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Early Years expert in residence

Delighted to be working with Tiney as their Early Years expert in residence:

“At tiney we want to help children feel safe, valued and loved in their early years. We want families to have access to high quality childcare that works for them and is designed using evidence and research from around the world. We want tiney to accelerate children’s development in family-style homes through play and learning. And, we want to build a vibrant community of tiney homes, run by founders who can impact their local neighbourhoods, cities and beyond.”


Parenting is difficult! Full stop!

There I was in the supermarket on a busy Friday morning.

As I got to the till, I heard a child screaming and out of the corner of my eye I could see this child throwing himself on the floor.  With a quick, experienced eye, I judged him to be about four.

His mum (I assumed), then started to say, “That is it.. I’m fed up of you doing this… you will not have the treat!”

From where I was standing, I could see other shoppers nearby who were just looking. The child’s sister, who was standing next to him, asked her brother to get up from the floor. I saw that the mother was visibly shaking and still trying to talk to him.

I finished packing my shopping in the trolley and walked over to her and put my arm around her. “Parenting is tough!” I told her. “Trust me, all the parents in this shop have had […]


DadblogUK Q&A

I enjoyed doing a question and answer session with DadblogUK, on my career path and discussing the Early Years sector. Please click on the link to read.

 

 

 


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.

 


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 […]


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 […]


Interview with Gulf News

I was delighted to be invited to share my Early Years and Parenting views on Gulf News

Film clip


Launch of My Family Week

There are just over three weeks to go until the launch of the first international celebration of the family!

Children around the world will get the opportunity to celebrate the uniqueness of their family, irrespective of circumstances including children with same-sex parents, those who are fostered, disabled, have step families or half brothers and sisters, are bereaved, blended, those who are adopted or who live with grandparents and other family members.

International Early Years expert, Laura Henry, has been busy creating resources for My Family Week, providing fun and educational activities for settings, schools and parents.

There will be a soft launch on Friday 13th October, 2017, before the week-long celebration from Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd October.

Laura is delighted to announce the University of Northampton as the academic partner for My Family Week, with support from other organisations including NEyTCO, the Pre-school Learning Alliance and Gingerbread.

At the launch on 13th October, settings, schools and parents will be […]


My Family Week 2017 #MyFamilyWeek

Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd October 2017

My Family Week celebrates families of all shapes and sizes, allowing children to tell their own story, about their own family in their own voice.

My Family Week is a reflection on what family means in the modern world and is the brainchild of international Early Years trainer, author and consultant, Laura Henry, who has worked with children and their families for three decades.

My Family Week is celebrating the uniqueness of every family, using the characters from Laura’s popular children’s book series Jo-Jo and Gran-Gran as inspiration.
As part of the week, settings, schools, parents and wider families can take part in a range of activities to help children to tell their own stories.
Stories will be shared and developed online using a variety of social media platforms.

Support for My Family Week:

“I simply ADORE this idea! Families come in all shapes and sizes and celebrating diversity and variety means we accept and […]