Sheila O’Sullivan, who works with the Irish Heart Foundation and trains primary-school teachers in PE teaching. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Like many parents, Naomi del Pozo worries about how her two children are going to get the minimum hour’s physical exercise they need every day, now th(...)

 Parentline volunteers, Nora Given, Fiona Murray, Deirdre Curtin and Malcolm Argyle. Photograph: Sara Freund

There are a lot of angry and aggressive children out there, judging by the figures from Parentline for the first seven months of this year. It is the (...)

 Ian Smith, Jodie Milne and Andrew Branagan, participants in the Future Voices programme. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

It took five months to find the body of Mairead Healy’s brother after he took his own life at the age of 21 in the River Foyle in Derry. Workin(...)

Ruth Harris, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, with her daughter, Lucy. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

When Ruth Harris learned last January that she probably had some form of breast cancer, her first thoughts concerned how she was going to tell her (...)

Daisy O’Connor (now 6), Holly O’Farrell (5) and their classmates  in their junior infants class in Griffeen Valley Educate Together National School in Lucan, Co Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

When Holly O’Farrell started “big school” 10 months ago, her mother, Helen, readily admits she was more emotional than her daughter, who was 4½ at (...)

From left, Patricia Doherty, SNA, with Cian Corrigan-Griffin and his mother, Niamh Corrigan, at the ABC Club pre-school in Dunboyne, Co Meath. Photograph: Eric Luke

A bunch of preschoolers are dunking their toy cars into dishes of bright coloured paint and then gleefully running the wheels across blank pages of(...)

Olivia Mai and her husband, Bartek Typrowicz, with their children, Anya (6) and Nicholas (3), outside The Stork Exchange, at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

It used to be a handwritten postcard of an impossibly idyllic scene that did the job. Now multiple photos of colourful cocktails, happy, sandy-face(...)

Kathleen Lynskey with her children, Simon (left), Timmy (centre) and Liam, and Spanish au pair Noelia Herrero Vazquez. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Shortly before Spanish law student Agueda Palomino finished as an au pair in Co Galway last year, she suggested to the mother of the three children sh(...)

While there is a very high rate of drop-out from sport and exercise among students in exam years, participation in sport is unlikely to affect exam performance negatively and may well have a positive impact. Photograph: Thinkstock 2:19

Some children dread the annual school sports day that is coming up any week now. They are probably the same youngsters who rejoice in wet Saturday mor(...)

Ann Marie Taylor with her son Jayden (2): During her time in Ashleigh House, Coolmine’s residential centre for women, Taylor was one of the first mothers to pilot a 10-week Parenting Under Pressure (PUP) programme. Photograph: Eric Luke

Living on the streets of Cork and pregnant with her fifth child after the older four had been taken into care, the future looked bleak for Anne Mar(...)