How to raise happy, successful kids

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Helping us all raise happy, confident and successful kids. You can find tips and latest research in what works (and what doesn't). Share your own experiences and connect with other parents who all want to raise great kids.
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Rowan

Rowan

My 8 year old is suddenly obsessed with her looks. She spends hours picking her outfits and doing her hair. She's asking if she can wear make up and straighten her hair. (No - far too young IMO). And she just keeps talking about her appearance. When we go out (just to the shops/park etc) she spends ages getting ready. I wouldn't mind, but she seems so miserable about never looking the way she wants to. I know this is part and parcel for the teenage years but she's only 8. I've always tried to tell her she's beautiful and talk abut what makes people special (ie - being kind, brave, including others - NOT looks). And I don't obsess about my looks. I'm a messy bun, mum-jeans kind of mum :). Any advice? Thanks

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Rowan

Rowan

heather
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heather

I guess it's a phase they can go through where they get obsessed with their looks. I don't think it gets better with Instagram selfies when they get older.


But it's sad that she's feeling down about it, that would worry me. Maybe an outdoors-style holiday camp where they run around in nature a bit and forget about the makeup? Or any kind of activity that will take her out of that cycle? That's what I would try, I hope it gets better!

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Keri
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Keri

Hi Rowan,


My friend's daughter was exactly like this too. Spoiler alert: she's 15 now and she's a very happy, healthy well adjusted teen. She did go through puberty earlier than most girls, so part of it is probably just hormones. It sounds like you're encouraging all the right things, focusing on positive attributes like kindness and empathy and discouraging age inappropriate things like makeup. She will come out the other side of it healthy!

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Carselea

Carselea

My aim for this year is to try and be more positive and be more calm with my kids. Any tips to keep me on track? I do find my anxiety rising when they act up and although I stay calm for a while they eventually press my buttons and I snap. How do you stop this happening?

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Carselea

Carselea

marialev
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marialev

I haven't handled it completely either. I find it's worse if I'm stressed about other things or trying to get too many jobs done when my kids are around too so I try to let all that go and only do what I have to do, and that definitely makes things easier.


I then allow about 3 times the time to do anything at all - eat breakfast, get dressed, go to the loo. That helps a lot too! Otherwise deep breaths or leaving the room if you're about to shout so that you can come back in and handle whatever it is they're arguing about? Hope these ideas help a bit!

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Sophia

Sophia

Happy New Year! Anyone making any New Year's resolutions?

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Sophia

Sophia

Ana_bre
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Ana_bre

Yes! Now the kids are older I've set a goal to visit as many of the local museums. kids shows or kids areas as possible on Sundays this year.


We don't visit them enough and we have such amazing places around us, most are free to enter. So that's our aim at least for 2020!

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Holly B
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Holly B

What a lovely aim for the new year. We LOVE visiting museums. There's always something new and exciting to see.

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Nicola

Nicola

LOVE this Christmassy calm down jar. Might some in handy over the festive period

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/635740406/christmas-sensory-bottle-calm-down-jar?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=calming+jars&ref=sr_gallery-2-23&organic_search_click=1

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Nicola

Nicola

Carselea

Carselea

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Carselea

Carselea

Holly B

Holly B

My child likes to touch and grab other kids. Not in a violent way but he seems to want to reach out and play with them. They don't like it...Does anyone have any ideas what I can do?

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Holly B

Holly B

marialev

marialev

Love this!

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marialev

marialev

emmam
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emmam

So true!

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Sophia

Sophia

Britain’s naughtiest names revealed!

With Christmas just around the corner, children everywhere want to avoid being on Santa’s Naughty List. A survey by MyNameTags asked 1500 parents, teachers and children to name the girls and boys they believed the be the naughtiest - and the nicest. Here is the result of the survey. Will your child be on Santa’s Naughty or Nice List?

Here’s what it revealed:

Naughtiest boys

1. Jack

2. Harry

3. Charlie

4. Oliver

5. George

Naughtiest girls

1. Mia

2. Ella

3. Isabella

4. Amelia

5. Sophia

Best behaved boys

1. Arthur

2. Noah

3. Oscar

4. Muhammad

5. Leo 

Best behaved girls

1. Isla

2. Ava

3. Grace

4. Olivia

5. Emily 

Did your child's name feature on these lists?

Interestingly the survey revealed that both teachers and parents make snap judgements on a child, according to their name. Mia and Jack are presumed to be the most mischievous, whereas Isla and Arthur are thought to be the most angelic. 

And it also showed that kids and grown ups didn’t always agree on who was naughtiest. Teachers and parents associated the name Mia with the most mischievous of children. Kids on the other hand, expected the 'Emilys' to be the worst behaved. 

Managing director at My Nametags, Lars B. Andersen, said: “We know that there are strong stereotypes attached to names and that someone’s first name can really paint a picture of what they are like. It was interesting to discover that these stereotypes are formed from a young age, with children and adults quick to make judgements about children based on their first name alone.These beliefs can make the difficult task of naming a child even more challenging, but we hope that our research will help give expectant parents an insight into society’s opinions of the most popular boys and girls names in the UK right now."

Of course, this survey here is all just a bit of fun.

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Sophia

Sophia

Laura
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Laura

My daughter is on the naughty list!😅

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Holly B

Holly B

Do you eat dinner together as a family every day? 🍽

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Holly B

Holly B

Keri
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Keri

Hi Holly, we eat dinner together every night. We have a no phones or television rule during dinner time. I think it's one of the only times in the day when you can relax and talk as a family.

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Sophia N
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Sophia N

Keri those sound like good rules! I hope I'm strict enough to make those too!


Ours are a bit young to eat all together (they eat really early) but as soon as they're old enough I can't wait. It must be lovely to have those end of day chats as a family.

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Holly B

Holly B

Do you use reward charts and do they work? What kind of chart did you use?

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Holly B

Holly B

emily_l
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emily_l

Hi Holly, we've used reward charts and they worked really well for our daughter but our son didn't care so much.

With him lots of praise seems to have had the biggest impact. But even then it's a work in progress...Giving him mini toy rewards that we would work up to worked for a while but then it was giving him the wrong message and we quickly realised that even the little toys could get expensive so we stopped. But if your child likes something simple like a sticker, then that could work?

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Carselea
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Carselea

We do. I just make simple charts and use stickers for my children to stick on whenever they do something good (that we're focusing on). They generally work really well. I try not to use them all the time though as I find the novelty wears off a bit.

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