Real parents. Real problems. We’re here with a group of leading early learning and parenting professionals to answer your questions.
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The verdict is in. Play is more than just fun. There’s a growing evidence base that play is critically important in promoting safe, stable and nurturing relationships and in encouraging development of children’s future executive functioning skills.
Some children start school with anxieties or behaviour problems, making it hard for them to focus on learning in the classroom. Australian researchers have found a link between the mental health of five year olds and their ability to learn at school.
For first-time parents, heading off on parental leave requires a leap into uncharted territory. But the return back to work is another transition that isn’t always smooth sailing. When heading back from parental leave, what should you consider?
It’s not unusual for parents of boys to be told ‘You have your hands full’. But why is the act of raising boys seen as a handful or a hardship as opposed to raising girls? What should parents do to really nurture their son’s gentle or softer side?
My little girl is developing a stutter. She is three years old and has started hesitating between words and repeating sounds. I’ve seen the doctor and we are working on techniques to help her. Should I be worried about how this might psychologically affect her?
I’m so embarrassed but my child care provider called me in to say my two-year-old has been biting other children. I hate to think what the other parents must be thinking. What do I do?
It may not seem like it at times, but children want to help. As parents, it's our job to nurture and guide our children's natural inclination to be kind so they develop a lifelong habit. So how do raise kind, helpful, respectful and responsible children?
Happy (54%) and stressed (36%) were the two words parents felt best described family life.
31.3% of families are only able to find time to eat breakfast together on weekends.
53% of parents believe they spend less time with their children than their parents spent with them.
40% of parents have struggled to meet essential expenses over the past 12 months.
Parents, especially mothers, are socialised to turn this into guilt and to assume they’re hurting their children, even though decades of research has failed to show any consistent negative effect of maternal employment on young children or adolescents, and our research shows clear positive effects on adult children.
Employed mothers can relax. Harvard Business School research suggests that the children of working mothers are just as happy in adulthood as the children of stay-at-home mums.
Research has found children of helicopter parents may be less able to deal with the challenging demands of growing up, particularly school. Children who cannot regulate their emotions and behaviour are more likely to have a harder time making friends.
Using neuroimaging techniques, The Children’s Attention Project at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, has found that distinct brain patterns can help explain variations in the way children present with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Research into reading aloud shows more than half of children are not being read to at home, leading to calls for parents to keep reading aloud to children. Dr Susan Ledger says when teaching reading, we need to understand how children read.
From a very young age children are introduced to the themes of loss in picture books, video games, and popular children’s movies, but often adults find questions about death and dying challenging. One common question is “what on earth do I say?”.
The ‘zombie effect’ of sleep deprivation can surprise new parents and interfere with work and family life. However, researchers have found that sleep is gendered and both the average woman and man sleep better when living in gender-equal countries.
Grandparent carers are helping families meet the obligations of work and family commitments. They are the unsung heroes, filling a void in the busy lives of parents and in some more extreme cases raising grandchildren by taking over parenting duties.
Don’t be afraid to babble. When your child starts to make noises, treat it like a real conversation and mimic the sounds right back. See how many times you can go back and forth!
All kinds of “conversations” help to build children’s brains—even when they’re still learning how to talk. By following your child’s lead and responding, you spark the connections he/she needs for language and communication later on.