Author Archives: SarahOckwell-Smith

About SarahOckwell-Smith

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

“It’s too slimey!” – Why Children Struggle to Eat Foods with Certain Textures.

When we think about toddlers and pre-schoolers refusing certain foods, we generally think about them not eating them because they don’t like the taste. While this is undoubtedly true, particularly for bitter tasting foods, it isn’t the only reason. Sometimes children may not like the smell of a certain food, or they may not like how something looks, how something feels though is often a stumbling block at this age. It is not uncommon for young children to refuse foods that are wet, or slimy in some way.
Continue reading

Posted in Babies, Preschoolers, Toddlers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Saying “Good Boy” or “Good Girl” Is Not a Good Thing!

What does it mean to a child when we say “good boy”? Do they know what ‘good’ means? Do they know what they did to make you happy? What about when we say “well done”? Well done for what? What about if they haven’t done something, but have persevered for hours, ‘failing’ each time at the task in hand, be that tying a shoelace, putting a shape in a shape sorter or building a tower of blocks. Is there effort not worth anything? Continue reading

Posted in Preschoolers, Toddlers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Raising Girls With A Positive Body Image

A large percentage of girls, as young as six years old, worry about their weight, especially believing that they are too fat. This is a worrying new trend, largely sparked by social media, magazines, television and film characters, tiny pop stars and increasingly skinny dolls. Our girls today are bombarded with unrealistic and unhealthy images.

There are things you can do to help your daughter to feel more accepting of herself and reduce the likelihood of unhealthy dieting behaviour Continue reading

Posted in Teens, Tweens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Preschoolers, Toddlers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Mothering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Preschoolers, Teens, Tweens | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

Posted in Preschoolers, Toddlers, Tweens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Preschoolers, Toddlers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Babies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Babies, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments