reasons there that you might get the negative result like

  • Tested too soon
  • Test is past its expiration date
  • Took test in the wrong way
  • Your pee might be diluted when you drank lots of fluids before the test
  • Taking specific medications like antihistamines or diuretics

Suppose you get the negative result then you must try retest within the week to double check the result. Once you take test twice and obtain different results then try to call your doctor. However, blood test is the best idea to confirm the results.

Do Early Pregnancy Tests Work

Essential tips for the pregnancy test

Pregnancy test is really beneficial to check for presence of pregnancy hormone at your urine. Your body might start to produce the HCG once you conceive. Now a day, technology has improved a lot which ensure that you can get accurate results like

  • Delay the testing process until first day of your missed period
  • Make sure that check expiration date and follow the instructions exactly
  • If test is positive then you are advisable to schedule the appointment with your health professional to start the prenatal care
  • Before check the results window, you must wait for full of 10 minutes
  • Suppose the line is faint then it means that you are pregnant. During the situation, double check the result

According to the studies, that early pregnancy tests are 46% to 89% accurate. Likewise, blood test might detect the pregnancy 6-8 days after ovulation. Suppose you drink huge amount of the liquid shortly before testing then your urine volume might increase so try to avoid the test. To know about the best pregnancy test for early detection then you can get help from your health professional because they can provide proper guidance and support for you.

Things to know about pregnancy test

If you are having pregnancy symptoms but you get negative test then it means that you could be ovulated later than the usual. Else way, you might take the test too early before implantation has occurred. It is always best to take the pregnancy test in morning because concentration of hCG at your urine is high. If you are perimenopausal women then you might have elevated levels of the hCG when you are not pregnant which is considered as false positive result. Suppose you undergo the hCG treatment for stimulating the ovulation then you might receive the false positive results. Tons of the products are available in online to detect the early stage of the pregnancy but reading review in online is really beneficial to pick the best and perfect test. Remember one thing; manufacturer data about sensitivity of the test might vary from data which comes from the independent studies. If you plan to use digital tests then you might use the exact sensors for detecting the level of hCG.

Five Lessons for my Five Year Old

I have thought long and hard about this post.  I have written parts, deleted them and rewritten time and time again.  Why? Because this blog, ultimately, is for you and your brother to look back on and read about what you were like growing up – if you want to that is!

Therefore, this post is going to be an honest account of how you are now.

Last year, I wrote about you turning four and I gushed over you and spoke of how you fixed my broken little family and brought and end to the heartache that lingered from losing Dad and Grandma.  That, my dear, remains true.  You are all we have ever wanted and in the moments that your possessive yells filled the birthing room on the 29th October 2011, I knew that I would lay down my life for you in a heartbeat.  I was now a Mum and that was irrevocable – I would always be your Mum and there was no going back.  My life was no longer about me anymore and despite declaring before your birth that being a parent would not define me, I am proud to say it does and it always will.  I am yours until the day I take my final breath.

Five Lessons for my Five Year Old

You’re five.  I must have blinked.  I can see the young lady that you are becoming and if I am being honest, sometimes I worry.  The little girl who runs into my bedroom each morning still half asleep needs a little direction and, perhaps, a sterner hand.  Every morning I ask for a cuddle and most mornings I am denied. Perhaps it’s because you still in the clutches of sleep, perhaps it’s because you can see the iPad on the bedside table over my left shoulder or perhaps hugging is not the done thing for a five year old.  And it is this awareness that I am a little afraid of because there is no doubt in my mind that you are fully aware of when you are being naughty, unkind or disrespectful and it is these qualities that I must change in you.

Now, I fully understand that with every child there will be some mischief – it is what makes life fun sometimes and it can liven up our personality, but being unkind is a quality I will not allow.

“Daddy, kick Mummy,” you say.  Or, “Zachy, climb on the table,” or “jump from that chair.”  You know that this is wrong, so why do it? Do you really want to see your brother jump and hurt himself?  No, don’t answer that question because I fear the answer.  I reprimand you of course, and so does your Dad. Only a few weeks ago, I returned home from work to see you in floods of tears on the bottom of the stairs.

“I’m on the thinking step!” you yelled as I walked in and without thinking, I scooped you up and wiped away your tears.

Five Lessons for my Five Year Old

The sky falls when you cry and my instincts kick in and I strain to hold it up for you.  If I were being a good parent or a strong parent, I would have left you there to think about what you had done, which as it turned out, was to tell Grandma to leave as soon as your Dad arrived home.  What you did was rude.  Grandma had picked you up from school, brought you home and taken care of you whilst we worked and you told her to leave.  I too have been on the receiving end of this when, last week, you told me to leave and physically tried to push me out of the door when you were staying at Grandma’s.  In this life, you must always be considerate of other people’s feelings, but in that moment you weren’t – you were kicking your mum out of her mum’s house!  You have come home upset on a number of occasions when children haven’t let you play with them, but, my dear, you reap what you sow.  Being kind might not make you powerful; it might not get you that dream job you want when you’re older, but it will make you loved and a world without love is not a world at all – I imagine it’s lonely and desolate, two feelings I don’t want you to ever experience. Therefore, always be kind.

I miss my two year old girl, the one who gave the tightest hugs; I miss my three year old girl, the one who was preparing to become a big sister and was so excited about it and I am certain to miss my four year old, the one who, in her first week of full time school, was so amazing that her teacher stopped in her car in the middle of a busy road to tell me just how awesome you had been at school that week.  Dropping you off on your first day at school, I admit that I got a little emotional and had to leave before a tear fell.  You were with a friend though, so I knew you were going to be fine and by ‘eck, you were totally fine. By the end of the week, you were a firm fixture at Art Club, lost both your jumper and cardigan and spoke incessantly about your new friends.  Recently, I met with your teacher; she spoke highly of you and your incredible imagination, but she mentioned that sometimes you forget when it’s time to work and when it’s time to play.  Don’t misunderstand me, having fun whilst working is extremely important.  My colleagues are a constant form of entertainment and I love how they make me laugh, but I know when it’s time to be serious too.  You tell me you love learning – so learn and never lose your thirst for it because it keeps you humble.

You tell the worst jokes.  But, that makes them the best:

“Why did the chicken cross the road?”

“I don’t know,”

“To do a poo.”

“Knock knock,”

“Who’s there?”

“Cattio,”

“Cattio who?”

“Cattio needs the toilet.”

Seriously, what does that even mean?

You’re funny.  What a wonderful quality to have.  Not only do you tell the worst jokes in the world, you dance like no one is watching (often with you bum out after a bath), you sing songs into Mummy’s Snap Chat, which she then shares with the two people she has added (yeah, sorry about that) and you tell the most random stories that often include the words ‘poo’ ‘bum’ ‘stinky’ or, if we are really lucky, all three.  Always en-devour to make people laugh just please just don’t do it sitting in an exam hall when you are about to sit a GCSE exam – especially not your English ones.

You’re learning to be a good sister. This week, during half term, I have watched you look after your brother and ask him for cuddles.  I have been marking a lot and kept a watchful eye on you both from behind my books on the table. There was one moment when I looked up to see you standing on your desk and your brother standing on the chair; you both were looking straight at me with fixed grins.  Afraid of any sudden movements, (in case you both jumped at the same time and I would have to choose who to save) I slowly put down my red pen and edged towards you both.  Through gritted teeth and a fake smile – so not to cause panic – I asked you to sit.  You obliged and so did your brother because he looks up to you.  In everything you do in life, always set a good example.   

Five Lessons for my Five Year Old

Your final lesson is something I cannot teach you because I don’t think it is anything I have achieved.  It’s also not a lesson as such, but an accumulation of all of the above qualities.  I feel that if you achieve the above, then this should just fall into place.  I want you to dream big.  Don’t put a cap on what you think you can do with your life.  Too many times I have told myself that I can’t do something and too many times I have failed, given up and never tried again. Seek out adventure, find your passion and do what you love. Don’t settle; do what makes you happy.  If travelling the globe makes you happy, do it.  If falling in love with your childhood sweetheart and starting your own family makes you happy, do it.  And, if you ever find yourself in a situation that you don’t think would make your Mum and Dad happy or proud, tell us (as just not being afraid to tell us would make us happy) because you might be surprised. Ultimately, it’s your life and as your parents, we can only offer you guidance. At thirty-five, my mum still guides me, offers me advice (and still washes my wools) so don’t ever be afraid to ask for help if help is what you need to achieve your dream and be happy.  Dream big, but don’t take life for granted – you only get one.

You can’t wait to be five.

Well kid, here it is.

Enjoy it and kick the ass out of being five.

Five Lessons for my Five Year Old

A Mum’s Guide To Keeping Your Little Ones Healthy This Winter

With the onset of winter on the way, soon enough it will be flu season. This means as well as the risk of flu; there will also be lots of coughs, colds, and other nasty illnesses flying around. As parents, the last thing we want is our children to become unwell, as then we worry about them. So it makes sense to do whatever we can to keep them healthy this winter, to help prevent them from getting ill. To help you to do that, below are some tips and suggestions to take on board and try.

Build up their immune systems

A Mum’s Guide To Keeping Your Little Ones Healthy This Winter


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A Mum’s Guide To Keeping Your Little Ones Healthy This Winter

With the onset of winter on the way, soon enough it will be flu season. This means as well as the risk of flu; there will also be lots of coughs, colds, and other nasty illnesses flying around. As parents, the last thing we want is our children to become unwell, as then we worry about them. So it makes sense to do whatever we can to keep them healthy this winter, to help prevent them from getting ill. To help you to do that, below are some tips and suggestions to take on board and try.

Build up their immune systems

melon

One of the best things that you can do to prevent your children from getting sick this winter is build up their immune systems. The stronger your children’s immune systems are, the less likely they are to get sick. This is because kids with strong immune systems are able to fight off the majority of illnesses. To give your children’s immune systems a boost, it’s important to ensure that you’re giving them lots of healthy wholesome foods. The foods that contain the most vitamins and nutrients are fruits and vegetables, so make sure that they are getting their five a day. It could also be worth giving them a multivitamin each day, to help give their immune systems an extra boost.

Take them for regular medical checkups

A lot of parents make the mistake of thinking that medical checkups are only for when kids are unwell. However, that’s not the case. A medical checkup allows your children to be checked over by a doctor, to ensure that they’re healthy. As well as checking them over to ensure that they’re healthy, checkups are good because they get children used to visiting the doctor. Say, for instance, your child became unwell and needed pediatric immediate care. The chances are that they would probably be more comfortable with seeing a doctor if they’d had various checkups in the past. Whereas, children who’ve not had checkups, are often scared of a trip to the doctor’s office.

Keep them warm

A Mum’s Guide To Keeping Your Little Ones Healthy This Winter

It might be a myth that getting cold gives you a cold, but getting cold isn’t good for your children. When our bodies get too cold, sometimes we can then become more prone to becoming unwell. This is because the cold impacts our immune system and somehow makes us more prone to catching certain things. The cold can also cause serious conditions like pneumonia and hyperthermia. So if you want to keep your kids healthy this winter, it’s important to keep them nice and warm. This means dressing them appropriately for the weather. Making sure your home is heated properly, and also making sure that they wear their coats when out and about.
As parents, we want to do everything that we can to keep our little ones healthy and happy. But come winter, that becomes more of a struggle. Especially as there are so many different strains of common viruses floating around. However, by taking note of the advice above, you can lower the chances that your children will become unwell this winter.

Supporting A Dyslexic Child: Advice For Homeschooling Parents

Do you homeschool your children? If so, you’re probably eager to provide them with the best education possible. Homeschooling is tough enough. But when you have children with special educational needs, the task can become even more difficult. If you have a child with dyslexia, here is some advice, which may prove useful.

Supporting A Dyslexic Child: Advice For Homeschooling Parents

Identifying dyslexia in children

Dyslexia is one of the most types of learning difficulty. It affects your ability to read, write, and spell. Signs of dyslexia usually become apparent when a child starts to take part in learning activities at school. They may struggle to write coherently, read words and spell. It may become evident that they’re not progressing as quickly as other children, and they may be finding tasks much more difficult.

Children with dyslexia often spell words by putting the letters in the wrong order and write letters the wrong way round. It’s common to confuse the letters ‘b’ and ‘d’, for example. Children may also find it hard to interpret written instructions, even if they normally respond to verbal prompts swiftly.

Unlike other types of learning difficulty, dyslexia does not affect intelligence. However, it can make life much tougher during both childhood and adulthood.

If you think your child may have dyslexia, it’s important to seek advice. Tests can be used to make a diagnosis, and there is additional support available for children and adults.

Supporting a child with dyslexia at home

Dyslexia is one of the most common barriers to learning. It can be tough for children to concentrate and maintain effort when they find tasks much harder than other children. They may also get frustrated and disheartened. If your child has dyslexia, here are some tips to help you improve their confidence and help them with reading, writing, and spelling.

Reading

Daily reading is highly recommended for dyslexic children. When you read together, encourage them to practice forming the words aloud, and encourage them constantly. Make sure they know that you are there to assist, but let them try to overcome obstacles independently. Write down new words they have learned, and read to them so that they expand their vocabulary. Choose books that are a suitable level. If you go for something too complex, this can knock a child’s confidence.

Writing

Many children learn to print words before they attempt joined-up writing. For dyslexic children, learning two types of handwriting can be tough. Instead, encourage your child to learn a continuous style from day one. Practice writing exercises as part of your daily regime. You’ll find an amazing wealth of resources online.

Spelling

There are certain methods you can use to make spelling easier. Practice always makes perfect, and teaching children phonics can also help children to form words. Go through spelling lists on a daily basis. Keep the lists relatively short, and make sure your child masters one set before moving on to the next. Once you’ve learned spellings, use the words in different contexts. You can combine writing, spelling, and reading tasks.

Dyslexia affects many children. Although it has no bearing on intelligence, it can have a very significant impact on learning. If you have a child with dyslexia, these tips will hopefully help you to reassure and support them in their learning and development.

Parenting Rapped Up!

To be rapped loudly to the theme tune of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ (the unedited version.)

Now this is a story all about me,

How my house became a mess and why I’m always grubby,

And I’ll like to take a minute just sit right there,

‘Cos I’ll show you how to master the CBeebies blank stare.

In lovely West Yorkshire, I spend most of my days,

Cleaning, not sleeping and dozing in soft plays,

No chilling or relaxing, it’s taxing, not cool,

Wading knee deep in ball pools, I look like a fool.

Then a couple of mums see me stuck on the slide.

“Scootch on down!” they say, but it’s no good I’ve tried.

I managed one sip of tea before my kid got scared,

He got stuck in a net and shouted at anyone who cared.

Parenting Rapped Up!

 

My daughter begs and pleads for something every single day,

For toys and sweets and her own goddamn way.

She shouts and screams so she gives me no choice,

Out come the big guns: my loud teacher voice.

She cries and on my cheeks she’s suddenly a kissing,

I grab my keys to the car and ask her which Barbie she’s missing.

Parenting Rapped Up!

I praise those mommas who have braved having a third,

Just how many more years do you want covered in turd?

Some mornings I wake and think I could do it again.

But then I think nah forget it, I prefer myself sane.

I pull up to my house about seven or eight,

I’ve been at parents’ evening and you’re telling me they’re still bloody awake!

But, then I look over at my babies and I love them to their bones

Now please go to bed so I can watch ‘Game of Thrones’!

Parenting Rapped Up!

The Rushed Hour – How to Nail the School Run.

7.26am and a call comes from downstairs.

“Right, I’m off.  I’ll see you all tonight,” Teaching Dad shouts.

With only one foot pulled into a pair of black tights, I quickly look up and scan my surroundings.  Zooming in, I clock that my girl still has un-brushed hair, no shoes on and is currently glued to the tattered and cracked thing that once upon a time resembled an iPad; my boy is heaving in a corner filling a new nappy with the good stuff holding firmly onto his second Fruit Shoot of the day.

The Rushed Hour – How to Nail the School Run.

“Can you just…”

What?  Quick.  You only have a few seconds.  Put the towels in the washer, take the dirty nappy downstairs, make me a sandwich, wash up, help me dress the kids, help dress me. Something. Quick.  Anything.

“Can you just…”

The door slams.  Damn.  The moment is gone.

Once again, I survey my surroundings.  I figure I have twenty minutes before I have to leave the house and in that time I can:

Dress, change the boy’s bum, re-dress him, drag a brush through my girl’s hair, brush their teeth, put a wash on, transfer some washing to the dryer, take the collection of empty Fruit Shoot bottles downstairs, pack bags, run up and down stairs three times to check hair straighteners are turned off and eat something…(usually discarded toast from the boy.)

The Rushed Hour – How to Nail the School Run.

At 7.47am, I leave the house and I am running late.

My physical being needs to be at my school desk at 8.30am.

I notice snot hanging from my boy’s nose and because I don’t want to hand over a snotty child to the ladies at nursery, I dash back into the house for tissue.  Running back out, I lock the door and head to my car.  As soon as I turn the ignition on, I have no recollection of locking the door, so I run off to check the front door again.  It’s locked.  I wonder, once again, if my straighteners are switched off even though I know I moved them from my room into the spare room.  Who knows?  Perhaps plugs can fall from beds into plug sockets…back into the house I go.

7.53am and we arrive at nursery. Despite being very content at nursery, the boy usually cries and clings to some body part of mine. This morning, however, a small miracle occurred when he allowed me to put him down and he waddled off towards the breakfast table.

I wanted to kiss him goodbye.

In a millisecond, that feeling vanished.

“Quick!” I turned to my girl.  “Go go go!  Get out before he notices.”

We run out of the door, down the path to school, where we wait in line for Breakfast Club to open at 8am.

This is where it starts to get interesting.  And when I mean interesting, I mean this is where the adrenaline kicks in because there is only thirty minutes left of The Rushed Hour and I am still in possession of one child.

8.02am and the gate is opened by the most pleasant man.

“Good morning!” he greets everyone as we enter.

I smile politely at him whilst at the same time realising that despite being second in the queue this morning, three children and a parent have slipped in in front of us.

Damn-it!  I dropped the ball when I passed the time of day with the nice man at the gate.

Should I tell them that there was a line?  Should I try to trip one of them up?  No?  I’ll just say: “Urgh!  Mummy’s going to be late again,” really loudly.  It falls on deaf ears.  Already a pro at this, the school mum has no time to hear my complaints as she has her eyes on the target: the sign in and payment desk.

Upon reaching the desk, she then decides to have a conversation.  I know!  What on earth is wrong with people these days?  They actually want to pass the time of day with an actual human being.  Do they not know that in…argh…twenty six minutes I have a computer to switch on?

“Yes, well I used to have a security guard follow me around Tesco because my daughter used to scream that loud,” I hear her saying.

I begin to tap my foot loudly behind her because, you know, every little helps.

It doesn’t help.

“You’re going to have to go and pick your breakfast yourself babe because Mummy is going to have to leave straightaway.”

The mum and children wander off and it’s our turn.

“It’s £2 for today please,”

I hand over a ten pound note and start to explain that I need some change in return because my lovely and kind colleague bought me fish and chips last night at Open Evening and I have to pay him back.

Is that someone’s foot tapping behind me?

I pocket my change and together we go to pick some cereal and toast.  My girl sits down next to her friend, I grab her bag and coat and go to hang it up.  I stop.  I turn back and go and kiss her.  One child is going to get a kiss goodbye from me today.  I then go and drop her bag off in her cute little classroom, which makes me remember how untidy I left mine yesterday.

The Rushed Hour – How to Nail the School Run.

I run to the car.

Cardio.

8.08am and I am driving to work.  I can make it with time to spare in twenty-two minutes…if I drive at 50mph…and am the only car on the road…

So, my journey plays out something like this:

“Don’t let him out!  Don’t let him out!  Don’t let him…oh.  Why’d you let him out?”

A few minutes pass and I am making good time until I reach the dreaded right turn onto a busy road.

There’s a few cars at the junction ahead of me.

“Don’t be turning right.  Don’t be turning right!”

There’s a learner driver waiting patiently in the car in front.

I put on some rock music to calm me down.  Unsurprisingly, it does quite the opposite, but at least the poor learner driver will think I am singing loudly rather than swearing profusely.

“Don’t turn right!”

They are wanting to turn right.  Eventually, they make it out of the junction and I turn to pull out straight behind them looking like I am being towed by an invisible tow rope.  I now need to take a left.

“Don’t you dare turn left.  Please don’t turn left.  Ooh pub.”

Yes!  They don’t turn left.

And, I am on it again.

Zooming up a hill and I can almost smell the scent of education in the air.

Then suddenly, a huge Eddie Stobart lorry pulls out a few cars in front of me and the pace slows to 10mph.  10mph!  Is that even a thing?

I finally reach another junction and, while in stand still traffic, I text my boss.  Stuck behind a lorry, I tell her.  I want to punch someone, I tell her. (I have never punched anyone or anything in my life, so I very much doubt that with five minutes left to get to school, I would actually get out of my car and go punch anyone – let alone a man driving a huge lorry…)

I receive a text back and she assures me not to worry and to drive safe!  God, love her!

By now, I am in the vicinity of my school and I can see pupils walking with their uniforms on and shirts hanging out.

“Get your shirts tucked in!” I yell.  After all, it’s 8.26am, so I am almost on the clock; I figure I might as well start doing some work.

Luckily, the sounds of Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ probably (hopefully) drown me out.

Turning into the gates, I park my car, listen to the opening three chords of the next song, turn off the engine and climb out.  I rush through the door and into my classroom, change into my work shoes and switch on the computer.  At 8.29am, I saunter out into the corridor and walk calmly down to the staff room for our morning meeting.

It’s as if I have been here for hours.

Except, in my chest my heart is beating as fast as a Tre Cool drum solo.

The School Run: Nailed It!

The Rushed Hour – How to Nail the School Run.

Why Sport Is Good For Your Children’s Social Development

We are constantly told how important sport is for our kids’ physical health. Hundreds of thousands has been poured into raising awareness of an active lifestyle and healthy eating. This is all great. Exercise is a necessary part of your child’s physical well being. Without sport, they will face serious health issues, such as obesity. Without a proper exercise regime, they will also grow physically weak. However, the physical aspects of exercise aren’t the only positive part of sports for your children. Sport also teaches them so much more about themselves and others. It is important for their mental development too. This is often left unmentioned or disregarded. So here’s how sport can help your children’s social development.

Team Sport

Team sports require clear, honest communication. For a team to succeed, everyone must be heard. Everyone will have to be flexible and accept what is best for the team, not necessarily their own ego. There also has to be good communication among members when coming up with strategies to succeed. These skills will benefit your child within the team. It will see the team prosper and them win matches and maybe even leagues. But this positive, effective communication will spread to other areas of your child’s life. They’ll be able to talk to their teachers, their siblings and others with a sense of respect and confidence.

Competition

A sense of competition among children is positive. But this doesn’t mean petty quarrelling between siblings. Competition is most beneficial when your child displays their best talents and good performance. Sports aren’t easy. To win you have to be inspired, confident in yourself and willing to work for the results at the end. If there aren’t regular competitions in your local, you can set up your own for children in the local vicinity. You can purchase good quality trophies and awards from sites such as http://www.premiertrophies.co.uk/golf-trophies.html. This will create a social event for your children and others’ to attend. It will also give all participants something to take home and show off.

Passion

Kids don’t always have a lot to talk about. But having a hobby is good for them. Showing a keen interest in something and rejoicing in telling others about it will see your child’s popularity and self-confidence soar. Having a passion for a sport can be the start of a whole host of passions in your child’s life. The more areas and activities they explore, the better their view of the world will be. A deep investment in something is essential to happiness later in life. Give them a kick-start by helping them find a true passion from an early age.

Pride
Be proud of your child’s achievements. However, it is important to not be too pushy. Don’t expect your child to win everything they enter. Tell them how good it is to participate at all. Pushy parents can actually damage their child’s social development and self esteem. If you are harsh on your child’s achievements or dismiss something that seems important to them, then they will lose self confidence. They will be less willing to talk. They will be less invested in their achievements in sport and other areas of their life.

To the Boy in the Corner.

I saw you today.

Don’t worry.

I saw the other boys too.

Don’t fret.

I don’t think you did fret at all actually and that’s what I really admired.  I also admired the fact that you stuck up for yourself in the situation I unknowingly put you in.  You see, it was partially my fault.  I didn’t seat you in a good place in my classroom because I was rushed, so for that I apologise.  Teaching four back to back lessons today, meant that you didn’t quite get the attention you deserved when you walked into my classroom for only the second time since you started at school three weeks ago.

I am sorry that I flipped when I saw one boy point and snigger at you.

That was my trigger point and I probably didn’t help the situation when my anger boiled over.  I am not usually a shouter you see.  You’ll probably learn that in time when you get to know me better as your teacher.  But, what I am is a mother and in that split second I saw someone potentially laughing and pointing at my own son or daughter in ten years time and my instinct to protect those who are perhaps a little more vulnerable than others just kicked in.

“One thing I won’t stand for is bullying!” I yelled.  “In my classroom, no one will ever be made to feel worthless.” The boys I kept behind flinched at my voice and denied everything.

“If you don’t like each other, then that is fine, but you accept and respect each other’s differences.”

I may have stumbled on my words a little (did I mention I am not a shouter?), but the boys and you all caught onto my gist.

Everyone eventually apologised – even you.  Because you weren’t innocent in all of this.  I told you more than once to stay focused on your own work and not wind the other boys up.

I think you were trying to make amends; make them laugh perhaps, but they didn’t ‘get’ you, just as you didn’t ‘get’ them.  The most satisfying part of my job is working with young people like yourself.  Your personalities are infectious and unique and that’s an amazing thing, but unfortunately, it sometimes means that not everyone will want to be your friend while at the same time, you might not want to be theirs.  And that is fine. It’s totally fine.

“Are you okay?” I asked when the other boys had left my room.

“Yes,” you chirped.  “I didn’t see them laughing and pointing.”

Should I have left it then?  Should I have turned my back on someone laughing at you because you didn’t notice?  Your feelings were not hurt and you’re fine – you told me so.

Was I wrong to try and help?

“Don’t ever change,” I told you as you left my classroom.  “Don’t let others tell you who you should be.”  You looked at me, smiled and then sauntered away to your next lesson.

I imagine that everything I said to both you and the boys vanished from your minds within the hour.

But, with me it lingered because I fear I made a mistake.  Perhaps a quiet word with the perpetrators would have been the better solution, but the idea of someone being bullied in my class caused me to lose my cool, if only for a moment.

Please be assured that the next time you all enter my class, everything will be forgotten. I’ll sit you in a seat better suited to your needs and I will teach, talk to and laugh with the others who may or may not have laughed at you because with each new lesson comes a new start, a new learning focus and a new way of earning mutual respect for one another.

This evening, my daughter told me that a big girl was mean to her today at school.  In only her third week at school, my heart ached a little for her.  I don’t quite think she fully understands the term bullying (and I don’t think she is being bullied), but she recognised the fact that being called a ‘weirdo’ is not right or acceptable.  I asked her to talk me through what happened.

It was during Breakfast Club and I think she was struggling pick up her empty bowl and cup to return to the adults who were serving the food and drink.  I think she asked one of the older pupils to help and she was ignored.  Later, she told me, the same pupil pushed into her and called her a ‘weirdo’.  I am not naive in the fact that what my four year daughter told me may not be entirely true, so rather than tell her to retaliate or tell a teacher, I simply told my girl to ignore and stay away from the said pupil.

“Next time she does it Mummy, I’ll just shout ‘No, that’s naughty!’” she said.

As much as I wanted to fist bump her and yell ‘yeah, you go girl!’ I feared that this would only provoke the pupil into calling her a name again, or heaven forbid, laugh at my girl’s feeble attempt at sticking up for herself.

Was my daughter fazed by allegedly being called ‘weird’?  No, of course she wasn’t.  In fact, if I were to mention it to her again in the morning, she would probably deny all knowledge of having said it in the first place – such is the sieve like memory of a four year old recalling a school day. (She remembers every single day for a year that she wants jelly maker for her birthday, but can’t remember anything she does at school – heaven help me when she is fourteen.)

However, if (and it is a big IF), if my daughter is wronged again by this pupil, or by any child, then this defence mechanism of loudly saying ‘no that’s naughty’ she seems so eager to try might just draw the attention of some caring teacher who will not stand for any bullying in his or her classroom. And whether my girl wants the teacher’s attention to be drawn to her or not, the bullying, the name calling, the pushing, the being called out for being different has to stop.

FULL STOP.

Therefore, to the boy in the corner.  Let me apologise for perhaps drawing some unwanted attention to you.  But, I won’t apologise for highlighting yours and many others’ plight.

I won’t stand for bullying in my classroom.

Not now.

Not ever.

Don’t Be Like Teaching Mum (at Children’s Parties).

Since starting her Lower Foundation years at school in September, my Girl has been invited to a number of parties over the last few months.  It appears that every other Saturday or Sunday, off we trot to another party where   we I eat too many Wotsits, sink into too many ball pools, steal mini sausages from plates and eat too many pieces of cake that don’t belong to me.

Being the regular party goer that I am, I thought I would share with you my insight on how to rock children’s parties…and then show you how I do it.

Here we go then.  Hope you learn something!

Do make sure you are fully prepared and organised by buying a present, a card and wrapping paper in good time for the party.  After all, most parents plan and prepare their child’s party a good month or so before and send the invites out weeks in advance, thus giving you ages to buy and wrap a present.  The majority of parents make, create or buy the most lovely invites, sprinkle them in glitter and place them neatly into your child’s school bag for you to find when they return home from school. (Or four days after they return home from school when you accidently drop the bag.)  This is extremely good planning and something that I really should learn from.  For my daughter’s fourth (third and second) party, her invites were send via Facebook Messenger with the closing sentence reading: ‘By the way, there won’t be an invite through the post.  This is it.  Sorry, I’m just really busy.’  You can liken my organisational skills to a T-Rex playing Basketball (crap), but knowing that I am saving the rainforests makes my parenting halo slip only a little.

Don’t drop your daughter off at her 9am ballet class on the morning of the party, make a mad dash to B&M Bargains to buy a present, card and wrapping paper.  You may think that this is not such a bad thing to do and it’s not.  However, knowing that your daughter’s ballet lesson is only forty five minutes long and the closest B&M is a ten minute drive away ensures that your visit must be a swift one.  Therefore, pushing your one year old son up and down the aisles (in a pushchair that takes at least three minutes to assemble) looking for bargains is not conducive to successful present buying.  Don’t, once you have your present placed safely in your basket (that also contains two tubs of Lucky Charms cereal and a packet of Smartie Mini-Eggs that are all for your consumption), spot two huge canvases that you think will look awesome somewhere in your house and attempt to place them in your basket.  By this time, your daughter’s ballet lesson has less than twenty minutes to go, so you definitely shouldn’t attempt to push your son, carry a basket and two canvases towards the check out and then stop to ask a shop assistant if they sell carpet cleaner only to find out that she is new and insists on finding it for you.  And, after she does find it, she then insists on carrying it to the tills for you while you follow behind with your son, a basket and two massive canvases.  However, if like me, this is how you do insist on buying your birthday presents, then make sure you ask the woman behind you at the till, who is clearly buying presents for a birthday party (card, paper and Monster High Doll), to carry the two canvases out to your car while you run quickly towards your car trying to dismantle the pushchair as you go.

Disclaimer proving that I am not a bad parent:  I made it back in time to collect my girl from ballet.  A problem arose though when we realised she couldn’t fit in the car due to there being two pointless (and yet awesome) purchases sitting in her booster seat.

Don’t Be Like Teaching Mum (at Children’s Parties).

Do make sure you know whether there is a theme to the birthday party your child has been invited to.  In order to be successful at this, all you have to do is read the invite.

Don’t fist bump and shout ‘YES!’ after realising that you have, in fact, coincidently happened to buy a superhero themed present and wrapping paper (okay, so not the card, but two out of three ain’t bad) for a party that you had no idea had a theme.  You vaguely recall images on the invite, but your focus was on the time, date and venue because, as a busy mum, you deal ONLY IN FACTS.

Disclaimer acknowledging that I know when I have been lucky*Does another fist pump and shouts ‘Yes!’* because the birthday boy was wearing a Spiderman costume at his party and the present I bought was The Avengers (At least it was Marvel) and the wrapping paper was good ol’ Spidey.

Don’t Be Like Teaching Mum (at Children’s Parties).

Do ensure that you know beforehand if the party requires fancy dress.  Recently, my girl has gone to parties dressed as a princess, a pirate and…erm a Muggle at an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ themed party she attended only a few weeks back.  Muggles WERE in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ you know!  I am an English Teacher after all – I know my Lit.

Don’t be the one parent who has to send texts like this to your other half mid party:

Don’t Be Like Teaching Mum (at Children’s Parties).

Do wrap your present, write your card and leave it in a suitable place (preferably near your exit) so that you don’t forget to grab the present before you leave in good time to go to the party.

Don’t leave everything to the last minute, do a mad dash to the car and drive off without your ‘Sat Nav’…and the present.  Thus resulting in texts like this:

Don’t Be Like Teaching Mum (at Children’s Parties).

Yes, this particular party was in another city, therefore any organised parent would have had the ‘Sat Nav’ in the car beforehand with the postcode already typed in and ready to go.  This would have prevented my having to stop a young bearded hipster, who was walking in the middle of an estate in Leeds, to ask him where MonsterKidz was.  Then, after being amazed and possibly quite alarmed that he knew where all the soft plays were in North Leeds, upon our late arrival try to park as close to the entrance as possible which resulted in reversing into a wall when we found that there was, in fact, no parking right outside the entrance.

Do make sure you make the time to talk to, mingle with and become friends with the other parents at the party your child has been invited to.  After all, these are the parents who you will, no doubt, bump into time and time again at various other superhero, pirate and other themed birthday parties.  These parents might even become your ‘Mum Friends’, the ones you are so desperately in need of because you are not living in a town near your actual proper friends from home.  Yes, ‘Mum Friends’ are precious as they will be your rock as your child enters school for the first time this coming September.

Don’t be the only parent who doesn’t know anyone at the party and rather than rectify that by being sociable, chooses to isolate herself completely by pulling out twenty Year 8 books that need marking.  Don’t be the one parent who goes onto ignore the hired Magician pulling a rabbit out of his hat, the hired adult woman dressed as Alice lost in Wonderland or the only parent who doesn’t chase their child into the soft play because you couldn’t put your red pen down as (and I may have mentioned this before) you’re busy.  Making ‘Mum Friends’ should be a priority, after all, everyone needs a kindred spirit to guide and support them through this ‘adventure’ we call parenting, BUT where else are you going to get two hours, a chair, a cup of tea,  an endless supply of sausage rolls, ham sandwiches, chocolate fingers, buns and a person employed to entertain your child?  Yes, the red pen came out and all the books got marked.

Disclaimer that I am not miserable and unfriendly and would actually love a few more ‘Mum Friends’: No, I am actually pretty sociable, polite (I thanked the Magician and told him he was good) and nice, but any (busy!!) Teaching Mum will tell you – if you find some time to mark then you mark.

Do allow your child to play with and eat the contents of their party bag when they arrive home from the party.

Don’t put your children to bed, open a bottle of Prosecco, write a ‘hilarious’ blog post and eat the cake in the party bag…

If only I had made the time to make some ‘Mum Friends’ and perhaps I too would be out at a party instead of peeling and eating the icing from a Spiderman cake.

Don’t Be Like Teaching Mum (at Children’s Parties).

A Practical Guide to Peaceful Homework.

The trouble with kids and homework is that they’re kids. Living in the now is what they do naturally so it’s difficult to get them behind something that doesn’t have instant rewards. But don’t give up. There are plenty of ways to encourage less than keen kids and quite a few easy tactics you can use to introduce healthy homework habits early and cut down on fuss when the serious studying sets in later.

Take ‘Work’ out of Homework

Fit some time into your routine for homework at a set time every day. It’s easier than you think with younger schoolchildren. They don’t need 100% of your attention and half an hour in the kitchen while you’re making dinner works fine. As long as you’re there and they know it’s time for reading or writing or working on a project. And even if they don’t have homework, give them that set time anyway to do something together or just talk and it will naturally become part of their routine too.

Pile on Praise and Encouragement

Make a fun Homework Timetable together and hang it somewhere everyone can see it. Set goals for a week or a month so there’s something to aim for. And don’t forget to reward achievements, no matter how tiny. Praise motivates kids and stars and stickers are results they can see for real.

Make Homework Real

Relating what kids are up to at school with play, activities or days-out connects the abstract idea of learning to real life, makes it understandable and less like ‘work’. First time readers respond well to choosing their own books at the local library or ‘helping’ with a few pages from their bedtime story. If they’re finding out about mini-beasts at school, lending a hand in the garden is a chance to see their lessons in action. And homework is a lot easier if it has good associations.

Create Quiet Study Space

Creating a space in your home where your kids can focus, spread out a project or use the computer in peace is a great motivator. Internal bi-fold doors in the living room give you the flexibility to have a ‘study’ when you need it and sociable family space when you don’t. And remember, kids learn by example, so if they see you using quiet space to read or work, they’ll follow your lead without a second thought.

Give Everyone A Break

Everyone deserves a break in the day and children are no different. Set a clear line between school and home by planning and preparing after school snacks together, make it a fun time to talk about their day, or anything else they like, before going straight into homework.

A Practical Guide to Peaceful Homework.

Be A Little Tough Sometimes

Consequences of not doing homework are tough to explain in the abstract. Sometimes it’s best to step back and let them face their teacher with unfinished work. It’s a lesson to learn, won’t scar them for life and usually doesn’t happen more than once or twice.

Rewards Can Be Good

Some parents are very hard line about not giving rewards for homework. But you know your child best and if they respond to a special treat or the promise of an activity for their hard work, go for it. You’re not teaching them bad habits, most of us work for money as adults, so a tangible reward for homework well done (or at least done without a fuss) isn’t that different really.

Stay A Step Ahead

Don’t leave things to the last minute. Get your child to show you what’s in their schoolbag every day and what’s in their Homework Diary (if they have one). Finding out you’re missing something vital to finish a project on a Sunday evening, half-an-hour before bed, is pain we’ve all felt. Try to avoid it if you can.

Try Different Approaches

Be patient and if you find yourself getting frustrated, step away. Recommendations about homework for primary kids in the UK are changing and the general thinking is that gently reinforcing what’s learned at school is more valuable than set study. There are excellent homework resources available online to help you get more involved in what your kids are working on so you can introduce topics into conversation, plan a visit related to a subject and share ideas and information naturally. Much easier and more productive all round and avoids the potential for turning homework into a battleground for years to come.

And finally, remember the main purpose of primary school homework is to help children learn to work on their own initiative. So when you turn up at Parents’ Night and there’s a perfect scale model of the Parthenon sitting beside your kid’s lopsided, toilet roll holder disaster, don’t worry. Teachers know the difference between homework and parent work, even if some mums and dads don’t.

A Practical Guide to Peaceful Homework.