Keeping secrets

Question: A friend of my child has disclosed some personal information to her. She doesn’t know what to do with this info. Neither do I! But I feel I should do something. Help! You don’t say what area the information falls into so this reply will be in relation to commonly reported sensitive situations involving … Read more

Whining and whingeing

Question: My child has started whining for things and about things. The sound just gets on my nerves. I know I am over-reacting. Got any ideas? Call it what you like- moaning, complaining, grumbling, bleating, belly-aching, being grumpy, griping and sounding querulous- it gets every parent’s attention and jangles your nerves. This grating voice is … Read more

Death is for grown-ups. Or is it?

Question:   Should I shelter my child from talking about death, or should I discuss it head on? It is difficult to get this ‘right’ because death is one thing you cannot ‘put right’ and parents feel a real responsibility to make things right for their children. This is why we usually avoid children being caught … Read more

Pushing buttons

Question: My child answers back and it’s driving me crazy! Any suggestions? Back-chat is very frustrating and every parent reading this blog will be full of sympathy. It is a common problem. It stems partly from the child asserting their independence, exerting control and testing out the boundaries. The unspoken agenda is ‘How much will … Read more

I don’t approve. Do I say so?

Question: My child, aged 12, has a best friend and spends a lot of time at their house. I am Ok with this but I don’t really like some of the things that the friend’s parents allow. Recently, they left their son and my child in charge of the younger children while they went out. … Read more

So Embarrassed!

Question:   I’m so embarrassed. My child picks the worst time and place to make a scene. How do I react and manage this crisis? Answer: All parents have those moments when you want the ground to open up and swallow you. Usually this is when your child has behaved so badly or said something … Read more

Liar, liar, pants on fire


Question: I think telling the truth is very important. This was stressed to me when I was little but my child lies and I don’t know how to get them out of it. Answer: We like to think that our children always tell the truth but the reality is that most children will experiment with … Read more

Is arguing a bad thing?

AskingMarilyn - I consider us a happy family unit. But sometimes we argue. Does this have a negative effect upon the children?

I consider us a happy family unit. But sometimes we argue. Does this have a negative effect upon the children? Answer: All parents have arguments. And arguments come in different shapes and sized- e.g. some are frequent low-level arguments, some the occasional major confrontation, some are loud and antagonistic, some are silent and brooding. This … Read more