Category: Parenting

Benefits of good childcare 30 years on

While the early years can be the most taxing for parents, they are also the most critical for child development. A major American study has found that the effects of good childcare on infants can be seen even at the age of 30. The study found that children who received a quality programme of extensive…

Health matters: The benefits of breastfeeding

Dr Andrea Fitzgerald   Ireland has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe, with approximately 50 per cent of women breastfeeding when they leave hospital, compared to, for example, 99pc in Norway and 84pc in Britain. On the whole, Irish mums also stop breastfeeding far earlier than their European counterparts. Research is yet to…

Roisin Shortall makes a good point

  Minister of State, Roisin Shortall, suggested recently that parents who allow their teenage children to drink at home may be contributing to substance abuse among young people. In an interview with Conor Pope of The Irish Times, the minister said that while parents might be well meaning in their attempts to encourage a positive…

Strictly for the birds

Family activities Anne O’Connell   This year, people have been slower to begin a bird-feeding routine because of the relatively mild weather. Watching birds’ antics through the window in cold weather can be wonderfully entertaining for children. All you need is a simple feeding station. Robins and blackbirds find it difficult to hang on to…

Two train journeys

Dad’s Diary   It was a glorious, blue-sky morning just before Christmas. The calm, half-empty train pulled out of London’s Waterloo Station. I had just finished work for the year and the cosy joys of the festive season sparkled ahead. One of the things I was especially looking forward to was taking my two-year-old boy…

New year’s resolutions

Family Activities Annie O’Connell   Your family may be coming back to earth with a bang after the excitement of Christmas. If the children are feeling a bit under the weather after the holidays, we can help them to express and accept their emotions. We can explain how we all need to get more sleep,…

New year goals

Family Activities Anne O’Connell   Make an agreement with your child to do something special that will help make this year a good one. Write out your intention, put it in an envelope and keep it in a safe place — remind yourselves about it every now and then. A good new year’s goal for…

How to choose the best option for your child

Childcare Given the bewildering array of options available, it can often be difficult to choose childcare. Quite often, the decision will be based on what fits conveniently into your commute, and which is most reasonably priced. All else being equal, Irene Gunning of Early Childhood Ireland, says that before choosing a daycare centre: ”A parent…