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How to parent smarter not harder.

Photo of a young black girl in a yellow top crying and holding on to a shopping trolley to illustrate advice for parents on difficult behaviour when you're out and about

Managing difficult behaviour when you’re out and about

“I really struggle with getting my 4 year old to leave the park. I give her lots of warnings but when the time comes she refuses to leave. Sometimes she runs away or I end up almost dragging...

Photo of girl with a lollipop to illustrate article 'What is an accidental reward in parenting?'

What is an accidental reward?

Children are active participants in their own learning and development. One of the ways they learn is through action and reaction – through the direct consequences of their actions. If their...

photo of happy family on a beach to illustrate parenting tips for a harmonious family holiday

Positive parenting tips for a harmonious family holiday

Family holidays are great. They are the stuff that memories are made of – full of relaxed time and laughter, the true essence and point of childhood. Well, that’s the theory, anyway! In...

photo pf a girl on a bike in the summer in article on positive parenting by parenting expert Anita Cleare

A positive parenting toolkit for the school holidays

The school holidays are upon us and I know how busy you are. So, I thought I’d help you save time on your holiday prep and bring together in one place all the positive parenting strategies...

Best books to teach children social skills: phot of 'I'll Wait, Mr Panda book cover

Best books to teach children social skills (2-7yrs)

The absolute best way for children to learn social skills is through practice. Young children needs lots of opportunities to play with other kids – older, younger and the same age. There will...

photo of girl with hand in front of mouth, children's books on lying article

Children’s books on lying

Lying is an issue that every parent comes up against at some time or other. All children experiment with lying (see Why do children lie?). That’s perfectly normal and – although it can be...

stick man holding heart saying Raising Kind Kids

Raising Kind Kids

When I ask parents what their parenting goals are, raising kind kids is usually somewhere near the top of the list. Young children are capable of wonderful acts of compassion. But it takes time for...

boy sitting on the naughty step chair - should parents use Time Out?

Should I use Time Out?

There is a lot of contradictory advice out there about Time Out as a parenting strategy. Should parents use it? Does it work? Is it harmful? At what age should I use Time Out? Time Out has certainly...

cheeky faced child, why don't children just do what they're asked?

Why don’t children just do what they’re asked?

A few thoughts on why children don’t always co-operate when you ask them to do something! If you are struggling with your child’s behaviour, check out our online parenting course and...

Child having a tantrum to illustrate how parents can use consequences for misbehaviour

Positive parenting: using consequences for misbehaviour

One of the key ways that children learn is through cause and effect. “I do X and Y happens – I like Y so I will do X again. I do W and Z happens – I don’t like Z therefore I...

Positive parenting: ignoring children’s misbehaviour

As parents, the most powerful tool we have in our parenting toolbox is our attention. Children tend to repeat behaviour that gets our attention. So, logically, doing the opposite and ignoring...

How to survive long journeys with young children, tips for parents (photof of car crashing through Berlin Wall)

How to survive long journeys with young children

With school holidays fast approaching, this is the time that parents start to dread the annual holiday exodus. That long haul flight seemed such a good idea when you booked it! (And the 5.30am take...

blog post by parenting espert Anita Cleare on why consistency in parenting is so important

Why consistency in parenting is so important

I can’t imagine there is a parent out there who hasn’t heard that consistency in parenting is important. But why is consistency so important? How can we achieve it? And how do we know...

encouraging co-operation - tips on how to get children to listen and do what they are asked

Encouraging co-operation: how to get children to do what they’re asked!

He just doesn’t listen! She just won’t do as she’s asked! Getting children to co-operate can be utterly infuriating. But when it comes to encouraging co-operation, there are some...

Building a family team spirit

There are lots of business theories about the science of team building. My favourite (mainly due to its simplicity) is the GRPI model. According to this model, in order for a team to be effective, it...

Parents: how not to shout

As parents, we all know that shouting isn’t a great idea. None of us embarked on parenting with ‘Shouty Mum/Dad’ as our ideal destination. But somewhere along the way, we get sucked...

Teaching children to share: FAQs

If I had a penny for every time I have been asked about teaching children to share, I would be a very rich parenting expert indeed! It is one of the first post-babyhood problems that parents of...

What’s the difference between rewards and bribes?

Parents often worry about offering children too many incentives. Will it turn my child into a reward-junkie? Will my children always need rewarding to do anything? Will I raise a child who only...

bullying

Bullying: where to find help

Sadly, more than half of UK children will experience bullying – either as victim, perpetrator or witness. Most bullying is quickly dealt with and most children bounce back from it. But for...

kids drawing to illustrate blog post on ground rules by parenting expert Anita Cleare

Ground rules: catch them being good!

In most parenting dilemmas, we have a choice about how to respond. Often, the decision boils down to a choice between being a policeman or a coach. Put crudely, the job of a policemen is to catch...

picture of kid's reward charts

Making reward charts work

Reward charts are a fantastic positive parenting tool for encouraging the behaviour you want from your children. Whether it’s helping out around the house, being polite or using the...

Why do children lie?

Why do children lie? Let’s be honest, all children experiment with lying. It is normal and – although it can be quite shocking for parents – it is not necessarily the start of a...

Encouraging good behaviour: setting ground rules

Setting a few clear ground rules for children puts you in a really positive place as a parent because it lets children know exactly what behaviour is expected from them. It also helps make sure that...

Managing sibling conflict: why siblings fight

There are lots of reasons why siblings fight. Here are some of the most common...

Help, the kids are driving me mad!

Parents often ask me “How can I stop my children doing X?” The first step is to turn it around and think about how you want them to behave instead. Do they behave that way ever? How do you...

Photo of two young children to illustrate article on sibling conflict by parenting expert Anita Cleare

Sibling conflict: a survival guide for parents

Sibling conflict can really leech the fun out of family time. A day of constant mediation between bickering children sends the best of us running for the wine feeling like a battered referee...

How can I stop my children fighting?

It’s no fun living with children who are constantly bickering. Sibling conflict is a common family problem and most families will experience children fighting, arguing, bickering, teasing, and...

photo of siblings in article on How to Handle Sibling Rivalry by parenting expert Anita Cleare

How to Handle Sibling Rivalry

As a single parent of a three-year-old and a one-year-old, I felt like there wasn’t enough of me to go around. Both boys constantly wanted a piece of me, but no matter how much I gave they still...

photo of young girl to illustrate article on calm parenting

The secret of calm parenting? Only ask twice!

Being a parent I have discovered that I do not have endless patience. Like a muscle that has been regularly exercised, I hope that my patience has strengthened through raising children. But when...

photo of biscuits

Raising children is easier than giving up biscuits

When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, I am absolutely rubbish. I have been trying to give up biscuits for over 30 years now, or at least to cut down on them. Thirty years of trying and it...