Pushy parenting…or not?!

The other week I bought Ellie a times table learning CD, as she is currently focused on learning her 2, 5 and 10 times tables at school. They have a challenge to pass a test in order to get a ‘bronze wrist band’ – they have to write the answer down to 22 questions in 90 seconds.

This is something that by all accounts just needs learning, so having heard Ellie say she wants to do it and having found out about the CD from another Mum, I went ahead and bought it.

As soon as it arrived I played it for Ellie and if I’m honest her reaction was luke warm…a little disappointed I ploughed on nonetheless and played a good few tracks for her before I finally gave up when she threw herself down on the bed. Undeterred I excitedly told her that was enough for now but we could do it together in the car on our regular journeys down the motorway.

So the next time I’m in the car with Ellie, we’ll be giving it a go. I wonder though what I’ll do if she doesn’t want to? The question is – when does encouraging become something more? When will I have crossed that line to pushy parent? The truth is I don’t know and I fear it’s a fine line – it’s also a line I’m navigating a lot these days with her homework, with her reading and so on.

Whilst I’m trying to figure it out though I guess I’ll keep encouraging and tonight Ellie has agreed to practice her times table test…

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Please stop!

As Ellie dives into year 2 at school, my primary thought at the moment is ‘please stop’. Not please stop growing up, or please stop time flying……please stop having strops!!!!!!

I truly did not see this coming….maybe I was naive but I really did not. It turns out that starting year 2 isn’t much different from when she started reception or year one. She’s tired and she’s grumpy – she’s snappy, she’s shouty, she’s pouty and quite frankly not much bloody fun.

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A smiling moment, with bedtime teddy who she is holding on to a lot more than usual at the moment!

It doesn’t help that I didn’t see it coming when in previous years I’d expected it and it definitely doesn’t help that in my head I think she’s getting a bit old to use the excuse ‘she’s tired’ for bad behaviour. She is still only 6 but I worry that when she’s 16 and being predictably arsy I might still say ‘ah…it’s because she’s tired’.

I’m fairly sure that it will settle down. Well actually…it will have to otherwise Ellie will be spending most of her time alone in her bedroom doing ‘time out’. But I was just wondered if it could possibly … well …stop now?

I actually found myself trying to explain all of this to Ellie on Friday and asking her to ‘bring back my good little girl’. I thought I was making real progress until she starting talking and said ‘then stop telling me to do things’. Oh dear – we aren’t there yet then. I even bought her an icecream on Friday so bribery isn’t working either. Ah well – counting to 20 seems to help so I’ll be sticking to that for now.

It would be great to know other people are experiencing a similar thing – so if you are, do comment! Also if anyone with old children could reassure me that eventually this ‘start of year grump’ doesn’t happen…..please?!

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I can…because I have children!

Shhhhh don’t tell anyone else, but did you know that being a mum (or Dad) is a licence to be a child again? It is – it really is!

Being a mum officially gives me a genuine reason (aka excuse) to do things that if I didn’t have children, would be frowned upon by anyone watching, or at least cause a raised eyebrow or two!

This summer I have enjoyed taking full advantage of this opportunity.

I spent a whole afternoon doing jigsaws – yes a whole afternoon. To be honest, Ellie wasn’t that fussed but I had a whale of a time. In the end Ellie flatly refused to do any more jigsaws but didn’t seem to mind if I did one last one.

I’ve eaten more sweets and ice cream than I can ever remember – I mean proper sweeties! I did share them (most of the time) but they were definitely mine.

By far the best thing this summer though was being a kid whilst we’re out in public … giggling about nothing in particular, singing songs with Ellie in the car with the window down and best of all … going on the park!

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So come on, do leave a comment about what you’ve done that was like being a kid again recently? If you haven’t, then I challenge you to do it – it feels great and it’s a small window of opportunity – I’m pretty sure there comes a point where our children will decide it’s too embarrassing and we will have to stop. Until then though …

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