Youth mental health is such a “buzz” phrase these days that it is hard to believe it was hardly discussed in Ireland just a decade ago. The eme(...)

Model and basketball player, Emer Foley (left), with Katie Dennison and Megan Dempsey at the launch of a new programme “Free Being Me”, empowering girls through improving body confidence. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Emer Foley was in third class at primary school when she began to be conscious that she was bigger than her friends. There was a weighing scale(...)

Leanne Gallagher and Kieran Conachy with their son, Shéa Conachy, aged 10 months, in the Ronald McDonald House in Crumlin, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The parents of 10-month-old Shéa Conachy are beaming at the news that their son is “good to go” the following morning, just eight days after having(...)

 Jolanta Burke, positive psychologist and PhD researcher at Trinity College Dublin, says that the kind of feedback you give a child is crucial.Photograph: Eric Luke

We all want our children to be happy and the temptation, in this era of “over-parenting”, is to rush in to try to fix their problems. A child down (...)

Shauna Kearney, Bunclody; Diane Wiley, Kilmuckridge; Caoimhe Hodgins, Carnew; Bill Nolan Coolattin; Patricia Moitie, Enniscorthy; and Becky Tobin, Enniscorthy at the Wicklow/Wexford Foróige youth conference in the Ashdown Park Hotel, Gorey, Co Wexford.  Photograph: Garry O’Neill

When I returned to work after my first maternity leave, I used to have a shorter day on Fridays and my commute home on the Dart would sometimes coi(...)

Food fact: the least healthy element of the ‘healthy eating’ lunchbox is the most likely to be eaten. Photograph: Thinkstock Images

‘Why didn’t you eat your lunch?” asks a parent.“I didn’t have enough time,” replies the child.Hands up all parents of primary-school children who have(...)

Emer Doyle and her children, from left, Ellie (13), Sean (16), Peter (8) and Mia (9), at their home in Kilcavan, Co Offaly. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

‘It was completely life-changing. I went from being a traumatic single mother with five kids to a positive mother with happy kids.”It’s a powerful tes(...)

Gordon Jeyes, chief executive of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. Photograph: Alan Betson

Standing in the gym of Dunblane Primary School on March 13th, 1996, where a lone gunman had opened fire on a class of five- and six-year-old children,(...)

Hannah Boylan: ‘No one I know who has children had this much sickness so it came as a shock to be so unwell. I am sick multiple times a day.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

It’s an ongoing joke in Hannah Boylan’s office that everyone knows it’s 4pm because she’s slumped so low on her desk nobody can see her.Expecting her (...)

Sheila O’Malley of Practical Parenting believes that “nobody disrespects you unless you allow them to”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

It’s when you’re utterly exhausted and your baby is crying yet again . . . or you’re running all day after a toddler who has no off-switch . . . or tr(...)