“I lost my Teddy”

Everything is ready. Your bags are packed. Definitely got the passports. Made it through security. Safely arrived at your holiday destination. You and the kids have been looking forward to this moment for weeks. Then… your child looks up at you and says, “Mum… where’s my teddy?”

This situation is more common than you might think and countless teddies are sadly left behind at airports, as shown by this video from Glasgow Airport. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwXwP7R6BFc

Leaving their favourite cuddly friend behind can leave children “distraught” and put a damper on any holiday.

Labels4Kids has a simple and very practical solution for you… and your teddies.

We offer a variety of labels and ID bands which could just as well lead to the safe return of a teddy as a child. We produce customisable stick-on and sew-on labels, which can easily be attached to the label or any clothing on a teddy, as well as customisable Lego keyrings and jacket tags. We also offer reusable, disposable and satin ID bands. Simply fill-in your ID band of choice with your details (or personalise your satin band online) and no matter where your teddy is left, it has a much better chance of being reunited with its owner.

 

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My teddy came everywhere with me when I was a kid and I know I would have been inconsolable had I ever lost him – take preventative measures now and save your kid some (potential) heartache with our easy-to-use and customisable labels and ID bands.

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The Positive Side of Bad Habits

Strange as it may sound, bad habits can be really great for teaching kids valuable life lessons, something which many parents are unaware of. Read on to find out how some of these bad habits can be used to positively influence kids’ future behaviour.

 

Liar, Liar

One of the first lessons my parents taught me was that lying was bad and I should always tell the truth. This isn’t strictly true though and the issue is less black and white than you may at first imagine. As adults, for example, do we not lie all the time? Maybe we tell a new friend that the dinner they just served was delicious when actually every bite made you want to gag, or we assure our young children that everything’s ok when it really isn’t? Are white lies, used to protect somebody’s feelings, not ok? A Harvard University study reveals that actually, by understanding the use of white lies children learn that words can be used to build somebody up or tear them down and teaches them to be considerate of others’ feelings.

It is important though that parents still discuss lying with their kids, explaining how they can be used both to hurt and avoid hurting somebody’s feelings. It is important to explain that telling the truth even without the intention of hurting somebody’s feelings can still be hurtful and they should think before they speak.

It is still important to discuss lying with children but perhaps we should be focusing more on when it is appropriate and how it can be used to avoid hurting somebody’s feelings rather than writing it off as all bad?

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A Promise is a Promise

I’m sure we’ve all broken a promise at least once. You promised the kids a cinema and pizza night with friends followed by a sleepover… but then the car breaks down, work’s stressful, you come home exhausted and completely forget about the promise you made – it happens. Try as you might, it is impossible to keep every promise, no matter how good your intentions. Although disappointed, your kids can learn from these disappointments: life does not always go as planned or give you what you want or expect from it. Being adjustable and able to roll with life as it comes at you is a hugely valuable lesson to learn and one which will stand kids in very good stead as they move through life.

That being said, it is important not to make a habit of breaking your promises. Not only will kids lose confidence in you but they will never learn the value of a true promise. Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep. If a promise is unintentionally broken then apologise and if you can still make it happen then try to do so. By doing this, kids will learn that it’s ok to make mistakes; just own up to it, try your best to fix the issue and then move on. Making mistakes is ok (everybody does it) – it’s how we learn and so long as we’re honest about it and make every attempt to fix our error and learn from it, there’s nothing more we can do.

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Losing Your Temper

Keeping your cool as a parent is not always as easy as some people make it out to be. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been running late in the morning, about to rush out the door only to discover the kids have lost their school uniform/decided to wear their breakfast rather than eat it/are up to some sort of mischief (usually messy). I’m sure many of you can relate in some way to this. Doctor Maslin, a specialist in the field, says that “[e]veryone loses it sometimes” – you are not alone! But the way you handle the situation can set a great example for your kids. Perhaps not in the moment (pigs might fly) but maybe later on during the day when you’ve had time to calm down, take time to explain to them why you reacted the way you did. While this might not suddenly cause your children to behave like angels, you’ll be showing them how to handle strong emotions and tackle relational issues in the future.

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Although we’ve pointed out some fantastic learning opportunities here, it is still important to recognise when a behaviour or habit is not acceptable. If you decide to try and discourage your kid from certain behaviours be patient – it takes 30 days to break a habit (so they say) so even if you don’t see results overnight stick with it!

How can parents support their child’s education?

Children’s learning is no longer confined to the classroom – in fact, parents are “children’s first and most enduring educators”. So, how can parents support and improve their child’s learning during everyday life? And more importantly, how do you balance the two? Here are some tips from the Labels4Kids team:

 

Turning everyday experiences into learning opportunitieshannah-tasker-333889-unsplash

Play an active role in your kid’s daily life; chat to them about what they’ve been learning at school and try to incorporate this into an everyday activity. For example, if your kid’s studying maths, teach them how to measure while you cook or bake. Learning about weather patterns? Look out for different clouds on the walk to school. You can also use past experiences as teaching aids. A really important aspect of this though is to really listen to your child – it’s easy to get carried away and want to pour your wealth of knowledge into them but sometimes they need to learn by expressing their own thoughts and ideas.

 

tim-gouw-69753-unsplashTeaching them to take responsibility for their learning

Micro-managing is not always the way forward, or very effective for that matter, tempting though it may be! “We want to keep children in charge of their learning and become responsible for it,” says Dalton Miller-Jones. Taking full responsibility, even for small things such as packing their school bag for the next day, can be a great for teaching kids responsibility. Not only that, it can help them to develop crucial life skills such as organisation and time-management.

 

 

 

Playing on their interestshobbies

If your kids have interests and hobbies, play on what they love! Interests outside of school can be great learning opportunities and show kids that learning isn’t all boring! Being supportive of your child as they try new things and hopefully find something they love can also be a great way to build trust and really bond.

 

 

 

kelly-sikkema-266805-unsplashUsing technology to your advantage

Technology’s role in education is expanding dramatically. Thanks to the use of tablets and apps, young people have a whole world of knowledge and learning at their fingertips. They can learn a new language, new skills, research topics that interest them, watch video tutorials; there are apps for learning maths, history, geography… the list goes on. At age 5, kids are capable of learning a new language simply by watching videos on YouTube. We would, however, advise using Parental Controls or sitting with your child when using online platforms such as YouTube.

 

While technology vastly broadens the learning opportunities for kids, it is also important to ensure that they are also spending time outside, reading, playing board games and interacting with other people as the social skills they will gain from these activities cannot (currently) be taught through technology. Finding a balance between utilising technology to your advantage but ensuring a well-rounded education for your child is key.

 

*Quote from http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/going-to-school/supporting-your-learner/role-of-parents/  (accessed 08/03/2018)

Winter Sports

Watching the Winter Olympics, winter sports can seem dangerous or just out-of-reach for most mere mortals. However, there are so many winter activities that can easily be enjoyed by the whole family. Here are just four to get you started:

 

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  • Skiing – a very popular winter sport, my Dad loved skiing before me and my sister came along! While countries such as France, Switzerland, Austria or Italy boast spectacular runs with amazing views (and food), there are plenty of places in the UK to go skiing. Lecht and Glencoe are popular among Scottish skiers but if you don’t fancy braving the Scottish winter weather you can try the Lake District National Park. Or for those of you new to skiing or simply not wanting to risk losing your kids on a frozen mountaintop, dry ski slopes can be a great place to start off and are found nationwide.

 

 

curling

  • Curling – not just for Scots and old people! A game of strategy and teamwork, curling is probably one of the lower-risk winter sports and is fast growing in popularity among younger people throughout the UK (I actually went to school with Lauren Gray, Winter Olympic gold medallist for curling). Why not have a look for your local rink and give it a shot?

 

 

skating

  • Ice skating – another crowd favourite, ice skating is great fun (although surprisingly hard work!). Pop along to your local rink and wrap up warm (although not too warm – layers are key here). Most rinks offer skate hire and some form of balance aid for younger children so the whole family and all abilities are catered for. Or if ice-skating seems a bit tame, why not have a shot at Canada’s national winter sport, ice-hockey?

 

 

tubing

  • Tubing – ok, this probably can’t really be classed as a sport but it is amazing fun and the kids are bound to love it! Growing-up, this was a very popular birthday party idea for my friends with winter birthdays and it was always a huge success. Most dry-ski slopes offer tubing – why not have a look?

 

Springtime Festivities

Spring is just around the corner and there are so many exciting festivals and holidays that provide a great excuse to spend some quality time with your family. Here are just a selection and some tips on how to enjoy them with your kids.

 

Saint Vast v 2lentine’s Day

Although for most people St Valentine’s Day is a celebration of the love between a couple, in our house we’ve always made it a family affair.

There are so many ways you can include your kids and show them just how much you love them:

  • Take time out to play or read with them, or watch their favourite film (Cinderella was always my favourite)
  • Do something different! Ceramic painting, go-karting, taking a trip in a hot-air balloon and picking your own fruit or vegetables are all fun activities that the whole family can enjoy
  • Whip up something delicious in the kitchen – I particularly love the look of the owl cupcakes here http://bit.ly/2HcZ8Ts

 

yoori-koo-51884Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday actually has its origins alongside the Carnival tradition celebrated throughout the world. It is a celebration of all things “forbidden” and takes place before the fasting period of Lent. When I was growing up pancake day was (and still is) one of my favourite celebrations – I loved cooking up pancakes with my mum for the family. Here are some delicious and kid-friendly recipes for you to try whipping-up at home:

 

chinese new yearChinese New Year

Even if you don’t have Chinese roots, Chinese New Year has some fun traditions which you can enjoy with the whole family. Traditionally, Chinese families celebrate with an annual reunion dinner and gifts for the children. But before the fun can begin, the house has to be spring-cleaned from top to bottom and decorated with paper-chains – what a great way to get the kids thinking that cleaning is “fun”! Chinese New Year is also now celebrated all throughout the world so you could even take the kids along to one of the (often free) celebrations organised in your nearest city for a day full of colour and costumes and parades.

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