I used to be addicted to the House of Tiny Tearaways. But recently I've switched to watching Jo Frost: Extreme Parental Guidance on Channel 4.
This week featured Paige, a 5 year old from Woolwich who had never slept a whole night in her own bed. Oh how I felt for the mother. We have a milder version of this issue as our tot often ended up in our bed. None of us slept as she would sleep diagonally to prod dad with her feet while continually winding her tiny fingers in my hair.
In the end, we got a foldaway bed for her room. And in no time at all, it started to become easy for one of us to sleep in there when she awoke. But following this week's show, I'll be resisting that temptation. It's hard - I have hubby to sleep with whereas our tot is all on her own and that makes me feel so sad for her every night. And when she wakes up distressed, I want to be near to comfort.
Not anymore. Watching how well Paige and her mum progressed, we will be returning tot to bed and leaving her to it more frequently now. I'll only stay in there if tot is ill and needs comforting.
A lot of series is focussing on childhood obesity and self-perception. Ms Frost is not a slim lady so I wonder how she feels going on about obesity to parents. While watching the segment on portion sizes, I was shocked to discover the recommended size of pasta, pizza and ice-cream. By god, we are over feeding our tot (and ourselves I presume!). I'm tempted to buy a whole load of diet plates and also get really small dinner plates. We are also going to rethink our habit of rewarding with treats - most of which are sugary. OK we are never going to withhold food from our tot (unlike the evil mother of Khyra Ishaq) but for now, will try to treat with days out and books etc.
Another portion of the show was about girls growing up too fast. I wanted to slap the mum that allows her 13 year old to go to clubs dressed up as if she was much older. Get the gunge off the girl's face and push her into a playground to play. Of course, as mummy to a daughter, I may face the same issue. But I come from a background where I wasn't allowed to wear t-shirts (too revealing) and her dad has a good upbringing and the horror of so many teenage pregnancies in Dundee, so I think between us we will manage to keep our tot childlike as much as possible. Now I just have to resist the urge to keep her baby like.
Regarding healthy portion sizes :
NHS Change4life site - this doesn't give any straightforward advice on what a child should eat. In that sense, I think it fails monumentally. Although we don't want to be treated like idiots, an idiots sheet of amounts would be useful. Instead, lots of money has been spent on colourful websites and brochures of information that you have to download and wade through
Bupa's portion sizes for adults
American health size Kaboose