It can be distressing for both you and your child when you go to leave them with a nanny or carer for the first time. Very often, a child can get overcome with emotion when their parent goes to say goodbye, and seeing this is difficult for any mum or dad. However, it’s perfectly natural for your youngster to feel anxious, and in most cases, these feelings fade over time.

separation anxiety

Separation anxiety disorder affects children at different ages, but it usually begins to show signs at around eight months when your child understands that you leave but is unsure whether you’ll come back. The condition typically displays itself through crying, tantrums and clinginess, with the intensity varying from child to child. This kind of behaviour is normal and can go on for weeks or months, sometimes returning when they are starting nursery or preschool.

Here, Nannies Matter takes a look at some techniques that can be used to help ease the stress and anxiety of separation when you need to leave them properly to go back to work or do some shopping:

1. Start early

Introducing your child to other people who may be looking after him or her, such as relatives, a nanny or other carer, allows them to get used to not having you around. You could take them for a sleepover at their grandparents, or for an afternoon at a friend’s house. If you’re thinking of using a nanny or other carer, keep it consistent and start off by leaving them in their care for short periods of time and building up from there.

2. Keep goodbyes short

Prolonging your departure from your child can give them a reason to be afraid when you leave. A quick “Bye, see you later” will work wonders, even if you do feel like you’re being insensitive. Additionally, creating a ritual with your child will help take the pressure off you leaving, perhaps use a high five or a kiss on the cheek as a way to mark your departure.

3. Familiarity is key

Whether your child is being looked after in your home or elsewhere, it’s important to keep things as familiar as possible. You could have your nanny come over to your house, or allow them to take their favourite toy with them when they are away from home.

4. Happy body language

Children can sense your feelings, so make sure when you’re leaving them in the care of someone else it’s with confidence. Give them an enthusiastic wave and a big smile as you leave to assure them they can be comfortable with the person they are with.

5. Don’t sneak away

Although a short goodbye is ideal, don’t be tempted to go too far by running away hoping that they’ll be distracted enough to notice that you’ve left. This can actually break your child’s trust in you, making their anxious feelings and abandonment worse. Instead, ask the person you’re leaving them with to distract them once you’ve said your quick goodbye by giving them a toy or playing some music.

6. Don’t give in

Once you’ve gone, stay gone. It’s awfully tempting to linger or return to see how your child is adapting to your departure. Yes, you may be feeling guilty or as pained as your child to being separated from them, however, this can ruin all the hard work you have put in to keep them calm. Most of the time once you have left and they realise that their tears won’t bring you back, a child will stop crying. Also, any good caregiver will be able to calm them down and reassure them, after all that’s what you hired them for.

If you’re really struggling, and need to understand how they are doing, give them a call half an hour after leaving to check if things are okay. Nine times out of ten they will be, and if they weren’t, you would have heard about it.

Most cases of separation anxiety disorder only last a couple of days or weeks, however, if they continue to be distressed or they display increased symptoms, they may need more time to settle in. If this is the case, remain upbeat. It may be embarrassing or annoying having a child crying and clinging to you as you’re trying to leave, but you need to remember that it’s a good thing. They just love you and don’t want you to go.

The better handle you have on this at an early age will make it easier later in your child’s life when you’re leaving them at nursery, preschool or, in some cases, primary school.

With the spring cleaning out of the way, you’ll no doubt be considering some summer styling for your home. This brighter and warmer season calls for warmer colours, refreshing tones and a touch of redecoration.

To help you get the most out of your interior design, here are six summer colours that are perfect for styling your home.

1// White reflects warmth and freshness

Though technically more of a shade than a colour, white has long been a staple of the summer wardrobe. Bring the clean, freshness of white into your home by repainting your walls.

Not only does white give your home a fresh start to build on with new decorations throughout the year, it will reflect light. With white as your base, you can also build elements of the brighter colours as accessories that will stand out all the more in contrast. Use other colours as accents to the white.

For example, Bazaar Velvet’s luxury rugs include the Sweeping Curves III. This rug combines the effortlessness of white while merging a number of vibrant and bright shades of different colours. This means it can be paired with any number of colours while standing out on its own, including the follow five other summer colours.

2// Rich yellows speak to both spring and summer

Bright shades of yellow, such as duck egg yellow, are commonly found in homeware pieces such as enamelware pots and lamps. Objects painted with sleek gloss in this radiant colour remind us of sunlight, spring daffodils and buttercups.

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Though yellow is a very bold colour that can clash with cooler colours in the home, it is the perfect addition to your home in the summer months. Select slate placemats and coasters for a modern, rustic feel and brighten them up with crockery, ornaments and furnishings in yellow to add a touch of summer to your kitchen and dining areas.

3// Statement pieces in fuchsia will stand out in the sun

Summer is the time to bring out your most electric colours. Gone are the muted reds and deep pinks, instead look to fuchsia to make a statement in your home.

Because fuchsia is such an intense colour, it grabs attention and is therefore suited to being used sparingly. For example, a fuchsia quartz or granite worktop can become the centrepiece of a room as a breakfast bar or dining island.

4// Invoke aquatic hydration with touches of cyan

More sunshine and rising temperatures inevitably means swimming and pools. Summer holidays are typically associated with azure waters and aquatic sports so add a hydrating shade of blue to your home is perfect for the Summer months. Choose a neutral palette for walls, floors, sofas and bulky furniture and accentuate with textiles and soft furnishings in shades of teal, cyan or turquoise.

Cyan coloured glassware will make any drink look extra cool on a hot summer day. You can always find cheap and unique coloured glassware at car boot sales so take advantage on a sunny Saturday and pick up some new cocktail glasses for your next barbecue or party.

5// Stun with sharp chartreuse accents

From curtains to clothes, bowls to bathmats, chartreuse is the only shade of green that should be in your home in summer. While the lush evergreens roam wildly in your gardens and parks, use the luminous chartreuse in your home to stun with style.

Though chartreuse isn’t everyone’s favourite colour, it is beautiful when used correctly. Like fuchsia, chartreuse benefits from being used in larger items such as curtains and pillows to really make a colourful impact.

6// Light coral brings a soft sense of summer and relaxation

Dialling down the intensity, a perfect understated colour choice for summer is light coral. With its almost peachy pinkness, coral is a light tone that can easily be added to any home.

Coral pink can often be found in melamine kitchenware that is ideal for picnics. However, to make a bigger splash with the soft shade, consider a statement wall. Rather than having to repaint a whole room, choosing a back wall, one that is first seen on entrance to a room, can make a statement without too much effort.

Though the selected colours have suggestions for use, ranging from walls to rugs, ornaments to kitchenware, there are always numerous ways to bring each colour into your home. Any of the six summer colours mentioned above can be paired to contrast or co-ordinate with one another, depending on personal preferences and flair but if you are unsure on colour combinations then try using a colour wheel.

  • 14 May, 2015 - 8:44 pm

    Kate ✚ - Love white and yellow together. Great tips :)ReplyCancel

  • 15 May, 2015 - 10:42 am

    Amy Squires - I love yellow, it’s been my favourite colour since I was little but have to admit I’ve never been brave enough to use it in a room. It goes lovely in the kitchen though!ReplyCancel

As the weather was so nice on Sunday we decided to venture out with the boys and take them to The Hop Farm Family Park in Paddock Wood.

The Hop Farm, as its name suggests, was once a large hop producing farm owned by a famous London brewery. The farm is still dominated by the enormous oast houses, now housing various attractions.  If you are interested in the history of the farm, and the tradition of inner city London families travelling to the farm each summer on “holiday” to pick the hops, the Hop Story exhibition situated in one of the oast houses is well worth a look.

The Hop Farm Family Park is open every day from 10am and admission is free, but you have to purchase tokens for some of the site attractions which vary in price from £1-£5 a go. (£20 gets you 22 tokens). During the week, term-time you can visit Hopper’s Animal World, Hoppers Diner & Indoor Soft Play (11am-3pm) and their popular Outdoor Adventure Play Area. During weekends and school holidays all attractions are open, including the Bumper Boats, Driving School, Magic Castle, Jumping Pillows and Children’s Rides.

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We started our day off at their star attraction, Hopper’s Animal World, which is home to many breeds of animal including llamas, donkeys, zebu mini cows, miniature ponies, shire horses, meerkats, reptiles, lambs, goats, rabbits and much more. You have to purchase a wristband to enter the farm which is priced at Adult: £4, Child: £2, Family of 4 (2A + 2C) £10. Under 3’s go free. It proved to be a huge hit with the boys, not that i expected anything less and they were even given the opportunity to handle a rabbit and a guinea pig.

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When we left the farm we headed to some of the children’s fairground rides. Harry insisted on trying out the Disney Teacups while Riley was more interested in driving the fire engine on the other Disney ride.

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The boys’ love being outdoors and they love having adventures so the outdoor adventure play area was a total winner with them. There’s rope ladders, slides, wobbly bridges and balance beams, swings, climbing frames and all sorts. Fantastic fun for children of all ages and really gives them the chance to let off some steam! It’s ideally situated next to Hoppers Diner and is surrounded by picnic tables so parents can sit and relax while the children play. Although that’s not the case with my two as you can’t take your eyes off them for a minute.
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hopfarm19hopfarm18hopfarm17hopfarm16hopfarm15hopfarm14hopfarm13hopfarm20hopfarm21We couldn’t resist stopping by the giant bouncing pillows on the way out for Riley to have a go on!
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 We had such a lovely day out and will definitely be returning over the Summer.
  • 9 June, 2015 - 10:19 pm

    Kim Carberry - What a lovely day out….Looks like you had a fantastic time!
    Gorgeous photos xReplyCancel

  • 10 June, 2015 - 2:19 pm

    Kate ✚ - Lovely photos :) looks like a great day out xReplyCancel

I must admit to having lost my blogging mojo and hitting a writer’s block these last couple of weeks. Lack of time, sheer exhaustion and a need to put my feet up, having spent a whole 2 months preparing for the launch of Daily Essential Magazine – a new project i’m working on with two very dear friends. So this week, i was in need of inspiration and it came to me in the form of a survey recently carried out by Best Offers Bingo. In honour of Smile Power Day on 15th June 2015, they asked 1000 people across the UK “What makes you smile?” 

Here is a breakdown of the top responses:

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And it got me thinking……what makes me smile? Apparently smiling can not only make us feel better in ourselves, it can make us more attractive to others, and help them to smile too.

So, this is what i’ve come up with. A list of all the things that make me smile. 

1. The sound of my boys’ laughing. It’s infectious.

2. Being woken from my slumber in the morning by the word “mummy”. Its power dwindles somewhat with overuse as the day wears on though.

3. Sunshine. There’s nothing like the feeling of warm rays on your skin to brighten your mood.

4. My family. We’re a crazy bunch.

5. Fresh flowers. Particularly peonies, freesias and tulips.

6. Toasting marshmallows on an open fire.

7. Rainbows. Not that i’ve spotted any leprechauns or found that elusive post of gold yet.

8. Dunking rich tea biscuits in a mug of hot chocolate.

9. Channing Tatum. (Like this needs an explanation). He’s HOT!

10. Lazy summer afternoons with a good book and an ice cold drink. Preferably of the alcoholic variety.

11. Black and white. We all have an addiction, this is mine.

12. The smell of cut grass, cocoa butter and vanilla. (Not all at the same time obviously).

13. Painted nails.

14. The way my boys’ look at me with so much love and sincerity.

15. Clean bed linen.

16. A good hair day. Because the alternative is really not a pretty sight and the bad hair puts in an appearance all too often these days.

17. Having a shower or visiting the ladies room. Alone. A luxury when you’re a mama believe me.

18. A long conversation with a good friend.

19. Falling asleep to the sound of rain.

20. Not having to set an alarm for the following day.

21. Hitting every green light on a car journey.

22. Someone waiting an extra second to hold the door open for me.

23. Seeing an elderly couple still so much in love after countless years together.

24. The feeling of being wild and free when out horseriding.

25. Blowing bubbles. It instantly takes me back to my childhood.

26. Candy floss. Toffee apples. Toffee popcorn.

27. Reaching in to my pocket and finding a £20 note.

28. Taking photos and capturing memories.

29. The smell of freshly baked cookies.

30. Robins. They remind me of my nan and make me feel like she’s still close by.

31. The feel of sand between my toes.

32. Watching chick flick rom-coms.

33. Discovering a forgotten, but favourite song on my iPhone.

34. A clear night. There’s nothing like gazing at a glowing moon and twinkling stars.

35. Mr B telling me i’m beautiful, even when i’m having a “fat” day.

What makes you smile?

  • 9 June, 2015 - 2:43 pm

    Kate ✚ - Lovely post :) Most of these would make me smile too. Especially number 9 😉 xReplyCancel