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 (...)

By second year, the novelty of secondary school has worn off and there is no State exam to concentrate their minds, so it can become a tug of wills.Photograph: Thinkstock

This time last year they were the children who stood out with their brand new, oversized uniforms, bulging school bags and a tendency to get lost in t(...)

Ger Rowe (centre), youth worker BeLonGTo, with the Ladybirds group. Back row: Eileen, Donna, Alison and Stacy Lee. Front: Rachel and Sarah. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Sarah was just 12 and a half years old and still in sixth class in primary school when she “came out” to her mother, Mandy.“I was really scared. I don(...)

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