Supernanny Jo Frost’s Best Tips on Getting Your Children to Help Out More


We all need to get our errands done and the difference between having a good experience and not when kids are involved is exactly how much we get them involved. We all know what it’s like being home with the little ones and needing to get the laundry done, with your toddler all too eager to prize you away to do something else. 

Follow the advice of Supernanny Jo Frost to help stay on top of this and make sure your kids are involved as much as they can be. It is equally important for your children to understand that they also have a responsibility to play a part in living together as a family.

First – Assess how you can get your children involved:

  • Look at the task at hand and work out how your children can help. Look for tasks which will be achievable for them and also make your life easier. For example, separating the socks from the vests, taking out the food from the shopping bags, tidying up the bath toys as getting out of the bath.
  • Be mindful to keep the chores short and sweet depending on the age of the child.

For younger children:

  • For younger children, having them match up socks together is a great early educational game as well as allowing you to achieve your task of folding the laundry. It’s a win win!
  • The supermarket shop is a classic example of getting your children to know their food and simultaneously avoiding the public tantrums by keeping kids occupied. Have them cross off items on the shopping list as you go along and direct you to items that are still left to buy.

For older children:

  • For older children, give them an actual task to complete, or a daily job which is solely their responsibility.
  • This can range from peeling vegetables, setting the table, actually putting the clothes away,or being your second pair of hands while you work on any other chores around the house.
  • Have them take part in family fly-bys before you go to bed: straighten out the sofa cushions, fold the blankies and make good for the next day. Tidy away remote control units and tidy newspapers and magazines, either placing them to one side for the recycling bin or stowing them in a stand or basket.

Reward them!

  • Compliment the efforts of this teamwork and how it makes you feel. Expressing your gratitude is extremely rewarding for any child to hear how they have been of help to you. This also encourages the willingness to help again.
  • When the job is done feel free to reward your little ones. If they have a behaviour chart give them a star, or give them an incentive to work towards. You should always make a point to show them the positive end result – all hands lead to a job well done!



Children’s continence charity launches constipation awareness campaign

On Monday 13th April, the children’s continence charity ERIC (Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence), will launch a national campaign called ‘Let’s Talk About Poo’ to raise awareness of childhood constipation among parents of 2-4 year-olds and health and education professionals working with this age group. Constipation is most common in toddlers and pre-school age children; it is important to tackle it at this early stage to prevent it becoming chronic and having a long-term impact on children’s health and wellbeing. 

A new website will be launched with information about the signs, symptoms and treatment of children’s constipation. The campaign is supported by children’s TV presenter and paediatrician Dr Ranj Singh.

Ranj stethoscope

The website features ERIC’s fun and colourful wee and poo characters and an interactive game about poo. The aim of the game is to make children more comfortable talking about poo and poo problems. ERIC’s resources about understanding and maintaining healthy bowels will be available to download from the site, as well as up to date research and useful information for parents and professionals about managing and treating childhood constipation.

On Thursday 16th April at 1pm, ERIC will hold a 30 minute live online Q&A about childhood continence with Dr Ranj. The Q&A will be streamed on ERIC’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/ERIC.UK1

The earlier the signs and symptoms of childhood constipation are recognised the easier it is to resolve and to avoid it becoming chronic. According to NICE guidelines (1), many parents don’t recognise the signs and symptoms of constipation and few relate it to the presence of soiling. ERIC’s campaign will raise awareness of children’s poo problems and improve understanding of constipation to ensure it is recognised and treated at the earliest possible stage.


Dr Ranj said: “Constipation can be a major problem in childhood, and if not treated properly, can lead to issues in adulthood too. Unfortunately, it can be a difficult subject for both parents and children, but the good news is that it’s relatively straight forward to sort out. It doesn’t have to be embarrassing and no-one should suffer unnecessarily – we need to get used to talking about it!”


ERIC’s CEO David Derbyshire said: “We’re launching the Let’s Talk About Poo campaign to help parents recognise the early signs of a poo problem and to seek help as soon as possible. Health and education professionals will benefit from information on the new website about how to keep the bowels healthy and what to do when poo problems persist. I hope that through raising awareness of this common but often misunderstood problem, we will be able to prevent children from suffering unnecessarily from the consequences of constipation.”

ERIC deals with all children’s continence issues not just constipation, including bedwetting, daytime wetting, soiling and potty training, and the other ways to contact ERIC (the helpline – 0845 370 8008/ helpline@eric.org.uk and website – www.eric.org.uk)

Letstalkaboutpoo logo




·         60% of new parents don’t have life insurance in place to protect their families

·         Almost a third (30%) of parents without cover admit that taking out a policy wasn’t a priority

·         Almost half (47%) without cover didn’t take out cover because they think it is just too expensive

·         Asda Money offers more to new parents with free life cover until baby’s first birthday*

As new research reveals 60% of new parents1 have no protection cover in place, Asda Money launched its free life insurance for new parents offering £10,000 life cover for each parent per baby under the ages of 12 months and up to their first birthday.

While becoming a parent should trigger families to take out life cover, it’s not just new parents that have neglected to do this.  Almost half (49%) of all parents do not have life insurance in place to protect their families, with 46% of those without believing it is just too expensive.  When parents do take it out, it’s often low on their to-do list, with 32% taking it out more than a year after having their first child.  Research also reveals that parents with younger children are less likely to have life insurance.  Only 3% of parents with children aged 0-5 years old have a life insurance policy while over a third (34%) of parents with children over 21 are covered.

For new parents, juggling all the demands and worries of having their first baby, taking out life insurance should give them added peace of mind.  Almost one in six (18%) who failed to take it out don’t think they will need it and almost a third (30%) said it is not a priority.  However, parents with children born before the recession kicked in (aged between 6 – 15 years old) are much more likely to have cover in place with 63% stating they have a policy.  Having a protection policy in place of any sort is low on the list for families; just 16% of all parents have income protection in place.

Kirsty Ward, head of Asda Money said “Whilst becoming a parent is an amazing experience, it can be a stressful and emotional time filled with sleepless nights and worry.  That’s why we are offering new parents the opportunity to receive up to £20,000 of free life cover per child until the baby’s first birthday, to provide some peace of mind.  We know that many families are feeling the pinch and we are hoping we can make a little difference.”

Asda Money free life cover for new parents is distributed through Asda’s distribution partner LifeSearch Limited, and provided by Aviva Life & Pensions UK Limited.

Asda Money’s free life insurance for new parents:

•       £10,000 free life cover – for each parent per child. So the family will receive £20,000 in cover if both parents apply.

•       Covers families for up to one year – The policy pays out if a parent passes away on or before their baby’s first birthday.

•       Automatic acceptance – unless a customer has been diagnosed with HIV, or received treatment for cancer within the past 12 months.

•       Absolutely free –Customers won’t be asked for their bank account or credit card details.  And if they have more than one baby under one year old, they can apply separately in respect of each child.

•       Free Advice: Lifesearch advisers are on hand to discuss each family’s full protection needs when setting up free cover. Although the amount of free cover available won’t be sufficient to meet the protection needs of the majority of growing families, it’s a start. There is no requirement to take out an additional policy, but where a need is identified we hope the additional cover is taken up to ensure the family is properly protected.

To find out more, visit http://www.ASDA.com/money

Posted by Tracy Thomas



Arguing doesn’t have to mean that children suffer if couples take action to ‘argue better’, research suggests. Conflict and feuds are a normal part of being in a relationship and research shows that family relationship patterns can be passed on from one generation to the next, so it’s important to be aware of ways to ensure they are less harmful.

The review, Parental Conflict: Outcomes and Interventions for Children and Families examines the differences between ‘destructive’ and ‘constructive’ conflict and how both kinds affect children, why some children are more adversely affected than others. It features the latest evidence on how conflicts impacts on child physiology and interventions to help couples in conflict.

It shows that conflict can affect family life by influencing the way couples parent, as well as how children understand and make sense of this conflict. Destructive conflict such as sulking, walking away, slamming doors or making children the focus of an argument can have a detrimental impact on their development.

Children exposed to such conflict between parents are at a greater risk of a range of negative outcomes including social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.  However, children react better when parents can relate to each other more positively during arguments, and when conflicts are resolved.

Co-author, Dr Catherine Houlston, from OnePlusOne said: ‘We know that conflict is a normal and necessary part of family life.  ‘It’s not whether you argue but how you argue which matters most to kids.  ‘Evidence suggests that working with couples at an early stage in their relationship or during times of change we can modify destructive patterns of conflict behaviour. ‘Practitioners and those working regularly with parents are in a key position to identify families in need’

Co-author Professor Gordon Harold, Andrew and Virginia Rudd Professor of Psychology at the University of Sussex said: ‘Today’s children are tomorrow’s parents.

‘The psychological fallout from homes marked by high levels of inter-parental conflict can lead to negative behaviour and long-term mental health problems that repeat across generations.

‘Effective intervention can help to break this cycle, improving outcomes in the short and long term.’

OnePlusOne offers training for health professionals and a free online course for couples and health professionals called ‘How to Argue Better’. The course will help you stop arguments from getting worse and sort out issues.

For more information on the course go to: http://thecoupleconnection.net/users/sign_in


Posted by Lauren Oliver


WIN! Copies of Arvor’s School Days

Arvors schooldays Cover POD 18mm_Layout 1WIN! 5 Copies of Arvor’s School Days

By Jonathan Ferrier. Illustrated by Matt Rowe

“An enthralling glimpse into life in one of the leading boarding schools for dragons…”
Dragon Times Ed Supp

When Arvor’s father Colonel Grendel decides to send him to Caderbrith, a boarding school for dragons, neither he nor his son realise what problems Arvor is going to have there.

Arvor really struggles with his school subjects: he is bad at spelling, hopeless at games, terrible at flying and a disastrous fire-breather. The teachers get cross with him, and none of his classmates want him on their team. In fact, he’s quite a disappointment to his stern father.

But Arvor has excellent qualities too; he is kind, gentle, and loyal. Actually, he’s very much the sort of dragon you would want for a friend. Can his big heart get him through his haphazard schooldays? Follow Arvor in his trials and triumphs at Caderbrith, as his curiosity leads him into all sorts of adventures: tackling school bullies, sneaking out of bounds, being accused of plagiarism, organising a school disco, and risking his neck to save the school’s prized Golden Egg trophy…

Accompanied by Matt Rowe’s lively drawings, Arvor’s Schooldays is a heart-warming tale that will appeal to young readers of all ages – and shows the value of being true to yourself.

Author Jonathan Ferrier was a GP for 25 years but then changed to being a dyslexia (SpLD) teacher and assessor. His wife is also a retired GP and they have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. They live in Oxfordshire but spend some time in Montenegro where their daughter lives. Jonathan offers the following insight into what inspired him to create the character of Arvor:

“The character of Arvor, a dyslexic and dyspraxic dragon, just came into my head out of the blue, as I think happens with many writers.

Originally I wrote about him as a story to be read to my oldest grandson who was four at the time. However a few months later I used Arvor as the main character in another story, and then over the next year I wrote some more stories about him and assembled them into a book.

I didn’t set out to write about dyslexia, but I have been a specific learning difficulties (SpLD) teacher and assessor in secondary schools for the past ten years, so clearly my contact with many children who have these difficulties (dyslexia, dyspraxia, etc) has influenced the way I write. Although not dyslexic myself, I am a bit uncoordinated, which made compulsory games in school never much fun for me, and this gives me a certain sympathy with those children who struggle in school.

In fact I have often been impressed with how hard they try when all the odds are stacked against them, until in their teens some of them just give up and refuse to have anything more to do with school. Many school staff don’t understand their difficulties and many of those that do, do not know what to do about it.  But then I have the advantage over the class teachers in that I only see the children one-to-one and for up to two hours if needed.

Even though it was not my intention to write about specific learning difficulties, I suppose I wanted to show the positive side of these kids and give them some encouragement. I find them pleasant, responsive and very frank about their difficulties; they never seem arrogant and often have a wonderful imagination. I hope that Arvor reflects some of these characteristics.

It’s funny the way a character takes over the story, and to a large extent I was happy to just let the stories go where they wanted. However roughly half way through the book I began to feel that Arvor was getting to be too much of a ‘goody-goody’, so I deliberately let him get into a bit of trouble. Luckily, being a dragon, I can’t see him becoming a role model for the children.”

Matt Rowe is a freelance Illustrator who has worked in the Greetings Card industry for several years. He has a keen interest in photography, and has recently started to produce digital animal portraits. Matt lives in Worcestershire with his wife, two boys and Miniature Schnauzer. This is his first book illustration.

Arvor’s School Days is published on 22nd January 2014, price: £8.50 paperback, ISBN: 9781909544826

We have 5 copies up for grabs! To be in with a chance of winning one, please email your name, address and daytime contact number to tabitha.pelly@googlemail.com by the closing date of Wednesday 22nd January 2014. Please remember to use the words OPT OUT if you do not wish your details to be passed on to the promotors of the competition for marketing purposes.

Good luck!

Posted by Tracy Thomas  



KidAround-cover-NORTH_Winter-13          We’re delighted that our new Winter 2013/14 issue is out today. Looking mighty fine and packed with loads of ideas for Christmas gifts and family days out, great festive entertainment at local theatres, a brilliant party planning guide and a special feature on the under fives.

Plus you’ll find all the usual jolly useful listings information and our very popular diary dates section so you and your family will never be wondering what there is to do this weekend!

There are some great competitions to enter and you will find them, plus all the magazine content as well as regularly updated diary dates listings and events at our website www.kidaround.biz

Click here to read the North Essex issue and here to read the South Essex issue online.


Posted by Tracy Thomas