Yorkshire Families editor Sophie Mei Lan and her family are regularly featured in Yorkshire Evening Post so we thought we’d also share their favourite things to do in the region.
Sophie Mei Lan is a multi-award-winning vlogger, blogger and film-maker – she runs Yorkshire Families magazine, MamaMei.co.uk (a family and mental health blog) and Evoke Media Group – an all female video production and influencer marketing company Blog Up North.
Sophie, 31, lives with her husband Chris Hale of three years, 32 and their two daughters Jasmine, 7, and Arianna Hale, 4.
Family of the Week – as featured in Yorkshire Evening Post
What are your top tips for getting
children to do what you ask?
I try to be as positive and a gentle parent where possible. So I try to explain things and reason with them. But sometimes if they’ve kept me up at night I loose my rag!
Bribery and rewards normally do the job too.
What family task takes you the longest?
Getting ready for school and nursery, we have endless troubles over what to wear and how wrinkly their tights are.
What’s the weirdest thing your children
have done/brought home/done to your house?
My eldest Jasmine loves art and regularly comes out of school with enormous box models made out of rubbish. We always look odd as I don’t drive so have to try and get the kids and a huge sculpture of rubbish home, I’m like Buckaroo. Jasmine’s very precious about keeping them as well.
Have your children ever really, really surprised you? How and why?
We both have our own YouTube channels. I vlog about mental health and attachment parenting at YouTube.com/sophiemeilan and they have their own Make and Move channel. And they have taken to presenting and vlogging so naturally they instantly say: “Hi guys, comment down below, subscribe and give this video a thumbs up.”
What’s the most bizarre thing you have found yourself saying since having kids?
My daughter was at the bus stop for me and begging for an apple and all I had was chocolate in my bag. The other people at the bus stop looked disgusted at me.
What’s the funniest thing your children have ever said/done?
They told their teacher in a careers class that their mummy is a professional footballer for a living (because they’ve seen me play football a few times… I love it but no-one would ever pay me to play it!).
Mini moan – what really gets your goat?
Judgemental people! You really don’t know what battle or toddler someone is facing. So just don’t judge and try empathise.
What’s your favourite family day out?
We’ve always loved the free crafts at The Hepworth Wakefield and now we run The Hepworth Cafe there, so we’re there all the time.
We had a lovely day out at Kirkstall Abbey recently and it’s free to enter.
Image India Hobson / The Hepworth Wakefield
What hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy as a family and separately?
We all love going to Xscape in Castleford, from bouncing on trampolines in Gravity to learnming to snowboard in SnoZone, there’s loads to do. We also love trying out climbing walls and love the new one at Meadowhall in Sheffield. I also love dancing, vlogging and shopping at Victoria Gate, Kirkgate Market and Trinity Walk in Wakefield.
What’s the hardest thing about being a parent?
It can be relentless and trying to reason with kids mid tantrum is hard.
What’s a typical evening for the grown-ups once the children are in bed?
I co-sleep and breastfeed, so there’s no such evening without kids for me.
What is Leeds’ most family-friendly restaurant and why?
We like trying out different places inside The Light or Trinity Leeds. In Wakefield we love going to Abdul’s Indian or Pizza Express.
What’s the best thing about weekends and why?
No school runs and reviewing lots of family-friendly places for my YorkshireFamilies.co.uk blog and magazine.
What is your most treasured memory?
My daughter nearly died when she was 3 months old. And the Leeds Intensive Care Unit loved her back to life. I’ll never forget the moment that she started breathing again.
What’s the number one thing you would change about Leeds?
The transport! Lack of parking, awful trains and the ring road.
What’s the children’s favourite food/meal?
They love a good Sunday Dinner with lots of gravy.
What’s your top penny-pinching tip?
Take a range of snacks around with you.
One family member’s proudest achievement?
I was a semi-finalist bellydancer on Britain’s Got Talent and my husband Chris Hale was a quarter-finalist on BBC’s MasterChef.
What one item can you not live without?
My gym kit, phone and liquid eyeliner.
What can your children not live without?
YouTube and my phone.
Child’s favourite book and author
We went to see Dear Zoo recently at Wakefield’s Theatre Royal and they loved that by Rod Campbell.