Perfectionism In Children

Why is it that, we are so quick to say to others, that it’s okay, you don’t have to be a perfect parent, or you don’t have to have the perfect body etc. yet we expect our children to be perfect in all that they do (whether we are doing this intentionally or not)?

This topic came up because a friend and I were talking about our kids and the things that they have to face each day etc. and that as they enter into the next phase of schooling with intermediate and high school, the pressure and stress that comes with it.  Well it got me thinking about my family, especially my older daughter.  She is a perfectionist in everything that she does, and I don’t think this is a good thing.

She hates trying new things and would put it off out of fear of not getting it right the first time.  She get’s frustrated and gives up easily too.  In turn this frustrates me, because I know she can do it, if she just gives it a go (not a great combo – frustrated child + frustrated parent = everyone is having a meltdown).  I always say to her, don’t compare yourself to others, because everyone is different, and each person has different strengths and weaknesses.  Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability and if that is in the middle or last it doesn’t matter, because it’s the best you can do and you gave it your all.  I want her to just be a kid and enjoy school and her friends while she can, with no added pressure or stress, because we know that shit piles up when you’re an adult.

This got me looking at ourselves and how we parent, and I started questioning how we do things.  Trust me we don’t always get things right, but that’s okay because we are still learning.  There is never a finish line with parenting, just a few hurdles that come up every now and again.  I thought is there anything we are doing unintentionally that is giving my daughter the message that you have to be perfect.  The biggest culprit I think is ME! I don’t say to her, you have to be perfect, or do things perfectly, however she must be picking things up from observing me.

I myself am a perfectionist, I didn’t really have this issue when I was in school,  but when I think back I was always really tidy, I loved cleaning my room and would usually rearrange everything all the time.  This got worse as I got older and had children I believe.  In regards to my house, I need to have it super tidy all the time (not ideal with children) and when it is messy (or any mess in general) my anxiety starts up really bad, so I just clean all the time. I know it is really unrealistic, but I do it anyway.   Messy play gives me heart palpitations, that’s why I loved daycares.  Growing up my mum let us do all sorts of crazy stuff, even messy things, and we never were told not to do anything because she didn’t like it.  So I am not sure how this came about in me.

I know I need to relax and ease up a bit, however it’s not as easy as it sounds, but foremost I need to help my daughter around not being a perfectionist, and I want to break the cycle and better ourselves as parent’s.   So please don’t judge me!

I am sharing this because I hope that there are people out there that can help me and others with tips or strategies that have worked for you.  If you are in the same boat as me, what are some of the things that you are doing to minimize the effect of perfectionism, in both yourself and your children.  Desperate parent right here, so I will take all the help I can get!

I came across an article from She Knows about Raising excellent, not perfect, children and it was very interesting.

Here is the link:  Raising excellent, not perfect, Children

Another good article is from the Anxiety BC.

Here is the link:  Overcoming Perfectionism

Ronell x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Migraines! Is there any escaping them?

What is a migraine headache?

A headache of varying intensity, often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.

That is what a migraine is in a nutshell.  But it can feel so much worse that just that simple explanation.  I have suffered with migraines for a long time but off course they have gotten worse over the years.  My migraines vary from tension migraines, where it feels like someone is squeezing the hell out of my brain and I can feel it get tighter and tighter.  Then I sometimes get cluster migraines, where those are right in and around the eye.  The other night I was sitting in the lounge and my husband looks at me and says, “Oh no I think you have pink eyes, as they are really red”, well I didn’t have pink eyes, it was my migraine that was right behind that eye and the pain was extremely intense.

Then after I had my second child I experienced vertigo migraines.  I had no idea what they were at all or that there was even such a thing.  I remember it was in the middle of the night and Chloe had woken up in her cot and was crying.  So I got out of the bed only to sway to the left and fall on bay window seat.  Seriously if someone had seen me, they would have thought I was drunk as anything.  I couldn’t walk straight at all,  but I managed to make it to my door.  Then I walked down the hall pretty much leaning into as it was propping me up, instead of falling.  In the back of my head I thought, shit something is gone wrong with my brain!!!!  I made it back to my room and then straight to the dr’s the next day! Now and again, when I get migraines my vision is also blurred by thousands of stars flying around.  So I pretty much get all the types……unlucky me!!

Type of headache

The worst part is when I have a migraine, and someone’s ask’s,  “what’s wrong?” and I go on to say that I have a migraine.  I always have this feeling of guilt like it’s not a valid illness and that they are probably thinking migraine…pffft you’ll be fine it’s just a headache.  But it’s so much more than “just a headache”, it’s hard for people who don’t get migraines to actually understand what a migraine is and the pain you experience.  I always say to my husband, “I wish that one day, you get a migraine, just once to fully understand what it is like”. But I think over the year’s he now knows how bad they get.  It is completely debilitating.  I can hardly open my eyes because of the light and the pain, all I want to do is sleep in a very dark room.

Unfortunately though as a mum, I never always get time to just lay down and sleep it off. I use Nurofen Plus as it’s the only thing that seems to help get rid of them, but because I still have to go on with everyday things like going to work, kids, cooking etc my migraines seem to last longer as I never take the time to really just rest and do nothing. There are so many things that can trigger a migraine, for me it can be lack of sleep over a few days, I can manage one or two days of broken sleep but after that, hell no!!!!  Also, if I don’t eat at regular times and skip meals because I am too busy that’s when I get them too. Recently I have noticed that my migraines are also hormonal, because every time it’s you know, that dreaded time of the month, well hello…… here’s a migraine to go with that too! So over the next few months I will be skipping my inactive contraceptive pill (the white pill) and I will see if that makes a difference to them or not!

There is no cure for migraines, like so many other things in the world.  So if you suffer from migraines, I would love to hear if you have any tips or is there anything that you do to manage them better.  At this stage I will take all the suggestions and tips that I can get.

To all the migraine sufferers out there, I truly feel your pain as you do mine!

Ronell x

 

 

 

 

Despacito Lyrics

Okay so I love this song, and every time it comes on the radio we crank it up in the car and try really really hard to sing along.  If you guys are like us, and just make up the words as we go then fear not, here are the lyrics to the song.  I may not know spanish but at least seeing the word and trying to read might actually help my singing ability the next time this song comes on.

Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat Justin Bieber

Come on over in my direction
So thankful for that, it’s such a blessin’, yeah
Turn every situation into Heaven, yeah
(Oh, you are…)
My sunrise on the darkest day
Got me feelin’ some kind of way
Make me wanna savor every moment slowly, slowly
You fit me, tailor-made love, how you put it on
Got the only key, know how to turn it on
The way you nibble on my ear, the only words I wanna hear
Baby take it slow so we can last long

[Verse 1: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee]
Oh, tú, tú eres el imán y yo soy el metal
Me voy acercando y voy armando el plan
Sólo con pensarlo se acelera el pulso
Oh, yeah Ya, ya me está gustando más de lo normal
Todos mis sentidos van pidiendo más
Esto hay que tomarlo sin ningún apuro

[Coro: Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber]
Despacito
Quiero respirar tu cuello despacito
Deja que te diga cosas al oído
Para que te acuerdes si no estás conmigo
Despacito
Quiero desnudarte a besos despacito
Firmo en las paredes de tu laberinto
Y hacer de tu cuerpo todo un manuscrito
(Sube, sube, sube
Sube, sube)

[Bridge 1: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee]
Quiero ver bailar tu pelo
Quiero ser tu ritmo
Que le enseñes a mi boca
Tus lugares favoritos
(Favorito, favorito, baby)
Déjame sobrepasar tus zonas de peligro
Hasta provocar tus gritos
Y que olvides tu apellido

[Verse 2: Daddy Yankee]
Si te pido un beso, ven, dámelo
Yo sé que estás pensándolo
Llevo tiempo intentándolo
Mami, esto es dando y dándolo
Sabes que tu corazón conmigo te hace bang-bang
Sabes que esa beba está buscando de mi bang-bang
Ven, prueba de mi boca para ver cómo te sabe
Quiero, quiero, quiero ver cuánto amor a ti te cabe
Yo no tengo prisa, yo me quiero dar el viaje
Empecemos lento, después salvaje

[Bridge 2: Daddy Yankee]
Pasito a pasito, suave suavecito
Nos vamos pegando, poquito a poquito
Cuando tú me besas con esa destreza
Veo que eres malicia con delicadeza
Pasito a pasito, suave suavecito
Nos vamos pegando, poquito a poquito
Y es que esa belleza es un rompecabezas
Pero pa’ montarlo aquí tengo la pieza
¡Oye!

[Coro: Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber]
Despacito
Quiero respirar tu cuello despacito
Deja que te diga cosas al oído
Para que te acuerdes si no estás conmigo
Despacito
Quiero desnudarte a besos despacito
Firmo en las paredes de tu laberinto
Y hacer de tu cuerpo todo un manuscrito
(Sube, sube, sube
Sube, sube)

[Bridge 1: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee]
Quiero ver bailar tu pelo
Quiero ser tu ritmo
Que le enseñes a mi boca
Tus lugares favoritos
(Favorito, favorito, baby)
Déjame sobrepasar tus zonas de peligro
Hasta provocar tus gritos
Y que olvides tu apellido

[Verse 3: Luis Fonsi]
Despacito
This is how we do it down in Puerto Rico
I just wanna hear you screaming, “¡Ay, Bendito!”
I can move forever se quede contigo
¡Bailalo!

[Bridge 3: Daddy Yankee, Luis Fonsi & Justin Bieber]
Pasito a pasito, suave suavecito
Nos vamos pegando, poquito a poquito
Que le enseñes a mi boca
Tus lugares favoritos
(Favorito, favorito, baby)
Pasito a pasito, suave suavecito
Nos vamos pegando, poquito a poquito
Hasta provocar tus gritos (Fonsi)
Y que olvides tu apellido (D.Y.)
Despacito

So, go on and sing along!!!

Ronell x

source: Direct lyrics

 

Book Review – The Golden Child by Wendy James

goldenchild

This book is about looking into how bullying can effect a family but more so from the family of the bully rather than the other side.  Funnily enough I bought this book before I even watched 13 Reasons Why and so two heavy story lines in row.  This book is more around cyber bullying and the extent of it and off course the repercussions.

Beth and Dan have it all, a great life in America with their two girls, who are doing well in school, they seem to have it all.  Their girls are Lucy and Charlotte.  Lucy is the oldest daughter, she isn’t remotely close to being popular at school compared to her sister Charlotte who is the youngest.  Lucy does great at school, is truly the perfect child in the eyes of anyone really. Charlotte the younger, outspoken daughter, for her it’s all about being seen with the right crowd.

There has been a couple of bullying incidents involving Charlotte, the first saw the family leave America and head back home to Australia for a fresh start.  Off course Beth was a bit shocked at first but realised it was all an accident, and not intentional.  Soon they settled in Newcastle, they found a house and the girls started at a private all girls school.  It was all going well, Beth who is a blogger, found a job at a local politicians office, the girls were enjoying school, Charlotte was once again the popular girl, and Lucy was well Lucy, who throughout the book always seemed to be in the background.

Beth and Andi another mum from school, became friends in the hope of their daughters also becoming friends.  Andi’s daughter Sophie didn’t really have any friends, and wanted to fit in with everyone else.  The idea of being friends with Charlotte was beyond her wildest dreams!  She was ecstatic, except, Charlotte didn’t think being with Sophie was great for her reputation but their mum’s constantly had caught up forcing the girls together.

Then things once again went downhill, with Sophie being bullied over social media sites by lot’s of other kids in her school, including Charlotte.  In one of these post’s someone said to Sophie, “Why don’t you just go and kill yourself?”  Well, Sophie who was only 13 decided to try exactly that, she overdosed on sleeping pills.  Luckily she survived. But the incident, opened a can of worms.  Beth was beyond shocked, she was at the point were she believed she didn’t even know her own child, and she questioned herself as a parent where did she go wrong or where did she fail!  This not only effected their family but her friendship with Andi.

Sophie survived and had a new look on life, and she saw things a bit clearer now.  Slowly she started to notice things about her friends, including Charlotte and Lucy, and she put the pieces together.

Well the book bloody ended so abruptly, that I even asked my kindle WTF? Is that it? There is quite the twist at the end and I really wanted to know what happened next! But alas the book ended.

Happy reading!

Ronell x

 

Social Media Detox

I have been meaning to do this post for a while now and I’m not sure what has held me back but I am doing it now.  The whole thing might sound like I am just having a big rant and maybe I am.  I signed up to Facebook many years ago whilst living in Australia, and for me it was a great way to stay connected to my family and friends back home in South Africa.  However, over the years how we use social media has completely changed and I’m at the point where I am kinda getting over it.  To me it seems like now you have to disconnect to actually connect with people.  Make real connections.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, you name it, it all just seems to have become a bit competitive.  At one stage I too was a social media addict and posted photos of everything and anything, like seriously who cares what I eat for dinner not many people to be honest.  I eat food just like everyone else.

People just seem so superficial now and that’s just my opinion, you can choose to agree or disagree that’s your choice.  When people post stuff now,  I don’t even know if it’s real, or is it just there so everyone else can think that their lives are just so amazing and awesome, compared to everyone else’s normal lives.  I think it has become a platform for people to show off a bit, look at my kids dressed in “Country Road” clothes or whatever designer wear, seriously I dress my kids in Warehouse, Kmart or Cotton on and even hand me downs, really whats the point dressing them up in expensive stuff when they grow so fast!

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If you look at your “friends” on Facebook, how many of them are truly your friends, and when was the last time you actually spoke to any of them?  I know there are some that I have not spoken to in years!  Every so often I go and do a clean out of who I actually share things with and now I am going to do an even bigger clean out, please don’t be offended if I remove you, it’s nothing personal, but if we haven’t engaged in a long time then it makes sense.

Here’s a great little video that you should watch!  Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

I think there is definitely a place for Facebook, it can be very good for community pages, businesses, support groups, school groups.  Those are exceptionally useful.

Instagram holy moly, I mean there were days that I spent ages trying to bloody do a flat lay photo, or raid the house for black and white stuff so I could do a monochrome photo. It all has just become far to time consuming.  Again, these little tiles of square can sometimes get you feeling a bit down, because you look at other people’s feed’s and think wow look at the stuff they have or the places they go (admit it you feel that way too, it’s called being human), but then reality slaps you in the face, and reminds you once again, it’s all styled and edited.  We cannot go through life with everything being styled or in the perfect light, and don’t get me started about Instagram stories and Snapchat…for fucks sake, like seriously, how long do some of these people spend recording themselves talk???

Imagine, if people actually didn’t spend hours looking at themselves talk all day about what they are doing, and how they wish their hair was straighter or had more body, or about them getting their eyebrows feathered.  They will be astounded at the amount of spare time they have up their sleeves, try it people you might be surprised.

The worst one is when people are out walking/exercising and they are videoing themselves talking for such a long time and I think to myself, have they ever thought what they look like to onlookers, here they are walking holding a phone out in front of them talking!  It’s fucking hilarious and ridiculous.  I am so sick of seeing people constantly going on about all the packages that are arriving at their doorsteps, I got a few things given to me to promote by brands, but I am so glad I don’t get a shit load of stuff, because quite frankly I can’t be arsed. There are some people who spend all day running from one PR event to another, it’s just crazy to me, but hey they love it and so that’s their thing.

It sort of all came to me when I was at Adele’s concert and I was standing there in the rain and spending so much time taking videos of her singing, and I am watching her through my phone screen.  I thought to myself like seriously what the hell is wrong with me, I didn’t pay $150 to watch Adele through my phone screen.  I put my phone away and was completely present, and I sang and danced with my daughter for the rest of the time.

I have slowly stopped posting much on Instagram and yes I might have lost some followers but I am at the point now where I don’t really care, I don’t post much on my private Facebook account now either, because I want my life to be mine, and not for everyone else to have a look in on.

Instead now I spend more time reading, listening to music, and dancing it out with my girls!

Happy detoxing!

Ronell x

 

 

 

My view on 13 Reason’s Why! 

There has been a lot of hype around this new show on Netflix and there’s probably a 100 articles and views on it so I’m gonna pile mine on too.

We binge watched the whole season in a few days luckily the kids were away so we literally watched it for an entire day!!! As a parent it grips you even more.

It is quite confronting with the incidents that happen in the show like rape, drugs, alcohol and suicide.

It just goes to show how one small lie or rumour at the beginning starts a whole ripple effect in the main characters life who is Hannah. The whole time watching the show the thing I was thinking about the most is how oblivious the parents where to what was going on in each of their kids lives.

Some of the kids had great relationships with their parents but even so the parents didn’t pick up on the deep issues that their kids faced. I know kids especially teenagers are pretty clever when it comes to hiding things and putting on a show that everything’s fine, so if they do that and still have good relationships with their parents, how do we as parents find out if anything more serious is going on?

Off course you can’t interrogate them which will just make things worse. I suppose it just comes down to being open with them, being present when they do actually talk to you and try to pick up on any cues they may give you that something is wrong.

It was also interesting to see how the kids involved responded to everything once they found out how their behaviour added to the situation. Almost everyone one of them deflected the blame, only a couple actually stood up to the other kids and accepted how their actions together with everyone else’s contributed to Hannah taking her life.

Now the show got a lot of backlash from people everywhere, going on about it being to graphic, it shouldn’t be on TV and it’s so full on, the usual PC bullshit in my eyes.  The thing is we don’t live in the dark ages, we know that this sort of thing happens and we should be talking about it and helping people rather than pretending it doesn’t happen. I watched an interview on TV with the main characters and they said, that their main purpose of this show is to get people talking about mental illness and I think they have achieved it, because everyone is talking about it and is more aware of it.

Unfortunately, bullying these days in school start’s much earlier than high school.  Last year personally for our family we went through a tough year with our oldest daughter at school having the worst year and she was only 10.  Kids can be very mean and I have seen it and experienced it.  So for me watching this show I learnt a few more things.  Since our experiences last year, we have all become more open with each other and I am glad that my daughter knows she can come to me about anything, because she knows that we will always help her no matter what.

Selena Gomez who is one of the executive producer’s of the show has confirmed that the show will be returning for season 2 next year!  It will pick up in the aftermath of Hannah Baker’s death and the start of the characters’ complicated journeys toward healing and recovery.

No parent or child should go through this, so yes I would encourage, especially parents to watch this show, whether you want to watch it with your teenagers that’s your call, but definitely watch it.

Ronell x

 

I’ve Travelled The World Through Books

I have not physically travelled to a lot of places around the world, but I was transported globally through the many books I have read.  From Dublin, Ireland, to New York, out to the country in Texas, and down under in Australia (disclaimer: I did actually live in Oz for a few years!) and off course Europe.  I can name a few places, and through these books I could smell, taste and get a glimpse of being there and experiencing everything it has to offer.

My love for reading began at a very early age.  One memory that stands out to me is when I was around 11 or 12 and still in primary school.  It’s not a good memory but it always has stuck with me for some reason.  We were given a book to read and it was time for our group to come to the front of the class, and we all had to sit down with the teacher.  Anyway, my teacher had asked me, “When you read the book Ronell, did you see what you were reading in your mind, like watching a movie?”  Off course I saw every word that I read come to life, however I thought that wasn’t meant to happen when you read and that I was loosing my mind, so I said to the teacher, “no I didn’t see anything when I read”.  Well I got in a bit of trouble with the teacher and I was told off for being stupid and not being able to read properly.  I was by this stage to embarrassed to tell him the truth, so I just went with him thinking I couldn’t read properly.

I soon learnt that I was not loosing my mind and that’s exactly what is meant to happen when you read, so I read all the time like a crazy person, because for me it was like watching a movie.  When I was in high school, I used to be in my room for hours reading, and my mum used to scold me for being stuck in my room, because she thought I was checking out the boys walking by our house, but I was really reading.  I couldn’t afford to buy any books so I borrowed loads from the library and used to read my mum’s old books and my sister’s books that I could find.  I do remember reading a Danielle Steel book in high school (possibly not a good choice of book at that age).

When I started working I was ecstatic because I could finally buy books, and I read pretty fast so I was churning through the books.  I remember being swept away with Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (I even bought the DVD’s based on the book and the sequel),  and then going back even further in time with Ken Follett.  Oh my gosh I could go on with all the different types of books that I have read.  A lot of people read to fall asleep, but when I read it’s the opposite, I get so absorbed into the book that I forget about time.  Once I got married, the love affair with reading continued (I actually don’t think this affair will ever end), except now we were running out of space to store these books, and they were not cheap either, so my husband bought me a kindle.  I love my kindle, but I miss real books especially the smell and feel of them, you know you love it too!

Now that I have kids of my own, I want to pass on that love of books to them, and I think I may have given them the book bug.  I buy them books over sweet treats and toys any day.  Every occasion that we celebrate there is always a book included in their gifts.

I would like to share with you the two most recent books I bought for the girls which are:

1.  Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli & Franesca Cavallo

I love this book!!!  I have bought one for each girl to have with them always.  This book reinvent’s fairy tales, inspiring girls with the stories of 100 heroic women.  These are real life stories.  I want my girls to know, that you don’t need to be a damsel in distress or wait for Prince Charming to always save you.  I want them to read this and know they can be strong, independent women when they grow up, and that no dream is unattainable. That whatever their passion is in life, to go for it and don’t let anyone tell them they can’t do it. The book has been illustrated by 60 women artists from every corner of the globe as well.  RRP $39.99

2.  Wonder by R.J Palacio

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This book has got some rave reviews, some of which are:

‘Has the power to move hearts and change minds’ – Guardian

It wreaks emotional havoc’ – Independent

‘Tremendously uplifting and a novel of all-too-rare power’ – Sunday Express

August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances? (insert from goodreads)

So that’s just a snippet of what the book is about and I liked it because it was different to your usual kids stories. RRP $22.99

I hope I didn’t bore you with my ramblings about reading, but like me I know that there are lots of other book lovers out there who share the same passion.  I currently have 3 books that I’m reading on the go!

Right I better stop now because I can go on forever about reading!  I would love to hear about how your love for reading began, if your’e a bookworm like me.

Happy reading!

Ronell x