Preschool

Sesame Street powerful for learning video

Sesame Street researchers aggressively test their shows via focus groups to see what works.

Sesame Street has delivered lasting educational benefits to millions of children, a new study finds.

The trials of being a repetitive mum

Do you often find that repeating yourself?

Much of parenting is trial and error. There are the odd days when things go according to plan, and then there are other days.

Toy maker creates toys to resemble kids with disabilities

Makies: Customising realistic dolls for children.

A doll maker has created a line of dolls to represent children with disabilities.

Why I hate play dates

The thought of keeping more than two small people entertained for longer than it takes to watch The Muppets Take Manhattan fills me with panic.

Play dates do my head in. Oh, to be one of those mothers who can calmly deal with a house full of other people's children.

Watch this obnoxious bully burn

CiCi

This awesome girl's feeling the spirit of #InternationalWomensDay.

'Sesame Street' parodies 'House of Cards'

House of Bricks: 'Sesame Street' parodies popular TV show.

Titled 'House of Bricks', the parody is loosely modelled around the 'Three Little Pigs' nursery rhyme – with one twist.

Best friends forever

BFF'S: Miss L and MIss K have formed a tight bond

Miss K has heaps of friends but there can be only one best friend. She met Miss L at kindy last year and they’ve been thick as thieves ever since.

Five signs your child has head lice

The signs of a head lice infestation may not be as obvious as you think.

When you're pressured to use daycare

I never thought I’d have to defend my choice not to send my kids to daycare.

Best age to start toilet training

TOILET TRAINING: Rushing your child out of their nappies before they are ready could backfire.

It is a decision that can be fraught with worry, and, like nappies, there is no 'one size fits all'.

Losing a favourite bear

FAVOURITE FRIEND: The thought of losing a child's favourite soft toy is enough to fill any parent's heart with fear.

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naive when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

When your child starts swearing

SWEARING KIDS: How hard do you crack down on your children for bad language?

I vaguely remember my son's first crawl, his first steps, and the first time he said "mama." But I really remember the first time he swore.

When your child is obsessed with death

WHAT'S IT MEAN? It can take a while for the concept of death to sink in for kids.

It's one of life’s unquestionable certainties, but death is a tricky subject for kids to understand and parents to explain.

Lessons from my preschooler

LITTLE TEACHERS: Sometimes looking at the world through your child's eyes can teach you a thing or two.

Have you found that your child is teaching you as about life as you are teaching them?

When your child prefers one parent

PLAYING FAVOURITES: It's pretty common for kids to show a preference for one parent over the other - and it's also common for that preference to flip back and forwards over the years.

It's common for toddlers to show a preference for either parent, and it will pass. Here are some ways to deal with it in the meantime.

When you're not the favourite

PLAYING FAVOURITES: Deep down I know that one day I'll be the one he needs.

It's very obvious who my son favours (hint: not me) and to get him to say kind words to me or show me affection in any way is rather like pulling teeth.

Jealous of baby sister

NOT WELCOME: Having a crying baby intrude on her life is likely to cause a preschooler to act up - at least until she gets used to it.

We have a 4-year-old and a 3-month-old. The 4-year-old is throwing major tantrums - hitting us and throwing things. What do we do?

The power of effective praise

MINDFUL PRAISE: Rather than evaluating the result of the work, effective praise is about drawing attention to what, and how, it was done.

Could you stuff up your kids by heaping them with too much praise?

Lying a 'sign of healthy development'

LIE, LIES, AND MORE LIES: Your child will lie at some point.

Lying is a sign of healthy development and has even been deemed an indicator of intelligence but punishing children will only make them lie more, study finds.

Resisting routines

ROUTINE HORRORS: Routine issues are a hot topic as children get older and begin to assert their independence.

Our morning/dinner/bedtime is a hot mess of horrors.

Five tough questions

BE PREPARED: Your kids are going to ask you all sorts of tricky questions, be ready to answer them.

Just when you think you've got this whole parenting thing sorted, your children will lob a question from out of nowhere that will stump you.

Don't tell girls they're beautiful

BEAUTY BLUES: Are you setting your child up for issues later in life by telling them they're beautiful when they're little?

We might think we're building our daughters up by calling them beautiful, but we're also bringing the beauty pressure home to our littlest girls.

When imaginary friends turn creepy

LITTLE FRIENDS: Not all friends are created equal.

I made the mistake once of asking what he looks like. My son said 'Oh, he doesn't have a face.'

Picture books hurt reading

Richard Tregear helps out a client, Tahlia Kotiau with educational books. The books are available for loan to people who are living in poverty or disadvantaged.

Teaching children to read using traditional picture books could set them up for dyslexia in later life.

Why I breastfed my 3-year-old

BREASTFEEDING: While most people are happy to see a mum feeding a baby, the reactions get more negative as your child ages.

I didn't set out to be a marathon breastfeeder. In fact, when I first found out I was pregnant, I was ambivalent about breastfeeding

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