Hello all! It's Alex here. I hope this finds you all well? I have the pleasure of introducing you to something I am really excited about, something I think is fantastic. The iWonder guides. I have had the wonderful opportunity of working with CBeebies to produce a series of online 'guide' videos for parents.
Why me? Well, as a father of three I need all the help I can get!! I love being a parent, it really is the greatest thing. (Well, that and chocolate), but even though I have three children, I still feel like I haven't quite mastered being a parent. Will I ever? I often sit and wonder whether other parents are experiencing the same things; is it only my child who won't eat and sleep like others do? Is it only me who has to convince their child to play outside and enjoy the sunshine? With the help of the CBeebies Grown-ups team, I went on a mission to find out.
We decided to get out and go talk to the parents of our CBeebies audience about the kinds of things they’re experiencing with their children at the moment. Let me tell you, all sorts of interesting issues came up! Everything from eating problems to sibling arguments, speech and language difficulties to bedtime routines. We then took these issues to some experts in their field and asked them to give us some top tips for parents that they thought would be really useful. Things like how to deal with difficult situations that you might not have thought of or just ideas for fun activities to do with your child.
I had such a great time talking with other parents, discussing a huge spectrum of parenting issues. Actually, it was very cathartic for me to be able to sit with parents I don't know and bond over our experiences. It definitely confirmed to me that I am not alone in the parenting difficulties I face. I am not a useless dad after all!!!!!!!!!!
As I've already mentioned, my chats uncovered a whole range of issues so our iWonder guides will cover everything from how to deal with tantrums to how to have a successful minibeast hunt. They also look at helping babies learn to crawl and walk, shyness, dealing with change, helping your child to be independent, how music can enrich your child’s life and how to nurture your child’s artistic potential. So as you can see, there is a lot to get stuck in to, hence my excitement at presenting the iWonder guides to you.
So, what is in the first iWonder guide?
The first guide is all about the emotions and social skills of children aged 4 to 6, and the behavioural issues that might come up around sibling arguments, starting school and developing friendships. Top child psychologist Laverne Antrobus gives us a fascinating insight into the emotional changes children are going through at this age along with some brilliant tips for helping children to manage their emotions and behaviour.
This was really helpful for me in understanding certain personal experiences. Firstly, my family and I relocated twice in two years and so this brought anxieties over making new friends and fitting in for my children. Also, I experienced some upsetting times with one of my children who cried and cried every day when left at nursery. This was so difficult for me and my wife as well as my child so to hear other people's experiences and to be able to listen to Laverne's advice was great in understanding my children's emotional needs and development.
Also, we've been thinking a lot about the older end of our audience here at CBeebies as we know that when some children get to five or six and start school, they can start getting a bit more independent about what they want to watch and move on from CBeebies. As you can imagine, this is quite a unique experience for me! When my eldest two started to 'surf' the television channels, I became anxious. I felt that if they were with Cbeebies I knew they'd be safe and sound, as though I was keeping any eye on them from the Cbeebies house!! So helping them to make the move to CBBC became important to me. So for the first time on CBeebies you might see us talking about shows on CBBC that we think older CBeebies viewers might enjoy and we’re launching a game called Fly-High and Huggy that you can play on both CBeebies and CBBC! Although we wish our audience could stay with us on CBeebies forever, they do grow up (unfortunately!) and CBBC is brilliant. They put so much thought and care into the amazing range of shows and games that they produce for older children that we thought we should let our audience in on the secret!
So there you have it. Enough of me explaining what's going on, get stuck in and enjoy our iWonder guides. I hope you enjoy them and learn from them as much as I did. I'm off to embarrass my children with some serious dad dancing!!!
See you soon and thanks for your support as always