Your child is not a vessel to filled by facts...

I loved the phrase from the book I read this week (The Montessori Toddler by Simone Davies), “Don’s see your child as a vessel to be filled with facts. The child genuinely loves learning, making discoveries for themselves, and coming up with creative solutions.”

This week I went to see Olafur Eliiason exhibition at Tate Modern and it was just the right place to inspire parents and children to be curious and enjoy learning.

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Do you know how to flex: new skill to learn and to teach our children

Flex: the modern woman’s handbook by Annie Auerbach has resonated with me as a woman, as a parent, as an entrepreneur and a business-owner.

Being flexible is becoming one of the most important skills as technology, science advances and gender expectations unlock opportunities and put new challenges in front of us at home and at work. Annie explores in her book how to reach flexibility of mind, work, home, body and your future.

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Teaching empathy to our children

Having two children on my own,  I often wonder what the future is going to look like when they are adults.  Environmental crises, artificial intelligence spinning out of control and increasing social inequality are few worries on my mind. It maybe not an obvious link, but one of the skills I want to give my children is to teach them empathy.

Empathy is more than just the ability to understand another person’s feelings or experiences from their perspective. It is also an ability to share your own feelings as well as externalize empathy in the form of action, i.e., helping others in some way.

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Reading poems with children

I love reading aloud to my children (8 and 10 yrs old) as it is our special time to bond over a funny or a sad story, discussing things and just to wind down after a busy day. Recently, we have ventured into reading and discussing poems together.

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How to keep the marriage strong after becoming parents

As tomorrow is St Valentine’s, I wanted to talk about the marriage and love. It is not a secret that couple’s relationship changes after a child is born. What can we do to keep the marriage strong?

 I spoke to Rivka Mennesson ( MBacp, MA, PGDip), an experienced psycho-dynamic psychotherapist with 10 years experience both in private and public sectors. You can listen to her top 5 tips on how to keep relationship between husband and wife healthy after the child is born in the video below as well as learn about 7 principles for a happy marriage given by John Gottman.

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How to keep safe while skiing

As skiing holidays are in full-swing and some of you are planning to take a family holiday during the upcoming February half-term break, I wanted to look at how to stay safe while skiing. Also listen to top three tips from on what to do if jnuried from Mr Luke Jones , orthopaedic knee surgeon who works  both for NHS at Chelsea & Westminster hospital as well as privately at Grosvenor Orthopaedic Partners, the Lister Hospital, Chelsea Bridge Road.

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Anya Abdulakh3 House Club
Why passing the tradition of real food to our children is important?

Our generation has been bombarded by fake food for long enough that we have stopped questioning what we see in the supermarkets or restaurants. So I am on a quest to educate myself and my children about the food to increase their chances to stay healthy. I am trying as much as possible to buy seasonal, organic and locally produced food (thanks to well spread home delivery services from farmers as well as farmers markets). But more importantly, I am trying to learn from farmers, nutritionist and food makers as much as I can.

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Anya Abdulakh3 House Club
What makes us happy and how to raise happy children?

The eternal question is what makes us happy and what makes our children to grow into happy adults.

I signed up for a talk with Paul Dolan, professor of Behavioural Science at LSE who will present his new book How to Escape the Myth of the Perfect Life: To prepare for the talk, I read Dolan’s previous bestseller, Happiness by Design: Finding Pleasure and Purpose in Everyday Life, which gives an interesting view: happiness is an intricate balance between immediate pleasure and life meaningfulness. So, the life is less about trading off happiness now for happiness later (and vice versa) and more about trading off pleasure and purpose at different rates at different times. How we can turn these observations into practical advice for parent? I would say:

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Changing admission process into London girls’ schools

The British Education system is defined by it’s diversity and complexities – day, boarding, single sex, co-educational, 4+, 7+, 8+, 11+ and 13+ entry…. Numerous options have one unique feature that characterises them all - challenging admissions processes.

Many recognise such potentially harmful pressure on children is not sustainable and thus welcomed the well documented decision last year by the North London Girls Consortium (which is made up of twelve independent day schools see the list here) to replace their current 11+ admission process quoting: “There will be no further written assessments at our Schools, and we will develop the creativity of our interview processes.”

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Nature vs Nurture: does parenting matter?

Last week I attended a debate between Robert Plomin, author of Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are and Ann Pleshette Murphy, author of The Secret of Play: How to Raise Smart, Healthy, Caring Kids from Birth to Age 12 organised by Intelligence Squared.

It was an evening of revisiting the old questions: how much does parenting matter; should we relax and not put too much pressure on ourselves as children are individuals born with their own blueprint and to what degree can we change the outcome?

Read the story of Gavin, a local father of a 16 years old son to see how parenting can make the difference.

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What you have to know about mental health, social media and drugs if you have a daughter.

With the current budget, UK Government announced special £2bn funding to boost mental health support (here). Last blog, I talked about introducing meditation to the children from young age to manage their stress (here). This time, I wanted to look, is there a difference on how to raise a mentally healthy daughter versus raising emotionally healthy son?

The gender differences diminish with the age and there are always atypical girls and boys. But there are studies to show that the girls are more at risk: more than two-thirds of antidepressants prescribed to teenagers are for girls (see details here).

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