Author Archives: SarahOckwell-Smith

About SarahOckwell-Smith

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

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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Gentle Parenting – You Mean ‘Hippy, Pushover Parenting’? Busting Ten Gentle Parenting Myths.

…if people ask me to explain gentle parenting in a nutshell I always say the same “treating children how we would like to be treated ourselves”. To this day I don’t understand why it is so controversial, except perhaps that we don’t treat ourselves very well? Continue reading

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When Your Child Will Only Nap On You.

he gift of being able to get your child to sleep easily, calmly and relatively quickly is a huge one. So many parents struggle with trying to encourage independent naps…… Continue reading

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Five Reasons why I Hate Elf on the Shelf

Every few years a new parenting ‘must have’ comes along. These toys, sleep props, books and nursery items quickly develop a cult like following. Parents can quickly get sucked in, often feeling left out, or rather worrying that their children are left out if they don’t jump on the trendy train. The truth is children miss out on nothing without an elf. Christmas is no less magical without them. Continue reading

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Is it Possible to do Gentle Sleep Training?

Is it possible to work with a baby’s sleep gently? Absolutely, because in every case it is not the baby that needs changing or fixing, it is usually something the parent is, or isn’t doing. That said, it is only possible to change sleep gently to a biologically appropriate level. The fact remains that babies don’t sleep through the night, while that may be a problem for parents in our busy world, the reality is there is normally nothing wrong with the baby. Continue reading

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It’s Time to Stop with the Sleep Guilt

There is no evidence that shows rocking, holding or feeding to sleep is damaging in any way whatsoever, whatever age the child is. There is no evidence that shows feeding at night (beyond an arbitrary age) causes long lasting sleep problems, or any others for that matter. Continue reading

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Why Your Baby Will NEVER ‘Sleep Through the Night’!

This talk of ‘sleeping through the night’ must end, it is factually inaccurate. This myth and misinformation pathologises normal infant sleep and turns it into something problematic that needs fixing. The fact is, the baby achieves nothing from being taught to be quiet while they transition between sleep cycles, the benefit here is solely for the parents. Continue reading

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Gentle Parenting: the Myths, the Misquotes and the Mis-reporting.

Yesterday I was contacted by a journalist who was writing an article for The Sun newspaper (a large UK newspaper) asking me about gentle parenting for an article. This would have been a good opportunity to present a factual, evidence based article, instead she … Continue reading

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