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November, 2013

27 Nov 13

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 to be avoided when it’s time to go to sleep. Children require adequate rest to be healthy and happy, but I think it is also essential to help them get the most out of the end of their day. Making bedtime enjoyable Battling to get children to bed can be stressful for parents who are tired themselves at the end of a busy working day. The secret is to throw some fun into the mix. Here are a few suggestions: • Plan calm activities before bedtime that you and your kids can enjoy together, such as reading a […]

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11 Nov 13

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 ever. We need to help our kids learn the social skills they need to get the best out of their school days. Here are some of my tips for guiding children through the first school years. School stress When children start school, family relationships remain the most important influence on their development. But they are no longer cocooned by family life. They enter a whole new social world where they need to learn how to interact and find their own identity. My son Tom, now aged 10, took school in his stride, mainly because two of his […]

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05 Nov 13

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 daughter Mary were toddlers, they both were defiant, demanding and disagreeable. It is hard to believe that my now well-behaved kids were once little devils! So how did I survive the screaming, hitting and toy-throwing phase? Here are a few of my tips. Reasons for temper tantrums It’s important to remember that when your toddler behaves in an unacceptable way, it is not because he or she is bad. This behaviour is their way of trying to communicate and get your attention.  Fussy eating is a good example! Studies show tantrums usually peak between 15 […]

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05 Nov 13

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 think this is the exception. Children with different personalities and different needs living under the same roof are inevitably going to clash. So if sibling rivalry is normal, then how can we parents remedy it? Here are some of my tips. Reasons for sibling rivalry It’s natural for rivalry to develop given the close proximity in which most siblings live. Often the problems start when a first-born child is ousted from his or her position as the only child, like with my son Tom. Tom is two years older than my daughter Mary, so he enjoyed a […]

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