Author Archives: SarahOckwell-Smith

About SarahOckwell-Smith

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

Why Tantrums are Harder for Toddlers than Parents!

A child who feels sad, angry, unloved or struggling with a lack of autonomy is a ticking time-bomb. If their feelings aren’t diffused, with parental help, they are going to explode (aka – a tantrum)….. Continue reading

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8 Ways to Encourage Better Baby & Toddler Sleep – Without Sleep Training

Sleep training tends to punish babies and toddlers for problems that don’t belong to them. They are left to cry, put down while they still need a hug, denied milk when they are hungry and ignored when they most need comfort. I don’t actually believe any parent wants this for their children, yet their exhaustion leaves them with no other choice. Or so they think. There are in fact, many ways to gently improve infant sleep that don’t involve any sleep training at all. Here are eight of them: Continue reading

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The Three Biggest Mistakes Parents Make When Disciplining Children

It doesn’t matter if you’re an authoritarian parent, hot on punishment and reward, or a gentle parent, focused on connection and empathy. Your kid is going to misbehave. Because that’s what they do….. Continue reading

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The Rollercoaster of Real Baby Sleep

We (‘we’ meaning society) seem to think that baby sleep is linear. By that I mean we seem to think that it gets better as babies grow older. Or at least we believe it is static, ie. it won’t get worse again. The thing is, it’s not linear (certainly not in an upwards trajectory) and it’s not static. It goes up and down (mostly down in the first year). This is entirely normal and very, very common… Continue reading

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How to Gently Wean from a Dummy/Pacifier

I’m commonly asked for help and advice surrounding pacifiers (I’ll use this term as this is the most used around the world). Pacifiers can be a Godsend to some parents and a nightmare to others. If you’re currently pregnant and … Continue reading

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Why it’s OK to NOT be a Perfect Parent!

….You need to strive to do your best, but recognise that sometimes your best is enough, even when you don’t feel that it is. Continue reading

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How to Praise Your Children in a Gentle and Effective Way

Praise is a controversial topic in Gentle Parenting circles. Many mistakenly think that gentle parents never praise their children and eschew any attempt to show children that we are proud of them. In fact, this is simply not true. Praise can and does form a role in Gentle Parenting, however it looks different to the praise that most people know and use.
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Five Steps to Effective Discipline

Being mindful of neurological development is critical when you discipline. Most mainstream discipline methods – time out, naughty steps, exclusion, shaming and loss of privileges – expect cognitive abilities from children that they just don’t have Continue reading

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Why Common Discipline Methods Don’t Work (and What to do Instead)

most common discipline methods focus on encouraging children to do and be better, so that they are motivated by rewards if they behave ‘well’ and punishments if they misbehave. This would seem sensible, but it makes one huge mistake. Continue reading

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Schemas – What You Need to Know to Understand Your Toddler’s ‘Naughty Behaviour’

Have you ever wondered why your child does something, even when you’ve told them not to and explained why they shouldn’t do it? Perhaps your three year old insisted on touching the oven door, even though you told him not to because it was very hot. Being told something and doing it yourself are two very different things. It is only when the child touches the oven door and experiences the heat that he truly understands and learns. Continue reading

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