Actress Charley Webb is mum to three sons with husband Matthew Wolfenden: Buster, ten, Bowie, four and Ace, one. The Emmerdale star loves to spend time with her beautiful family and often shares photos of their daily life on her Instagram page. Life must certainly be busy with three boys to look after – so how does she do it? Here she reveals her top parenting tips…
Bedtime is one of the most important times of the day
Back in September, the 31-year-old revealed the importance of tucking her children into bed at night.
Sharing a photo of herself and her eldest Buster in bed, she said: "My treasured time with the kids that I look forward to all day. It’s so important for me to have this chill time with Buster, he’s always running around all day (as am I!) and we both rarely get time together to just relax. A key part of our family bedtime routine is to cuddle up with a bedtime story."
Give children a relaxing space to unwind
Life with children can be non-stop action, so it's important they have time to chill.
Charley has designed a stunning peaceful bedroom for her baby boy Ace and the star recently shared a photo of the Scandi-style room inside her gorgeous Yorkshire home. She wrote: "I love Ace's bedroom. It's so simple and relaxing."
It showed one corner of the room with neutral coloured walls and a wooden mobile with beads and tassels hanging from the ceiling. A circular wall-mounted shelf with bunny ears is positioned to one side, with wooden models of a hippo, fox and elephant on display. Lucky Ace!
Reading to your children is very important
While a bedtime story is a key part of Charley's routine with her children, reading to them at any time of the day is just as crucial for the mum-of-three. "Reading is really important and it's part of our routine and our family life. We love the one-to-one time and talking about what books we're reading," she previously told The Mirror.
"I've always thought reading to kids is important, it was part of my life when I was little too. And I think for their mental health it's good as well because there's so much going on for kids now and sometimes they grow up too quickly and they've got all these screens and iPads now. I think if you can have that time where kids can use their imagination and get involved in a book it's so positive and it's good for the parents too to have that time with their kids."
Keep reading for more Charley Webb parenting tips
Bring the outdoors inside
We love Charley's idea of bringing the outside in when the English weather is less than perfect. The actress recently shared a snap on her Instagram Stories of a new wooden climbing frame in her open-plan kitchen, and revealed her younger two boys are finally learning to play together with their indoor toy.
Charley wrote: "Using their @triclimb for their car track. It's been a secret den this morning as well. A climbing frame of many talents." She continued: "They're starting to play together more and more. Well, I say play. Ace takes Bowie's toys and Bowie spends his day trying to get them back."
A little mat can save a temper tantrum
Charley revealed a genius parenting hack for when her three-year-old needs some "thinking time" when they're out and about. The actress shared a photo of a personalised mat on Instagram Stories, which reads: "Bowie Time out to think about the things you do. Just remember that we LOVE YOU." Explaining the creative mat, Charley explained: "So, when we're out somewhere and Bowie needs thinking time we've got this little mat for him to stand on. Thank you @bespokelittlemakes."
Don't let other people's opinions affect your parenting
Charley was raised being taught that "if you’ve got nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all" – which is a lesson she appears to be passing down to her own children. The actress is often quizzed about why her sons have long hair, and instead of hitting out at her naysayers, she doesn't let other people's opinions affect her parenting.
"Don't let my kids hair worry you," she wrote on Instagram beside a photo of Buster and his long locks.
"I think people think they have a right to have an opinion because of social media. Maybe you do. But try keeping it to yourself, it’s not important to us what you think of how our kids look. Or how we look. Or their names or whatever it is you might want to comment on. I was always taught, if you’ve got nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Try practicing it peeps. There’s enough awful stuff in the world without being mean to each other."
Always do what is right for you and your children
If you want your child to sleep in your bed, then do it! Charley revealed she has a habit of sleeping in the bed with her kids because it's right for her.
She said: "I will let them in my bed. And I will wake up to a tiny face resting on my arm because I want to. They're babies and then they're grown up, so much quicker than I ever thought was possible. Always do what is right for you and your kids. Not annoying people around you thinking they know best. They don't."
Routine is very important to Charley
Charley has admitted in the past that she and husband Matthew are very strict about giving their children a routine – and doesn't worry about those who may disagree. "I'm not really interested in what anyone else thinks. Everyone parents differently," she previously revealed. "Matthew and I are big on routines, but I won't judge parents who aren't."
Find a hobby they love and do it together
Interests may come and go on a daily basis with children, but according to Charley, it's important to find something your child loves and do it together. "Bowie loves painting, sticking, colouring, glittering, anything that’s creative. It keeps him occupied and it's always something nice to do together," she previously said on Instagram.