Living with an anxious child

Anxious child

My eldest daughter has always been anxious. As a baby, she was scared of lots of things: loud noises, men (especially ones with beards), dogs. I can vividly remember the first time I realised she was actually scared of something, and wasn’t crying because she was hungry or tired. She was about four months old and sitting happily in her baby bouncer. I was changing a bin bag and when I shook it out to open it, her eyes grew wide with terror and she started howling.

Her fear grew so that by the age of 18 months she was scared of hoovers, motorbikes, drills, lawnmowers. Pretty much anything that made any kind of noise really. If we were walking down the road and someone was mowing their lawn she’d scream and scream, covering her ears and cowering in fear.

Now she is four and a half years old and that anxiety manifests itself in other ways. She’s no longer scared of lawnmowers or motorbikes. These days she’s scared of more complicated things – things that she can’t always explain. Things that, to you and me, would seem like ridiculously odd things to be scared of.  [Read More…]

When sibling rivalry hits


One of the hardest things about having a second baby is trying to keep enough of yourself for your first born too. This is easy enough when the baby’s happy and things are going according to plan, but when the baby cries and needs cuddling or feeding, it always seems that the first born needs maximum attention too. This is… challenging.

The past four and a half months have seen our family dynamic go through a seismic shift. Relationships have changed between all four of us. This isn’t always a negative thing. In fact, there are far more positives to chart. Frog has found a new closeness with her dad that is lovely to see. Plus, as her baby sister grows she is forging a new bond with her too. But, recently, I’ve found parenting a four and a half year old new big sister particularly tricky.

I suppose it was always going to happen. The novelty of those early newborn days was bound to wear off eventually. The force and sudden BANG! of sibling rivalry has been a bit of a shock though. And, to make things even more confusing, it’s not happened in the way I always expected it would.  [Read More…]

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Are you forgetting something?

Today I'm welcoming Dave Herbert from Yale to the blog, to talk about how you can keep your treasures safe. And by treasures, we're not talking big TVs, expensive jewellery or great big fat wads of cash... Did I leave the oven on? Have I remembered P.E. kits and nappy bags? Did I lock up on the ... read more