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whats your view of social media and media platforms ?

Sunday, January 28th, 2018
Ian Williamson

What’s your view of social media or media platforms ? As parents you might be a Facebook user, even a WhatsApp aficionado. You may even watch a movie/TV series.However the chances are these are ‘add ons’ rather than central to your life. But this is not so for our children. Read and inwardly digest these following stats. Teens are spending up to 9 hours a day on social platforms. 30% of all time spent online is now allocated to social…

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Sexual assaults by children

Friday, November 10th, 2017
Ian Williamson

Sexual assaults by children. Recent figures show an alarming rise in reports of peer on peer abuse. Almost 30,000 children are reported to have been sexually assaulted by another child in the last 4 years. These figures indicate a 71% increase. Furthermore sex offences by 10 year olds had more than doubled in the last 4 years. Only 26% of offences reported to the police resulted in any further action being taken. The recent stats on are shocking and deeply…

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Can your teenage do the deal

Friday, September 1st, 2017
Ian Williamson

Can your teenager do the deal?   So many of the arguments and meltdowns we have with our teenagers are about not being able to stick to ‘the deal’. But what exactly is the deal, why do they need to be able to stick to it ?   We have to understand that nirvana from the adolescent perspective is complete independence without responsibility; our job is to link the two. It is not an easy task and that’s why we…

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fallacy of negotiated parenting

Monday, July 10th, 2017
Ian Williamson

The fallacy of parenting by negotiation.   There is a popular style of parenting that goes something like this, ‘I always explain to Charlie exactly why he has to do something. We discuss it in a rational, grown up manner. I try to explain the reasoning behind our decisions. We think you shouldn’t impose things on children at least not without giving them a chance to have their say. We like to treat our children as ‘equals’.   There is…

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we thought he would grow out of it

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017
Ian Williamson

“We thought he would grow out of it .”   Most consultations with the parents of troubled adolescents start with a lament.   “We thought he/she would grow out of it.”   It is a comment with which we are only too familiar. The hope that he or she will “grow out of it” has a wonderful ring of psychological authenticity, whilst at the same time allowing ourselves the luxury of doing nothing. The problem is, none of us can…

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the happiness myth

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
Ian Williamson

The happiness myth.   Nearly every parent I see tells me that they just want their child to be happy. This is a perfectly understandable but curiously misplaced wish. Happiness is something that cannot be acquired or pursued in a concrete sense. It is more a fleeting sense of well-being that arises as a result of engaging with something else. A childhood is rarely an endless series of happy events; in fact I would argue that being a child is…

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screen time

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016
Ian Williamson

What do we do about children and screen time ?   From time to time articles appear warning us that children and teenagers are spending more and more time on their screens. This is followed by a quote from an expert alerting us to the terrible dangers of prolonged screen time and strongly recommending we limit it. When I read these comments I sometimes wonder whether these experts have ever encountered a child engrossed in his/her screen and tried to…

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In celebration of mediocrity

Monday, October 24th, 2016
Ian Williamson

Joseph Heller wrote this in his novel, Catch 22 ‘Some men are born mediocre. Some men achieve mediocrity. Some men have mediocrity thrust on them’.   Barely a week goes by without a new report coming to light suggesting that children and young adults are more distressed and unhappy than ever before. The reasons for this are complex and I try to address some of them in my book ‘We need to talk, a straight talking guide to raising resilient…

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Lying

Friday, September 23rd, 2016
Ian Williamson

What’s the deal with children lying ?   There has been some discussion in the papers recently about the notion that children lying can be a result of too strict parenting. This raises some interesting questions about the role of lying in childhood. How it comes about and what purpose it might have for the child who lies? If we go a little deeper it also raise questions about the purpose of punishments.   Lets start with the rather obvious…

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Porn alert

Thursday, August 25th, 2016
Ian Williamson

Porn alert.   I read recently that a top school is employing an Internet porn expert to teach ‘porn awareness’ classes to pupils amid fears that developing an addiction could be harmful to their studies, career prospects and their relationships. Setting aside the intriguing question of how you become an Internet porn expert this seems to be a very important, if belated, response to an issue that many would rather remain in denial about.   When I raised this issue…

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Attachment Parenting

Monday, August 8th, 2016
Ian Williamson

Attachment parenting.   A great deal has been written lately about a style of parenting called Attachment parenting (an offshoot of Natural parenting apparently). At the heart of it is a nursing relationship between baby and mother that is primarily baby centred. The mother responds to the baby’s demands as they arise and avoids anything that suggests fitting the baby into a schedule, either a sleep schedule or a feeding schedule. Practically this means long term breast-feeding on demand, holding…

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Sexting and privacy

Monday, August 1st, 2016
Ian Williamson

I recently read a newspaper headline that read, ‘Parents are more worried about their children sexting than taking alcohol or drugs’. This struck me as both interesting and puzzling. It is relatively easy to work out whether your teen is drinking or taking drugs but how do you know whether they are sexting?   ‘Hi Emily, how was your evening darling?’ ‘My homework was fairly easy dad and I spent the rest of the evening sending naked pictures of myself…

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Do children gain anything useful from failing?

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016
Ian Williamson

Do children gain anything useful from failure?   We would all agree that encouraging and praising our children is a critical part of parenting. We know it contributes to them feeling good about themselves and it gives them confidence. So far so good, but how do we think about their failures and the whole issue of failing.   This is a more complicated subject than it seems. It is in our DNA as parents to protect our children from psychological…

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The importance of learning to play the piano

Monday, May 2nd, 2016
Ian Williamson

The importance of learning to play the piano.   What has learning to play the piano got to do with a child’s healthy psychological development? The short answer is ‘everything’. The struggle, the practice, enduring the frustrations, the eventual joy of mastering something that was previously thought of as too difficult, is a life-long lesson. It’s the kind of experience that builds confidence, character and a certain resilience. As your child gets older successfully managing frustrations, academic or social is…

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