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The idea that started our journey to create simple, beautiful, helpful products that inspire wonder, joy and positivity in growing young minds.

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Our Autumn Books

Our Autumn Books
We're slowly coming to that time of year when drinking a sweet-scented mug of hot chocolate after a play in the park or curling up under a blanket and getting lost between the pages of a book become things we look forward to doing most. As the evenings start to shorten and the view from the sitting room window changes from green to deep black we have an innate urge to hibernate. Here are our top three autumn books for kids that we love to revisit especially at this time of year... Continue reading

Watermelon Ice Lolly

Watermelon Ice Lolly
We made these deliciously simple watermelon ice lollies over the summer. They're a great easy recipe to make with the youngsters. And on sweltering days were such a refreshing, healthy treat! Continue reading

Star Jumps

Star Jumps
Why doing 10 jumping jacks in the morning is really helpful for little ones starting their second week of big school when anticipation can turn to apprehension. Continue reading

Ode to Summer

Ode to Summer
I'm not great with endings. Thankfully David is the opposite. Change, in his opinion, usually signals growth and new beginnings. Continue reading

New Term. Fresh Start.

New Term. Fresh Start.
Just as we were falling into the summer rhythm of unstructured leisurely days it's now time to get everyone organised again - back to routine and 'Back to School'. Continue reading

10 Great Ideas to Keep Kids Occupied this Summer

10 Great Ideas to Keep Kids Occupied this Summer
What a fabulous Summer we’ve had! With only three weeks left before the new term begins we want to make the most of those long summer days, and bright balmy evenings. So here’s a handful of things to do over the next few weeks before it’s time to get everyone organised again and back to school. Continue reading

House Rules

House Rules

Right now I'm doing something that I hope will improve our everyday and curb some of the complaining, particularly from me. I'm writing out our house rules. I actually never thought to do this before.. writing out rules isn't very zen, and in our house of boys my overall goal at the moment is to achieve a certain amount of sereneness and calm in our home one day!

Here are some of our rules...

  • Take your shoes off at the door.
  • Empty your schoolbag when you come home from school.
  • Wash your hands before meals.
  • Sit at the table until everyone is finished.
  • Don't stand up from the table with food in your mouth.
  • No toys at the table.
  • No food in any other rooms of the house apart from the kitchen.
  • Clear your plate to the counter when you’re finished eating.
  • No standing or jumping on the furniture.
  • No throwing in the house. Ball games only allowed in the landing where nothing can be knocked over – or even better OUTSIDE! 
  • Tidy toys away when you’re finished playing.
  • No teasing. If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything. 
  • Be kind to each other. Use a kind voice when speaking to other people in our family.
  • Be polite. Remember your good manners. Always say hello and goodbye to people who come to our home. Always say please and thank you.
  • No fighting games first thing in the morning.
  • Remember all the rules of our home!

From the time the boys were very young each one of these rules has been told (ok, sometimes loudly told) time and time again and paradoxically they're ultimately for the purpose of everyone living in harmony. 

Another reason why I'm writing about this is because I often wonder why some of our rules are followed by the boys but others require huge amounts of reminding. Or maybe more to the point, why a certain rule is second nature to one but not to someone else.

I'm reading a book at the moment called 'The Four Tendencies' by best-selling non-fiction author Gretchen Ruben. It's not a parenting book and it's not a book about following rules, it's a book about personality types. In it she says 'In just about all situations framing expectations to suit the four tendencies can bring more co-operation.' 'In most cases when we try to influence others, we use the stratagies that would work on us. The four tendencies can help us, instead, to give other people what they need - not what we would need. And then we can work together more harmoniously.'

So from The Four Tendencies here are the personality types..

  1. Obliger- "You can count on me, and I'm counting on you to count on me" Meets outer expectations, resists inner expectations.
  2. Questioner- "I'll comply-if you convince me why" Resists outer expectations, meets inner expectations.
  3. Upholder- "Discipline is my freedom" Meets outer and inner expectations.
  4. Rebel- "You can't make me, and neither can I" Resists outer expectations, resists inner expectations.

Definitely without a doubt we have two questioners, I'm including my husband here! And possibly, like me, two obligers, could be an upholder though. As Gretchin Rubin says it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact tendency of children.

Questioners want justifications.

Obligers need accountability.

And in case we do have an upholder... Upholders want to know what should be done.

So in the case of our questioner, a way to phrase the 'Tidy toys away' rule.. would be instead of saying "Put those blocks away!" which is a very direct command expecting him to meet my expectations, "Those blocks need to go on the shelf so they'll be easy to find when you want to play with them next time". This has been changed to a clear command with the reason why the blocks need to go back on the self, perfect for a questioner!

So while I'm in the process of writing out our 'House Rules' they're about to be rethought, and more importantly reframed (especially on delivery!), so every personality-type in the family will co-operareate.

Jen x

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