Weekend family time is a joy

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Family of the Week is Wayne Proctor, 34, and Emma Turner, 28, who live in Cross Gates with their two-year-old son Jack Proctor. Emma is a freelance wedding and events florist, who has created and owns the Petal Studio. Wayne works for a manager for Next Retail but is due to start a new venture before the end of the year.

What are your top tips for getting children to do what you ask? Plenty of encouragement and praise. We’ve found this particuly useful when Jacks had a difficult time with brushing his teeth. We finally found that loads of praise along with a useful Disney app we downloaded did the trick and he now LOVES this part of the morning routine.

What’s the funniest thing your children have ever said/done? The most recent thing that brought a smile to my face was when Emma was setting up and dressing a wedding tipi. Me and Jack had gone to visit mummy while working and had taken a picnic to enjoy for our lunch. We sat down on the lawn and enjoyed a picnic by the ‘pee-pee’.

What’s your favourite family day out? We’ve spent many a day at Lotherton Hall. There’s plenty to do on any given day and we’ve been over plenty of times when they’ve had events on too. We’re looking forward to going again this Christmas as we all really enjoyed the 12 days of Christmas event they held last year.

What hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy as a family and separately? We love going on walks, going to the park. We’re spoilt for choice (Lotherton Hall, Temple Newsam, Roundhay Park to name but a few) especially in the autumn when there’s plenty of leaf kicking opportuinites! Wayne also likes to exercise when he gets the chance and this year took part in completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks with a group of friends. They raised over £1k for the charity Mind. Wayne also tries to find time to catch up with the Leeds Dads group on their many social events. Wayne and Jack are looking forward to their upcoming Christmas party on December 2.

What’s the hardest thing about being a parent? Juggling family life, work life (working from home for Emma) and time for yourself, which usually takes a back seat.

What’s a typical evening for the grown-ups once the children are in bed? Wine and a good Netflix binge. we’ve recently finished series two Making a Murderer, and have just started on The Haunting of Hill House.

What is Leeds’ most family-friendly restaurant and why? We’ve always found MOD pizza to be a good dining experience with Jack. We can pile a pizza full with all his favourite flavours, the waiting time after ordering is never long, and they always have colouring sheets and crayons available. We like to head to one of the booths as that way we can ‘pen’ jack in.

What’s the best thing about weekends and why? Weekend’s are family time, even if there’s jobs to do and work. We always try make time for one another and generally catching up with one another. Both our jobs involve a lot of weekend work, but what time we do have we ensure we appreciate and enjoy it.

What’s the children’s favourite food/meal? Jack amazes us with the foods that he’ll try (and more often than not enjoy) some of the more quirky flavours. We’ve found he likes are olives (must be black ones though), red onion (raw or cooked he’s not fussy) but more often than not his favourite food is whatever is on your plate.

One family member’s proudest achievement? Emma, runs her own wedding and events floristry business. She recently entered The Wedding Industry Awards and became a Regional Finalist for Yorkshire and North East. It was between four other wedding florists, unfortunately we didn’t win at the Regionals, but just to be a finalist is an amazing achievement. We’re all so proud of what she has achieved.

Child’s favourite book and author. Room​ on The Broom, by Julia Donaldson. We recently went out on the Room on a Broom trail in Wakefield and Jack loved all the sculptures. His favourite character is most definitely the WIIIIIITCH (high pitched child’s voice).

* Leeds Dads is a voluntary charitable organisation that brings together a diverse community of fathers for social interaction and support. It hosts playgroups for dads and kids, organise social events, and signpost towards expert parenting support. Around 20 dads/granddads meet every third Sunday of the month at The Tetley Arts Centre in Leeds City Centre. Kids get involved in art/craft, and if the weather’s good there are games, a singalong and storytime outside. Email: info@leedsdads.org