Here is a summary of our experiences of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Weekend, a mixof good and bad.

1.  My youngest son and daughter dressing up as a knight and a princess and parading through the local town.

2.  Joining my children for a special sausage, mash and yorkshire pudding lunch.

3.  Watching the flotilla on the television with the whole family

4. Lots of buffet meals because I went a bit mad at the supermarket.

5.  Carnival in the local town with the whole community coming together and having fun

6. The rain meaning I could not attend a picnic party that I had not wanted to go to anyway

7. The Jubilee concert especially Kylie, Robbie, Annie Lennox and Tom Jones.

8. Watching the Jubilee Service, lunch and balcony coverage on ITV.  Loved the focus on dedication and charity work.

9.  Seeing Him Indoors finally getting round to laying carpet in the boys’ bedroom

10.  Feeling a new and improved connection with another blogger via support received and hopefully given.

 

Bad Bits

1.  Husband getting himself in deep water by lying to me about what he did on Friday afternoon.

2. Teenager in training son throwing a strop at approximately 15 minute intervals throughout

3.  Darling daughter telling me she was bored in no uncertain terms

4. Elderly father complaing our cat had peed on his bed.  It hadn’t but he was not to be convinced otherwise.

5. Argument at carnival leading to me wondering if I could just run away and be myself once again.  Am I the only wife and mum that feels like that sometimes?

6. Having to take out a mortgage to pay for face-painting for the children and also long queues.

7. That terrible moment when Lenny Henry cut off Rolf Harris and “Two Little Boys”.  Terribly disrespectful.

8.  My Dad saying he was not really bothered about the Jubilee anyway when I had tried to make it special for him.

9. Not being at Hyde Park for the Jubilee event due to trying to fit in with other family member plans.

10.My Dad walking in this morning to announce he had chopped his finger off.

So great things and not so wonderful things but life here is never dull.

Hope your Jubilee was wonderful.

Are you looking for a charity that helps people get jobs?

In the current climate we all know how difficult it is to get a job and stay in employment. But if you are facing additional barriers or may need extra support it is even harder.

 

Apex Works changes people’s lives through jobs and training. We’re a charity based in Leicester – a small organisation with big ambitions. Since 1982 we have helped thousands of people from vulnerable and marginalised groups gain skills and jobs.

 

We were set up initially to help ex offenders get jobs after leaving prison and we now work with a wide variety of people who face barriers including those with disabilities, carers, lone parents, young people and homeless people.

 

Often those who come to us for help have been turned away or not been given any support from other recruitment and job agencies.  We give one to one advice and personalised services including help to look for and apply for jobs, prepare a CV, go for interviews and continue to support people when they start work. We also offer training and deliver a range of courses from literacy and numeracy to IT.

Our newest scheme, Apex Enabled, was launched to help people with learning disabilities prepare for the world of work. We offer a personalised package of support tailored to individual needs. We help service users gain skills and training and get real work experience. We’ve opened a purpose built café at our headquarters, Apex House in Leicester city centre. Here service users can gain confidence in a safe work environment, learning a range of skills and supplying a great service to everyone in the building. We’re now looking to expand Enabled to support people with other types of disabilities too.

From July we’ll be marking our 30th anniversary, a time to celebrate our successes, reflect on changes and focus on the future. We are having a year of events, research and campaigns to raise the profile of what we do and who we help – some of the most vulnerable and least heard members of society. We’ll be kicking the year off by publishing research we’re currently carrying out with employers. We are looking into their attitudes towards giving people from marginalised groups jobs and what support we can give to help overcome any barriers, which are often just due to lack of understanding or misconceptions.

 

We are a charity and funding from contracts, local authorities and other bodies has reduced at a time when there is a greater need and more demand than ever before for our services. We are now expanding our fundraising efforts and aim to go from strength to strength so we can keep helping to change people’s lives for another 30 years.

 

To find out more go to www.apex-works.co.uk

 

Or get in touch

Telephone: 0116 261 6510

Email: info@apex-works.co.uk

 

Dogs are great companions for people of all ages and sizes. They’re goofy, lovable and give you sweet licks when you’re feeling down. Even more, there are breeds that are absolutely great with kids!

Still, when it comes to our youngs, they need a few guiding lessons to interact the proper way with dogs. And, as a parent, it’s your duty to teach your child to love animals and be comfortable around them. You want to teach your child how to be safe around dogs including those they know and don’t know. That way, they can grow up to really appreciate dogs to the fullest.

Given the fact that even parents need guiding from time to time, we put together a small guide to walk you through the process.

 

Make sure you supervise each interaction

If this is your family dog, then you won’t necessarily have to be there for every moment your child is around them. In fact, you’ll want to focus on teaching you child from a young age on how to interact with the family dog. However, if your child is around your friend’s dog or an unknown dog, then you’ll want to supervise the interaction.

 

Always ask for permission

Kids easily get excited when they see a dog, so they’ll run up to it and try to pet it. This is a big no-no. They may intimidate the dog or make it feel that it needs to protect itself. So, if your child wants to approach the dog, always ask the owner for permission. If the owner isn’t around, do not allow your child to pet it as the dog may feel the need to protect its territory.

 

Approach slowly

Your child needs to approach the dog in a calm and slow manner. With a closed hand, they can extend it out to allow the dog to sniff them. If everything goes well, which it usually does, the dog can be patted under their chest or under the chin. You don’t want to let your child pat them on the head as the having a hand reaching over their head may make the dog nervous.

 

Play the tree game

You want to have your child comfortable around dogs. If they’re jumping around or if they’re yelling, this is going to make the dog scared which could lead to your child getting nipped – especially if the dog is not your family pet. So, teach your child how to act around dogs by playing the tree game. When an unknown dog comes up to your child, they should be standing still like a tree. Their arms should be by their side with their eyes down, without making any noise. You can pretend to be the dog while you crawl around them, sniffing them.

 

Let your child give them treats

What dog doesn’t love treats? Exactly! Let your dog build a positive association with your child by letting them feed the dog treats. If the dog is unknown or a new family pet, you want to show that your child isn’t a threat but rather a part of your pack.

 

No hugging

Children love to give hugs which in any other situation, is great. However, the same doesn’t apply to dogs, especially unknown dogs. Though many people think dogs like to be hugged, they don’t. Hugging a dog can make them feel uncomfortable placing them in possibly a threatening state. This could lead to the dog becoming scared enough to nip or bite which is an issue since the head is very close to the dog’s mouth.

 

Show them what makes a dog angry

Dogs aren’t that different from humans. Do we like it when someone puts their hand on our dinner plate while we’re eating? No. Of course, dogs don’t like having their ears and tail pulled, being yelled at, disturbed while sleeping, and having their toys stolen from them. You’ll want to make the connection that your child and dog are similar in that sense so that they understand what they shouldn’t do.

 

Show them positive and negative body language

You want your child to know the difference between a happy dog and an annoyed dog. This will be useful for both unknown dogs and your family pet.

 

Positive body language

  • Natural or wagging tail
  • Relaxed facial expression
  • Isn’t holding eye contact with you
  • “Smiling” mouth
  • Relaxed, floppy earsNegative body language
  • Intense, direct eye contact
  • Lips pulled back, exposing teeth
  • Growling, aggressive barking
  • Ears are pulled back
  • Tail tucked in between their hind legs
  • Hunched and/or tensed body
  • Pacing
  • Raised hair down their backs or shoulders

Include your child in activities with your dog

If you want to ensure that there’s a bond developed between your child and the family dog, then you’re going to have to make sure you include your child in day-to-day activities. Go on family walks, let your child give them water (you should be the one to feed your dog), and allow your child to be a part of grooming. Now, if your dog isn’t a happy pooch when bath time rolls around then it’s best your child isn’t there. However, if your dog likes to get shampooed and massaged then let your child join in but make sure you’re using the best dog shampoo that’s safe for dogs.

 

Is your child not following the rules?

If your child isn’t following anything you’re saying and disobeying these very important rules, then you need to remove your child from the dog. Give them a clear reason why they’re being removed from the dog so that they understand that these rules are in place for a reason. If they follow the rules, give them positive reinforcement to show that they’re doing a great job! Your child has to learn that dogs and all other animals are living creatures that are emotional just like you and me.

 

Now that you know what you need to do to have your child comfortable around dogs, the sooner you introduce this, the better! Depending on your child, they make need some time to warm up to dogs and get used to being around them. Also, your dog may need some time to get acquainted with their new tiny friend! Make sure your child knows the rules and that you supervise a positive friendship developing between your child and their dog.

 

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Anna Smith resides in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, where she works as a Pet Nutrition Expert in a leading retail pet store. She is responsible for nutritional strategies for different breeds and development of new products on the market in compliance with Association of American Feed Control Officials. Anna’s passions are education about proven methods and best practices in the industry and her dog Max, who is always well-fed. She also helps curate contents for DogsAholic.com

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What are your children doing today?

If they are at school or nursery, they are probably celebrating the Jubilee with dressing-up, bunting, cupcakes, games and more. Good old-fashioned fun. Life as it should be.

If you have a baby, look at them. Do you see how they develop every single day? Crawling, toddling and walking. Babbling, first words and then telling you exactly what they want. So much potential, so many hopes and dreams. So many memories to make.

49 children were brutally murdered in Houla, Syria. The Times commentary is as follows “How the children of Houla died: they were not killed by random shelling. The UN yesterday revealed that they were murdered one by one. The militia came in the night armed with knives and guns, and the young victims were executed with a bullet to the head or a knife to the throat.”.

End of fun, end of potential, end of hopes and dreams.

Today, I ask you to think about the fear those children and their families experienced as they were set upon. How would you have felt as you saw your loved ones attacked and killed?

Look out for hashtags #StopTheKilling #TippingPoint #Syria on Twitter, read the posts or at least RT (retweet them).

If you blog, please write a post about these events and link up over on Britmums.

SIGN THE PETITION at @savechildrenUK http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/Your other option is to turn your face away and do nothing. Think of those poor children and do something positive in their memory.