Help your Children Develop Self Esteem with Relax Kids CDs

Relax Kids Self-Esteem  After writing about Relax Kids last week, I decided to put one of their relaxation cds to the test. 

My eldest daughter Tara, aged 10, sometimes suffers from low self-esteem so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try to help her overcome this issue and have fun doing so in the process.

Since it's known that children with low self-esteem can often end up suffering from feelings of low self-worth, depression and even being bullied at school or by other children outside school, it's worth addressing the problem as early as possible in a child's development.

Tara, like many children her age, is something of a perfectionist and as a result, often gets herself into a state over small things such as not being able to get the details quite right in a sketch, or forgetting how to work out a maths question. At these times she can get so worked up that the tears flow and she races off to her room, leaving everyone behind wondering why on earth she is getting herself upset about something apparently trivial to the rest of us.

The Relax Kids Self Esteem CD arrived in the middle of last week and I was very keen to get started. Somewhat typically at the moment, Tara, on the other hand, wasn't! 

Regardless, I decided we'd get started in her room and having read through the wonderful booklet of exercises included with the cd, I believed that she'd love it once we got going. However, when her siblings also expressed an interest in joining in, Tara was not happy. Oh dear, she was not going to make this easy for any of us...

We started off by doing some stretching and breathing exercises as suggested in the booklet but then, having seated ourselves in a circle on the floor, Tara refused to join in, instead preferring to sit on her bed. I let it go thinking perhaps she just needed her own space. When the first track began the two younger children immediately did as required for the session, closing their eyes, taking deep breaths and using their imaginations.

Sadly, I had to stop the cd several times because Tara's behaviour got increasingly unbearable. By now she was lying on her bed, thumping her feet up and down and distracting the other two! Grrr.

Almost on the point of abandoning the session, I decided to give her a stern talking to, explaining the point of our session and how it would help her if she wanted to be helped. I explained it was a lovely way for us all to spend time with one another and would help her to deal with her feelings as she grows. Knowing she is ten years old and entering puberty, I am always aware that her behaviour is very much controlled by raging hormones at the moment so I have to take this into account when she is being problematic.

Thankfully, she agreed we could give it another try and that she'd stop distracting Sarah and Jack... 

Rather than playing the same track again, we moved onto track number two, Crystal Ball. Well, what a difference - all three children settled into the session quickly and thoroughly enjoyed imagining they were looking into a crystal ball and seeing themselves in various pleasant and playful situations. 

Each session only lasts around 5 minutes, after which time it's nice to discuss with the children what they got from the session.

I was astounded by just how much all three of my children enjoyed the track and we must have sat for an hour discussing their crystal ball exercise and talking about feelings. We had great fun, laughed a lot and everyone got on incredibly well together. Tara was particularly excited by the exercise and the time we spent chatting about the experience was simply wonderful. She got very animated and her mood was transformed from the first attempt!

Over the intervening days we've since listen to several more tracks and I have to admit to being astounded by just how well the cds are working for us. Several tracks are affirmation tracks and these have been particular beneficial for Tara as she now understands that by thinking positively about things she's having problems with, she will begin to believe in herself and her abilities. Rather that telling herself she can't do something, she now understands that she should tell herself that she can do whatever it is that she is fretting about and that eventually she will believe that she can.

Tara (and the others) have actually enjoyed the cd so much that I often hear them playing it for themselves - which is quite a result! Tara has even taken to switching it on at bedtime which has lead to her falling asleep much more quickly and waking up in a much better frame of mind next morning.

The cd has also had another unexpected result for me in that I've enjoyed working with it so much that I can now see endless opportunities for its use. 

As a teacher in the days before I had my own children, I know just how useful the Relax Kids range of cds would be in a classroom setting, particularly in English and Drama settings. They certainly promote creative thinking and I can only begin to imagine how a child's creative writing would be enhanced by listening to a track as part of a lesson. In Drama, the use of the cds would help inspire children to act out various situations and in art, I think both children and teachers would be intrigued by the resulting pictures children would draw.

Relax Kids cds could be employed virtually anywhere that children are: hospitals, youth clubs, arts centres... the list is endless.

For now, we're going to keep working with our self-esteem cd but there are many other cds also available in the range, including Anger Management, Anxiety and Worry, Concentration, Health and Happiness, Sleeping Problems and Stress Management. 

Relax Kids also offer a variety of books, motivational cards and teaching aids to complement the cds and these are suitable for younger as well as older children. Check out to read about and purchase their products.

28 Instant Songames: Fun-Filled Activities for Kids Aged 3 to 8

Last week a small package landed on our doorstep, a small package that has brought so much fun into our home that I wish it had landed about 7 years ago when my eldest daughter would have been three.

What was contained within? 28 Instant Songames, that's what!

28 Instant Songames is an audio cd and 48 page booklet full of very addictive fun songs, sounds and activities for young children.

What really surprised me was just how quickly my son showed his enthusiasm for it. Having listened to it just once after returning from nursery, he was desperately keen to listen again and chatted about it the whole way over to his 6 year old sister's school as we went to collect her! Upon arriving home he put it on again for her to listen to. His enthusiasm for it obviously rubbed off on her because she was then dying to share it with her older sister!

Continue reading "28 Instant Songames: Fun-Filled Activities for Kids Aged 3 to 8" »

Perfect Relaxation for Parents

B'Mums-Perfect-Relaxation-for-Parents-lulu copy  I've been feeling stressed out lately - as has my husband. Not surprising really, considering we have three young children and both work long hours!

Having created a pregnancy relaxation cd, a breastfeeding relaxation cd and a soothing womb sounds cd in the recent past, I realised I hadn't considered all the poor parents out there like us who aren't pregnant or breastfeeding but simply feeling the strain of family life and work commitments! So over the last few weeks  I set about creating a recording that would allow parents like us a half hour of time alone to destress, relax and  unwind!

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NEW: B'Mums Relaxation CDs and mp3s

Breastfeeding Relaxation   Pregnancy Relaxation     Soothing Womb Sounds

Finally I've got around to making a few more relaxation cds!

Just in time for Christmas, a particularly stressful time for all us mothers, you can now choose from B'Mums Breastfeeding Relaxation, B'Mums Pregnancy Relaxation and B'Mums Soothing Womb Sounds which I have to say is working fantastically well at helping my eldest daughter get off to sleep every night as she often finds it difficult to switch off :)

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My Little Pink iPod!

My Little Pink iPod! I got an iPod!

Now I know to many people that's not a big deal but to me it is something to quite literally sing and dance about!

Pre-children I enjoyed music. I even treated myself to occasional music videos and the odd CD!

Post-children I barely have time to switch on the radio or television, never mind actually listen to it.

On top of that the children have now started demanding their own programmes, a different one on each tv to cater for their differing ages and tastes and so I had more or less given up on watching or hearing anything for the next sixteen years or thereabouts!

But my hubby arrived home from London on Wednesday with a tiny little pink iPod for me. It was a belated anniversary-of-our-meeting present! At first I giggled and sadly informed him it would probably lie unused in a drawer somewhere as I would never be able to put any music on it. He retorted that if I could upload images to my blogs and website then that wouldn't be a problem. And he was right!

I hunted out some of my old CDs and discovered over 50 that were just mine! So over the last few days I've been having a great time catching up and reminiscing -Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Ash, Madonna, Dido, Portishead, Snow Patrol, Guns 'n' Roses, Catatonia, Alanis Morissette... (I've also been listening to my Paul McKenna CD using the earphones without any interuptions! Whoopee, I've found a way to cut the background noise out!!)

I must admit though that I haven't really been using the earphones much- that would be a bit irresponsible given that I have three children constantly chattering to me - but a while back  I bought Stan the Bose Docking Station for his iPod - now that I am able to make use of it I am making the most of it!

One thing I can't quite believe is just how much music such a tiny little gadget can hold - already I've uploaded around 30 of my CD's and there is still loads of space left on it. That I find truly amazing!

Finally, another bonus - it used to really frustrate me when I was chatting animatedly to Stan and realised when he didn't respond that he had been busily listening to his own iPod. Now I'll be able to get my own back... tee hee!

Mum on a Musical Mission

Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up with a song going around and around inside your head? For me it usually happens if I've heard a new song that I particularly like a couple of times over a number of days. And then I absolutely have to buy it and I keep hoping I'll hear it on the radio and discover who sings it!

Well over the last few weeks it has happened again. The first time I was parking my car outside my local College of Further Education. I was running late for my Photoshop class but the song on the radio demanded I sit until it was over. I waited for the DJ to say who had sung it but of course she didn't and I had to run along to my class. I didn't think too much about it again until I heard snippets of the song a few times more and by now I was really starting to love the voice singing it. It was something very unique and special.

So this past Thursday I made a point of calling into my local record store to try to buy it.

The big problem was that I still didn't know who the artist was or the name of the song or any of the words, just the tune. I just hoped I might intuitively find it!

I felt a bit stupid though when the manager asked if he could assist! Explaining my predicament to him I hastily assured him I wasn't going to hum it to him!

He kindly offered to let me hear the couple of albums I was clutching and joy oh joy I had picked the right artist first time. So who was it?

Well, he's a young fellow named Paulo Nutini and the song is called Last Request from an album entitled These Streets.

Born and raised in Paisley, Scotland, Paolo Nutini is a 19-year-old singer/ songwriter blessed with a soulful, passionate voice and the natural gift of being able to tell a story in a song. Like many of the truly inspired singer/songwriters before him, Nutini has absorbed the soul of classic artist from both sides of the Atlantic and channeled it into something original, captivating, and dynamic. (MySpace)

A Rootsy debut from the 19-year-old Scot, whose soulful voice sounds like he has swallowed Otis Redding. It's all fairly low-key, laid-back and acoustic, with lyrics to match ... Nutini is the real deal, not just another trumped-up excuse for a photo opportunity. (The Express)
I absolutely love the whole album, not just the song I set out to find. Watch my words - he is going to be BIG! The whole album is fantastic and even my children love it - we've all been dancing around the living room to it.

Normally, I don't buy a lot of music (Stan's reaction on being told I'd bought a CD: What! But you never buy music!) and when I do I usually only listen to it a couple of times before forgetting about it. But I've been listening to this one over and over and loving it more each time.

I've even been listing family members who I know would love it too - to buy a copy of it for them...

And I know this post has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with breastfeeding (although I do believe everytime I hear this song in the future I will be reminded of my time as a crazy breastfeeding mother on a mission to buy a CD from a nameless artist!) but I just had to spread the word about this young lad's amazing talent!

And if you do decide to buy it I really hope you'll get the same satisfaction out of listening to it that I do!

Find out more about Paolo Nutini and listen to the song I fell for on!