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How to parent smarter not harder.

Photo of young girl mopping kitchen floor to illustrate article on the reasons children should do chores

6 Reasons Your Children Should Do Chores

The main reason parents don’t make their children do chores is because, frankly, it’s just easier and quicker if we do things ourselves. We know that children should do chores but it...

photo of happy young boy in a field with his hands in the air to illustrate suggestions of activities to build children's confidence

Activities to build children’s confidence

My original idea for this post was to write a summer bucket list of fun activities to build children’s confidence and inspire them to believe “I can do hard things!” However, to be...

photo of smiling mum, dad and two teenagers sitting on a sofa to illustrate article by Helen Beedham on how to negotiate boundaries to protect family time

When work intrudes into family time

A guest post by Helen Beedham on 5 ways to negotiate work/family boundaries harmoniously at home. Have you ever tried to send a ‘quick’ work email during family time and half an hour later,...

Photo of mum sitting next to young child both looking at an ipad to illustrate article on ensuring a blanced childhood in the digital age

Ensuring a balanced childhood in the digital age

Now, I am in no way anti-screens. As a parent, technology has been invaluable for helping my children learn, keeping them entertained, staying in touch with distant family and keeping them safe when...

Recommended books to inspire children to be adventurous - montage of book covers

Books to inspire children to be adventurous

When I was seven, my favourite pastime was planning adventures with the kids who lived in my lane. We would put together Adventure Kits (these usually involved string and snacks!) and head off into...

photo of two children outside to illustrate article on fun ideas for winter family time

10 fun ideas for winter family time

When the days are short and it’s cold outside, it can be hard to come up with creative ideas for fun family time. Then, before you know it, everyone has retreated to their personal screens and...

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...

How to get a teenager out of their bedroom

A few years ago, I wrote a series of posts on family activities for teenagers. The emphasis was on exciting, physically active, low tech ideas – including suggestions for winter, spring and...

photo of angry teens back to bak to illustrate article on teenage bickering by parenting expert Anita Cleare

Teenage bickering – what’s normal?

So, here’s a question for you. What’s normal when it comes to teenage bickering? That’s the kind of question I get asked all the time. But the reality is that ‘normal’...

20 Exercise Ideas for Tweens (8-11yrs)

If you are worried that your child’s physical fitness levels plummeted during lockdown, you are not alone. Lots of parents report struggling to keep children physically active when so many...

Creating a mentally healthy family life

Mental ill health can strike anyone. At any time of life. But, just as with physical health, there are simple things we can all do to boost our mental and emotional wellbeing. There is lots of...

20 low tech family tog post by parenting expert Anita Cleare (photo of kids in the woods)

20 low tech family time ideas

The coronavirus restrictions resulted in a surge in screen time for children and teenagers. Online schooling, plus reduced opportunities for socialising and the closure of many venues, left parents...

Fun card games for children of all ages picture of Racing Demons game

Fun card games for children of all ages (by Ellie Dix)

Regular readers will know that I am a huge fan of a pack of playing cards as a screen-free pocket-sized boredom buster. And while the coronavirus is keeping us all cooped up indoors, I’m sure...

parents holding hands

Parenting as a team (despite different parenting styles)

There is something about caring for children alongside someone else that really highlights your differences. Whether it’s friends, your mother-in-law or your partner, you never really know...

family holding each other and looking at a view, making memories

The importance of making memories

I have been thinking a lot about the importance of making memories. What with the end of the decade and the departure of my eldest son for university, I’ve been somewhat preoccupied with...

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...

pencil drawing of children calling for their grandparents to illustrate article on managing grandparents and resolving conflicts

Managing Grandparents: resolving conflict

Grandparents can play a wonderful role in children’s lives and they make a unique contribution to families. They can bring love, support, perspective, fun, free time and an extra pair of hands...

Books about sibling rivalry: photo of book cover of 'Me First'

Children’s books about sibling rivalry

Sibling conflict can really spoil family time. Constant bickering or relentless competitiveness can really wear on parents’ nerves. Yes, there are parenting strategies you can use to tackle...

photo of two young girls running through a water sprinkler and smiling, to illustrate article on why positive parenting makes you happier

Why positive parenting makes you happier

A key principle of positive parenting is noticing the good stuff and trying to make a bit more of it happen. For children, this can have a truly transformative effect. When parents notice what their...

How to help kids become independent: the principle of minimal assistance

If you want to help kids become independent, the principle of minimal assistance is a great motto to parent by. It’s a neat way of ensuring your child gets as little or as much help as they...

Parenting is a two-way relationship

One of the things I encourage parents to do is to see parenting as a relationship between a parent and a child rather than as a one-way activity. That means focusing on building a good relationship...

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...

Two parents ignoring an unhappy child to illustrate article about parenting on autopilot

Parenting on autopilot

Parenting is not something that anyone gets completely right. Like everything else, we learn how to do it by getting it wrong. (Just, hopefully, not too wrong). And there are some common traps that...

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...

A positive parenting approach to Christmas

Christmas is a special time to share with children. But it also brings lots of challenges. Children can find it hard to cope with all that anticipation and excitement. And big emotions can lead to...

Give presence (not just presents) this Christmas

Is it just me who finds the consumer-focused gifts galore side of Christmas a bit dispiriting? Maybe I’m a bit of a Grinch, but I don’t believe the magic of Christmas is bought with a...

Advice for keeping children safe online

Managing children’s online activities and digital experiences is a huge part of modern parenting. There are lots of positive parenting strategies that can help you set time limits around your...

Top tips for successful family meetings

Family meetings are a fantastic positive parenting tool for involving children in decision-making and talking through issues. They work especially well with older children and teenagers but can...

Building a good relationship with your child

How you think about parenting makes a difference. Too often we can fall into the trap of seeing parenting as a type of ‘correction’ role – pointing out to our children what they...