Author Archives: SarahOckwell-Smith

About SarahOckwell-Smith

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

Why Potty Training Accidents are a GOOD Thing!

Are you potty training at the moment and despairing of your child’s accidents? Relax! They’re actually a great sign! 

No – I haven’t gone insane. Yes, I have got children and yes, I do remember what it’s like to clear up umpteen accidents. Continue reading

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How To Not Lose Your Temper As A Parent

My first real ‘red mist’ moment didn’t happen until towards the end of the toddler years. Since then they have been more regular than I would care to admit. You know what though? That’s life. Nobody is perfect. There is nothing wrong with anger, it’s a normal human emotion and actually a very useful one (more on this later). The problem is in the way we deal with it, especially in front of our children. Continue reading

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When and How Should You Handle Pocket Money?

I believe pocket money is important to allow them the freedom and control to be able to buy what they want, rather than have to ask you for everything. This control can have a very positive ‘knock on’ effect on the rest of their behaviour (that is often totally unrelated to money and purchases). Pocket money also teaches children economics from a very early age, so important considering finance management is not a part of core schooling curriculum (why?!). It can teach children about saving and donating, about foreign currency exchange and the value of buying good quality products. Continue reading

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Why You Should NEVER Praise or Reward A Child for Eating!

Praising a child for eating can be incredibly counter-productive. While the child may initially try to eat the food on offer, in exchange for lots of praise from their parents, the effect is unlikely to be long-lasting. The most worrying outcome of praise however is not the temporary effect it has, but how it encourages children to override their innate satiety cues in favour of pleasing their parent. Research has shown that children who are regularly praised for eating are statistically more likely to grow to be overweight in later life. Continue reading

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The Secret Way to Achieve a Calmer and Easier Toddler Bedtime

Bedtime resistance is common in the toddler and preschooler years and what was once an easy bedtime can often stretch out to hours. Similarly night waking may resurface (or not improve as expected). There are many reasons for disturbed bedtimes and waking, however the bedtime routine and what happens immediately before it is key in my opinion. Continue reading

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How to Get a Baby to Take a Lovey or Comfort Object

The best thing a mother can do is to allow her baby to snuggle and feed as often as they need. Often though this is not possible. Returning to work or even just needing a couple of hours ‘me time’ necessitate that babies sometimes need other things that comfort them too. When it comes to sleep, if the baby has an object which they strongly associate with their mother they may transition between sleep cycles independently, feeling as if they have a piece of their mum/mom with them. Continue reading

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What to Do When You Feel Like Sleep Training Your Baby

I know too well how tempting it is to follow the magic sleep plan your friend with the perfect sleeping baby has followed. I know what it feels like to second, third and fourth guess your choices. Your parenting style is meant to make your baby MORE confident, but she’s only becoming clingier. What did you do wrong to create such a needy and anxious little boy? The answer is – absolutely nothing. NOTHING you have done has created a ‘bad sleeper’. Continue reading

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How to Stop Rocking Your Baby to Sleep

Babies need to feel safe and secure and they need our help to calm them to a level where it is easy to fall asleep. The close contact and movement of rocking meets all of these needs. In time all babies will grow out of the need for rocking, the question is whether they outgrow this need before they become too big and heavy for the parent to rock. Continue reading

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Why Your Child Needs Boundaries – and How to Set & Enforce Them

Boundaries play a crucial role in Gentle Parenting, in fact, so much so they really do form one of its cornerstones. I think the difficulty in understanding, comes from those who don’t really ‘get’ this style of parenting and also from those who practice it, but are a bit too scared to set and particularly enforce boundaries. Continue reading

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When Good-Eater Babies Become Picky-Eater Toddlers.

I felt like a good mum. I felt like I had this eating thing sorted. I didn’t understand why so many parents complained about their child’s eating. In fact, I believed that they had brought the problems upon themselves, by not offering their child a good range of different tastes and textures and instead pandering to their children. Oh, how wrong I was. Continue reading

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