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Parents often share many of the same challenges when raising their child. First Five Years gives parents the expert advice, insights, support and tools they need to make the most of the first years of their child’s life.

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Girl standing in park eating ice cream that is melting.

Should parents use rewards and praise?

Praise and reward make sense when you need your child's cooperation. Or do they? Parenting author Alfie Kohn describes it as a form of 'sugar-coated control' and warns against dangling incentives in front of children. So if not rewards, what is the answer?

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Snapshot of Australian Families

Emotions

Parent’s emotions are quite a contrast. The two words parents felt best described family life over the previous three months were happy 49% (↓ from 54%) and stressed 39% (↑ from 36%).

Meals

31.8% of families only eat breakfast together on weekends. However 11% (↓ from 12%) of families never eat breakfast together.

Family Time

48% (↓ from 53%) of parents believe they spend less time with their children than their parents spent with them.

Expenses

39% (↓ from 40%) of parents have struggled to meet essential expenses like food, mortgage/rent, utility bills, child care or important medical care over the past 12 months.

Profile view of girl listening to her mother
Instead of seeing your child’s resistance as them being a bad kid see in their resistance that something deeper is going on and take the time to talk about it with your child to understand the actual problem.
Dr Becky Kennedy

Listening: How to get your child to listen

Getting your children to listen and do as they are told can seem like an impossible parenting task. Dr Becky Kennedy suggests that the best way to understand why children don’t cooperate is to understand why we, at times, don’t cooperate or comply.

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Father playing with his baby boy

Family Man: Involving dads in parenting

Having both parents involved in parenting programs leads to better outcomes for children and parents. Men’s mental charity Movember is supporting dads with the world’s first online parenting program aimed at increasing the participation of fathers.

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Girl enjoying painting

Why children’s mindset matters

The beliefs children hold about their own intelligence, talents and abilities are formed early. By understanding how to work with mindsets, parents play a role in helping children develop beliefs that support them through their early years and beyond.

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Children eating, tasting pizza in kitchen

The complex problem of childhood obesity

There’s more to addressing childhood obesity than taking away sweets and having children do laps of the oval. A report highlights the growing problem of childhood obesity in Australia, where one in four children and adolescents are overweight or obese.

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A young mother talking to her sad toddler son

How to respond to negative self-talk

Preschoolers may experience anxiety when stepping into unfamiliar environments and this can manifest into negative self-talk. Professor Adam Guastella says this is normal and a common response to facing challenges. He looks at how parents can help.

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Litte girl playing at being a carpenter

Supporting toddlers’ pretend play

While it is easy to overlook the importance of make believe play, the ability to pretend is a cornerstone of children’s cognitive development. Professor of Early Childhood Sheila Degotardi looks at why it is important and how we can encourage it.

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Diverse children enjoying playing with toys

How to celebrate diversity with children

Tall/short, fat/thin, old/young, shy/outgoing, brown/white – there are so many important ways we want our children to embrace difference. But as parents, how do we start? Dr Red Ruby Scarlet shares her methods for teaching children about inclusion.

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Sing, Read, Repeat

Your child enjoys listening to his/her favourite stories and songs over and over again. After singing or telling stories with your child, ask him/her if he/she wants more. How does he/she respond? Does he/she nod or squirm away? Talk about his/her actions like, “You said yes!” or “You look like you’re all done.”

Children learn through repetition and shared back and forth conversations. Repeated storytelling and singing helps your child understand the meaning behind words and sets the stage for talking and eventually reading. He/She is learning the basics of communication!

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Vroom uses the science of early learning to help your child thrive with bite-sized activities that support brain growth.