Tag Archives: kids

Are your kids finicky eaters?

I still recall how my now 16 year old daughter would spit out anything that was remotely green. She seemed to sense that her meal might have broccoli, Brussel sprouts, peas, french beans, snow peas or anything else. Fast forward to today and she doesn’t spit out her greens but pushes them aside on her plate, never in a pile but artfully all over the plate so that it seems like at least she made an effort to eat SOME greens. My son, who is almost 12 now, is not a finicky eater and he’ll try something at least once, unlike my daughter who will start snubbing something just because she doesn’t like its name or the way it looks or is cooked.

I came across this article the other day. It’s by Mandy Mazliah and she recounts her way of dealing with finicky eaters. I’ve extracted the eight positive ways she has shared. Do check out her blog and the original article for more. You’ll be sure to bookmark it and refer to it often!

All the best with the finicky eaters! I’ve given up on my teen. If anyone has any tips, please share them.

Here are eight positive things you can try: Mandy Mazliah

  1. Eat with your child. Let them see you enjoying the same meal without making a fuss about it.
  2. Cut back on snacks – being hungry for meals can make a real difference.
  3. If you do offer snacks, make them count towards their five a day. See my blog Sneaky Veg for ideas.
  4. Don’t offer alternatives. It’s hard to let your child leave the table when they haven’t eaten anything but if they know that they’ll get a slice of toast or a banana if they refuse their meal then they’ll often hold out for that.
  5. Don’t use dessert as a reward.
  6. Make mealtimes positive. Take away the pressure and let them choose how much to eat.
  7. Eat with friends – perhaps at school or nursery or on a play date at home.
  8. And remember, every small step is a positive step.

For more on the original write up, kindly click on the link below.

How I relaxed about my child’s picky eating and why you should too

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7 Peculiar Habits of Children

 

While Deepak Chopra and other self-help, life enhancing life coaches may have made millions writing about 7 types of habits, I thought I’d throw in my two bits worth. Of course I don’t expect to be paid in millions for this though if the boss is so inclined who am I to say anything? So anyway, kids do and say the darndest things; I’d know. I’m a Mum of two gorgeous kids but they do puzzle me with their peculiar habits sometimes.

Peculiar Habit 1:

Vegetables? Ewwww!
Vegetables? Ewwww!

Kids have it in their DNA to hate vegetables. Are we in agreement with this? Yes? Good. I’m trying to ascertain this because my daughter was all of five and a half and came home from school one fine day and tearfully asked me to write in her school diary to let the teacher know that she is ‘allergic’ to vegetables. Then a few months ago they started playing mind games with me. Both my kids asked me to make them broccoli. I strongly felt I needed medical attention and the services of a counsellor for a month to get over this shock. I know for a fact kids would rather eat booger than broccoli so you can understand why I got shook up with this.

Peculiar Habit 2:

What's THAT Mum?
What’s THAT Mum?

Examining their potty with great curiosity is another peculiar habit. My son, when being trained to use the loo would not allow me to flush the toilet until he had carefully examined the contents. Disgusting…! I’d have to stand there and indulge and some days he would ask me to look and explain why it was a different colour. Ewww!! I was just glad he suddenly ‘grew up’ and didn’t need Mummy to supervise him going to the toilet. This story has been filed away in my head. All Mummies have embarrassing stories about their kids. This one’s mine for my son.

Peculiar Habit 3:

I'm just going to lie down here until you don't say yes. I'll also wail loudly if I have to.
I’m just going to lie down here until you don’t say yes. I’ll also wail loudly if I have to.

‘Muuuuum…. can I have this?’ First things first, it’s not ‘can I’ it’s ‘may I’. So we go back to the correct grammar and I am asked again, ‘Muuuuum….. MAY I have this?’ If my kids were smart, they’d have sussed out by now that making them ask again is usually a stalling tactic and the answer is going to be a resounding NO. Eventually the kids did catch on and very politely agree with me if I say no to something. I always try and give them a reason why because kids also have the right to as ‘Why not?’

Peculiar Habit 4:

Sticky fingers! Nip this in the bud.
Sticky fingers! Nip this in the bud.

Sticky fingers syndrome happens to all kids at one point or another. It doesn’t matter how perfect your upbringing of them may be. At some point you will find something in your kid’s possession that was certainly not given by you. My son brought home his cousin’s little matchbox car once without asking his cousin or his Godmother whose house he had gone to stay at. He had to stand in the ‘naughty corner’ and think about his actions. He very tearfully apologised and returned the car and also promised to give one of his favourite cars to his cousin as an apology. Sticky fingers also extend to the cookie jar and the most common phrase to be heard is, ‘I didn’t do that!’ and it’s usually followed by the sibling’s name to blame them instead.

Peculiar Habit 5:

What is this life about? Why isn't everything going the way I want it to?
What is this life about? Why isn’t everything going the way I want it to?

Lying down on the ground in a screaming fit especially in a crowded supermarket wanting something is another habit. My daughter spoilt me as a Mum. She was a perfect little girl who never bothered me at all and then came along my son. I made the mistake of taking him to our local supermarket when he was 2. He wanted to use his own little trolley which I gladly allowed because it would be a learning experience. Then he started putting in everything and when i dared stop him he started screaming and lay down on the floor and started kicking his feet around. My eyes widened in horror not knowing how to deal with this so i calmly just walked away from him and pretended he was someone else’s kid! After that, I decided he could go shopping with me when he’s 16.

Peculiar Habit 6:

Mum said.... Oooops! I shouldn't have repeated that!
Mum said…. Oooops! I shouldn’t have repeated that!

Saying things they shouldn’t be is actually, if you think about it, not that peculiar. ‘Mum why is auntie having more and more cake? Weren’t you saying she’s too fat and needs to lose weight?’ I’ll say no more. This is when you wish the ground would open up and swallow you…

Peculiar Habit 7:

Too many weirdoes out there, perhaps?
Too many weirdoes out there, perhaps?

Getting on with anyone without distrust is an admirable yet peculiar habit. How do they do it? We all probably did it as kids too. So when did we stop trusting and start distrusting…? Aaaah….. to be a child again and to indulge in these peculiar habits.

I’d love to hear of any peculiar habits that you know of in kids!

Some gratitude…

Back in 2007 when I’d just joined East FM, the then Manager of Fox Theatres sent complimentary tickets for the entire East FM team to go and watch Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. I recall that we all met up and watched it at Capital Centre. 
The next day I called the very generous Manager to thank him and he was quite taken aback and said that no one ever called him to say thanks. We had a small chat and I told him how I was an ardent fan of his when he was one of the most popular radio presenters at East FM when it first started off. 

A couple of days later a parcel arrived from him especially for my little kids. There was a bag full of awesome movie merchandise and the kids loved it. 

I never ever forgot the kind gesture of this very warm human being because he was kind to me and my kids at my lowest point in life. I had just separated and had started working and this lovely gentleman made us feel good without even knowing what an impact his gesture had. 

Today as I was clearing out the kids study room I found one of the things he had gifted the kids. 

Thank you Sanjeev Sharma. I never ever forgot. Love & hugs to you.

When you finally allow your kids to have a Facebook account

 

like on facebook

Last week, as we were still nursing hangovers and trying to stop being in denial that 2016 was finally here, I decided to allow my daughter to have a Facebook account. She’s fifteen now and I have held out for as long as I could, keeping her away from social media. Many of her friends and cousins have been allowed to have social media accounts but when you are a social media manager, you get too see a lot of things that, as a parent, you’re just not ready to expose your children to.

Anyway, with dire warnings, lots of pep talk and promises extracted from her to hold her head up high when conducting herself on social media, I allowed her to have a Facebook account. Straightaway she earned a lot of brownie points because her profile picture was a recent (and rather flattering!) selfie she had taken with me. Within an hour she had forty-three friends and by the next morning she had a hundred more.

Of course I was going to stalk her online and check who her friends were and what was being written on her wall! Many family members had added her and I saw most of her school friends had added her too. For about two days, I kept warning her not to be on Facebook all the time when I realised it was futile to say so, because as soon as school reopened early this week, she calmly told me she’ll be logging out and only check it on weekends, and that it was not all that she had thought it would be.

I wasn’t sure if I should have let out a whoop of joy so I didn’t, but the inner mummy in me channelled this happiness into a rather calm ‘As you wish, darling’ and got on with life. My girl is quite wise for her fifteen years and is turning into a good friend to me. Of course there are lines that have to be drawn but I think my daughter is a cool person to be around – she gets on with people of all ages very quickly and I love that about her. I was the same at her age.

I’ve always maintained that I choose to be my children’s mother instead of their best friend. That formula doesn’t do anything for me. Children need the guidance of parents. They need their mother to be their mother. You see, I have always said that your best friends will come and go, you can always make new ones, but the bond you have with your child as a parent is something that never gets taken away. Build and nurture this relationship. Gone are the days when you could slap your kids into oblivion to make them listen to you or do as your bidding. We may have grown up with imprints of rubber slippers on our backsides but I’m loathe to do that to my kids. A smack on the bottom is what I have meted out, and always felt terrible after doing that but there are times when you need to discipline your child.

I look back and think that as a single mother, I have not done too badly with bringing my kids up alone. They’ve turned out pretty ok despite the circumstances and I do hope they carry on being good humans and bring out their best into the world and learn to give back to society.

I’m sure there are many Facebook pages for that! Ha!

Twitter: @kamz26

 

Kids addicted to tablets

addiction

This is not about substance abuse but some other kind of abuse. This is probably going to turn into a massive rant so bear with me because whenever I see this happening it drives me nuts.

I went to a dance recital last Sunday. My nieces were participating and being the proud aunt that I am, I went with the family to show support and watch them perform. Proud parents and relatives were all clicking away pictures with their fancy cameras and smartphones and I was amongst them too. After about ten minutes into the performance, a bright light on my right (that kind of rhymed!) kept bothering me and I looked around to see the source and saw a little boy, no more than seven years of age, playing on an iPad.

Kids on ipad

My first thought was what on earth do you want an iPad for at a dance recital? Then I thought that maybe they were using it to take pictures which is fair enough. What I couldn’t understand was why this kid was allowed to play games on the tablet as the performance went on. He was sitting next to his father who also seemed busy on his smartphone every now and then.

Things like that do not amuse me. You allow your kid to play on a tablet or smartphone because they are bored? You are the biggest idiot ever to even think of bringing your kid to such an event then. Leave them at home or with a babysitter or someone, then. Why drag them through the ‘boredom’ of watching a dance recital? Let them stay glued to their tablets at home instead of being obnoxious in a darkened auditorium.

Exactly what are you trying to teach your kids? What kind of manners are these? I go to weddings, at the Gurudwara, social gatherings and many young kids are glued to their parents’ smartphones while things are happening around them. I bet these kids have zero observational skills because instead of looking around them and absorbing what is happening, they are busy trying to up their score from the last game they played.

Parents, wise up. It doesn’t matter if you can afford to buy your kids expensive gadgets. These gadgets are not teaching them manners or etiquette of any kind. Shouldn’t they be learning to sit in an auditorium to watch what’s going on on the stage? Isn’t that why you brought them there in the first place? Wise up and be a bit more firm with your child.

ipad kids

Stop them from whining and getting their way every time because what you allow them to get away with now ends up becoming a lifetime (and bad) habit and it does no one good in the long run. Be more responsible and be firm if you have to. You will be doing society a great big good deed.

Happy birthday to us? NO WAY!

birthday party

Let’s go a little bit back in time. Let’s say you’re seven years old and your sibling is five. It’s your birthday and you’re really very happy that it’s your spotlight day. You are loving the attention you so deserve from everyone and for all the beautiful seven years of your life, you are the happiest person in the world on your birthday. There’s cake and lots of presents, your favourite foods and life is utterly beautiful.

JealousOfBirthdayBoy

Then comes this five year old sibling who suddenly doesn’t understand why it’s only you being given all this love and attention. And what about presents?! Where are my presents, this five year old thinks? The pouty lips exaggerate some more and threaten to swallow the child whole if pouted out any more, unshed tears sparkle in the eyes and the pain on this child’s face will make you think that nothing good has ever happened to it. Ever.

The parents see all this and decide that every time the older child has a birthday the younger sibling must also be given a present to be made to feel involved in the older child’s birthday. I’m sorry but this is where you go wrong as a parent in my opinion and bring up a child whose expectations will only ever get higher and higher.

First of all, it’s not this child’s birthday so why are you making the other child feel bad by buying the younger one a present too? Exactly what are you trying to teach your children? That it’s ok to get whatever you want and whenever you want it? Often I’ve been argued with that if parents can afford to buy their kids presents on one child’s birthday who am I to interfere? True, who am I to interfere, but aren’t you being ridiculous? When you die, which you will by the way, we all do, who is going to look after the whims of these children? You are setting the foundations for them that it’s ok to be gifted something when it’s not your birthday. No. It’s NOT ok.

Teach your child to take the back seat once in a while. In my opinion, again, this is how we create spoilt brats and then let them loose in society and encounter morons whose demands get bigger and bigger. Expectations to get things falling into the lap are also very high because that has been the norm in the childhood, thanks to Mummy and Daddy who didn’t think it important to only celebrate the birthday of only one child.

What’s it to me, you ask. You can afford it, so why am I getting bothered? I’m getting bothered because these are the kids who will grow up and be the dysfunctional brats of our society because they want everything and they want it now. In childhood, they would shed tears and get everything and as adult they resort to blackmail to get what they want. You see, it is a habit you have created in them.

Be kind to your children and teach them that they will definitely get a present but on their birthday and not the sibling’s. Teach them patience, allow them to know that other people who will be n their lives are also important and need to be at the forefront too. You will instill in your children one of the most wonderful lessons in life by doing this.

Mummy Lectures

It all began yesterday when I gave my kids a major Mummy Lecture. I sat them down in the living room and asked them in low but firm tones whether they’ll stop fighting with each other or not. Two pairs of rather large eyes stared at me, looking like the world had come to an end.

I didn’t stop there. I went on to lecture them about the appalling state of their rooms and how I was FED UP of tidying after them.

At the end of the lecture, promises were made that rooms would be cleaner and that they’d be nicer to each other. Half an hour later, I heard whispers coming out of my daughter’s room, indicating that a serious closed-door meeting was going on. The whole afternoon after that my kids were nauseatingly nice to each other. I nearly barfed but let it be. Better this peace than the screaming banshees they become when fighting like idiots.

All said and done, I thought of it no more and was actually calculating they’d go back to Square One within hours but just a short while ago they stunned me and had me in fits of laughter. I came across a list of Dos and Don’ts, accompanied by agreements they’d signed to adhere to these self-imposed rules.

I haven’t stopped laughing & I’m sharing the pictures of the agreements with you.

I love my little fools!
Xx

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20130624-214302.jpg

‘Child Labour’ or just ‘Good Manners’?

kids-chores 

I’ve often been told I’m a slave driver where my kids are concerned. I’ve even been called Hitler Mum by people who think I overwork my kids with chores at home.  I don’t get offended at all. You see, I instilled values of helping around the house in my kids when they were very little. Today they’re older and a lot more independent than their age mates.

The first thing they do when they get up is say their prayers, make the bed, go for a shower and get ready for school and wipe down the bathroom once they’re done with it. They even sort their own breakfast out and pack their lunches. Once in a while they’ll ask me to do it and I won’t really mind at all because I know they do it all the time. They set the table for meals, clean it up afterwards and help with washing the dinner dishes too. Yes I do have a helper to do all this but if I don’t teach my children basic things of looking after themselves, who will?

I’ve known of women who move countries to be nearer their kids when they go abroad to study. EXCUSE ME?! If you are old enough to be in university aren’t you already an adult? Why do you need mummy dearest around you to do everything for you? Sometimes, it’s the other way around. The kids want to get away from these suffocating parents but they’re not allowed to let go.

You are not enabling your kids for anything at all. The more dependent they are on you, the more their life skills deplete. My kids are quite young yet they can do basic cooking and look after themselves should the need arise. While they get anxious if I have to travel anywhere on my own without them, they know life will not come to an end.

When guests come home, I get the kids to serve the drinks and plays hosts. I feel it is very important to teach kids these things because it sets the foundations to what they will become later on in life. I know of grown kids who cannot even pick their plates from the table because they expect the house helper to do it. That drives me nuts. There is nothing wrong at all in letting your child pull their weight around the house. Chores should not to be appreciated with money either! What is this maneno of paying your kids for helping around the house? If they want to earn extra pocket money set other tasks and chores; not simple things that you ought to expect them to do.

Everyone has their own ways of parenting and bringing up their kids but in my very strong opinion, I feel you really should enable your children by letting them do things to help you out. If they make a mistake they will learn to correct it and if they fail you will be there to let them know that they should try harder and get it right the next time. Don’t become a crutch for your kids so that when you are not around they can do nothing but collapse.

Day Out At The Windsor Golf & Country Club Poolside

Birthday week had to be crowned off in style! It was my son’s birthday last week and it’s been celebrations galore with a cake in school and then a party at home with all his friends going high on sugar and bouncing literally off the walls and off the bouncing castle on Saturday. Sunday came and we decided to go to Windsor for swimming. It’s been really very hot for the past three weeks and Nairobi temperatures have been relentless all this time so of course a day out swimming was a fabulous idea.

Off we went to Windsor and on the way just near the entrance I realised that the construction of the new super highway has reached this side of the neighbourhood too.  Having ooh-aahed over that we drove in and the kids made a beeline towards the pool area. Being a hot day I didn’t really expect us to get a decent table but the lovely waiters managed to find me an excellent table at the poolside while the kids scampered to get changed and plunge into the pool.

I had my book with me and while they swam I enjoyed the atmosphere. Hunger was bound to strike so I ordered the kids their favourite chicken nuggets and chips and I thought I’d indulge in a pizza. I ordered the ‘Windsor Special’ and enjoyed it thoroughly. I will highly recommend this delicious pizza. My friend who was with us ordered the chicken burger with the cheese topping and thoroughly enjoyed washing it down with a banana milkshake.

Excellent food, excellent atmosphere and the kids just didn’t want to get out of the water because the pool is heated even when it was such a hot day. I did gasp a bit at the bill though but I suppose when you want to enjoy a day out with the kids, every penny is worth it for them.

Kids Ask The Darnedest Things

Yes we all know that don’t we? And my two are not any less. Dream Girl and Googlee tend to ask me questions that sometimes stump me and I can’t even tell them ‘Go ask your Father.’ But thanks to the internet and the demi-god known as Google I always say ‘Google it’ and funnily enough, they do!

So this morning, while getting ready for school, Dream Girl was sitting at my dressing table brushing out her hair and suddenly asks me, ‘Have you ever seen a spitting dog?’

I went quiet because I was thinking. Give me credit where it’s due – I don’t ask them to Google it without giving it some thought first. So I asked if a sneezing dog would do for that category and I could almost hear the buzzer that refutes your answer at a game show and you’ve just lost a few hundred thousand dollars amid the audience’s gasps.

Off they went to school and I still couldn’t stop thinking if I had ever seen a spitting dog. I went out to have a look at the three canine types and just got question looks from them when I commanded ‘Spit! Spit Boy, SPIT!’ One of them wagged its tail. The little one barked at me (I’ll fix him later) and the third one yawned and I *think* I saw spit coming out while he did that.

Not one to be defeated I finally thought of a spitting dog, even if it has 6 legs and reminds me of petrol… I win this round. Sort of.

agip.JPG (1600×1200)
The only spitting dog I know of...