Sophie Furley's Blog (21)

Show me the "pocket" money!

Do children really need pocket money? Don’t they already have enough stuff without having the power to buy more? Here are 10 reasons why you should be giving your kids pocket money.

#1 If you give pocket money, you have the power to take it away, which is pure power to a frazzled mother. Let’s face it, “no dessert after dinner” isn’t the end of the…


Added by Sophie Furley on May 4, 2015 at 2:34pm — No Comments

If you could change your name

What would you call yourself if you could change your first name? This question came up at dinner last night when we were laughing about what my kids would have been called if they had been the opposite sex. Jade was set to be Elliot, Lizzie was close to becoming Baltazar and Sam would have been Tallulah. They were in hysterics imagining their lives as a member of…


Added by Sophie Furley on May 1, 2015 at 6:37am — No Comments

Vegetables versus motorbikes

My husband offered to go to the supermarket the other day while I was busy with the cleaning. It was probably because it was a gorgeous day and he could take the long way round on his motorbike. As far as weekend chores go, it was most definitely the better option, but hey, any help is better than none.

So on my shopping list I had written a few of our usual…


Added by Sophie Furley on April 23, 2015 at 10:27am — No Comments

Why is the sky blue?

“Why is the sky blue?”

“Why do the birds sing?”

“Why is the hot water hot?”

“Where do tulips come from?”

My six year old just won’t stop. And when in doubt what to say, he just says:

“What happened?” or

“What is that?”

It starts around 6:30 am and finishes at 7:30, and he has even been talking in his dreams. He woke me…


Added by Sophie Furley on April 20, 2015 at 2:13pm — 4 Comments

Swimming to riches

Forget going to law school or training to be a doctor, you can earn a fortune by working in the public swimming pools in Switzerland. I recently signed my six-year old up for private swimming lessons and it is costing a monumental 90 Swiss Francs for a 30-minute session ($90 or £63). I would put him in group lessons, but if you have been following this blog, you will…


Added by Sophie Furley on April 17, 2015 at 12:02pm — No Comments

Death to the domestic goddess

Why is it that women, especially mothers, seem to rate each other in terms of their baking skills? School bake sales and birthday parties used to be quite a tame affair—butterfly cakes, maybe a vanilla sponge and some chocolate crispy cakes—but now they resemble more of a bake-off between mothers in an unspoken competition of motherly…


Added by Sophie Furley on April 13, 2015 at 11:48am — 1 Comment

Why is there Russian cat poo on my computer?

My six-year old just loves writing stuff on my computer in a Word document. He gets the big letters with the fancy fonts going (I had no idea they even exisited until he showed me). He will pretend to write blog posts for hours at a time. Mainly it is just a load of jumbled up letters with a few numbers and lots of punctuation thrown in for good measure. Recently, I…


Added by Sophie Furley on April 10, 2015 at 8:00am — No Comments

Bloody Hell and the art of swearing

Why is it that kids find swearing so cool? I overheard my 13-year old talking to one her friends on the phone the other day and she was swearing like a trooper. Then her six year old brother suddenly came out with “bloody hell!” at dinner. Well he was trying to eat his peas when something happened to his plate and they shot around the dining room like…


Added by Sophie Furley on April 8, 2015 at 9:09am — No Comments

No Chocolate Control

I have no control when it comes to chocolate. At Christmas I have to re-stock my children’s advent calendars several times over as I just can’t help myself sneaking a little chocolate with my morning coffee, and then another to go with my afternoon tea, followed by a little after-dinner treat. Before I know what has happened, half of December’s windows are empty and…


Added by Sophie Furley on April 6, 2015 at 11:30am — No Comments

10 tips for parents with teenage girls

With two teenage girls under my roof (16 years and 13 years), I am in total survival mode right now.  Here are a selection of some of the things I have learned over the last few years. Please, if there are any other parents out, do let me know how you are coping.

1.  Don’t be afraid to say “It is no, because I say so”. Teenager girls are way too smart…


Added by Sophie Furley on April 4, 2015 at 8:17am — No Comments

Shiver me timbers

What is it with little boys and pirates? My son Sam is obsessed by these sea robbers with their hooks for arms and patched eyes. His infatuation is being fueled somewhat by his grandma who has been sending him Playmobil pirates through the post. She is quite enjoying this new role as pirate provider, especially when Sam sneakily takes my mobile phone…


Added by Sophie Furley on April 1, 2015 at 12:00pm — No Comments

I am working!

For the most part I feel like I handle my dual roles as a mother and a working woman relatively well. I have plan Bs, plan Cs and plan Ds for every eventuality. I have a husband who works from home and back-up mums waiting to spring into action. I have the cell phone numbers of all my children’s teachers and understanding colleagues who don’t roll their eyes…


Added by Sophie Furley on March 26, 2015 at 7:20pm — No Comments

10 Tips for tricking your children into eating their veggies

Getting my children to eat their greens has always been a challenge. It doesn’t help that my husband will only eat broccoli and claims that potatoes and sweetcorn are included on the five-a-day list. He will also argue to the death that raspberry jam is as good as a fruit.

So the last few years have been a bit of a fight, but I have come up with some great…


Added by Sophie Furley on March 25, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

Mother's Day

Why can’t we have some kind of international convention that sets Mother’s Day on the same day? It is Mothering Sunday in the UK today, but the Swiss don’t celebrate Mother’s Day until May 10th, and if your mother is Norwegian, you have already missed it because it was February 8th. In Russia it isn’t until later in the year on November 29th, in Panama it is December 8th and in Indonesia it falls on December 22nd.  In fact, there are 34 different dates for Mother’s Day around the…


Added by Sophie Furley on March 15, 2015 at 4:51pm — No Comments


If your children don’t know the word nincompoop then you are missing out on one of the greatest parenting possibilities the world has ever seen.

Since I have introduced this fabulous word to my vocabulary,  parenting a six-year  in the midst of a “no” phase has become a breeze. I’ll give you a couple of examples:


Me: Sam, it is time to…


Added by Sophie Furley on March 13, 2015 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Baking Science

Does anyone know if there is an award for cooking disasters? Because if there is, I think my 16-year old Jade has a really good shot at getting her oven gloves on the trophy!

Read on to discover the golden rules about what not to do with children in the kitchen.

To her credit, my daughter is a really good cook; in fact she has a larger repertoire of…


Added by Sophie Furley on March 10, 2015 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Birdies in my pocket

I was dropping my son off at school this morning and he looked at me slightly bemused and said:

“Mummy, why did you bring your alarm clock to school?”

“What do you mean?” I asked

“Birdies singing in your bag”, he replied.

You see, I got this new alarm clock for Christmas that works with a natural light that gradually becomes brighter and…


Added by Sophie Furley on March 9, 2015 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Green Willy

Since I started a blog, people have been sharing the most hysterical stories with me about their children. The following tale was told to me by my stepmother about my stepbrother (I won’t mention his name or I’ll be in for it).

So when my stepbrother was about five years of age, he had a friend over on a play date. They were playing nicely in his room while my…


Added by Sophie Furley on March 8, 2015 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Guinea Pig Lice Attack

OMG, we have lice in the house. Thankfully it’s not the children this time, or even worse…me!  It’s our guinea pig Caramel.  I had no idea that guinea pigs could get head lice, or rather fur lice. I took Caramel to the vet for her yearly check-up and she is infested. The official name of the offender is the Trixacarus Caviae parasite and…


Added by Sophie Furley on March 6, 2015 at 7:30am — No Comments

The Day-Glo Secret

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received for raising kids is to always dress them in bright colors when out in public places. My six-year old's navy blue coat may look very dapper, but trying to find him among the crowds of children at the playground can be a challenge, especially as he moves so fast.

So what a joy to find this wonderful luminous hat at H&M. I can spot him in a second—just one 360-degree scan of the place and he is located in a heartbeat.

It seems…


Added by Sophie Furley on March 5, 2015 at 7:05am — No Comments

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