Win a Marks and Spencer Festive Christmas Hamper

Parenting is Stressful Win this amazing Marks and Spencer Hamper to help you manage the stresses of Christmas Planning

With Christmas right around the corner it is the perfect time to start thinking of maybe a little Christmas tea party to enjoy. I have teamed up with some UK bloggers to bring you this amazing giveaway.

This prize is M&S Christmas Tea in Mayfair hamper.

So hold onto your kettles! There are plenty of ways to enter, simply scroll down to the Rafflecopter widget below to see the options. You will also see the terms and conditions below as well as all of the blogs taking part – please do take a moment to visit them to show your support to them. 

Bloggers Taking Part

Here is a list of all of the bloggers taking part in this giveaway – please show your support by visiting them.

Blog Bay Bee | Not got a Clue | Sit and Take in the View | Money Making Mummy | Brig Knows Best | Fully Money | Make a Little Money | Touch of Wellness | Diet Exercise Lose Weight | Online Life Calendar | The Finance Fettler | Doing the Impossible | Positively Eco | The Heaton Fam | Good Life and Mind | Weddings and Wishes | Feli Family | Schoolhouse Cinema

She’s Changing Lanes | Make Money Online Creative | Photographyish | Sahara Vibes | Celtic Tigress | Forever Home | Eric Ales | Mum’s Guide to Life | Keene on Saving | Home and Garden Things | The Green Purpose | Make Money Blogging Now | Crafting Her Joy | Our Life Interrupted | Skylark Virtual Services | Home Town Furniture | The How to Heroes | Wow Gift Creations | Mudpies and Rainbows | The Parenting Insider | Thrifty Husband | Mrs Pinch

Blogger Creations | Harley Smith | Surviving with Coffee | The Blogging Portal | Spiritual Life Learning | Big Boys Cry | Sporf | Image Premiums | Live Life Love | Birds and Lillies | Journalist Book | The Way up Fitness | Cheat Planet | Cotswold Lifestyle | Mental Health Parent | Ellis Denning | Frugal and Fun | Blog Masters | 911 Blog | Bake More Cake

Inhome Insights | Craving Christmas | Lifestyle Saving Techniques | Insequiral | Ecoralive | Have a Fab Day | Mrs Money Pot | Wake up it’s Monday | Money Matters UK | Mortgages After 60 | Gonna Get Wed | Lifestyle of a Londoner | Manifest with Loa | Active Gardening | Skinny Spending | Discount Days Out | Gin and Gemini | Joyful Bite | Lula Grace | The Family Cookbook | Madam Blunt | Steely Soft | Interior Design Toolbox

Blogging 101 | Savvy Squirrel | Paper Writing | Pots of Pennies | Trust Nature | Full of Wishes | Life with More Sparkle | Balance the Budget | Guide to Health and Fitness | Money Money Money Online | Green Northerner | The Free From Mummy | Kitchen Recipe Book | Binancially Inclined | The Green Shilling | KiddoCo | The Life we Built | Annie Grace | The Thrifty Princess | Crafted with Perfection

Make Enough Money | Thrifty Minimalist | Lydony | A Little Life of Lovely | The Good Life in Somerset | Live it Your Way | Better Best You | Christmas Ahoy | Pounds and Pennies | Amaze Ball Gamer | All Sorts of Jazz | Lisa Cooking | Frugal Home Project | Dotranker | SEO Gold | Nishiv | Vegan Book | Mums the Wurd | Valid Articles | Houston Marcha | Citas Planet | Doggie Attitude

The Prize

This prize is M&S Christmas Tea in Mayfair hamper.

This includes:

  • 6 all butter mince pies (334g)
  • Classic Panettone (100g)
  • Clementine & cranberry Bucks Fizz (75cl) (Alcohol Content- 4%)
  • Luxury Gold tea tin (10 bags)
  • 8 Chocolate & orange cookies & cream biscuits (176g)
  • Classic recipe iced Christmas cake slices (240g)
  • Hand decorated fudge chocolate yule log (495g)
  • All butter shortbread trees (100g)
  • Grey wicker hamper

Terms and conditions

1. There is one top prize of the M&S Christmas Tea in Mayfair Hamper.
2. There are no runner up prizes.
3. Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding all bloggers involved with running the giveaway
4. Closing date for entries is midnight on 23.11.2021
5. The same Rafflecopter widget appears on all the blogs involved, but you only need to enter on one blog
6. Entrants must log in to the Rafflecopter widget, and complete one or more of the tasks – each completed task earns one entry in the prize draw
7. Tweeting about the giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget will earn five bonus entries into the prize draw.
8. 1 winner will be chosen at random.
9. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date and will need to respond within 28 days with their delivery address, or a replacement winner will be chosen.
10. The winners’ names will be published in the Rafflecopter widget (unless the winner objects to this).
11. The prizes will be dispatched within 14 days of the winner confirming their details. In this giveaway’s case prizes will be dispatched from 15th December.
12. The promoter is Drew Media LTD t/a www.MakeMoneyWithoutAJob.com
13. By participating in this prize draw, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions

Enter now

Simply complete any or all of the Rafflecopter entry widget options below to be entered. You can also tweet about the giveaway daily to earn bonus entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fun Tips to Help Children Learn their Spellings

Girl Writing in a book

Fun Tips to Help Children Learn their Spellings

A step by step guide to teaching children how to spell

Teaching children how to spell is not as easy as it sounds. Teaching them how to spell correctly can be a challenge, but it does not have to be. These 5 tips will help you teach your child how to spell with ease whilst having some fun at the same time.

1) Use repetition, repetition, repetition.

2) Ignore minor mistakes-correct them later on.

3) Create a personalised spelling list that they are interested in and that will also help them learn their spellings.

4) Bring spelling into life by linking words with everything around you.

5) Variety is key-spellings are not all the same!

When it comes to learning spellings, it can be like pulling teeth to support our little ones. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. 

Back in the day, your parent would read out the word, perhaps telling you a sentence to give you context, and then you’d be expected to either give each letter of the word or write it down. That approach does not work for many children, so have a go at the following fun ways to practise spellings, and you should encounter less resistance. 

Mnemonics

The word mnemonic itself is tricky to spell. However, the thought behind the strategy will certainly help. Mnemonics help children (and adults) to remember difficult things, including spellings, such as because – big elephants can add up sums easily. Using your child’s spelling list, create some fun mnemonics together and illustrate them, placing them around the house to see them regularly. 

Ransom letters

Forget throwing out the catalogues and leaflets that come through the door daily. Instead, keep them and put them to one side for this fun activity that will have your child engaged. First, tell them the spelling word they need to spell and then, using the printed material, get them to cut out letters, creating the words, resulting in a ransom letter of their spellings. It’s a lot of fun and gets them to think carefully about the order of the letters, too. 

Magnetic letters

There is another use for the magnetic letters than simply leaving insults for your partner. In fact, their intended purpose was for younger children to experiment with creating words and sentences. So, why not tell your child the word and get them to spell it? Even better, ask them to incorporate it into a sentence.

Missing letters

The English language is a peculiar and nonsensical one at times. Many vowel sounds are actually a schwa (almost a grunt of a sound and shorter than a typical short vowel sound). Think of the word ‘chicken’ – it can be difficult to determine that the final vowel is an e because it is a schwa sound. Write down some of the spelling words on a piece of paper or a whiteboard and ask your child to complete it. 

Sticky notes

Choose one of the spelling words and write them down a letter at a time on sticky notes. Then, present them to your child in random order. They should look carefully at the letters and rearrange them into the correct sequence, spelling the desired word. 

Run and grab

For this activity, you will need flashcards with letters A to Z on them. I prefer to have them printed in A4 size, then spread them over the floor in a large area. Next, tell your child one of their spelling words. They should then run, grab the first letter, show you and place it back down, repeating until they have spelled the entire word. This fun, active way of practising spellings is excellent for using up pent-up energy, too.

How to Help Your Child’s Mental Health for World Mental Health Day

How to Help Your Child’s Mental Health for World Mental Health Day

Yesterday was #World Mental Health Day. I decided to write this blog post at a difficult time with my daughter. I wanted to think about how even being the best possible parent a child or young adult can so easily fall through the gaps into poor mental health.

Parenting is hard, but one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do. We all want to give our kids the best life, but sometimes this means working on their mental health.

One Step at a Time!

Take it One Step at a Time.  If you have just one day left with your child before they leave home- watch them closely and look out for any warning signs that something may be wrong.

Here are some tips to help parents raise children with good mental health.

1. Make sure your child is well-connected to other people, particularly family members and friends. This will increase their self-esteem.

2. Encourage your child to be involved in activities they find enjoyable, both at home and out in the community. This will give them an outlet for building self-control skills while also providing meaningful connections to others who are engaged in the same activity.

3. Emphasize the positive attributes of your child’s personality that they can develop into strengths or hobbies that they can enjoy for a lifetime; this will make them feel more confident about themselves and make them feel good about themselves when they do something well or complete a task successfully, which boosts their self-worth and satisfaction with life

Parenting is one of the toughest jobs you can do. It’s a job that has been taken on by millions of caring adults around the world. But because it’s such a complex task, not everyone knows how to do it right or what to do when things go wrong. To be honest there is no right or wrong because no child or parent is the same.

That’s why we have outlined here some great tips for parents who want to help their kids develop emotional intelligence and become more self-aware.

Know your child inside and out

We know that all children are different and that you can’t treat them all the same way, but there are certain things that they all need from their parents to grow up happy and healthy. Understanding your child will help you know which parenting strategies will work best for them.

As a parent, emotional intelligence is the most important skill that you can teach your child.

Children learn from their parents and emulate the behaviour that they witness. Be mindful of this and maintain your composure in difficult situations. This is one of the most important ways to teach kids how to deal with their emotions and maintain control in difficult moments.

It’s not easy to be a parent and sometimes we feel like we need reinforcements when it comes to parenting advice or coping with our own emotions when we’re dealing with our children’s behaviour. It’s important that we continue to take care of ourselves so that we can be better for our children when they need us most.

Understanding emotional intelligence in children can help with parenting.

Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs that anyone will ever have to do. They are tasked with teaching their child how to behave, how to be a good person, and all the life skills that they will need to live successfully in society. And it is an ever-changing job as their kids grow and learn new things every day. One of the most important things that parents need to teach their kids early on is emotional intelligence.

It’s not just about being able to read other people’s feelings, but also being able to understand your own feelings and how they affect others around you.

As parents, we always want to do our best to keep our children safe and happy. One way of doing this is by understanding them better. This article will provide some parenting tips for kids and emotional intelligence in children.

Talking to your child about mental health and the importance of self-care is a difficult topic. But it’s important to have this conversation because children will grow up and learn more about mental health as they get older. It is their responsibility to know how to take care of themselves and it’s our responsibility as adults to teach them the basics.

If you want your child or teenager to understand mental health, you need to talk about it in a way they can relate to and at a level, they can comprehend. They might not be able to focus on long explanations, so keep it simple and talk with them often instead of only when the topic comes up naturally between you two for example.

Mental health affects everyone differently, which means that we all need different solutions for self-care.

When you’re a parent, it’s your job to teach your children how to survive in the world. You don’t just teach them how to live or what to do when they grow up, you also teach them how they should feel. But there are some things that are more difficult for kids of all ages.

Talking about mental health is one of those things.

It can be hard for parents and educators to know the best way to talk about mental health with their kids. But you are not alone!

Talking to your child about mental health is important. You should do so with sensitivity, understanding, patience, and empathy.

The first step is deciding how you want to approach the conversation with your child. It might be enough for you to reassure them that they are not alone, but if they need more help or support then it’s important that you offer them advice on what they can do next.

The main factors that influence the child’s emotional intelligence are genetics and experiences. So parents need to understand what helps their children develop emotionally intelligent behaviors and try to provide those things in their environment.

How Playing Games can Manage Stress and Anxiety

What is Stress and How can Gaming Reduce it?

With the current state of technology, we need to find ways to reduce the amount of stress we feel. Gaming is one option for reducing stress and is particularly popular with those who are prone to anxiety, depression and social phobias such as Autism.

The main benefit of gaming as a stress reliever is that it provides distraction from whatever causes us anxiety or causes us stress. We can also choose whatever form of gaming we like, be it mobile games on our phone or console games in front of a TV. All forms of gaming can provide hours worth of distraction from a stressful situation without any additional cost other than time. There are plenty of free gaming sites online you do not need a console just a tablet or desktop/ laptop pc. My Son loves Minecraft .

Gaming also has a secondary effect on our brains where it stimulates the brain’s reward system, which makes us feel good about ourselves and allows us to feel less stressed about

As a parent of teenagers many love technology and specifically gaming. We worry about screen time, we set rules and make them have screen downtime. However have you ever considered gaming might actually be a good thing sometimes.

My Son is autistic he has always preferred screens to people. It does not have to be a problem. Yes being autistic  means he is not always socialising . We encourage him to be social as much as possible. However this can sometimes become too much if you have ever been around a child/teenager in full meltdown mode . I am telling you now it is not fun its stressfull and challenging. An autistic child can suffer sensory overload being in busy social situations. Gaming can help reduce that anxiety and calm you down. Some  of my sons favourite games are Tetra Blocks and Pac Rat. He really loves retro gaming he still has and uses a PS1. In Pac Rat your Rat eats cheese but need to avoid the cats.

Gaming is a way to relieve stress.

It’s not just about playing video games. Playing any game can be good for your health, whether it be an app on your phone or a board game with friends. There are many ways to enjoy gaming and all of them could be considered as leisure activities. We love some of the games here. We also love that you get a little history about gaming. There are educational games too which my older teenage daughter liked.

One common misconception about gaming is that it’s all about violence and gore. That isn’t true at all; there are plenty of games out there that focus on the lighter side of life and even world peace.

The potential for gaming to promote mental health is a notion that is increasingly being explored. The video game industry has been trying to tackle the stereotypes of gamers being unhealthy and isolated. Even if you are over 40 you can still play games.

While no conclusive evidence can establish a direct link between gaming and mental health, there are certain aspects of gaming that have been shown to be beneficial to human psychology. So next time your child is displaying challengiing behaviour gaming might not be such a negative option.

A Parents Guide to Outdoor Play

A Parent’s Guide to Outdoor Play

Having an Autistic Son has meant we needed to help him socialise getting outdoors was crucial  to his social development.

Outdoor play has been declining for years, but maybe the pandemic can help turn things around. Children and adults are spending more time outside, where the risk of infection is lower compared to indoor spaces.

 

However, there are many more reasons than that to get your kids out of the house. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children play outside as much as possible. They even urge doctors to prescribe playtime as part of wellness visits.

 

Things may be headed in the right direction, but there’s a long way to go. Many families with preschool children don’t go outside to walk or play on a regular basis.

 

Help your family enjoy greater happiness and health. Learn more about the benefits of outdoor play and how to integrate it into your daily life.

 

Benefits of Outdoor Play:

 

  1. Increase physical activity. Children move faster and burn more calories when they’re outdoors. They also form habits that can help them manage their weight and reduce their risk for heart disease and other conditions linked to sedentary lifestyles. These habits can support strong health throughout their lifetime.

 

  1. Promote learning. Research shows that children are more attentive after recess. Playing outside sharpens thinking by providing sensory input that helps link body and mind.

 

  1. Connect with nature. Green spaces give us energy and brighten our mood. As your child builds their self-esteem and confidence, they may also become more interested in protecting the environment.

 

  1. Make friends. Any unstructured playtime is an opportunity for your child to practice their social skills and interact with their peers. They learn how to share and negotiate.

 

  1. Manage stress. Are you concerned about how the pandemic is affecting your child’s mental health? Outdoor activities can help them deal with confusion, fears, and loss.

 

Strategies for Increasing Outdoor Play:

 

  1. Limit screen time. Children aged 11 to 14 spend an average of 9 hours a day in front of a screen, according to the CDC. You’ll have more time for other things if you limit devices to 1 or 2 hours.

 

  1. Play games. Team sports provide many benefits, but kids need unstructured play too. Toss around a frisbee or jump rope.

 

  1. Create art. Set up an easel or give your child a sketch pad they can carry around. Assemble sculptures using sticks, rocks, and other natural objects.

 

  1. Grow plants. Start a vegetable or flower garden in your backyard. If you’re short on space, see if there’s an opening at your local community garden. Many churches also welcome volunteers to help tend their plants.

 

  1. Splash around. Visit a water park or create your own attractions. If you’re not ready for a pool, you can still run and dance under the spray from your sprinklers or a hose. Maybe you can even convince your kids that washing your car is fun.

 

  1. Pack a picnic. Dine on the grass. Pack a basket and blanket for your next trip to a state park. Serve takeout or your own cooking on your patio for a family meal.

 

  1. Walk your dog. If you need to be reminded to schedule time outdoors, you can count on your dog. For kids who are animal lovers but can’t have pets, you could try a bird feeder.

 

  1. Contact your school. Many schools have cut back on recess periods despite studies showing that this may lower academic achievement. Let your local officials know that you support safe opportunities for kids to take a break outside. 

 

Outdoor play is essential for your child’s physical, mental, and social development. Spend more time outdoors, where your family can connect with nature and each other.

How to Help an Autistic Child

Autism Facts

The Perception of Danger, Sensory issues, Finding Comfort in Repetition , Obsessions ,Anxiety, Feeling Excluded from Society, Caring for a Child with Autism

It’s important to remember that autistic people are not all the same. They have different needs and how we interact with them should change depending on what those needs are. One person might enjoy intense touch, while another might be bothered by it. My son loved tight hugs as a child.

Sensory processing disorder is a neurological condition that affects how the brain receives messages from the senses. Those who suffer from this disorder may experience certain sounds or smells as being too intense. This can lead to meltdowns and self-soothing.

An individual with sensory processing disorder can present at different ages and in different ways. There are no diagnostic tests for sensory processing disorder, yet there are some assessments that medical professionals can use to rule out other possible causes of behaviour or developmental delays. These assessments include: motor skills, cognitive development, social skills, hearing/vision, language skills, and reactions to temperature and pain.

Sensory sensitivities are the perception of sensory stimuli that are either too intense, not intense enough, or simply the wrong type of stimulation.

The key to helping someone with sensory issues is to understand what they need and offer it to them. If you’re talking to someone who has noise sensitivities, for example, reduce their noise levels by turning off the TV or radio or moving further away from traffic. If you’re talking to someone who has touch sensitivities and is getting overwhelmed by your hug, introduce yourself with a handshake instead of a hug.

There are many ways we can help people with sensory issues without being aware that they have them in the first place.

Early detection and treatment is imperative for children with speech difficulties. My son had speech and language difficulties which were picked up at his 2nd year health visit assessment.

Parents should be aware of how to identify early signs of speech problems. They can talk to their child’s doctor if they notice something unusual or they observe that the child is not speaking at the same age as other children from the same family. Speak with your health visitor as soon as possible. My own sons difficulties were picked up in this way.

Parents should also know how to identify early warning signs in a child with speech difficulties. These include:

– Refusal to speak or use words,

– Signs of hearing loss,

– Frequently turning head away when talking,

– Asking for repetition often,

– Hesitation and pauses in conversation,

– Difficulty following directions and understanding what others are saying

—How to deal with an Autistic meltdown.

This section focuses on the intervention steps for those who are experiencing a meltdown. A meltdown is a situation where an individual with autism loses control of their emotions and behaviour.

People with autism can exhibit many different types of behaviours that appear to be symptoms of a meltdown. Some common reactions include intense anger or panic, aggression, screaming, and any other impulsive behaviour. Sometimes these meltdowns happen because an individual is feeling overwhelmed by the sensory environment around them. Other times they may be triggered by an event like getting lost or waiting in line too long.

The first step is to identify triggers for the individual’s meltdowns in order to avoid them as much as possible in the future. Once they have been identified, there are techniques available to reduce their intensity and duration if they do happen

The best way to communicate with autistic children is through repetition and consistency of language.

In order to understand the autistic child it is important to be empathetic and understanding. The child will likely not have the ability to articulate their needs or frustrations, so it is important for the caregiver to read into what the child wants or needs.

I hope this blog gives you a better understanding about how an autistic child views the world and that you can better understand how to help a child or your own child. Having a child with Autism can be a challenge to your mental health and wellbeing. It is really important to get enough sleep. I find a weighted blanket can really help not only with your sleep but it can benefit an autistic child too. My son has one and has used it for years.