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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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

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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Keri

Keri

Is anyone trick or treating this year's with the kids? Do you only go to homes of friends and neighbours?

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Keri

Keri

marialev
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marialev

Yes! The kids are already so excited. We go to a neighbourhood nearby where people go to town with decorations. I think a lot of them are American - and they just have so much fun with Halloween so it's great for the kids to feel a part of it. Are you going out?

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Holly B
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Holly B

We are. We go around local streets, looking out for houses with pumpkins on the path and lit up doorways. It's lovely where we live. There are so many houses along streets that welcome Trick or Treaters.

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Laura
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Laura

My kids are older, but we've carved a pumpkin and bought sweets for all the trick or treaters we get on our street!

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Nicola

Nicola

Scotland is the first UK country to ban smacking

This October Scotland became the first country in the UK to make smacking a child a criminal offence. Members of the Scottish Parliament backed the ban with an overwhelming majority of 84 votes to 29. 

Before the smacking ban parents and carers were allowed, by law, to use "reasonable" physical force to discipline their children.

Scottish Greens MSP John Finnie, who introduced the bil,l said it would "send a strong message that violence is never acceptable in any setting". 

Scottish Conservatives opposed the ban saying that it would risk criminalising risks "good parents" for using "reasonable chastisement".

Be Reasonable Scotland said the ban was well intentioned but that it could do more harm than good. They argue that the previous law stating that parents could use "very mild discipline" such as a smack on the hand or bottom was reasonable. Making this a criminal offence could lead to traumatic interventions in ‘good’ families. 

A report in 2015 found that 70-80% of parents use some form of physical punishment, most commonly with children aged between 3 and 7. Researchers found that the parents surveyed did not think smacking was a ‘good thing’ but that sometimes it is ‘the only thing that will work’.

Wales is also on the verge of introducing a ban - but there are not currently any plans for England or Northern Ireland to follow suit.

What do you think? Do you agree with a ban on smacking or do you think current laws are enough?

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/oct/03/scotland-becomes-first-country-in-uk-to-ban-smacking-of-children

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Nicola

Nicola

Laura
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Laura

I am completely in favour of banning smacking (or any form of violence for that matter) Rule by fear might prevent kids from repeating a negative behaviour in the short term, but in the long term it breaks down trust, makes children feel powerless, and endangers self esteem. In my opinion, no matter how mad you might feel, there’s no excuse to hit another person.

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Holly B
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Holly B

I agree too, Laura. But wonder if they needed an outright ban. It's funny how much things have changed. I still remember the fear of being smacked as a child. It didn't happen often but the threat of it was enough to make me behave.

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emily_l
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emily_l

Wow, I hadn't realised it was now illegal! I think it's a good thing, smacking seems quite outdated and can't do much good.

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marialev

marialev

This is an interesting piece about how it affects kids when parents scream:

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marialev

marialev

AnaGarcia

AnaGarcia

After been working for 25 years with children I have to say that when I did become a mother 5 years ago my daughter was my biggest challenge!!! I have to say children listen to me better while I am at work ???? I think the naughty step was a fashion on tv but I never like the naughty step so I don’t use it either work or home . Usually I am a big believer of to try to found the moment when we all are calmer and then I explain to the child why he /she was wrong and try to think why , and how to improve that situation .When thinks are bit more naughty , I will take a favourite toy o moment till I see improve behaviour, is important to follow what I say ,other ways does not work . I do notice my tone of voice is very important when is no stress and firm does magic , at home with my daughter sometimes I got my stress moments where my daughter reminds me ( mum why are you loud????) I think be relax is the key ... I know Not easy ???? breathing in and out helps me at home ,then I am back to the room with a smile on control !! .. let’s try again ..???? I do try as well to don’t give rewards all the time what I do is to have a bag with some tokens usually one for each day of the week , that means you can keep your tv at weekend , or still going with mum or dad to do something special , otherwise those nice things don’t happen at end of the week ..( bake nice cake with mum , going for play with a friend )...I think this days kids have to many material things and they always asking for more but I can see children do not appreciate toys as much as when I was younger ( while ago ???????? ) so were is the limit with toys ?, how to stop to buy toys ?,I love toys myself , I found difficult to go out and don’t buy something most of the time , how can we say no to them ?..

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AnaGarcia

AnaGarcia

Keri
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Keri

Hi Ana,


You sound like you have positive parenting down. I did try the "naughty step" and I agree with you, it's not a detriment to poor behaviour. My daughter used to tantrum even harder on the naughty step and it would take her ages to calm down afterwards. I never felt great about it. I agree that staying calm and positive is the best way to go (but hard with small children sometimes!????)

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Holly B
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Holly B

Love your bag of tokens idea, Ana. I might steal that. Totally agree kids have too many toys (mine included). When they have too many lots are not played with. I sometimes go through toys and put them away in a cupboard. If hey don't notice they're missing I take them to charity. Or I get one out on a rainy day and they show new interest in it as they focus on just that one toy.

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marialev

marialev

Our son is such a sweet boy but he can also be really naughty. I have tried the naughty step for 2 minutes but it feels like I'm constantly punishing him.

Does anyone have any ideas of things you can do to give more positive discipline? Like some way to reward good behaviour?

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marialev

marialev

emily_l
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emily_l

You could try something simple like a Hi 5 whenever he does something good.


My son loves it when his teachers give him Hi 5's and he always tries to please them.

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Carselea

Carselea

My daughter is always so grumpy and cross after school. I read something on Facebook about 'after school restraint collapse' - a fancy term, I think, for when they meltdown after a day trying hard to listen, work hard and follow rules. I think this is what is happening. Has anyone else found this happening?

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Carselea

Carselea

marialev
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marialev

Yes! My daughter starts screaming like a wild animal and dancing around. I think she's just letting loose...but yes she doesn't listen to anything for a while after school and it's very tiring. I hope it ends at some point!

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Nicola

Nicola

Holly. We do a similar thing. After snacks and bit of relaxing we put aside an hour for homework before tea to get it over and done with. It has become a routine and so now there's less nagging all round.

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Nicola

Nicola

Yes No