Author Archives: SarahOckwell-Smith

About SarahOckwell-Smith

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

Losing Heart with Gentle Parenting? Look for the Glimmers!

Have you been questioning your parenting style recently? I think lockdown has resulted in a lot of navel gazing for many of us. The combination of more free time (for some – I know not all, thank you to those of you working hard through this!) and more time spent at home with our children means 1. a lot more difficult behaviour and 2. a lot more time to spend second-guessing ourselves and our choices parenting wise. Continue reading

Posted in Mothering | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Keeping Calm When Your Child Loses Control

When your child pushes your buttons and you feel yourself getting stressed or angry, you should absolutely not discipline him until you are calm. Take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, and slowly exhale. Repeat as often as necessary until you can think more clearly. Sometimes you have to give yourself a ‘time out’. That is, move away from your child temporarily, so that you can think more clearly.
Continue reading

Posted in Mothering, Preschoolers, Teens, Toddlers, Tweens | Tagged , , , , , ,

Helping Children with Anxiety, when Returning to – or Starting – School

Help your child to see that it isn’t school as a whole that is scary but instead there are certain aspects they are struggling with. This doesn’t mean that school itself is bad, or that they will always be unhappy there. Spend some time talking about the things at school that they do enjoy, or are looking forward to, with them and focus on building excitement and happiness on these points. If they tell you that they don’t like anything once started, then ask their teachers to let you know what they have enjoyed throughout the day, so that you can bring it up with them. Finally, empower your child by helping them to realise that anxiety isn’t all bad, it’s a sign that they care about themselves and their brain is trying to prevent them from getting into danger. Continue reading

Posted in Preschoolers, Tweens | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Books for Helping Children Deal With Big Emotions

I’m often asked to recommend books to use with children to help them to understand and process emotions. Here are my top recommendations: Continue reading

Posted in Preschoolers, Tweens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Preparing Children for a House Move

Moving house is a major – stressful – life event for adults and is huge for children too. As with any big transition, you can expect a little unavoidable turmoil while your child gets used to the move, however there are plenty of things you can to do help prepare them and make the move go as smoothly as possible. Here are my ten top tips: Continue reading

Posted in Preschoolers, Toddlers, Tweens | Tagged , , , , , ,

What Does ‘School Readiness’ Really Look Like?

A question that seems to crop up again and again among discussion groups is “what do I need to teach my child so that they are ready for school?”, this is commonly followed by questions such as “do they need to know their ABCs?”, “do I need to teach them to read?”, “should we practice phonics?” and “should they be able to write simple sentences?” Continue reading

Posted in Education, Preschoolers | Tagged , ,

Why Children Misbehave at Home After a Day at School

I am often contacted by desperate parents in September or October who say “Help! My child has turned into a demon at home, but school say they are brilliant all day and behave really well, what have I done wrong?” Continue reading

Posted in Education | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

How to Help Children Settle into School

Some children take the transition in their stride and settle in with very few bumps, others do better than you would ever have expected. Some children however really struggle with the transition. Continue reading

Posted in Education, Preschoolers | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Baby & Child Sleep During Lockdown – Q&A

I thought I would run a little Q&A answering some of the most common sleep questions that have been posed to me over the last couple of weeks while the world is in lockdown, due to Covid-19. Continue reading

Posted in Babies, Preschoolers, Toddlers | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

What To Do When You Disagree with School Discipline Policies

Many parents (particularly those who follow gentle parenting principles) struggle with the discipline policies at their child’s school, but what should you do if you find yourself in this position? Continue reading

Posted in Education, Preschoolers | Tagged , , , , ,