Misbehaving Children

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If you have kids, I’m sure there was a time when you asked yourself “why on earth did we agree to this” even if it was only for a brief instant before the thought entered and left your head space, you know what I’m talking about. It’s that moment when your child is doing something atrocious and you think to yourself “why would they do that?”.

We are currently going through a period I’m sure all parents go through ( at least we are telling ourselves this) that is challenging both mentally and physically, The terrible twos as people call it weren’t even a thing for us, no in fact seemingly what he did was save up the twos and the hell-raising threes and we are now living in the Turd (as my friend and his partner called it) 4s. 

It may come as some comfort to all of you parents out there that “I am not the only one having these misbehaving moments”, although it may be comforting at least for me, ill even admit I have been praying to the baby Jesus asking for help and guidance on this journey.

When it comes to the topic of discipline for children parents couldn’t be more polarised on the subject with half thinking “well it didn’t do me any harm” and the other half opting for time-out areas and gold star charts, but what do you do when non of those options work? where do parents turn to for advice? after all, all humans are so complex and unique in our ways, what works for my son won’t work for yours and vice versa. 

For me the subject of disciplining your child is a minefield, going through it is like your Neo in the matrix (if you’re a fan of the movies you’ll know what I mean if you’re not here is a photo).

Children are so impressionable so if your child is misbehaving do you need to take a look at yourself and how you behave around them? are you giving them enough time or are you glued to your mobile phone in the evenings? 

It’s very easy to plonk your child down in front of an iPad whilst you get on with your online shopping or liking your friend’s eyelash or new car photos but is this leading to the breakdown in behaviour? of course, I don’t know the answer I’m an idiot, I’m just speculating at what it could be. 

I’d be intrigued to hear some stories from you guys on how you handled misbehaving children, what worked for you? what made the situation worse? I would love to know.

Stay blessed everybody and have a fantastic day.  

Choosing The Right Primary School 

Research suggests that the first seven years of a child’s life are crucial for their development and future success. Therefore choosing the right primary school is one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. But with so many schools to choose from, how do you know which one is right for your child? are they all the same? does it make a difference at all?

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There are many factors to consider when choosing a primary school for your child. Proximity to your home or workplace may be the most important to many parents but actually, should it matter that you may need to add 10 minutes to your daily journey if it means finding the best school for your child? 

The quality of teaching and the curriculum are the key factors. But what other things should you look for? A good primary school will have a supportive and friendly environment where children feel happy and safe. The school should also have strong links with the local community, when considering these things you should make sure to choose a school with teachers who are experienced and qualified to teach young children. On curriculum, Be sure to choose a school that offers a well-rounded curriculum that includes not only academics but also enrichment activities such as art, music, and physical education. Finally, make sure to visit the school and meet with the principal before making your decision. By considering these factors, you can be sure to choose the best possible school for your child’s needs.

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Child brain development happens in spurts the first period of intense growth happens around age two, with a second peak occurring during adolescence. At these points in time, there are twice as many connections between brain cells than at any other point throughout life; this means children’s experiences here will have lasting effects on their development down the road! this is why choosing the right primary school is so important. 

A good primary school will provide a solid educational foundation that will prepare your child for the rest of their schooling journey and beyond. Teachers who are passionate about their job and have high expectations of their students will help your child to reach their full potential. A curriculum that is both well-rounded and challenging will provide your child with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. 

So when you are looking for a primary school for your child, keep in mind what I said, that the quality of teaching, the curriculum, and the environment are the important factors to consider. Taking the time to find the right school will make all the difference to your children’s future so choose wisely, your child’s future depends on it. 

My little boy goes to school in September, I am so excited but feel worried, no, worry is the wrong word, nervous.. nervous is what I am, I want him to have the best education possible and set him up for success in life. We decided on a school non of his nursery friends are attending but whilst this was important for some parents to “ensure he had friends” this wasn’t a consideration for us at all. 

I wanted him to be with like-minded individuals. I wanted him to be in an environment where he would feel challenged and engaged. 

I’m confident we got it right! ask me in 7 years if we did 🙂 

Being famous is a weird concept…

I was in a London bar last Thursday and Marcell who was on  Love Island a few years back entered the bar, to me this guy is barely famous but a glance around the bar and almost everybody wanted a piece of him, it got me thinking “isn’t being famous a weird concept”

It’s strange to me that some people want to be famous. They’ll do anything for five minutes of fame, and then when they meet somebody who is famous, they lose their minds. I don’t understand it at all. These people are just regular folks like me and you. There’s nothing special about them, in fact in most cases they are positively mental! so why does everyone go crazy over them?

I think the concept of being famous is a weird one. Why would anyone want to be known by everyone? It seems like a lot of pressure and responsibility. With the advent of social media, celebrities are within reach of most people, and that’s led to a culture of obsession and entitlement. People think they know celebrities because they follow them on social media, but they don’t know them. They only know the persona that the celebrity has created and want you to see? You know the old saying “never meet your hero” that’s because when you actually meet these people they can turn out to be nothing like the person they have created for your entertainment, somebody I know recently told me that Anthony Joshua was like that when he met him, on camera comes across as a likeable, respectful guy, but as soon as the camera drops its a different story. I have personally met a few celebrities and the only one I can tell you I hd a pleasant experience with was Tyson Fury, what a top bloke! 

I think it’s important to remember that celebrities are just people. They’re not gods or goddesses. They make mistakes and have flaws just like the rest of us. The next time you find yourself losing your mind over a celebrity, take a step back and remember that they’re just a person. Just like you and just like me.

Plenty of rich famous people kill themselves, many of them find themselves in therapy because we have created a society that lifts these people up so high that when they inevitably fall, it is a much longer way down than for the rest of us. 

Some people believe that being famous would be amazing and that it would solve all of their problems, but the truth is that fame comes with its own set of problems. It’s not all red carpets and flashing lights. So, the next time you find yourself wanting to be famous, ask yourself why. Is it for the right reasons? OR are you chasing something that’s ultimately going to leave you feeling empty and unfulfilled?

The pressure of constantly being in the public eye can be incredibly daunting. There’s no privacy and every move you make is scrutinised. It can be hard to maintain healthy relationships when you’re always in the spotlight. And the pressure to perform can be immense.

So why would you want it? this to me is why the concept of being famous is weird. Why put yourself through all of that when you could just live a normal, happy life? Being famous is overrated and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. 

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The importance of positive self talk | Nobody Cares About Dad

People who are happy generally have high self-esteem and a good opinion about themselves. Positive thinking is the key to success in life. When you improve your ability to think positively, you can achieve anything!

The way we speak to ourselves is important for our mental health, If you are constantly being drowned out by the noise of others’ opinions and advice that doesn’t reflect your own truth or beliefs, it can be difficult to hear what’s going on inside of us. Your mind is a powerful tool and one that should be used for the good it can do,  not what other people can say to have you doubt yourself.

The voices of others are loud. They shout out their opinions at us, trying to silence the noise that our own mind makes. It’s not that everyone else’s voice is wrong or bad, it’s just that sometimes we are the only ones who are able to decide for ourselves what feels right and what doesn’t. Think about the best football managers or boxing coaches, you need them at half time or in the corner between rounds to gee up and motivate the players / the fighter. They are external voices because they know what it takes to win. You cannot tell someone how to play football or box, not everybody’s game is the same, but you can certainly give them tips and hints that will improve their chances of success.

At some point we have all been told by someone that we aren’t good enough. We may have even led ourselves on to believe such things for a period of time. When this happens, our own minds sabotage us. This means that we start believing in those negative thoughts and let them take over our lives until nothing else seems real except those doubts and fears instilled by others’ words or the negativity we put on ourselves with our own internal dialogue.

Try to stop listening to too many other people’s opinions and focus on you, listen to that voice in your head that tells you “you can do this” “you are amazing” because there is power in words, these thoughts can lift you through work or improve your performance at sport.  When you feel like quitting or giving up, think of that voice and those words and they will help you.

You may never know how strong your thoughts are until they run wild, taking over your mind with negative feedback. Whenever we’re doing something challenging, we’ve all had the experience of our minds telling us “no” but it is important to remember that those voices aren’t real. They are just a false belief instilled by others’ opinions or our own self-doubt so try to stay focused on the positive side of life because there is nothing more powerful than positive self talk.

Acknowledge the power of positive thinking.

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Happy 4th Birthday Son

Four years ago today my life changed forever! May 2018 was one of the craziest months in my 37 years on the planet. May has always been a strange month for me as in 2005 a good friend of mine killed himself, I always remember at the time Dave was the first person I had ever truly lost, it hit me like a ton of bricks, and I took it particularly badly because for a time I blamed myself, you see that night Dave was supposed to be staying at my house as we had football in the morning and like most Saturday nights we shared a passion for dancing on the dance floors of Grantham before turning up to football hungover. I had been out in Lincoln that night on a double date and was supposed to be meeting Dave out in Grantham to finish the night, when I got back to Grantham I was shattered and after only 30 mins in the club, I asked Dave if he would mind heading home tonight as I was going to go home early, the rest, as they say, is history….

5 years ago in May, I married the woman who has somehow managed to put up with me for 15 years, 1 year later on the 9th of May we said goodbye to my Mum, it was hard, it is still hard but I know that she is at peace and no longer in pain. We had a beautiful service for her which was perfect, she would have loved it. It was so nice to see so many people there to support us and to celebrate her life. My Mum was an amazing woman who did so much for me and my family, she was always there for us no matter what and I am so grateful to have had her in my life. 2 days later my son was born, life truly does come at you fast and hard sometimes, it’s easy to see how these life events can derail and knock some people off course, therefore for me May is bittersweet.

But I am so grateful for everything that May has given to me, good and bad. Dave’s death taught me the value of life and how precious it is, it made me realise that we are not here forever and that we should make the most of every day. My Mum’s death showed me the strength of my family and how much we all rely on each other, it also made me appreciate just how lucky I am to have such a supportive wife. And my son’s birth, well that was just the best thing that has ever happened to me, he has brought so much joy and happiness into my life, he is my little diamond.

So today I reflect on all that May has given to me over the years and I am grateful for it all, the good and the bad because without it I would not be the person I am today.

Happy birthday, my little man, I love you so much!

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Dad, can I have a cuddle?

I never really put much thought into the type of father I would be. I just kind of assumed that I would be a good one. But now that I am a father, I realise that there is so much more to it than just being a good person. Sure, being a good role model is important, but being a great father also means being there for your children when they need you the most.

And one of the best ways to show your children that you love them is by giving them plenty of cuddles. It might seem like a small thing, but cuddles are essential for building a strong bond between parent and child. They also help to comfort and calm children when they are upset or feeling scared.

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It’s the simple things I love about being a father, like when your child asks you for a cuddle or tells you he loves you, anyone who knows me will you tell you I ain’t much for the soppy stuff but I don’t know, being a dad seems to have changed everything for me. I guess that’s the joy of being a parent, you never really know what kind of changes will happen along the way, but it’s all for the better. So if your kids want a hug or cuddle, don’t be afraid to give them one. Whether it’s at bedtime or anytime in between, I’m sure they’ll appreciate the love and affection as much as I do. And that’s what being a dad is all about – making sure your children know how much you love and care for them, no matter what.

So if you’re a dad, or just want to give some extra love to your child, don’t be afraid to give them plenty of hugs and cuddles. It might seem silly at first, but it will only bring you closer together in the end. And when it comes down to it, isn’t that what fatherhood is all about?

Because when your child asks “Dad can I have a cuddle”, there is no other response in this world that feels so good. And when you get to experience that feeling time and time again, it truly makes being a father worth every single minute. So today and always, remember to embrace those moments with your children and soak up every second you can because before you can blink they will be grown and leaving the house. 

If you have kids of your own, make sure that you take the time to give them plenty of cuddles. Because as any good father will tell you, there is nothing quite like being able to snuggle up with your child and feel their tiny little arms wrapped around you in complete trust and love. And that’s truly a wonderful feeling.

So to my son and all the other kids out there – Dad can I have a cuddle? Of course you can!.​

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Live Today Like Its your Last Night

With the recent tragic passing of Tom Parker we are once again reminded that life is sometimes all too short, and we should make the most of every moment, life is beautiful when we take away all the distractions and just live. So often we can be caught up in the rat race, working hard to pay the bills and provide for our families, that we forget to stop and smell the roses. Take a step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and appreciate the simple things, like a beautiful sunset or a quiet moment with a loved one

So often we can get caught up in the mundane tasks of everyday life we forget to truly live. We may not all have the glamorous lifestyle of a pop star, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make our own moments count, happiness is relative, find your own happiness inside you, and let it shine out.

I watched Toms’s journey like may others from the surprise announcement of his diagnosis to his brave fight and then the sad news of his death. It made me think about how precious life is and how we should make the most of every day. 

I had recently been struggling to manage my feelings, my emotions and Tom’s death made me put things into perspective. It can be easy to dwell on the negatives in life, but it’s so important to remember the good moments too, I had struggled to get motivate to write or record podcasts but it feels like I am over this recent storm and I can get back to writing and recording again.

We should all take a leaf out of Tom’s book and live every day like it’s our last. Make memories with the people you love, tell them how much you care and most importantly, enjoy every moment.

Life is precious, and we should never take it for granted.  

Stay blessed everybody and have a great day

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Bucharest Part 2 / The Hangover Part 2

Ok, so my sobriety lasted 2 and a half weeks! This time I arrive back from Hangover town with a little more than a lost day, this time I have something permanent to remind me of why I shouldn’t drink. Writing this and with the beauty of hindsight, i’m kicking myself “why did you bloody drink when you said you wouldn’t” Nights out with me are truly like a Hangover movie!!  But anyway, I digress. 

I arrived back in Bucharest on Thursday, tired from the journey, for some reason you can’t fly from Manchester so I needed to make the 4-hour journey to Stansted before we even got started, but filled with optimism we packed up the car and journeyed south. I drove this time around as Pas had driven on our previous jaunt to Stansted.

It was my birthday in a few days so given we hadn’t been able to do anything for the best part of two years, I decided this year let’s go big! for my 37th time around the sun I decided to return to Bucharest, A city I fell in love with just 4 months prior, I wrote in a recent blog talking of my love and admiration for the place, the people, and the food… On this trip that admiration was shattered by a complete lack of empathy and compassion for a man that was quite clearly in need of help.

Covered in blood, bandage on my head (had me looking like Paul Ince In 1997 v Italy or Terry Butcher for you older chaps), no phone no idea where I was going, I stumbled out of a Bucharest hospital 5 miles from the centre trying to get back to my apartment. I found myself asking 9 Romanians for help, not for a lift not for money just simple directions! “Can you please help me with directions to the old town” a simple request no? After being told “No, F Off, and Go” my faith in the humanity of the Romanian people was shattered, for a people that pride themselves on their Christianity, there wasn’t an ounce of It to be found for a man so clearly in need of help. 

One of the establishments that turned me away unwilling to help was the Marriott hotel, having been walking for what seemed like an eternity I stumbled into the Marriott asking for directions and was asked to leave quite abruptly. A petrol station, shop a security gate, a stopped car a taxi all met with the same hostility.  Finally on my 10th attempt I found a man that was willing to help, he showed me the last leg of the journey home, and I arrived back at the parliamentary palace, a place I had visited earlier that day by chance so I knew where I was!

My opinion of the Romanian people has changed significantly, I no longer see them as the hospitable, passionate, and proud people that I once knew,!! say what you want about the British but I find it hard to believe that a foreigner in need of directions would struggle to pass 2 people that would refuse to help.  I have never had that experience in England, Scotland or Wales or come to think of it any other country in the world.

After all of this, I’m left with the feeling that the people are unhelpful and hostile, I was left feeling very disillusioned with the city. This put a dampener on my opinion of Bucharest, and I would advise other travelers to be wary of how they are treated by the locals. Sadly, it seems that the people here are not as hospitable as I had once thought. 

On a side note – Romany gypsies get a bad rap in Romania but I have to say that my experience of dealing with them has always been pleasant,  they are a proud and passionate people that have a lot to offer the world, their food is second to none and I have always found them to be pleasant if you are and willing to go out of their way to help.

After my accident, it was the gypsies that came to my rescue, they were the only people that stopped to help me when I was lost and in need of directions, and for that I am grateful. Unfortunately, not everyone in Bucharest is as kind as the gypsies, my experience leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I hope that other travelers will be wary when traveling here, and be aware of how they are treated by the locals especially if you leave the main tourist areas. 

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War – Russia Invade Ukraine 

War on the streets of Europe is a phrase you’d expect to be confined to the pages of history, yet that is exactly what is happening in Ukraine. The Russian Federation has been waging a campaign of aggression against its neighbour. Just over 2 weeks ago Russian forces crossed the border into Ukraine and so the war began, or at least that’s what we call it here in the Western World, Vladimir Putin is describing it as a “special military” operation and refuses to call it an invasion or a war. 

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The Russian onslaught has been relentless, their strategy seems to be one of attrition, wearing down the Ukrainian military and civilians alike. Their tactics have included the use of heavy artillery, missile strikes and airstrikes against civilian areas. The aim is clearly to cause as much damage and destruction as possible to weaken the resolve of the Ukrainians and force them to surrender, a resolve one cannot help but think that Putin has underestimated. 

What is happening in Ukraine is a full-scale Russian invasion, there is no other way to describe it. Putin has repeatedly lied to the international community about his intentions in Ukraine and continues to do so. The Russian military has been pounding Ukrainian cities with airstrikes and artillery fire, destroying civilian areas and killing innocent people, and for what? Putin astonishingly claims that he is trying to denazify a country that is led by a Jewish man. I have traveled a little bit, seen most corners of the earth, yet I am still to find a Jewish Nazi! 

In the face of such aggression, should NATO be doing more to help the Ukrainians defend themselves? or are they doing nothing? . The answer to that question is a little bit of both, NATO has been providing some support to the Ukrainians but it is clearly not enough. Putin knows this and is taking advantage of it. The Russian president has shown himself to be a liar and a cheat, he cannot be trusted. He has violated the sovereignty of another country and shown contempt for the international community and its laws.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine must be stopped, and the only way to do that is to impose serious sanctions on Putin and his cronies. They must be isolated until they withdraw their forces from Ukrainian soil and agree to respect the sovereignty of that country. We cannot let Russia get away with this.

We have this week seen large American companies such as Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and McDonald’s all close stores in Russia, but still, continue to pay their staff, whilst I understand the reason for doing so, the idea of sanctions is maximum pressure not only externally but internally, sadly I feel like the only way to stop this war is for something to change internally, the Russian people revolting and Putin stepping down, or being forced down like the downfall of Ghadafi… is that too much to ask?

It would seem that there is no clear end in sight to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine, it is increasingly likely that the conflict will continue for some time. The Ukrainians are putting up a brave fight, but they are heavily outgunned and outnumbered by the Russian forces. It is going to take a concerted effort by the international community to help end this way.

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We have watched as day after day the UN hold senseless votes condemning the actions of Russia, but to what end? the UN is seemingly obsolete, why have a vote when the country is just going to ignore whatever the outcome is, after all Russia has a veto in the UN anyway… What is the point in countries having a veto? China, Russia, France, Our Mob, and The United States can veto any vote. It wouldn’t have taken a genius to figure out that conflict in the future would likely involve Russia and The US, so why did the UN give them all a veto?

Many political commentators are saying the only way to stop Russia is to take action, but that means NATO needs to get involved. The narrative is, If we don’t act now, it will be too late, and Putin will have succeeded in his goal of destroying a democratic country and its people, does he stop with Ukraine? or does he do as he has practically already said and turn his beady eyes to the former Soviet States. Inaction now may cause us a bigger problem in the long run… So what do you do in Boris’s shoes or Biden’s slippers?

Just in case you have missed the news over the past 2 weeks I invite you to google ‘Russian Invasion of Ukraine’ and see for yourself the devastation that is being brought on the people of that country.

To the people of Ukraine, I pray for you and your safety, I weep with you as I write this.

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To the people of Russia, I ask that you please stand up to your government and demand that they stop this war. It is not too late for you to change things, but it will take courage and strength.

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A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

wolf in sheep’s clothing is an idiom of Biblical origin used to describe those playing a role contrary to their real character with whom contact is dangerous.
The phrase comes from the Book of Isaiah, where God says to the prophet, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

There is an old Italian proverb that goes “Fidarsi è bene non fidarsi è meglio” translated it means To trust is good, but not to trust is better”. What they are trying to say is although it is a good personality trait to trust the people around you, it’s better not to give too much trust if you don’t want to get hurt.

I was very recently stabbed in the back by a friend. It was a hard lesson learned, and one I will likely write about in more detail soon! But it taught me a valuable lesson: be careful who you trust. I have always struggled to trust people. This isn’t to say I don’t have friends (I do, plenty, to be clear) I’m just more careful about who I let into my inner circle. Because you never know when someone is going to turn out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. People can appear to be nice, they might seem like the nicest person in your life but when it’s time to take care of business they’ll stab us in our backs without hesitation or any regretful emotion whatsoever! It is a sad fact about human nature that we all must face, sometimes whether consciously aware or subconsciously at fault for letting oneself get burned before realising what happened, but this should serve to never allow ourselves to fall prey again by trusting too easily those who appear trustworthy on first glance.

It is so important for us to be aware of this, to always remember that someone who seems too good to be true probably is and if we’re not careful they will take advantage of our kindness. We must be vigilant in our relationships and never let our guard down because the consequences could be disastrous. So next time you meet someone new or reconnect with an old friend, take a step back and get to know them better before you fully trust them- because as we all know, appearances can often be deceiving.

People that go through life throwing away good friendships over greed, will never find the inner peace they are looking for. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s the truth. The next time you are about to stab someone in the back, think about how it will feel when that person is gone for good. Will the gain be worth the pain? In most cases, the answer is no. So do yourself a favour and don’t be that person- the one who can’t be trusted. Be the person people can rely on.

Good friends are hard to find in today’s world, so don’t take them for granted. Appreciate them, love them, and be there for them when they need you. And most importantly, never stab them in the back. It will only end in heartache for everyone involved, assuming you have a conscience…

The bottom line? Be wary of wolves in sheep’s clothing, they may seem like the most harmless people but trust me, they are anything but!

Stay blessed everybody and have a great day.