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Breaking Rules

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Thursday, 16 April 2015
Are you a rules person? It's a bit like Marmite. Either you love a good rulebook, those double yellow lines and that naughty step or ... well, you simply can't look a police man in the eye.

Our Smalls have been raised for the last decade on RULES. Coats are hung by the door, shoes in the shoe basket, bed time rarely wavers and we certainly don't entertain any fugitives after lights out. But – as they enter their second decade – I'm wondering if we need to shift into the back seat... just a little.

Because breaking rules and escaping that proverbial box is what gives us the freedom to be. (Besides, I know how much I personally need to break any rules to turn a fun evening into a proper dancing-on-the-table session). And if these Smalls can't 'be', how will they grow up to think for themselves, risk for a thrill and feel that all important dubious doubt?

So that's my parenting rulebook utterly broken. In fact, I might even go as far as developing a blind eye. But - if you happen to see some (small) people who look a bit like me on Oxford Street swinging from a bottle of gin, please send them home immediately.

Terrible twos, threes, fours...Kids

Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Friday, 06 June 2014
“To anyone out there thinking about have kids, today my 2 year old threw a tantrum because she couldn’t get rid of her shadow”.

This story is hilarious to an adult but being a kid is not always fun and games. There is so much to learn. And sometimes it’s scary.

They don’t know the rules, and sometimes they don’t like the rules when informed. How are they meant to know that dogs bite when you try to take away the bone they are chewing? Adults are so bossy always telling them what to do, what not to do, and to stop doing “that”!

Four year old Kiki decided it was more fun to colour in her baby sister Polly, rather than using the markers in her colouring book. It made sense to her but not to mum who explained that you don’t colour real people, just the ones on paper.

And talking is not always easy either when they don’t have the words to tell you what they want/need/feel, so they cry. It’s like being plopped into an Inuit community in Alaska and trying to describe you are vegetarian in English to your host who doesn’t speak your language and who considers an apple exotic.

Toddlers are strapped in prams when they want to run free, served vegetables when they want fruit or cheese, and are put in bed when they want to play.

It’s a tough job learning everything about life and how to behave and to understand what’s right and wrong. Maybe the toughest job there is. So from all the two/three/four/five year olds who just wanna have fun and not get into trouble all the time, show a little kindness and a lot of patience.

THE NANNY MANUAL

Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Thursday, 18 July 2013
I wish.

A go-to handbook for little Hannah’s parents perplexed by her quirky eating habits and a compendium for Nanny V to explain to mum & dad that their darling three year old is simply discovering and learning.

Alas, this fantasy tome does not exist and whilst countless learned scholars have applied years and decades and centuries of wisdom, still we adults wonder. And just think, we were all children once. I have worked as a Governess, Nanny and Tutor for 20+ years and although I can name wonderful families with parents who are cooler than cool, and kids who I hanker to hang out with any and EVERY time, perfection does not exist.

Negotiation, chaos, laughter, tears, rules, curiosity, frustration, noise, grumbling, and tantrums, and a little more laughter prevail in homes with one child or a menagerie. And that’s just the adults.

I’d like to introduce you to my world of working with families across the globe, across cultures, across philosophies and perspectives, and across generations.

Of course there are the basics in the way parents innately nurture their offspring and provide for them. But some need help. And that is where I come in with my sister and brother carers.

There are innumerable ways we can work in a family. To help with teaching appropriate behaviour, supervising homework, kicking around a football, acting as a role model, being serious when necessary and rolling on the floor laughing too. To acknowledge achievements no matter how small or on a world scale, seemingly insignificant. To foster a child and find a talent or a passion, to put a smile on the face of all.

When you chase around a three-year-old roaring like a dinosaur, it’s not a great stretch to notice that glint in his eye that tells you “I like dinosaurs”, then collapse on the sofa with the laptop to watch dinosaurs on YouTube and Google dinosaur facts and pics. A visit to the dinosaur museum, a stack of dinosaur books, a collection of dinosaur toys and in no time, young Master T will be able to recite the difference between carnivores and herbivores and pronounce Latin words I find too much of a tongue twister.

He might not end up a palaeontologist, and even switch to building model planes in a few years. But there is nothing sweeter than a child curious enough to expand his knowledge to comfort mum, dad, and Nanny V, that all is good in his world.



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