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Why children need recreation time at home and at school

School recreation time is vital for our children to give their exhausted brains a rest and enjoy some exercise in the playground. But I have also found that it’s important to set aside time for fun activities at home. I encourage my kids Tom and Mary to run around for a while in the garden or play a board […]

Helping your children deal with bullying

Many children have to endure teasing from friends or acquaintances at some point. Sometimes it is all in good fun, but other times it is more frequent and hurtful and turns into bullying. It is important that we as parents teach our children how to handle these situations. But how? And how do we know when to step in […]

Beating the bedtime blues: How to get your children to sleep

Beating the bedtime blues is a challenge for many parents. I should know! My kids Tom and Mary have given me many headaches at bedtime, particularly in their first year at school. It’s common sense that a newborn needs a consistent sleep schedule, but toddlers and school-age children also need a regular bedtime routine if tears and tantrums are […]

Guiding your children through the first school years

When our children reach school-age, it can be wrenching for parents. Waving goodbye as the little ones disappear behind the school gates on their first day is harder than you would think! The separation is difficult for children, too. But as our kids begin to navigate their brave new world, good parenting is just as important as […]

Dealing with your children’s temper tantrums

Temper tantrums are a natural part of children’s development. But that does not lessen the frustration that a parent feels when a child is throwing one! Learning how to deal with your children’s tantrums in the right way can be very tough on parents – and believe me, I should know.  When my son Tom and […]

The dos and don’ts of dealing with sibling rivalry

Sibling rivalry has existed as long as families have, and handling it requires good parenting skills. I should know – my children Tom and Mary have been sparring partners since they were toddlers! Of course, there are some families in which brothers and sisters are not rivals, and instead like and enjoy one another, but I […]

How to make after-school activities fun

Learning shouldn’t stop once children come home from school, so it is important to plan after-school activities that entertain and educate! Since Tom and Mary started school, I have juggled my work timetable so that I can be at home when they arrive. Even though they normally have a good deal of homework to do, I encourage them […]

Coping with your children’s fussy eating

Most families have fussy eaters. You know the one – the child who eats jam sandwiches every day for every meal and turns their nose up at vegetables! When Tom and Mary were toddlers, they were fussy eaters. In part, being picky about food was a way for them to explore their independence. But being a […]

How to manage the homework battle

With my children Tom and Mary back at school, the battle over homework has become part of our evening routine. Mary normally does her work quickly and without complaints, but Tom can make a mountain out of a molehill of a few pages of algebra. Things have improved in the last couple of years, but only […]

Children’s pocket money: Getting it right

The new school year is under way, bringing with it new teachers, new subjects, new extracurricular activities and the yearly pocket money negotiations – yes, I do mean negotiations! I think my children Tom and Mary gang up on me every autumn before we discuss pocket money for the next school year.  They always have plausible […]

Tips for fun and stress-free family holidays

Tom and Mary are now settled back in school after the summer, but half-term is just around the corner. I need to plan a mini-break! I like my children to spend the first half of their mid-term holiday at home, then we take a two- to three-day trip somewhere that both mummy and children can […]

How to plan children’s parties for every occasion

Children’s parties are fun to organise, but thoroughly exhausting! I prefer to do the catering myself, so that takes a lot of time and planning. I always celebrate my son Tom’s and my daughter Mary’s birthdays with a birthday party, but I also like to throw a small impromptu gathering to mark an accomplishment, such […]

Easing Your Child’s Transition Back to School

It’s back to school time already – and it has come round so quickly!  The summer holidays seemed eternal, but Tom and Mary will be on that school bus again next week. Are they looking forward to the new term?  Tom is slightly apprehensive as he starts a busy year of school exams, while Mary […]

Good Behaviour: Teaching Table Manners to Children

Good table manners for children are essential. That’s what my mother told me!  So I took her advice and made sure my Tom and Mary learned from an early age how to behave at the table. But that is no easy task nowadays, as fast-food takeaways, busy working schedules and after-school activities can all get in the […]

Sleepover success: how to avoid tears and tantrums

Sleepovers are a good way for children to deepen friendships away from school or other adult-organised environments. I have always encouraged Tom and Mary to have their friends to stay over at weekends or in the long summer holidays. These parties liven up the week when the kids are home from school, and other mums thank […]