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Dr John Irvine


Mummy - I’m scared!

Irrational fears and phobias in children are more common than parents realise. Just as they can dream up superheroes, they can also dream up super monsters. Child psychologist Dr John Irvine explains. Can you remember back to when you were a kid?

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Musical beds

Ever since my three-year-old daughter learned to climb out of her cot, she has made a beeline for our bed. We wouldn’t care, but she is a restless sleeper and we find ourselves clinging to the edge of the bed while she sprawls luxuriously across the middle.

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Nobody likes me

It’s a heart breaking scenario. A woebegone child stands at the periphery of a happily playing group of children. Desperate to belong but doesn’t know how. Or your child comes home and says ‘Nobody likes me. I haven’t got anyone to play with.’

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Sad sacks…depression in children

Why is it that in today’s society, depression has become a major public health issue? Dr John Irvine talks about how depression affects children. Depression among today’s kids is on the increase. Previously regarded as the province of parents and adults, it’s now being seen more and more in children . .

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Our five-year-old son, Harry has always been shy and preferred to stand back and watch other children playing, rather than join in. He is fairly sensitive, wary of new people and, since beginning preschool, has become very clingy. How can we help him to become less anxious about new experiences?

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Sibling rivalry – the winnable war

Marie was in a bad way. She was as hoarse as a hyena with throat nodules. After a cup of tea she told me she had used up all her throat leather trying to referee her kids’ fights. ‘Tell me, Doc, is their fighting average, above average or am I just one of the lucky ones and don’t realise it?’ she croaked.

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Sibling anxiety

Sibling separation anxiety

My two girls are close in age, separated by less than 18 months. This year the oldest has started school and to our surprise her younger sister is not coping at all with the change, especially about going to day care by herself.

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Sibling squabbling

Our 6 year old daughter seems to have got a bit too big for her boots. She’s nearly at the end of her first year at school and has lately adopted what I can only describe as ‘attitude’ – answering back, challenging our authority and ‘getting in the face’ of her 8 year old brother...

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The secrets of self esteem

Parents want their children to grow up confident, happy and well adjusted – and the secret to that is a healthy self esteem. Leanne really wanted her daughter to have high self esteem. She not only believed it was the most important legacy she could leave her, but Leanne had suffered low self esteem all the way through school . .

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Toilet troubles

You’ve dumped the dummy and booted the bottle. Only the nappies to go and your little one is well on the way to growing up. So why is toilet training a major issue for some families? Denise had had one of those days…well…weeks really.

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