Author Archives: SarahOckwell-Smith

About SarahOckwell-Smith

Sarah Ockwell-Smith, Parenting author and mother to four.

How to Encourage Reluctant Children to Brush Their Teeth

Do you have a reluctant tooth-brusher? There are several reasons why young children don’t like having their teeth brushed, but the top three in my opinion are: Continue reading

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Talking to Children About ‘Stranger Danger’

I’m often asked my opinion of talking to children about interactions with strangers and how I would best approach the topic. It may surprise you that I am really not a fan of the idea. Why? Continue reading

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What Should you Look for, or ask, at a School Open Day?

Are you just starting to think about choosing your child’s first school? Not sure what to look for, or what to ask when you visit? This article should help! Continue reading

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Confusional Arousals – AKA Why Children Wake in Tears After a Nap

I’m often contacted by parents who are worried that their children (usually toddlers) wake seemingly inconsolable after sleep, usually naps. They describe children who won’t settle (even for their usual fail-safes), can’t be reasoned with and seem in great discomfort. This crying lasts anything from a couple of minutes, to ten or twenty minutes, or more.  Continue reading

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Setting Limits on Junk Food for Children – Is it Possible When You’re Aiming for Self-Regulation?

I’m often contacted by people who, having read my Gentle Eating Book, ask me if I really set absolutely no limits on the junk food my children eat. I think they presume that they eat only sweets/candy and chocolate all day long and that my house is reminiscent of some sort of Willy Wonka’esque never ending sugar factory. Continue reading

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What to do when Somebody Criticises your Parenting

When you practice a more gentle style of parenting, criticism from others can be all too common. So, what should you do then next time somebody offers you one of these pearls of wisdom? Continue reading

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The power of self-forgiveness – and why it is important for your parenting.

I have made parenting choices that I am not proud of now and I would not make again if I knew then what I know now. I’ve also slipped up, many times, ‘in the moment’ and said and done things I regret. Everyone has, but I welcome my guilt for it teaches me to be a better parent. When we know better we do better. Continue reading

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Starting Childcare When Your Baby has Separation Anxiety

I have often seen well-meaning nursery workers peeling a sobbing child or screaming baby off of an equally distressed parent with reassurances of, “It will be okay, don’t worry.” The parents walk away with tear-stained cheeks, desperately trying to not look back, whilst the childcare workers speak in jolly voices trying to cajole toddlers with the promise of a sticker or story, or bounce babies whilst playing peekaboo. Continue reading

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How to be a Gentle – Not Permissive – Parent

I come across this misconception time and time again; that if you don’t make your child do something (in an authoritarian way), then they will never learn and will grow to be rude and feral. People seem to forget (or perhaps don’t realise in the first place) there is a sweet spot in the middle – something known as Authoritative Parenting. Continue reading

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Separation Anxiety – What it is, Why it Happens – and How to Cope

You may notice that your baby starts to become more clingy as they get older, crying if you leave the room for only a few seconds or needing to be held by you all of the time. Separation anxiety is a normal stage of psychological development for babies that usually starts at some point between 8 and 18 months old.  Separation anxiety is actually a good sign of an emotionally healthy child, however it can leave many parents wondering if they have done something wrong and somehow created an unconfident baby. Continue reading

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