Categories
Uncategorized

What kind of parent do you want to be?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Parenting is like Raising Aliens. You’re just thrust into an unknown situation. Helping these ‘alien’ beings navigate the world. While also trying to keep everybody alive. There isn’t any secret to being the best parent in the world, you can only be the best parent for your family. So, what does that look like? What kind of parent do you want to be?

woman and children taking photo
Photo by kelvin octa on Pexels.com

I’ve always known the kind of parent I wanted to be and for the most part I’ve achieved it. Which is probably why over the last 7.5 years of parenthood, I have been inundated with questions from friends and strangers. Questions about becoming a single parent, parenting a child with additional needs, moving abroad etc.

And so, I started Raising Aliens: a parenthood podcast (click here) and the Little Londoners: Raising Aliens Facebook group. The podcast is a chance for me to put all my parenting experience and advice into one place for you and the Facebook group is a place for you to ask questions and take part in a positive, judgement-free parenthood group. There are four patron tiers to choose from:

Listener

For only £1 per month you get:
– early access to podcasts (a week before they’re made public)
– access to the private Facebook group
– added to our mailing list to receive weekly newsletters and blog updates

supporter

For only £3 per month you get:
Everything from the previous tier PLUS:
a podcast shout out in recognition of your support
– opportunities to vote for new content via polls & surveys

friend

For only £4.50 per month you get:
Everything from the previous tiers PLUS:
Ask Me Anything Priority for monthly Q&As

family

For only £8.50 per month you get:
Everything from the previous tier PLUS:
monthly 1-2-1 Parenting Support/Advice

I look forward to you joining the Raising Aliens Community!

Categories
Uncategorized

Raising Aliens

When I think about what parenting really is, the first thing that springs to mind is ‘raising aliens’. That’s all we, as parents, are really doing. I used to think that it was like having a dog. You feed and water them, take them for walks, clean up after them and try to get them to listen to some simple instructions. But it’s really not like that at all. We are raising aliens.

But, my kid isn’t an alien?

Of course, I’m not saying that children ARE actually aliens. But it certainly helps as an idea to keep in mind when parenting. Imagine you (an alien) arrive on a strange planet. You don’t know the rules but everybody else expects you to just follow them automatically. Would you prefer somebody who gently guided you as you navigate this new world, or would you prefer somebody who dishes out punishments every time you break a rule that nobody ever told you about in the first place?

via GIPHY

Not all aliens are the same

Raising aliens won’t be the same experience for everybody. There is not a single ‘right way’ to parent. I was reminded of this last week when B received his first pair of glasses.

For months, I kept asking if he could see properly and he said ‘Yes, I can see fine.’ but I wasn’t convinced. As soon as children were allowed out of lock down we headed to the ophthalmologist who declared “he needs glasses” before his bum had even touched the seat. During that appointment, he realised that the world he thought he knew and saw was not the same world that everybody else sees. Once his glasses were ready and he went outside for the first time he said to me “I didn’t know I was this tall or that the buildings were so big!” and my heart broke a little. I nearly sent him out into the world without making sure he could see it properly. Glasses are the tool he needs to navigate the world around him.

I firmly believe it is our job as parents to equip our children’s with the tools they survive in the ‘real world’. Just like we would equip an alien with the tools necessary to navigate a strange, new world.

Which is why I am proud to announce that I am launching my very own parenthood podcast: Raising Aliens on Patreon. The first official episode comes out this Sunday!

Don’t forget to check out our latest blog:

Categories
Uncategorized

SEN Travel: Step Five

It’s the last blog in the SEN Travel series! We have covered travel toolkits, travel schemes, local/international travel, and of course other people.

Now, the steps I’ve mentioned in my blogs don’t need to be followed in any particular order, it’s just the way I do things but what works for my family, may not work for yours. You may be wondering what’s left to think about as all the previous steps covered leaving your home town/city/country/continent. This step is all about navigating in unfamiliar territory.

Where to stay

Make sure your accommodation suits your needs, you might want a hotel for comfort and accessibility (most hotels have lifts) but dietary requirements might mean a ‘whole place’ AirBnB is the better option.

Getting around

Google Maps is great but it doesn’t help if you have accessibility requirements. Look for local transport apps like TfL’s journey planner which allow you to filter your needs and help plan a journey that meets them. Nobody wants to be that person that travels all the way to South Kensington station to see the museums only to discover that it’s only step access.

What to do

If you’re in a city such as London, chances are that you should be able to do everything you want to do within reason. Look for ‘autism-friendly’ screenings or ‘relaxed performances’ at the theatre. Always ask when making bookings what help there is available, if you’ve got young children places like KidZania have a wristband scheme that lets employees know your child may need extra help. Carer or discounted tickets are available at most attractions as well.

What to say

If there’s the possibility of a language barrier – download the Google Translate app, yes the grammar is slightly off but it’s still comprehensible.

If you follow all five my SEN Travel steps – with a few tweaks to suit your individual needs. You should hopefully have a successful SEND break!

NB This website that I came across recently is also extremely useful if you are visiting Britain: https://www.visitbritain.com/us/en/plan-your-trip/getting-around-britain/accessible-britain