Development for Older Kids

Preparing for when your presence will embarrass your child

Heidi Stevens It has come to my attention that I'll soon mortify my children.

Is 13-year-old having panic attacks about school?

School anxiety: Is it a school phobia or panic attacks?

John Rosemond My 13-year-old son has developed overwhelming anxiety about going to school. This began a year ago, but has gotten steadily worse since then.

Here's why we have to stop labelling our boys

Danger of labels: Don't just accept and perpetuate them.

Robyn Passante I fear for my sons. I fear for them having to grow up in a world that heralds their ability to get ahead, to be the boss, to "get" the girl. To score. I want them to view every girl they meet as a person and an equal, not a conquest.

When your kids question the honesty of political leaders

Tracey Spicer

Tracey Spicer How do you explain the lying and backstabbing of our politicians to our children who have been taught to value honesty?


Girl with Down Syndrome aims to "inspire" with cover of John Legend's All of Me

Madison Tevlin singing All of Me by John Legend.

Mary Ward According to a 1994 report from Down Syndrome Education International, very few people with Down Syndrome are able to sing but no one told 12-year-old Madison that.

Would you let your kids do this?

Is two children walking alone such an unsafe act?

Petula Dvorak Two American parents allowed their children to walk home alone from a local park, now they are being investigated for child neglect.

Swedish 'genital song' goes viral


Livia Gamble A catchy 'genital song' for children made by a Swedish sex education television show has gone viral.

Every schoolgirl needs to see this 11-year-old singing about female friendship

Sophia Grace

Claire Cohen British child star Sophia Grace has just released a single and it's unequivocal message about the power of best friends is taking the world (not to mention the playgrounds) by storm.

Milestones: what is the ‘right’ age?


Marc de Rosnay How do you know when your child is old enough to take on responsibilities that aren't defined by age alone?

Teacher's social media lesson goes viral

The image teacher Melissa Bour posted on Facebook, which quickly went viral.

Rachel Clun A teacher in the United States taught her students a lesson about social media they won't forget in a hurry.

5 things girls should know about friendship


Livia Gamble As parents you worry about your children making friends but what about preparing them for the opposite: a “friendship divorce”.

Helping kids embrace new rituals when a holiday is tinged by loss

Making the most of the holidays in tough times.

Heidi Stevens Sometimes the most wonderful time of the year arrives at the worst time of your life.

Study: Don’t tell girls they can have it all


Catherine Rodie Mothers are “damaging” their daughters by imposing their own unfulfilled ambitions onto them and setting unrealistic expectations by telling them, “they can have it all", finds UK report, but there is something they overlooked.

Comments 14

How 'cool' parents raise conformist kids

Cool-parent cred ... Costing kids their character in the long run.

Andrew Reiner Shouldn't it be a parent's role to teach children not to be sheep? As someone who teaches at a large, diverse public university, I see the collateral damage that occurs when kids are schooled in cool.

Comments 7

When your daughters are rivals

Help each sister find their uniqueness.

Rashida Tayabali Comparing siblings, especially sisters, as a motivation tool is a recipe for disaster.

Comments 3

The truth about raising boys (and girls)

Why you can't make generalisations about raising boys and girls.

Kerri Sackville Why Kerri Sackville thinks Elizabeth McFarlane's experience of raising her three boys can’t be applied to all boys .

Comments 8

How do you raise happy boys?


Elizabeth McFarlane Raising happy boys requires, "in no particular order, love, sticks, Sellotape, interesting stones, firm rules, snacks, outdoor space and judicious use of turning a blind eye," writes Elizabeth McFarlane.

Comments 4

When your son becomes your daughter

Isabelle riding her bike.

Letitia Rowlands When Naomi and Andrew became parents of a baby boy they imagined their child's future to be full of Lego, soccer games and other typical male pursuits. But as their son grew up, the reality was very different.

The brother I've never known

My brother is a stranger to me.

Patricia Tan Patricia Tan is disarmingly honest about the fraught relationship she has with her disabled brother.

Watch: Syrian 'hero boy' appears to brave sniper fire to rescue terrified girl in dramatic video

Screenshot of the footage showing a young boy rescuing a girl from under a car.

Josie Ensor Amateur video, which cannot be independently verified, appears to show a young boy braving sniper fire and pretending to be hit to rescue a terrified girl from under a car.


When it's hard to let kids grow up

Letting go can be as hard for kids as it is for parents.

Nova Weetman Encouraging independence in our kids can be as hard for them as it is for us.

Comments 1

When does a boy's voice change?


BETH WHITEHOUSE When is it normal for a boy's voice to change? The changing of a boy's voice is a variable process, but can be as early as age nine.

Siblings make boys selfless, study

Sibling relationships have a lasting effect on boys.

Livia Gamble A study from Brigham Young University found that strong sibling relationships make boys selfless.

A generation without chores

Don't discount the importance of chores ...

Richard Rende We want our kids to spend time doing things that promote their likelihood of success - personal, academic, and eventually professional - but we have gotten away from encouraging chores, which is a proven predictor of these outcomes.

8 girls that are changing the world

Malala Yousafzai

Gabe McGrath There are countless children around Australia and the globe who speak up on issues that matter to them - here are eight girls making a significant difference.


Changing lives of underprivileged girls starts with you

Group of One Girl scholars at Rochen Junction Primary School.

Rachel Clun This Saturday, October 11, is the International Day of the Girl Child. Here is what it is about and how you can help change the fate of girls living in poverty by wearing a dress.

Six tips for keeping social media safe for your kids

Reduce the online risks with these tips on keeping your kids safe on social media.

Kyli Singh Experts share their advice on how to keep your kids safe on social media sites.

At what age do kids first 'hook up'?

When do kids get their first kiss?

Kerri Sackville What is normal for kids when it comes to 'hooking up'? A Clinicial Psychologist specialising in adolescents answers our questions.

Comments 2

Girl fights school lip balm ban

School ban on ChapStick makes student's lips bleed.

Rachel Clun Grace Karaffa has suffered from chapped lips for years, and her American primary school won't let her use lip balm.

Encouraging independence: why I am preparing my daughters to be single women


Kasey Edwards I want my daughters to be empowered to choose to be in a relationship because they want to, not because they think they need to.


What my father showed me

How you live your life speaks more to your children than your words.

Dr Arne Rubinstein When it comes to raising children, actions really do speak volumes more than words.

Should music videos have age classifications?


Paul Chai Any parent that's watched the Anaconda film clip with a young person is going to nod their head.


Are scary stories all part of growing up?

Scary stories a rite of passage?

Jennifer Morton When my eight-year-old son came home from school with a dark tale, I felt concerned. With eyes as big as saucers he told the story of a little girl who stumbled upon a dead body in the woods. Nearby, lived Slenderman.


When your child struggles with perfectionism

Striving to be perfect.

Quirky Kid How a child’s desire to do their best can spiral into an all-encompassing, all-consuming strive for flawlessness.

How to talk to kids about suicide

Robin Williams

Kerri Sackville How does one explain suicide to a child? It is a concept that many adults do not understand and no parent wants their child to associate ‘being in pain’ with ‘choosing to die’.

Comments 1

The greatest challenge of mothering a daughter

What I never expected to learn about mothering daughters.

Kerri Sackville - Essential Kids Being a mother to two daughters isn't what I expected it to be when I longed for a chance to raise girls, writes Kerri Sackville.


Childhood obesity bringing on early puberty

Link between overweight children and early onset puberty.

Rachel Clun Scientists have discovered a new link between childhood obesity and early puberty.

What it's like to be an anxious parent


Sonja Ebbels ‘Is the front door locked?’ my eight-year-old son asked as I tucked him into bed. Several hours later his little sister was crawling into my side of the bed, tears staining her cheeks, as she complained of the monsters in her room.


Raising 'pleasers' is screwing up our girls


Anea Bogue A staggering 74 percent of girls between third and twelfth grade say they are under pressure to please everyone.


Five new puppy owners who can't contain their happy tears

Puppy love

Rachel Clun Getting a new pet can be very exciting, and for some children the excitement is just too much to handle.

Why I am joining the hairy legs club

A submission to the Hairy Legs Club Tumblr

Catherine Rodie Women around the globe have been proudly flaunting photos of their unshaven legs on social media this week and Catherine Rodie shares why she is one of them.

Comments 15

No shame in acting 'like a girl'

What does run

Lauren Greenfield They are three words that are used to suggest someone is useless, weak, and even laughable but 'like a girl' is being reclaimed and redefined thanks to Lauren Greenfield's short video.

Comments 3

A different shaped family after divorce

The bonds of family.

Danielle Colley One mother shares how divorce has changed the look of her family but it hasn't stopped them from continuing to be one.

Ad challenges insulting "like a girl" phrase in powerful video

What does run

Rachel Clun If you’ve ever used the phrase ‘like a girl’ as an insult, you might want to rethink what it actually means.

What happens when a girl hears she's pretty


Livia Gamble A new ad, created by Verizon and Makers, shows how social cues could be responsible for girls' lack of interest in science and math later in life.


When the world tries to change your eccentric child

Same same: Amy Gray and her 10-year-old daughter Aurora. Photo: Bonnie Savage

Amy Gray Being eccentric is nothing to be ashamed of, Amy Gray tells her daughter. But it's best to be prepared.


HelloFlo's new ad reminds us periods don't have glitter in them

Praying for her first visit from Aunty Flo.

Neha Prakash When they say fake it 'til you make it, they rarely mean your period. But that is exactly what happens in this new hilarious HelloFlo advertisement.

Kids who catch you lying by omission won't trust what you say


Amina Khan Studies have shown children are remarkable at being to tell when someone is lying but can they pick up on more subtle aspects of misinformation - such as when someone's telling only part of the truth, committing a "sin of omission"?


Why this young mum planned her own funeral


Alison Bradshaw Some question whether a funeral is a place for children but this mother was determined to make sure the laughter of children filled the air at her own funeral - which sadly came all too soon.

Is your Brazilian confusing your tween?

What are your intimate grooming habits saying to your daughter about her changing body?

Danielle Colley She is growing it for the first time and you are always waxing your own off. Is getting a Brazilian sending the wrong message to your pubescent daughter?

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Willow Smith, 13, pictured in bed with older man

Actress and singer 13-year-old Willow Smith is the daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith.

Kerri Sackville - Essential Kids Why this image of Will Smith's 13-year-old daughter Willow posing on a bed with a shirtless 20-year-old man is bad for young girls.

Children's level of happiness drops after they turn 11


Livia Gamble Data published as part of think tank New Philanthropy Capital’s (NPC) paper measures the wellbeing of school children aged 11 to 16 in the UK, showing a decline in happiness as they get older.


Why your daughter needs to know about her period

Don't keep your daughter in the dark about her periods.

Jennifer Morton Ladies, do you remember your first period? Was it a blessed event or a secretive one?


Raising a child dangerously

Maia at sunset on a calm day near New Caledonia. Courtesy of Diane Selkirk

Diane Selkirk My husband and I are raising a child while travelling aboard our 40-foot sailboat Ceilydh. The world has two types of responses to our parenting choice: "Lucky kid!" and "That's crazy!"

The funniest 'my child found my vibrator' story you'll EVER read

The one thing you never want your child to play with ...

Kerri Sackville - Essential Kids When her daughter was entertaining her youngest in the other room Kerri Sackville thought it was just another game, until she snuck in to eavesdrop and was left mortified.

Comments 9

Why I don't discuss my sex life with my kids

sex life

Rashida Tayabali How much should you divulge to your children about your sex life? Some parents are happy to tell more than most would be comfortable with, but Rashida Tayabali thinks it shouldn't be discussed at all.

Charlie Pickering on being bullied as a teen

Charlie Pickering

Fiona Scott-Norman "It could be very hard, and sometimes I had to lie to everyone to give off the air that I didn’t care."

Comments 1

Would you tell your kids you have an 'open' marriage?

“My daughter is very mature and open minded,” says Rach Wilson.

Catherine Rodie “Our relationship is different. Sometimes we have sex with other people, not just with each other.”

Comments 21

Have you forgotten what it's like to be young?


Andrew Daddo We promise never to forget what it's like to be young but despite our best efforts we do, that is until someone comes along and reminds us, writes Andrew Daddo.

Why having the sex talk with teens is so damn hard


Hannah Rosin The birds and bees talk is not fun for anybody.


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