LATEST ARTICLES

From my Irish Independent Column

I’m worried about my 11-year-old son needing a circumcision

I’m worried about my 11-year-old son needing a circumcision

I just brought my 11-year-old son to the GP because he can't pull his foreskin back. The GP has recommended that he have a circumcision and now I am worried that it will badly affect my son. What if he freaks out or if it causes some kind of sexual hang-ups later?...

My 15-year-old is so ungrateful

My 15-year-old is so ungrateful

My daughter who is 15 is just so ungrateful. We bent over backwards for her during the Christmas holidays, with lovely gifts, facilitating her meeting her friends and so on. She just doesn't appreciate it. We never get anything back, not help around the house, not...

My daughter is noticing that her grandparents never visit us

My daughter is noticing that her grandparents never visit us

My in-laws very much favour one set of grandchildren. It is starting to impact on my children as they have started to notice. My oldest is nine and she often asks why they go to the other house all the time now and never visit us. What is the correct approach when my...

I worry my teenage daughter is going off the rails entirely

I worry my teenage daughter is going off the rails entirely

I'm desperately worried about my 15-year-old daughter. I'm sure she has started drinking alcohol, with her friends, although she won't admit it. I also worry that she has been sexually active with a boy. We don't allow her to have a boyfriend because she is too young,...

My four-year-old wakes up screaming in the night

My four-year-old wakes up screaming in the night

My four-year-old daughter is having these nightmares where she'll be screaming or crying in her sleep and even when we go in to comfort her, she doesn't seem to recognise us and we can't seem to calm her down. She never remembers the dreams in the morning. We are very...

We are thinking of getting rid of our family TV

We are thinking of getting rid of our family TV

We are thinking about getting rid of the TV as our New Year's resolution. We haven't spoken about it with the kids (aged eight, five and three) and I'm not sure how to broach it with them. Should we go cold turkey or will we phase it out? My husband thinks we should...

I worry that my sensitive son won’t cope in secondary school

I worry that my sensitive son won’t cope in secondary school

I have an 11-year-old son who is very immature and over-sensitive for his age. If something doesn't go his way, he breaks down in tears. He'll do this anywhere, even in school, in front of his friends. I'm amazed they don't tease him about it. He is the eldest of four...

My 12-year-old son refuses to go into school most days

My 12-year-old son refuses to go into school most days

My 12-year-old son is in first year in secondary school. He has become highly anxious over the last few months and is now refusing to go into school most days and when he does go, I always get a text by lunchtime demanding that I come and pick him up. He is a bright...

This will be my first Christmas Day without my children

This will be my first Christmas Day without my children

My wife and I have separated since the summer and this is the first Christmas that my children won't be with me on Christmas Day. I'm devastated. The youngest is just seven and she was crying when I told her I won't be there for dinner but her mum is determined and...

I worry that my seven-year-old never seems to accept praise

I worry that my seven-year-old never seems to accept praise

I worry about my eldest boy, age seven. He hates getting praise and doesn't like to be centre of attention. He hid an award from school about being pupil of the week in his class. Anytime I look up lack of confidence in children it's always that they've been given out...

My 15-year-old seems to be heading down a bad path

My 15-year-old seems to be heading down a bad path

I've just got back from my son's parent-teacher meeting. He's in third year and we'd been happily believing that he was getting on great, but it turns out he isn't handing up homework, often sits day-dreaming in class and his teachers have little confidence in him...

How do I help my son to build resilience for competitive rugby?

How do I help my son to build resilience for competitive rugby?

My son is 14 and is part of a rugby development squad. This is his fourth year on the squad. In his first match this season he played very well and was told this. My son was delighted with this feedback and his confidence was high. Since this first game, however, he...

My nine-year-old son is giddy in school

My nine-year-old son is giddy in school

My son is nine and in third class. He is constantly in trouble in school, for being distractable, giddy and not being able to sit still. To be honest, he has always acted a bit like the class clown and I think sometimes it is almost habit for him to mess. Most...

My teenage daughter is upset that her dad is remarrying

My teenage daughter is upset that her dad is remarrying

My ex-husband is getting remarried next summer, and he announced it to our children last week. They are aged 11 and 14. The 11-year-old seems to have taken it in his stride, but his older sister is devastated. She is already saying she won't go to the wedding, but I...

How can I get my 10-year-old daughter back to her own bed?

How can I get my 10-year-old daughter back to her own bed?

My 10-year-old daughter has started sleeping with me in my bed for the last two months or so and will not sleep in her own bed. My husband is often away and I go to bed relatively early. She can be anxious sometimes (like in lifts), but is mostly happy-go-lucky. She...

My son has been dumped by a friend and I’m upset

My son has been dumped by a friend and I’m upset

My son is eight and has had, all last school year and summer, a lovely friendship with another boy in his class that seemed really genuine. Since starting back to school in September, however, my son's friend seems to favour playing in a big group of other boys he...

My 5-year-old can’t make friends

My 5-year-old can’t make friends

My five-year-old daughter is finding it hard to interact with kids in school. She is an only child, very outgoing when it comes to me and her mother, her cousins, slightly older friends that "look after" her but she has recently confided in her mum that she doesn't...

My 10-year-old won’t cope with his new teacher

My 10-year-old won’t cope with his new teacher

My son has been really lucky with his teachers up to now. The teacher that we believe he will have in fourth class, however, cannot handle stress, shouts a lot and is very critical of the kids if their work isn't perfect. All the parents know she is a nightmare, but...