Entries by Dr Kaylene Henderson

Separation Anxiety Disorder in Childhood

Separation Anxiety in Children It’s normal for young children to not want to stray too far from us. We are animals after all and survival instincts tell our young that too much distance or time between them and us is a risky thing. For this reason, the developmentally normal ‘stranger anxiety’ and ‘separation anxiety’ that […]

Common Childhood Mental Health Problems Explained

Mental health problems are very common with almost half (45%) of all Australians experiencing a mental illness in their lifetime. A significant proportion of these illnesses begin in childhood. It is estimated that one in every seven children (14%) aged between 4-17 experience mental health or behavioural problems in Australia. It can be useful to […]

The Use of Distraction in Parenting

Look at the sky and please don’t cry! ‘Quick! Look at the plane! In the sky!! LOOK UP THERE!! QUICK!!!!!’ Have you ever seen someone try to distract a child when he’s hurt or upset? Or tried the same technique yourself in an act of desperation? Often people think that distraction is the quickest way […]

How To Help Your Screaming Child

How to Help Your Screaming Child – A Parent’s Guide to Emotional Regulation Most of us have witnessed a screaming child who has felt completely out of control. Some of us have seen this in our own kids, while others have spectated from the side-lines as an unknown child has had a ‘meltdown’ in the […]

The Importance of Play

There is abundant research about the importance of play in children’s lives. In fact, play is now considered to be so essential for children’s development that it has been recognised by the UN High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child. Let’s look at the ways that young children benefit through play: […]

Battling Bedtime Monsters

I once heard that young children are hardwired to dream about frightening, child-eating creatures. Apparently it’s an evolutionary advantage to have had a few practise runs before being chased by a real sabre-tooth tiger. These nightmares affect 50% of children and occur most often in the 3-6 year age group. Children’s brains have adapted to […]

Sleep Tips For Young Children: How Much Is Enough and Why Sleep Is So Important

Did you know young children spend approximately half their lives asleep? Children’s brains and bodies need this much sleep, since sleep is critically important for: Brain development Attention, concentration, memory and learning Growing bodies Physical energy A child’s mood and ability to cope with stress and upsets Keeping the immune system working well Babies and […]