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How to make a Friends

My daughter asked me; ’Mummy, how do you make friends?’ All my children’s lives, I have been a very protective mother. And this has meant that when they went to Playgroup or Nursery if I wasn’t comfortable with a child’s parents my kids played with then the friendship would not go beyond the playground.  I left home at the age of 15 and growing up in a domestically violent home I knew what it was like not having anyone to protect me. Because of that I have always felt that one of my responsibilities as a mother is to protect my kids and make sure they are only around safe people.

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This level of overprotection has meant that my kids didn’t  make friends on their own. I would speak to the parents for a few months and watch how my kids played with their children in the  playground, or I would ask the teacher to give me a report on how my children interacted with the other kids and then I would approach the parent(s) and ask if they would be okay to organize a play- date.

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I don’t hang out with the parents of my children’s  friends, but I like to know that if there are issues about the friendship and they can’t resolve them, we, the parents, can ask the children what happened and try to help them resolve things without leaving any resentment. And my children have kept all their friends from Nursery, Primary school up through the years.

So when my eldest daughter was starting High School I told her ‘now you are on your own when it comes to making friends and try to keep them.’

So this is why she asked me the question  about making friends. I told her ‘ I know many people but not everyone is my friend.’  She said ‘Mum, I watch you when we go shopping and you start talking to a lady for a long time and then you tell her we can talk some more give me your number and I will text you.’

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I told her she was right. If I feel it is someone I want to get to know then I will give my number or take theirs, but sometimes we text and then we both find that we don’t have anything in common so they become my acquaintance. We text occasionally but we won’t hang out.

I gave her this example: I went clothes shopping one day and started chatting with this lady for  about half – an – hour and then suggested we exchange numbers. We contacted each other and we started to learn about one another. We learned that both of us  worked in similar industries  and then both chose to be stay- at- home mums. Then we started giving each other advice on relationships, kids etc. And then we became friends.

I told my daughter when she started at High School if there is a  girl you want be friends with but are not sure about then write your number down and give it to her. If she starts texting you that is a good sign and you can learn about each other.

So, she took my advice. She was scared but she did it. Since the lockdown, her friends have been calling her and texting her. There is only one rule😂😂. No boys are allowed to text or call her.

Friendship is a wonderful gift. Friends make us laugh and cry; friends can teach us how to share, compromise and handle some conflicts that your family can’t help you with. We learn from a very young age that talking is one of the great benefits of friendship. But what happens when friendship withers and fades? As we get older this seems to happen. Friends move away or they get into relationships that take them away.

It is a fact of life that even some very close friendships somehow come to an end. You may have experienced that sadness and sense of loss. If so, you can start afresh.

The key to making friends is talk to people: at work, the supermarket, anywhere. Preferably people of your own age, sexual orientation, life experiences etc.

But talk, and see what happens.

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Do you know how to increase followers on WordPress? Part 2

This is the continuation of my earlier blog. 

Another thing that is recommended to increase followers is social media. I don’t have Facebook or Instagram. But I do have Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. They are linked to my WordPress account so all my posts get shared there automatically.

When I was running my business, word- of- mouth was how I got my clients. I also went businesses networking. Meeting people face- to- face and doing voluntary jobs got me clients. As a single mum, I wanted to make effective use of my time. So when I met someone I would let them know about my business. I didn’t let shyness stop me. I would ask them if they could make use of my services. Some said ‘yes’ some said ‘no’.

I wasn’t shy, but I was authentic.
It is the same with social media. Building an authentic relationship with people will help you reduce the amount of hours you spend on social media.
You are not going to become viral in one article. It takes dedication, patience and authenticity.

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Do you know how to increase followers on WordPress? Part 1

With so many people blogging nowadays and so much amazing content out there, how can a new blogger on WordPress get followers?

I’m still learning and I would like to get more followers, but how? I like to write my own thoughts. Original content is important to me. From my recent research on blogging it seems you need to post regularly at first in order to be  successful. This worried me because I didn’t want my followers to be overwhelmed by my blogs in their inbox.

I thought about the problem and decided that the way forward was to post short content and publish it twice a week.

That way my followers were not snowed-under, and it gave me time to think about my blogs. A win-win situation. So, if you are new to blogging you might like to consider that.

The second piece of advice which I think is worthwhile is use your own images and photos. WordPress does have some free-to-use images,

and I have used them occasionally, but I think it is far more interesting for your followers if you use your own. That way your followers are tasting something of your life and experiences.

And then you have to decide the title of your post. This is a difficult one. You don’t have to decide straight away. Read through your post and think what title would reach out to me if this was some one else’s blog?  The answer will come to you. My answer usually comes when I have left the article for a while.

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Part 2’

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How to make a face mask for your kids and yourself

I need to let you know that I am not a medical person and so far as I am aware a fabric face mask ain’t going to protect you from getting covid-19, but it could stop you from spreading the virus to someone else when you are out and about.

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African Fabric

The fabric face mask has become the new fashion trend on the street and variations of it are springing up around the world.

I ordered four face masks a month ago, and I am still waiting for them to arrive, so I decided to make some for myself and my kids.

You may be wondering why I didn’t make them straight away instead of ordering them? The simple answer is that I am not an experienced sewer, and I needed to work out how to do it.

In recent days while queuing outside our local supermarket, I have had the chance to observe people wearing face masks. Only after weeks of observation did I attempt to make my own. I have to be honest with you. I made several mistakes before making two that I felt comfortable with. My son is wearing my first successful one in the photo above.

This is what to do:

Use a large round plate for adults and small round plates for children. Place your chosen fabric upside down on a flat worktop and then place the plate on the fabric. Draw a circle around the plate and cut two pieces as I am doing below. Then fold the fabric in the middle and fold again, so you end up with the pointed end at the top.

Cut the pieces, so you have four equal sides and sew the two bottom sides together and do the same with the other two. You don’t need a tape measure, just a plate, scissors and a sewing machine. If you don’t have a sewing machine, needle and thread will do.

* What do you think about this article ‘How to make a face mask for your kids and yourself’? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to reading your comments. *

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Making the most of ‘Lockdown’ : Camping in your Garden

 Coronavirus has probably put you in a lot of difficulties finding activities to do with your children. The world as we knew it seems to have stopped. The children’s routine has changed. Outings that they once enjoyed are at a standstill. Visits to museums gone, playing in the park with friends, visiting favourite arcades, going to stay with their Dad every other weekend; all cancelled. 

169B1A0F-9D97-4738-97D3-B4BBB9CCD92DSo all the entertainment is left to me. No break for Mum. So to give myself and the kids a little holiday, I pitched our tent in the back garden. Not for a few hours during the day, but doing it like we were away on holiday, a day/night thing. My kids loved it. They each prepared a scary story that none of us really paid attention to. We all wanted to twist the others’ storyline.


One didn’t like the beginning, one didn’t like the title of the story, one decided to watch YouTube just to cause sibling friction. My youngest child wasn’t happy, he said ‘it’s not fair, she is older than us and gets her story from her mobile.’E0676E96-43FC-4C89-9FE7-E04DCC6144C8

So, I decided to tell them about the titanic tragedy, how some 1,500 people died, how children were orphaned. They got interested in the Titanic, and we researched the last survivors. We spoke about coronavirus. I told them the Titanic sinking was not foreseen. It was something that happened like coronavirus. We spoke about being grateful for what we have and making the most of what we have.

We spoke about the survivors of the Titanic and how they had to come to terms with the tragedy. There are similarities between what happened over 100 years ago and what is happening now although the scale of the two is different.

We will need to change and adapt to survive.
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We need to say to the universe ‘we are sorry, please forgive us, thank you and we love you’ Because our lives aren’t completely in our hands. I told them who knows what disasters will happen when you are a grown man and women with your own families. You need to learn to care  for one another, have compassion on those who are alone with no one to speak to or comfort them in times of isolation. We are all connected. I must have gone on a bit because my little boy said  ‘Mummy, we got your point, you can stop now.’

I am glad they got the point. We don’t live just for ourselves, we are part of a greater whole. Anyway, they must have enjoyed it. They want to do it for the rest of the week.

* What do you think about this article ‘Making the most of lockdown: Camping in your garden’? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to reading your comments. *

Robens Green Cone 4 4 Person Tent

 

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How to teach your kids to be cash smart

I’m not good with maths. I was the worst in my school. The only thing I knew was how to save pennies to buy sweets after school or to save my bus fare money to buy a kids magazine. Nobody taught me the importance of saving money. Growing up, my adoptive parents argued a lot about money. How I was costing them money that they could have used on their biological family. Maybe that’s what prompted me to save pennies. I was about 9-years-old when I saw my adoptive mum put some small loose change on the table. I asked her if it was worth anything and she said ‘no’. So I asked

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‘Can you buy anything with it?’ Her reply was ‘no’. So I asked if I could have the loose change, and then every time I saw any coins in the street on my way to school, I would pick them up. Soon I had 30p and was able to go to the newsagents’ shop and buy what seemed like a lifetime’s supply of sweets. That encouraged me to look and ask for pennies and save them. The newspaper guy wasn’t always pleased to see me through. I had bags of pennies that he had to count. This penny- saving lesson is what I have taught my children from being young. When they each reached the age of two I would give them a penny for putting their toys away.

By the age of three they wanted to get magazines that had toys in them, so I started hiring them to do jobs in the house. This week my 8-year-old son mowed the front lawn for me, and I paid him £3. He is younger than his sisters and doesn’t like to negotiate with me. I tell my kids they might forget everything they learn at school, but I want them to learn and remember how to make and manage money. I tell my children we have a good life because we can manage the money we have.

My children negotiate with each other. Before the lockdown, I would drive them to the shopping centre where they would buy their own stuff, and if they didn’t have enough cash they would borrow from each another and if the others refused to lend I was the last resort. They have learned to pay back what they borrow from me and each other. If they don’t have enough money to pay back they ask to do a job to redeem themselves from debt. When raising or teaching my kids basic life-skills I like to use my intuition. I am an intuitive person, and I have learned to listen to my intuition. You may not view yourself as intuitive, but you can develop your intuition. Take time to listen to what your intuition is saying. So use your own creativity and intuition to teach your children about money.

 

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How to keep your kids Entertain

Having kids is great, isn’t it? If you are new to parenthood my advice is to enjoy every minute of babyhood because entertaining a baby is super- easy and fun. Babies fall asleep and relax. They don’t insist you take them to the park, they don’t demand you push them on the swings or whirl them on the roundabout.

Once they start growing and going to nursery, primary school and senior school you will find that your bundle-of-joy is a bundle-of-joy with its own opinions. They will tell you that your choice of entertainment for them is too childish, too boring, not cool and that their friends have far more fun. If you want some guidance, here are my tips:

1. Don’t let the kids watch television on weekdays. I let my little darlings watch television at weekends. We count Friday evening as the start of the weekend, and we have a pizza and movie night. With the coronavirus lockdown in place, I am allowing access to playing Xbox games during the week, but only after doing their studies and playing in the garden.

2. In non-lockdown times I take the kids ‘bouldering’. For those not in the know, this is a form of climbing on a small rock formation or an artificial wall. This provides great family time and we each get a full-body workout. It also improves balance and flexibility.

 

Ammaco Tagalong Towaway Tandem Kids Folding Trailer Bike 20″ Wheel Black 5-8 Years

3. Take them cycling. This usually ends up with me carrying extra loads or pushing one of the kids’ bikes, so if we are going local, I take my bike; but if we are going somewhere that takes more than one hour they ride their bikes and I walk.

 

4. I used to bake and cook with my kids, but I have given up. They have become back – seat drivers telling me how to do it. So now I give them instructions on preparing basic stuff and let them get on with it. They use the microwave and the oven. Pizza, jacket potatoes. That sort of stuff.

5. And finally, leave them alone for a little while. I struggled with this, but the lockdown pushed me to deal with it. They reach an age where you can leave them for a while. And they enjoy the responsibility. The right age will vary for each child and individual circumstances, but it helps them to mature. Be brave, be responsible and stay relaxed.