The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep

Even before we were parents we’ve had experience of poor sleep… thinking too much, worried about something, being disturbed by a snoring partner etc. We often felt tired the next day, and then hopefully caught up on sleep the following night. However if the lack of sleep continues, our tiredness increases, and even when we sleep, it’s not great sleep, and as a result we may be grumpy the next day, or unable to focus on our work.

Once we become parents, sleep often becomes our most desired thing. Nights feeding a newborn, or toddlers with poor sleep habits often leads to huge stress on the parent, and the toddlers!

If you have a newborn who needs those night time feeds (as they do), then it’s important to schedule in some sleep for you the next day when bubs is having a sleep – even a 20 minute cat nap can work miracles!

With a toddler it is vital that you help them learn good sleep patterns, otherwise Read more

Dad reading a book to his young baby sitting on his lap

Seven Things to Do to Raise Good Readers.

The ability to read and write are skills which make our lives so much easier… not only in our capacity to understand and find out about our world by researching in books or on-line eg looking up a recipe, but also in being able to read potentially dangerous situations, such as dosages on a medicine bottle. Reading also provides much pleasure, when we can be taken away in our imaginations to the world of, for example, Harry Potter.

So what can parents do, to raise their children to be readers?

Most importantly, let them see you reading…. it doesn’t matter if it is a newspaper, a novel or the TV guide. The message you give your young children is that books or papers contain interesting and useful information.

Read to them from birth (or even in pregnancy). Read more

Child sitting on the floor, intently doing puzzle

What are the best toys for children? One is…. Jigsaw Puzzles.


In my role as a Parenting Consultant, parents and grandparents often ask me about buying toys for their children or grandchildren. They want to know what are the ‘best’ ones. Obviously the age and ability of the child is a consideration, but 2 of my favourites are jigsaw puzzles and board games.

Puzzles can be introduced to toddlers around age one, with a toy which has balls to drop into a hole. This starts to teach them to hold an object, to position it, and then to let it drop through. The easiest shape to insert is a circle, as it will fit which ever way you hold it!

Next comes a shape sorter toy. You hold the container and let baby select a shape. Read more

Children sitting alone, looking sullen

“I’m Bored” … Why it’s important for children to experience boredom.


In my local paper recently there was an article about children being bored in the school holidays, and it listed all the things parents could do for their children to alleviate their boredom… adventure parks, movies, sport based holiday programs, shows, art classes, and places like zoos and museums. Whilst all those places do indeed provide much fun and learning, I’m concerned about the notion that parents must be the ones to solve their children’s boredom, and that entertainment is the key.

If I have a problem, it’s up to me to solve it.

Isn’t that what we want to teach our children?

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