Monday, 7 October 2019

Oliver update October '19.

Quick update on Oliver...

Sometimes, it's so hard to be strong when you need to be.
I've mentioned in a previous post that Oliver struggled with his mental health which could be linked to his asperges, however, I thought I had it under control.
He's been hurting himself again, but kept most of it hidden under Jumpers and hoodies and he just wouldn't open up to me and talk about what was causing him to have concerns or feel like he wants to hurt himself and I was struggling to keep myself strong for him.
It sounds selfish - but I feel like I'm failing him. I'm his mum - I should be able to keep him safe. I then start thinking because I've had anxiety and depression, is it my fault? have I influenced his behaviour in any way? Are mental health issues hereditary?

I encourage him to talk about his feelings and use his coping mechanisms he was taught when we last went through the CAMHS system, try and explain that I want to help him understand his emotions etc. but what can I do when he wont open up to me?
Persistence! Persistence is key! Keep showing him you are there for him After a few days he mentioned it was stress to do with his Year 6 SATs!
I honestly couldn't believe that a boy of 10 year old was putting himself under so much pressure due to the SATs he'll be taking at the end of this school year. Oliver is a highly intelligent boy and usually loves taking exams and tests.
I want to just wrap him up in bubble wrap as do many other parents when they think about their children in harm, watch him constantly and remove anything which he may use to harm himself with - the latest was using a razor... but am I doing the right thing in taking things away? will it come across as a punishment to him for struggling with his mental health?

I've learnt I have to take each day as it comes - trying to show Oliver that each day has a bright new outlook and to not dwell on the previous day -  to keep pushing himself to see the positives of each situation. Getting something wrong doesn't mean you've failed, its just given you a new opportunity to learn more.
I've seen more and more children over the years worry about their SATs/GCSE's etc. and as parents we need to be proactive in teaching children that getting good grades does not make you the person you want to be. Getting good grades doesn't make you a better person.

I regular trawl through sites such as NSPCC - Children & Self harm looking for answers but nothing can prepare you for the emotional turmoil you go through when a child self harms or give you the right answers on what to do for the best.

Have you got any tips or ideas I could use to help Oliver? Have you been in a similar situation and found an outcome which works? I'm interested in hearing other peoples' opinions. Mental health has such a big stigma - I have only recently seen Mental Health being spoken about regarding Adults and don't recall seeing or hearing it ever being spoken about regarding children. Lets break the stigma! It really is Okay not to be Okay!

 (Some of the recent marks he's made with the razor. It wasn't until the ones appeared on his face that we checked the rest of his body. I also know I show Oliver's face regularly, however, I'm not comfortable showing his gorgeous little face with these marks on it so blocked his features)

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Baby and Toddler Show - EventCity, Manchester

The Baby and Toddler Show

Last weekend we got an exciting opportunity to attend the Baby and Toddler Show at EventCity Manchester, having not attended one of these shows before I was excited to see what brands were going to be going and having stands. 
EventCity is located just at the side of Manchester's Trafford Centre, so finding the venue was really easy and parking wasn't an issue, the spaces were all adequate sized so there wasn't a worry of having to squeeze Isabelle in and out of her chair - Thank the lord!! I hate going places and having to struggle with not having enough space to get kids in and out of the car.

Once inside we began exploring the different stalls - it was lovely to see some of the Instagram shops which I have grown to know and love amongst some of the bigger, well known brands, as well as brands I hadn't come across yet.
I took Isabelle in her Trike, anyone with a toddler (or better known 'Turdler') will know that they hate their pram but don't want t walk either, she's far too heavy to carry when she can't be bothered walking, so her Trike was a god send! I was very happy to find that the isles of the stands were wide enough to navigate her trike or a pram through without taking up all the room and there was still room for 2-way pedestrian traffic. 

At the bottom of the hall which the event was held in there was a large section for prams and baby seats, although I am not planning another child it was nice just to have a wander through and look at the different designs which are now available. It was also lovely to see that the brands reps were taking their time to speak to expectant mothers and show them the different qualities of each design without them being pushy on sales.

My absolute favourite though had to be the stands with the handmade crafty items which I hadn't stumbled across on Instagram before such as Too Much Cute UK who not only makes the most gorgeous little bows and clothing, she is genuinely such a lovely lady and local to me too who I will love to support and watch her brand grow in the future.

(Isabelle's favourite was definitely the selfie stand)

On a whole I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the baby and toddler show in Manchester, and my husband who was dragged along also said it was far more enjoyable than he anticipated. The only thing we were a little disappointed in was the food stall which attended didn't have much variety - Ste is lactose intolerant so couldn't eat any of the sandwiches which were available and didn't like anything else on offer and I am also Gluten intolerant so couldn't eat any of the pastries or sandwiches on offer either - In hindsight we will plan ahead next time and take some food which we had prepared at home. 
On discussion with other parents who have attended the shows at Birmingham NEC and at other locations, the Manchester event is probably one of the smaller shows, so I would love to attend the shows at NEC to compare in the future and have another great day out. 

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