Blog Tags



Trust Your Instincts


Now this might seem a bit rich from someone who writes a blog every month about communication with children and young people, but in this column I’d like to touch on having faith in your own judgement, rather than stressing out about what you read is the correct way to do things.

There is so much information out there. Some of it is conflicting, and much of it sounds as though it’s riding roughshod over natural instincts and causing us to mistrust our own gut feelings. But it’s worth taking some reassurance from the fact that the human race seemed to perpetuate just fine before all the instruction manuals came into being.

I don’t mean to dismiss the value of expert advice (obviously!) or to talk down all the wonderful resources that are available to us in the modern age, but it can be easy to become overwhelmed by it all and to forget that each and every one of us has natural instincts that are valid.

When push comes to shove, I believe that if you hold in mind that any child or young person is a human being that you should treat with the same love and respect that you would offer any other person that you care about - and that you would want for yourself - the upshot should be better than if you try and manipulate behaviour according to the current fashion or trend.

Spend time with your children at crucial moments of transition, waking up or arriving home if you’re a parent; arriving or leaving school if you’re a teacher. Take time to find out how they are, let them know that your intention is an awareness of their being. It only takes two minutes to make a difference.

Pay attention to - give in to - your humanity, and mostly I think that leads to deeper, better and more genuine communication and connection.

Time Travel


It can be difficult for us grown-ups to understand how differently time is perceived by a toddler, a child, or even a teenager.

Read more

Stress Less


Let’s face it, the last eighteen months have been pretty stressful for almost everyone in one way or another, but how adept are we at recognising the signs of stress in our children and young people?

Read more

Teach EYFS Article - Anxiety


Here is another in my series of articles based on conversations with children, first published in Teach Early Years magazine. In each piece, I focus on one prominent theme. For this one, it’s ANXIETY. My thanks to editor Mark Hayhurst for allowing reproduction, and if you want to know more, details of this and their other magazines and resources are available at:

       - Is there anything you find difficult to tell a grown-up?

       - Yes. When mummy worries, it makes me worry too.                         
(P - male)

Although this little boy answered my question by referring to his home situation rather than school, the emotion he was brave enough to share with me is universal. Young children are acutely aware of their grown-ups’ moods, and are quick to take responsibility for any upset in the status quo. 

Read more

Move It!


Things are starting to edge slowly towards something that feels akin to a kind of normality. The kids have been back in school and the adult population is gradually receiving vaccinations. But beneath the tentative positivity, many of us are wondering what the long term effects will be, especially on our children.

Those that I’ve spoken to over the last twelve months, through various stages of lockdown, have been doing their best to cope. They have mostly risen to the challenge, feeling strong sense of responsibility to support their parents and families through desperate times. But like all of us, they’ve also had the odd meltdown.
Read more