Morning Schedule Every Mum Should Try

Mornings can be the toughest times for all mothers; especially when they have young school going children and a job to rush to. So, let us talk about what you should do before you sleep every evening.
You should lay out clothes that your family needs to wear the next day, to avoid the morning hustle. This includes your children’s school uniform.

Ensure that neither the next day’s breakfast nor packed lunch is frozen. Thawing it in the morning might give it a funny taste.

Put the children to bed early enough to ensure that they wake up fresh the next morning.

In the morning, here is what you should do:

Wake up at least 3 hours before your expected reporting time at work; when you have to get to work. This gives you enough time to prepare yourself and get your mojo on. 

Spend the first thirty minutes working out. You can use your house gym or even get zumba videos.This will keep you fit. 

The next thirty minutes should be spent waking the children up and getting them dressed.

You can now have breakfast in the next thirty minutes and also pack lunch for your children.

Get to the bathroom and dress up in the next thirty minutes(remember you had the clothes laid out the previous evening.) 

You now have one hour left before you can get to work! Get into that vehicle and  get to your office in time. That way, you will be settled in before that board meeting or inspection.

Try this for a week and thank me later. My mum and her friend have tried this  and it is amazing! You might do a few adjustments on your wake up time depending on whether you encounter traffic jam before you get to work.

Lots of love,

Ruguru Kimani.

3 Homemade snacks for kids!

Children love snacking most of the time when at home;mainly during the weekends or after school. It is very frustrating when you cannot reach the nearest mall to buy a few things. This is why I believe that you should know about these three, easy to make treats.

  • Banana crisps. They are my favorite. They are also very easy to make. All you do is  get your ripe bananas, cut them into long slices and dip them in hot oil. After they turn brown, drain all the oil and put them in a plate. Serve them with a glass of hot milk.
  • Arrowroot crisps. These are super tasty. Cut raw arrowroots into thin slices and deep fry them in hot till they are brown and crispy . Sprinkle some salt on them and serve them with a glass of juice.
  • Toad in the hole. Use flour(3cups), salt(a teaspoon), water and milk(you can decide on the proportions yourself according to the desired consistency)to make some pancake-like paste. Put some sausages in the paste and bake it at 150 degrees Celsius for approximately 30mins till it is ready. Cut the pastry into neat pieces making sure that the sausages are evenly distributed. Serve it with a glass of warm milk.

Lots of love, 

Ruguru Kimani.

Talk to me on ruguru@parenting.co.ke.

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Why children should watch TV before going to school.


Children love watching Television. We all know the programs they love watching most, cartoons! This also varies with the ages of the children as slightly older children are inclined to watching more informative programs. We as  parents play a huge role in determining what they  watch as some programs might require parental guidance. This is where I hope you have children restrictions on your TV turned on!

I believe that children should watch TV in the morning before they go to school, for at least 25-30 minutes. I personally let my siblings watch their favorite programs each morning as they have their breakfast. This is why I think that more parents should adopt this:-

Children become more creative. When they have an interesting jumpstart on their day,they are more likely to think clearly and have great ideas on tasks given to them.

It sets them in a good mood. We adults have that one page we look up when we get to the office. We have that one amazing speaker we listen to each morning. That gets us psyched up to do our duties. Children also need something to excite them and get them jovial.

They wake up early. I have noticed that if I have my sibling’s favorite episode of “Blackish”, I do not have to pull anyone out of bed. They always wake up early and get themselves ready for breakfast time when they can watch the movie.

They are disciplined. Incentive for something creates personal discipline .At home, if homework is not completed in time the previous night after school, the morning session is cancelled. This is something that would create a new breed of children.

It builds them. This mainly depends on the choice of programs we make for them. I would recommend that we chose programs that are informative in different fields of science or if the children are young, then something funny with good grammar would do. 

Lots of love, 

Ruguru Kimani.

Talk to me on parentingexciting@gmail.com.

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Photo credits:- Huffpost.

How big should a family be?

I ask, how big should a family be? This is a question that would be answered differently by most of you. I will give my answer right here the bigger, the merrier! This is my opinion influenced by the size of my family back at hom;we are 8. I believe that this is topic that most girls discuss in their sleep overs, dressed up in their little cute pajamas. Guys rarely  discuss this, if they do, maybe this is when they are on their sixth or seventh bottle of you know what. (They avoid the topic like a plague!)

I would like to share my thoughts on factors that you should consider when deciding on your family size:-

(1)Look at your finances. This is one of the main things that you should put into consideration. Before you bring your little babies into this world, make sure that you can provide for all of them. This means that you can take them to good schools, get them good food, and also have enough money left for their entertainment.

(2)How big is your house? This should be important to look into if at all you are not planning to move out anytime soon. There should be enough space for them to live in and play!

(3)Your parenting skills. How good are you at bringing up children? If you know that you are not very good at managing a very big family, then, maybe you should stick to having a small one. The  few children that you have will get maximum attention from you. Or els, you can always refer to Exciting Parenting, and that way, you will sharpen your skills.

(4)Your spouse’s preference. There should be a common line of agreement between you and your partner on how many children you should have, and that way, you can come up with your ideal size.

(5)Your health status. As women, we might have a few health conditions in which getting pregnant is contraindicated,such as in class 4 heart diseases. These include pulmonary artery hypertension or previous peripartum cardiomyopathy.

I am sure there are more things that we should consider. Please leave them at the comment section!

Lots of love,

Ruguru Kimani!

Photo credits: Wikimedia

 5 ITEMS IN A KINDERGARTEN CHECKLIST. 

Is your child finally going to school? Are you exhilarated? Amidst all the joy there is fear lurking in the back of your mind. I am sure that you are worried about the quality of the school that you might pick for your son or daughter. The child has lived all of their life at home and now they are moving into a new environment where they have to interact with other people. Will they catch diseases?You keep wondering!

Here are a few things that you should look into before you select a school for your child:-

  • Fee Structure. You should ensure that you can afford the amount of money required for the whole course. This will avoid several mishaps that might have you moving your child to many schools, which might lead to adulteration of their learning process.
  • Qualifications of the teachers. You should ensure that the teachers in your selected school are qualified to handle the children. That way, they can run the children’s curriculum appropriately.
  • Hygiene status. Before you get your child admitted to a kindergarten, do a quick inspection of the whole school. This will ensure that you take your child to a clean school which reduces the risk of them getting infected by mainly food and water borne diseases.
  • Proximity to your home or workplace. The kindergarten should be near you so that you can easily pick up your child after school and also drop them off. Young children frequently get sick and so in case of any emergency and you are called back to school, you can easily get there.
  • Seek reviews. To ensure that you are making the best decision, get an extra opinion of someone who knows the school very well. Either look up reviews online or ask friends and relatives what they have to say about it.

With these 5 steps, you will definitely find the perfect school for your son or daughter. I am looking forward to have your little muffins grow into amazing angels!

Lots of love, 

Ruguru Kimani.

Talk to me on parentingexciting@gmail.com.

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Photo credits:contemporary toy organisers.

5 REASONS WHY NANNIES QUIT


Have you had this menace where every single nanny leaves within 2 months? Have you had more than 6 nannies in the last one year? I know what it feels like.

Some of us get our nannies from the villages through the help of our relatives. This so far has been the best idea as we believe that they are naïve and will keep away from the city drama. Some of us get them from ‘Nannie Hiring Companies’, where we believe they get enough training in household chores.Despite making these choices, they end up quitting.

I had a personal  experience with a Nannie my mother had hired 14 years ago. She locked the house and left my younger sister outside when she was only 6 months old. This was without any prior notice! The neighbours realised there was a baby outside when they heard the incessant cries.

Many parents have had nannies leave when they least expect, creating anguish and confusion.Here are some of the reasons as to why they quit:-

  • Poor pay.Most nannies are given meager pay with which they can hardly meet their personal needs. A certain amount of money should be agreed on before starting the job.
  • Seclusion. Most nannies love working in busy areas where they can freely mingle. In that case, areas that are closed up might tempt them to quit.
  • Family wrangles.Humans love peace. That said, no nannie would enjoy working in an environment where the employers are always fighting and arguing. This might prompt them to leave.
  • Micromanagement.We at times employ nannies but want to dictate every single detail of their work. It is at times very uncomfortable and irritating. It is okay to train them on a few things for the first few days,but after some time maybe we should let them do their job.
  • Better opportunities. You might get a nannie from the village or from a company but when they get to your home area another opportunity comes up. They would definitely have to quit and get the better job!

So, when your Nannie quits, most of the time they have very good reasons to do so. Make sure that you have a lengthy discussion on the working conditions when they start working at your house.

Lots of love, 

Ruguru Kimani.

Talk to me on parentingexciting@gmail.com.

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Photo credits:The Fairy Graphics

HAVE YOU HEARD ANY OF THESE VACCINATION MYTHS?

Immunization gives us the chills and brings tears into our eyes as we see those needles go through the tender thighs of our children. It gets better when we go for the ones administered orally.

Vaccines are highly important to keep dangerous diseases at bay. The problem is that most of us have heard so many myths that scare us from taking our children to get the jabs. This will be an amazing journey for me as I iron out some of the not-true-stories that we might have heard from our fellow parents and equip you with the truth

(1)It is better to wait for children to grow a little bit older in order to give them vaccines.

    The vaccines have appropriate windows in which they should be administered. If you miss out on this time, the children will get infected with the diseases when they are most vulnerable. This is life threatening and the schedule given should be followed to the letter.

(2)Vaccines should not be given when children are having colds.

Children can easily be given vaccines even when they are fighting off colds or having a mild fever. One should consult with a doctor on whether vaccines should be postponed rather than delaying them on your own.

(4)My baby might get the disease that the vaccine is supposed to prevent.

Most vaccines, for example, those given for Meningitis and DPT contain killed and not live vaccines. That means that there is no chance of the baby contracting the disease.

(5)Vaccines cause autism and other developmental disorders.

There has been a linked connection between Mumps, measles,Rubella Vaccine (MMR vaccine) and autism. This got kicked out by a case report in England 7 years ago. The notion emerged since autism normally manifests at the age of one year when most vaccines are given, worry not, your baby will not get this!

(6)The major diseases have disappeared; we do not need the vaccine.

This is not true as most diseases re-emerge, such as pertussis and measles. This is serious as the unvaccinated children might spread the diseases to other family members. The diseases might also be still active in other countries and the baby might get it from foreigners.

(7)Other children are getting vaccinated; mine does not need to be.

You baby might get the disease from school or maybe from other public places if they miss out on their vaccinations. They are at 22 times risk of getting the diseases, if not protected. The more the children immunized, the lower the risk of having the children infected.

     I believe I will be meeting all of you in the clinics as we get our children immunized.

Lots of love!

Ruguru Kimani.

Talk to me on parentingexciting@gmail.com.

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Photo credits:new kids center

5 LANGUAGES OF LOVE WITH OUR CHILDREN.

Having children in our homes is one of the greatest blessings we can ever experience. The children can, for instance, be our  daughters and sons, siblings or younger relatives with whom we stay.Our homes are always filled with laughter and lots of merry making.

At times it gets disheartening when distance comes in between us and our children. Interaction is minimized, and our children can’t open up to us freely. There is fear that the children might be hiding dark secrets from us. This is where we need to know how to reconnect with our lovely angels.

With me are 5 languages of love that we can use to get closer to our children and express our affection towards them;-

(a)Words of affirmation.

We might think that talk is cheap, but words that we use on our children might make them stronger and bring us closer to them .We should let them know that we love them and appreciate their effort to make us happy. Making them feel special should be one of our greatest strengths.

(b)Quality time

Spending quality time with our children lets them know that they are a special part of our lives. During the weekends we should spare some time to play games with them or even go to the park. After work, we should get some time to help them with their homework, or maybe watch a movie. We should simply be with them.

(c)Giving gifts

Children love gifts! They are always looking forward to the festive season where they can get their favorite doll or toy from the family secret Santa. Surprising them once in a while with something small makes a huge difference in our relationship with them.

(d)Acts of service

Ever thought of giving your little son or daughter a foot massage, or making them some pancakes with American Garden’s delicious pancake sauce? Doing something small and amazing for them makes them feel loved. You would even consider ironing a dress for your daughter as she goes out or even cover a few books for your son instead of him doing all the work.

(e)Physical touch

Physical touch goes a long way in creating a connection between you and your children. A light tap on their shoulders as you speak to them or even holding them on your laps as they sleep is great. All this creates a huge bond between you and the children.

I hope this helps all of you!

Lots of love,

Ruguru Kimani.

Talk to me on parentingexciting@gmail.com.

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 HANDLING OUR TINY GIFTS.


These gifts we are going to be discussing here are our children. We may have very young ones, or older ones who can talk or walk on their own. At times they annoy us and we are left staring at them not knowing how to handle them.

To start, we need to first understand why children make mistakes. Most of them do not know that they are making mistakes and at times do it out of curiosity. Children are very experimental by nature. By the age of 6 years, I loved helping out in many kitchen chores. I remember washing 5kgs of rice for my mother so that she would only cook the rice without washing it. This was pretty annoying as most of the rice ended up fermenting and we had to throw it away. My mum being very understanding only talked to me and made me understand that what I had done was wrong, instead of beating the “hell” out of me as anyone else would have thought of doing.

Children also do not worry or care very much about the consequences of their actions as we adults do, so let’s say they make most of their mistakes not thinking of what would follow later on.

In addition, children also make mistakes by copying some of the things that we adults do. They may also take from their other schoolmates, and so before we punish them we should also consider the environment that they are exposed to. When we look carefully into some of the insults that children use in our houses, we may learn that most of them are borrowed from the children they study with back at school, or from the ones they live with in the neighborhood.

I am not a local expert, but there are a few tips that I would give when it comes to handling our children when they are wrong:

(a)Be Firm

When correcting a child, be very firm wen making your points. Make the child sit and make sure that as you speak to them, they understand every single word that you are saying. Correcting children and making it a very light matter leads to redundancy of the same mistake and its always going to be worse as they do not take you seriously.

(b)Do not make fun of their mistake

When correcting one of your children, ensure that neither you nor the other siblings make fun of the child. When you ridicule the children you annoy them and they might sink into depression. Name calling by you or the other siblings eg “thief” might create self-harming thoughts in the child.

(c) Grade your disciplinary strategies.

Every action has a reaction, and all actions do not call for similar reactions . You should come up with your own kinds of ways to discipline your own children according to the mistakes that they make. An example is when a child is being naughty and is not taking instructions when sent. Maybe you should consider denying them a few privileges like taking them to the mall or their favorite weekend pie. If they are not doing their homework maybe you should consider having them miss their favorite cartoon show. That way, if you vary your ways of giving them discipline, they will understand the weight of their different mistakes and that way their discernment will be improved.

(d)Give them realistic examples

It is important to give examples of people who have made right and wrong decisions in their life so that they can relate to a real case scenario that they know of. This way they will know the projected effects of their decisions. This also varies with the child’s age as you would not give a 5 year old an example of a bank robber. 

A case scenario:

You notice that your youngest daughter has been shoplifting from the supermarket every time you go shopping. What would you do?

Your first instinct might be to beat up the child and hope that they do not do that again, trust me they will do it again. The next time they will carry out a whole fridge from the supermarket.

The best thing to do would be to first ask the child to tell you why they have been doing that. Is it because you are not purchasing the items for them or they enjoy the thrill of sneaking out without being caught? After they explain to you, let them understand that what they have been doing is wrong. The final and most important step is to take the items that they have shoplifted and make them destroy them themselves completely. An example is a stolen box of chewing gum, take the child to your washroom, have them open the box and spill the contents into the toilet themselves. This ensures that the reality of their actions sinks in completely. That way they will understand your disapproval  and will not do it again.
I hope that my tips inspire you.

Lots of Love from me,

Ruguru Kimani.

Talk to me on parentingexciting@gmail.com

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