How do you feel about handwriting? Is it a traditional art or something that is still relevant today? Our own handwriting often feels very personal, tailored to our own unique style, which makes it a part of our self-image and even an expression of our personality. I remember spending a long time perfecting my signature! Handwriting is an important way of communicating and expressing language, and just like speech, it also leaves a lasting record. It is a physical way of expressing thoughts and ideas and communicating with others. When your child masters writing their name or their first sentence, they may feel extremely proud to have made (and left) their mark and this may feel like a really important rite of passage.
The Lullaby Trust has restated the importance of following safer sleep guidelines in response to news reports about a new study which investigates possible causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
At My First Five Years, we believe in being realistic about parenting. We know what parents do is important for their children’s development, and we know parenting is amazing at times but hard work too.
Parenthood didn’t come quickly to me and my partner James. We rode a hard and winding road to conceive, littered over five years with medical checks, unexplained infertility, failed IUI and rounds of IVF, before I finally fell pregnant with our twin girls. During this time I comforted myself by becoming a student of fertility – I studied books about infertility and IVF, and learnt the benefits of healthy eating, acupuncture and mindfulness meditation. When I took the happy call from the IVF clinic that my third try had worked and I was pregnant with twins, I could hardly believe my ears. Not just one baby but two!
After having our first baby, my confidence plummeted. I remember my first night spent in hospital staring into a small plastic box feeling so unbelievably in love but so unbelievably out of my depth. I felt like it should come naturally but this tiny human being didn’t do anything according to the books I’d vaguely flicked through while pregnant. She didn’t follow any of the set routines I’d imagined while planning my harmonious maternity leave two weeks earlier in the office, she didn’t sleep no matter how many times I came up with new solutions and she definitely didn’t do what they’d described in my antenatal classes.
At My First Five Years, we know all children and parents are individuals, each with their own characteristics, interests and ideas. We are here to support every parent to notice and celebrate their child’s unique developmental journey, and to avoid the pressure of comparison. We know that being a parent is often full of joy, but it is sometimes hard work too, so we think about 'realistic parenting', which is linked to the theory of 'good-enough parenting’. In this blog, I am going to explain more about ‘good-enough parenting’ and why being realistic about your parenting might be best for your child and family.
When we think about tantrums, we often imagine difficult moments that can feel challenging for parents, and we can sometimes have a negative view of this aspect of development. Although we all agree that our children’s tantrums can be difficult for us as parents, we think that this period of development is positive and shows us some really important steps in our children’s development. In this blog, we will look at what is happening for your child when they have a tantrum, and how you can support them.
Becoming a parent is hard. Part of what makes it hard is the unrealistic narrative about what parenthood should look like or feel like. Right from the start, you may be aware of the expectations of others around your behaviour and your child’s behaviour, from people you know well, or even people you don’t know at all. This may come in the form of advice such as:
From jelly and ice cream and pass the parcel to party buses and cakes shaped like pirate ships, there are so many different ways to celebrate your child's birthday.
At My First Five Years, it quickly became apparent that children's parties are a hot topic when we starting talking about them, as we shared stories of party experiences with our own children and family members. We shared those moments of alarm when your child requests that thirty class members come round for a Spiderman house party, or asks for a chocolate birthday cake in the shape of Concorde! One particular incident that sticks in my mind is a team member recounting the emergency rescue of her five-year-old sister from a party bus!