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Blog entries tagged with "parenting"

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

Raising a 21st Century Teenager

Nobody has all the right answers when it comes to bringing up kids, let alone teenagers.   As parents, we feel the pressure to turn out perfect children and be perfect parents – no such thing!  Parents of teenagers often feel: Worried that they...

Posted on 13 July 2012

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

Bringing it to the table - eating as a family

New research from the Journal of Epidemiology and Child Health looked at the eating habits of almost 2,400 children in south London. On the day of their study, they found that children whose families said they always ate together round a table ate...

Posted on 17 January 2013

Eat your way to a healthy and productive 2013

Food and nutrition is one of the top three issues you say you would like more support with, according to a recent study from Edenred. So here is Oliver Gray, one of the UK’s leading health and energy experts and author of ENERGISE YOU, with some...

Posted on 29 January 2013

Your Senior School Child’s Internet Journey

For many senior school children, their digital world might seem as important as the real world to them.  They might spend their evenings chatting to friends on Facebook, texting, watching and uploading videos on YouTube or downloading from iTunes....

Posted on 19 March 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

Children’s Sleep

Here Mandy Gurney, founder of Millpond Children’s Sleep Clinic and co-author of the sleep book "Teach Your Child to Sleep" lays out some strategies to help with children’s sleep problems. It is very rare for a child never to suffer any sleep...

Posted on 30 January 2015

Family Charity Ask You To Make One Change To Improve Your Family Life

Make One Change Monday 21 – Sunday 27 October Change for the better often happens by taking small steps. The Family and Childcare Trust’s theme this year is about the ONE change parents, businesses, employers and childcare providers could make to...

Posted on 22 October 2013

I Want One of Those – Preparing for the Festive Season

At this time of year emotions can run high as we fight the marketing battle that bombards us at every corner.  What should we buy our children?  Do they really need it?  We open up the floodgates and ask children what they would like?  We encourag...

Posted on 23 December 2013

Dealing with Divorce and Separation

“One day at a time – this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone: and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.” ~ I...

Posted on 23 January 2014

Our Children’s Digital World

Young people today are growing up in a very different world to the one we did.  But we can’t use that as an excuse to sit back and watch.  We need to be as informed as they are and need to communicate to our children, even the younger ones, about...

Posted on 06 March 2015

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is a bit of a buzz work nowadays and people think they know what it means but aren’t really sure why it matters. Many of us value academic intelligence and encourage our children to work hard, exercise their brains and their...

Posted on 26 June 2014

What exactly is Shared Parental Leave?

From the 1 st April Shared Parental Leave will become a right for every UK worker. It is the most significant shift towards family-friendly employment rights in many years and should make it easier for both parents to take leave in the early stage...

Posted on 02 April 2015

A Parent’s Survival Guide to Exams and Tests

Our children are among the most tested in the world.  In state schools formal assessments begin in primary school with SATs in year two and six and the optional Eleven plus exam.  At secondary school a potent mix of hormonal teenagers with exams...

Posted on 16 April 2015

Webinar: How to help your kids stay safe online

It’s important to teach our children as young as 3 yrs to be safe and aware online. Learn how to teach them through a video webinar – now available to view, whenever you want, on demand. Log into www.workingparentszone.co.uk and click on 'webinar...

Posted on 29 April 2015

Webinar: Spending time with your family when you have no time

Join the webinar to learn how manage your family time View it anytime, on demand in Working Parents Zone . You may often feel that there's always too much to do - and never quite enough time to do it. Join our webinar ‘Spending time with your fami...

Posted on 01 May 2015

How to help your child make the transition to a new class

Summer fairs and rainy sports days mean the end of the school year is fast approaching.  Whether your child is moving onto secondary or starting school for the first time now is a great time to prepare them for their next step.  We’ve rounded up...

Posted on 28 May 2015

Kids screen time: How much is too much?

Confession time: during the recent half term holidays my children spent a good portion of each day playing on their iPads so that I could work.  Recent reports suggest I wasn’t alone with many more working parents admitting to use Nanny McScreen t...

Posted on 30 August 2016

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

Why everything we know about discipline is wrong

Not knowing how to effectively discipline their children is “the greatest concern of parents today,” say leading UK and US child psychologists. This finding won’t come as a surprise to readers of this newsletter.  We pay close attention to which...

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

Understanding your child’s needs during puberty

Spots. Mood swings. Hair “down there”. All the physical and emotional changes during puberty can be pretty overwhelming. Your support can mean a lot to your child. When your child starts puberty, there will be various changes that will become...

Posted on 15 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

Understanding your teenager’s brain

As our children enter puberty, their minds and bodies go through huge emotional and physical changes. The first growth spurt in their brain occurs in the first three years of life, whilst during middle childhood their brains settle into a slower...

Posted on 30 September 2015

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

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

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

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

Learn what’s available to lower the cost of childcare

As you may know, we recently held ‘Working Parents Week’ where we hosted a number of webinars supporting working parents. Thousands of parents joined us over the week to learn more about childcare options available to them and went away with some...

Posted on 03 August 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

How to keep your child safe online

Some 53% of children aged eleven to sixteen have seen lewd content online with 94% having seen some by the age of fourteen. This striking statistic from research commissioned for the NSPCC is just one reason why parents must understand what goes o...

Posted on 27 October 2016

First steps towards adult independence

First steps towards adult independence Adolescence can be a fraught time for many families as their child, now young person, learns to become independent. This is normal but the struggle to redefine the parent/child relationship can feel painful f...

Posted on 18 December 2017

Is the cost of childcare impacting your work?

Is the cost of childcare impacting your work? With childcare costs rising year on year and wage growth hardly increasing there’s more pressure being put on parents to save money by forgoing the babysitters and afterschool clubs and cutting time ou...

Posted on 21 November 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

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

How to have a Happy Halloween

Whether you revel in All Hallows’ Eve or prefer to hide away, the goblins and ghouls of 31st October have steadily crept up on us all. We’ve rounded up some of the latest advice for parents on how to keep children entertained, happy and safe amids...

Posted on 25 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

Save more money in 2018

Did you know 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February? But how about a resolution you can easily keep? Save more money in 2018. There are plenty of really simple ways you can save money on everything from your supermarket shopping to your...

Posted on 05 January 2018

Update on the Childcare Vouchers debate and what you can do to support the campaign

You may have been following our on-going fight to keep Childcare Vouchers open alongside Tax-Free Childcare, to give parents a genuine choice of the financial support that best suits their families’ needs. As things stand, the Government will clos...

Posted on 24 January 2018

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

Life’s so unfair: a parent’s guide to the teenage brain

Some days, it takes the patience of a saint to parent a self-centered, moody and seemingly lazy teenager. In a nanosecond their mood can flip from one extreme to the other. What is going on with them? - And how should parents react? We’ve gathered...

Posted on 23 March 2018

The stigma and the joys of Shared Parental Leave

Hey dads, did you know that you’re allowed to share 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay with your partner after you have a baby, thanks to Shared Parental Leave (SPL)? And did you know you’ve been able to do this since April 2015? If you didn’t,...

Posted on 10 April 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

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

Seeking help for postnatal depression

One in 10 women in the UK will experience postnatal depression (rising to 40% in teen mothers), and as many as 20% of women will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or after childbirth. It is incredibly common. What are the symptom...

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

The difficulties of being a new dad

There is no denying that being a new mum is incredibly physically and mentally challenging. However research has shown that many dads can struggle with issues like postnatal depression too. Some feel they cannot reach out for help, finding that...

Posted on 18 June 2018

Encouraging your kids to play outside

When you think back to your summers as a child, what do you remember? Seemingly endless evenings riding the streets on your bike? Water pistol battles in the back garden? Playing with real, reach-out-and-touch-them friends outside in real life?...

Posted on 18 June 2018

Summer holiday survival guide for parents

With the school summer holidays just around the corner, most parents are mentally preparing (and booking) various activities to help the time go a little smoother.  Whether you are working or not, the summer holidays are a time of earned relaxatio...

Posted on 18 June 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

Tips for being a green parent

You may have noticed the recent flurry of activity on your favourite social media feed on the use of plastic straws. Straws, and single-use plastic in general, are the latest environmental case to make big headlines as people and businesses scramb...

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

Top 5 favourite parenting blogs

Parenting blogs provide insight and tips from parents on a wide range of topics. There are, of course, a ton of good parenting blogs out there. Below you’ll find a handful of our favourites, covering everything from travelling with kids, adoption...

Posted on 22 October 2018

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Parents

It’s the start of a new year, so why not add a few parenting resolutions to your life that might actually stick? Like most resolutions, which are easy to start, our top ten parenting resolutions will help make your life more enjoyable in 2019....

Posted on 17 December 2018