Friday, 1 October 2010

How technology changes everyday lives

Here I am sitting on a train writing a blog.
Could I have done that 3 years ago or even 1 year ago?
It's got me thinking. Co-travellers are talking to their loved ones, others are emailing the office (it's 7.30pm on Friday OMG) whilst the older travellers are thinking what the heck is going on around me!
Is all this for the better?
My view - yes and no.
Here's for the Yes:

  • We can do more quicker
  • We can communicate easier
  • We can share thoughts and opinions on matters we previously didn't know existed
  • We can find old friends
  • We can educate ourselves on almost everything
  • We can stay in touch with loved ones
  • We can find where things are, what's good and what to avoid
  • We can reach people with similar interests

And for the 'No'

  • We stare at computers rather than look around us
  • We can become 'robotic'
  • We may take virtual risks we otherwise wouldn't consider
  • Our kids stay indoors more
  • We get trapped by online seduction

But in balance I'm for the yes, as long as we also do the traditional things like talk, go out, laugh out loud, hug our family and friends, play sport and sleep well.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Mummy's To Do List - Controversial Advice

A recent list of advice compiled by a well know health care provider has created uproar among working mums.

Some of the guidelines for 'working away mums' included:
  • Tell you family well in advance that you're going away
  • Prepare meals in advance and freeze them (Munching on mummy's meals will remind them of how much you love them)
  • Write down important arrangements, appointments, emergency names and numbers
  • Use your mobile to phone home or send an email. If you have a webcam, you can even send a little virtual kiss
  • Leave little love notes. These are great for husbands and children
  • Record yourself. This is particularly great for young children (and, once again, for husbands).
  • Hide some gifts, chocolates, notes or tapes before you go
When these tips we sent out across Britain to female employees in corporate heath-care schemes a flurry of complaints followed.

The company concerned has been forced to apologise and has withdrawn the advice from circulation.

So, what's the problem?

Well, the complaints centred around how partronising and sexist the comments were and to me reinforces one very important element of a healthy family life, and that's communication.

The author of the guidelines (apparently the health-care company's psychology writer!) probably had best intentions in mind and in truth there's some decent suggestions in the guidelines. The problem is how the message was delivered.

So here's our real parenting lessons from this episode 'be careful how you say things to your partner and kids; don't be biased; use positive words and know your audience'

Friday, 3 September 2010

The 13 Must Know Facts of Parenting

It's rarely talked about but according to those that know there are 13 controversial facts about parenting that every parent should know before having children. Here they are:
  1. Children's shoes are unbelievably expensive
  2. It takes 80% of your efforts for teenagers to enjoy 20% of your company
  3. Girls are more conscientious than boys
  4. You see more of your family than you did before baby arrives
  5. Adults start showing their emotions more when a baby arrives
  6. You're more concerned about your child's first day at school then you are about learning to drive
  7. Peer pressure becomes increasingly difficult
  8. As they grow up your children will use language you don't understand
  9. Children do new things 100% quicker than their parents
  10. At parents night you will think the teachers are pupils
  11. The time for your children to 'fly the nest' comes unbelievably quickly
  12. You should be the biggest influence on your children's lives so be full of care
  13. Having children is the best thing that will ever happen to you.
So, now you know!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The 20 Milestones of Childhood

Time moves so fast and part of life's deal is that as soon as you become a parent it speeds up.
So that got me thinking, if we know that there's likely to be certain events in our children's lives then we should use these to remind us to cherish time a bit more and store the happy memories as they happen. The message is clear 'Take a step back as often as possible to enjoy the now' as it'll be gone before you've realised.

Here's my version of the 20 Milestones of Childhood, but just think of all the good times inbetween:
  1. Baby on the way
  2. Kicking
  3. Birth
  4. Sleep through
  5. Giggle
  6. Crawl
  7. Clap
  8. Walk
  9. Laugh
  10. Toilet!
  11. Talk
  12. Nursery
  13. Friends
  14. School
  15. Swim
  16. Homework
  17. Exams
  18. Boy/Girlfriend
  19. Holiday
  20. Uni

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Online Baby Journal

As you may know there's a new and exciting online business just launched called imemoryboxes and I happen to be the founder!

As a key stepping stone to defining our offer we conducted some heavy research into the hassles and regrets of parents. A strong theme came out of the findings and helped us to create our fresh and innovative way of recording life's special moments.

Here's a taste of what we learned:

Treasured photos are not easy to find
Audio recordings are rarely listened to but when they are they are the best way of remembering special times. They trigger the mind's eye much better than anything else.
Traditional ways of collecting memories and recording events are too time consuming and dull
The best thing about memories is sharing them with loved ones - not so easy to do the traditional way
It's difficult to keep keepsake records tidy and presentable

There's lots more (you'd expect me to say that wouldn't you!)

So, there's a little insight into why parents of any age should look after their cherished memories with imemoryboxes.


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

When Children Know Best

As parents we often think we know best, don't we?
Well, take yourselves back to when you were growing up and the number of times you thought you were right and your parents were wrong, especially in your teenage days.
The good news is, you were probably right lots of times.
Here's the type of things children know best and I'm telling you now I'm right!
  • How to use social networking sites
  • What the latest fashions are
  • What's cool
  • The lyrics to new songs you think you know the words to
  • How to text quickly
  • Words that had a different meaning in 'the old days'
  • Green issues
  • To get news as it happens
  • To get information fast
There's probably lots more so just add to the list

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Be Happy in Business

Before I started my new business, I sought the opinions of fellow business people for their top 3 business success factors.

My thinking was 'if I could build a business that ticks all the boxes, then I'd be onto a winner'.

I was soon reminded that 'success' means different things to different people and how important it is to define and commit your own clear definition to paper.

So, if you are starting your own business or working for others may I suggest you do the same and take some inspiration from this list:

The 8 Factors for 'Being Successful'
  • Enjoy what you do
  • Do it amazingly well
  • See mistakes as lessons
  • Smile and laugh as much as possible
  • Respect the people who work with you
  • Listen
  • Pay attention to detail
  • Take time out to review and plan