There are many reasons why a child may be anxious and I list several of them in my APP ANXIETY ISLAND, but there can also be another reason – parents who disagree on many things and also about how to parent.  Good cop/bad cop may work at the police station, but children find this a good way to divide and rule!  Better to decide between the two of you where the limits are and how to set them – remembering that rewards for good behavior usually work better than punishments for bad behavior.

A child without limits is like a house with collapsible walls.  Imagine leaning against the kitchen wall and it just falls down – you’d feel pretty anxious wouldn’t you?  Well that’s how the child feels and it will come out in all sorts of ways – anger, bullying, lack of confidence, to name a few!

A lot of parents find it hard to say ‘no’ and, when faced with a pleading or angry child, change their minds.


Threatening punishments that you know won’t work or will be downright inconvenient is never going to work but get the child to work towards a prize and everyone will be happy!

HERE’S HOW:-  Find two empty jam jars or similar and some pebbles or dried beans.  The child earns one pebble each time they do as you ask – in my parenting book TWINS AND THE FAMILY p. 115, see top of website,  I suggest star charts but I think jam jars work even better.  Every time the child earns 5 pebbles, they get a reward out of a box of little rewards, each child in the family has their a separate box with suitable gifts costing no more than £2.00 or equivalent in your currency.  The five pebbles are then transferred to the second jam jar and when that one is full the child gets an outing with one or both parents on their own.  Much more worth achieving than losing a privilege for a day or two, or a week which you know you can’t manage!

Happy parenting, Audrey