Post Comment Love 29th - 31st March

Welcome back to another Post Comment Love with Stephanie and me. Link up your favourite post of the week any topic - I always look forward to reading something new. It's lovely to see you coming back each week, I can't believe how long we've been running this little linky but I do love it!

Friday again - and the last one in March! How fast is this year going?! It's LP's 10th birthday next Thursday - it's come around so fast! It seems just yesterday he was starting school and was a little firework. He's still a firework but he's so much more grown up now! Oh, and he's so eager to start High School - we've still got another year of Primary School but he's getting there.

BP is starting to be more sociable recently, which is quite a surprise. He's going out with friends, meeting them at weekends, and even inviting them to our house. Because he's just an indoor cat I am really surprised - it's made me wonder if he's got a girlfriend! It is lovely to see though, it's nice to know he has friends he's meeting and enjoying time with them.

I've had a quiet week, I'm still getting over my cough although it is slowly getting better. It's been nice not to feel rubbish and be able to get on top of the housework. I've been spending a little more time over on Instagram, and I've been chatting more on Facebook, which has been nice but I do feel a little busier than usual - if that makes sense? It's nice though, connecting with people.

I'm looking forward to next week, and then it'll be the Easter holidays so the boys will be home every day - eek!



Do you have anything planned for the holidays?




Blogger Showcase Davis from Everything Starts With Tea



Davis is a single parent to a little lady who blogs about a variety of topics, including parenting and self improvement, all of which reflect who she is because she's passionate about them. She describes herself as clumsy, empathetic, and loopy! To check out her answers to our Blogger Showcase questions hop over to Stephanie's blog.


Connect with Davis



Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts. 

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two. 

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.

Thank you for popping by.


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Helping your teen learn how to revise for GCSE

GCSE exams are the first tests your teens will be expected to properly "revise" for. They will have encountered tests before now - the SATs for example - but GCSE exams are really the first that will have an impact on their future. But when you've never had to revise before how are you expected to know what to do? This is a question I heard from BP recently, he's 14 and about to start taking Mock GCSE exams - which he's expected to revise for. Over the past few months I've been helping BP learn how to revise for his Mock GCSE exams in the hope this will put him in a good place for his GCSE exams.



Know when your teen's GCSE exams are


Whether you get a printout of their exam schedule or you have access to a timetable online make sure you, as well as them, know when the exams will be. This will help your teen plan their revision and be prepared for the next exam.



Help your teen plan a revision schedule


Planning out how much time your teen will spend, and when, they're going to revise is a good start. Sit down with your teen and help them plan out a revision schedule. Perhaps try assigning topics to days, like - every Monday it's Maths revision, Tuesdays for English, etc.

Helping Your Teen Learn How To Revise For GCSE | Organise the lessons into folders to keep track of revision notes.
Organise topics into folders to help your teen keep track of revision notes.


Timing is also key, as in how much time your teen spends revising. They need enough time to take it all in but they also need down time too. If they're spending hours revising ensure they put free time into their schedule.



Plan realistically


No one can put in a day at school, come home and do homework, then revise for 6 hours. It's too much. When they're planning their revision schedule help them see they don't need to be adding hours and hours of revision every day. 

Helping Your Teen Learn How To Revise For GCSE | Grab all the books you can, plan how much time they'll revise.


Let them know about family commitments that will impact their schedule, remind them of appointments they may have. Your teen is probably never going to want to spend all their time revising, nor should they.





Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.

Kofi Annan





Help your teen time revision sessions


It's easy to convince yourself you've done more work than you actually have. How many times have you been doing the household chores and thought you've been at it for hours only to look at your watch and realise you've only been cleaning for 30 minutes? Revision is exactly the same!

We encourage BP to keep a log of his hours spent revising, he has a spreadsheet with the date and "log in" and "log out" times so he knows exactly how much time he's spending revising. If he misses a couple of days it's easy for him to see how much he needs to catch up. 



Plan for breaks


Like I've said previously no one wants to spend all their time revising. It's an important time but that doesn't mean they should be spending all the hours revising. 

Helping Your Teen Learn How To Revise For GCSE | Give them time to relax as well as revising, it's important to take breaks.


Adding in breaks to your teen's revision schedule means they have something to look forward to. They can give their brains a break and step away from the revision, which will help with the stress too. 



Rules will help your teen with revision


Teens tend to not want to do the things they're meant to - come to think of it we all like to avoid the things we don't like don't we? But if they get the chance I'm sure your teen will avoid the revision for as long as possible. If you establish rules, make sure they know that you will enforce them, and STICK TO THEM, you'll make it easier for them.

BP has to do at least some revision every day, it could be that he spends 30 minutes one day but then an hour or two another day, but as long as he does some revision I'm happy. He knows that if the revision doesn't get done he won't get to play games or do other things he enjoys.

Don't just be rigid about revision time though, be the same for break times. If they're revising, and have been for hours, make them take a break. It's recommended they take a break every hour for at least 20 minutes. Make your teen a cuppa, give them a treat, or try to make it easier for them to take that break, it's a tough and stressful time so doing everything you can to make it easier will help them lots.



Establish a "revision spot"


If they have a desk in their rooms that's the perfect place for revision, but if not why not give them a spot where they can revise. It could be the corner of the dining table, or the end of the sofa, but make sure they have somewhere they always sit when revising. It makes it easier for them, and you, to adjust life and surroundings to help them out.

Helping Your Teen Learn How To Revise For GCSE | Give them a spot to revise and they'll thank you for it.
A spot they always revise, even if you have to give up your desk, will do them good.


I know that when BP is revising I keep LP out of the room so BP isn't interrupted. I make sure LP has stuff to do and try to give BP the time for his brain to focus on what he's doing. Revising in the same place all the time helps with recall too, it makes it easier to remember things when you're in the same place every time. 



Active vs Passive revision for GCSE exams


At 14 BP doesn't like to be told do anything, least of all revision, but I tell him daily to revise. When we first tackled this his idea of revising was to read through his exercise books, after a little reading he thought he was finished. Unfortunately because reading through an exercise book is "passive" revision there's very little chance that anything he read will stay in his head long enough for him to recall in during the exam. 

I sat him down to talk about the different ways he could revise that would be more "active" than "passive". At first he didn't understand that there are different types but when I explained that when you do something when revising you tend to better remember what you did. We talked about the different tactics he could use and he started a better routine. 

To start with he's typing out Key Points learned from a lesson and on each sheet he has to write in the important words he'll be expected to remember. This is really useful when it comes to science lessons because there are so many words he's expected to know.



What you can do to help


Aside from helping them learn how to revise you can also help them cope with the stress of the exams. When they're revising go easy on them, as much as possible. Make them drinks, give them treats, maybe even clean their room for them!





It is important for me to carve out time in my schedule to spend quality time with my family.

Belinda Johnson





Any help we can offer is bound to make things easier to cope with, and at exam time I'm sure our teens would be grateful - even if they don't say so!

Helping Your Teen Learn How To Revise For GCSE | It may be your teen taking the exams but you can help them too!




Have you helped your teen with revision?




Keep your younger kids occupied so your teens can revise by grabbing this Captured! colouring page, and you can enjoy a hot coffee while your kids colour in!

My Random Musings

It's okay to use your time on YOU!

A quick Google search for using time on you and you're given hundreds of results on how to schedule time for yourself after work. It seems like using your time on you is focussed on those that work, or organising your time so you have some "me time". But for those of us that stay-at-home while the kids are at school, like you and me, it's not about organising our time or doing something after work, it's about being able to use our time on us without feeling guilty about it. You need to know it's okay to use your time on you.



Feeling guilty for using time on me


The week before last I was very ill, I had flu. I spent the entire week sitting on my recliner, coughing, sneezing, and feeling generally rubbish. Monday to Friday I didn't step into the utility room to fill my washing machine, I didn't touch the dishwasher, and I barely cooked any food. I just couldn't do it, my aches and pains meant I could barely get up in a morning, never mind anything else. Yet I still dragged myself out of bed to get the eldest up at 6:30am so he'd have time to shower before school. I still made breakfast for everyone. I still took LP to school. But once the morning rush was over and LP was at school I sat down and didn't move until pick up time. And I felt guilty the entire time.

It's Okay To Use Your Time On You | You get ill because you're run down, take time to rest and you'll feel better.
Lemsips, tissues, and lots of rest is what I needed.


I was sick, it's not like I was just lounging around because I felt like it, I couldn't do the things I would usually do. It was just too much effort. But I still felt bad for not doing the things. I felt guilty because the boys were eating oven meals all week. I felt bad for not being able to help with stuff. And when I walked into the kitchen and saw the chaos I felt guilty for letting it get like that.





Motherhood has been an exercise in guilt. 

Felicity Huffman




Do you see a common theme here?

I am blaming myself for it all.

Do you do that?


You're struck down with an illness and you blame yourself for not being able to keep up with the chores. You're feeling terrible, have a headache, aching bones, sneezing every few minutes, yet you still blame yourself when things don't get done. Why on earth do we do that?!?

It's Okay To Use Your Time On You | Stop blaming yourself when things don't get done - give yourself a break!
Look after yourself!


If our children were ill we would take care of them wouldn't we? We'd make sure they were looked after and had plenty of liquids. We wouldn't make them do their chores, we would let them sleep when they needed. So why don't we let ourselves do that?

As stay-at-home mums we take on a huge responsibility, we are there for our children and keep the house clean and tidy. We make sure everything runs as it should. We cook meals, we organise everyone. And we take EVERYTHING on our own shoulders.

So when our bodies decide it's time for a rest, when we've pushed ourselves too hard and too far and we're struck with flu or something similar, we still feel like we have to carry on pushing. We don't take it as a hint to slow down, we don't even try to rest. So our bodies make us do it. That's what happened with me - my body said "okay lady, it's time to rest!" and I really did have to rest.




But how do we convince ourselves it's okay to use our time to rest?


First of all it's a mindset thing - it is NOT your responsibility to keep everything going. Yes, you're a stay-at-home mum but it is not your job to run yourself into the ground making sure everyone else is okay. You need to look after yourself too.





Don't forget to tell yourself positive things daily! You must love yourself internally to glow externally.

Hannah Bronfman




Having kids at school all day doesn't mean you should spend the day cleaning. It doesn't mean you need to give yourself jobs to do just so you can tell your Hubby what you did all day. You need to start thinking about all the time you spend doing things for others, and allow yourself some time for you.

For example, here's my morning routine:

6:30am Get up, wake up BP and tell him to have a shower.
7:00am Make breakfast for me and Hubby
7:30am Get LP out of bed and tell him to get ready for school.
7:50am Supervise LP doing his own breakfast.
8:00am Clean up last night's dishes. Put the dishwasher on. Wipe down kitchen sides. Put the washing machine on. Do LP's packed lunch for school.
8:30am Take LP to school.

So, before 9am I have done loads of jobs and mostly for other people. The only time I spend on myself in a morning is the time I spend in the bathroom, and eating my breakfast.

It's Okay To Use Your Time On You | Set time aside for yourself after doing chores and use it on something you enjoy rather than something you have to do.
Get chores done, yes, but allow yourself to have time too!


Which is why I'm trying to feel less guilty about using time on me during the day while the boys are at school. 

Throughout the day I'll sort out the washing machine, put the dishes away, etc, but the majority of the day is spent on things I like to do - like blogging. And to be honest I don't want it any other way - I just have to work on feeling less guilty about it.



How much time do you use on you?


I want you to take a moment, either right now or a little later, and really think about how much time you spend on yourself. And I don't mean eating breakfast! I mean having a shower uninterrupted, I mean enjoying a hot coffee in peace, or even getting a shopping trip and buying a fancy coffee from an actual coffee shop! During your day how much time do you actually spend on yourself?

It's Okay To Use Your Time On You | Enjoy a coffee, indulge in some chocolate, and enjoy a peaceful moment.
Enjoy some quiet time!


When you've worked it out I'm pretty sure you'll find out that the majority of your day is spent looking after other people. And that's okay, as long as you're getting some time for you too. The time you do get for yourself is a GOOD THING. You shouldn't feel guilty for using it. You should relish the opportunity, you should plan something new, maybe even go to a spa for the day!

It's Okay To Use Your Time On You | Look after yourself, give yourself a break, use that time to have a coffee!


With all the things you do for others it's about time you told yourself it's okay to use some time on you!



How do you use your time on you?




Take a moment today to put the kettle on and make yourself a coffee, and to keep the kids busy while you enjoy that coffee HOT grab this Captured! colouring page.


Musings Of A Tired Mummy

Post Comment Love 22nd - 24th March

It's Friday again and that can mean only one thing - Post Comment Love is here! Join me and Stephanie in our weekly linky, it's great to see so many of you coming back week after week. I'm looking forward to seeing what you have for us this week!

Well this week I'm feeling much better - phew! I have to say last week was rough. It took me until Tuesday this week to feel better. I do still have a horrible cough but that I can cope with. I've got a stash of Strepsils and I'm drinking plenty so hopefully it won't last long.

It's been a quiet week, which I'm pleased about, it's allowed me to get back on top of housework and get the house looking somewhat normal again. It was only yesterday that I managed to get the kitchen looking okay. But again, I'm getting there.

Everything is else is back to normal too. Boys are at school, Hubby is working. I like it when things are quiet, it helps me think. Here's to a quiet weekend too!

Do you have a fun weekend planned?




Blogger Showcase Lois from Auburn Roe




Who are you?

Lois, a 21 year old female student from London, England.



How did you discover blogs/blogging?

I’ve always loved the idea of having a piece of the internet. From a young age I was always using social media and blogging sites such as Piczo and MySpace. I loved the creative freedom, and it wasn’t until about 10 years later that I realised people actually blogged for a living!



Why did you start blogging?

I was having a pretty rough time after starting university, and was tired of seeing this sugar-coated representation of university life on social media when I knew for a fact that those people weren’t always having the best time. I wanted those people to know that they weren’t alone and that university isn’t all that it is ‘hyped up’ to be. I wrote about my experiences and received such positive feedback that I just kept writing.



What do you find most challenging?

As a full-time student, it’s hard to push myself to create content regularly amongst my final year studies.



What is your favourite topic to write about?

Travel, for sure!



Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals?

At first it was just for fun, but after discovering that there were ways to monetise doing something I love so much like blogging, I made the decision to work towards making my blog a full-time business. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I believe that I can get there!



What is your favourite thing about blogging?

Sharing my experiences with people to inspire them to live their best life.



Have you ever attended a blogging conference, and if so, what did you think?

I haven’t, but I have recently been looking into them and as soon as I find one near by that I can attend, I’ll be there!



What are your 3 best posts?

Backed By Science: How To Start Achieving Your Goals Now

My Top 5: The Best Of Yosemite

6 Things To Do In Prague On A Student Budget



Describe yourself in 3 words!

Passionate, free-spirited, hard-working.



Are you a tea and biscuits or a coffee and cake person?

I don’t drink tea or coffee but I’m certainly a cake person!



What’s your idea of a perfect night out?

Eating good food and having deep chats whilst looking over the city.



Your perfect night in?

Candles, incense, yoga, watching a movie and eating chocolate cake.



What would your best friend/OH/mum or kids say is your best quality?

Not giving up and persevering. Picking myself up even when I feel low or can't do something.


Connect with Lois

Twitter



Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Lois and feel free to grab our featured badge and display it ever-so-proudly on your blog.


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Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts. 

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two. 

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.

Thank you for popping by.


Post Comment Love
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Organising And Accessorising Your Life

We all know that life isn’t always going to be as smooth as we’d like it to be. It all seemed so easy when we were youngsters and we had our parents doing everything – it was a piece of cake, in fact. It was all about enjoying ourselves and not having the faintest worry about any responsibilities that might be forthcoming. It was an overriding feeling of ‘everything will be alright in the end.’ Oh, how na├»ve we were!



We’re now at the point where we have an awful lot on our plates. We have work, we have personal issues, and we have other external factors that pop up out of nowhere. It can feel like an awful lot if we don’t have that level of calm and organisation to our game. We all want to have things arranged and assembled nicely in front of us, and it is possible to get things flowing and composed while adding a dash of your own flavour. It takes a little time and some effort, but let’s take a little look at the fundamentals. 



The House


If you’re not careful, you could end up living in a messy abode. It’s a normal and common thing to leave things lying around the house or go without a good clean for a while – due to forgetfulness or tiredness after hard weeks and months of work. The first step of organising and changing the home around is to declutter. You’ll then have a clearer vision of what needs to be done as well as a clearer, more peaceful mind. 



The Kids


When going to run amok, it can feel like the apocalypse. It happens in every household, though, so it’s not the biggest deal in the world! The best thing to do would be to write up a little routine for them. Set certain tasks for specific times, like bedtimes, meal times and play times. If you have a planned schedule for the family, then they may grow up with this kind of structure around them and that will only benefit them in years to come. It will also benefit you as you’ll be somewhat freer of stress (hopefully!) 




Work


Earning money and keeping a roof over your head is of great importance and you’ll want to make sure you have a healthy balance between work and home life. Again, creating a little plan or a timetable is a wonderful idea – having that systematic approach usually leads to getting things done on time. If you work from home, it’s a good idea to create a workspace for yourself. If you have a little home office, it gives you more of a boost to get things done as opposed to sitting on the couch or the bed. Having a little room for you to work in also helps as you’ll probably need extra details and information – they can be kept here. 



The Garden


Much like the house, your garden will need looking after if you have one. Everybody knows that the grass grows quicker in the summer, so make sure you have the lawnmower ready and functioning correctly! If you have little ones, you might want to have some playthings scattered around for them, like a trampoline, a slide or a jungle gym. 



Your Car


It’s something that is super important to your everyday life. We all need one nowadays in order to get essential things done. You’ll want to keep on top of the maintenance of your car, as you’ll need to be aware of how safe it is to use – you don’t want to be involved in anything scary. It would be best to keep the boot organised, too, as you might have trouble if everything’s a big mess. When everything’s sorted, there’s no reason why you can’t add extra features. People like to have custom number plates so that they never forget it – you can click here to search for a personalised number plate if you feel that would be a good idea for you. People also use a satellite navigation gadget to help them get around unknown parts. 



Hobbies


Finally, life isn’t all about the stresses and strains that need to be solved! You need to make time for fun. Like we mentioned before, as robotic as it sounds, it would be a good idea to make room for hobbies and such by planning things out – if things are hectic, that is. If you want to get away from the kids for a few hours, you can also get in touch with a childminder and work something out with them. 

Collaborative post

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone To Where All The Good Stuff Happens!

We all have a comfort zone for a reason. It’s our safe space where we retreat to whenever we feel slightly scared or insecure. If it were up to most of us, it’s where we would stay for the majority of the time. However, when we do stay in this comfortable zone, it can be all too easy to end up stagnating. It’s true that not much good will come from staying in your comfort zone, and you won’t be able to grow and develop as an individual. There just won’t be the opportunity to do so.



So, it’s important that you try to push yourself out of your comfort zone as much as you possibly can. This won’t be easy to do, especially to start with, because of all the difficulty associated with trying new things. But the benefits of trying new things and facing exciting opportunities will make it all very much worth it.

If you want to try to push yourself out of your comfort zone more, you should try these following tips.



Tell Yourself Positive Affirmations


One way to feel better about moving out of your comfort zone is to try to change the way you think about it. Rather than dreading it being a potentially very hard and negative thing to do, you should instead frame it as something more positive. You can do this by telling yourself positive affirmations, which are statements that can help you overcome your negative thoughts. So, for instance, you could tell yourself “I can do this!” or “I will be a better person for doing this!”. Eventually, once you have told yourself plenty of positive things, you will eventually start to think that way without being prompted to.




Think About The Times Being Out Of Your Comfort Zone Has Been A Success


I’m sure there will have already been plenty of times when getting out of your comfort zone has been an entirely positive experience for you. It’s important that you remember these times, as they could prove to be very inspiring to you. When you think about all the times that moving out of your comfort zone has had a very positive effect on you, you will probably be a lot more inclined to try again. This is a great way to inspire yourself!



Travel More


Did you know that traveling more can really help to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone? When we travel, it’s the perfect chance to experience new cultures that will seem completely foreign to our own. Exploring these different cultures will certainly be putting you out of your comfort zone however you won’t realize it because it will feel so fun and exciting! If you visit a country that speaks a different language, you will find that this barrier pushes you further out of your comfort zone even though you might not realize it. If you aren’t too sure where to go to, you might want to travel to less well-known beautiful movie locations. You’ll be able to see some of the locations from your favorite movies but, as they aren’t such popular locations, you won’t have to deal with crowds of tourists!




Turn Trying New Things Into A Habit


Moving out of your comfort zone will come a lot easier to you if you practice it a lot more often. So, it’s worth trying to turn it into a habit. Why not make yourself break out of your comfort zone once or twice a week? At first these situations might feel quite strange and awkward but over time, the more you follow this habit, you will find that stepping outside of your comfort zone will become a lot easier for you to manage. You might even look back and wonder why you found it so difficult in the first place!




Take Baby Steps


Don’t ever underestimate how difficult stepping out of your comfort zone can be - it can be very tough at times! But if you use all of the steps in this blog post, then you will start to find that it gets quite a bit easier. The key is to not making it too difficult to start with. Ideally, you need to take baby steps and build up to bigger challenges that see you leave your comfort zone.

Hopefully, these steps will help you get used to stepping out of your comfort zone. You will be amazed at how many great benefits are waiting for you once you leave it!

Collaborative post

How to break your kid's screen addiction

The other day, while the boys were at school, I walked into my lounge and was shocked at the sight. Our coffee table was filled with empty, or half empty, glasses, plates covered its surface and there were crumbs and food bits all over the floor. Turning my back on the mess I wandered back into the kitchen, there was space above the dishwasher for extra plates and glasses so I didn't know why they hadn't been taken out. Then I walked into my eldest's "area" (it's an open plan room next to the kitchen) where I spied more glasses and plates on the floor. 

I didn't pick up the dirty plates or glasses. 



Teaching my boys about consequences


As a stay-at-home mum you might think why. Why didn't I just collect all the things and put the dishwasher on? Well, it's a matter of principle you see. In our house there's a rule for the boys - as long as their homework is done, and chores are completed, they are allowed to play games. Can you guess which bit they're choosing to ignore?

How To Break Your Kid's Screen Addiction | A tidy lounge is great, when they're not playing games and doing chores instead!
This is what my lounge should've looked like!


Yep - the chores.

I do my chores every day - if I didn't the house would be shocking, there'd be no clean clothes for anyone, and to be honest I'm not sure I want to live like that. So is it so unreasonable to ask my boys to do their bit? I don't think so. At almost 10 and almost 15 they're old enough to be able to do things for themselves but also know that they need to help around the house too. 





I learned a lot when I was 14 and 15 years old doing chores inside and outside the household, and as a result, I grew up with a good work ethic.

Jack Kingston




So back to the story. I didn't pick up those dirty plates, I left them there all day while the boys were at school. It was in my head all day, I kept saying to myself "why don't you just take them through and put the dishwasher on, it'll only take 5 minutes and then the house will be tidy". But I didn't. Or rather, I almost did once until the Hubby said "Don't do it." and then I left them. So, I waited for the boys to get in from school.

As usual they came in and got changed, they got on with homework. And then they asked about games. And I said no.

No justification. No arguing. Simply "No".

Cue the complaints, the stomping around the house. The strops are epic when I refuse to let them play their games. They think I'm being Evil Mum again and that it's all unfair.

How To Break Your Kid's Screen Addiction | LP's messy bedroom after he'd ignored his chores for a few days.
This is LP's bedroom after he'd ignored his chores for a few days. 


Once they had calmed down I pointed out all the glasses and plates. I showed them the empty dishwasher. And within about 20 minutes both my boys had done ALL of their chores and were asking about games again. 



It's all about the rules


My answer was no again and they didn't understand why.

So I explained.

We have a rule in our house (yes, another one) - if they don't do their chores one day, then the next day they don't get to play games. This has been a changing situation in our house for a long time. We didn't used to have this rule, but because the chores kept getting ignored we had to come up with another way to encourage them to do it.

Our rules include:

1. Homework, chores, revision to be done before any game playing/screen watching.

2. If homework/chores/revision doesn't get done, the following day is a no-tech day.

3. No-tech days are always on hand for disrespect or misbehaving.


Since screens and games play a large part in our kids' lives we decided we needed rules to ensure they thought about something other than the games they're playing. They need to learn that their actions have consequences and that they can't expect to be able to do the thing they enjoy whenever they like, especially if they've misbehaved.



Screen addiction, obese kids


There's been a lot of press recently about obese children, about screen addiction, and about the impact that games have on children.

First of all I will say I don't think my kids are addicted to their screens. I think they love to play games and watch TV, like all children, but it does not come ahead of everything else. I think if we didn't have our rules this would certainly be the case but because we are strict and stick to what we say our boys have learned that they can't do whatever they like. 

That said, last weekend we did a trial. We had noticed our eldest was watching a lot of movies and playing games during the day during the weekends. He was ignoring chores, playing games, and then when I mentioned chores he would say he was going out with friends. The chores got left. And off he went, probably to play games at his friends' house.

So we decided to try something new. We had a time limit on screens and games - for ALL of us. None of us were allowed to sit playing with phones or looking at screens until at least 3pm. Movies weren't allowed before 7pm. 

I tell you what, I never thought I was addicted to my phone (apart from the constant scrolling on Facebook and checking out Your Phone Reviews when I'm looking for a new one!), but I realised I'm in quite a routine at the moment. I'll wake in a morning, get up, make breakfast, switch the news on, and then pick up my phone. It was so difficult to not do that!

But here's the thing, it was a good day.

We got the house tidied. We played board games together. We went for a walk. LP built a fort. BP did some drawing. And the Hubby and I went for another walk later. It was a packed day, but not packed with games and tech, it was other stuff and actually I felt really good.

How To Break Your Kid's Screen Addiction | Get outdoors, go for a walk, and get your kids running!
Getting out and about did us all good!


We talked about it to the boys, asked them what they thought of the day. At first they said it was boring, but then they thought about everything they'd done and concluded that actually it was a really good thing and they wanted to do more of it.





The memories we make with our family is everything.

Candace Cameron Bure




As a family we've neglected playing board games recently - which used to be one of our favourite things. But since our trial at the weekend we've decided to get back to that. There's also the walking, which is not only good for our health but we get to go outdoors and enjoy the sunshine (when it's there!). Add to that the fact that LP is already deciding which old toys he's going to play with this weekend, and BP has been planning a writing project, and I think it's going to be a huge success.

How To Break Your Kid's Screen Addiction | Deer shading under a tree at Wollaton Park - something you could see on a walk.
Just one of the beautiful sights you could see on a walk!



If your kids are addicted to screens


First of all you need some rules. You can't be letting them look at screens whenever they feel like it. After all, you're the parent right? It's your job to teach them, to make them understand that in order to do the things they like, they have to do things they don't like first. 

  • I would start with introducing rules slowly. Talk to them about it first. Make them understand that if things don't change, then rules will come into place. 


  • Once rules are introduced - stick to them. No allowances. No get-out clauses. 


  • No tech in the bedroom. This is so important. My boys have lots of friends who have the consoles or keep their phones in their bedroom at night, and they also know that those friends suffer because of it. They show up to school tired. They don't get work done on time. We have no tech in the boys' bedrooms - it's simply not allowed. BP's phone is charged downstairs when he goes to bed, consoles are kept in the lounge. 


  • No screen time. Everyone has to have time away from screens - including you. So, like us, why not introduce a day, or even half a day, where you're all switched off from screens. Whether that's the gaming consoles, your phone, or the computer, step away from it all and enjoy family time together.


If you show your children that the rules don't just apply to them, it might be easier for them to see that it's a good thing. Talk to them about the addiction, about how it changes their behaviour, and admit to yourself as well as your children, that you need help with that too. 

How To Break Your Kid's Screen Addiction | Just a few rules could help you break your kid's screen addiction.


Like I said, our no screen time last weekend did us all good and I am so glad we did it. We had a lovely family day, our boys got to see us admitting we were doing something wrong too, and we all helped each other keep boredom at bay. 



Are you, and your kids, addicted to screens?




If you enjoyed this post you'll like Teaching your children about online gaming or if you're looking for ways to enjoy family time together check out Activities that will bring you together as a family.

Stop by Facebook and let me know what rules you're introducing to reduce your screen time.

And don't forget you can grab a Wonderful Winter Activity Book for your kids to do during their no screen time! There's colouring pages too, so maybe you could join in!


My Random Musings

Musings Of A Tired Mummy

Post Comment Love 15th - 17th March

Welcome back to another week of Post Comment Love where Stephanie and I welcome all bloggers to share their best or favourite post of the week. I love that our little linky allows any bloggers to share, I think it's so easy to get stuck reading the same kind of posts and having a linky where lots of different bloggers link up gives me a wide range of topics to read. Yay!

Well right now I'm sitting on my recliner feeling pretty rotten. It all started last Sunday, I had a niggly cough and after having LP being ill over the weekend I figured I was probably getting what he had. I didn't think that almost a week later I'd still be suffering. Monday I pretty much spent the day doing nothing. LP was off school because he was still ill and I was feeling awful, I even ended up having a nap in the afternoon - for 2 hours! Tuesday I was feeling a little better, the aches and pains had subsided, my cough was worse and the headaches were bad because of all the coughing but paracetamol took care of it. I was able to get a little housework done but I still spent most of the day sitting. I had started to think I was on the mend. Then Wednesday happened.

Wednesday I started sneezing as well as coughing. LP was back at school so I had to do the school run, all the way I was hoping I didn't sneeze while driving - I hate doing that. The sneezing was annoying, but again I figured it was just a cold on top of the cough. Wednesday night was rough. I didn't sleep much because my nose was blocked and running (how does that happen?!) and when I did sleep I woke up in cold sweats. So another day on the recliner on Thursday, and my aches were back too - yay. It's been a long time since I last felt like this, this flu is kicking my butt. It's not something I was expecting to catch.

The most annoying thing about it all is that I'd started to take it for granted that I didn't catch stuff anymore because the kids were never ill. Then LP got the sickness bug a few weeks ago and I managed to avoid that one - phew! But flue - yep, it well and truly got me. My head is pounding, I feel like my limbs weigh a ton, and I am unbelievably sick of sneezing and coughing.

As you can imagine I haven't got much else done this week, it's all been about getting over the flu - which is proving to be a lot more difficult than I expected. I'm hoping it doesn't last much longer. Keep your fingers crossed for me.



How has your week been?




Blogger Showcase Megan from Not Scared 


Megan is a 29 year old Canadian blogger who discovered blogging by reading other blogs. She describes herself as kind, motivated, and crafty, and her perfect night in involves pizza and Netflix - sounds good to me! To read more about Megan head over to Stephanie's blog where Megan is answering our Blogger Showcase questions.

Connect with Megan:

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Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

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Thank you for popping by.


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Being more YOU

Today I was going to write a post about getting a lie-in in a morning. About how being a mum is tough and you should give yourself time to chill out. It's actually National Bed Month this month so it would be the perfect time to encourage you to get that lie-in. But I wasn't feeling it. I mean let's face it, if you have kids there's very little chance of you getting a lie-in unless the kids aren't home. I'm rarely in bed after 7:30am and that's classed as a lie-in! Instead I wanted to talk to you about being more YOU, allowing yourself to be the real you rather than that person you put out there everyday hoping that you fit in somewhere.



Way back when...


Every day I feel like I'm getting to know myself more and more, and it makes me happy. But it hasn't always been this way. There was once a time when I felt so completely overwhelmed by everything that I put on a facade, a mask, to fit in wherever I was. I would smile and laugh when I knew I was meant to but I never really felt happy. I never let "me" out because I was afraid of the reaction I would get.





Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.

Helen Keller





I am an introvert. Very much so. I abhor nights out "with the girls", the thought of going out clubbing makes me shudder, even the idea that Hubby and I may get a chance to go out at a weekend doesn't fill me with joy - I'd much rather spend the evening at home doing what we both love - watching movies. I don't like being around lots of people at once, I don't like loud places, and I especially don't like strangers. Whenever we go into Nottingham for a shopping trip, or head to a family party, I breathe a sigh of relief when we get home. I'm drained by the effort. I feel that other people zap my energy and it takes a lot of alone time to get it back.

Being More You | Being an introvert doesn't mean you can't have friends.
I like to be by myself but that doesn't mean I don't want friends.


Okay, so I know I'm sounding like a bit of a hermit. But I'm being honest. That's me. I would much rather spend the day in my little office listening to music as I type away on the keyboard than heading out to a conference or even a meet up in town with friends. As I type I am at my happiest, the Hubby is downstairs working, the boys are at school, and I am in my little bubble.



Getting out there


Even though I want to spend every day in my room I don't want to be friend-less. I want friends. I want people to understand me. I want someone to say "You know what? ME TOO!". And that's why I'm writing this post - to be more "me" and let you know that it's okay to want to be on your own at the same time as wanting friends.

I have always held myself back, I don't reach out to people and then I wonder why I don't have many friends. It's obvious really isn't it?

Which is why I've started going to more effort, chatting online, putting myself out there more. Being honest. I don't have to put on a facade, but I do have to try. I do have to think about other people, and I do need to be nice to others. Not that I'm nasty to others but I don't generally go to much effort. 

It's the connecting with people that always scares me. I was never any good at making friends so connecting, especially online, feels more difficult. But I'm trying, I'm reaching out online, answering peoples questions and putting in more effort. I've realised I want the connections, I want friends, and I want to be able to help others.


Being more YOU

The point of this post is to help you see that you can be honest and still have friends. You can be you, you just need to be brave enough to do it. Whether you're a stay-at-home mum to school aged kids (like me), a working mum with babies, or not even a mum at all, being genuine with people and reaching out as the person you are will help them (and you) see you have something in common.





A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.

Yoko Ono





I recently interacted with people in a Facebook group, it's a group I've been a part of for a long time but never really spent any time in. I didn't think I would have anything in common with anyone. But over the weekend I spent some time responding to comments and chatting to other women in the group. And you'll never guess what happened? I made some new friends! Shocking right? All it took was for me to be honest and write about my opinions and people are suddenly saying they agree with me, and that they wish we'd met ages ago! It's so lovely to be able to connect with people you actually have something in common with, and even when you have kids of different ages, or your personal circumstances are different, there's still things you can agree on or have in common. 

Being More You | Show people who you really are!
Me enjoying chill out time with the Ice Gator at Blizzard Beach, Walt Disney World.


While it may be scary putting yourself out there, or reaching out to people, it can make such a difference. Being honest with the world and saying "this is me" is the only way you'll make genuine connections, and that's what we're all after in the end isn't it?

Being More You | Put yourself out there and you may find new friends!


I hope that in some way this post has helped you, whether that's to just nod along or give you the confidence to put yourself out there. And if it did give you the confidence to put yourself out there stop by Facebook and say hi!



Do you hide behind a facade or are you being more YOU?




If you liked this post you'll enjoy Stay-at-home mums - why we shouldn't be ashamed or if you're looking for ways to learn about yourself check out Take time to do something new for you.

Don't forget to stop by Facebook and let me know how you're putting yourself out there.

And you can grab the Organised Mama Pack to help you get organised so you have more time for you.