Preschooler Development

Aussie photographer Donna Stevens captures the zombifying effect of TV on kids

Loren Smith Ever feel uneasy about the increasingly prominent role of your virtual babysitter, aka, the telly, on your kids' lives? Donna Stevens, an Australian-born, Brooklyn-based photographer does.

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UK's 'Blinging Up Baby' pageants not for Australians but this one could be

A scene from 60 Minutes interview with the mums of London's Baby Bling obsession.

Kerri Sackville Is there a place for children's beauty pageants in Australia? Here is Kerri Sackville's version of one she would gladly let her children participate in.

Advice for dealing with my child's separation anxiey

Clingy child: How to help them feel safe enough to let you go.

Meghan Leahy I have a very attached four-year-old who has a difficult time saying goodbye to me. She has a six-year-old big sister who feels neglected sometimes because the younger one demands so much attention from me specifically.

Should we teach our children to share? Or let them work it out themselves

To share or not to share: That is the question.

Rachael Sharman A new parenting trend focuses on parents dictating less and leaving children to behave in line with their "natural inclination".

Want a confident 10-year-old? Start early

Start early: To raise confident kids.

Tracy Cutchlow How can parents foster independence in younger kids? By learning to wait.

How I learned to embrace being 'the other mum'

The other mum: explaining to your son why he has two mums and no dads.

Adele Levine I was walking across the street to collect my 3-year-old son, Hanno, when I overheard a neighbour boy taunt him for not having a father. I'd always wondered how I was going to broach this subject with Hanno. Suddenly it was floating at me in singsong across the sidewalk: "You don't have a dad!"

Why some kids are more likely to be popular at school

Popular kids: Being sensitive to others' thoughts and feelings may improve their relationships with peers.

Livia Gamble Researchers examined 20 similar studies to determine what makes a child popular.

Do you make babies by screwing?

Birds and bees: The writer wasn't prepared for this question.

Catherine Rodie "Mummy," said my precocious preschooler, "do you make babies by screwing and hammering?"

When your child copies everyone else

Hero worship: Until a child is

Meghan Leahy How do we encourage our five-year-old to be himself when he just wants to be like everyone else?

Want to raise empathetic kids? Get them a dog

Emotional intelligence: pets can be invaluable at teaching kids empathy.

Denise Daniels Pets can be invaluable at teaching families, especially children, "emotional intelligence".

Getting over our fears - for our kids' sakes

Overcoming fears: You want your kids to be free of the fears that hold you back.

Brenda Janowitz These parties are always a huge challenge for me. It's not because of the smell and it's not because of the cleanliness of the pens. The reason why - and the thing I don't want my kids to know - is that I'm afraid of animals.

What it means to be a sister

Sisters: Friends come and go, but a sister is forever.

Jessica F. Hinton Even with all the right books and parenting tactics, my daughters are like magnets - drawn to and repulsed by each other at the same time.

When teaching your children new skills you need to let them fail

Frustrated: Learning involves failing.

Meghan Leahy If your child becomes angry or agitated when failing at trying new things, it might have more to do with your response than theirs.

Should you worry about your child's imaginary friend?

Imagination: Make believe friends are good for kids.

John Rosemond I've been asked many times by mothers if they should worry that their preschoolers have imaginary friends.

You'll always be my first

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Amy Wruble A heartfelt open letter from a mother to her firstborn daughter as she is about to become a big sister.

Common myths about speech problems in children

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Elise Baker One in four parents of Australian children are concerned about their 4- to 5-year-old child’s speech but two-thirds of these parents don’t act on their concern.

Are your parents mean to your kids?

Mean grandparents: How to manage the bullying.

Dr Erin Bowe Some parents find themselves trying to protect their children from the very people who are supposed to dote on them.

When a parent should be concerned about their child's imaginary friend

Imaginary friendships: When should you be concerned?

Livia Gamble Having an imaginary friend is normal for kids but at the same time it can be creepy for parents.

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Explaining to my children why they’ll never meet their grandparents

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Patricia Tan Since he was a baby, I’d fretted over this very moment when he’d start asking about the grandparents he will never meet.

Single mothers warned if dating convicted sex offender under new laws

Victorian police given new powers to warn unsuspecting single mothers that their child may be at risk.

Jo Hartley New laws being introduced by Victorian police will mean that child sex offenders are going to be scrutinised like never before.

Dad, Am I Pretty?

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John Kinnear What would you say if your daughter asked you if she was pretty and what pretty actually means? This is one dad's brilliant answer.

Katrina Dawson's daughter leaves heartbreaking note at Martin Place

A letter from Sasha to her mother Katrina Dawson.

Melanie Kembrey Thousands of public tributes have been placed in Martin Place for the victims of the Sydney siege, but none of them are as personal or heartbreaking as this one.

Punishing children will only make them lie more, study

Punishment does not promote truth-telling.

Livia Gamble A new study found children are less likely to tell the truth if they fear they will be punished.

OPINION

Should Santa's lap should be off limits?

Who would have thought Santa's lap would be so controversial?

Jo Hartley Has the world gone mad? Apparently the act of sitting on Santa's lap is now deemed inappropriate.

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The magic of Christmas is good for children

Keeping the Christmas magic alive for kids ...

Catherine Rodie If you're struggling with the Santa-to-tell-or-not-to-tell dilemma then you might take comfort in the results of a new study that has found believing in Santa might actually be good for children.

The problem with telling your kids they're 'special'

Special: Some parents

Eddie Brummelman It is natural for parents to value their child - and feeling valued is key to children's well-being; but some parents "overvalue" their child, believing their child is more special and more entitled than others.

When your children become obsessed with death

Honesty the best approach?

Catherine Rodie Despite it being one of life’s unquestionable certainties, death can still be a bit of a tricky subject for kids to understand and parents to explain.

When your daughter just wants to be a princess

Why I am okay with my daughter wanting to dress like a princess.

Lisa Pryor My five-year-old daughter favours a look that could be called Highly Flammable High Femme.

Tiny moments of connection with kids matter

Small moments matter to kids.

Maggie Dent Do you often feel guilty over the amount of time you don't spend with your kids? Here is why you shouldn't underestimate the power of tiny moments of connection.

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My kid is scared of Halloween

Halloween too spooky?

Amy Joyce Here are five tips to help ease your child into Halloween if you find they are a little bit sensitive to the scarier aspects of the celebrations.

Why I want my son, and all boys, to play with dolls

Boys and dolls ... more important than you think.

Peter Morris Within a few minutes, we were verbally accosted by a mum who was taking her two small children from the car to her house. How old was our son, she demanded. Why was he pushing a stroller?

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What my son taught me about love

What my son taught me about love.

Zsofia McMullin How freely do you express your feelings with the ones you love? One mother shares what her son has taught her about the power of saying "I love you".

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Why I don't call my daughter 'Princess'

Princess

Christopher Scanlon When a pet name says so much more than tiara, big hair and sparkly dress.

Children resisting routines

Has your child turned every day into a battle?

Meghan Leahy Do you feel like you are being held hostage by your child's constant need to make the smallest of tasks a test of your patience?

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Things my kids are better at than me

When you kids can do things you can't.

Megan Blandford Part of the joy of being a parent is watching your children learn new things but when their skills quickly outnumber your own the best thing you can do is embrace it.

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Emotional big sister wants baby brother to stay just the way he is

Sadie wants to have a

Katie Carlin Five-year-old Sadie doesn’t want her adorable baby brother to grow up. So much so, that she is reduced to tears when her parents break the news to her that he won't be this small forever.

How to talk to kids about same sex relationships

When your child's friend has two mums.

Catherine Rodie "Why doesn't A have a Daddy?" asked G, my 4-year-old daughter on the way home from the park. She had spent the morning playing with her dear friend whom she has known since birth.

The dangers of US style child beauty pageants

The dangers of beauty pageants.

Catherine Rodie US child beauty pageant company, Universal Royalty is returning to Australia next month but parents are fronting a vigorous charge to stop the pageant from taking place.

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How reading this book could save your child's eyesight

The 'Penny The Pirate' book and props is being provided free for parents by OPSM.

Letitia Rowlands Not only will Penny the Pirate keep the family entertained and encourage a love of of literature, she might even help your children's eyesight.

When testosterone kicks in for young boys

Have you noticed some rather loud changes in your son?

Jo Hartley If your sweet son has suddenly become a super energised little monster, chances are that you have just entered the tornado that is their first major hit of testosterone.

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Could fairy tales be harming our kids?

Are fairy tales good for kids?

Catherine Rodie Controversial biologist Richard Dawkins claims that fairy tales could be causing our children more harm than we think but should we heed his warning?

What's wrong with the word vagina?

Why does the word 'vagina' make us uncomfortable?

Jennifer Morton By giving pet names to our kids' genitals, are we setting them up for a lifetime of sexual embarrassment?

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When your child has a favourite parent

How do you handle it when your child has a favourite parent?

Jo Hartley Are you your child's favourite parent or is it your partner? It is more common than you might think and even though it can be hurtful the experts have some advice on how to handle it.

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Should kids attend funerals?

Are funerals good for kids?

Rebecca Martin After her father's sudden death, Rebecca Martin was forced to decide whether her children should attend their grandfather's funeral.

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How to help kids remember their earliest years later in life

Helping kids hold onto fading memories.

Lakshmi Singh Remembering events from early in a child’s life is limited after the age of seven, with most of them experiencing childhood amnesia – or the inability to recall those memories from the earliest years of their lives.

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When your child is "gender creative"

Why you shouldn't be worried about 'gender non-conforming' behaviour.

Catherine Rodie Lilly Thomson* was just three and a half years old when she first told her mother that she wanted to be a boy.

Gardening guru creates nature's playground

Mount Clear Kinder's garden designed by Wes Flemming.

Letitia Rowlands Wes Fleming made his name creating beautiful gardens, now he is using his expertise to design inspiring natural playgrounds.

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Sheryl Sandberg, Beyonce and Mobama want to ban the word 'bossy'

Bossy

Why using the word 'bossy' to describe young assertive girls is robbing them of their future leaderships skills and what these celebs are doing about it.

Parent-free nights beneficial for kids too

Benefits that come with the babysitter.

Lilani Goonesena Parents know they need a night off together from time to time but surprisingly it is also beneficial for kids to get some parent-free time too.

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25 things little girls wish daddies knew

What little girls want their daddies to know ...

Tara Hedman To all the daddies with little girls who aren't old enough yet to ask for what they need from you, here is what we wish you knew.

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How older children interact with their siblings impacts development

Being a good big sister or brother is more important than you might think.

In large families, young kids can't always get a lot of individual attention from parents - but healthy interactions with an older sibling might help compensate for that, a new study suggests.

When do your children need you most?

05 Jul 2012, Berlin, Germany --- portrait of a mother and her teenage daughter relaxing in a red boat --- Image by ? Silke Woweries/Corbis

Lucinda Schmidt Is it more important to be around your children when they are toddlers or as they grow into teenagers?

Prisoners' children are 'forgotten victims'

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Fleta Page Experts are calling for children of prisoners to be acknowledged in the criminal justice process.

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Why it matters that Angelina Jolie's white child plays with black dolls

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Keli Goff Angelina Jolie is known for her unconventional family, which includes three biological children with longtime partner Brad Pitt and adopted children from Cambodia, Ethiopia and Vietnam.

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Top 10 songs you won't mind your preschooler singing

Thank you Katy Perry!

Amber Robinson There are very few songs on the radio today that you would be happy to have your preschooler sing along to but there are a few exceptions, writes Amber Robinson.

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Boys not immune to body image concerns

Body image isn't only an issue for girls ...

Josefa Pete As a mother of two boys Josefa Pete is aware of some of the parenting challenges that lie ahead but she always thought she would be immune to this one until her four-year-old son asked her this question.

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She's selling it ... but she's four

Fashion Kids

Julia Teen Fashion Kids is the latest Instagram craze dedicated to showcasing the fashion looks of children that’s clocked up 1.3 million followers already. But should parents be posting?

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Can Love Be Taught?

Teaching children that love is more than infatuation ...

Nicole Thomson-Pride Throughout childhood, fairy tales and songs about love set children up to think it is easy, but what can parents do to help their children grow up with a balanced and realistic view of love?

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When body image concerns start early

When worries about looks start young ...

Michaela Fox Recently, I gave chocolate biscuits to my three young daughters for their afternoon tea. This would normally be greeted with joyful smiles, but on this occasion, my four-year-old’s lips trembled and she dissolved into tears.

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What my daughter taught me about body image

Body image

Kasey Edwards Things we can all learn by observing a four-year-old child.

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