Tell your kids you love them (and it’s good to take a shower): new ‘rules’ for parents

The National Association of Head Teachers is to give parents advice on keeping our children happy, including telling us not to shout and to play more games of tag in the park


The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) is sharing with parents its words of wisdom on how to keep our kids happy at home.


The list of advice includes such gems as telling our kids to take a shower and making sure they know we love them. It also says it’s not a good idea to shout at your children or swear in front of them.

Schools across the UK will issue the advice to parents in a leaflet, put together by the NAHT and the charity Family Action.

Among other things, the leaflet tells parents to:

  • Praise your children’s efforts and let them know it is OK to make mistakes
  • Listen to your child and show them that you value their views and opinions
  • Help your child understand about a balanced diet and the importance of eating fruit and vegetables to keep them fit and healthy
  • Let your child help with baking and preparing family meals so they understand about food
  • Encourage children to exercise for 30 minutes a day and adopt at least one hobby involving physical activity, such as dance, swimming or footbal
  • Get out and about as a family, including playing tag in the park or going for a bike ride
  • Think twice before lighting up cigarettes in front of children
  • Talk to children about the importance of personal hygiene, such as showering regularly, having clean PE kit and using deodorant when they need to

The leaflet’s been put together largely as a response to concern that a large number of schools report having to deal with children who are unprepared for education, including, apparently, some children who aren’t even toilet-trained when they start school.

“If children feel happy and healthy at home,” says Bernadette Hunter, president of the NAHT, “then they come into the classroom free from worries and ready to learn.

“Trying out some of the suggestions can go a long way to giving children a sense of wellbeing which will give them a good starting point for school life.

“Sometimes, we assume our children know that we love them but children need to hear the words… It can be easy to forget to do the little things that can make a real difference to a child’s self-esteem.”

What do you think of the advice? Do you think it’s helpful or patronising? Do you think most parents are doing these things already or will most of us find the reminders useful?

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MadeForMums Writer – Jessica Gibb

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