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Our Favourite 'Favourites' of 2014

To ring in the New Year, we've rounded up the Top Ten Favourites Articles of 2014 - if one of these was your favourite, why not share it with friends and family?


2014 was a year filled with informative articles covering a range of topics from combating sibling rivalry to understanding the new curriculum.

If there's a subject you'd like us to cover in Our Favourites in 2015, please email [email protected] with your suggestions. We're always looking for new and exciting topics!

Your Top Ten of 2014

1) Juggling Priorities

Juggling PrioritiesWhen you become a parent it can often feel like you're being pulled in too many directions at once, but it doesn't have to be that way! When you discover what's really important to you, it's possible to find balance.

As parents, we face seemingly endless 'to-do' lists and competing priorities, but what if you could actually ditch some of the things on the list? The good news is that - in the majority of cases - you can. You just need to take a step back and examine your priorities and goals, then consider what really needs doing.

Read: Our Favourite Ways to Juggle Priorities as Parents

2) Understanding the Curriculum

Understanding the CurriculumThe new national curriculum will be statutory in your child's primary school this autumn. The national curriculum contains all of the content and attainment targets for the main subjects taught in English primary schools (Scotland and Wales have their own curriculums).

We asked the experts at Pearson to share their tips on understanding the changes.

Read: Our Favourite Tips on Understanding the New Curriculum

3) Setting Boundaries for Teens

Setting Boundaries for TeenagersWe live in a world of boundaries and structure. Without these, there would be chaos. Teenagers recognise rules and boundaries at school and the consequences when these rules are broken.

We asked Barbara Whiting-Smith, a Parent Support Adviser, to offer some advice to parents on how to set effective boundaries with their teenagers.

Read: Our Favourite Ways to Set Boundaries for Teenagers

4) Ways to Help a Shy Child

Helping a Shy ChildHelping a shy child out of their shell is a sensitive matter that parents may find difficult to address. These tips help you approach the issue without making your child feel self-conscious.

Some children jump into social situations with both feet; their personalities shine through and they love being in the company of others. Other children are less comfortable, tending to be apprehensive and awkward when they are around new people or in new situations.

Read: Our Favourite Ways to Help a Shy Child

5) Combating Sibling Rivalry

Combating Sibling RivalryGenerally, siblings love each other, but they also love to hate each other.  Whether they squabble about who borrowed the other's toys or who is going to sit beside you in the car, it's important to remember that competition isn't always bad, but you need to know when to draw the line.

We know it's hard to treat every child exactly the same in every situation, but how parents handle the initial displays of sibling rivalry can have a massive impact on how harmonious your household becomes.

Read: Our Favourite Ways to Combat Sibling Rivalry

6) Newborn Essentials

Newborn EssentialsShopping for baby means knowing yourself, the space you have and keeping an eye open for bargains! Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to separate the "essentials" for newborns from the "luxuries", how to spot the items you simply can't live without and how to avoid spending hundreds of pounds on non-essential items.

With these thoughts in mind, we thought we'd turn to the experts at The Baby Show for a list of ten essential items for newborns.

Read: Our Favourite Essential Items for Newborn Babies

7) White Lies We Tell Children

White Lies We Tell KidsWe often use white lies to create a sense of mystery or to get children to do something good for them that they'd usually refuse to do!

Regardless of your intentions as a parent, there will be times you tell a while lie or two. Whether you bend the truth a little to get your children to do something, or to get out of doing something yourself, we've all done it occasionally.

Read: Our Favourite White Lies We Tell Children

8) Grandparent Care

Grandparent CareSince the cost of childcare is rising, many families are looking towards Grandparent care as a way to save money. Recent research by the Telegraph states that the over 65's are saving families in the UK around £11bn on childcare.

We're seeing a rise in the number of families that are turning to grandparents for some or all of their childcare needs.

This advice will help you keep a smooth relationship with your Granny or Grampy Nanny.

Read: Our Favourite Tips on How to Make Grandparent Care Work

9) Breastfeeding Myths

Breastfeeding MythsWe know that breastfeeding can be a controversial topic. Breast or bottle, public or private - something so simple and natural leaves a large part of the population divided. Choosing to breastfeed, or not, is up to you. It doesn't make you a better or worse mother either way - but we know there is a lot of false information out there about breastfeeding.

We teamed up with Cathy - a mother of two, training to be a breastfeeding peer supporter - to comment on a few common breastfeeding myths.

Read: Our Favourite Breastfeeding Myths Set Straight

10) Encouraging Children to Read

Encouraging Kids to Read

Reading is an essential skill we learn as children that we develop right into adulthood. Even after your children have learned to read by themselves, it's still important to read with them and encourage their curiosity in books.

As your children grow and develop, by choosing books and stories that are at their interest level, you can motivate them to improve their reading skills whilst helping to stretch their imagination and understanding.

Read: Our Favourite Ways to Encourage Children to Read

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