Another month has passed and it was the local home birth group meeting last night. Although there was no one there who'd just had a home birth and therefore able to tell their story, it was an interesting meeting with two doulas and a trainee midwife.
However, what I did find interesting was an event I happened to spot in this week's newspaper's listings. It was called Parents Week Fayre and provided info on raising children with stalls from council groups such as the toy library, Newbury College, info on nurseries and local support groups. On my way out, I noticed a sign pointing to another part of the community centre where there were talks. I caught the end of one on drugs (where they demonstrated that the further they go down the chain of sale, the smaller the proportion of actual drugs and the more Ajax/baby milk/baby powder there is in it.
Unfortunately, I was the only person there for the first talk, so it was really a chat between me and a lovely lady from the council who talked to me about the government's initiative to remind parents about parenting in the same way that they're reminded to eat five pieces of fruit and vegetables a day.
The checklist reads:
1. Read to your child for at least 15 minutes a day.
I'd like to think that this should be obvious, but I guess when you get busier that this could get neglected. Not only is it valuable learning and together time, but reading helps children develop their vocabulary, their memory development and their literacy.
2. PLay with your child on the floor for 10 minutes a day
Again this is obvious, but the point is that you get down to the same level as your child, helping them with the "serve and return" of communication and relationships. It helps them build happy memories.
3. Talk to your child with the TV off for 20 minutes a day.
MrM and I have been discussing for some time whether or not we should get rid of the TV. Funnily enough, the lady leading the discussion said: "The children at school who don't have TVs are always...."
I interjected (and I don't normally do this!) "geniuses"!! At that same moment, the adjective she came up with was "weird".
She suggested that if you monitor TV viewing and watch it together, then rather than making the child goggle-eyed, it can provide something to discuss and ask questions about.
4. Have a positive attitude towards your child and praise them frequently.
She suggest telling them what to do, rather than what not to do, congratulate them on being good and ensure you praise them for effort as well as ability.
5. Give your child a nutritious daily diet.
I was munching on the free biscuits when we came to this one....