A Child’s Transition To Contacts

Understanding corrective visions (Image ©Olympus)

There are many aspects of preparing children to go back to school that are relatively constant across different cultures and families. For example, children always need things like the appropriate books and school supplies, a few new items of clothing (or a new uniform), etc. However, there are also certain things that parents don’t always consider in advance that are best done before going back to school. For example, if you discover that your child needs corrective vision, it is always most convenient to address this before the school term gets started, as this is easiest for your child. Kelly Bradley tells us about some of the benefits she experienced in setting her child up with corrective vision during the summer.


From my own experience, I know that finding comfortable contact lenses is no guarantee – but I also know that children don’t always want to settle for glasses. If your own child wants glasses, of course, then that is a perfectly reasonable option for your family. But in my experience, I needed to allow some time to make sure that my child – thirteen years old now – could find contact lenses to feel comfortable in. Companies like Acuvue offer a lot of different styles of lenses, and once my son and I talked to his eye doctor about the different options we found one suitable for his eyes. The appointment process was a lot easier to go through without the school week to worry about.


Even after finding a pair of contacts that suited my son’s eyes, it ended up being great that he had some time to adjust to lenses before the school year got started. Personally, I can barely remember when contact lenses were new to me, but I know that my son needed some time to adjust to things like how they felt, when to take them out, etc. For example, he learned pretty quickly not to go swimming without goggles anymore! Whatever adjustments your child has to make with corrective vision, they will almost certainly be more convenient without school going on.


Finally, I also thought that dealing with corrective vision during time off from school was helpful in allowing my son time to learn the responsibility of contact lenses. My son is careful with his things and generally responsible, but any child with new glasses or contacts still needs to adjust to taking care of them, and if you have to deal with broken or lost lenses while trying to be at school every day you may have a hard time. Ultimately, with comfortable lenses and careful attention my son was able to make the transition to contacts with relative ease, but with the appointments and the slight learning curve it would have been more difficult had we waited until school started.

Kelly Bradley is a working mother of two who regularly contributes to parenting blogs. She enjoys both giving and receiving advice from other parents.

Disclosure: this is a sponsored post

Who Wants Apps? WeWantApps!

When I treated myself to an iPad a couple of months ago, I knew I wouldn’t have it all to myself, but I didn’t realise how much my 4 year old son would love it. He now refers to it as “my iPad” and, frankly, he’s right.

The only problem we’ve had so far has been finding the right apps for him. We’ve installed many that have turned out to be too easy (the educational ones) or too simple (the games) and he quickly gets bored. Others have proven to be more suitable for older kids, leaving him frustrated.

So when I was asked to review WeWantApps! I jumped at the chance. Released worldwide on 22nd August, it has been designed to recommend age-appropriate apps for young children (0-14 years old). With several categories to choose from, including Games, Education, Books and Learning for Life, it could make it so much easier for parents to find the right apps for their kids.

The first thing I noticed was the really user friendly interface. It’s very easy to select your search criteria: age, category (Education, Games, Books or Other), Language, Platform (iPhone, iPad or Universal) and Price (Free or Paid). Then you simply hit “Search” and within seconds the results are generated. My search for free iPad books in English, for the age range 4-5, provided an impressive 254 results. We are now the proud owners of Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” (recommended age 4-6), “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (age 3-8) and “Toy Story Read-Along” (age 4-10).

As well as making it quick and easy to find the most suitable apps for your child, WeWantApps! lets you share your favourite apps with other parents and friends, and checking out the apps they love. The Daily App recommendation is handpicked by the WeWantApps! team and is a good way to discover new apps that you might not think to search for. Every single app has been reviewed by the WeWantApps! team, giving parents peace of mind that their iPhone or iPad is a safe place for their children to learn and have fun.

My son and I will definitely continue to use WeWantApps! I was getting fed up searching online for app recommendations, and the sheer volume of the results means I’m bound to find at least a few that appeal to my little one. He has just started school, so I’m pleased to have a simple way to find lots of educational apps to make learning fun.

The only improvement I can suggest to WeWantApps! is to allow parents to narrow their search further within the category, for example by searching for a keyword or topic (such as animals or nursery rhymes). However it’s still early days for this app, so I’m sure plenty of improvements are on the way…

For WeWantApps! updates, new features or surveys check out  www.wewantapps.com. You can also like WeWantApps! on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Disclosure: No payment was received for this review. MOTB bloggers write with honesty and integrity at all times.


The very hangry Mummy


by mybeardedpigeon

This guest post is from Jo Furniss, who blogs over at Glückspilz.

Before I had kids and discovered that motherhood is like being permanently on Candid Camera, I honestly thought that bedtimes would be lovely. A lovely, delightful part of the day, when we would sit in a lovely pile on the bed, delightfully breathing our own fug, and read lovely books about delightful woodland creatures. Well…

…what the Donald Duck did I know about anything back then, eh? Bedtime is not lovely: it is sent to try us.

Tonight, 7pm

Goodbye Sun, hello Moon, warbles the TV and I perk up: oh good, it’s nearly wine o’clock.

“Come on you two, let’s get ready for bed and have a story”, is what I think I have said, but apprently my mouth has translated it to, “Come on you two, can you start a fight with each other and then pull down the curtains while trying to hide from me?”.


The curtains are rehung. The kids are in the bathroom, eating toothpaste and whooping like it’s Lord of the Flies. Irritation starts in my stomach: oh no, I’m getting hangry. Just a few more minutes and I’ll make myself a bowl of pasta with smoked salmon. Lovely.


Man on the Moon


Man on the Moon


Man on the Moon


“OK, if you two can’t agree on a book, we’ll read Man on the Moon and then Tiddler”. It seems like the quickest option.

Tiddler, then Man on the Moon

Man on the Moon, then Tiddler

Tiddler, then Man on the Moon

Man on the Moon, then Tiddler

Oh for heaven’s sake.

Increasingly hangry: the pasta will take too long, I’ll just have the smoked salmon on some bread with a poached egg on top.


I need a pee-poo.

OK, Curly Girlie – you go to the toilet.

I need a pee-pee-potty.

Alpha Blondie, you have a nappy on so you can go to bed.


OK, fine, of course you can use the potty, let’s go and take your nappy off.

Hangrier and hangrier. Forget the egg: smoked salmon sandwich.


The boy has head on pillow, Froggie in the crook of his arm, cover actually over legs. We are tantalisingly close to sleep (kids) and food (me). The hanger can wait a few more minutes.

Night night, then…

Nun-nait, agrees Alpha Blondie.

“Mummy” announces Curly Girlie from the doorway, brandishing a revolting cat thing that resides at the bottom of the toy chest. “Alphie can’t have this catty, can he?”

My eyes swivel to Alphie. Maybe he won’t rise to the challenge.

“Jump in bed Curly, I’ll be there in just a mo to say goodnight”.

Even louder, “But he can’t have catty can he, this is my catty?”

Desperately hangry now, I shoo her from the room, but as the door is closing, a tiny voice from under the cover behind me:


My heart and stomach sink.






Beans on toast.

This post first appeared on Glückspilz on March 28, 2012. 

Would you let your teenager share a bed?

Young Love - creative commons - Typicarlo

Not under my roof? Nikki weighs up the pros and cons of letting a teenager share a bed with their partner.

There was an interesting article in the Daily Mail recently about parent’s who allow their teenage daughter’s boyfriends sleep over. It caught my eye as I had a similar situation to deal with a few weeks ago.

My eldest son is now sixteen and he is a very mature and independent young man. He has always been sensible and I am really proud of him. I’m not exactly sure where the last fifteen years have gone. It only seems like yesterday when I was sat in a hospital bed, bewildered, with a little bundle with masses of black fuzzy hair in my arms wrapped in the regulation orange hospital blanket.

Now he is in a serious steady relationship and I am having to consider the fact that he may well be sexually active and I’m wondering what I should be thinking and doing. I don’t feel ready for this really, it has crept up on me. The thing is that as a secondary teacher several years ago, I saw quite a few girls who were sexually active at the age of twelve or thirteen. Some of them had a few pregnancy scare and came to me for advice. As a teacher, I was able to give objective advice and although I was shocked at how early they were starting, I could deal with the situation.

As a parent it is completely different. Parenting a teenager is really tricky. Teenagers go through such a dramatic development during those teen years that sometimes it can be like a rollercoaster ride, dealing with moods, tantrums, hormones and then their relationships. It is a steep learning curve and as some teens become very uncommunicative, it can also be difficult to discuss ‘serious’ issues with them.

My son is not terribly communicative and when I begin to broach a subject he is not happy with, he gets cross or walks away, so talking to him about sex is tricky. It shouldn’t be so hard should it, to ask your own child if they are having sex? He has been with his girlfriend now for a year and a half and they seem very serious and in love. Because he lives with his dad most of the time, I was quite surprised when he told me that his girlfriend had stopped over with him at his dad’s and in the same bed. I had said that she could stop over on New Year’s Eve, but was thinking she could sleep in his bed, with him elsewhere. He said that she could sleep in his bed, that would be ok. Ok for him, maybe!

I agonised over it. Different people gave me different advice; some said no way and others were more live and let live. It was a tough decision but in the end, I decided to let her stay with him, but I warned him that it was my house and that I preferred it if they were just sleeping. He rolled his eyes dramatically and gave me a contemptuous look.

It was interesting reading the comments to the Daily Mail article. It certainly provoked some debate. The parents in the article firmly believed that by not allowing partners to stay over, caused sex to be a tabooed subject and forced teens to go out and take risks elsewhere, whereas adopting a more sensible, open approach to the topic, will make your children feel as though they can talk to you and they might take a more sensible and less risk-taking approach to sex.

As always, there are two sides to the argument and some of the more vocal opponents to this idea claimed that by encouraging this sort of behaviour is encouraging our teens to be morally lacking and promiscuous. I’m not sure if I made the right decision and I hope that the situation doesn’t arise again too soon.

There was a ‘heart in my mouth’ moment when in the morning, he told me he hadn’t slept all night. I was quite relieved when he explained that she had been poorly and he’d had to keep getting up and making drinks! It has also made me realise that we often discuss the challenges of babies, toddlers and young children, however parenting a teenager is also incredibly challenging and there often isn’t the wealth of information and support that you get with younger children. There really should be as this is such a crucial stage of development and a time when parents really do need advice and support in how best to help their children mature into young adults and go off into the world.

The first year

Nappy cake by Little Grasshopper

Faith H celebrates her first year as a mummy.

As I give my daughter her bottle and put her down to bed tonight, I find myself looking back over the last year.

She is fast approaching 1 and it is a real milestone birthday. Feelings of paranoia wash over me again, have I really been the best possible parent to her since she arrived last January?

She is a happy little soul, eats well, sleeps well and so I know I should be thankful, but in a funny way, as scared as I was of her when she was just a new-born, I guess it feels almost the same. I pack out my days with play dates and activities, and I thank god for my new found mummy friends. Where would I be without them? Our friendships have solidified over the last year; a bond we may never have known if it had not been our due dates so close to each other!

I try to remember what life was like before we had a baby; social, drunk, fun! Well, we have done some of that since she arrived so check that box. And as for the future, I just hope she loves me, heck, even likes me would be great. My love for her keeps getting stronger and I will do my absolute upmost to have the best relationship with her, give her guidance, encouragement and the confidence to enjoy life to the max!

Roll on the next 18 years! I love being a mummy!