Play outside and sing together: what living in Denmark taught me about raising ‘Viking’ children

I knew I was in trouble the day my pre-schooler came home smelling of woodsmoke and told me he’d been practising “knife skills”. When his twin siblings requested a saw for their second birthday, I realised I’d crossed the Rubicon: I’d become an accidental mother of Vikings. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I relocated from London to Denmark, carefree and childless, but despite planning on staying just a year I’m still here a decade and three children later. So I have skin in the Viking game. And Nordic children do things differently.


Can I take my child out of school to go on a holiday?

As the school term stretches on, many parents might be tempted to take their children out of school. Perhaps they want to beat the crowds at the snow or enjoy off-season prices at the coast. Maybe they just need a break.

As parents, we have certainly experienced this dilemma.

But what are the rules around taking your child out of school in term time? And is it a good idea?


Behind every child sex abuse image, there is a real child

The floor creaked as the footsteps came closer and closer to my bedroom. My heart pounded as I anticipated the inevitable. The sound of the turning door knob made me anxious and short of breath. As the bedroom door opened, light from the hallway partially lit the room, exposing the silhouette of my grandfather.

It was the 1950s, and after my father abandoned the family leaving us unable to pay our rent, my mother, sister and I moved in with our grandparents.


How parents can help kids overcome five common friendship hurdles

The eighth grade girl told psychologist Ryan DeLapp that a friend only interacted with her when she wanted help with an assignment.

“This person would sit next to her in class but wouldn’t sit with her at lunch,” said DeLapp, director of the REACH program at the Ross Center in New York City. “She felt used, but it took several months for her to create distance because she worried that the girl would call her mean.”


Teaching children how to navigate conflict

My preschool-age twin boys and I were wearing masks recently as we exited a beach-access stairway. One of my sons asked a stranger walking ahead of us: “Why aren’t you wearing a mask? You’re going to make us sick!”

On our way to the car, a couple, who weren’t wearing masks, gawked at us and made comments to each other. I quickened my pace and ushered the kids into the car.


How parents can help a child with post-traumatic stress disorder

When most people think of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) they likely picture an adult who has been in combat, a serious accident or experienced violence. Children can also have PTSD either from experiencing trauma directly or witnessing it.


7 Signs You've Raised A Spoiled Child (And What To Do About It)

You’re standing in the checkout line at the store when your son grabs a “Frozen 2” stuffed animal. “Mommy, can I get this Olaf doll? I really, really want it!”

When you tell him no, he yells “I hate you!” loud enough for everyone to hear before launching into one of his regular fits: kicking, screaming, crying. People are glaring at you, and you know what’s going through their minds: “Wow, what a spoiled brat.”


Don’t Believe in God? Lie to Your Children

As a therapist, I’m often asked to explain why depression and anxiety are so common among children and adolescents. One of the most important explanations—and perhaps the most neglected—is declining interest in religion. This cultural shift already has proved disastrous for millions of vulnerable young people.


Does homework help primary school children or is it unnecessary stress?

t’s Sunday night and it's chaos. Your youngest forgot to mention their spelling test on Tuesday. Your eldest hasn’t finished their report on the Second World War — and it’s due tomorrow.

As you enter a screaming match and then attempt to scramble something together, you can’t help but wonder: is homework really worth it?


Protecting children is key to sustainability

On Sept. 24-25, world leaders attended a United Nations summit in New York to review progress toward the U.N.’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This was the first U.N. summit on the SDGs since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in September 2015. Since then, we have collectively made progress toward a more peaceful, safer, healthier and more prosperous world. Sadly, however, we are currently on track to miss most of the SDGs and targets related to children - without which the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda can remain only a distant dream.