Professional family photography is something which has fallen to the wayside the last few years. But Dermot Murphy Photography in Belfast is determined to change how you think about getting the family snapped together.
I’ve gotten myself a little confused recently with all of the different products in my house. Have I reviewed this? Have I talked about this yet? This is the kid’s edition so you will find plenty of stuff to use on your little ones.
Raising money for charity is one of those things that I love. So when I heard about the Zamcog £2 challenge I had to take part. Challenge accepted!
Christmas time is a time for giving and Santa…..unless you do last minute shopping. Let me *present* you with an app for kids this Christmas.
Keeping your kids clean is one of those jobs that can be tough. Even the cleanest of parents can quickly find their bundle of joy a stinky mess. Never fear! The cosmetic companies of the world hear your battle cry against strange smells and stains. So, without any further holdups, here is empties from the bathroom, the kids edition.
Everyone at some point has thought about losing weight but for me it’s never about losing weight. It’s about being healthy. So when me and the rest of my brood were struck down with a stomach bug, I was pretty annoyed about being ill.
I was so excited to hear that you are taking such a pro-active approach to fix “Broken Britain”, especially seeing as you want to make children spend time with their absent parents. I wish you could hear the sarcasm in voice because that is by far the stupidest idea I have ever heard. Let me explain the harsh simple truth behind this problem- most of these “absent parents” are absent for a reason, because their kids don’t want to see them. For most people it has nothing to do with denying access, sure it happens, but if you ask most of these children why they don’t see the other parent, it boils down to not wanting to see them. And now you want to force children like my daughter to spend “quality time” with someone they hate. Nice one.
I had a shocking thought last week about how I say NO to everything. I say no to my kids, my partner, myself. I was driving along when my three year old starting asking me for juice.
“Juice mummy! I need juice!”
“No, you don’t need juice and mummy is driving.”
Wait, what? Did I just tell a three year old that they aren’t thirsty? How the hell would I know? I’m not him, he is the only one who knows that he is thirsty. So how dare I tell him that he wasn’t thirsty!
I had called at my friends house for coffee and had just sat down when she exploded at her step-daughter in a rage filled rant about wrappers so I decided to cut my visit short. I don’t normally back-up women when they lose their temper with their children but I felt she was justified on this occasion. For months she had been complaining to me about her step-daughters behaviour and how she doesn’t listen but the thing that drives her insane is when the young lady in question sticks food wrappers down the sides of the sofa. Between every cushion there where chocolate wrappers and crisp packets. The child knows not to do this. I say child, she’s 10 years old so she should have some common sense about her. But, still, after months of trying to drive it through her skull that it is unacceptable to do it, she keeps doing it.
As I watched my friend turn a funny shade of purple, I couldn’t help but feel smug. My daughter didn’t do things that, but I had trained her well. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t long ago that I was in her shoes. Screaming and crying at each other, blood pressure through the roof. I was really starting to lose my mind over some of the stuff my daughter was doing. My pet hate is snotty tissues on the floor, clothes on the floor, anything on the floor really. I don’t expect children to scrub floors and clean the chimney, but I do expect them to pick up their own stuff, not leave their shoes at the bedroom door for someone to trip over as they walk in to put washing away.
How did I get my daughter to go from pain-in-my-ass to golden child? I’m glad you asked. Bribery. Well, sort of. My daughter had be going on about doing chores and getting paid for it. She offered to wash the car, cut the grass, and other random things that I didn’t want her doing. Why would I let her play with the lawnmower when she can’t even pick up her socks? Then it hit me. I’ll make her do what she is supposed to and pay her for that. And the kiddie contract was born. It was nothing too difficult, just what we parents expect our kids to do. Just think of it this way, if a grown-up person who is employed and works gets paid in relation to their performance, then why shouldn’t we treat our kids the same?
- Pocket money shall be paid at the rate of £10 per week.
- In order to get this money, all tasks must be completed.
- The floor will be clear of rubbish. For every tissue, item of clothing, hair clip, etc, left on the floor, £1 will be deducted from the pocket money.
- Performance of homework will be monitored. For every % lost in results, 10p will be deducted. For example- 98% in homework, you lose 20p.
- Extra money will be paid in the event of outstanding achievement.
- Random acts of stupidity will lose you the full amount for that week, example- leaving your phone at your backside (it was expensive and you should take care of your stuff).
- £1 will be deducted every time a drawer is left lying open.
- £1 will be deducted every time you don’t shower.
As you can see, these are not difficult things, they are basic and they are things which should be easy for an 11 year old to do. The first week I put the contract in place she messed it up big style. 3 tissues were left on the floor, drawers were left open twice, and her homework scores were in the 80% range. She lost the entire amount when she lost her new phone after only having it for two days. It later turned up in the car but the fact remained that she had been careless and she lost her weeks money because of it. She must have thought I was going to be soft about it and pay her anyway but when I didn’t turn over the cash she knew it was for real. The following week she got no less than 97% in any homework’s or tests, her room was spotless, and she showered everyday. She put her washing in the basket, she even managed to earn extra by being shortlisted for an art competition. I may be £15 down this week but I haven’t popped a blood vessel.
It just goes to show, with the right motivation, children can achieve whatever they want to. The contract will be altered as time goes on to include boys, alcohol, and drugs but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I think I may have laid the foundation for a hard working young lady who can look after herself. Well, I hope I have, but only time will tell.
Children are expensive little items to say the least but this becomes more obvious at Christmas time. It’s not just buying your children gifts, you have to start buying their friends as well. My daughter has made friends with a few girls in her class and last night I found myself running out in the wind and rain for some late night shopping for a bunch of pre-teens that I’ve never meet. The end result was a shower gel set each which I’m sure they will probably hate. In a way I don’t mind doing this, to be honest I’m just glad my daughter made friends, but it was the expectations of my daughter that were the problem. I have never meet these girls but my daughter wanted me to spend a small fortune on stuff. Earrings, phone covers, sweets, and that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Christmas is not the only time. From children start to socialise and make friends, your money will start to bleed from your purse like it’s been attacked, repeatly. Birthdays are a horrible one when every parent seems to compete to get the birthday boy/girl the best gift. And most of the time, what is handed over is crap that said child will never use. It’s a sad truth that your hard earned money will go down the toilet on presents that no-one wants but in these situations you can’t not buy a gift. And it always has to be something “fun”. No child wants clothes from their friends, money as a gift screams “this parent has no time/imagination”, and useful things are not an option. But why not? There is a scene in Mermaids, the classic 80’s movie with Cher, when she hands out toothpaste and toothbrushes instead of sweets at Halloween, what an awesome idea! Why can’t we all give kids useful presents? I’m not saying that I should have gotten my daughters friends a box of tampons each….or maybe I should have? Let’s face it, getting that for Christmas would always stick in their minds.
In the end, I talked my daughter round to seeing things my way, which was “my money, I choose”. Like I said, I don’t mind buying a small gift for each if her friends but I refuse to buy them something expensive at every birthday and holiday. That’s just not happening. For now, she’s happy enough with what I picked out but you would be too if I had threatened you with a box of tampons as a Christmas present too.