My TV Debut - BRITAINS BEST PARENT!! Parent Centric and proud!
Updated: Jun 30
So last Thursday my son Jack and I took part in episode 2 of Channel 4 TV show, Britain’s Best Parent.
Since the show has aired I have had hundreds of messages on Instagram/Facebook from the kindest, loveliest people! I was so overwhelmed and never expected strangers to reach out and every single message made me smile, so thank you.
However taking part in a show like this I was prepared for people to not to like me or say negative things, which is fine as everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect that!
I think every single family on the show so far have had a little bad press/comments. Remember the press are never going to print positives from a show like this because they want dramatic headlines to attract the readers. When it comes to online trolls they really don’t bother me. Why do I care what people think especially strangers! I’m happy, my son is happy
.and I refuse to let these negative vibes into my positive life.. Why would I focus on the bad when so much good has come from this too! The people I’ve met, experiences Jack and I had, the memories we made, and the hundreds of kind messages.
If your reading this then you will already know I blog and post my life on social media and with this being such a big deal for me and Jack, I wanted to write a blog all about the show and what was shown on my episode. Remember what you saw was a snippet of what was filmed! They had to scram in hours/days/weeks of filming into an hour show, however I am happy with what was shown and stand by what I tried to showcase which is my parenting style, parent centric!!
BEING PARENT CENTRIC!!
Since becoming a mum 12 years ago I have always been parent centric! This means my own needs are just as important as those of my son and I will always ensure to be HANNAH and not just 'Jack's mum’.
Even down to when Jack was born I decided to not breast feed because I look at my boobs as MINE and I wanted him in a routine for when I returned to work. Jack was in a routine and sleeping through the night from 2 weeks old, and never had any health problems may I add.
Parenting this way I will admit was to benefit me, so Jack would fit into my life. Jack's Dad and I separated when Jack was just a couple of months old, he has always had a great relationship with his Dad and we co-parent amazingly, we do his birthdays together and all sort, but the fact is since Jack was a baby I have been a single working mum, trying to juggle everything. Raising Jack this way allowed me to not get stressed, still work, still have my own life away from being a mum and enjoy every second of parenting Jack!
As Jack grew and years went on I saw that parenting like this was raising a child I dreamed of and he was learning key life lessons. So I carried on with this style and continued to watch my boy grow into a kind, caring, polite, happy child! This could be because I was lucky enough to have a very supportive family who helped me every step of the way too.
Here are Some of the key points of my parenting style 'parent-centric'.
Keeping your identity, we are more than Mums!!!
I was only 18 when I fell pregnant with Jack and was the first of my circle of friends to have a baby but over the years I watched many of my friends become parents. I could see how this title changed them from the people I knew. Some become almost hypnotised by their child! Even when they didn’t have their children with them it’s all they would talk about, other friends were moaning, tired, worried about their child’s behaviour and struggled with parenting and some just disappeared completely.
Change is inevitable when children come along, but I also believe to much change results in you not being real to your kids. You're showing them a version of you that you created because you think that is whats right, that’s how to be ‘the perfect parent'. The fact is our children only need us for a small section of their lives. When Jack is an adult and he no longer needs his Mum, I know that because he has been raised to know me as his Mum and me as Hannah, our amazing relationship will continue on when to he’s an adult!
Independence has been a key factor while raising Jack! I have a mad busy life and I need him to be independent but I also WANT him to be! It’s a big scary world he’s gonna enter one day on his own and I want him to be prepared for it!
I want Jack to not rely on anyone and put his needs and wants first, as I have! So when life throws those curve balls we all know happen too often, I am confident Jack will be able to handle those situations. Jack is very independent already at only 12 years old,
The Parent centric style may come across selfish or that I’m trying to make jack grow up to quickly but it’s far from that! It’s about remembering who I am as a person, creating a genuine relationship with my child and preparing him for adult life.
WHY DID I TAKE PART IN THE SHOW?
The simple answer to this is because I’m so so proud of the child I have raised! For the last few years I have already put out there my opinions via my radio show Mum's Life and social media.... This show was a chance to show you what I preach and show you a part of my life that I don’t always post about.
Why don’t I post much about Jack? Because my time with Jack is private and my private life is so important! He was 7/8 when I started radio and blogging and he wasn’t old enough to understand. Now he’s 12 and has his own mind I felt like it was the right time to show you US! He was not forced to do the show and if I’m honest probably wanted to do it more than I did!
As I have already said I didn’t do this show to win or to even argue my way is the best way, it was simply to show you what my parenting way has achieved.
I have a HUGE network of Mums that I talk to, a lot of them with young children! Mums nowadays are under so much pressure to come across perfect on social media! I didn’t have that raising Jack!! I didn’t even have Facebook when Jack was a baby! I just did what I did and it seemed to work so I carried on! A lot of Mums in my network open up to me about their struggles of being a Mum, struggles of their life revolving around a small human AND ITS OK TO FEEL LIKE THAT!!! I personally have never ever struggled to parent and I truly believe it because of how I decided to parent Jack.
WHAT YOU SAW ON THE SHOW!
There are some parts of the show which I wanted to address and explain more because in that short episode you didn’t see all of my reasoning. I’ve tried to avoid twitter but I have popped on and there were some lovely comments. The ones about Jack just made me burst with pride. Some comments I saw I feel would not have that opinion if they knew or saw more.
Taking Jacks' Christmas presents from him!
Let me start by saying this was an extreme case! It is very very rare that Jack is naughty but when he is, I punish him. Punishments range from being grounded, no Xbox, no treats, or chores that he wouldn’t normally do. I want him to know that bad behaviour is unacceptable and not worth it, he only loses things he likes.
Although Jack is a dream child he has his moments and he has behaved badly over the years. However, I've learnt to recognise the change in his behaviour and I give Jack a chance to stop before he gets a punishment. Most of the time he doesn’t want to be punished and quickly snaps out of it, but not always.
When it comes to the Christmas present incident I stand by taking his present from him! A couple of months before Christmas he was starting to be naughty at school, then started misbehaving for my Nan which never happens, Jack adores my Nan, then his behaviour at home got worse! He would misbehave, be punished, be good for a week, then misbehave again. Then a week before Christmas Jack really acted up for me and my Nan during a family dinner. He was so rude, I threatened the usual punishments and he just didn’t care. I then threatened that his main Xmas present would be taken off him, but again he didn’t care he carried on and then shoved my Nan. Well, let me tell you now no one shoves my Nan! So that was that, I had to stand by my word and on Christmas day Jack didn't get his new shiny XBOX ONE.
Jack still had lots of presents but he knew his main present was missing and I explained that although he had been good since he had to be punished that he would get his present when he deserved it! He got his Xbox one about 3 weeks after Christmas and was so so grateful and really understood what he did wrong!
Some may disagree and I may seem harsh but I stand by that decision!!
Calling the kids losers...
THIS WAS BANTER, but also true! They did lose! I admit on the show I was a little OTT but that was only because Bella had never played basketball before and winning was a big deal. I wanted her how proud i was of her!
What wasn’t shown was that because Jack lost he wanted to play again and try harder and be a winner. We did play again and Bella and I lost. So we were all winners, all on a high and all encouraging each other!!
I knew this would cause a little controversy so thought I would address it. My local pub is huge. It’s got an outside area where lots of kids play, a family restaurant one side and a sports pub on the other side. I absolutely love my local and I go there a lot. I have business meetings there, networking events some of which Jack would normally attend (being a single mum he comes everywhere with me).
We go for family meals and I go with friends when Jack is at his Dads for a good old pub night! I love this pub! The landlady and landlord are friends, everyone is so friendly and Jack loves the social side of the pub, if he didn’t enjoy it he wouldn’t want to come to a boring business meeting! I can take him knowing he won’t play up, he will be comfortable to go and play outside or talk to people he knows.
The pub has taught Jack great social skills!
Being a bad cook.
If you watched the show you would have seen Jack telling the attachment family I'm a bad cook! This really made me laugh, cause it’s true I am so bad at cooking!
What you didn’t see on the show was Mia and Adam telling me I should learn to cook for my child’s sake. So let me take you way back to when I was a child.
As stated on the show I was a brat and when it came to food, I was so fussy! I didn’t like vegetables, I wouldn’t try new things and it’s left me with a very simple pallet as an adult! Something I HATE. Now I’m an adult there is so much food I wish I liked and do try but just don’t like. When I had Jack I didn’t want him to be like me so I pushed all food on him from a young age. To be honest with you all, I had no idea how to cook, and no time to learn around work and Jack. I wanted to and on many occasions tried meals out of my comfort zone. All of which FAILED. That’s when we started to eat out more and I asked the family for help! I carried on cooking my usual easy meals like spag bowl, fajitas, sausage and mash! The classics!
My Nan is the chef of our family and always making yummy meals so she would make meals for me to freeze for Jack. We would eat out but at places that we could get a nutritious meal. Jack has had so much variety food he will try anything. You saw that in the show when he tried Nikki’s Nigerian food for the first time! He had no idea what he was about to put in his mouth, but he tried it finished it and loved it. He came home requesting me to cook plantain which I did try, but again failed! I’ve just accepted I can’t cook now!
Jack doing everything for me - Being treated like a slave as The Sun said....
Making my morning coffee.
Jack was eager to learn this skill and mastered it pretty quickly. He loved the responsibility of waking me up. He also grew up watching me NEED my morning coffee! I work for myself and work ALOT of hours, many evenings I carry on working till the early hours of the morning! Jack and I are so close and he knows how hard I work, and also sees the benefits of me working a lot, he wants to help me in small ways like making me a coffee in the morning and wake up slowly.
Jack taking my Instagram Pictures.
Jack does take a lot of my Instagram pictures he is actually a very good photographer!! Now he doesn’t mind doing this because a lot of the time these images benefit him. Let me explain.. We have had free meals, activities, days out, clothes, all for me to promote that company on Instagram! Jack takes these photos because he is the person with me experiencing these benefits!
I admit Jack does help me in so many ways! I couldn’t live without him and I wouldn’t want it any other way! Imagine the kind of husband he is going to be! Jack has never been forced to do anything for me! He has been raised to recognise when people need help and if you can offer that help! He is like it wherever he goes and anyone who knows him would agree!
Britains Best Parent shows many different parenting styles and people are going to have opinions on all of them. Remember to be kind, remember all of us parents on the show have different lives, circumstances and opinions but we all have one thing in common. We want to raise happy healthy children who will strive for the best in life!
Although I stand by my way of parenting I’m open to all parenting techniques and believe we can learn from each other and that is why I loved this show and that is why I started my radio show. People watching may learn something from each parent on the show!
I try to ignore the negative comments and concentrate on the hundreds of positive ones. Honestly, I’m overwhelmed with the kind messages I have had they literally warmed my heart!! I had to share some because they honestly made me cry! The support is just amazing! Thank you so much!
The best thing about all this was seeing Jack's face when I showed him all the amazing tweets and messages about him. Just that moment seeing how happy my boy was made all the negative comments about me worth every second.
Like I already said we had so much fun filming the show and Jack learnt so much. It was an amazing experience I got to do it with my best friend and I regret nothing, I have attached some images from our filming experience..
Lots of Love