Happy Mother’s Day

may 2015

Mother’s Day Celebration Around the World

Mother’s Day is celebrated in over 40 countries around the world. Normally most of the countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in the month of May however many countries celebrate Mother’s Day entirely at different time of the year. Thus the exact date and the way this event is celebrated vary from country to country since the time of Ancient Greece. But whatever may be the date of Mother’s Day around the world, the spirit is the same everywhere. Here is a glimpse of today’s Mother’s Day celebrations as done worldwide.

United Kingdom
Mother’s Day is more popularly known as Mothering Sunday, the origins of the holiday date back to centuries when it was considered important for churchgoers to visit their home or “mother” church once a year. During Lent, the practice became quite popular, and in a society where children were often sent off to work in other villages at a very young age, it quickly became a time for family reunions and celebrations that were fondly cherished. Later, Mothering Sunday became a day when children and domestic servants were allowed a day off to see their families. Celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, Mothering Sunday remains a time to pay mothers their due rewards for all their love and encouragement with flowers, candies, cards, and other tokens of appreciation.

United States of America
It’s said that Mother’s Day was first suggested in the United Sates by Julia Ward Howe in 1872 as a day dedicated to peace after the Franco Prussian War. The holiday gained its popularity majorly due to the efforts of Anna M. Jarvis. Anna began a letter-writing campaign to garner support for a national Mother’s Day holiday when her mother passed away in 1905, with the help of friends, Reaching out to influential leaders, including William Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, and John Wannamaker, Anna poured out a stream of solicitations for support of the idea. She believed, mothers deserved their own special day and that it would help strengthen family bonds. She persuaded her mother’s church in West Virginia to celebrate Mother’s Day on the second anniversary of her mother’s death, the 2nd Sunday of May. By 1911 Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost every state, and flowers quickly became a lasting tradition to express love on the occasion. In 1914, Congress passed a resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day, “a public expression of love and reverence for the mothers of our country.” President Woodrow Wilson issued the first proclamation making it an official U.S. holiday.

New Zealand
Celebrated on the second Sunday in the month of May, people thank their mothers and recognize their esteemed efforts in bringing them up and caring for them. There is a big euphoria over the day and people celebrate the day by going out for picnics and dinners.

Yugoslavia
Mothers’ Day is observed in December. The children sneak into their mother’s bedroom and tie her up in bed. When she awakes she promises to give the children gifts that she has hidden in order to be untied.

Sweden
They sell little plastic flowers before Mother’s Day. They then use the money that they make from these flowers to send the mothers with many children on vacation.

Mexico
Mother’s Day, or Dia de las Madres, is May 10 in Mexico. It’s a hugely popular occasion celebrated throughout the country, with special events sponsored by schools, churches, cities, and civic groups. The family tradition is for sons and daughters to come to their mother’s house on the eve of Mother’s Day (May 9). Festive Mother’s Day masses, handmade gifts, flowers, cards, and children’s’ school presentations are also often part of the nationwide observance.

Australia
Mother’s Day is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm and joy. It also falls on the second Sunday in the month of May and is celebrated in a similar fashion as in US. Thus people of Australia take Mother’s Day as an opportunity to express gratitude to their mother and shower their love over them. Children show their love to their moms by gifting some beautiful flowers and cards to them. Just as in US, Australia also has this tradition of wearing carnation on Mother’s Day in Australia. The carnation has a special connotation attached. A coloured carnation signifies that a person’s mother is living while a white carnation is used to honour a deceased mother. Besides their own mothers children honour their grandmothers and other women who love and care for them as a mother does. Thus on this particular day every children show their respect and pamper their mother s and mother figure by treating them with breakfast on bed and with gifts and cakes.

Toddler temper tantrums

 

april 2015

Seemingly bad behaviour and temper tantrums seem to go together. Your delightful child suddenly stamps her feet defiantly if she can’t get her own way, or flies into a rage for no apparent reason. Temper tantrums are a necessary and healthy (but difficult) part of growing up.

Toddlers have a low level of frustration – temper is easily triggered when things don’t go according to their plan. In younger toddlers (under 3 years), most tantrums are caused when they become frustrated with their ability to perform certain tasks (such as putting on their own shoes). This is when a helping hand (not punishment) is all that is needed, and the ‘tantrum’ soon abates.

However, it is important to remember that overtiredness and over-stimulation leading to sensory overload, also contribute towards temper tantrums and bad behaviour. It is especially worse in public situations, where unfamiliar people, loud noise, bright lights and different smells are too much for her to handle. She will also know that she does not have your full attention in a public setting, so will play up in order to get it!

Avoiding Temper Tantrums / Be One Step Ahead

    • Be in tune to sensory signals: modulate or remove your child from the stimulatory environment if you see any signs of overload.
    • Try to plan outings and activities during your child’s awake time to avoid tantrums and tears.
    • Be consistent: Try to stick to a routine. Routine is important to your toddler – it gives her boundaries and predictability in her world, which helps her to feel secure.
    • Avoid hunger: your toddler needs to eat frequently, so avoid letting her get too hungry – she will become very grumpy.
    • Prevent a situation from arising: If you see that your 2 year old is struggling to put her shoes on and is getting frustrated, step in and offer to help her before she loses her temper.
    • Offer her choices whenever possible. Instead of saying “eat your beans”, rather say “would you like beans or squash?”
    • Try to choose your battles – is it really the end of the world if your toddler goes out with two different shoes on?

 
Tackling Temper Tantrums

    • As a parent, it is always important to help your child make sense of what is happening and how she is feeling. This way, your toddler will learn to trust her feelings and solve many of her own problems. Try and get into the habit to always acknowledge how your child is feeling by giving it a name, then to mirror the feeling, then offer some sort of distraction. So when your toddler performs when denied an ice cream, try handling it in a different way. Say “oh dear, are you cross that you can’t have an ice cream, I would be too if I were you because you are so tired, but I tell you what, let’s go and have a look at the balloons and see if they have a blue one – that’s your favourite colour, and then we’ll go home for a sleep”. This way, your child will get the message from you that whatever she is experiencing is not dangerous, not out of control and can be managed.
    • Stay calm in the storm of the tantrum! Your role is to contain her distress, so don’t stomp out the room, try not to shout if she shouts, or be angry if she is angry (this will only lead to two toddlers in the room!). If your toddler will allow you to, help her to sort out what it is that is causing her frustration. If it is too late for that, give her a big, firm and deep hug, and try and keep her close to you in this way until her anger subsides. Try to stay with her even if she won’t let you touch her, and offer that cuddle for later when she is calm. The storm of emotion she is going through can be frightening for her, so she needs to know that you are there for her.
    • Use ‘time out’ (if the tantrum warrants it) from the age of 2 years.
    • Walk away if you feel that you are losing control – take some deep breaths and count to ten, then return.
    • Don’t give in to the tantrum – if you do this you will only be re-enforcing the negative/bad behaviour. By conceding, you will only be teaching your child that all she needs to do is have a ‘frothy’ in order to get what she wants. It is best to ignore the behaviour, and rather focus on the reason for the tantrum in the first place. By ignoring the tantrum, you are giving her a message that this behaviour does not move you, and she will most likely stop.
    • In the throes of a tantrum, don’t plead, beg or negotiate – it will give your child a message that you are anxious and not in control.

Always remember to praise and acknowledge your child when they have handled a difficult situation well, or if they have done as you have asked. This way, you only ‘reward’ positive behaviour, and largely ignore the negative behaviour.

Toddler Sense Secret: By the age of 4 years, most toddlers have learnt that there are other, easier ways of getting what they want, so you will notice that temper tantrums will lessen.

Love is in the air

feb 2015

 

Love is in the air – and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! But, if you’ve just had a baby or spent too much money, feeling tired, unmotivated or just un-pretty, romance is probably the furthest thing from your mind. Life’s day to day obstacles can put enough stress on yourself and your relationships, without the pressure of a day that requires more of you. So why not make Valentine’s Day a time for exactly what you and your family needs – love! Keep it simple, cheap and from the heart. Here are a few of our favourite ideas to help inspire…

For new parents – today, the housework can wait.
Appreciate each other. Plan ahead. This way, you can work around your baby’s routine and still make it a special occasion. Plan a surprise – write a love note on baby’s nappy or surprise him with a gift! Take some baby-free time once it’s past bedtime, throw a blanket on the living room floor and enjoy a picnic.

For babies and toddlers – arts and crafts will be loads of fun, and give you something to keep as a memory of the day. A potato can be cut out or a toilet roll can easily be bent into the shape of a heart to be used as stamps for their works of art. Also, old left over crayons can be melted into any shape you want! Place the crayons into a baking tray (heart shaped, even) and heat in the oven at 120 degrees for 20 minutes, then leave to cool completely. A great way to recycle and makes a gift they can keep on enjoying.

For kids at school – try a clever and cute labelled gift to surprise the other kids!
‘You put the bounce in my step’ with a bouncing ball
‘You blow me away’ with bubbles
‘I’m glad you’re in my school’ with a bag of fish marshmallows

For the family – A scavenger hunt is always a firm favourite. Cut four or five hearts out of red/pink paper, label them 1 to 5 on the backside, and write a clue on the front that describes something you love about the recipient, but at the same time, leads them to a spot around the house where they will find the next clue.

Just to get your creative juices flowing, here are a few ideas:
“I admire the dedication you showed in order to get an A in Maths. Where is the last place you left your Maths book?” “You have such a big, kind heart when you help your little brother pick up his puzzles . Where do we keep his puzzles?”

Wishing you all the love this February!