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Children’s Media Forum

It was an honour to speak at the Children’s Media Forum and to talk about how my picture books, Jo-Jo and Gran-Gran, are being developed into a BBC children’s TV show.

 


Symbolic item for every child

I watched with emotion this clip from BBC Family & Education on Facebook.

In brief, six-year-old Bodhi, who is autistic, showed delight every time he walked past the large cuddly gorilla. The gorilla unfortunately disappeared and its owner, Jason, searched for another one and Bodhi was delighted again.

This story reminds me of my eldest son, Rian, who as some of you know is on the autistic spectrum. When he was younger and attended a local pre-school, his behaviour was ‘a cause for concern’. This was before his diagnosis. Rian’s ‘thing’ was Thomas the Tank Engine, and I have since been told that some autistic children love Thomas.

On entering the pre-school each morning, Mary used to hand Rian the Thomas train from the shelf. This made Rian feel that he belonged and grounded him.

Mary sadly died of cancer a few years ago, but I will never forget the kindness that she showed my son.

On my […]


Higher College of Technology, UAE

I’m delighted to have delivered a keynote presentation on the voice of the child at the UAE Higher College of Technology annual conference on Wednesday 1st May 2019. It was inspiring to share the stage with other international colleagues: Professor Borst, Dr Merry and Princess Tessy of Luxembourg.


World Book Day or World Outfit Day?

As an author of a recent children’s book series and someone who loves reading (despite being dyslexic) I love the idea of World Book Day.

However, it didn’t surprise me to read an article, that when it comes to World Book Day, parents spend more on outfits than they do on books.

There were numerous threads on social media on the subject, including from author Alom Shaha, who shared these thoughts.

“If you work in a primary school, please think about how asking children to have costumes for world book day might *not* be a good idea. There are lots of ways to celebrate the day without causing unnecessary expense and stress, especially for poor families…If you’re lucky enough to not know the shame of not being able to participate in such things, you probably think I’m being a grump. You’re wrong.” I believe that with a bit of thought we can still celebrate and acknowledge […]


Understanding parents

I love Sunday evening period dramas, particularly in the winter months. Call the Midwife is one of my favourites, always finding a way to pull at my heart strings.

Sunday’s episode featured a mother who seemed overly concerned about her baby, imagining the worst outcome regarding its wellbeing. On reviewing her medical notes, the staff discovered that her first child had died in his sleep aged eight months and the anniversary of his death was looming.

In the episode, as soon as they were aware of this the medical team showed compassion and empathy towards the mother.

This made me think about how we can support parents and be less judgemental.

We can sometimes put labels on parents: ‘lovely family’, ‘caring’, ‘he’s demanding’, ‘she always has something to say’. We need to press the pause button and not place parents in the ‘good parent’ or ‘bad parent’ file. Labels are not helpful.

What is helpful, is trying to understand […]


That boy was just scared

I’m currently reading Michelle Obama’s bestselling book, Becoming. Michelle reflects on her childhood throughout the book.

She shares how during the lead-up to the 2008 election she was supporting her husband’s presidential campaign by delivering speeches across the USA. These speeches, as you can imagine, where dissected by the press and at times she was not only misquoted but became the subject of some unkind reporting on her and her family.

Michelle reflects on this and recalls an incident from her childhood, where out of nowhere and seemingly for no reason a boy punched her in the face. Her mother, on returning from a meeting with the school about the incident, explained, “That boy was just scared and angry about things that had nothing to do with you…. He’s dealing with a whole lot of problems of is own.” Her mother’s non-judgemental words were telling her that when others do you harm, physically and verbally, it’s […]


Personal experiences and professional theories

I recently read a thought-provoking, inspiring and personal blog post by Annie Richardson. I let Annie know how much I’d enjoyed reading it.

In it, she reflects on her family, growing up within a minority community and her career and journey into Early Years.

You can read her blog here.

For me, Annie has shown vulnerability by sharing her own narrative and this is something that Brene Brown’s informative research is based on, as she asserts her paradoxical view of how vulnerability can also be a strength. Indeed, Annie has shown courage and strength in sharing her personal and professional history.

Annie also reflected on whether it is better to share more head than heart in her blog. My opinion is that blogs should be from the heart: personal reflections, observations, a comment or whatever you feel you want to write. Blogs are different to writing an academic or […]


Early Years Pedagogy Club

A new online professional development FREE concept.

In short, think book club and then translate to online professional development.

Once a month we’ll read a research paper, journal, blog, article, legislation, guidance or social media content. We may also watch an inspiring video clip, for example.

We’ll then come together on my Facebook page, via a live Facebook post, to share our reflections and discuss translations into practice.

The link will always be free and Laura will share it at least one month before to enable participants to read and/or watch.

If participants would like a certificate for their professional development record, the investment will be £4.95 per certificate.

Date for your diary

The first session will be on Tuesday 5th February at 7pm and Laura will circulate the link for the discussion in the new year.

To sign up to receive the link, please email admin@LauraHenryConsultancy.com


What has eating your toes got to do with child development?

Waiting in the Apple store to be seen by a tech expert, I noticed a mother with her baby in his buggy. He was doing what my mother always called “eating his toes!” when my son did the same! In fact, my son was with me.

I noticed the baby lifting his toes in a very sophisticated way to his mouth and sucking away.

I entered into a dialogue (turn-taking) with him, “Ooh, I can see you’re eating your toes!” He was laughing and in-between ‘sucking’ was talking back to me.

At that point, I knew I wanted to write a blog about this although I didn’t want to ask for permission to take a photo or to film this unique moment. I am mindful of boundaries and I did not know the mother.

His mother smiled at me and I said, “This is my son and he did the same when he was a baby and he is nearly 25! My mother calls this eating your […]


2017 Safeguarding & Protecting Every Child Conference Recordings

We are pleased to announce that the recordings of the Keynote Speakers, Present and Panel plus the exclusive filmed interview with Stuart Shanker are now available.

They are accompanied by the Presentations from the day and are an invaluable resource for CPD and Staff Training.

It was a thought provoking and inspiring day for all who attended.

The recordings are available FREE of charge to *delegates and Early Years Club Members.

For all others, a small fee will be charged.

*A small fee will be charged for delegates who want to use the recording and materials for their own commercial and financial gain

Please visit our dedicated webpage for more information