Here’s one secret to succesful parenting – Hayley Matthews

All parents are going to have moments like I did the other week when rocking up late to the school office my son Harris announced that it wasn’t his fault, and that we were late because “mummy was constipated”. Yes if you don’t laugh you’ll cry.

Friday, 15th March 2019, 10:23 am
Updated Friday, 15th March 2019, 10:32 am
Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd launches the Scottish Governments Parent Club campaign with parents and pupils from a school in Glasgow. Picture: Martin Shields
Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd launches the Scottish Governments Parent Club campaign with parents and pupils from a school in Glasgow. Picture: Martin Shields

I did laugh that morning with a beetroot face (not from the squeezing). However, there are times when I’m ready to explode, pushed to my limits and when all rational thought is out of the window, so it’s been timely for me to be working on an exciting project supporting the Scottish ­Government’s Parent Club.

I really like the values of the Parent Club, which aims to inspire and ­support us wonderful parents to ­interact more with our kids by offering ideas and tips which have been tried and tested by other parents.

It also offers support and advice for anyone with young kids looking to have a happy and healthy family. I struggle to keep Harris, my seven-year-old, entertained without a screen or computer and know all too well that the secret to successful parenting sometimes feels as elusive as the ability to ride a unicorn. But I really do feel more confident as a parent after using some of the website suggestions. Believe me, from a new mum-of-two who struggles to keep her lid on at times, this is quite an achievement without a magic wand.

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I find it a constant challenge thinking of free fun stuff when I’m up to my eyes in washing and ­constantly wiping bottoms or cooking fish fingers, so it’s a bonus to discover that the club is free. I’ve never spent so much money on bum wipes and shoes in my life, so anything free is welcomed in our household.

I try my best to stay a calm parent, but like anyone who spins plates whilst looking after a family, I’m often overwhelmed. Add in a few eye rolls, topped off with a meltdown and BOOOM! The fireworks are off! I have to stop sometimes to remind myself that kids are just being kids. It’s on occasions like this that I need reeled back to being a calm, patient and understanding parent.

I’m enjoying the boredom buster section of the website, which has been really helpful with this cold weather, suggesting tips for strategies when stuck indoors. I’ve also had Harris involved with cooking at meal times.

His scrambled or “strangled eggs” as he calls them are better than mine and I am finding that simple ­little wins have really helped me feel a lot more able to cope with the many parenting hurdles throughout the day.

As I hear a lot of people say, “a happy parent, means a happy ­family”. It also means a lot less wine consumed. I’m really excited about joining in on the part of the parent club site where parents can exchange tips with each other. I might not have much in the way of a contribution, apart from singing the praises of the distraction technique. However, I will be reading and trying out all the tips.

The best one I’ve discovered so far is for after school hyperness and is called “Jump to the beat”. It comes as a good reminder that keeping kids busy needn’t cost any money. Basically, put some music on, dance around, and get your kids to count out different actions with you in time to the music. Simple yet highly entertaining.

It really is all too easy to just put the TV on and not interact. Thank you Parent Club for some incredible advice and a hello to all the parents on the site. I’ll be a regular reader of all your tips on how to win at parenting. Oh, and in the meantime, if anyone finds my magic wand could you let me know please?