Have a Question? Need Parenting Advice? Ask Michael Hawton

Welcome to our latest posts… we hope you enjoy!

A parent-led method for managing a child’s anxiety

A parent-led method for managing a child’s anxiety

The presentation of an anxious child can present a real conundrum for parents, particularly if they themselves are going through a family crisis. On the one hand, any parent of an anxious child wants to be a reassuring parent who is being concerned and kind. We have developed a parent-led program for managing a child’s anxiety

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Are we watching the unfolding of a public health emergency?

Are we watching the unfolding of a public health emergency?

The unfolding public health emergency – we are seeing more and more parents not looking at their infants, compared to a time before devices came into being. It’s a twofold issue: on the one hand, parents appear distracted by devices ever looking at them when they’re feeding their baby. On the other hand, devices are “propped” up in front of babies and children to distract them.

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Mental wellness and resilience

Mental wellness and resilience

If we think about mental wellness and resilience, it is more than just the absence of mental ill health. It is the ability to enjoy life, to bounce back from difficulties (this is also known as resilience), to set goals and enjoy achievements and to form positive social relationships. Children learn to do this from the time they are infants by watching and interacting with those around them, by developing a sense of competency and self-efficacy by learning to do things for themselves and by having fun, playing and making friends. Mental wellbeing is also enhanced by having positive connections to family and the wider community.

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What the heck is going on with young people?

What the heck is going on with young people?

What the heck is going on with young people? There is an increase in youth facing significant mental health problems. It seems that anxiety, depression and a general sense of young people and children not being able to cope is widespread in our community. How can we build resilience in children?

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Look into my eyes

Look into my eyes

Look into my eyes a look at the marked decline in children’s ability to obtain their parents’ attention, because their parents appeared to be more and more focussed on their devices.

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Building resilience before bullying occurs.

Building resilience before bullying occurs.

Let’s not wait until they’re bullied to prepare our children for other’s meanness. What if we strengthened our children to cope with the high probability that they will face others meanness before they inevitably experience it.

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Three tips for helping children deal with frightening world events.

Three tips for helping children deal with frightening world events.

As events of violence and terrorism are apparently being more regularly reported, an increasing number of children are being affected by exposure to these frightening stories. Many parents are wondering what they can do to protect their children from the effects of vicarious anxiety provoked by these media reports.

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Not succumbing to our own anxiety about risk

Not succumbing to our own anxiety about risk

Not succumbing to our own anxiety about risk building resilience in children. Letting children take some risks builds resilence. In recent times, insurance companies have directly influenced educational systems to make them safer and less risky. Parents have also demanded that pre-schools and early years settings keep children safe 100% of the time. Certainly, since my children were at pre-school, raised cubby houses, tree houses and play equipment have been lowered or even removed to meet accrediting bodies’ demands.

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Why normal childhood behaviour is being mistaken for ADHD and autism

Why normal childhood behaviour is being mistaken for ADHD and autism

Why normal childhood behaviour is being mistaken for ADHD and autism.
I’ve been working in the area of child and family psychology for over 30 years. I have interviewed children in clinical settings and in legal settings. I’ve had to prepare hundreds of assessments regarding children, who have not been able to ‘sit still’ or who look like they ‘worry a bit too much’. In these circumstances, any experienced psychologist will ask whether or not this child’s behaviour is normal (or not) and then, how this can be treated to ease the child’s distress or the distress of the parents.

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Beat the back to school blues

Beat the back to school blues

By  Parentshop. It’s that time again, you’ve made it through the hot, long summer holidays and it’s time for packed lunches, book covers, new uniforms and a routine to start again. The start of every school year could potential mean a spike in your child’s (and your)...

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