Rupert Isaacson has developed a programme called Horse Sense which helps children with autism. It can be availed of through ChildVision in Dublin and St Joseph's Foun-dation in Charleville, Co Cork.

Long ride to hope: 'Autism isn’t a catastrophe, it’s a personality type'

You’re told ‘I regret to tell you your child has autism. It’s incurable and for life, and there is nothing we can do for it.’ It would be more helpful if they said, ‘Congratulations! Your son has a certain genius gene’


How to deal with your child's disappointment with cancelled plans

YOU promised your nine-year-old you would drive him to his friend’s house this afternoon but there’s a problem with the car and the visit’s off.


Online and in the shops: Royal treatment

Britain’s Prince George, who celebrated his first birthday this week, has captured hearts with his chubby cheeks and first steps. 

Rodhan Harris

Blooming taste buds

It’s time to think beyond pizza and chips. Getting your children to try different foods is vital for their health and development.


How to come up smiling

TWO teenage next-door neighbours, from Dublin 15, have spearheaded a project to change conversations about mental health.


Online and in the shops: Recipe Competition

Celebrity chef Neven Maguire, pictured, is asking parents to submit recipes for the First 1,000 Days Parents Recipe Competition which is in search of the best recipes for the first 1,000 days of life — pregnancy, breastfeeding, weaning and up to two years of age.


Pregnancy over 40 - Not in the plan

SHE had waved goodbye to nappies and sleepless nights. She thought the menopause would be next. But she’s in her 40s and pregnant. It’s unplanned.


Children are often left out of the picture

Couples who are separating or getting divorced need to think more about what’s best for their children.


Don’t stress over nail-biting

IF YOUR preschooler has started biting his or her nails, it’s not worth getting yourself in a state about it.


Online and in the shops: Suit up

Suit up: A good wetsuit will provide warmth and protection from wind and chilly water, as well sun protection – perfect for Irish beach holidays.


Keeping kids well watered

Sharon Ni Chonchuir has some top tips for parents worried that their children will get dehydrated from playing in the sunshine.


Teaching tops punishment

We’ve all done it – issued a threat when a young child persists with behaviour we don’t like. We say stuff like ‘If you don’t stop hitting your sister, I’ll take away your toys’.


Playtime vital for parents too

Parents are taking a more active role in family life with 45% of Irish parents saying that they regularly turn down a drink with friends in order to play with the kids at home and 51% opting to take up a new hobby to spend more time together as a family.


Daddy duties can be a doddle

Looking after a new baby can be daunting for dads, but it can also be a doddle. Rob Kemp, the author of The New Dad’s Survival Guide, tells Lisa Salmon how.


How to beat stress when travelling with children

YOU’VE been longing for months for that foreign beach holiday with your young family.


Online and in the shops: Soothing relief

Bepantiseptic First Aid Cream treats a wide range of summer’s little emergencies such as insect bites and stings, minor burns, blisters, cuts, and scrapes.


Too much pressure on new mothers to get back in shape

WHEN Kerry Katona proudly displayed her ‘mummy tummy’ last month, little did we know that the mother of five was about to launch a new fitness DVD.


GentleBirth aims to help women stay in control during labour

WHEN Patricia O’Connor gave birth she eschewed offers of epidurals and other pain relief drugs, deciding instead to rely on the coping mechanisms she had learned while attending a GentleBirth programme which encourages women to use their own strength to birth their baby naturally.


Online and in the shops: Lineaslim is now available in Ireland

A US diet supplement that’s currently favoured by celebs such as Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears is now available in Ireland.

Positive parenting: Robbie van den Hoven, who is from the Netherlands, and his son Conor.

Raising a child in Ireland - how is it for you?

Ahead of Father’s Day on Sunday, Jonathan deBurca Butler asks three foreign dads living in Ireland what it’s like to rear children here.


The helping hand of a ’granny’ au pair

Au pairs don’t have to be young — as the success of a ‘granny’ agency shows.


Keeping your kids safe online

Thirty percent of parents of two and three-year-olds believe their children know more about the internet than they do, according to research.


Online and in the shops: On the ball

This Father’s Day, kit your Dad out with everything he needs for a summer of football.


Mothers have become bolder and more colourful in naming their children

WHEN a celebrity couple has a new baby, the gossip pages debate potential names. From North West to Apple Martin and Brooklyn Beckham, the more famous the parent, the more unusual the name.


Spare those sweet treats for kids

Special occasion: One time children had ice-cream on a day out, not on a regular basis, as can be the case now.


Online and in the shops: Messi contract

Soccer superstar Lionel Messi has signed a three-year contract to promote the Dutch-manufactured Space Scooter, available exclusively at Smyths in Ireland.

Great outdoors: Emma Neville with her children Julie, Billy, Charlie and John in their garden in Carrigaline.

Gardening is a healthy alternative to computers for children

EVERYONE knows how beneficial it is to spend time in the garden, but it’s often unfairly viewed as a sedate pastime for the elderly or those with time on their hands.

Sensitive: Light-coloured Irish eyes are more vulnerable to UV damage, so cover up with sunglasses this summer.

Keep peepers in the shade

LIGHT-COLOURED Irish eyes are more vulnerable to ultra violet (UV)-related eye disease.


Online and in the shops: In Bloom

Bloom, Ireland’s largest garden and food festival, runs over the June bank holiday weekend in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.


From shouts to whispers hearing voices is not uncommon

FOR some, it happens once in a lifetime; for others it’s five times a day.

Proper order: When receiving a gift children should say thanks.

Teach your children to be polite

I ask my four-year-old for what seems like the hundredth time: ‘What’s the magic word?’. Shouldn’t she just know at this stage to say ‘please’ without prompting, I wonder.


Online and in the shops: Rescue remedy

A little stress is a good thing. It has the power to motivate and stimulate us, pushing us to do better but becoming too stressed, particularly during high pressure periods like exam time, can negatively affect our performance.


Holding it all together

IF your partner or child is depressesd, it can be tough to continue supporting someone who’s looking at life through such a dark lens.


Helping them find their voice

YOUR child is starting primary school in a few months and you’re worried their speech and language ability may not be up to the mark.


Online and in the shops: BunkCot

Space saver: The BunkCot has been designed as a space-saving solution for two children sharing a room.

Golden moments: Voiced by jazz band leader Phil Harris, Baloo in Disney's Jungle Book is simply unforgettable.

Looking back at our favourite grizzly characters

BACK in 1958, Britain was welcoming everyone, including Paddington Bear, a strange, confused stowaway from "darkest Peru" who had a compulsion for eating marmalade sandwiches.

Time share: Marian Byrne advises children should get 15 to 20 minutes of parents' undivided attention after work.

Parents return to work can be tricky for children

YOU’VE just returned to work full-time and your seven-year-old isn’t happy.


Online and in the shops: Sippy cup

Litecup is a non-spill BPA-free sippy cup with an integrated night light, which supports independent mess free drinking for your child, day or night.

Tight squeeze: Mother of three and blogger Caitriona Redmond, offers advice on how to feed a family wholesome food on a budget.

The budget secrets of a frugal froodie

Caitriona Redmond knows what it’s like to manage a kitchen on a tight budget and now she’s sharing her secrets.

Up and running: Jordi Murphy and Sarah Lavin, with Tommy O'Donavan, Odhran Cully and Laren Keenan from Oaklands college, Co Offaly.

The fittest schools in Ireland step it up

13,000 pupils take the challenge and learn the value of exercise, says Helen O’Callaghan.

Family affair: Neven Maguire and his wife Amelda with their twins Connor and Lucia who recently celebrated their second birthday.

Your child's nutrition - the importance of their first 1,000 days

WHEN Neven Maguire’s twins, Connor and Lucia, celebrated their second birthday in February, they had just emerged out of the most important nutritional window of their lives. This story is enriched with multi-media content

One to one: If children sense you want genuinely to hear about their day, they're far more likely to open up.

How to tell when your child wants to talk

YOUR child arrives home from school. “Did you have a good day?” you ask. The answer’s a monosyllabic “yes” or “no”.


Online and in the shops: Wood delight

If the fine holiday weather has you thinking of investing in some garden toys, the Soulet Fargo Wooden Playcentre from Smyths is an annual favourite that’s good value for money at €299.99.

Marjorie Cullen uses reflexology to treat babies for conditions including colic, reflux and colds.

What’s the alternative to help unwell babies?

There’s a growing range of natural support services to help babies with everything from colic to sleeping difficulties, writes Georgina O’Halloran.

Separate paths: Just because two children are born together doesn't mean they'll develop at the same pace.

Twins should be treated as individuals

It’s important to treat twins as individuals and not as a set,writes Helen O’Callaghan.


Online and in the shops for Easter

* Choc delight
There will be lots of egg hunts and other events this weekend and if you are in Kerry, why not take a trip to the Skelligs Chocolate Experience?

Doling out pocket money isn't obligatory and parents should do what works best for them

Show me the money: How much pocket money is enough?

Should you give your children pocket money and if so how much? Experts give their views on the pros and cons of financing your teenager.

Risk alert: It's important to tell your child it's OK to say no.

Better safe than sorry when it comes to ‘stranger danger’

PARENTS want to protect children from abuse, but are often uncomfortable having the necessary conversations.


Online and in the shops: The Power Rangers

The Power Rangers make their Irish debut today, visiting children at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, before embarking on a free live tour of Smyth’s stores during the Easter holidays.

Book aids: Valerie Sheehan with her self-published range of children's books, featuring Tony the turtle and his family.

Helping autistic children with story books

AS a home tutor to children with autism, Valerie Sheehan saw first hand the stress of coping with a diagnosis — for the parent and the child.

She wanted to do something to help.

Amazing grace: Pictured is Amy Kavanagh with baby Grace with Ireland Rugby star Conor Murray.

Great Irish Bake to help fund incubators for sick babies

FIRST-TIME mum Amy Kavanagh knows better than most what it will mean for Temple Street Children’s Hospital to get three new incubators. This story is enriched with multi-media content


Online and in the shops: Delightful toys

Fans of Henry Hugglemonster on Disney Junior will be delighted with his new range of super soft toys, all suitable from birth.

It's like a death, it's the death of your relationship, it's the death of a life you had

Healing the heartbreak of divorce

The end of a marriage can come as a huge shock, resulting in its own grieving process but there is help available, says Catherine Shanahan.

Written off: It's crucial to a child's progress to find out why they are not listening at school.

Children who don't listen don't learn in school

FOR parents, it’s a worry if their child isn’t listening at school.


Mother's Day gift ideas online and in the shops

Bracelet thanks: Made in America from recycled materials Alex and Ani bracelets are designed to as keepsakes for the special people in your life.

Natural way: Naturopath Michael Lawlor with kids Noah, Ellie-May and Isabel, believes with a little basic knowledge parents can deal with children's minor ailments.

Simply using nature’s cure

His daughter’s illness prompted Michael Lawlor to change his career and in the process, to improve her health.

Positive attention: When a child reverts to using simple language, it's best not to focus on it.

What to do if your child regresses to baby talk

Regression in the form of baby talk can happen during times of change, says Helen O’Callaghan. This story is enriched with multi-media content


Online and in the shops: Keep safe

Collect precious memories of your children as they grow with the ClevaMemories Keepsake Suitcase from Clevamama, €29.99.

Care free: Claire McGee, from Duncormick, Co Wexford, who suffers from congenital alopecia, enjoys the benefits from wearing a Freedom wig.

The Rapunzel Foundation: raising funds for alopecia sufferers

Claire McGee loves her very long, richly-coloured brown hair.

Tuning in: Parent's need to listen to their child's story and keep communication open.

Clampdown on bullying

NEW anti-bullying procedures were introduced at primary and post-primary level last September and schools have until next term to develop an anti-bullying policy in line with these procedures.


Online and in the shops: Free meals

Free meals — vegetarian curry — will be provided at Grand Parade, Cork, from 1pm tomorrow, as part of the Feed the City initiative.

Birth place: The scene on 68th street as Polly McCourt gives birth unexpectedly to her baby girl, Isabelle.

2% of mothers give birth suddenly

Is there anything more dramatic than a sudden birth? Following last week’s New York story Arlene Harris looks at ‘precipitous birth’ and talks to a woman who had a swift labour.

Baby blues: Three in five mothers say they went back to work too early.

Work guilt for new mothers

THREE in five mums regret returning to work so early after childbirth, while 80% feel guilty about going back to work at all, say new studies.


Online and in the shops: Bargain pricing

Aldi is entering the Communion wear market, with dresses from €24.99.