Jump to content

How to 'fix' spoilt children


  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic

#26 HubbaBubbaMumma

Posted 26 August 2012 - 02:35 PM

QUOTE (Tesseract @ 26/08/2012, 01:10 PM)
14859882[/url]']Eta: I personally disagree with using pocket money to induce children to do the basics like puck up after themselves or not be nasty to their siblings. Linking these things to money (out whatever other "currency" you use) just sts the kid up for more expectation. It might work in the short term to induce the desired behaviour, but really they need to internalise it, and seeing the kid up to expect to be paid for not being ancruel to her sister is doing then a real disservice.


cclap.gif Totally agree with this PP.
As to the OP, good on you for recognizing that there's an issue and trying to fix it. I agree with PP's who say that it's possible to change, just staart setting down the new rule of saying "no"
Once you stop 'helping' them to be so ungrateful, they will eventually get the message.

#27 Ridcully

Posted 26 August 2012 - 02:45 PM

You know one thing I've learned is that kids would much rather time with you then toys. Tesseract made some really good points. My best memories from childhood involves other people, not playing with toys so much.

Things don't make us happy, the more we have, the more we want. It's a really awful and sad way to live IMO.

I'd do a massive (and I mean massive) cull of toys and clothes. Then straight after I would start a few new family weekend traditions involving real family time together. One of my daughters favorite things to do is garden with her daddy. Try and involve the kids more in the home life - cooking with you, gardening etc. they will probably think of it as a punishment at first but they are old enough to have your reasons explained to them.

I think it's a really worthy thing you are trying to do. We found when we were living in the city that our 'free' time was spent in shopping malls. Now we consciously try and do everything we can to avoid spending time in shopping centres and spend more time doing things together.

Shop online too, avoids the window shopping temptation!

#28 Maple Leaf

Posted 26 August 2012 - 03:10 PM

My oldest is showing signs of being 'semi-spoiled'. Which I want to stop in it's tracks.

She doesn't get anything unless it's for a good report card, birthday or xmas ( a bit tough as her birthday is dec 19th but that's life!). I've had to speak to my parents about buying the kids so much as it's now become an expectation when my parents visit that a ton of things arrive. They understand thank goodness and are cutting back.

it's this sense of entitlement that gets under my skin and I'm doing everything to get a handle on that as it's a really unattractive quality that I see in so many teenagers.


#29 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 26 August 2012 - 03:11 PM

QUOTE (mtilly @ 26/08/2012, 07:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
- Just say no! Prepare them that when at the shops you will not be buying anything for them (toys, books, whatever) so they know the deal before they even leave the car!!

I have been doing this with my kids for a few years now.  Before we leave the car, we talk about what we are there for.  I used to tell my kids that I would not put up with hissy fits, tantrums, crying, screaming, fighting or whining and if any of that started, we would leave immediately.  And I made sure that I followed through, even if it was inconvenient (did it a couple of times, - I had to go back later at night to do the shopping, after the kids had gone to bed).  Now I ask them how they are supposed to behave - they know what I expect.  They are pretty good and while they do ask for stuff (they are regular kids), they are usually fine when I say no, which is often LOL!

I don't do it all the time, but every so often I will buy them a paddle pop on the way home because they have been well behaved.

QUOTE (mez70 @ 26/08/2012, 08:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also remember this is going to HURT YOU more than it is them.. When you start saying no, implementing new rules and NOT giving in to them the first thing they will more than likely do is lash out. they will call you the meanest mum in the world,I don't like/ love you any more etc etc. This is where YOU need to stay strong and not give in.. The predictor of future behaviour is PAST behaviour. They have learned that they can "railroad " you into changing your mind so will bring out all their arsenal to do so and the moment YOU cave and give in is when you WILL LOOSE the battle.

agree with this.  Their behaviour will probably get worse before they start realising you mean business.

QUOTE (mez70 @ 26/08/2012, 08:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
One thing a person I know tried with her kids was a brilliant Pocket money system. I cant recall the numbers so I will improvise but the kids had a base rate of say $5.00 per week... Each time they "Broke" one of the rules like fighting with sister, not listening to parent etc they were deducted .50c. They also got a chance to earn it back with good behaviour or extra chores etc... It also meant she would pay up to $10.00 (so in effect you could double your pocket money if you wanted to)  It was a nightmare in the first few weeks of keeping track of things (kids did get warnings and reminders to help them in the begining) but it only took a few weeks if one child getting $1.00 whist the other got $5.0 to show them that actions have consquences and that it was THEIR own actions driving what was happening.. after a few months they didn't need the deduction system but still kept the opportunity to earn more....

This is similar to the pocket money arrangement that my parents did with us, except that it was only linked to chores, not behaviour.  There were standard chores that we had to do without being paid (eg. setting the table, washing up and putting away, sweeping the kitchen/dining floor after meals).  We would get $5 (or whatever) a week, but if we didn't do our 'pocketmoney chores', we would lose $1 for each chore that wasn't done that week (eg. fold and put our clothes away, vacuum, dust, etc).  We could earn back the losses or generate bonus money by doing any of the bonus jobs (like mowing, ironing our own school uniforms, etc).

Mum and Dad dealt with behaviour problems seperately, it wasn't linked to our pocket money.

OP, I agree with other PP who have said that it's likely that you need a change in family focus and family activities, not just focus on the kids as they won't get why they have to 'give up' their stuff if you and your DH cruise alone as normal, getting stuff whenever you like (or so they may perceive).

Edited by YodaTheWrinkledOne, 26 August 2012 - 03:12 PM.


#30 bebe12

Posted 26 August 2012 - 05:36 PM

Hi,

Always tough to discipline kids. i think many ideas from other pp's are great.

When i have the tough days with my daughter i think about when she is going to be an adult and on a starting salary/wage.  If i give her everything now - (she is 11) like mobiles, on fashion clothes, plus toys etc she will most likely end up in credit card debt or when i am thinking of saving for retirement i will still be paying for her as i set up the expectation that she has to have the latest and greatest.  (I have only recently spoken of this to her but have felt this way for more than 5 years)

At times she tells us what "everyone" else has at school - i then ask about the kids in her class that are unlikely to have the item yet, to reminder her that not "everyone" realy has it.

If my daughter wants something big she has to save for it or wait till christmas or birthday. We work out the cost of the item and how soon one of those two activities is and set the saving target by the number of months. ie she wanted a new bike  before christmas as there was 6 months we set the amount she need to save each month to have it by sept based on we would have had another three months to save for the item if we got it as present.

Each time we have done this there is a 50% chance that by the time she has the money she no longer wants the orginal item, as something else is now in fashion or she realise how hard it was to save and wants to keep the money. We have done this since she was eight.

We have set chores (bins, room, 1 load of washing, clean kitchen, cook 1 night) for our DD but she earns rewards for these. ie friend over for the day to name one reward (she has list of 10 to choose from renewed every six month). She can earn money only for the big extra jobs - washing car, cleaning the dog, extra set chores)

If you are buying thing for your kids because you think they will be left out at school etc, i think you will find it is you that is worried about being judged by the other parents. As my dd and the other kids that i know don't get everything the day it is released have never had fall outs over toys with the kids with the toys.

Good luck

#31 Ianthe

Posted 26 August 2012 - 05:40 PM

It's never too late to change things. But with any change of behaviour they will step it up and be pretty awful for a while. I would spend a lot of time doing free activities, board games, walks, parks, just focusing on non material stuff so they can see there is value in that.

#32 JRA

Posted 26 August 2012 - 05:41 PM

QUOTE
- Just say no! Prepare them that when at the shops you will not be buying anything for them (toys, books, whatever) so they know the deal before they even leave the car!!


Do people really need to do this? Do children really expect toys every time you shop?

#33 Unatheowl

Posted 26 August 2012 - 05:46 PM

QUOTE (JRA @ 26/08/2012, 05:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Do people really need to do this? Do children really expect toys every time you shop?


I kind of had a sharp reality check when I realized that we couldn't leave a toy shop empty handed without ds having a meltdown.  When he screamed "but I always get whatever I want" we both went  unsure.gif  he was right.  It just kind of snuck up on us because as a baby, we would just buy him stuff all the time because we wanted to.  He is four now and is catching on that he needs to earn things.  We made the mistake to allowing him to think he can get whatever he wants all the time.  It's over now though original.gif

#34 sandgropergirl

Posted 26 August 2012 - 05:46 PM

QUOTE (JRA @ 26/08/2012, 06:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Do people really need to do this? Do children really expect toys every time you shop?


This was my thought as well

#35 cstar

Posted 26 August 2012 - 05:48 PM

QUOTE (JRA @ 26/08/2012, 06:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Do people really need to do this? Do children really expect toys every time you shop?


Yep, my sisters kids! She cannot go to the shops without buying them something, even if they are not with her but they know she has gone to the shops they expect something, it's ridiculous!!!



#36 KT1978

Posted 26 August 2012 - 05:54 PM

I think you need to say no, but also why did you feel like you had to buy them so much? Do you display love for them materialisticly?  Surely the clothes weren't their doing? Do you buy too much because you need to show off, make up for the things you missed out as a kid or something?

Also, wouldn't your money benefit them better to be invested into a trust fund rather than toys?

#37 bronzzeAngel

Posted 26 August 2012 - 05:57 PM

Well when they ask for something new, go into their room and start to look at ways of making room for it.. Get those new unworn clothing and put them ona facebook page to make money to pay for things. get rid of old items and donate it to a worthy cause.

say no..do EVERY TIME they dont use manners.
NO please means no. Same with thank you. They cant want new things enough if they can say those few little words.

And sometines even when they say they want something and they say please.. it is ok to still say no.

#38 bronzzeAngel

Posted 26 August 2012 - 06:02 PM

Oh and I said to my kids once about going on a holiday.. they wanted it too. so everytime they asked for something, I gave them a limit of $2 or they could not ask and we could go on a trip to queensland and do the theme parks.

We did that a couple of years ago now.

My eldest is going on a school trip soon and to "help" pay for that, she vacuums, helps with the babies changing their nappies, feeding them, putting the washing on and any other chores she needs to do. My son asked to do the same trip, but I pointed out to him that he would need to help around the house just as much... He never did, so he isnt going.


#39 harryboy

Posted 26 August 2012 - 06:16 PM

I wonder how much of the stuff your kids get they actually ask for - clothes in particular I doubt many kids would be grateful for...just buy them what they need for a season and before they grow out of it and they probably won't even query it.

My son doesn't act particularly spoilt but he still ended up with a lot of stuff that never really got played with. For the last year we have been selling toys off on Ebay and he has been saving the money to buy things he wants. Interestingly, he wants for very little once the cash is in the money box! Like all of us, he finds it hard to part with his own money.

I found his 8th birthday quite hard in that people asked what to get him and he really didn't want anything. I don't like telling people to give him money or gift vouchers but I hate seeing the waste of other things never used or used once.

I still haven't got my head around pocket money. I hear people say their kids get it so they can buy lollies at the shop etc and I just wouldn't let my DS waste money like that,
As pp's have said, you just have to start saying no.

#40 261071v

Posted 26 August 2012 - 07:24 PM

Part of this is their ages- my kids want every useless plastic item under the sun + also whinge about what their friends are doing and that we're mean.

I don't think they learnt about poverty from travelling in Asia, so I don't think this will help- they remember other things like walking on roads without pavement.

I think you are the best example that they can have:

- cull good items to an opportunity shop
- reduce shopping in front of them ie every weekend at a shopping mall could be avoided
- teach them to earn $ ie my kids love sweeping outside
- saying NO to others + them.

I'd go hard and do a big cull first as I don't think they will notice.  Saying NO will be the hard part.







#41 schoolmum

Posted 26 August 2012 - 08:50 PM

When mine were young, money was very tight. We talked a lot with them about needs and wants, eg needs are- food, roof over our heads and appropriate clothing, and wants being pretty well everything else. Rarely would we have money for wants, but always enough for needs. They were happy with what they had, and secure knowing that they would have their needs meet.

While money is not tight now, those early years have put them in a good place. They are teenagers now, they value the money they have (we give them pocket money, linked to doing jobs. They are also responsible for some of their daily expenses with that money) they are great bargin shoppers, and still think wether it is a need or want.
While I would never wish hard times on your family, it may be worth talking about needs vs wants with your children, and start practicing it as a family in your day to day life. Even when grocery shopping, look at the food in the trolley, what do need to survive and what is just nice to have.
It will take time for your " No" muscle to strengthen, but keep practicing, as you are doing it for their own good. One day they may even thank you for it.

#42 Funwith3

Posted 26 August 2012 - 09:36 PM

Wow thank you so much, there are some fantastic ideas there! For a start, I'm going to just sit them both down and have a chat, telling them that some things are going to change. I love the idea about having a set of house rules and having the girls create them. That way, they can't complain about the rules!

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 26/08/2012, 02:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
While some of it is definitely parenting, I also think it's just kids in general.  They are very self-centred, it's all about "me and what I want, too bad about anyone else".

My 5 year old behaves in a similar fashion and he doesn't receive half of what you have listed.  

My first suggestion would be getting them to do some regular, small chores around the house (no payment) so they get an idea of what goes into the running of a household.   Let them choose the chores so they are more likely to do it.

Thanks, this is encouraging. I have been wondering if their behavior is just typical of lots of kids their own age. They're not always rude and whiny, they are both gorgeous little kids, especially when they're on their own. And I love your idea of letting the kids choose their own chores.

QUOTE (Sassy Girl @ 26/08/2012, 06:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This aka discipline them, it sounds as if they need it and it's sorely lacking  ph34r.gif .

They don't lack discipline. I feel like I'm constantly yelling, threatening (following through sometimes too). The tv is banned so often that it's not funny!! Toys are confiscated, they have time out. I sometimes even wonder if I'm too hard on them. Lack of discipline is not a problem. Although I am very open to other ideas of disciplining them....

QUOTE (75etd @ 26/08/2012, 07:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You are definately the key here. Stop buying them stuff, think about why you buy them stuff (is there something you're trying to make up for, following on from what was done for you, are you simply a shopaholic), and then they won't have as much stuff.

I do love shopping, I'll admit that. But I love seeing their happy faces when they put on a new dress, or when they get the cupcake they want. I want to make my kids happy, I think all mums do. I also am of the opinion that while we can afford it, I should say yes to their requests sometimes...there may be times in the future when money is tight and we won't be able to give the kids what they want. But this method of parenting seems to have created a monster!! Or two!!  sad.gif

QUOTE (eleishas @ 26/08/2012, 07:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Don't think this advice is just for them though.
If it's good enough for the kids to get rid of what they don't need then the same has to apply to you and your husbands things.

I don't buy myself very much. I spend all my money on the kids.


QUOTE (KT1978 @ 26/08/2012, 05:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think you need to say no, but also why did you feel like you had to buy them so much? Do you display love for them materialisticly?  Surely the clothes weren't their doing? Do you buy too much because you need to show off, make up for the things you missed out as a kid or something?

Also, wouldn't your money benefit them better to be invested into a trust fund rather than toys?


I didn't miss out on much as a kid.  I wouldn't call it showing off, but I do like them to look nice.

I think its important for kids to feel well dressed and confident. Don't other children love nice clothes? I thought that was normal, especially for little girls. They look in the junk mail, and they see things they love. They then see them in shops and ask for them. If I say yes, they ask for another thing. If I say yes again, they ask for another thing. And so on and so on.....until I say no and they lose it. Typical spoilt brat behavior.


#43 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 26 August 2012 - 09:55 PM

QUOTE (JRA @ 26/08/2012, 05:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Do people really need to do this? Do children really expect toys every time you shop?

maybe not toys every time, but I know kids who expect something everytime they go to the shops - a toy, a new shirt/skirt/pants, a new book, a new bangle or hair clip, etc. Even food - hot chips, a donut, a soft drink, an ice cream, etc.  My niece and nephew do it all the time to their parents.  What their parents have failed to realise is that the kids have often forgotten about whatever was bought for them within a couple of hours of going home..... and then the parents complain that their kids don't appreciate the copious amounts of crap stuff they have in their bedrooms.

QUOTE (Funwith3 @ 26/08/2012, 09:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think its important for kids to feel well dressed and confident. Don't other children love nice clothes? I thought that was normal, especially for little girls. They look in the junk mail, and they see things they love. They then see them in shops and ask for them. If I say yes, they ask for another thing. If I say yes again, they ask for another thing. And so on and so on.....until I say no and they lose it. Typical spoilt brat behavior.

My girls love a good dress.  But really, they are not distraught or spiral into depression if I say no.  From a practical pov, there are only so many clothes they need. I often say "You have got enough skirts/dresses/tops for now.  You'll get more when you grow too tall or they wear out. Or it's gets hot/cool."  They understand this.  biggrin.gif

#44 libbylu

Posted 26 August 2012 - 10:05 PM

We generally don't buy DS stuff unless it's birthday or Christmas.  If he asks for a toy or a gift then I tell him to put it on his wish list.  And he does ask often - but he doesn't get!
Occasionally if he has been outstandingly good, or I need to bribe him to do something for me he doesn't want to do (eg. he was in a photoshoot for my work a while back) then he may get to pick something from his list.  But I never buy him things randomly.
Obviously I buy clothes as needed, but never in excessive amounts.  If he really won't wear something I have bought (rare) I give it to his younger cousin.  In general I buy his clothes without him being there (or I would have the opposite problem - he would say he doesn't like anything!!).  I try to buy things I know he will wear  If he was in need of new t-shirts the next size up I have taken him with me and asked him to choose which prints he likes best, because he can be fussy about those, but only if he actually NEEDS new shirts - not just for the fun of it.   We really try to only buy what we need.
The same with sweet treats....he has a really sweet tooth and often asks for treats, but we will only get one occasionally.  If I said yes every time he asked he would be overweight with rotten teeth!  It's important to say no to your kids for their own good.

Edited by libbylu, 26 August 2012 - 10:10 PM.


#45 =R2=

Posted 27 August 2012 - 09:59 AM

QUOTE (Funwith3 @ 26/08/2012, 09:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I sometimes even wonder if I'm too hard on them.

I do love shopping, I'll admit that.

I love seeing their happy faces when they put on a new dress, or when they get the cupcake they want.

I want to make my kids happy, I think all mums do.

I also am of the opinion that while we can afford it, I should say yes to their requests sometimes.

I don't buy myself very much. I spend all my money on the kids.

I didn't miss out on much as a kid.  I wouldn't call it showing off, but I do like them to look nice.

I think its important for kids to feel well dressed and confident. Don't other children love nice clothes? I thought that was normal, especially for little girls. They look in the junk mail, and they see things they love. They then see them in shops and ask for them. If I say yes, they ask for another thing. If I say yes again, they ask for another thing. And so on and so on.....until I say no and they lose it. Typical spoilt brat behavior.

Your kids don't need fixing. YOU do.

Kids don't need material things and all the toys to be happy. They need quality one-on-one time with their parents, to feel safe and secure and that they are being heard. Children are happy when they know that they belong to the family unit and make it whole. You give your kids everything, they appreciate nothing.

Kids can also look nice with fewer clothes than your kids have. By having just one or two special dresses or outfits, you not only save money but it means they will definitely appreciate them more as they stand out from their normal play clothes/school uniforms. School aged kids don't need as many clothes  as toddlers either.

Plenty of PP have given great advice too.


#46 peking homunculus

Posted 27 August 2012 - 10:50 AM

Heaps of good suggestions in this thread. But in the end, you need to accept that buying stuff is not an essential component of happiness.

I like to see my kids happy so I go with them for a walk, or take them to the park. We go on a bus and feed the ducks at the park.

These things make them more happy than new clothes, toys, games etc. They like them because it's me spending time with them which is what they crave more than anything.



#47 d├ęsir d'amour

Posted 27 August 2012 - 10:57 AM

I had one going out dress.  I looked forward to EVERY possible opportunity I could wear that purple dress.

I was shattered when I grew out of it.  That dress was special because it was unique, not because it was one amongst dozens.

I think teaching your kids to value the "uniqueness" of their goods would do them a world of good - If you only had one [insert item here], you'd treat it with a great deal more respect, value it more highly and look after it well.

I remember vomiting on the carseat because I didn't want to get it on my dress!  Mum wasn't impressed, but I was just looking after it the best way my 7yo mind knew how!

#48 littlemissmessy

Posted 27 August 2012 - 11:11 AM

I don't think it's ever too late. My children can be very ungrateful and I do make them work for things. I think it's just the generation, it's "want, want, I need," and they think you're a mean parent if you don't give it. I'm sure your children's reactions are perfectly normal these days. But, it woudn't hurt to perhaps take them to visit or help children who aren't so well off.

#49 KT1978

Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:09 PM

I think the emphasis on things and appearances as a means to happiness needs to be replaced with something else.

Learning to cook dinner for the family,
Practicing and improving at sport, maybe with you helping.
Reading a book together.
Gaining independence (walking to school)?
Earning their own pocket money.
Doing something kind for someone and being complimented for it.

I really notice in your posts that you want to be a good mum and you do it by spoiling them with clothes and toys. You shouldn't stop doing that, just make it much more infrequent. Try make them happy by confidence and pride rather than possessions. Also you don't want them too obsessed with their appearance IMO.

My dd isn't particularly interested in clothes (shes usually in a tracksuit) but for her birthday she chose a new dress and went to the hairdresser and got braids in her hair. To her it was so special and grown up (she's 10), if I did it all the time it wouldn't have been special.

#50 BadCat

Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:18 PM

QUOTE
.

I think its important for kids to feel well dressed and confident. Don't other children love nice clothes? I thought that was normal, especially for little girls.


Only if that's what you teach them.

My kids would get around looking like complete hobos if I didn't force them into something without holes and that actually fits before we leave the house.  Although sometimes we just go with the hobo look.  They don't care.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Special offer: The Baby & Toddler Show 2014

At The Baby & Toddler Show, you?ll find everything you need to get ready for your new arrival and guide you through the early weeks and years of parenting.

10 things they don?t tell you about being pregnant

As I slowly waddle my ever-changing pregnant body towards the finishing line of my due date, it?s becoming increasingly clear there are a lot of things they just don?t tell you about pregnancy.

Overcoming a fear of the dark

A toddler's fear of the dark is very normal, but there are ways parents can help children through this stage in their development.

Kids, TV and movies: how young is too young?

It seems you don't have to throw the TV and iPad out the window - it all boils down to moderation, supervision and interaction.

Video: Baby's first birthday is a special day for mum, too

?A baby?s first birthday is also mum?s first birthday.?

The day Supernanny came to tea

Prince William's favourite celebrity child trainer Jo Frost puts Bryony Gordon and her toddler through their paces.

Tales from the homefront

When you're at work you sort of assume that your house is basically just sitting there quietly doing nothing until you return. However, since spending my days at home, I've learned this couldn't be further from the truth.

The words I hated hearing as new mum

It was less than a week after my son was born that I first heard it - from my mother.

To the pharmacist who sold me baby formula

On the rare occasion I catch sight of you at school, or around town, I think back to our earliest exchange. I?m sure you have no recollection of it at all.

Babies may benefit from autism therapy

Children showing signs of autism don't usually receive early intervention until well into toddlerhood or later, but a new study suggests infants with symptoms of the developmental disorder might benefit from therapy from as early as six months.

Knatalye and Adeline born with an everlasting bond

Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith are a lot like any other identical twin girls, but there is one dramatic difference: they're joined at the chest and shares several internal organs.

The question this dad wishes he'd asked his wife

I should have seen that my wife wasn't the same person I'd fallen in love with, but we were both too focused on simply trying to get by.

Why we should talk about the deaths of the Hunt children

The deaths are too horrible even to think about. Yet we owe it to the children - Fletcher, Mia and Phoebe Hunt - to think long and hard about it all.

Baby dies of meningococcal weeks after vaccine application denied

A six-month-old girl has died from meningococcal disease just weeks after an application for government funding of a vaccine for the most deadly strain of the virus was rejected.

Finding the right balance when playing with your kids

Being too involved in our children?s play and not allowing our kids enough free time for unstructured activities can mean our kids miss out on the value that play offers.

Creative DIY light shades

The Pop Light light shade comes in a flat pack already made - it's up to you to design it as you'd like.

The battle of iParenting versus imagination

Have we forgotten how to be imaginative, resourceful parents?

Why movement is so important for your baby's growth

Letting your child move as much as possible in the early years ? using all senses, engaging in the real world, preferably outside ? will help them grow up healthier, smarter, calmer and stronger.

Video: Toddler not keen on clean-shaven dad

This little girl thought she was taking part in a standard game of peek-a-boo, but her dad had a surprise for her.

When will I feel like myself again?

At some point I became 'me' again, but not the same me that I was ... and that?s not a bad thing.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Special offer: The Baby & Toddler Show 2014

At The Baby & Toddler Show, you?ll find everything you need to get ready for your new arrival and guide you through the early weeks and years of parenting.

Win a House of Magic prize pack

To celebrate the release of the new movie House of Magic, we have 10 double passes and magic sets to give away just in time for these school holidays. Enter Now for a chance to win!

Losing yourself to motherhood

While watching your baby grow into a unique little person is exciting and wondrous, the intensity of meeting everyone else?s needs can ever so sneakily overtake your own needs for self-care.

Tearing during delivery: the facts

Almost all women will experience bruising, grazing or tearing after a vaginal birth. Depending on the degree of tearing, there are various treatments available.

6 tips for a day out with a baby and toddler

Outings can be lots of fun with the kids, but there are inevitable challenges. Here's some information about days out to help you be a little more prepared.

Why I invited a dozen people to watch my son's birth

I sent invitations on burgundy scrapbooking paper stamped with a field of poppies, and told each person why I wanted him or her there. I warned that there would be nudity.

Getting labour started: tips for a natural induction

When your baby?s due date comes and goes without so much as a pop - let alone a bang - it can be disheartening. Mums and a doula share their stories of natural inductions.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend ? me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum ? I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

That's my boy: a dad's diary of the first 4 months

Unbearable anxiety, unspeakable joy, constant exhaustion and bouts of frustration ... The many shocks of first-time fatherhood resound in a dad's diary of his son's early months.

One of the most important things a new mum can do

Finances may not be as cute as a newborn, but with many women?s working arrangements changing post-baby, monetary matters need attention too.

Couple's bucket list for unborn baby

Jenna and Dan Haley know their baby's time will be limited, so they're packing in a lifetime of memories before he's even born.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

 

Reader offer

2 FOR 1 TICKET OFFER

For Shopping, For Advice, For Baby & You. Enjoy a special day out with fabulous shopping from over 200 brands, leading parenting experts offering advice on a range of topics, and amazing children?s entertainment

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.