Our first Parenting Pitstop session

I posted last week about how J & I were attending our first ‘Parenting Pitstop‘ session. It was only an hour session this time but the usual ones are one and three-quarter hours long. I was feeling really nervous about leaving him to play even though he was under supervision, but just the fact it was a new setting and I wasn’t there worried me; how he’d act without me there, if he’d get upset, and so on. When it came to it though, he didn’t even notice me leaving! They actually do a countdown so the children are given notice that parents will be leaving, for example “Five minutes left to play!”, “One minute left to play!” and then a countdown from ten seconds and then it’s a kiss goodbye and off we go.

There were only eight of us there (plus the course leader and an assistant) so it really is a small group; two of those were a couple and another two were mother and Nanna so six children between us meaning they got lots of attention when playing without us. When we left the children we headed to the kitchen. Everyone was really nervous, you could tell just by looking. My anxiety was up anyway as it was a new situation for me too, but I felt relaxed once we’d all settled in with a cuppa! We did introductions and had to tell everybody the one thing we wanted to focus on with our children (for me it was J’s anger/temper and lashing out) and with ourselves (again, for me it was my reactions to those situations where he does lash out).

As it was just an introduction session we didn’t really talk about a lot of things, we basically just went over what future sessions would entail, and we also had to fill out a couple of forms. On one of them it asked the child’s favourite activities & toys, so they could get those things out for them during our sessions; I think this is really great as it will put them more at ease too. We were supplied with our own folder to put our information in so we have something to keep at the end of it, which will be great to have something to refer back to once we’ve finished the course.

Once we had finished our session the children came to collect us (this is so that we don’t have to try and drag them away from playing and they get upset) – they all came running in shouting Mummy or Daddy, it was lovely! J did want to go back and play though -“Mummy, come play” – and he was quite upset when we got back in the car – he sat himself in the foot well with his head curled up in his knees rubbing his eyes, then he wouldn’t talk to us!

Obviously personal things may come out in these sessions so I won’t be sharing too much – just how we get on really, but I thought I would update you on how our first session went. Even after this first introduction session I am a teeny bit more confident that it will at least go some way to helping us all. It’s going to be tough, for all of us, but I am determined that we will see a turnaround as it is really wearing us down now.

Wish us luck for the next few weeks!

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Parenting Pitstop – trying to deal with J’s challenging behaviour

You may have read my previous posts about J’s challenging behaviour and I have been at my wits end for months, fast running out of ideas on how to deal with it. I’ve spoken with nursery, I’ve spoken with the health visitor, I’ve spoken with one of my friends who worked in a nursery for a long time; I’ve consulted the internet, blogs, my peers, but nothing seems to change. So either this is just instilled into him or I am just a rubbish mother!

Anyway, a few weeks ago I had quite a breakdown with his behaviour. I was already feeling pretty rubbish in general and he just pushed me over the edge. We had been at our usual Tuesday play group (run by the friend mentioned above) and he had been defiant all morning, then he pushed another child who was just minding his own. I just completely lost myself then and we left with me in tears and having to call my brother-in-law for help with the boys as I was breaking down. My friend came round later that afternoon and mentioned a ‘Parenting Pistop’ run by the local Education Preparation Unit. I thought it sounded worth a try so she made a referral for us.

Last week we went to see the ladies who run it and to sign up for it if we were interested. We were told that it will only be a small group – six parents and children – so we can get the most out of it. The way it works is that the session is an hour and half long and us parents spend 20 minutes playing with our children and getting them settled in, in the play room – it’s a Sure Start centre so lots of activities – then we go off (while the children are supervised by one of the ladies) and have a discussion about our difficulties and methods of dealing with behaviour and the such. Both hubby & I can attend but it really depends on whether he can get the time off work, but we signed up anyway as I can make the sessions.

Mine & J’s first session is this afternoon, for a taster session. It will be good to have some time just the two of us too, as I know he needs more of it but it’s difficult when hubby works long hours and I’m home with both of them every day and N rarely naps. I will update you on how we get on – hopefully we will get somewhere this time.

Little man J at 3 years 1 month old

It wasn’t that long ago when I posted J’s last update, but it’s only been just over a week since he turned 3 years 1 month and I’m trying to get these updates posted sooner – maybe I’ll have a bit more consistency now!

He is definitely outgrowing the toddler stage now and turning into a proper little boy – I can’t get my head around the fact he’ll be going to school next year. He is fast becoming the man of the house – he wants to do everything that we do and has an almighty strop if he can’t. His new favourite activity is washing up – I’ve never seen someone get so upset over the fact that they can’t do it! I do usually let him if he asks but if it’s already being done and I’m nearly finished, well, he goes into meltdown. At this stage he likes to tell us repeatedly “I’m crying” even though we can definitely hear him! He is getting better at dressing himself, and he’s also started choosing his own outfits – we have some really random ones!

I mentioned last time that he had done his first wee on the potty. Since then he has done a few more but nothing consistent; I think we really need to knuckle down with it as he’s obviously ready because he asks to go on it, just not all of the time. He has done a wee on the toilet too, when he went with Grandad, but doesn’t really show any other interest in it. Nanna has bought him some Minion pants for when he does a poo on the potty but even that hasn’t encouraged him!

I love that I can now have a proper full blown conversation with him. I do have to correct some of his sentences sometimes though, for example he will still say “Me can do it” instead of “I” but he is getting there. He loves singing at the minute too; nursery rhymes, TV tunes, and he loves bopping along to the Kaiser Chiefs in the car (Mummy adores Ricky Wilson…). Though instead of ‘home’, sometimes he says ‘homo’ – we always correct him, bless him!

We are still having pretty much the same meal time issues. The only meal of the day where he has a variety is breakfast – he will eat almost anything then, pretty much the same thing every day for lunch, and we have major issues at tea time. He eats so well at nursery though, so it’s frustrating. Although he has started eating a lot more fruit; when I make a fruit salad the boys always share it with me and J eats everything that’s in it, where he only used to eat bananas & blueberries before. So I guess we are seeing a change, slowly but surely.

Current favourites
Food – Grapes
Drink – ‘Minion juice’ (orange or blackcurrant squash/happy minion or scary minion!)
TV – Blaze & The Monster Machines
Movies – Hop
Toys – Wooden tea set
Books – The Gruffalo, Bedtime Bear story set


Little man J at 3 years old

Though I’m a little lot late with this one (as it’s nearly time for his next one – must try harder to keep up!), I can’t believe J is three years old now – officially a threenager, though I’m sure he was entering into that zone beforehand! He’s turning into a proper little grown up now; every time I write one of his updates he is showing more independence than the last time – and more of a temper too (not totally sure where he gets that from…).
With his ever growing independence and domestication, I’m starting to think he’ll be moving out of home next year! (Obviously not really….he’ll be going to school instead, sob). He wants to hoover, dust, take the dishes away. He does his shoes all by himself, including having a strop if we don’t choose the ones he wants. He ‘reads’ to himself at bedtime (and to his brother in the morning). He chooses his breakfast and won’t let us take it from the cupboard. In fact, he doesn’t really want us to choose anything anymore… Anywhere we go, he is also wanting to walk a lot more instead of going in the pushchair which is a great thing as he has to sooner or later.
I mentioned in his last update that we’d bought him a musical Thomas Tank potty as we thought it may aid in him wanting to use the potty. Well, if you’ve read the blog recently you might already know that he finally did his first wee! He hasn’t done a poo yet, or wee’d on the big toilet, but I know it will come in time. I’m just really happy that’s he’s finally started asking to go for a wee on the potty, and occasionally he will ask to wear pants (which we use Dry Like Me with) instead of a nappy.

His ever expanding vocabulary and sentence structure astounds me every day when he says something I’ve never heard him say before, or puts together a sentence I never expected him to say. He is a little behind his peers in most things, but this is one area I’m really proud of as I think he is progressing so well, and everybody else notices too. Some of his new word pronunciation is still a bit off though and it’s so funny.

We are still having meal time & food issues. He will only eat pretty much the same things at tea time – sausages, fish fingers, chicken nuggets, chips, mash, peas, sweetcorn, beans, spaghetti – that seems like quite a list but when as a family you like to have a lot of variety, and when N will eat pretty much anything, it’s a little frustrating. I’m sure it won’t last forever though?…

Current favourites
Food – Sausages, apples
Drink – ‘Special juice’ (fruity water!)
TV – Wallykazam, Peppa Pig
Movies – Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2
Toys – Ben & Holly castle, magnetic drawing board
Books – Train!, Zip It!

Birthday boy!

Watching the solar eclipse

Now I don’t know about you, but I only vaguely remember the last solar eclipse in 1999. I would have been twelve years old and science or solar eclipses weren’t on my mind at that time… I don’t even remember what I was doing at the exact time it happened, most likely at school?!

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll remember exactly what I was doing at the time of this one in 2015, as I was showing J the different ways of seeing it safely! I also had a go at explaining it to him, though in simple terms as he’s only three. He was mostly interested in batting at my pieces of card to annoy me, though he showed more interest when I projected the eclipse onto the bed.

I had spent some time before the event reading up on the different ways to see it safely. It looked like the most popular way was a pinhole projector so we started on this one, by poking a small hole into one piece of card and holding it between the sun and another piece of card (we stayed in to do this as I was waiting for a delivery). Luckily it was fairly clear for us here in North Lincolnshire so we got a great projection of it for the most part.

One of my arms started hurting from holding the card so we discovered we could project it onto Daddy’s arm too!

J started getting bored again and messing about a bit so we decided to get his hat a colander and use a colander projector to see lots of little eclipses! I loved this one, such a fun way to see it.

I was a bit naughty though and took a few photos with my phone and managed to get a couple of half decent shots as there was just the right amount of cloud.

We lasted a good hour or so watching the eclipse; I’m surprised it was that long to be honest as J usually has the shortest attention span ever!

Did you (safely) watch the eclipse with your children?