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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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What you need to know

At First Five Years we know that parents share many of the same struggles. We would like to offer a helping hand by giving you the opportunity to air your questions, issues or concerns about parenting, early learning or childhood behavioural issues with our panel of early learning and parenting professionals.

Step One – Ask your question.

Questions are limited to 500 characters. Your question will be moderated and published. (Questions may be edited and not all questions will be answered.)

Step Two – Your question is answered.

You’ll be notified by email when up to three of our panel members answer your question. We aim to answer questions as quickly as possible. Most will be answered within two working days.

View all members of our professional panel or if you have questions please contact us.

Your questions

Showing results 1-10 of 59

Raising an 'alpha' child

Hi, I fear that my child (3 years) is an alpha child and that is due to our poor attachment. How can I make it right with my toddler? Please give me strategies through examples. Thank you

Sensory issues

My 5-year-old has sensory issues - socks and shoes, can't get him to wear them. He has already missed 2 days of school. Don't know what to do.

Sleep issues and parental exhaustion

I read the article on sleep deprivation. I have a toddler and new baby, so can’t nap during the day. What strategies do you recommend for people like me? My eldest (2.5) stopped napping around 18months and has recently started being very wakeful at night (awake 2:30am until 4 or 5am) so I’m bouncing between the two kids all night as the toddler won’t accept my husband (she just escalates) and baby won’t take a bottle. We have no family nearby and my husband is often away for work too - I’m exhausted.

Learning to be gentle

My little one is 13 months old, recently especially when he is over tired he is rough with our dog. Pulling his hair and grabbing his face sometimes to the point where the dog squeals. I do remind him that we give Cooper gentle pats and show him how, which he does copy, but it will only be moments before he is over the top with him again. I have picked him up and used a gruff voice, but this doesn't bother him and he thinks it's a game and laughs. How do I amend this behaviour?

When should they read and write?

I have twin 4 year old twins. And my sister keeps asking them why haven’t the learned to read and write yet. Her kids did at that age. I’m 54 I went through invitro to have them I have older children in their 30’s also so it’s not my first time and her kids are grown. I don’t think they’re ready I’ve tried several times with it and they don’t seem interested but when they do it’s on their time not ours. I told her to just mind her business and thanks for any advice. But they’ll get there soon.

Nausea and pregnancy: What to eat?

If you are pregnant and you don't like food, what is the best food to eat?

Picky eating with twins

I have 2.5 yr old twins that are very picky eaters. We just found out they have a gluten allergy. Any food ideas? I can't get them to eat much more than apples, GF cookies or tortilla chips ...occasionally turkey hot dogs. :/

Is my grandson school ready?

I live in NSW and I foster my grandson. He turns 5 in February. He is bright, socially excellent but has some maturity issues sometimes. I have probably equal numbers saying he is fine to start school and also hold him back. I just want to make the best decision for him. Can you help?

Rough and tumble play with girls

My husband plays very rough with my 3-year-old daughter. But one day I wanted to see him amusing my little daughter and find him swinging her upside down by the ankles, I got a little nervous when I saw her hanging like that, but I smiled when I saw that she was enjoying it and hearing her laugh, so I did not say anything, but whenever he plays with her, he hangs her upside down surprising her at some point. She loves it but I don't know if that's okay.

When is rough play too rough?

My 5yr likes to engage in rough play but it seems to turn into him on the ground with the others boys focusing on him eg light kicking or putting their foot on his arm. I think this is too rough and looks vindictive and mean. When my husband stepped in and said it was getting too rough our son was extremely upset to stop the situation saying he wanted to continue. I am confused I am worried the other boys are turning on him and it is a form of bullying? Any ideas?