Posts

A dad's role in their child's emotional intelligence.

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  The importance of emotional intelligence. Many researchers over the years have emphasised the importance of emotional interactions in the parent-child dyad and the great impact it has on a child's well-being. Parents need to take an active role in teaching their children key skills in developing emotional intelligence. The consequences of failing to learn the basics are intermingling dire, for example, an inability to handle anxiety or depression can increase the chance of children abusing drugs or alcohol later on in life. However, children who are taught by their parents to be emotionally intelligent are more able to regulate their own emotions. They were better at focusing their attention, and could relate more to other people and performed better academically in school. Parents who offered empathy in the face of their child showing negative feelings such as anger, sadness or fear, actually built bridges of loyalty and affection between themselves and their child. For years th

Five parenting styles and their outcomes

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When a person or couple decide to try for a baby they usually have a basic idea of how they will parent their child and how they will be as parents. These thoughts are usually based around their own experiences with their parents and how they were raised. Some will have had a positive childhood and the parent will want to raise their child as they were. However, some experiences may have been negative and the parent will then express that they do not want their child to have to go through what they did.  The strategies parents use can fall into categories or ‘styles’. There are four main styles and there are some that are more modern. I will give a brief summary of the main ones and how these styles may affect the outcomes for the children.  Authoritative This style is characterised by reasonable demands that are combined with high responsiveness to their child’s needs. The parents that use this style will have high expectations for their children but will also

Baby-led weaning basics.

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 A big milestone in a new parents journey, and even with subsequent babies, is when they begin eating solid food. However, common problems can be that baby doesn't seem keen on lumpy food or mealtimes become a battle with an older toddler. You want to provide them with healthy fruit and vegetables, they want chicken and chips. My aim for this post is to help parents with the basics of baby-led weaning. When to start solids. Current NHS guidelines states to start babies on solids at six months alongside their usual breastmilk or formula. However, some babies seem ready before this but this is a common misconception.  Parents can be told by others that certain signs their babies are showing means their ready for solids but this is not the case. Parents are told that:  Night waking is a sign of readiness. Babies wake during the night for numerous reasons but if baby is under six months old and does seem genuinely hungry then more milk should be offered rather than solids. Others belie

Trying to make loss less taboo

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‘I’m sorry... There’s no heartbeat’.......Suffering a miscarriage is devastating. February is the anniversary of my miscarriage and so I have edited the original post as I now feel more comfortable adding more detail to my story. I had a miscarriage at 8 weeks between Jamie and Rosie. I remember when we found out. I was getting Jamie ready for school and had to run to the toilet. I froze. I hadn’t had the classic doubling over with cramps that you see in movies so I really wasn’t prepared for what I saw. I phoned my partner and my mum in a panic. I phoned the early pregnancy unit and was booked in for a scan.  The scan My mum came with me and sat with me while I got the scan. It was an internal scan and thankfully I had done some research beforehand so I at least knew to expect this.  I'll never forget the words of the midwife, "I'm sorry...there's no heartbeat". I sobbed. She then said, ‘did you have no idea?’, and at the time I didn’t think much of what was said

Promoting resilience in children

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  This post will be about resilience and how children can use it to help them when they face adversity. Gilligan, 2009 cited in Leverett, 2016 says that resilience is used to describe the capacity of someone to prevent, minimise or overcome any damaging affects of adversity.  Adversity can be anything challenging in a child's life for example, the death or illness of a family member. How they react and adapt to these events is based on how resilient they are. Resilience can be built up through supportive relationships. A child’s feeling of security and the quality of the parent- child relationship and so a positive and engaging parenting approach can help promote your child’s resilience from birth. Werner and Smith, 1982 cited in Punch, 2013 shows how risk factors affect children differently, they found that the group of children who were resilient were securely attached to their main caregivers. There was also a larger support network of adults who they trusted. Positive role mode

How sleep problems can affect a child's well-being.

Up to 40% of children will experience sleep problems, such as difficulty with falling or staying asleep, (Mindell et al, 2006 cited in Williamson et al, 2020).   Carrying on with the theme from my last post I would now like to discuss how sleep problems can affect a child's well-being. Research that consisted of a longitudinal study of children in Australia has demonstrated how having sleep problems in early childhood can cause multiple impairments in a child's well-being at age 10-11 years old, (Williamson et al, 2020). The study examined five different sleep trajectories. They found that the children that had limited sleep problems in infancy or preschool only showed small impairments with internalising symptoms such as anxiety or low mood. However, children who demonstrated persistent sleep problems and sleep problems in middle childhood had moderate impairments in their ability to self-control. Goldstein and Walker, 2014, cited in Williamson et al, 2020, showed that sleep c

Sleep routines and consistency

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  Over the six years I have been a parent the one thing I have relied on is the bedtime routine. Luckily my kids so far have been the type to still sleep well even if they are out of their usual routine. However, every night I put my kids to bed reminds me how beneficial it is to set up consistency at bedtime from the start. Jamie's Routine When Jamie was a baby all the books I read mentioned some sort of a bedtime routine. There are some parents who would rather not have any routines and allow the family dynamic to be child-led as much as possible and that's ok to, if it works for your family don't change it. At the start the routine was bath time, breast-feed while reading a story and then he would fall asleep on the breast and I would gently place him into the bedside crib until the next feed was due. As he got older and moved into his own room and onto formula the plan was to give him the bottle, read the story and then learn to self settle. This didn't happen. What