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Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Monday, 01 September 2014
When ABBA penned the lyrics, “I stare at the phone on the wall”, mobile phones only existed on TV as Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone or Inspector Gadget’s wrist watch. It was a time when parents were more relaxed about keeping an eye on their children.

Now that we have the convenience of technology we have the dilemma of when to introduce them to it as well as the struggle to keep up with the terrifyingly fast advancements ourselves.

 So when is it the right time to allow your offspring to connect? Buy them their own phone? Cheap phone, or the one with all the bells and whistles and access to apps and never-ending chatter?

Leonie Smith, a cyber safety educator, suggests age is not a deciding factor, making the decision a whole lot trickier for parents. “It’s based on what your child’s needs are”.

Keeping in touch when they’re out, co-ordinating pick ups, and in an emergency, are all valid reasons for their first phone. If your intention is a responsibility you grant your children rather than a new gadget/toy, the road ahead may be a little less fraught with the pitfalls of whopping bills with game app purchases or downloading free messaging or dating services that can put them at risk.

“Children are more exploratory and most parents I know have their heads in the sand when it comes to social media and smart phones”, she explains.

So a few tips to avoid issues ahead:-
  • Start off with a cheap flip phone you can limit the numbers dialled in and out
  • Find a cheap phone plan
  • Set clear rules about usage
  • Communicate with other parents about their experiences and opinions
  • Be a realistic role model – if your phone is glued to your face or fingers racing across the screen incessantly, don’t expect your children to behave differently.

Like most things when it concerns your mini-me’s, learn what they’re up to and keep the lines of communication open with “face time” because hanging out with your children is still what matters most.

My husband is insensitive

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 28 August 2014
Dear Patricia Marie

My husband spent his early 20s working away in the states doing all kinds of jobs, and he still describes that period as the best days of his life. I find that so insulting since he's now married to me and we have two lovely children. Recently we were at a party when he started bragging about his US years and I just lost it. How do I make him understand how insensitive he's being. He also tells our friends at any given opportunity that he has always popular with the women and hasn't lost his charm. How dare he make such comments. I do love him, but am beginning to think he's not the man I married which is causing me to resent him. I do not think he deserves me or our beautiful children. My friends think he is a joke which is very embarrassing for me. Please can you offer me some advice.

Patricia Marie says...

A relationship shouldn't be a battle to see who has had the best experiences, and it can be difficult to live with someone who gives the impression they have seen and done it all.  Sometimes for whatever reason when things aren't going right, people look back on the past with rose tinted-spectacles.  The need for your husband to convince you that others think so highly of him, is a sign of insecurity, and by shifting it and projecting it to you, he is reassuring himself. He is covering up his lack of confidence by displaying unacceptable behaviour, typical of the sort of person who values themselves so little they're always afraid there not loved. The only way to work through such anxiety is to work on self-esteem. Counselling will help, but first, he needs to admit he has a problem which may not be easy.

You need to have a proper chat, make it clear that you're not a jealous person but his trips down memory lane are wearing you down. How would he like it if you were constantly reminiscing about the fun times you shared with your friends? Discuss what you can both do to enhance your relationship. Whilst working hard to bring up a young family you can sometimes lose sight of each others needs as a couple. Make some special time for each other, so you can both feel loved and appreciated. Hopefully your husband will begin to see he cannot continue to act in this way, as he could risk losing the life he has now. Memories are precious but the past cannot be allowed to intrude on the present.

Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

Happily Ever After

Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Tuesday, 26 August 2014
Fairy tales have their place like chocolate or Gameboys. An escape, not every day, and a little goes a long way.

Teaching our little princes and princesses that life is enchanting and magical is wonderful if a good dose of reality and hard work is also stressed. Although child psychologists and feminists may argue that fantasy is confusing or harmful, I’m an optimist who likes to believe in the possibilities, something children do easily and ever-so naturally.

So with a Mary Poppins skip in my step let’s take a look at a few Disney heroines and see if there is a lesson or two to be learned.

The Little Mermaid’s Ariel, completely alters her appearance, gives up her voice, family, friends and home for the sake of a man she loves only because of his looks – and he has to fall in-love with her for no reason other than what he sees.

Lesson 1 is what not to do if you desire a relationship based on equality and self-worth. Hmm, not such as good start.

Cinderella had a number of imaginary animal friends to whom she turned to for counsel to deal with the harsh conditions of her life. Totally delusional, she crashes the palace ball, loses her slipper and still lands Prince Charming because of her small shoe size.

Lesson 2 is not so fantastical if you consider Princess Kate or Mary. Not that I in any way suggest they are mentally unstable (or have deformed feet for that matter), rather, that dreams sometimes, if rarely for most of us, do come true.

Snow White is simply too pretty for her own good. She escapes death to become a house frau for a family of little men, until another Prince Charming arrives on his white steed to save her.

Lesson 3 suggests that beauty is the key to happiness. If only!

It seems these lessons are not the soundest so time to reinforce that stories are entertainment. They don’t always have an appropriate message but fashion magazines and fast foods can also create a questionable influence if a daily obsession rather than an occasional treat.

Does that mean than every unmarried nanny shouldn’t dream of a widowed captain to serenade her like in The Sound of Music?

Champagne, butlers and roller coasters...

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
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on Friday, 22 August 2014
Sometimes, we Young Ladies About Town like to venture out of the city (gasp!)

Last week we travelled beyond leafy Windsor to enjoy a day of delights. In fact, we opted to forgo our usual light lunches and rounds of cocktails for...wait for it...Thorpe Park. That's right, the Young Ladies went to a theme park.

thorpepark

Now usually, one associates these sorts of places with screaming teenagers, a silly number of burger outlets, and the odd oversized soft toy thrown in. And of course the queues. Endless, endless queues.

We're here to tell you it doesn't have to be that way. You can go to the park, enjoy the thrill of the rides, and glide around like you're wandering through your very own kingdom. My dears, you have three options:

1) Buy fast track. This enables you to hop, skip and jump right to the front of every queue. It means a slightly pricier ticket, but there is nothing quite like the satisfaction slipping past the bored faces of those who have been waiting for HOURS.

2) Make an evening of it. Thorpe Park is putting on Summer Nights activities, which means that the park stays open extra late on Fridays and Saturdays. There are a limited number of tickets, so the queues are automatically lower. Perfect for a date (providing you and your beloved are not overly nauseous types).

3) Go VIP. If you really want to splash out, you can have your very own park host, VIP ride access, all day dining with a butler service, Champagne reception, backstage tours plus a gift bag to take home after all the excitement. We're of the firm belief that everyone should have luxury theme park experience at least once (a year).

VIPs can also climb to the top of THE SWARM (the terrific and terrifyingly high roller coaster). And do you know the best part? You can see the London from the top! You can take the girl out of the city...

Summer Nights tickets are limited and are priced at just £15 per person, or guests can buy day and night tickets for £35.99. VIP Gold Packages cost £400 per person. For more detail visit www.thorpepark.com

My friend has let me down

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 21 August 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

I've had this friend for years - since we were at college together. And I always thought we'd be there for each other through thick and thin. Three years ago, she went through a messy divorce and I supported her. Then, last year I found out my husband had been cheating on me, and after trying to work through it naturally, I went to my friend for sympathy. But she turned on me, telling me I was dragging her down and asking too much of her. We're still friends, but the closeness has completely gone. Was I wrong to have expected more from her?

Patricia Marie says...

No, you weren't wrong to expect more from your friend at all, but you may have to accept that she wasn't rejecting you when she let you down. Sometimes people can't be how we would like them to be, or act in the way we'd prefer them to. It hurts because it feels personal, almost as if she's decided you don't deserve her help. But in reality, her behaviour is about her, not you.

It sounds like your unhappiness, in a situation so like her own, dramatically brought back her grief and pain.

When we want to offload, we have to take some responsibility. Just because we want to get angry and upset, it doesn't mean our friends are able to deal with us being this way, especially if they have issues they are trying to deal with, which we may be ignoring because we are too focused with what's bothering us. While friends can, and should, be there for us when we need their support, often a professional can give us the care we really need to move on. Perhaps if your friend had gone for counselling as well as asking for your help, she might have been able to put her sadness aside and be there for you - and now not feel so guilty about failing you, which I suspect is what the distance is about.

I believe you may benefit from some counselling yourself to help you move forward with this situation. Hopefully, once you start to feel better you'll be able to forgive her and that closeness will return.

The British association of Counselling and Psychotherapy have a directory where you can find a qualified therapist in your area. www.bacp.co.uk



Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows



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