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How to parent smarter not harder.

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 children playing to illustrate article on supporting your child's development by parenting expert Anita Cleare

101 ideas for supporting your child’s development

We all want our children to do well – at school and in life – and to reach their full potential. But battling over homework and bribing them to complete extra maths booklets isn’t...

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...

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:...

Photo of child to illustrate blog post by parenting expert Anita Cleare on 'Helping children get back on track post-lockdown'

Helping children get back on track post-lockdown

With glimmers of hope that the national lockdown in the UK is to be gradually lifted, parents and professionals are turning our thoughts to helping children get back on track post-lockdown....

Photo of girl outside school gates to illustrate blog post by parenting expert Anita Cleare "Is my child worried about going back to school?"

Is my child worried about going back to school?

In September 2020, after the long period of school closures in the UK, I recorded a couple of quick videos to help parents settle young children back into school. Often children don’t tell us...

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...

Best books to teach children social skills: phot of 'I'll Wait, Mr Panda book cover

Best books to teach children social skills (2-7yrs)

The absolute best way for children to learn social skills is through practice. Young children needs lots of opportunities to play with other kids – older, younger and the same age. There will...

photo of child playing on phone to illustrate blog by parenting expert Anita Cleare on How much tech time is too much tech time?

How much tech time is too much tech time?

“How much tech time is too much tech time?” is one of the questions I am most frequently asked by parents. The potential impacts of excessive screen time has been a big concern for...

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...

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...

Books for talking to children about emotions: picture of 'The Way I Feel' front cover

8 Books for talking to children about emotions

It takes time for children to learn to recognise and manage their feelings. Talking to children about emotions can help this process. Talking is usually best done when everyone is calm and no-one...

Photo of man covered in Post-Its to illustrate article on balancing work and parenting when working from home

Balancing work and parenting when working from home

Working from home has lots of advantages. There’s no commute, you can be much more available for unexpected family circumstances, and the uniform is a lot comfier! But that blending of work and...

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...

photo of steering wheel covered in reminder notes to illustrate article on 'Are you a parent stuck in work-mode?'

Are you a parent stuck in work-mode?

For most working parents, our work-mode involves a big helping of what I call ‘efficiency thinking’. You know the type of thinking I mean? ‘To Do’ list thinking that is always two...

Are you over-parenting? Blog by parenting expert Anita Cleare (photo of supermum)

Are you over-parenting and doing too much for your children?

Working parents often worry that we’re not doing ‘enough’ for our children. That we are working too much and parenting too little. Wracked with guilt that work is getting in the...

'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...

Parenting in a time of uncertainty

I didn’t imagine myself writing this blog post. It wasn’t on my planner. I’ve spent the last few months writing about the various parenting challenges of Covid-19 (working from...

Anita Cleare parenting expert 'Helping children settle back into school post-lockdown' photo of boy at desk

Helping children settle back into school post-lockdown

By the time schools reopen in the UK for the new academic year, many children will have been out of school for nearly six months. And many parents are worried about helping children settle back into...

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...

Socially distanced games: ideas!

Please do adhere to local social distancing regulations at the time of reading this! Not being able to play with friends has been tough for children during the coronavirus lockdown. Young children...

Susie Robbins gives ideas for growing resilience through play (picture of kids climbing tree)

Growing resilience through play (by Susie Robbins)

This is a guest post by Susie Robbins There is a lovely saying that I regularly repeat to my children: “Mistakes are proof that you have tried.” When we make mistakes, it is easy to give...

photo of girl with hand in front of mouth, children's books on lying article

Children’s books on lying

Lying is an issue that every parent comes up against at some time or other. All children experiment with lying (see Why do children lie?). That’s perfectly normal and – although it can be...

Homeschooling tips for parents working at home picture of despairing Dad

Homeschooling tips for weary parents working from home

Even before Covid-19, most working parents were already at full tilt trying to balance work and parenting – and not always feeling like we were succeeding. Being a full-time teacher on top of...

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...