Author Archives: SarahOckwell-Smith

About SarahOckwell-Smith

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

5 Ways to Reduce Tricky Behaviour From New Big Siblings

Remind yourself that your child is not jealous, they are grieving, and they are hurting. They are not being deliberately malicious. Their behaviour shows they are struggling and they need your help. Continue reading

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The Two Most Important Steps to Coping with any Behaviour – and why so Many get it Wrong!

Coping with behaviour ‘in the moment’ is important, however it’s only half of the discipline. Unless you look at the cause of the behaviour and work to remove or reduce it, the behaviour is going to keep recurring. Continue reading

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Talking to Children about Death

Children often become interested in, and preoccupied with, death around the ages of three to five years and parents can really struggle with explaining it to them – the natural instinct is to down play it, so as not to scare them. I am firmly of the belief that we should expose children to death (ie they should attend funerals) and discuss it in a factual, honest way with them. In other cultures death (and birth) are a normal part of everyday life that children are not shielded from, I think we could do well to learn from these societies. Continue reading

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5 Ways to Encourage a Positive Sibling Relationship

Comparing children is possibly the most destructive mistake that parents of two or more children can make. If you have a sibling, how many times did you hear “why can’t you be good, like your sister?” or “your brother is so much easier than you!”? How did it make you feel when your parents compared you to your sibling? Resentful? Hurt? Angry? Not only can comparison drive a wedge between parent and child relationships, but it can also cause animosity between siblings. Labelling children can have similar unexpected negative consequences. Continue reading

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Is Screen Time Ever OK for Children?

Recently a new study was released, looking into the impact of screen time on toddlers and preschoolers. Predictably; the mainstream media picked up on the research and were all reporting the perils of screen time and how it should be avoided as much as possible for young children. The trouble is, these dire warnings were not supported by the actual findings of the study. Continue reading

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Second Time Mother Guilt – The Emotional Toil of Welcoming a Second Baby

One of the toughest things about becoming a mother for the first time, is learning to cope with feeling guilty. We feel guilty if we don’t ‘love every minute’ (nobody does by the way!), we feel guilty if we lose our temper, we feel guilty when we desperately need a break away from our children, we feel guilty about parenting choices we  make, or those that were made for us and we feel guilty about not doing enough self-care. We just can’t win. Physical exhaustion and sleep deprivation aside, the guilt must be one of the worst things about new motherhood. First-time mother guilt is hard, really hard. The second time around, you have the same guilt you had the first time around and so much more. The good news is though, that it is normal. You’re not alone. Continue reading

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The Art of Saying ‘No’ to Children

I hear many myths surrounding gentle parenting. Some of them are so absurd that I simply just laugh them off. There are one or two though that really bother me. In particular the myth that “gentle parents don’t say ‘no’ to their children”. Because, actually – that really isn’t true. NO is not a dirty word and it definitely has a place in my parenting vocabulary. Continue reading

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Why Sibling Rivalry can be a GOOD Thing!

With so many resources giving parents advice to stop sibling fighting, we lose sight of the positive side of these seemingly negative interactions. Parents are often so eager to stop any fighting that they don’t realise that actually, most sibling fights, provide wonderful communication education, personal growth and emotional literacy to both siblings. To aim to stop any sibling squabbles is not only naïve (because no families have siblings that don’t fight, often regularly!), but a lost learning opportunity for the children. Continue reading

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How to Help Children to Cope with the Death of a Pet

Losing a pet can be a really tough time for children, it is however an incredibly important learning opportunity. For most children, the loss of a pet is their first encounter with death and grief, handling it well can really … Continue reading

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The What, Why. When and How of Sleep Regressions

What Are Sleep Regressions? We often make the mistake of thinking that baby sleep is linear. By that, I mean the presumption that it starts off really bad when you have a newborn and then it gets progressively better as … Continue reading

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