Rita O Reilly

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Aileen Hickie:  new CEO of Parentline. “I would like to raise the profile and the awareness, mainly because I would like more people to know what a fantastic resource it is.” Photograph: Alan Betson

“Small children, small problems. Big children, big problems.” It’s a saying that is of no comfort to parents of young children but resonates with tho(...)

The term ‘school refusal’ may conjure up the image of a brat who refuses point blank to go to school. However, it’s not usually a case of misbehaving

Almost 60,000 children in Ireland won’t have turned up for school today. Maybe they’re sick or unavoidably absent but many of them, despite the best e(...)

Child aggression directed at parents came first in a study carried out by Parentline into the top 10 reasons for calls to its helpline. Photograph: iStock

Six years ago, this problem wasn’t even on its radar – but last year research by the parent support group Parentline found aggression in children to b(...)

Colman Noctor,  child psychotherapist,  with his children Harry (2), Odhran (7), and Layla (4) at home in Co Wickow. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

This is part of series on the subject of burnout which continues next week in The Irish Times and on irishtimes.com. We would like to hear from reader(...)

Louise Renwick with her children Shay (3) and Bobby (10 months) and members of the “Wine and Whine” Blessington Mums community support group. Photograph: Alan Betson

“So what is it about having a baby that is so hard?” The woman who was three months pregnant with her first baby wasn’t being smart. And she wasn’t re(...)

Jenny and Aidan McCabe with their 12-year-old daughter Sophie, who will be starting at Carrick-on-Shannon Community School, Co Leitrim. Photograph: James Connolly

Next week about 64,000 children in the Republic will embark on one of life’s significant transitions – the start of secondary school. After eight yea(...)

Be prepared: Crying time generally increases from about two weeks of age, peaking at about six to eight weeks, and levelling out by about four months. Photograph: Thinkstock

All babies have moments, days or weeks when they cry more than usual, and it can be very upsetting and frustrating for parents who are trying to soot(...)

Frustration: ‘The most common, serious form of abuse in babies is babies being shaken and when we look at the causes of that, crying is very often the trigger.’ Photograph: Thinkstock

We all know babies cry – that’s how they communicate. But until you become a parent, you may not realise how piercing and persistent a baby’s crying c(...)

If women’s anxieties are not identified and dealt with, they can get out of hand. They overthink things, with negative thoughts leading to low self-esteem, which increases the risk of post-natal depression. Photograph: Thinkstock

Physical changes during pregnancy and early motherhood are hard to ignore, from the swelling breasts and enlarging bump to the loosening of ligaments (...)

Bridgette Keane and her son Mark (10) at home in Sutton, Co Dublin. Photograph:  Eric Luke

‘He is in a school yard of about 200 children, with no voice. It’s very difficult.” It’s a stark image that Bridgette Keane conjures up of her non-ve(...)

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