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3 Tools I taught my daughter to make friends (when she had none)

Starting school or kindergarten can be a challenging time if you do not know anyone.  Even if you made all the best laid plans, and attended nursery (Kita in Swiss German) in the same village where you children build friendships.

When my daughter started school she was put in a different class then all her kindergarten friends.  It was heart breaking as she spent 5 years making friends and then suddenly she was on her own.  As a Mum I approached the school but they had their rules, and you could not change classes (there were 5 classes in total).  As a Mum I also knew that this lesson would come at some point, so as tough as it was: making friends, networking and being ok with ones self is a key skill in life.  My daughter learnt this lesson early on and we navigated it together.  

I will not say it was easy as initially in some ways it hindered her German as she would come home crying, and withdrew a little.  Secondly, she went to one extreme attempting to get everyone to like her, now as she starts school she has the balance just right.

The key was a bit like we make friends and connections as adults, 'how to win friends and influence them'.

1. Empathy - we talked to her about how the other children were feeling. How did she think other kids felt that did not know her, 'did they know anyone' and this helped her to identify that she was not alone.  That other children might also be feeling the same.  We worked on treating others the way she would like to be treated.

2. Observing - we talked to her about observing what people were doing, looking at their interests.  She could then see what other people were playing, and look at either playing with them or getting others to play together. She actually became the master of this, and leads groups into playing activities together.

3. Acting on commonality - acting on a commonality, so once she observed an interest and could influence what to do with that and act on that commonality.  Sometimes this meant she may play what she wants, and others it meant compromising or joining in something new.

Today 2 years later we have a different child.  It was not easy but she has the confidence in new surroundings, she can go into a place where she knows no one and she's thrives and has started to navigate the difference between true friends and acquaintances.  In some ways I wish she did not have to learn this too early and in others we don't get to pick the lessons we have to help navigate in motherhood.

Growing up in a different country, different language and giving children tools to make friends when they have none

Growing up in a different country, different language and giving children tools to make friends when they have none

5 Simple Steps to Save Dry Felt Tip Pens

On our Saturday Share we went live on Facebook again in our community group, for anyone that missed to share handy tips.  One in our house is felt tips.  The kids tidy up but one of those annoying things is the lids on pens, and instead of throwing the pens out you can save them, or as my daughter said bring them back to life.

  1. Sort the pens and lids out dead or alive, this teaches them a bit of a lesson as to how many are potentially no good
  2. Find the water based ones (these are usually kids pens)
  3. Get a bowl of warm water
  4. Hold them in the water for 2 to 5 minutes
  5. Dab off the excess water and test them on the paper
The result of 1 hours work to save 80 to 100 pens

The result of 1 hours work to save 80 to 100 pens

Do You Want More Time For Your Kids

Do You Want More Time For Your Kids


There's never enough time! Give me more time #whatifihadapa #moretime #tools #technology I ran a session on Parental Leadership on 10th April.  In that session we went through one of the tools called 'Transparent Communication.'  It has 4 stages where:

  1. You recognise how you really feel
  2. You recognise how your child really feels (putting your self in their shoes)
  3. You acknowledge the two
  4. You make an authentic response in acknowledgement to address the feelings, and increase the parental attachment bond

There were 8 different parents, and every one in there acknowledgement at some point had time creep in as a factor.


We discussed and delved into the example of their 2 year old son screaming, shouting and saying he hates the time to get ready, from scrubbing his teeth and being ready to go to the nursery (kita).

Identify with own feelings:

The mother explained that she felt frustrated and needed to get to work (TIME).


Identify with the child’s feelings:

When she put herself in the shoes of the child, he wants to do it himself. However, both the father and mother expressed that they were worried about the teeth not being brushed properly. The father explained that he rewards chocolates if his son behaves and explains he can only have the chocolates if his teeth are clean.


Hug and share each others feelings.

Authentic Response

They realised that the solution does not address the real issue. The anger from the child is because he wants to do it himself, and there is fear from the parents that he will not do it properly. The authentic response they created was to speak with him and explain that he will do it himself, and that Mummy and Daddy will show him how to do it and check after, where they may just need to get him to redo some areas or help. The real issue was anger caused by a wish for more independence, and the time pressure that they felt and the worry of incompleteness was creating a repetitive issue every morning.

Our Mission to Give Parents More Time 'Memories Over Chores'

Giving parents the tools and technology is not just to develop technology for technologies sake.  What we have done is develop a tool in a way that makes sense for parents, to organise their life, to suggest events that make a difference to them, to enable them to complete tasks like travel and shopping quicker / cheaper and in a way that adds value to their time.

The one thing we can give parents is time.  Join Us.

Getting Out of the Door with Kids

Getting out the door as a working mother has been one of those challenges I have improved in, but I would still like to nail.  That said my experiences don’t seem to be as tiresome, as my friends so I thought that I would share my experiences.  My daughter is 3 and my son 1.

  1. What it means for them

If I am in a rush with my daughter and son it is for a reason.  Sometimes I can bike with them to Krippe (Kindergarden), but others I may need to get a train into the city.  I decided to explain to them both why we need to hurry up, and what it means to them.  My days are typically loaded to be early, so I have quality time with them in the afternoon.  So I ask them both if they like it when Mummy plays with them after Krippe, and we have lots of time together.  The obvious answer is 'yes' and I explain that’s because we get up early and get to Krippe whilst I go to work.  If we don’t leave now Mummy may not be able to do that.

  1. Independence

 My daughter  continually utters the words “I’ll do it myself,” will at times want me to out on her shoes and jacket, as she sees me do it for her brother.  I then question her asking are you a big girl, and proudly compliment her that she can do that herself, as she is no longer a baby.  She then shows me that she can.

   3. Treats

There are things that she wants to take to Krippe or treats of raisins, so when she is good she gets raisins to take with her.

  1. Friendship and Fun

Both love the Krippe and look forward to their day, so I tend to talk about whether she is looking forward to playing with her best friends (she has two).  This speeds up her motivation to get there and play.

  1. Changing Pace

Overall I try to change the pace, so as not to always rush them.  Albeit we need to get out of the door early in the morning and we only get to briefly say hello to the chickens, and sheep in the morning.  On the way back from Krippe we are walking, laughing and noticing everything that the seasons have to offer: picking acorns, the wild flowers, testing whether things sink or float in the stream.  This appreciation for time seems to work so that they know when I say we have to go it is for a reason, but at the same time we appreciate the stiller moments.

I by no means have things perfect, and sometime that run to catch the train certainly provides me with extra fuel cells on my Nike Fuel band!

Fun With The Kids In London @ The Weekend

The weather is changing, but that doesn't mean that you have to be stuck in doors.  London is packed with activities this weekend for kids, and for the adult with the inner kid inside! From cupcake making, laughs, harry potter tours to scary Halloween parties it's covered. 1. Harry Potter Tour Around London A magical fun packed bus tour of Harry Potter London film Locations. The 2 ¾ hour luxury air-conditioned mini coach tour includes Harry Potter locations from the latest movie in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, some of which is set in London. This Harry Potter London tour takes in all the film locations and inspirations in the capital including Platform 9 ¾, 12 Grimmauld Place and the sites used for the Leaky Cauldron and is the best way to see the locations dotted around London. Along the way you’ll also see many other familiar landmarks too. On the Harry Potter London Tour you’ll learn how the films were made, discuss the books and get trivia about the magical world of J.K.Rowling’s famous boy wizard. Along the way you’ll have the chance to get off the bus on at least four occasions, stretch your legs, take pictures and see the locations up close. All non magic people are welcome. Tour highlights include * Find the location used as the entrance to the Ministry of Magic in The Order of the Phoenix * Push your trolley through the wall at Platform 9 ¾ * Discover the possible inspiration for Grimmauld Place * See where the Knight Bus squeezed through the oncoming double decker buses in Prisoner of Azkaban * Walk in the footsteps of Hagrid (Robbie Coltraine) and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) to the entrance of the Leaky Cauldron * Drive past the site where Harry casts a spell on Dudley in the Reptile House of London Zoo in Philosopher's Stone * See the location used for Gringotts Bank (exterior only)

Tickets: Payment required - Adult: £25 Child (3-12): £23 Bus Tour of London

2. Teanies and Crayons This morning session of fun includes: ·Cupcake decorating ·Balloon modelling ·Colouring in ·Real life Fairy Enter the Cupcake Competition for your chance to win tea for two  at The Tea Box! Tickets £5 in advance RSVP here - From 10am 12noon.  Suitable for 2-5yrs old  The Tea Box full menu of food and drinks will be available.  7 Paradise Road, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1RX.  This event repeats monthly on the 4 Sunday until 27 Feb 2014: 27 Oct24 Nov22 Dec.  Event details may change at any time, always check with the event organizer when planning to attend this event or purchase tickets. 3. Comedy Club for Kids Image @ Canada Water Culture Space, 21 Surrey Quays Road, London SE16 7AR.  12.30 to 13.30.  Tickets £7 and £24 for a Family Ticket.  Cracking entertainment for everyone over six years old and under 400 years old (no vampires or Highlanders). They say they have the best comedians from the UK and world circuit doing what they do best… but without the rude bits. Reviews: "A highlight for children… giving them a taste of some of the biggest names in comedy with the fun, rowdy feel of a real comedy club." - The Guardian "The perfect way to entertain the whole family." - Three Weeks 4. Halloween Kids Party  @ Fulham Palace, Bishops Avenue, London, UK.  The Education Centre.  Starting at 10.30 am ending at 13.00.  Telephone+44 (0)20 7736 8140. The party will include party games, dancing, balloons, magic and lots of fun! Plus a Halloween themed craft activity and a PRIZE for the best dressed!!  Price includes squash and a mini snack for the children.  Don't forget to pop into the Drawing Room Café on your way to pick up a coffee and cake to enjoy whilst watching the fun unfold.  Suitable for both boys and girl.  Suggested for 3yrs - 7yrs. Tickets can be bought at 'We Got Tickets' Tickets are £15.00 + £1.50 Booking fee = £16.50.  12 tickets available . All ages   £13.00 + £1.30 Booking fee = £14.30 18 tickets available.  Sibling Discount **applies when two tickets purchased together at £13 each***.

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