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Blog entries tagged with "children"

Healthy Kids are Happy Kids

As the kids go back to school after the holidays are you making sure they start the term fit and healthy?  It’s that time of year again.  The nights are coming in earlier and there is less time to run around outside, but more than ever children’s...

Posted on 19 October 2012

Is Lack of Sleep taking its toll on Children?

How many hours of sleep does a five-year-old need?  Does the time at which a child sleeps matter? What hormones are produced only during sleep?  If, as a parent, you don’t know the answers, you are not alone.  According to a new survey by the Slee...

Posted on 21 June 2012

Good Night Nutrients

Can Nutrition Help Your Child To Get A Good Night Sleep? Can’t sleep or won’t sleep?  Children’s sleep problems are some of the most common parents face.  The result is not just exhausted children who struggle to learn or concentrate but parents i...

Posted on 11 November 2015

Choosing your child’s school – what to consider?

Of course you want your child to be happy and healthy – you also want to give them the best education available. So how do you decide?  It is really important to be ahead of the game and understand what’s out there and what will work for you and...

Posted on 31 July 2012

Homework Battles

Parental involvement in their children’s education is a hugely important, but what is required is a balance between providing support and making your child an independent learner.  Parents who do everything for their children are putting them at a...

Posted on 07 June 2015

Special Educational Needs

Special Educational Needs (SEN) is a huge area, one you may be struggling with, may be involved with already or just want to know more.  As a starting point here is a brief quote from the National Curriculum with regards to SEN.  'Schools have a...

Posted on 28 October 2015

Making your child's schooling a success

Dee Francken, renowned education consultant calls on her years of experience as a former head to provide some useful tips on making sure your child is prepared for school and gives advice on laying the groundwork to give them a successful school...

Posted on 02 July 2012

How to succeed as a working parent

A recent report* declared that working parents splash out £2,000 a year on ‘bribes’ for their children as it emerges that four in ten parents spend less than seven hours a week with them.  Half of these parents buy guilt presents for their childre...

Posted on 19 March 2015

Are we losing communication skills?

Before the days of mobile phones, texting, computers, internet access, game consoles and endless television channels what did people do?  The answer is that they used to communicate face to face.  They used to sit down and have a family meal...

Posted on 13 July 2012

How can I be a Great Dad?

With governmental changes to Shared Parental Leave there is a greater emphasis on fathers and the role that they play than ever before.  However, with the pressures of work, being a father and having the time to engage with your children is not an...

Posted on 16 April 2015

Siblings without rivalry!

Sibling rivalry has always had bad press - think of Cain slaughtering Abel and Joseph being thrown down the well and sold by his brothers because they were jealous of his beautiful multi coloured coat! Sibling rivalry can apply to any child living...

Posted on 01 May 2015

The Challenges of Stepfamilies & Single Parenting

Stepfamilies have a bad image.  Single parents are either frowned upon or felt sorry for.  Think of Snow White’s jealous stepmother, the unrealistically positive Brady Bunch or Princess Jasmine’s desperate single father. Of course real life is mor...

Posted on 05 January 2017

What is dyslexia?

A working definition 1.1 There are many published definitions of dyslexia.  The Expert Advisory Group considered these carefully, in constructing a working definition for the review that includes key characteristics as explained below.  The workin...

Posted on 30 July 2016

Top tips on school selection

The process of choosing and applying for school can be a minefield, here, Dee Francken, education consultant goes through the maze of options available, giving helpful tips on how to choose the most suitable school for your child and how best to...

Posted on 02 July 2012

Special Educational Needs Glossary

Special needs glossary of terms   ADHD:   Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A learning disorder which involves being unable to follow instructions, acting impulsively and being unable to keep still.   Anger Management:   A programme design...

Posted on 28 October 2015

Have you got a Calcium Kid?

And I don’t mean the film ! Far too many children aren’t getting enough calcium. In fact, one in eight 11-18 year-olds aren’t getting the recommended amount , and it’s a big problem. We need calcium for strong bones and teeth, especially during...

Posted on 17 January 2013

Don't go cold turkey...

Christmas dinner’s only just out of the way, but don’t swear off the turkey for too long. It’s a great way to help make sure your children are getting enough folate. This nutrient is one of a group of B vitamins and occurs naturally in foods, thou...

Posted on 17 January 2013

Cheesed off?

A new survey out this week highlighted that cheese can often contain more salt than you might think. Read a good summary of the response in the Guardian . Most kids love cheese, so what’s the best way to use it in a healthy diet for them? Here are...

Posted on 17 January 2013

Five a day for kids: Mission Impossible?

Five a day. On paper, it doesn’t sound too scary, does it? But for loads of parents who email, call and write to us every day, I know that even with the news of pledges from supermarkets, caterers and retailers this week under the Fruit and Veg...

Posted on 17 January 2013

Letters on lunchtime

Bonfire night may have been and gone, but it seems that time for lunch is still causing fireworks for some parents who’ve contacted us recently. We’ve been emailed by several mums and dads who are worried about their children not getting enough ti...

Posted on 17 January 2013

5 Skills you should help your primary-school child with

From learning to read to multiplication tables, primary school lays the foundation of your child’s education in every area. TheSchoolRun ’s Elena Dalrymple highlights five skills you can help them with at home to see them soar at school. Phonics...

Posted on 12 September 2017

Make 2015 the year of eating well

How are your New Year’s resolutions going? Did ‘Dry January’ end for you on Saturday the 3 rd ? How about some resolutions that really pay off? Here are the Children’s Food Trust’s top tips on helping your child to eat better in 2015. Try them all...

Posted on 30 January 2015

Your Primary School Child’s Internet Journey

For young children, the internet and mobile devices are simply fun.  5 – 7 year olds might enjoy catching up with Peppa Pig,  Bob the Builder or Ben10.  Even if they are just for fun these kinds of devices and websites can help to teach younger...

Posted on 08 March 2013

Preparing for your child's first day at school

Primary school A child’s first day at school is a moment of great excitement but can also cause a good deal of parental anxiety.  There is much that parents can do to prepare their child before the beginning of Reception and even more that they ca...

Posted on 02 August 2013

A guide to childcare options over the summer holidays

If I were a bonneted Victorian peasant, my heart would gladden at the thought of a long summer break from school during which my children would gladly assist with the harvest.  As a modern day working parent my shoulders slump at the thought of...

Posted on 28 May 2015

How to entertain your children on a long journey

Are you looking forward to your summer holiday but not the journey there?  Thought so.  I too am one of the 62% of parents who confess to being happier without their children in the car and one of the 43% that admit to feeling anxious, irritable o...

Posted on 10 July 2015

Active children become healthier teens

A new study in Australia shows the need to get children active at an early age to ensure better health through their teens. More evidence of the importance of getting children active at an early age has been released following a study in Australia...

Posted on 23 July 2015

Why sedentary lifestyles are making children less fit

Sedentary lifestyles are detrimental to children’s fitness levels, despite their level of obesity. Recent research from a leading children's fitness expert at Essex University encouraged over 300 10-year-olds, in an area with low levels of obesity...

Posted on 11 August 2015

Changes in 3-4 year old funding may impact other childcare finance options

Childcare funding has been top of the political agenda again, with the new Conservative Government announcing their intention to extend the 15 free hours for 3-4 year olds to 30 hours.  This was confirmed in the recent summer budget to be starting...

Posted on 11 August 2015

25 ways to entertain the kids this summer for less

Summer is an exciting time for kids and adults alike, as it often means jetting off to an exotic location on holiday, having some much needed time away from the hum drum of everyday life or making the most of our unpredictable British weather....

Posted on 25 July 2018

Get your child excited about going back to school

Children return to school in a couple of weeks ending the summer break.  Some Scottish schools may already be back. Footloose and fancy free for around 6 weeks, our job as parents is to help them switch from holiday to term time mode in a way that...

Posted on 18 August 2015

Mounting evidence of advantages for children of working mothers

We’ve all had to make the agonizing decision whether to return to work after maternity leave or stay at home to look after the children. Whatever choice we make it’s common to question whether it’s the right one for our children. Such doubts are...

Posted on 09 September 2015

Help your child to become more independent

Working parents complete on average 26 morning tasks before going to work. These range from making the children’s breakfast and preparing lunchboxes to spelling and reading practice. That’s just the morning shift.  The second shift (dinner,...

Posted on 02 October 2017

How to carve a pumpkin safely with your little one

You guessed it – it’s time for Halloween again! It’s no surprise that your kids aren’t that interested when you suggest carving the pumpkin, that’s your job isn’t it? They’re more excited about picking a scary outfit and stuffing their faces with...

Posted on 24 October 2017

Quick and easy homemade Halloween costume ideas for kids

Decking your kids out in the best looking fancy dress for Halloween is every parent’s wish. But with the cost of living high and wages low, it’s easier said than done. All large supermarkets stock various costumes from just £5 and there are also...

Posted on 10 October 2017

5 tips to encourage your child to read more

Reading is a vital part of your child’s development and is a great way to spark their imagination. The ideal way to introduce reading into your child’s life is to read to them from a young age, as they absorb what you’re saying even if they don’t...

Posted on 22 October 2018

Failing to succeed

Just six weeks after starting secondary school I have done what I vowed I would never do and taken my daughter’s forgotten PE kit to school.  As a result, she was spared a detention and unnecessary tears. But what has she learnt from this? Full...

Posted on 28 October 2015

Parental leave extended to grandparents

Returning to work after having a baby is tough for new parents, especially if there are money worries about the cost of childcare. In April 2015, shared parental leave was implemented, allowing both parents to share up to 52 weeks of leave, not ju...

Posted on 28 October 2015

When do you tell your kids the truth about Santa Claus?

Christmas is a long awaited, exciting time of year for children. From their first birthday to primary school age, they most likely believe in Santa and his reindeer. But there comes a time when they’re becoming more mature and may have heard rumou...

Posted on 07 December 2017

Government plans for parents to request wraparound childcare at school

In December 2015, as part of their on-going childcare strategy, the Government released draft guidance for consultation, outlining plans to allow parents the ‘right to request’ wraparound childcare at their child’s school for outside the school da...

Posted on 10 December 2015

Would your child benefit from fewer presents this Christmas?

As a parent, it’s easy to fall into the trap of spoiling your kids with lots of gifts, especially at Christmas. They may enjoy it at the time, but it isn’t long before they become greedy and start to expect presents rather than appreciate them. It...

Posted on 24 November 2017

Understanding how to be your child’s ‘emotions coach’

As a parent, you have a central role in helping your child learn and develop essential skills. It's not easy sometimes helping your child learn how to tolerate frustration, or learn how to calm down and behave acceptably in society. The best way f...

Posted on 19 November 2018

Help, the kids are driving me mad!

Parents often ask me “How can I stop my children doing X?” The first step is to turn it around and think about how you want them to behave instead. Do they behave that way ever? How do you respond? Nine times out of ten, parents fall into the trap...

Posted on 27 January 2016

When parents disagree about parenting

When it comes to children, no two parents in the history of this planet have ever had exactly the same approach to parenting. This is hardly surprising since co-parents have grown up in different families and have had different experiences of bein...

Posted on 05 February 2016

Shared Parental Leave – One Year On

Shared Parental Leave is celebrating its first birthday this month.  The idea behind the initiative was to enable parents to share work and childcare responsibilities more equally than was possible under previous maternity leave rules. To what...

Posted on 11 April 2016

Tax-Free Childcare Update

Following the Government’s Budget 2016 announcement on the 16 th March, there are some further developments regarding Childcare Voucher schemes and Tax-Free Childcare. Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) is scheduled to roll out from ‘early 2017’. This will ...

Posted on 11 April 2016

What do parents of successful children have in common?

I’m guessing as good parents we share a universal goal of wanting the best for our children.  We’re not looking to raise uber competitive child prodigies hothoused to boiling point.  We just want them to have the optimum chance of success and...

Posted on 21 June 2016

Why it isn’t all about the kids

When was the last time you put your needs over that of your children? Do you spend your free time pursuing interests that keep you happy, healthy and sane or is that time spent largely on your child, driving them from one activity to the next,...

Posted on 09 April 2018

Top tips for cooking with the kids

Parent Hub have teamed up with the Children’s Food Trust , who are on a mission to get every child eating well at home, in childcare, at school and beyond. Get ready for great recipes, resources and ideas to get your children eating healthy.   Now...

Posted on 01 August 2016

Preparing your child for a new baby

A new baby means big changes for the whole family. Second (or third) time around, you’ve got a pretty good idea what’s coming. But your toddler has no idea what’s about to hit them and there’s a good chance they won’t particularly like it when it...

Posted on 20 September 2017

Countdown to a New School Year

While the English can enjoy being on holiday for a further three weeks, Scottish pupils return to school next week ending the summer break.  Footloose and fancy free for six weeks our job as parents is to help them switch from holiday to term time...

Posted on 15 August 2016

Packing lunches without the pester power – how can you resist?

Standing in the supermarket facing a wall of special offers for packed lunch snacks is stressful enough, throw in a couple of kids begging you to buy their favourite cereal bars, sweet drinks and crisps and before you know it all of your hopes and...

Posted on 15 August 2016

The Path To Independence Day

Our ultimate goal as parents is to enable our children to live, think and function independently.  Yet a recent survey found, a quarter of children today undertake absolutely no household chores .  Working mums complete on average 26 morning tasks...

Posted on 30 August 2016

What help can working parents get from the Government?

Working Tax Credits Depending on circumstances and income levels, some families may be able to claim Working Tax Credits. The requirements for Working Tax Credits include being 25 and over or 24 and under but with children or a qualifying...

Posted on 30 August 2016

Are your kids eating healthy without you?

Getting children enjoying healthy food from an early age is the way to help them eat well for the rest of their lives. But how can you tell if your child is getting a healthy meal when you’re not there?  Well the good news is that school meals hav...

Posted on 28 September 2016

Hassle free children’s birthday parties

When it comes to a big celebration, some parents thrive on planning, decorating and hosting. Others - myself included - want to make birthdays as fuss-free as possible. Whatever your preference, it's clear from talking with other parents that many...

Posted on 25 April 2018

Goodbye junk food, hello home cooking

Maggie Sims MBE runs The Children’s Food Trust’s national Let’s Get Cooking programme. In her latest blog she asks why, given all of the evidence, there’s no mention of cooking skills in the government’s childhood obesity plan?  Cooking as a famil...

Posted on 19 October 2016

Grab the perfect last minute Christmas gift

Last minute gifts can be nightmares, with crowded high streets and empty online shopping baskets; it can be difficult to find the perfect gift with the clock ticking.  However for those family, friends, and even kids who are crazy about cooking...

Posted on 14 December 2016

Guide for trouble free sleepovers

More commonly referred to as “work of the devil,” a sleepover can strike fear into the heart of even the most fun loving parent.  It’s not unusual, given the mayhem, mess, lack of sleep, and subsequent grumpiness the following morning, to hear...

Posted on 09 April 2018

Peace in our Christmastime

Ah! The mixology of Christmas or should that read aaaaaargh?  Blend together in-laws, elders, teenagers and toddlers, who may not be used to spending extended periods of time in each other’s company.  Mix with a steady stream of alcohol et voilà!...

Posted on 07 December 2017

Ideas for low cost, high impact summer holiday childcare

With the school holidays in full swing the search is on for low cost, high impact childcare. We’ve done the legwork to provide you with a comprehensive guide to summer holiday childcare options to accommodate all budgets and age ranges from four t...

Posted on 15 August 2017

Top tips to a happy summer holiday

Pleasant, carefree family-time to recuperate from a busy academic year. Or a grouchy trip complete with niggles, grumbles and the odd full-blown row? Family summer holidays have their highs and lows, but here are 5 steps to help avoid the pitfalls...

Posted on 04 July 2018

Back to school

Long, lazy days, filled with day trips, late nights, and an ever-sliding routine are what make the school summer holidays. But as the days draw in and the autumn term looms, here’s how to tackle that tricky transition back to structured days and...

Posted on 24 August 2017

Friendships

Friendship is one of life’s greatest gifts. For toddlers, early socialising establishes healthy patterns for solid friendships later in life and lays foundations for a strong ‘sense of self’. For older children, a personal support network creates ...

Posted on 12 September 2017

Majority of parents want to keep access to Childcare Vouchers

Ninety-eight per cent of parents would like access to Childcare Vouchers to continue alongside the government’s Tax-Free Childcare scheme, according to a survey by the Childcare Voucher Providers Association (CVPA). Over half of the 17,000...

Posted on 02 October 2017

‘Staving off the Winter Blues’ / Keeping the family healthy and happy throughout the winter months

As the clocks go back and the autumn draws in, here’s the latest thinking on how to stay energised as the colder months take hold. Launch a three-pronged attack on your family’s exercise, diet and sleep routines to keep everyone bright-eyed and...

Posted on 03 November 2017

Critical Thinking

Enhance your child’s educational development with critical thinking skills Fake news, email scams, a workplace dominated by artificial intelligence these are just some of the reasons we need to ensure our children can think for themselves, with a...

Posted on 24 November 2017

Help keep Childcare Vouchers open

Earlier this year we set out to support a petition to keep Childcare Vouchers open after the 2018 planned closure date and thanks to your contribution in signing and sharing the petition we have now reached over 110,000 signatures! This means that...

Posted on 14 December 2017

Mythbuster: 30 hours free childcare + Childcare Vouchers

Update: Since this article was originally published the government has extended the deadline to join a Childcare Vouchers scheme to October 2018. The precise date in October is yet to be confirmed by HMRC. All other information provided in this...

Posted on 19 December 2017

How to ensure your child has a healthy relationship with social media

Is social media “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works”? These are the words of a former Facebook executive, who recently expressed regret and guilt over his part in building tools for the social media network that are “destroying h...

Posted on 24 January 2018

Time is running out

Update: Since this article was originally published the government has extended the deadline to join a Childcare Vouchers scheme to October 2018. The precise date in October is yet to be confirmed by HMRC. All other information provided in this...

Posted on 13 February 2018

Maximise your childcare savings

Update: Since this article was originally published the government has extended the deadline to join a Childcare Vouchers scheme to October 2018. The precise date in October is yet to be confirmed by HMRC. All other information provided in this...

Posted on 13 February 2018

Cut your costs this Easter break

If the thought of keeping your kids entertained for more than two weeks over Easter sounds daunting and expensive, then we’re here to help. We’ve rounded up our favourite low cost activities and money-saving tips to help you save this Easter! 1.  ...

Posted on 12 March 2018

Childcare Vouchers deadline extended by six months!

Earlier this month the government announced that Childcare Vouchers will remain open to new entrants alongside Tax-Free Childcare for a further 6 months beyond the original April 2018 cut-off. This is all thanks to parents like you who signed the...

Posted on 23 March 2018

Fortnite: Battle Royale – Harmless gaming craze or something to worry about?

Say “Fortnite” to any child over the age of eight, and the chances are that the reaction will be much more than a flicker of recognition. If that child isn’t already playing the game, then a friend probably is. Since its launch in September 2017,...

Posted on 24 April 2018

The Benefits and Dangers of Co-Sleeping

Co-sleeping with your child; is it a vital bonding experience for parents and their children? Or is it dangerous and to be avoided at all costs? What is co-sleeping? Co-sleeping can refer to a number of set-ups including placing a cot alongside yo...

Posted on 08 May 2018

11 Tips for a Successful First Residential Trip

Between the ages nine and eleven, your child will probably embark on a school residential trip. These trips, which involve a couple of nights away, are considered a rite of passage and a way to introduce your child to various aspects of spending...

Posted on 08 May 2018

Are Smartphones Damaging our Children?

Smartphone use – what are the dangers? Many parents ask this and other related questions, like How many hours is safe ? Is Social Media the main issue ? Where do I look for guidance ? Just by typing “ are smartphones safe for children ” into Googl...

Posted on 08 May 2018

Plan the Perfect Family Picnic

We all know the drill when it comes to British summer time – the second the sun shows its face you cannot hesitate for a moment; get out and absorb that vitamin D! There’s no better way to bask in the summer sun than with a family picnic. Here are...

Posted on 18 May 2018

The Importance of Dads

It’s nearly Father’s Day, which prompts us all to remember the dads in our lives. Of course, many children now have a different experience than the traditional model of fathers coming home from work late, watching TV, and waiting for mum to call f...

Posted on 18 May 2018

Seven Tips to Alleviate Sibling Rivalry

When your kids argue, do you feel like the referee? If you are blessed with more than one child, then it won’t be a surprise to you that siblings bicker, pester and fight once in a while. Siblings don’t get along all the time. But when is it too...

Posted on 01 June 2018

How to stop the summer brain drain

Does the idea of making your children do schoolwork over the holidays fill you with dread or do you see it as an opportunity to hone in on any learning gaps? For many, school work and tutoring over the summer can sometimes seem like an unpleasant...

Posted on 04 July 2018

Prioritising you: A guide to healthy, stress-less parenting

“I simply don’t have any time to myself”, comments a busy mum, rushing her child to the park with a buggy full of shopping. We’ve all been there. The kids are busy and they are getting busier. The food lists are growing and so is the washing pile....

Posted on 25 July 2018

Parent or friend; can you be both?

Can parents really be friends with their children? Or is it better to be the ‘best’ mother or father you can, and leave being their ‘best’ friend to their actual friends? We’re not going to pretend there’s an easy answer; unfortunately there isn’t...

Posted on 01 August 2018

Summer holiday fun for all ages

The summer holidays can be difficult enough to keep filled with fun activities – but what if you have a range of ages to deal with as well? Mixing toddlers, kids and pre-teen options can fill many parents with dread, but we think some good ol’...

Posted on 17 August 2018

Getting the family school-ready

Whether they’ve started a new school, moved up to primary or secondary school , or even just moved up a year, this time often brings about a mixture of excitement and nerves for both children and parents. The fear of the unknown can be daunting bu...

Posted on 18 September 2018

How to tackle homework

Homework can cause arguments in families as parents struggle to understand it and children bristle at our efforts to help. We may not like homework but it matters. How can we as parents, best support homework without tearing our hair out? 1. ...

Posted on 18 September 2018

Spooky Halloween family fun

From the ghastly and ghoulish to the frightfully fun, there are several ways to get involved with Halloween activities this month. Museums, parks and town centres are getting into the spooky spirit, hosting parades, arts and crafts markets and eve...

Posted on 22 October 2018