Category: Parenting

Creating a Healthy Competitive Spirit For Your Child

 Quite a lot of parents don’t like the idea of competition and much prefer the idea of participation being rewarded over being the most talented or “better” player. I personally do not like this idea, winning and losing is an aspect of life that everyone is forced to participate in, participation is mandatory and should not be celebrated, success, however, is another story. That is why I think it is ideal to teach your child about winning and losing from a young age, enter then into competitive activities and make sure that they understand. 


Don’t forget to reward your child for a great performance, there are websites online that will allow you to buy trophies, plaques and more and even have them engraved with your childs name for 100% authenticity. This will create a feeling of accomplishment and hopefully make your child want to improve at whatever activity they do. 


When it comes to sports, here in the UK football or ‘soccer’ (you’ll get punched for saying that over here) is a sport everyone wants their son or boy to get involved in. Football is not just a mans sport either, there are girls teams all over the place these days and at a young age, they perform pretty much identically. When they start young there is much more chance for improvement and they will be better for it in the long run. So why not get your child involved in an extra-curricular sporting activity.


Making Time In Your Mum Schedule To Decorate

Mums are constantly on the run, balancing childcare, laundry, housecleaning, taxi driving, and many other time-consuming tasks. In addition, the energy drain from being a mum can sap all enthusiasm for grown-up activities right out of the spirit. If you are a mum who likes to decorate, how can you fit it in? It’s hard enough to be creative, and even harder to unpack and repack decorations with every change of seasons, much less special occasions. Here are some ideas that can streamline the process of decorating, so that even the busiest of mothers can create a fresh look in her home.

Scale It Down


When I was a newlywed, I decorated the entire house for Christmas. Even the master bath had guest towels with appropriate Christmas-y decoration. Snowman candles raced the end tables, strings of Christmas lights draped every window – well you get the idea. Granted, Christmas was the most over the top outburst of decorating, but I pretty much brought the entire house into seasonal compliance every 3 to 4 months.

Once I had babies, something had to change. I learned to scale down my decoration mania. Going cold-turkey, as they say, left my husband and I feeling let down. So, I purged. I kept special ornaments and decorations, and donated all of the “filler” stuff I had bought just because is was on sale after the holidays. By eliminating a lot of the meaningless clutter, I found that I was more likely to get in the Christmas spirit and make the family room more festive, rather than dreading dragging out all of the decorations.

Use Centerpieces

Also in the interest of scaling it down, think about focusing on centerpieces, or centers of focus for your décor. The buffet in the dining room may be a great place to display your collectibles without having to scatter them throughout the house. In fact, grouping items that are similar creates a greater impact and reduces the sense of clutter.

Planters are a great way to focus your energies. By selecting pretty planters and changing out the arrangements in them you can have seasonal bursts of color without bringing even more knick-knacks into the house.



The last thing you have time for as a mum is getting organized. But, if you will dedicate a few minutes each time you decorate, you’ll find that by the end of a year, you are totally organized.

First of all, limit yourself to containers that only you can lift when they are full. By doing this, you will be able to decorate when you are ready, rather than having to wait for someone to help you haul oversized boxes around.

In addition, resolve to limit yourself to only X number of containers. This will make it easier to plan storage for your decorations.

Finally, use dry erase tape and markers to label your containers. When you unpack the decorations, pack the old decorations in the containers you just emptied. Then, change the label.

The Best Way To Wash And Dry Baby Clothes

As you prepare for your new baby, you have probably read just about everything you can about taking care of that little sweetie, and washing and drying baby clothes. You’ve made sure that all of your baby furniture is safe to use, up to BIS requirements. The Department for Business Innovation & Skills has established standards for UK furniture, especially dealing with flammability of materials used in producing furniture and bedding sold in the UK. The European Child Safety Alliance also has stringent regulations regarding materials and standards of construction.



You probably also know to avoid purchasing older baby furniture at yard sales and antique stores, because they may not be up to standards. Baby seats that have been in a car accident, for example, may not be safe for future use.

But care for the new infant goes beyond furniture. That new baby will have all kinds of needs, such as proper feeding and clothing. An infant’s skin is very delicate, and many of them will develop rashes and even sores from chafing from clothes and bedding. Here are some pointers on how to wash and dry baby clothes, and keep that tiny human baby in comfort.


Believe it or not, you may actually be able to use regular detergent on your baby’s clothes. Special baby detergent can be expensive and strain an already close budget. If your baby is not allergic to your detergent and fabric softener, by all means, use the same detergent you would for the rest of the family.

In fact, some baby clothes detergents are not strong enough to clean the – unique – stains that can ruin the clothing.

If your baby is allergic to the family detergent, you can still wash the clothes in that detergent. Just put the clothing through a second wash in the non-allergenic baby detergent, once the clothing is clean.

One change you might make, though, is to switch to liquid detergent. This will often get clothes cleaner and rinse out better in the washer. People with hard water find that liquid detergent will rinse out, rather than leaving flakes of soap on the clothing.
Of course, hand washing baby clothes will help to keep them in good shape, too.

Drying Baby Clothes

Many people put their baby clothes in the dryer. However, there are several drawbacks to this. For one, the clothes will usually shrink. They are not treated with the same fabric treatments used on clothing for children and grownups, so the clothes will shrink and wrinkle when put in the dryer.

In addition, clothes wear out in the dryer. All of the lint you find in the dryer comes off of the clothes, leaving them threadbare.
One of the best solutions to this is to use clothes airer. They are far more energy efficient. And dangerous, those cute little sweaters can be stretched out to dry wrinkle free. The clothes stay in new condition, and are more useful for heirloom purposes.

Getting A Child Used To Doing Chores

Getting a child to do chores, and how much to pay for the work, is a frequent topic of conversation among parents. Some people want their children to learn the value of earning their money, and so pay their children for doing assigned jobs. Other parents want their children to learn that chores are just part of life, and must be done without expectation of reward. Whichever school of thought you belong to, the fact remains that getting a child used to doing chores can be a daunting task. Here are some pointers on how to get your child to do chores.

Make Chores Age Appropriate

Before assigning chores to a child, make sure they have the maturity to handle the physical execution of the chore. For example, a toddler may be able to effectively set the table with plastic plates, but handing the little one the steak knives to place on the table could be dangerous, since he is, after all, a toddler.

Consider the child’s physical height, fine motor skills, and gross motor coordination before assigning chores. A toddler can be taught to brush his own teeth, and this can be his chore before bed. But, the parent should retain the responsibility to make sure it is done right.

A child who has to reach arms’ length over his head to reach the handle of the lawnmower should not mow the lawn – he will not have control of a potentially dangerous machine. However, once he or she is tall enough to hold the handle at chest height, it can be very appropriate to assign lawn mowing as a chore, you never know, he could even start his own lawn maintenance business!.

Don’t Overdo It

In general, children should be assigned about as many chores as they are years old. So, a two year old toddler can usually handle two simple tasks, such as picking up and brushing teeth.

Charts Help

Do you ever make a “To Do” list? A chore chart is the same thing, for children. Keep it simple, with an illustration for those too young to read. For example, draw a picture of a hairbrush, or cut a picture out of a magazine, to represent that the child is supposed to brush his hair when he gets up in the morning.


If your child seems to be really adverse to doing chores, use the example of brushing hair as a guide. The children do things every day that they never even think about. By working those into their chore chart, they can get an idea of how much they do every day, and become aware of the responsibilities they have.


The ultimate goal of chores is to teach children to take responsibility. This can be really tough when you have to make the kids do their chores, or constantly remind them. It often creates a situation in which you have to invoke punitive measures to make them sorry for not taking the initiative.

Whether you use rewards like a nice countryside trip, threaten punishment, or just give up, the parent/child dynamic of getting chores done is never simple.