Teach your toddler to brush their own teeth

By the age of 2 years old your toddler should be familiar with you brushing their teeth , if they are not brushing their teeth themselves by now.

For some children this is a pleasant experience but for other children it would be easier to wrestle an octopus than brush their teeth.

So how do you encourage your child to want to brush their teeth?

1. Let your child choose their supplies.

When you go shopping let your child choose their own special toothbrush, toothpaste, cup and timer.

These do not need to be the most expensive just age appropriate and something your child likes.

2. Use a child base toothpaste

Always choose children’s toothpastes from a reputable brand. Often an adult toothpaste is too strong.

3. Make it fun

Make up silly songs or rhymes about toothbrushes or brushing your teeth, like this one by Shelly Ores.

Use a timer or a star chart with rewards.

Let your child spit at targets in the bath. ( I know some of you are cringing but remember you need to teach little Johnny how to spit out the toothpaste and this worked with 7 of my 7 kids so far)

4. Be an example

Our children learn so much more from watching us, so let your child brush their teeth at the same time as you do.

5. Show them how to brush

Show your children how to brush watching themselves in a mirror this way they remember to brush all the teeth and not just the 2 in front.

6. Let them be independent

Allow them to be independent even if they mess.

By getting a small stool your child can reach the basin and turn the tap on and off. They can also put on their own toothpaste and rinse their brush. Let them store their brush in their special tooth brushing cup.

7. Smile

And lastly expect mess, mistakes and the chance that you will need to direct your child to brush correctly.

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Icky Little Duckling by Steve Smallman

This book review is in collaboration with Kids Book Club

Title: Icky Little Duckling

Author: Steve Smallman

About the book

Mr Rabbit likes everything to be JUST SO.

One day, along his walk, Mr Rabbit find a a perfect egg. He takes the egg home to his collection and keeps it safe, polishing it to perfection.

But then ….

CRACK

And out pops a sticky icky duckling.

YUCK! groaned Mr Rabbit

The duckling grabs hold of Mr Rabbit and turns his JUST SO world upside down so they set off to find the little ducks mamma.

The adventures leads them to discover some new things and Mr Rabbit learns that sometimes you need a little bit of duckling chaos in a JUST SO world.

This is such an adorable little story with relatable characters and bright illustrations.

Recommended reading 2 -3 years

The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Books supplied by Kids Book club
Photos : Funmammasa

Dear Little Bear … A chef’s dream

14 January 2019

Cape Town

Dear Little Bear

What a special day today was. You recieved your mud kitchen from The pole yard.

I’m sure I was much more excited than you. It’s such a lovely kitchen. Sturdy and durable. Perfect for little boy messes and enthusiasm.

Your excitement was contagious as you explored the kitchen, turned the knobs and tried to see if the tap worked.

The oven door kept you busy as you opened and closed it.

I loved watching you at play and listening to the chatter of what you were going to cook as you rushed about finding new kitchen utensils.

Before I had time to explain how we can play with the kitchen you took the lead asking for water in the basin.

First you washed your dishes with splooshy waves of bubbles and I happily noted to myself that this is outside so no more mess on the tiles.

Then you found a pot and out came the sand….

Before I knew it you’d mixed up a pot of mud stew and were adding Ronan’s gem stones in one by one as potatoes and onions.

Whilst Ronan was far from impressed I was quite excited to see you remembered the vegetables that we had added to our stew the other night.

I see many hours of happy play with your new kitchen my bear and as your mom I couldn’t be happier.

Happy cooking my little chef.

Love

Mamma Bear

The Gruffalo’s child

This book review is in collaboration with Kids Book Club

Title: The Gruffalo’s Child

Author: Julia Donaldson

About the book

We recently reviewed The Gruffalo, a much loved tale is about a quick witted little mouse who outsmarts the forest animals that he encounters along his walk through the woods.

The Gruffalo now has a family of his own and a rather stubborn off spring who refuses to believe that there is indeed a fearsome creature in the woods.

He sets off one night as brave as can be, until he meets the terrible creature.

Beautifully illustrated by Axel Scheffler this is a gentle reminder that we should listen to our parents as they just want to keep us safe.

This book has become Hamish’s favourite and he laughs out loud each time the smart mouse outwits the little Gruffalo child.

The story comes with a CD which is read by Imelda Staunton who played Proffessor Umbridge in the Harry Potter Films.

Recommended reading 2 -5 years

The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Books supplied by Kids Book club
Photos : Funmammasa

The Gruffalo

This book review is in collaboration with Kids Book Club

Title: The Gruffalo

Author: Julia Donaldson

About the book

This much loved tale is about a quick witted little mouse who outsmarts the forest animals that he encounters along his walk through the woods.

An engaging story written with humour that keeps you riveted and wondering what the little mouse will do when he finally meets the Gruffalo that he has described to the owl, snake and fox.

Beautifully illustrated by Axel Scheffler this is a gentle reminder that we can are braver than we can feel sometimes.

This book is a firm favourite in our home and has been loved by each class I have taught.

The story comes with a CD which is read by Imelda Staunton who played Proffessor Umbridge in the Harry Potter Films.

Recommended reading 2 -5 years

The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Books supplied by Kids Book club
Photos : Funmammasa

Dear Little Bear – play dates

Monday, 7 January 2019

Cape Town

Dear Little Bear

You are currently fast asleep after a hectic play date with Anelia and Dylan. I love watching you play and am so proud at how you share your toys. As the only little kiddy in our home it would be so easy for you to be selfish and yet the size of your heart is already imaginable.

You had so much fun playing with Amelia, jumping on the couch, having a picnic outside and painting plaster Paris moulds

This morning we started our New year learning routine and I think it’s one we will stick to for now as it seems to work for both of us.

You are building your 2 piece puzzles with ease and I’ll introduce you to the 3 piece ones tomorow.

We also did some button threading and this week our colour is red so you and I went on a red scavenger hunt around the house.

Then we did some counting which you really enjoyed. We first built the puzzles and traced over the numbers then we counted out blocks onto each item.

While I was cleaning up you quietly played with your cars and I was once again reminded at what an easy child you are.

Thank you my bear for being such a gentle little boy and making this journey so easy for me.

Love

Mamma bear ♥️

I enabled my adult children

As a mom this is one post , of many, I never thought I would write as I began my parenting journey.

As parents we dream beautiful dreams for our children but such is life that it throws a few curve balls at you and just when you think you’ve weathered those storms your children discover self will and the need to make their own choices.

Whoever said parenting was easy never had kids I tell you .

A little back history

13 months ago , exactly 3 weeks after our wedding, 2 of my adult sons moved home. The house where they were boarding was not avaliable any longer and they were given a 2 day notice.

What was supposed to be a few days turned into months.

In once sense I was greatful. My one son had tried to commit suicide a few weeks prior so having him under my roof felt like the best place for him as I could keep an eye. My other son has stayed with us on and off and it was lovely to have him back home after a years absence.

But both boys were unemployed and as much as we understood we stressed the need for them to get employment and get back on their feet.

How I enabled them

At the time I’m sure I was told by my husband and daughter that I was too soft on them but I’m a mom that’s my job.

It started slowly and I began to overlook small things until months down the line these boys were spending all day sleeping or playing games.

There was an occasional job here or there but nothing stable or full time. Then my eldest got a job that he just left. Although there was a reason I don’t remember it.

By now, I was trying to recover my strength and health from a pulmenory embolism, look after my toddler, deal with inconsistent maintenance and two teenagers.

Our bills were pilling up from my medical procedures and we had gone down to a one income family of 7 as I was unable to get through the day, not to mention working on top of that.

With a household of 4 adults and all the financial responsibility falling on only one , it was time to have a real talk.

Eventually we gave each of them a deadline. This was the day they needed to be working and have moved out. We refused to take any finances from them as we wanted them to be able to get in their feet, quickly.

Again I extended these deadlines because they weren’t working, needed to save money, weren’t ready to move ….amidst many other excuses.

Each time our finances groaned, my husband (their step father), and I argued more and more and they continued as before.

Finally the younger of the two boys moved out. He finally got an amazing job and for the last 4 months has been keeping his head above water and carving his way in the world.

We gave a last deadline to his older brother who settled into a good job 3 months ago and moved out this weekend into his own place . With a family of his own he needs to start stepping up into that role.

As their mother I worry – a lot. What are they eating ? Are they Ok? Did they go to work ? And many other daily things …

But as I sat with the younger one the other day and explained to him, he doesn’t grow at home with me. If he is out there having to take care of himself he is experiencing life by growing, learning and carving his own path .

Just like the mamma bird throwing her chicks out the nest because that’s what they need so we as moms need to sometimes make the hard calls. We need to be unpopular and cruel to be kind.

You see enabling our children stunts their growth and independance. It renders them incompetent in society and as much as we think it helps, we are actually sending a silent message that our children are not good enough to achieve their own dreams nor do we trust them on their journey.

After all the best things we can give our children are roots to hold them in the storms and wings to let them fly.