If you haven’t read my blog post about the time that Andalene Salvesen (aka Super Granny) spent an afternoon with my family last year, you can read the post here. To summarise, she transformed life in my house for the better. Behaviour improved, dummies were thrown away, bottles of milk were no longer relied on, and both children started sleeping through the night the very same night. Inviting her into our home was, quite simply, one of the best parenting decisions we ever made.
So who is Super Granny? Andalene Salvesen owned a playschool in Cape Town for 8 years and ran a Baby/Toddler workshop for a further 12 years. This exposure to children, along with a passion to help parents (and a ton of self-study) earned her the title ‘Super Granny’. She has now been presenting parenting seminars for the last 16 years, developing a home visit programme to change family dynamics and empower parents.
And it really does work – but fast forward 12 months and things had taken a turn for the worse behaviour wise. Baby Mabel arrived on the scene and Wilfred’s behaviour became challenging almost overnight. Tantrums were frequent, he woke in the night (for the first time since Super Granny had visited last year) and he relied on his dummy and monkey so much for comfort that he flatly refused to go to nursery if he wasn’t allowed to take them (cue stand offs outside the gates, as that just wasn’t happening). He’s a lovely, sweet natured little boy, who adores his little sister and has never shown her any malice -, but he just felt so unsettled at home. Not only was the behaviour fairly impossible to deal with, but it was pretty heart breaking, as we just didn’t know how to help him.
Added to this was Stanley’s ability to wind his brother up. Cottoning on to how easy it was to make Wilfred flip out (and realising this earnt him ‘the well behaved child’ crown by default), Stanley very rarely helped the situation. It was World War Three at home – and we needed Super Granny back in our life pronto.
Thankfully for us, she is back in Dubai until 15th December – so we made a booking for her to visit us again yesterday.
But as lovely as Andalene is (and she is lovely – don’t expect a stern Nanny McPhee-esque character to walk into your house), I can’t say I was looking forward to her visit yesterday. In fact, I woke up with a bit of a sinking feeling. The truth is that I felt a bit embarrassed that we hadn’t followed her advice to the letter since she had come. She later told me that it always slips after a while, which is why she recommends a refresher every 4-6 months – but as we sat there waiting for her yesterday morning, I was dreading her reaction to seeing how bad the behaviour had got.
But I didn’t need to worry. After a cup of coffee and a chat, she started the same process we followed the first time (post again here) – and to cut a long story short, she worked exactly the same magic.
Or I should say ‘we’ – we worked the magic, as Andalene’s job is to simply show us the tactics to do it. And it’s so easy, resulting in a calmness in the house I hadn’t seen for months. No raised voices, no tantrums, and no arguments. Just two very, very happy children, who have stayed like that since she visited 24 hours ago. Oh and Wilfred’s dummy is gone, without a single tear or tantrum. How amazing is that?!
The best way I can describe it? It’s like someone has come into our house, waved a magic wand, and solved all the problems. I feel like I can breathe again – and there is a permanent smile on Wilfred’s face, which is worth its weight in gold. I highly, highly recommend booking her for a visit if you are finding things tough – you really won’t regret it.
Super Granny is in Dubai until December 15th and she has availability for bookings. She will be back in Dubai again in February. The cost of a home visit on weekdays (9am and 1pm sessions available) is 1,200aed. On weeknights (5pm), weekends and holidays (both 9am, 1pm and 5pm), the cost is 1,500aed. If you live overseas, she also offers home visits via Skype. Book now at www.munchkins.me