THIS IS WHY OUR KIDS ARE SO ANXIOUS - More people suffer from anxiety today than did during the Great Depression. Particularly young people. The first time I heard that I was stunned. How is that even possible? But then it is borne out in the research. 1 in 5 females suffers anxiety and the number of 15/16-year-olds with the condition has doubled in the […]
5 POWERFUL WAYS TO BUILD RESILIENCE IN KIDS - Resilience is the ‘it’ word of the decade when it comes to kids and their wellbeing. And so it should be. In the past, we have focused on problems one at a time. Drugs, bullying, peer pressure, self-esteem, cyber-safety, alcohol…we’ve tried to address them all. The fact is, bad things happen and we can’t shield […]
WHY DO PARENTS AND TEACHERS FIND IT SO HARD TO WORK TOGETHER? - School gates are interesting. We enter them as wee beings, full of parental love and hungry for learning. We leave them a decade or more later, excited and ready to take our place in the world. But what do those school gates represent in the interim? Often large and imposing those gates can form a […]
HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD IS READY FOR SCHOOL? - Starting school is an important milestone for a child. For parents, it is often equal parts exciting and stressful. Is he ready? Will she cope with the long days? Have we done enough reading and counting? Have we picked the right school? According to Wesley College’s Head of Junior School, Maria Hodges, “It is so lovely […]
YOU KNOW EMPATHY IS IMPORTANT, BUT HOW CAN YOU TEACH IT? - I’m mentoring a 13-year-old girl who is being socially excluded. She is hurting and very lonely. Lately, she has been spending lunchtimes at school with a group of girls who have begrudgingly included her at the request of their teacher. However, it changed yesterday. She went out to the lawn where they usually meet and […]
WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT THAN A HAPPY CHILDHOOD? - “I just want my kids to be happy.” We hear it all the time, and it sounds reasonable. If you’ve made this statement before, it was no doubt said with love and the best possible intentions. However, is it what we really mean? And is our perception of a ‘happy childhood’ sabotaging our kids’ opportunities […]
HOW YOU RESPOND TO GOOD NEWS REALLY MATTERS - My friend Amanda is a Drama teacher. Kids of all ages love her and it’s not just because she teaches a fun subject. It’s because of the way she responds to them. She makes them feel heard and seen and as though what they have to say matters. I watched her this week with a […]
THE WEAPON WE NEED IN THE WAR ON BULLYING - You were at school. You know how bullies work. And you know that at certain stages even the great kids can become bullies. They rarely strike when there is a teacher around and when they do, it is so subtle, that even if the teacher has a whiff of it, it is almost impossible to […]
FIRST JOB, SECOND EDUCATION: WHY YOUR TEENAGER NEEDS A JOB - I got my first proper holiday job at 14. It was in the women’s clothing department of a store in the small town where I lived. I’m sure it was illegal to employ a 14-year-old in Australia, but nobody seemed to care, least of all me. I loved it. I loved the other staff, I […]
WHAT MAKES YOUR CHILD’S SPARENTS SO SPECIAL? - The first time I heard the term sparent was eight years ago. It was around the same time as my first nephew was born. My brother thought that the idea of sparents was brilliant, especially when there was a particularly hideous nappy to change. In reality, it is only the term ‘sparent’ that is new, […]