In November, we asked parents to help us with our Big Collection by donating items such as warm clothing, unopened food tins and other dried food, hygiene items such as nappies and female sanitary products.
We would like to thank everyone who donated so generously and help us to support so many families in need across Leicestershire💛
Here is the link to our feature on BBC East Midlands today: https://fb.watch/2jcIbOlNMd/
“To grow up healthy, children need to sit less and play more.”
Children under five must spend less time sitting watching screens, or restrained in prams and seats, get better quality sleep and have more time for active play if they are to grow up healthy” – World Health Organization (WHO).
Screen time is a sensitive subject at the best of times for most families. However, now in a world of virtual birthday parties, and Zoom classes and with both parents and children spending a lot more of their time at home, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to know when and how to put limits and restrictions on your child’s screen time.
There are many benefits to reduced screen time including “improving physical activity, reducing sedentary time and ensuring quality sleep in young children which will improve their physical, mental health and wellbeing, and help prevent childhood obesity and associated diseases later in life,” says Dr Fiona Bull, programme manager for surveillance and population-based prevention of noncommunicable diseases, at WHO.
At St. George’s, we understand that it’s often difficult to limit screen time at home, that’s why at nursery, we plan a range of activities that don’t involve screens! We encourage children to play and learn outside in our beautiful large gardens, we encourage yoga, music, singing and dancing, we read and listen to stories from our teachers and peers and we do lots of sensory play including activities with water, play dough and sand. For more activities, please see http://stgeorgesnursery.com/age-group/.
The wide range of activities we do at St. George’s Nursery helps to keep the children active, fit and healthy, as well as to boost their imagination, creativity and enhance their motor and social skills.
Here are a few things you can do at home too…
Start by recognising that with so much more happening online nowadays, some screen time is inevitable. However, there are techniques you can use to limit this:
“When we tell kids not to do something, we almost always need to tell them what to be doing instead,” says Stephanie Lee, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute.
Develop a non-screen activity menu with your children that includes their various other favourite activities, such as cooking and baking, arts & crafts or even teaching pets new tricks. This will help when they are feeling fed up or bored, they have a variety at options ready to go.
Your children may try to reject your new system and act grumpy for the first couple of days. Children often try their luck with new restrictions and try to gauge how firm they really are. If you keep with the plan, rejection and push back are likely to disappear and your children will become accustomed to their new routines.
This definitely won’t be an easy one but it’s important to lead by example. Children are likely to replicate behaviours such as putting your screens away at certain times of time every day. Not only will this help your children decrease the time they spend on their screens, but could also help you control the amount of time you spend doing the same and could give you more valuable and mindful time with your children.
Lockdown 2.0 is here… Does that mean you are back to working from home with the children around? Crying babies? Toddlers singing and dancing? Paperwork go missing? Zoom meetings with your boss whilst your children are doing a fashion show in the background? Yep you’re not the only ones!!
Check out some of the pictures below of some of the hilarious work from home situations some parents found themselves in!
“Being a mother comes with a lot of things; responsibilities, constant learning but most of all emotions. Every day we go through a whirlwind of emotions with our little people. From feeling loved up to moments of frustration due to exhaustion. All these feelings are valid and normal. We can’t always be super happy and it can be difficult to constantly know what to do and what is right.
Guilt. This is a feeling that reoccurs on a daily basis for me. When I was pregnant, I felt guilty because I felt rubbish from the constant sickness and nausea when I had hoped so hard that I would become pregnant. Guilt because I didn’t attend any pre-natal exercise classes to bond with my baby because I was managing a service alone and was left so tired that at the end of a working day, all I wanted to do was sleep. Guilt, because I didn’t go out to make friends with other pregnant women because I wanted to organise myself to start my own business.
After little man arrived, this feeling continued. Guilt that I felt overwhelmed with the 10 hours plus of cluster feeding every day. Guilt that I wasn’t producing enough milk for my baby which was why he was constantly feeding. Guilt that I wasn’t looking forward to breastfeeding because it was painful with sitting as my coccyx had moved during birth. Guilt that I didn’t get out in the early months because I was constantly feeding and the only position I could do it in comfortably was laying down. So on and so on.
It’s hard to come to terms with the reasons behind feeling guilty, and there will always be something that affects us. My recent feeling of guilt has come from the idea of returning to work.
I always knew I wanted to go back to work because I love what I do. Helping others achieve positive experiences gives me a sense of achievement and being. I am passionate about what I do and I love to see the difference I bring to other mothers and their relationships with their babies. This being said, I love seeing my son grow and develop and feel so fortunate to have had spent the last 13 months with him. Unfortunately, however, due to change in circumstance, I have had to re- evaluate my work/ home balance. Before going off on maternity I had planned to go back to work 3 days a week, spend 2 days with my son at home, manage my business 1 day and to spent 1 day as family.
Life had different plans for me and in actual fact I now have to work full time. I sat deliberating with my husband on what was best for us and what was best for me. I knew if I was going back to work, it would have to be to a job I loved and with the niche that I work in, that wouldn’t be easy. Work have offered me some flexibility but I still have to put in the 37.5 hours. I still want to continue supporting women with positive birth experiences and teaching hypnobirthing so it all came down to weighing the importance of each aspect of my life.
I have taken the role and will continue my business too. This has built so much guilt as I know I will only spend 1 hour an evening with my son and will miss 1 weekend a month with him, but what I also know it that this is an opportunity to grow, learn and make the most of the time we have together. I’ll pre plan the night before so I can enjoy that hour with him, playing and bonding. The 3 weekends a month I have with him will be for us. We will make the most of doing things together and enjoying every moment I have with him. I have left the feeling of guilt for holding my son whilst he naps and co- sleeps at night because that is my quality time with him. If things don’t work out at work and it means I have to give it up, we will deal with that at another time. But for now, I acknowledge I will miss some time with my son, but what I will do is make the most of the time I do have with him.
It’s not easy being a parent, not knowing if you are making the right decisions for you and your baby. Regardless of whether you choose to be a stay- at- home mum or a working mum, you have made that decision with good reason. Remember in each case though- make the most of the time with your little person. The house can wait, other people can wait. Do what is right for you and enjoy the precious moments you have together.”
Mental health problems affect roughly 1 in 10 children and young people. The most common mental health problems seen in children are anxiety, ADHD, conduct disorders or learning disabilities.
Alarmingly, 70% of children and young people who experience mental health problems have no had appropriate interventions at the right age.
The emotional well-being of children and young people is just as important as their physical health. Most children can start to show signs of mental health difficulties from a young age but often times these are misdiagnosed or ignored.
Because young people process information, events and emotions differently, nurturing children’s health is influential on their mental health as adults.
Teaching children and young people healthy coping mechanisms, how to regulate strong emotions, how to create a safe space which is welcome to emotional and physical expression are all ways we can try to promote good mental health in children.
The start of good mental health in children leads to the development of well-round and resilient adults. Additionally promoting good mental health helps lead children into dealing with daily struggles and adversities much better in adulthood and helps them grow into strong self-confident individuals.
Head over to the http://www.theminddoc.co.uk/ for more on mental health.
The world is moving in a dangerous direction, and if we want our children to grow up into a natural world anything like our own, we need to act now. A warming globe and wasteful behaviour could threaten food stocks, increase extreme weather, lead to flooding, and destroy precious ecosystems.
Why do we at St. George’s Nursery need to be more sustainable?
Sustainability can be defined as ‘development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.
At St. George’s, we’ve been working hard to think of lots of ways that we can act more eco-friendly. Why? Because we want to ensure that we are doing everything we can in order to help minimise the detrimental effects of certain human activities but more importantly we understand that the path to a more sustainable Earth will depend on how we educate the next generation. We want children to grow up with an understanding of how to look after the planet, and in turn, go on to influence others with their behaviour. The earlier you can teach these core principles, the better.
Children should be taught to respect and care for the world they live in from a young age, if they do, they are more likely to preserve it and consume more appropriately. This could help reduce the consumption of plastic in the future. One of the best ways for children to learn about the environment is to experience it.
Our aim is to empower our children, raise environmental awareness amongst parents, children and the wider community, and improve the overall school environment.
So what are we doing to help?
Our eco-committees, made up of both children and staff, have been learning about various topics such as biodiversity, energy, transport, water, waste and litter and have been implementing various new measures around the nursery.
From reducing waste and using more eco-friendly products, to conserving water and energy, we want to continue to educate ourselves and our children to lead healthier lives, make more mindful choices and protect the beautiful world in which we live.
How can parents help?
Help to reinforce what the children are learning at nursery – from recycling, reducing waste and reducing energy consumption to walking more/ taking more public transport to reduce our carbon footprint.
Wherever you live, take your child outside into nature, whether it is in a local park, or just outdoors, they can learn so much about nature from seeing it and being part of it. They need to understand that they have a shared responsibility to protect the animals and trees that they love so much.
“Looking after the world around us has never been more important than it is today. It’s up to us to take positive actions now so that future generations have a whole, healthy planet to grow up in.
But most importantly of all, we act as role models for your children, showing them how to look after the planet, teaching them about the living world and its precious resources, and fostering their love for nature.”
At St. George’s we take pride in the fact that we have such dedicated long-term staff, who are passionate about both childcare as well as St. George’s.
Every single one of our staff makes each child and their families feel welcome, ensuring that all children are safe, happy and learning. They go above and beyond to foster an environment where our children, their families and our fellow colleagues feel a part of the family.
Many of the team members in the list below started with us in their teens! They are constantly building on their knowledge and skills and their passion for what they do continues to grow stronger and stronger.
Below is a list of our long-term employees (10+ years with St. George’s), and how long they have been a part of the St. George’s family. We are grateful to each and every one of the employees below, for their hard work over the years as well as their commitment, loyalty and dedication.
“For some children lockdown has been an opportunity to flourish. All that quality unstructured time spent with parents and siblings has been precious, if at times challenging. But in the case of too many other children it’s been a very different story.
With no grandparents, nannies or nurseries to keep their children entertained and stimulated, working from home parents have had little choice but resorting to iPad or TV screen as digital childminder for up to eight hours a day. Cooped up and without the interaction they’d normally get at nursery, primary school or toddler group, under-fives have just not been engaging or speaking enough – and in some cases this has left them unable to string a sentence together.
Shermeena Rabbi, Consultant Speech & Language Therapist says: “Usually children’s vocabulary develops naturally from playing with other children. They learn from interactions at soft play, nursery and toddler classes. Not having these opportunities has left many nursery-aged children with delayed verbal skills”. Citing the parents of a two year old who was barely speaking or engaging with them, “unfortunately their reliance on technology as a pacifier has had negative effects”.”
Encouraging good mental health for children starts from the reflection of good self-care implemented by the people around them. Caregivers & parents are great role models to teach children the importance of self-care and encouraging good mental health habits, here are some simple ways we can implement good self-care and mental health within children:
🏡 Creating a safe, welcoming, and non-judgemental space where children are allowed the freedom of their emotional expression
👩🏽🤝👨🏾 Encourage them to attend social groups/activities that promote their self-confidence and give them a sense of belonging
❤️ Accept who they are & recognise what they are good at.
🥰 Make them feel loved, trusted, understood and more importantly that their feelings are valued
😐 Help them articulate emotions they may have difficulty understanding
🗣 SHARE YOUR OWN FEELINGS in order to help them normalise some of their own.
There are many ways in which we can encourage children and young people to be more self-aware, expressive and understanding of their emotions. Sharing our own emotions may leave us vulnerable but at the same time sharing what we are feeling gives our children permission to do the same, if you can’t implement all of these ways I encourage you to start by simply sharing your emotions with your children.
Check out @theminddoc for more!!