When tackling fears with children, such as a fear of dogs, the key is to go at their pace. Do not rush them.

Q My nine-year-old girl is generally a happy child, though sometimes prone to being a little anxious and shy. She has always been a bit nervous of (...)

Anxiety about school is often a ‘social anxiety’, with worries about friendships or fitting in being at the heart of it: these anxieties are particularly heightened starting secondary school. Photograph: Thinkstock

Q My 13-year-old son has always been a little reluctant to go to school, but it has got much worse since he started secondary. He constantly refuse(...)

Simple things such as having regular breaks or even playing some music during study can all help your son be more relaxed. Photograph: Thinkstock

My 14-year-old son suffers from very bad exam stress and anxiety. He is now in second year and he finds it really hard to cope with the anxiety tha(...)

As one of my boys is 12 and prepubescent, I’m concerned about telling him about his dad before he has established his own sexual identity. Photograph: Thinkstock

Q I’m a mum of two boys, and I separated from their dad about a year ago. The reason for the split was that he was a cross-dresser and bisexual, somet(...)

Children feel great relief once their worries are expressed and heard by others (and they are not thought ‘mad’ for having them). Photograph: Thinkstock

I believe my nine-year-old son suffers with anxiety problems. From time to time he gets so upset and tearful that he gets a pain in his tummy and c(...)

You want to reduce gradually the support you give your daughter and help her relearn how to relax and fall asleep by herself. Photograph: Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Q Since Christmas, I have had a problem getting my five-year- old daughter to stay in her own bed and sleep through the night. At Christmas she went f(...)

Q I have a nine-year-old daughter who is a gentle, empathic child but can be a real worrier. She gets herself into a state over just about everythi(...)

Think how best you can open a constructive conversation with your daughter about her behaviour at home. Photograph: Thinkstock Images

Q We need help in dealing with our 20-year-old daughter who is still very rebellious at home. She is in full-time education and we can’t afford to pay(...)

Is there anything we can do to help her calm down and accept her father? Photograph: Thinkstock Images

Q My one-year-old daughter has spent the past six months without her father because he has had to work away. He has recently returned home and our (...)

Don’t communicate through your kids or use them as a go-between. If you need to discuss something with their other parent, do so directly. Photograph: Thinkstock

It’s 20 years since Ireland voted for divorce. An Irish Times series, Divorced Ireland, explores the effects of that vote on Irish life. The follow(...)