The importance of exercise to your child’s mood

With the football World Cup not long over, it is worth reflecting that research has shown that children involved in team sport have higher self-confidence, better self-esteem and are less likely to be depressed or anxious.

Caleb_Mendez_Soccer_09OPTAny exercise – provided it is age appropriate and your child enjoys it – is good for your child’s fitness. In the case of team sports, it has been shown that, in addition to the benefits of the physical activity, the sense of belonging that often comes with being part of a team can improve children’s general mood.

When choosing a club for your child, ask other parents about their experiences, go along to watch training or matches to see how the team or club is run and check out the team’s or club’s policies and procedures to ensure that they follow all appropriate good practice.

teamsportswebOPTBy taking these steps, you can better ensure that the club or team will be well-run and that your child will enjoy their sport and gain lots of benefits from it, including better fitness, better self esteem, stronger social skills, a developed sense of responsibility and a wider friendship group.

Of course, if your child is not into team sports, that’s fine – not all children are! Instead, there will be other avenues – perhaps artistic – through which they can gain similar benefits.


10 ways to be a Positive Parent

We have a choice as a parents, whatever our circumstances and however challenging our children can sometimes be, to approach our parenting in a positive or negative way (recognising, of course, that we all sometimes have off-days, when it is difficult to feel at our most positive!)

Mountains of research and evidence shows that Positive Parenting results in better behaved children; happier children with better self-esteem; better achieving children; better parent-child relationships; happier, less stressed parents and far happier family life all-round.

Great! But how can you achieve positive parenting? Here are 10 key things we need to do as parents:

  1. Model positivity yourself. Be the very best role model you can be to your child, by what you say and what you do
  2. Establish positive values and rules in your family
  3. Always be ready to catch your children being good
  4. Give plenty of Effective Praise
  5. Reward your child – when reward has been appropriately earned
  6. Listen and talk to your child in a sensitive, thoughtful way. Take their views into account
  7.  Never smack or hit your child. Smacking is illegal and does not achieve positive outcomes, which positive parenting does!
  8. Adapt and tailor your approach to reflect your children’s personality, particular circumstances and the age of your child (see Positive Parenting at different ages)
  9. Keep things in perspective and retain a sense of humour
  10. Every day, seek to build your child’s Reserve of Self Esteem