When a Couple become a Family | 8 ways to be Emotionally Prepared for Parenthood

Are you emotionally ready for parenthood?The recent tragic news of the death of one of the world’s most beloved actors and comics, Robin Williams, has left many of us reeling and wondering why people take their own lives. His battle with drink and drugs and the ‘black dog’ of depression is well-documented and sadly is not as uncommon as we may believe....more

A Grammatical Approach to Praise

This week I had two different experiences of the use of praise. I heard a psychologist on the radio talking about how it was important to use adjectives rather than verbs when praising children. He said when we use adjectives as in “You are helpful”, rather than “you are helping” this enables children to see themselves as helpful; being helpful becomes part of their identity....more

He'll be OK!

I have a friend who has a son who is 18 and in his final year at school. He has just received an offer from a university, conditional upon him gaining an A,B,C in his A levels (the final year of  secondary school in the UK). This is a truly remarkable thing. You may think it's not that remarkable as you will know that students all over the country will be receiving offers and some will have more difficult obstacles to overcome in terms of grade requirements. But this is an amazing achievement for this young man....more

See it … Say it! The right kind of praise does build self-esteem.

Recently it seems that every major publication has had an article about praising children: too much praise, not enough praise, or the wrong kind of praise.  The Atlantic recently published a piece by Eleanor Barkhorn called Lavishing Kids with Praise Can Make Them Feel Bad about Themselves.  Ms Barkhorn, we think, correctly asserts that there is too much of the wrong kind of praise – what she would call inflated praise....more

Children ... Hard Wired For Attention

Parents often comment on the difficulty of managing multiple children as each child is  always clamouring for a parent’s attention....more

What will your Facebook Legacy be?

 If you have ever thought about this, well done. I have not, and I wonder how many others are in the same state.  Parents all worry about what their children are doing and posting about themselves online, and with good reason. ...more

2013 -- It's the year to start slowing down

Do you ever feel like life is a race and you are left wondering where the finish line is? Are you worried that life will overtake you? Do you feel that your life as a parent  is one big race against time with our quest to ensure our children are doing x in order to achieve Y and not be left behind. Whether it’s speed-walking, speed-dating, speed-dialling and heaven forbid speed drive-thru funerals in the US - there is a need for us all to simply SLOW down and perhaps not cram so much into our days....more

Christmas, Materialism and TOYS

Child Psychologist and play expert Amanda Gummer has warned parents not to give in to pressure and buy kids lots of expensive toys this Christmas. (Research, carried out by UK-based supermarket chain Sainsbury’s and reprted in Metro on 30th November, has found that parents spend an average of £104.40/US$167 on each child.) She thinks that the lists of top toys released at this time of year - and of course advertising - add to the pressure on parents. She advises: “Don’t give in to the pressure from the media and the school playground to buy the most expensive, latest toys on the market....more

Parenting Lessons to Learn from the Lance Armstrong Doping Scandal

My husband and I have been following Lance Armstrong’s career since he started racing in the Tour de France following his battle with cancer.  We read his books, bought LiveStrong bracelets and clothes, and in 2010 we even went to Paris for the last stage of the TdF, when Armstrong raced his final Tour....more

What if? or Whatever! | Encouraging creativity and curiosity in our children

Children discover a very important tool for survival when they play – especially when they engage in fantasy play. They learn how to imagine and talk about things not present, they learn how to pretend and speculate. This is such an important tool for life to learn as it enables those who master it to plan, project, conceptualise and to think creatively. When children engage in fantasy play they are involved in an age old process of story telling that enables them to make sense of a sometimes confusing and unpredictable world and find solutions to problems....more