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How to parent smarter not harder.

Photo of smiling mum and child to illustrate article on how parents' self-esteem affects children

How parents’ self-esteem affects children

Self-esteem naturally ebbs and flows throughout life. Many parents find that their self-esteem takes a dive when they have young children, for example. Children make huge demands on our time and that...

Photo of teenager looking thoughtful to illustrate article on the reality of being a teenage girl today

The reality of being a teenage girl today

As a parent, it is easy to make assumptions about today’s teenagers and their lives. However, the pressures faced by teens – and especially by teenage girls – are intense and what...

photo of teenager eating chocolate to illustrate article by parenting expert Anita Cleare on talking to a teenager about healthy eating without giving them body image anxiety

Talking to a teenager about healthy eating (without giving them a complex)

During lockdown, lots of parents raised concerns with me about how to encourage teens to follow a more healthy lifestyle. Parents reported teenagers doing very little exercise, eating a lot of junk...

photo of child coming down a slide to illustrate blog post by parenting expert Anita Cleare on how 'moments to shine' help build children's self-esteem

How ‘moments to shine’ build children’s self-esteem

Experiencing ‘moments to shine’ is really important for building children’s self-esteem. Here’s what those moments look like and how parents can make them happen every day:...

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...

Empathetic listening video guide for parents by parenting expert Anita Cleare, photo of teenager carrying a surf board

Empathetic Listening

Empathetic listening is a really important skill for parents to learn in order to support children’s emotional well-being. Here’s a 3-minute video tip on how to do it.   If you have...

Photo of child illustrating blog post on what children need most by parenting expert Anita Cleare

What children need most from their parents

Even before Covid-19, many working parents were already conflicted about what children need most from us, and how to prioritise between work and family. We are a generation of parents who are working...

The Woorysaurus is one of the best books to help children with anxiety - photo of bookcover

Books to help children with anxiety

Children who are worried or anxious don’t always find it easy to express those feelings in words. Reading storybooks together with children is a great way to open up discussions and introduce...

How to talk to children about anxiety, blog by Anita Cleare

How to talk to children about anxiety and stress

Learning how to talk to children about anxiety and stress in a way that they understand is a really useful skill for parents to learn. This quick 3-minute video talks about using imagery that appeals...

How a snow globe can help children self soothe

Young children find abstract concepts difficult. So words like ‘anxiety’ or ’emotion’ can be a bit baffling to them. What do those words actually mean? And how do they help?...

Mindfulness apps for children and teens

The lifting of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions is positive news in terms of wider opportunities for children to play and reconnecting with friends and family. But many parents and professionals are...

Finger breathing: how to calm anxious children (by Anita Cleare) - photo of hands

Finger breathing – how to calm anxious children

If you have ever tried to tell a young child who is in the grip of a big emotion to “Calm down,” you will know that often doesn’t work. Children need much more concrete strategies...

photo of child looking looking sad or with low mental health

Supporting children’s and teenagers’ mental health: resource list

Children and young people’s mental health is hardly out of the news these days (see Crisis in children’s mental health). But often parents are at a loss how best to help and support a...

Talking to children about mental health

All children need to know about mental health. They need to know how to look after their minds as well as their bodies. They need to know that it is possible to feel mentally unwell as well as...

photo of child whispering to her dad to illustrate the importance of listening to children

The importance of listening to children

The problem with parents is that they think they know best. To be fair, we often do. But when we are convinced of our own inevitable rightness, it’s tempting not to spend enough time...

Positive Parenting in the Digital Age

Concerns about managing children’s screen time and the impacts of technology on children’s wellbeing are high on the worry list for modern parents. But most advice on positive parenting...

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...

Building children’s self-esteem

Self-esteem comes from children feeling accepted, competent and effective. Parents cannot directly create those feelings in children – feelings are subjective and everyone is different. But...

Separation anxiety

It is very normal for young children to experience separation anxiety when being left by a parent. Separation anxiety tends to emerge at about 8-12 months old and can be very intense (especially...

Anxious children: where to find help

If you are worried that your child’s anxiety is impacting negatively on his or her life then it’s a good idea to seek support. You’ll find some great advice for parents of anxious...

Teaching optimism (and how parents can do it)

When it comes to thought processes, one of the most important habits of mind that children can develop is optimism. Children who practise optimistic thinking are more resilient, they are less likely...

How to help your child have a positive body image

Subconsciously, I equate food with love. As a result, I can take it too personally when my loved ones don’t want the food I provide, and I probably project that guilt onto them. I also...