Friday, 17 February 2017

TLC and treats... the best cure there is

My boys love being outdoors so stopping them from going outside when it's cold just isn't possible and I have to find ways to deal with the inevitable coughs, sneezes and snotty noses that result from their adventures in the park or at football with Daddy. I send them out in layers, a vest, a hoodie over a t shirt and a thick coat and try as I might I can't get them to keep on a scarf or a pair of gloves, but sometimes they will wear a hat. Brown Bear likes his Yoda hat, but often won't wear it because it will spoil his hairstyle. Blue Bear still likes to wear hats so at least I can keep his head warm. Prevention is - of course - better than cure, but it's not always possible to stop the colds and viruses that prevail at school and nursery.

When I notice the tell tale screwed up tissues around the house I know it's time to get on the case as a cold is on its way. My boys are pretty good at blowing their noses, but not so much at throwing away the tissue afterwards. These first signs of impending illness give me time to prepare. I get plenty of treats in for them like strawberries, popcorn, little sweets like chocolate buttons. Anything that they might be tempted to nibble while they rest up if they are off school. We have a few favourite movies to watch when we're home and Firehouse Dog is a firm favourite with Brown Bear. Paw Patrol on a loop will do fine for Blue Bear. We make a den in the front room either on the floor with big cushions or I bring the pop up circus tent in so that we can sit under cover and either read books or watch TV. Piling big fluffy blankets onto the sofa and wrapping up underneath them is another source of comfort on sick days. The additional advantage to this is that the cat also loves to join us. Neo is a really good nurse maid when anyone is ill and he will come and sit purring with whoever is poorly.

The other reason for getting an unwell child to lie down or sit is to tempt them into taking a daytime nap. Something that they only do if they are ill. I had Blue Bear off school at the start of the year and he didn't want me to leave his side all day. I sat with him cuddling and kissing his head to help him feel better. It was only when he finally nodded off that I was able to get up and make a cup of tea or wash up. Still, it's the most I've sat down since I became a parent. As they are often off their food when ill I keep offering milk and snacks to top them up. Toast is a favourite as are breadsticks or indeed any finger foods. Apple fingers (invented by Hubbie), carrot battons and cucumber sticks are all offered, even if they are rejected. So long as they take in plenty of water I try not to worry too much.

Bedtime is a whole other kettle of fish though. My boys will take medicine and when they have sniffles I am liberal with the Vicks Vaporub on the lapels of their pyjamas to help clear their noses. I remember my parents keeping Vaporub in the bathroom during my childhood and the smell of it still reminds me of bedtime. Oh and the time I was getting out of the bath and a pot of it fell on my toe - that was pretty memorable for the wrong reasons ! Anyway, the boys have stories as usual and often toys will get involved in the story telling. Puppets are a great way to do this as are bears employed as characters. We try to keep the children amused, but often if they are very ill it's difficult to raise a smile. I think this trick would help achieve two things - getting them to smile and also maybe to eat some fruit !

If you'd like to learn a few more #VicksTricks pop over to the Vicks Tricks youtube channel

Vicks have found that  36% of parents believe that TLC is a powerful took in dealing with cold and flu season. It's good to know I'm not alone in thinking that spending time taking care of my children is the key to helping them feel better and to aid their recovery. Family Psychologist Corinne Sweet points out that “one of the most powerful antidotes to sickness developing further is parental care and concern.”  and advises that “listening to a story or watching a film is a good idea, as it is soothing and promotes laughter (an immune booster). But don’t let them play video games, watch scary films or spend hours on screens. This will keep their minds over-stimulated, when their immune systems need gentler stimulation and rest.”

No one wants their children to be unwell, but when they are it's good to have a bag of Vicks Tricks to use to help them get well again. I love the sliced banana trick in particular.

This post is an entry for the #VicksTricks campaign.

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