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How to parent smarter not harder.

Photo of three girls balancing on a wall to illustrate article on 'Balancing Safety and Independence in children's lives'

Balancing safety and independence in children’s lives

When it comes to balancing safety and independence in children’s lives, we live in an era when risk-averse parenting is the norm. Children now spend more time being supervised by adults, more...

10 mood-boosting ideas for teenagers

It’s not unusual for teenagers to withdraw from family life, retreat into their bedrooms and experience periods of low mood. Being a teen is tough (see The reality of being a teenage girl...

montage of gender inclusive books for tweens and teens

Gender inclusive books for tweens and teens

It is so important that children and teens read books that include a diverse array of characters – so that they can find themselves and their own thoughts represented in positive ways. And...

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...

Teaching boys about consent

Like many parents, I was shocked by recent revelations about sexual violence and harassment in UK schools. The tragic killing of Sarah Everard opened the floodgates for women to talk about not...

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’...

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...

'Getting teenagers into a routine' by parenting expert Anita Cleare - photo of a teenagers lying on the floor listening to music

Getting teenagers into a routine

Getting teenagers into a routine is a topic that frequently comes up in my discussions with parents of teenagers. And especially so around exams and during the recent coronavirus homeschooling /...

Helping children set goals by parenting expert Anita Cleare - picture of toy astronaut

Helping children set goals

Helping children set goals has huge benefits for their self-esteem. It also teaches them an essential life skill that underpins much academic and workplace success. And, at a time of huge...

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...

advice for parents helping teenagers through social distancing

Helping teenagers through social distancing

I have been having a lot of Twitter chats this week about helping teenagers through social distancing. Firstly, how to convince teenagers to stay at home. Then, how to keep them entertained when they...

photo of The Incredible Teenage Brain book

Book Review: The Incredible Teenage Brain

*This review contains affiliate links It’s not often that I wholeheartedly recommend a parenting book. I can usually find something I disagree with… Or that I think could have been...

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...

photo of teenager carrying a rucksack

Preparing teenagers for leaving home: checklist

The teenage years are a time when parental focus shifts away from creating a happy childhood towards ensuring our children have the skills and knowledge they need to become happy and successful young...

picture of mum and teenage daughter having fun

5 tips for maintaining a good relationship with your teenager

I have had absolutely no time to write this week, so here’s a quick video blog instead on how to maintain a good relationship with your...

upside down car, when teenagers do stupid things

When teenagers do stupid things? Don’t panic!

People assume that because I advise parents on parenting, I must be a fantastic parent myself – which I’m not. I’m just like you. I get some things right, I get some things wrong. I...

photo of book 'He's Not Lazy' by Adam Price

Book Review: He’s Not Lazy (by Adam Price)

*This review contains affiliate links If you have a teenage son who is not doing as well as you think he should be at school, you must read He’s Not Lazy: Empowering your son to believe in...

photo of teenager studying

3 Study Skills to Develop in Your Child This Year (by James Davey)

This is a guest post by James Davey. As school starts up again it’s important to mention the key study skills which will put your child in the best position to succeed this academic year. For the...

picture of a teenager in artticle about talking to children about drugs

Talking to children about drugs

I know you don’t want to think about talking to children about drugs. We wish we didn’t have to. But at some point or other, your child is going to come across illegal recreational drugs....

helping children through exams, photo of a maths test

Supporting children through exams

Whether your child is 8 or 18, tests and exams can be a stressful time. Supporting children through exams is all about reducing stress, optimising well-being and putting good study processes in...

Best brave novels to inspire your teenage daughter

Have you read any Young Adult fiction recently? Because, seriously, YA fiction is where it’s all happening. Strong characters, gripping plots, imaginative worldscapes – the best YA books...

Why we need to let teens do stuff for themselves (aka the case of the teenager and the birthday cheque)

It’s easy to forget how little teenagers know about the world. Partly because they look so grown up and partly because they have that know-it-all attitude. But, in reality, they are only half...

photo compilation of books on parenting teenagers

Books on parenting teenagers

The teenage years can be a bit of a shock. Logically, of course, you know they are coming. But it’s impossible to predict exactly how your lovely, loving child will change when they hit the...

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 teenagers about porn

You might not want to hear this. If you have a child aged 11-16 years, it is highly likely they have already viewed pornography online. The majority of that age group have watched porn. Almost all of...

Top 10 ideas for tempting teens off tech in the school holidays

School holidays can be a nightmare for parents of teenagers. Teens are too old to be parked in childcare but they can’t always be trusted to make great decisions about how they spend...

Weird and wonderful facts about teenagers

As the parent of teenagers, I have found that knowing a little bit about their internal mechanisms really helps me keep some of their less desirable behaviour in perspective. So, for your amusement...

How to support teens and tweens to become better students (by Lucy Parsons)

Guest post by Lucy Parsons We all want our children to make the most of their education. However, when you watch a teenager diligently putting hours into their revision only to be rewarded with less...

parenting teenagers: how much freedom at what age? Picture of teen

Parenting teenagers: how much freedom at what age?

Some of the hardest decisions parents of teenagers face are around how much freedom to give at what age. What is the correct curfew time for a 14 year old? At what age is it ok for them to go to the...