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Published by Harmonia Norah, 2017-06-28 07:30:19

wwparenting

wwparenting

Relatively speaking

THE YEAR OF THE CHAT
Vowing to improve communication with your teenage

child this year? Here’s what you need to know

Parents of teenagers are frequently “Essentially the is worth trying out. By Una Rice
bewildered by the whole issue stuff you worry › L isten to yourself. The responses you
around communication. It seemed so about and the
straightforward before. But now your stuff they’re give your teen can be confidence busters or
pleas to ‘tidy your bedroom,’ or ‘aren’t you concerned boosters, so watch your language.
going to do some study?’ appear to fall on about › H ave common ground when it comes to
deaf ears. Is your teen even listening? is poles apart” parenting with your partner. This creates
a consistency your child understands and
It can be frustrating for parents. We can not better. Research from the University of respects in order for your discipline methods
see the pitfalls and we want our teens to Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan to be workable.
succeed, so why won’t they respond how we found that the kids who were shouted at › D on’t panic if you argue. It’s normal. If
expect? What’s so difficult about keeping a by parents at the age of 13, were worse off your teen thinks it’s pointless talking and
room tidy? Why can’t they see that doing at the age of 14 and displayed more anti- walks away, keep trying later. “What you
a little study every day is much better than social behaviour in addition to symptoms say and how you feel is important to me,”
cramming? of depression. It’s a steep learning curve for is something you could say. Research from
parents, to find that what worked before in the University of Virginia found that how
Now we have some explanation into the terms of communication may be futile now. exactly teens argued with their parents,
gulf that can – sometimes – appear between But some points to remember will get you was an indicator of how they would operate
teenagers and their mum and dad. There are through the trickiest of times. with their peers: those who were calm and
a whole host of reasons why your teen may confident arguers with parents tended to
be surly, moody, not opening up to you, › F irst, don’t take offence by your teenager’s be the same with their peer group, but
not interested in listening to you – from their behaviour. They are hardwired to cross teens who felt it was useless arguing with
own personal issues they have no desire to boundaries, wind you up, take risks and break mum and dad were more given to risky
share with you (no offence!), to their growing the rules. This phase feels like it’s forever, but behaviour. Top things for arguing about
brains, which are for the most part different to it’s not going to last. Like a boomerang, they’ll were school grades, chores, money and
yours in that their analysis isn’t always going come back to you. friends.
to match or be as logical as your own. › L eave emotion out of it. Emotion will
› W hen you’re negotiating with your guide you to say things you don’t mean
And to be fair to teens, perhaps your teenager or trying to get your passionate and may regret later. “Bore them with
pestering, desire for information and ‘opening point across, just remember you are not reasonableness,” advices Cuidiu’s Sue
up’ and frustration at not knowing what equals in terms of brain development. Your Jameson.
they’re up to all the time on social media, logical stance won’t be matched. Your teen › Give your teen plenty of autonomy.
doesn’t match their logic either. may just see you as immovable, bossy and may They’re growing towards independence.
retaliate, not in a reasonable way by talking You can decide to do less and see less, while
It can be hurtful too, when your teen through, but by slamming a door and refusing ensuring they have your guidance and are
needed you years before in so many to engage. At some point we’ve all been the aware of your expectations. WW
different ways, to find that you’re being bossy one or the slammer. It happens.
pushed out of their zone into the periphery.
You may feel that you are now out of tune › T hink twice about punishments. They don’t
and out of touch, as the peer group takes always work with an emotive teen and can
precedence. Essentially the stuff you worry backfire. Instead, consider that misdemeanours
about and the stuff they’re concerned about is present an opportunity to sit down and talk
poles apart. with your child about what happened, the
consequences and how things could have been
Being critical of your teen is not going different. This may take oodles of patience, but
to work for a number of reasons. Research
from the US on 32 pre-teens and teenagers
found that when their mums criticised them,
the activity in the brain linked to emotional
control and seeing other people’s point of
view actually reduced; teens were shutting
off. But the area of the brain linked to negative
emotions revealed an increase in activity.
Which boils down to one thing, nagging gets
you nowhere.

Swearing and yelling is obviously a no-go
area also – no matter how tempted you are to
let off steam. We now know that harsh verbal
discipline can make a teen behave worse,

Relatively speaking STICKING FAMILY RESOLUTIONS
TO START IN FEBRUARY
With the help of Mum- NETWO YYOEAURR’S
in-Residence with RESOLUTIONS Resolutions are most commonly
MummyPages.ie, Laura made in January – new year
Haugh, this year’s New Year’s new you and all that – but
resolutions will be the ones that you will they don’t have to be. You can
actually stick to! make changes to your life at

January is all about resolutions. any month; time is irrelevant,
Every year, thousands of us decide to it’s how you go about trying to
make a change to our normal everyday achieve it that’s important.
lives, whether significant or something
simple, with every intention of sticking If you haven’t made any this
to it. Sadly, however, no matter how year, here are resolutions that
good our intentions, come February you can be confident you will
most of us have slipped back into our stick to as you see your whole
old ways. But this year is going to be heart, you are much more likely to do it. family reap the rewards:
different. This year you are actually
going to stick to it. This year you are Remember, your New Year’s resolutions EATING DINNER AT THE TABLE
going to make a change. shouldn’t be about trying to fit in with the
coffee crowd at work. Sitting in front of the TV with a bowl
Resolutions don’t have to be these huge, of spaghetti on your lap has become
life-changing decisions (usually made on a
whim on New Year’s Eve), they can be small 4. Drop the ones that the norm, but enjoying meals at the
changes like getting up earlier or watching
less TV. In fact, it is these types of resolutions don’t mean anything table will mean you’ll be more likely to
that you are more likely to stick to because
they are easier to achieve. Bigger changes are We all tend to make exaggerated and mad engage in conversation and bring your
possible but they require more work and a declarations like cycling up the highest family closer together.
little more effort on your part.
mountain or travelling to five new cities as ENJOY A HEALTHIER DIET
IF YOU ARE ALREADY the clock slowly moves towards midnight,
STRUGGLING TO REACH YOUR but these are the ones that get us every time. Everyone can benefit from a healthier
GOAL, THEN THE FOLLOWING If, by now, you’ve admitted to yourself that diet. However you will be surprised
TIPS WILL HELP YOU OUT: you actually don’t want to climb Everest, just how little effort small simple changes
1. Tell yourself that you drop it. Nobody will care and it will give you can be. For example, leave a bowl
are going to stick to it more time to concentrate on changes that of chopped fruit and vegetables in
actually matter to you. the fridge and be encouraging every
Mind over matter and all that, telling time someone chooses the healthy
yourself that you will successfully achieve 5. Remind yourself of your other alternative. Swap white bread, rice and
your resolution will keep you motivated. accomplishments pasta for brown alternatives.
Whether it’s to start running, eat less
chocolate or even become more organised, The best thing to do when you are feeling REDUCE TV AND SCREEN TIME
you won’t be able to achieve it if you don’t frustrated or discouraged is to remind
believe you can. yourself of accomplishments that you’ve Limit digital devices, television and
already achieved. Remember, if you’ve done computer games to one hour every
2. Be kind to yourself it before then there’s nothing stopping you evening (that includes Mum and Dad
from doing it again! too!). Try to read more as a family,
Berating yourself for eating a bag of crisps visiting the library together once a
or thinking negative thoughts because you
didn’t go for your new Monday walk is not month can foster a great love of books
going to help. Instead, be kind to yourself
and tell the new you that you will try harder BENEFITS OF RESOLUTIONS and open up a whole new world to your
next time. Just because you’ve slipped up
once doesn’t mean it will happen every time; • You will feel a sense of achievement children. ?
revert to the first point and start again. when you accomplish it
• They can help you make positive SPEND MORE TIME AS A FAMILY
3. Do you actually changes to your life
want to do it? • They can help you reassess your Things like getting up earlier in the
yearly goals and values
Ask yourself: Is this resolution important to • They can motivate you to take action morning for a family breakfast,
me or am I only doing it because everyone • They can boost your self-confidence
else is? If it’s not something that you want when you successfully complete turning off the TV earlier in the
to do then you will struggle to achieve it. them
There is no point telling yourself that you will • They can highlight your strengths evening in favour of a family board
run a marathon if the thought of running and weakness
continuously one mile sends shivers down • They can give you a sense of being in game, preparing dinner together or
your spine! However if you want to run a control of your life
marathon to prove to yourself that you can • They can give you a health boost even starting a new Sunday walk
or to raise funds for a charity close to your • They can be fun
• They can bring you closer to tradition are great ways to squeeze in
family members
extra time together.

Laura Haugh is Mum-in-Residence for
MummyPages.ie, Ireland’s largest online
parenting community. Laura lives with her
husband and two children, James (6) and Lucy
(4) in Stillorgan, Co Dublin.

Relatively speaking

IHNOTWHICSACNRIAPZRYOWTEOCRTLYDO?U
Over the last 30 years, children’s problems have
changed. There’s a surprising one at the top of the list...

Sometimes it’s very difficult to imagine “The pressure this stormy time of puberty makes a huge By Una Rice
what it’s like to be young and growing to keep up with difference to how a girl feels about herself,”
up today. Today’s parents didn’t grow friends and have says Tanith. “In fact, overall, researchers
up with the internet, and while we the perfect life believe that her father may have even more
appreciate that bullying always existed, we online is adding of a role in building a girl’s self-esteem than
couldn’t imagine the monster that cyber- to the sadness her mother.”
bullying is. We weren’t besieged by images of that many young
the perfect body or celebrities and, while it’s people feel on a Being a strong and reliable presence
great that there are so many extra-curricular daily basis’’ in a child’s life at the age of 12-13 pays
activities on offer today for kids, we weren’t dividends, as previous research has also
over-scheduled to the brink. so keeping conversation light and frequent, pin-pointed this age as a possible catalyst
like around the dinner table for instance, when young people may begin to get
The UK’s ChildLine  hits the 30-year and giving your time to listen properly is involved in risky behaviour. They linked
mark this year and they have revealed the paramount. unhealthy behaviours like smoking,
stark differences in what is concerning and alcohol consumption and taking no
worrying children today, compared with back Help your child to know and like him exercise to substantially lower happiness
in 1986, when the service first set up. Back or herself and not to rely on the approval amongst teens – even when other factors
then concerns centred largely around family of others to do this. In Where Has My Little like gender, family income and parents’
planning and sexual abuse. Today, the picture Girl Gone?, parenting author Tanith Carey education were considered.
is very different – it paints to one of lonely addresses the empowerment you give your
children, with low self esteem, struggling to daughter when she gains skills to understand Five thousand young people between ten
cope with the pressures of modern day life. and know herself. and 15 rated their happiness and health-
related behaviours and young people who
The organisation has revealed that in 2014- “Encouraging her to develop emotional never drank alcohol were up to six times
2015, over 35,000 counselling sessions were intelligence is as important as teaching her more likely to have high happiness levels.
linked to low self-esteem, almost a ten per reading, writing or arithmetic. The more you The children who smoked were five times
cent increase from the previous year. give your girl the skills to understand herself less likely to have high happiness scores
and to deal with her own issues, the more compared to those who never smoked. The
And although boys are affected by low self- secure she will feel in a confusing world.” more hours of sport youth participated in
esteem and unhappiness these are issues that Carey recommends showing your girl how per week the happier they were. WW
appear more prevalent in girls. It’s interesting to name and respond to negative feelings,
to note that starting secondary school seems brainstorming to work out a problem, as well SIX QUICK SELF-ESTEEM BOOSTERS
to be a pivotal time for some of these issues as telling her about the effects of hormones.
to arise, and it can continue throughout the 1 Don’t pick on small negative things – do
secondary school years. For a girl as well, having an involved father turn a blind eye occasionally
in her life can be the difference between high
Although social media brings people and low self esteem, particularly at this time 2 Think about the language you use – erase
together in a unique kind of way, it’s also in life when she is approaching puberty and the critical words as they are damaging
divisive for children because many young preparing to face secondary school and all the
people feel that the internet leaves them associated changes and challenges. 3 Remember to praise your child – we often
comparing themselves to others and feeling don’t do this enough
inferior as a result. “Having a father who is involved during
4 Set boundaries as young people value
Chief Executive of the NSPCC in the UK, them – and expect your child to push them
Peter Wanless said: “The pressure to keep up
with friends and have the perfect life online is 5 Remember that your child needs to
adding to the sadness that many young people express him or herself – at home with mum
feel on a daily basis.’’ and dad is a safe place to do so

THE BUFFER 6 Have dinner around the table and talk.
It’s the perfect place for allowing young
All young people need someone to talk to people to communicate about their day or
and offload to in a genuine, warm and non- challenges they’re facing
judgemental and responsive way. It can be
hard to get boys to open up about their feelings

By Áine Toner ASK EDXICSLCUOSUINVTE Parenting news
THE
EXPERT LWOWVE BEE-UTIFUL!

“My four-year-old son These cute pencil cases (€2 each) Founded by Caoimhe Tuthill, Bee
refuses to eat all fruit and from Tiger. Any excuse for a new case Free Kids Clothing offers a selection of
vegetables and will only eat for school pens and pencils (or your brightly coloured fleece items, double
cereal, chips and pasta. I’m own colouring pencils if you’re into sized so you can avoid that dreaded
really worried he’s going to colouring books). pilling. It’s quite refreshing to see such
become ill because of his vibrant colours in children’s clothing, plus
poor nutrition, but trying Sweet! they also help spotting your child easier
to force him to eat doesn’t among a group of little ‘uns. Dresses start
work. Is his health at risk, Penneys’ new kids from €25 with hoodies from €45 and the
and what can I do? collection is super lovely collection ranges from 0-6 years.
and, what’s more, super See www.beefree.ie for more. Woman’s Way
GP Dr Pixie McKenna says: affordable. Durable and kid readers have a fab 20 per cent discount code
“You aren’t alone. A third of friendly, we’re partial to WomansWayFeb until February 14, 2016 - add the
all children go through a fussy this €7 dress and top €8 code at the checkout area. Happy shopping!
phase at some point in their combo. Sigh, if only they
lives, and according to research made it in larger sizes… PRODUCT OF THE
by Abbott, one in four parents WEEK
simply give up offering them CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE WEEK
healthy food despite almost two Russell The Dream Sheepdog
thirds worrying their child isn’t NEVER EVERS
getting sufficient nutrients for (€47 approx)
proper growth. by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison (Chicken House, €8.99) Purple and white Russell promises
If you ever went on a school ski trip, you’ll have to banish sleepless nights with his
“Don’t blame yourself; focus an awkward moment of your own for every combination of glowing tummy and the
instead on practical steps to awkward moment faced by teenagers Mouse and ability to record your own voice or song
help him become a better eater. Jack in this two-hander of a novel. Written from to help soothe toddlers. Simply squeeze
Involve him in the process. It’s both perspectives - which cuts down on too much his left paw for lights and his right for the
messy when kids help prepare romantic mooning (although not actual mooning; sound you’ve recorded - the message can
meals, but it pays off. They’re it’s about a school trip after all) - our protagonists be four minutes long and will repeat eight
much more likely to eat what are your standard teen misfits. Mouse finds herself times. Suitable from 18 months.
they make. Personalise the trying to rekindle old friendships after being www.sweetdreamers.co.uk
menu into things like pirate kicked out of ballet school, while Jack tussles
pasta or sausage soldiers to CONGRATS!
bring food to life. Dine with him with his mates over their band
and let him see eating is about name and who’s going to be the Congratulations to 12-year-old Bríd Courtney who
socialising with mum not just first to kiss a real life girl. Their won an award for her essay video, Someone Like Me,
scoffing to please her. supporting cast of well-wrought presented at a ceremony in Farmleigh House.
friends - Keira, Connie, Max and
“Beware the bribe; if balanced The essay competition was hosted by the
meals are only eaten due Toddy - provide laughs, warped Department of Justice and Equality to promote
to the promise of treats, it wisdom and silliness, while positive attitudes towards disability in primary
rewards fussiness. Also, resist gently pointing out how tough schools.
the temptation to smuggle in and confusing (if hilarious)
vegetables e.g. in pasta tubes being 14 is. “I was really blown away by the standard of the
as this will only give rise to essays and the story many of them were telling,” said
him refusing both foods. Be judge Brent Pope. “I absolutely loved Brid’s video the
persistent but patient. Kids moment I saw it, she is a very
sometimes need to taste deserving winner.”
things 10-15 times before they
take their fancy. Praise good
eating behaviour and ignore the
fussiness, if you can. Remember
that most children eat when
they’re hungry; if he is well and
happy in himself, I wouldn’t
worry too much. Like most
phases in child development,
this too is likely to pass.”

Teen view

THE PUDDINGTHE PROOF IS NOT ALWAYS IN Why we should
worry about obesity

T he biggest threat facing the country “Bad habits start Students across the country are By Róisín Cullen
at this moment in time is the ever- at a young age and begging, borrowing and stealing their
increasing obesity epidemic. We are in particular the way into Higher Level Maths Classes.
right on course to become the most teenage years” Some students cling on by the edge of their
obese country from France to Azerbaijan, teeth to sit the more difficult paper and
according to well-informed experts in the Mars bars? Are cans of Coke going to be traded ultimately gain those all-important extra
World Health Organisation. My generation – between friends in dark alleyways? 25 points. It is clear that Maths has been
the generation that believe texting someone given great attention by the Department
is more convenient than ringing a doorbell, Bad habits start at a young age and in of Education, could they not do something
the generation that worship the ground our particular the teenage years. Participation in similar for PE – a subject that would ideally
almighty god (Mark Zuckerberg) walks upon – sport is repeatedly linked with good Leaving lead today’s students to better and longer
is on course to become at risk of decreasing our Certificate results. Yet, according to The lives? If PE was listed as a mandatory
life span by 10 per cent because of conditions Children’s Sport Participation and Physical exam subject would schools give it more
directly linked to obesity. Obesity, not Ebola, Activity Study, funded by the Irish Sports prevalence in their crammed timetables?
not an Earth-shattering meteor is set to Council, only ten per cent of post-primary In an ideal world if an extra 25 points were
become a massive killer. It is more important pupils were allocated the recommended 120 awarded to students who participate in
than ever that the Government takes minutes of physical education per week. extra-curricular sport, would pupils follow
necessary steps to save my generation. Fewer females reached the ideal amount. the incentive and continue their preferred
The pressures of the Leaving Certificate sport into their final year of school?
The straightforward, painless solution for points takes its toll on the Physical Education One thing is certain, the Department
the government would be to immediately pile curriculum. PE is often replaced with extra of Education needs to take vital steps
terrible taxes on sugary snacks. This solution, Higher Maths classes, Leaving Certificate to highlight the importance of PE in an
as manageable and as effective as it may seem, Vocational Programme (L.C.V.P), Chinese increasingly competitive curriculum and
is not the way to go. The sad fact that is that classes, anything where students can see the health of the students of this Emerald
regardless of whether a bag of Tayto is two euro themselves earning points to gain their desired Isle as a whole. WW
or two million euro people will find a way of college course. PE becomes a luxury not a
buying their crisps if they want them enough. necessity. Should our country’s health not be
Sugar is sometimes described as having the epitome of importance?
drug-like qualities. Are we now going to be
faced with a situation where the Del Boys and
Rodneys around the country illegally import

ASK NREEAWD DID Parenting news
THE YOU KNOW?
EXPERT Nobody Told Me Seventy nine per Happy in your nappy
by Hollie McNish cent of adults do not
“What is transient lactase is a collection of know the age at which Sudocrem has given tips on reducing the
deficiency in a baby, and what poems of pregnancy, possibility of nappy rash. For more information
are the best ways of dealing sex, feeding, gender fertility declines on Sudocrem log onto www.facebook.com/
with it?” and parenthood, - My Fertility Check SudocremIreland
introduced and › It is a great idea to leave the baby’s bottom
Midwife and independent health visitor expanded alongside
Penny Lazell says: “Transient lactase Hollie’s diary entries, exposed to air where possible so that the
deficiency is also known as infant colic. relating her first years delicate skin on the bottom can breathe
Symptoms are often a very unsettled of parenthood.
baby who is fussy and gassy and has › W hile changing, carefully clean the bottom and
obvious abdominal cramps. They will EMPOWERMENT nappy area with warm water and cotton wool,
have an intense cry and are usually followed by gently patting the area dry
difficult to settle. They may calm by Juvi Designs has showcased a new
feeding but this then exacerbates the pendant in aid of the ISPCC. Radio presenter › It’s important to always dry the baby’s skin
problem as more lactose is introduced Louise Duffy has modelled the Empowerment thoroughly during changing, getting right in
to the gut. piece, made with an aqua chalcedony gemstone between the creases
“If a baby has transient lactase and available in sterling silver and gold plated.
deficiency, it can be very distressing Retailing at €79, it’s available from Arnotts and › F inally, gently apply and massage Sudocrem
for both parents and baby. Often online at juvidesigns.com. All proceeds will go to the on to the baby’s skin using light, circular
eliminating the lactose from the ISPCC. movements but being careful not to rub,
mother’s diet if breastfeeding can especially if the skin is sore
resolve the problem, and formula- Break from the cocoon
fed babies can be given specialist › After this application,
formulas. However, it’s often hard for Author Jane Wherity has devised a super interactive there should be a thin
mothers to change their diet and many reward kit for children. The Butterfly Spy is suitable translucent film
babies don’t tolerate formula feeds. for children aged three to eight and encourages child remaining on the skin –
Introducing a lactase enzyme drop with development through positive reinforcement. A if it’s too white there is
feeds can often resolve the problem. child receives his or her own spy with an illustrated too much product on
story book, spy card, token and stickers. The spy the skin
“Try not to worry as it’s a temporary is watching them all the time and children can
condition. Transient lactase deficiency earn stickers to win bronze, silver and gold tokens. › If nappy rash is
usually occurs in the first few months Parent and child complete the activities together and present, apply
of life when babies may not have through good behaviour the spy could grow wings Sudocrem as often
produced enough lactase enzyme to and fly away. as you need to the
break down the lactose in the milk. €24.95 from www.thebutterflyspy.com affected skin

By Áine Toner “Giving smaller, frequent feeds CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE WEEK
can reduce the amount of lactose a
baby takes. Try feeding your baby in CREATE YOUR OWN ALIEN
different positions - for instance, the ADVENTURE: IT’S OK!
rugby ball hold for breastfed babies,
or sitting more upright if formula fed. We’re Going To Save The Planet by Andrew
This often helps slow down the feed. Judge and Chris Judge (Scholastic Press,
€7.99)
“Once you’ve finished feeding, Children of the eighties and nineties will be
try holding your baby in an upright extremely familiar with the Choose Your Own
position as this can help reduce Adventure concept - books that let you, the
discomfort. humble reader, decide what your characters
were going to do next - and many a happy
“Where stomach cramps are causing hour could be spent curled up in a chair,
distress, introduce gentle massage absorbed in The Cave Of Time or The Mystery
techniques to relieve discomfort, and Of Chimney Rock. Author and illustrator duo
try skin-to-skin contact as this can Chris and Andrew Judge are now putting their
have a calming effect on you and baby.
own spin on the genre, with this
“Warm baths may also help relieve book for kids aged seven and
discomfort, and carrying baby in a sling older, which involves drawing
or sitting them in an upright position in some of the pictures, ripping
after feeds may also help digestion.” and folding pages, as well as
choosing which way to take

our heroine Daisy Doodle.
Extremely entertaining and
a great way to get little eyes
away from screens... Look
out for Create Your Own Spy
Mission coming in April.

Change your year

Family resolutions for

2016 Ifyou’dliketoimproveyourfamily
dynamics in 2016, parenting experts
have the following suggestions for
worthwhile resolutions
TTAOLUKGAHBSOTUUTFFTHE “It’s important executive Peter Wanless.
to bring parents “We want every family to talk about and
Netmums editor in chief Anne-Marie and children
O’Leary wants families to talk more about together to understand their child’s digital world just
awkward issues. explore, create as they would their day at school. It’s vitally
and play important to bring parents and children
She suggests: “We all find it easy to have fun online while together to explore, create and play online
with our kids but the shocking new statistic recognising while recognising there are also dangers
that one in ten young people experience there are also which need to be carefully navigated.”
mental health issues shows we all need to dangers”
make sure we’re spending time talking to our BANTER WITH BABY
kids about the not-so-fun stuff, so that they
know we’re always there for them. Easier said And it’s not just older children that parents
than done sometimes, but a tip that’s always need to talk to - communication should start
stayed with me is to use car journeys as an even before a baby’s born, says Alison Baum,
opportunity to chat: the lack of eye contact chief executive of the child health charity Best
means kids are more likely to open up. Here’s Beginnings.
to lots of open conversations in 2016.”
“My New Year’s resolution is aimed at
DISCUSS DIGITAL pregnant families and parents with young
babies. Babies are born ready and wanting
As well as talking about emotional issues, to communicate, and mums and dads can
families would do well to discuss what their encourage this by talking and singing to their
kids are doing online, says NSPCC chief bump, and also having lots of eye contact and
skin-to-skin contact once their baby’s born.”

By Lisa Salmon

THFIDNAOMGFSILUAYNS A

UNPLUG IT! Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) cases has risen for
the first time in five years.
There are plenty of fun things to do as a family
that don’t involve technology, says Emma “To stop this trend from continuing, in 2016
Horne, director of children’s services at Action we’d like to see all families follow our safer sleep
for Children, and she points out: “This year, my advice,” she says.
family and I will unplug all our gadgets for at
least one hour every week and spend the time “Place your baby on their back in a separate
doing something fun together.” cot in the same room as you for the first six
months, ensure their feet are at the foot of the
LOOK AFTER bed, that there are no extra blankets or pillows,
YOUR TEETH that they’re sleeping on a firm, flat mattress and
are kept smoke-free. By following these simple
You can’t enjoy those family meals without steps, parents can drastically reduce the chances
healthy teeth, and Dr Nigel Carter, chief of their baby dying from SIDS.”
executive of the British Dental Health
Foundation, advises: “The New Year is the STOP FIGHTING
perfect time for families to make healthier oral
health choices together. Finally, make it a Happy New Year whether the
family is together or separated.
“Families should support each other to make
sure everyone brushes their teeth for two Jeremy Todd, chief executive of the parenting
minutes twice a day, cuts down on sugary food charity Family Lives, says: “For separated
and drink, and visits the dentist regularly. These parents, the best Christmas present for your
are some very easy ways families can keep all child is to stop arguing with your ex. Make this
their teeth healthy together all year round.” a New Year’s resolution, as all the evidence
points to the importance of children having
SAFER SLEEP good, meaningful relationships with parents,
and developing significant resentments and
Francine Bates, chief executive of the Lullaby difficulties later in life if they feel this has been
Trust, points out that the number of Sudden deliberately prevented.” WW


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