The Parent Space

Next Available Course

  • Start date:    Tuesday 26th September 2017
  • 5 week group:    Three Tuesday evenings, three week break for half term, then the final two Tuesdays: 7.30pm - 9.45pm in Hampstead

01/02/2016

Parenting in times of ill health

Parenting in times of ill health

We all want to protect our children from pain and it is hard to realise that we can’t always do so, or necessarily make it better.   Being a parent can be tough enough at the best of times but when your child or another close family member is ill it takes things up another level.   Illness, whether mild or serious, disrupts family life both practically and emotionally.  However, with a bit of thought and preparation, parents can play a big role in helping their children understand and manage what’s going on.

Health & illness ...Read More

01/10/2015

Managing food issues

Managing food issues

How and what we feed our children can be one of the most fraught areas of parenting, sometimes leading to feelings of intense worry, guilt or even shame.  Are they eating enough? Are they over eating?  When will they eat more vegetables?  How much sugar is too much?  When we as parents add in our own often complex relationships with food, plus the ever present societal beliefs around health and body image, it becomes clear why it can feel such an issue.

Food & eating ...Read More

02/06/2015

Over / under scheduling children

Over / under scheduling children's activities

The opportunities available to children today in terms of extra-curricular activities have grown enormously in recent years.  Where we once had to wait until age 7 just to join our local brownies or scouts, we now have music classes for babies, French for toddlers and even circus skills for under 5’s, all within striking distance.  Understandably, this often leaves parents worrying about how to squeeze even more into their already hectic days in order not to feel that their children miss out socially, developmentally and often academically too.

Setting boundaries ...Read More

03/02/2015

The Guilty Working Parent

The Guilty Working Parent

It is a rare parent who never feels any guilt in relation to their parenting or who doesn’t wonder whether they are doing the right thing for their children at times.  Going to work can allow a healthy break from thinking about your children and their needs but it also invariably complicates matters too. 

Most commonly guilt creeps in when we feel we are falling short of our expectations of ourselves and feel we’re not doing enough or being good enough as a parent.

Parental self awareness ...Read More

08/05/2014

Talking about difference with children

Talking about difference with children

We live in an increasingly diverse society and children will inevitably have contact with people from many different cultures, ethnicities and family compositions.  Parents play an important role in teaching children tolerance and appreciation of difference in order for them to flourish and succeed in their communities and the wider world as they grow up.

Children's difficult questions ...Read More

02/01/2014

Parenting

Parenting 'tweens' and young teenagers

As our children grow up our relationship with them changes, as does the way we parent them. Some children move with relative ease through the ‘tween’ stage and into teenage years, others have a rockier ride.  How, as parents, can we help our children negotiate these transition years as smoothly as possible?

Tweens and teenagers Setting boundaries ...Read More

12/09/2013

Sleep guidelines for children

Sleep guidelines for children

Along with new research from University College London highlighting the importance of a regular bedtime for children, research has long shown the negative impact of inadequate sleep on cognitive, behavioural and emotional functioning in children. But how much sleep do children really need for optimal functioning? The National Sleep Foundation gives the following guidelines:

Newborns (0-2 months): 12-18 hours
Infants (3-11 months): 14-15 hours
Toddlers (1-3 years): 12-14 hours
Pre-schoolers (3-5 years): 11-13 hours
School age children (5-10 years): 10-11 hours
Pre-teens/Teens (10-17 years): 8.5-9.25 hours
Adults: 7-9 hours

Good luck with factoring in some early bedtimes!

Sleep & bedtime ...Read More

30/07/2013

Bedwetting

Bedwetting

Many children manage toilet training well but staying dry at night isn’t always so easy to master.
We look at the developmental process involved and how parents can help maximise children's chances of going through the night with a dry bed.

Sleep & bedtime ...Read More

16/06/2013

Fathers - making the most of your time with your children

Fathers - making the most of your time with your children

Fathers have a powerful role to play in their children’s lives as they often provide very different input than mothers.  While the degree that a father can be involved on a day to day basis varies greatly depending on the particular family set-up, fathers can make the most of whatever time they do have with their children and maximise their impact, by considering a few areas in particular: 

Parental self awareness ...Read More

09/04/2013

Talking with children about death

Talking with children about death

Children become aware of death, at some level, at a very young age.  They come across it in fairytales, on news reports, they see dead insects or animals and may hear adults discussing it quite regularly.

Most children will have their first personal experience of bereavement through the death of a pet or elderly relative and the following might be useful to think about when helping a child to understand and adjust:

Children's difficult questions Goodbyes & endings ...Read More

21/03/2013

Making things work after parental separation

Making things work after parental separation

Parenting can be hard at the best of times.  It is hard enough when the job is shared by two cohabiting parents, but when couples separate, whole new ways of managing, both practically and emotionally, often have to be found.

No matter how recently or long ago you separated, there are some golden rules for parents who share custody of their children that will help smooth the process and keep it as positive as possible for all concerned.

Children's difficult questions Parental self awareness ...Read More

26/02/2013

Refereeing Sibling Fights – Pitfalls and Alternatives

Refereeing Sibling Fights – Pitfalls and Alternatives

All siblings argue, at least occasionally, and as a parent it can sometimes feel that you’re constantly called upon to smooth over disputes and re-establish a fair playing-field.  However, it quickly becomes clear that trying to referee puts you in an impossible position as you can never get it right for both children, sibling disputes are rarely clear-cut.

Siblings & other children ...Read More

14/01/2013

Lying in children

Lying in children

Lying is prolific in our culture. We all lie every day: white lies to save someone’s dignity or help them feel better are a part of adult life. Despite this, parents understandably tend to get furious or upset when children don’t tell the truth.   Despite our own “minor” lying behaviours, we don’t want our children to lie to us, or to develop into adults who lie beyond the “acceptable” norm.  Preventatively, there are a few things we can think about as parents:

Setting boundaries Parental self awareness ...Read More

05/12/2016

Christmas Parenting Tips

Christmas Parenting Tips

We all want Christmas to be a magical and happy time for our children. However, the extra demands and stresses on parents during the festive season, combined with highly excitable children, can mean that it doesn’t always live up to expectations.  While the usual tips for better organisation and careful planning can go a long way to relieving some of the pressure, it is worth taking time to consider how to avoid some common causes of family tension.

Christmas ...Read More

01/10/2012

Does no always mean no?

Does no always mean no?

When you’re feeling tired, stressed, rushed or you haven’t had time to think something through, it can be easy to automatically say no to a child’s request, only to realise quite quickly that it was actually a reasonable one. 

The idea of going back on a “no” can leave some parents fearing that their child is getting one over on them.  This can lead to them sticking to it at all costs, even setting up a huge battle over something very small, secretly wishing they had never said no in the first place, and leaving both parent and child feeling terrible.

Setting boundaries ...Read More

01/09/2012

Set a good example

Set a good example

Psychologists often talk about the importance of modelling for children to learn appropriate behaviours, but what do we actually mean by that?

Children identify with people whom they spend time with and feel closest to such as parents, peers, teachers and other important people in their lives. They are influenced by and learn from these ‘models’, taking on the behaviours, attitudes or beliefs that they see. Parents often worry that another child may be a ‘bad influence’ on their child but it is also worth examining the influences within the home.

Parental self awareness ...Read More

01/08/2012

A tip to increase their 5-a-day

A tip to increase their 5-a-day

A simple but effective way to encourage children to eat (or at least try) more fruit and vegetables is to get them involved in one way or another.

One way of doing this with school aged children (or even pre-schoolers who are learning their letters) is to write down as many fruits or vegetables beginning with each letter of the alphabet and get their agreement to trying one each day.  There are some ideas below or the supermarket shelves are good for inspiration.

Food & eating ...Read More

01/07/2012

Babysitters

Babysitters

Children, even within the same family, can have very different responses to being left with a babysitter when their parents go out.  Some love it and feel excited at the change in routine, others prefer to stick to what they know best and complain about these annoying departures from the usual proceedings.  Both these responses are quite normal and should not deter parents from enjoying nights out either more or less frequently than they want to.

For more anxious children, there are a few things that will help contain their fears about this type of separation and hopefully prevent any more extreme worries from developing.  For many parents, these things will be put in place quite naturally, but sometimes if you’re feeling anxious yourself, it can be easy to overlook one or more of these stages:

Settling your child ...Read More

01/06/2012

Sibling birthdays

Sibling birthdays

For young children, a sibling’s birthday can be a challenging time.  While they may welcome the excitement of extra treats and parties, they are also very likely to feel quite envious of the increased attention bestowed on the birthday child.

Children under 5 will often show this jealousy in quite open and obvious ways, such as having tantrums, ripping open or breaking sibling’s presents.  Slightly older children are more likely to feel torn between understanding that such behaviour is unreasonable and yet still feeling quite deeply resentful of their brother or sister.  Even worse, it starts to become clear that despite their feelings, they are actually expected to enjoy the day and be happy for their sibling.

Siblings & other children ...Read More