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How to parent smarter not harder.

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...

photo of stressed working mum to illustrate article on working parent stress

Working parent stress? Try doing more (not less)

I don’t know about you but when I’m stressed, it is usually interactions with my family that make me realise I have a problem. I find myself excessively haranguing my son about his untidy...

photo montage of 8 book covers which are all recommended books for helping children manage friendship problems

Books for helping children manage friendship problems

Learning how to recognise a good friend (and how to be one) is an important part of childhood. All children experience some ups and downs in friendships. Parents can play an important role in helping...

Photo of two tween girls standing back to back to illustrate article on helping children with friendship problems

Helping children with friendship problems

Helping children with friendship problems is all about listening and empowering and very little about giving advice. There are some clear Do’s and Don’ts. But before we get to those,...

photo of a young boy and girl playing together to illustrate article on helping young children make friends

Helping young children make friends

Helping young children make friends involves some thoughtful conversations and as many opportunities for learning and practice as possible. Here are some practical tips for parents of little ones to...

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...

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 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...

photo of two smiling boys holding positive affirmations cards to illustrate article on how positive affirmations can boost children's confidence

How positive affirmations can boost children’s confidence

This is a guest post by Chrissy Brown, founder of Young Positive Minds. In this post, she explains how positive affirmations can help build children’s confidence and self-esteem and how parents...

photo of boy looking worried to illustrate article on using Mental Gym to support children with anxiety

Using ‘mental gym’ to support children with anxiety

The principle of mental gym is quite simple. It is a way of practising different thought patterns in order to develop more flexible thinking and break out of negative responses. Mental gym is...

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...

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...

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My 2021 top picks for thought-provoking books

I get sent a lot of books by publishers to review but I don’t always get a chance to put them on the blog. I enjoy reading (when I find the time!), so I also buy a lot of books. To spread the...

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 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...

woman dancing to illustrate article on wellbeing snacks by parenting expert Anita Cleare

Wellbeing snacks: the answer to parental burnout?

Spoiler alert: wellbeing snacks are nothing to do with food. There are no pastries or packets of crisps in this article. And I won’t be giving you permission to eat chocolate (unless it’s...

The efficiency trap

In my book, The Work/Parent Switch, I talk about the problem of ‘efficiency thinking’. The efficiency mindset is a task-oriented approach to time that is incredibly useful for getting...

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...

montage of books for teaching children about sex

Top 10 books for teaching children about sex

Talking to children about bodies and bits and how they fit together isn’t always easy. The earlier you start and the more relaxed you are about it, the easier it will be (see Talking to...

Photo of mum touching her daughter's face to illustrate article on the role of touch in child development

The role of touch in child development

There are lots of concerns about the impacts of social distancing on children’s development. Parents are reporting their children have become more germ phobic as a result of Covid anxieties....

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...

photo of mum and daughter talking

How to boost your child’s communication & thinking skills in just 5 minutes

Guest post by Kavin Wadhar Are you the parent of a 6-12 year old? Are you concerned about the impacts of Covid on their social and communication skills? Do you find your busy workload gets in the way...

photo of parent relaxing in article by parenting expert Anita Cleare

Parents, cut yourselves some slack this summer

My intention was to write a blog post full of exciting things to do this summer that would help your children catch up lost ground after a year of lockdowns and remote learning. But, to be honest, I...

photos of book covers with play ideas for busy parents in article by parenting expert Anita Cleare

Play ideas for busy parents

Let’s face it, the pandemic has been more than a little challenging for working parents with young children. What with homeschooling and lockdowns and blurred boundaries between work and home,...

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 baby to illustrate podcast on introducing a new baby to your family by parenting expert Anita Cleare

Introducing a new baby to your family

I am frequently asked for advice on the best tactics for introducing a new baby. Many parents worry about how they will cope with the added demands of a new baby and how a sibling’s arrival...

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...