Skip to content

How to parent smarter not harder.

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 in 2020 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...

A Covid Christmas to remember: photo of a reindeer christmas decoration

Ideas for a happy Covid Christmas

We know that Covid Christmas 2020 is going to have to be a little different. Which is unsettling. Because Christmas is a time of year when traditions really matter. Family traditions connect us back...

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...

phot of happy child running through water to illustrate article on positive parenting

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...

photo of three happy teens to illustrate article on fun family weekends

Fun family weekends to tear teens away from tech

Sometimes, if you want to tear teens away from their tech and grab some quality family time, the best plan is to get them out of the house for the whole weekend and as far away as possible from the...

Working parents: making the most of time with your children

Many working parents find that they have less time with their children than they would like. So how can working parents invest their time and energy smartly to make the most of family time and ensure...

Managing sibling conflict: why siblings fight

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

Helping children through divorce and separation

How are we going to tell the children? What are we going to tell the children? When are we going to tell the children? Believe me, I wish I had a script I could give you that answered those...

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...