Anyway, the people behind the ‘Toucan Box‘ club (club is the best word I can think of for it, though they don’t call it that) offered to send Robert and Freddie a box each to test out their product. So this weekend, on a visit to my mother-in-law’s house, we took two Toucan Boxes (Pirate themed!) to give them a test drive.
Having now been a parent for close to seven years, the list of ways that my children make me happy is enough to fill up a large-volume novel. Every day I wake up a dad, I count my blessings – I’m fully aware of how lucky I am, what a charmed life I lead and how many people would kill to be in my position. In short, I’m pretty damn lucky.
That being said, inevitably I could also fill a pretty large book with the ways in which my kids annoy me. Most of them are trivial, many of them are actually very funny and the majority of them are fixable.
In an effort to incentivise our children to do good things, parents turn to many different options. Some choose money – whether ‘pocket’ money or ad-hoc rewards – others choose praise (good luck making that last past 18 months!). Some reward with presents, some use sticky charts or tables and some believe that to ‘reward’ is simply not right.
Whichever camp you fall into, chances are you’ve probably tested out a few systems in your time as a parent – I know we certainly have. None of them have ‘stuck’ for long, so when my wife came up with a revolutionary new idea for rewarding our boys, we thought we might have found “the one” at last.
I don’t write about my children often. I love sharing pictures and amusing stories, but when it comes to anything serious I was always conscious of coming across as one of those people who either never shuts up about their kids, or would imply that a certain method of parenting is better than another.
But I’ve been asked by a few people to write something about my experiences with two children as opposed to one, and was running out of sarcastic excuses not to. So here goes.
I have two daughters aged 2 years and 4 months (Jess). And 4 months (Abby). Despite very little planning on either occasion, they inexplicably share the same birth date of the last day of September. So is having two much more difficult than having one? The short answer is both yes and no.
As a parent, it’s common to want to solve your children’s problems. Scraped knee? Easy to solve. Problems with some homework? Simple. Trouble playing a new game? Let’s play together. Solving problems is one of the main challenges in parenting – and also one of the most rewarding aspects.
However, it’s not always quite that simple.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve come to realise that my eldest son has a problem which I’m not sure how to solve.
Our house has been taken over by chocolate fever, and it shows no sign of abating. Sweeties are causing a rumpus, chewing gum has elicited gasps of excitement and you can’t even imagine the delights caused by gobstoppers…
It’s not the Christmas leftovers that are driving my children mad, though – it’s a lot more exciting than that. It’s a book. A papery, old-fashioned, 30+ year old book.
Yes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has worked its magic on another generation of children, and I couldn’t be happier. Let me explain why…
With the big day fast approaching, and a trip to see Father Christmas still not ticked-off our seasonal ‘to do’ list, my wife came across an interesting new option last week. It seemed to fulfil all the criteria: a fun day out, a chance to meet the big man and do some other Christmassy stuff, plus it took place at one of our favourite locations.
And so we found ourselves at Legoland Windsor to experience their “Christmas Event”. And boy oh boy were we glad that we did.
Story time at our house is often a source of inspiration for my blog. The other night was no exception! With bath time done and dusted, we sat down to read the usual stories before bedding down for the night. Rather than pick one of the more ‘modern’ offerings on the shelf, Freddie opted for an old copy of “Fairytales for children” – a book I’d not read them before, though the stories it contained were all familiar.
The story he chose was Jack and the Beanstalk – a story which I’d never given much thought to, but which it now occurs to me has absolutely NO positive morals to it.
I didn’t mean to. I had intended to create a reward program which would be mutually beneficial to both him and us, his parents. I wanted to reward him for doing something which will be good for him, will encourage him to try new things and step out of his comfort zone. And I wanted to make mornings – a frantic affair in our household – slightly easier for the whole family.
This story starts back in the Spring. Whilst playing in the park with the other children looked after by our child-minder, Robert began to show a real interest in football. We’d often pick him up in the evening to be greeted with tales of games they’d played, what positions he enjoyed playing in and how many goals he’d scored.