Friday, 16 March 2012

#FailFriday - 16th March 2012


Welcome back to Fail Friday. Did you miss us? Sorry we've not been around for a few weeks but we've been really busy - out on manoeuvres and all that. Honest, captain.

Fail Friday is now becoming a bigger, monthly weekly which will be kicked off on a Friday in the middle of the month. You can link up a new or old post on the topic of parenting fails. Tweet us @parentfrontline with the link to your blog post and we'll tweet it out to our army of parent followers. They might all come and just point at you and say 'Ha-ha!' like Nelson off The Simpsons, but whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger. Hopefully.

Anyway, to start things off again I would like to impart to you my latest parenting faux-pas.

Picture the scene: a modest semi in sleepy suburbia. Parents lovingly tidying the house while the older two children are at their perfect, little village school. The cherubic twins snoozing blissfully in the pram. The parents smile at each other as they find little pieces of artwork their young children have created just for them. Perfect little masterpieces. LOTS of masterpieces. 

Fast forward a few hours when the young, curly haired, bushy-eyed girls return from school and the younger one spots her masterpieces in the recycling box next to the back door.

Fail: Never, ever forget to actually bin the artwork you seem to be drowning in. And do it properly.

Result: Floods, and floods of tears that you may actually drown in.

Ooops. That'll be a big fat fail badge for me then. If you want one too, the code is over to the right.

fail badge
It would be lovely to see all you other parenting failures linking up. Even if it's just to make crap ones like me feel a bit better.


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

6 things to do with the kids this Easter holiday

School holidays can sometimes get a bit stressful, and finding new and exciting things to do with your children can be a struggle. have given us these great ideas....

Easter falls on 8 April this year. And to make sure that you have the very best Easter break with the kids, we’ve come up with six fantastic things to keep them occupied, so that you have more time to relax!

Take them to see the meerkats
Watch their little faces light up when they meet Aleksandr and his little friends at Paradise Wildlife Park. They’ll not only get to see these cute critters up close, but they’ll also be presented with their own certificate as a memento – simples!

Take a trip to Brighton 
If last year is anything to go by then we should be in for some pleasant weather this Easter. And where better to spend a warm, April day, than by the sea? Brighton is a fantastic place to take the kids and not only for its stretch of cobbled beach - it boasts some fantastic green spaces for them to let off some steam - and Its famous Sea Life Centre is also a must see. We recommend taking a walk through the peaceful gardens of the Royal Pavilion, too – bliss!

What about a junior driving experience in the UK?
While they’ll probably be driving you up the wall for the remainder of the week, why not treat them to an exhilarating junior driving experience in the UK? This is perfect for the little speed demons in your life because they’ll have the chance to drive a supercar under controlled conditions away from the public road -and all under the supervision of an ADI instructor. Best suited to children aged 12-16, they’ll thoroughly enjoy their day out at tracks across the UK.

Roll on Easter – it’s  zorbing time!
Although for older children, Zorbing is great! If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s the latest craze to come out of New Zealand. Essentially this is an activity that involves rolling down a track strapped into a huge padded ball – it’s fantastic.  A great way for them to cut loose outdoors and spend some of that built up energy, we guarantee they’ll sleep after this!

Send them on an Easter egg hunt!
Everybody’s a winner with this one. You’ll get to see them all excited as they forage around for tasty treats in the garden. And besides, it gets them outdoors for the day too – can’t be bad!

Take them on a tour around the stadium of their favourite team
If you’ve a budding Wayne Rooney in your house, you’ll know that a dream tour of their favourite stadium will make his or her year! Not only will they get to explore every area – from the changing rooms to the stand - but they’ll also get a once in a lifetime chance to take a walk down the player’s tunnel!

Whatever you decide to do with the kids this Easter, make sure you have a fantastic time!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Parents, Politics and my Six Year Old

In this parenting thing that we're all in together, it's not essential that we see eye-to-eye with other parents. It is inevitable that we are going to encounter others whose parenting philosophies don't match ours. What's important is that we don't catch any of our offspring in any hostilities. This guest post has been provided by Claire Smith of Ministry of Mum, and I know she would appreciate your opinion.

Recently I have been subject to something which I consider to be pretty low - the parent that punishes somebody else’s child. I’ve felt compelled to write this blog because it is completely beyond my parenting style and comprehension. So much, in fact, that as well as wanting to rant, I’m curious to know if other parents share my view or if I’m the one that’s completely off my head.

In a nutshell, about a month ago my six year old daughter might have borrowed but probably nicked a mini camera from a mate, resulting in her being banned from that household. To give you some background, we don’t get along with the parents but we have never let this interfere with the children. What happened is this – my daughter went over to play and two days later I discovered that she had this mini camera which doesn’t belong to us. She told me that her friend had said she could borrow it. I was cross because my daughter can be a bit of a magpie - I know my daughter and even though I'm secretly hoping she'll rob something worthwhile one day (new Uggs, Barbour jacket, cash), she’s got to learn that you just can’t take something if you fancy having it for yourself. Of course life took over and we didn’t end up returning the camera until the next day. Anyway, that night my husband who had been away on business and knew nothing about this, received a text from the Dad (who he never speaks to) saying something along the lines of “You may be aware that your daughter stole a camera from our house. We have been looking for it for days. As a consequence she is no longer welcome here.”

These are my thoughts:

1) I don’t think the family even knew it was missing. Because if you couldn’t find an item in your house, the next thing you would do is contact the parents of the child that had been over to check if that child had it. Plus the mother really knows my daughter. She’s known her very well for over three years.
2) Yes my daughter might have ‘stolen’ it and yes she should know not to do this. But no kid is perfect. I’ve had kids over here that have drawn on the furniture, hit my kid, thrown stuff but surely you just have to let this stuff go.
3) Who knows what goes on between six year old girls? Her friend could very well have said she could borrow it. She probably didn’t, but nobody knows that for sure and the friend isn’t likely to admit that now.
4) The parents are projecting the way they feel about us onto our child. And, at the end of the day, SHE’S SIX.
5) Kids will be kids. I know my daughter is no angel. If she did nick it then of course she needs to be reprimanded but surely this is my job?

The other day we ran into the family. Their daughter greeted my daughter like you would a long lost friend. It was sad to see because indirectly the other girl is being punished too as they really do love each other. However the girl said to my daughter: “I’m not cross with you. I’m still your friend. But I’m not allowed to play with you.” This is what got me. If the parents want to tell their daughter the truth then that’s their prerogative, but my daughter knew nothing about the ban. She didn’t need to know. All she needed to know was that if she had taken the camera, then that’s wrong. As I said SHE’S SIX and nobody knew for certain what happened. Oh but she knows about the ban now. She has been questioning me about what this means and of course she’s confused and upset.

It’s got me thinking because maybe my view on this incident is too ‘relaxed’. I am able to laugh off stuff because they are children and, you know what, nobody was harmed. Or am I actually laying the groundwork for the hash-growing, car-jacking, old lady-mugging youths of tomorrow? Probably not. But I have to remember that although there are lots of you out there who 'get' me, there are also people who look down with scorn. You all know them. The parents who believe that their children are perfect, can do no wrong and are seriously shocked by ‘naughty’ behaviour. Who do not want their children playing with the not-so-perfect kids. I understand that everybody’s parenting is different.  I respect that the camera incident was a big deal to the other family but what I can’t respect is the way that it has been handled. In the grand scheme of things it’s not a serious incident, there are far worse things that go on with children. 

So judge away. I’m very interested to hear your views on this. Especially if it’s ‘don’t project your shit on to another person’s child’. Because surely that’s what our own children are for   ;-)
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