The Parenting NI Podcast

Parenting NI

Leading parenting support charity based in Northern Ireland discuss the topics that parents want to know more about. Exploring the realities of modern parenting, providing information and tips to help support parents with the issues that matter to them.

All Episodes

Emma catches up with Parenting NI Education and Participation Officer, Lauren. In this episode, the girls consider whether the slow paced lifestyle of lockdown is actually having a positive impact on us, discuss self-care, why it's important and how we can make ourselves a priority when we feel overwhelmed.  You can also check out our Facebook page for daily tips on self-care. For more support contact Parenting NI for free on 0808 8010 722 or visit 

Jun 2020

40 min 15 sec

We're back! We had a brief break last month but we're glad to be chatting with you again.  For Father's Day 2020 - Emma chats with Cahir Murray, Coordinator of the Dads Project, about the impact Covid-19 has had on fathers and particularly on separated dads who may be struggling to see their children. Dads from the project's Steering Group also share their messages of hope for Father's Day.  Support for dads is available for free - call 0808 8010 722 or visit

Jun 2020

33 min 22 sec

Over a month into lockdown in the UK due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Emma chats to Dr John Coleman about why we need to cut teenagers some slack at this time. Dr Coleman gives insights into teenage brain development and offers some advice on how we can support our young people at this time both in terms of emotional wellbeing and when it comes to keeping them safe online. Parenting NI are continuing to offer support to parents in the current circumstances. You can visit our website to take a look at resources we have shared so far. If you would like to support Parenting NI at this difficult time we would really appreciate it, you can make a donation via our Localgiving page.

Apr 2020

25 min 3 sec

We are living in a world were children and young people have more information about what's going on in the world than ever before. With fears over climate change, terror attacks and the current pandemic of Coronavirus, the constant stream of news we now have access to can cause anxiety for both children and adults. In this episode we discuss some tips for easing anxiety and building resilience in our children and young people.  Some links you might want to also check out on Fake News and talking to your children about Coronavirus. You can follow Parenting NI on social media for the latest news and information to support parents and families during the current COVID-19 outbreak - find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Mar 2020

26 min 27 sec

This month Emma chats with Parenting NI Policy and Research Officer Chris, as they take a deep dive into the latest findings from the charity's annual Big Parenting Survey. Exploring the realities of parenting in today's society, what parents are struggling with and what support they would like. This year the survey also focused on the impact technology is having on children and parents.  You can read the full report online at  

Feb 2020

40 min 20 sec

This month many children will have got the results of their transfer tests. This is can often be a challenging change for young people as they make the transition from Primary to 'Big School'. In this episode we discuss the concerns some parents and children might have around settling in and looking at the positive opportunities a moving onto secondary school can bring.  You can read our research paper on School Transitions here:  If you would like some further help or reassurance you can contact Parenting NI for free on 0808 8010 722.

Jan 2020

32 min 32 sec

It's the final episode of the Parenting NI Podcast for 2019! This month Emma is joined by Parenting Education Manager, Shirley to talk about how the festive period can often cause conflict in a lot of households. We explore how to cope when family conflict arises and also look at ways we can look after ourselves when January comes around and we might be feeling a bit blue.  Thanks for all your support of the podcast this year, we're looking forward to being back in 2020 and chatting to you more then! Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year! 

Dec 2019

18 min 30 sec

Off the back of Anti-Bullying Week, we talk to the NI Anti-Bullying Forum Chair, Gillian Cuthbert and National Children's Bureau Assistant Director, Deirdre McAliskey about concerns parents have around their children being bullied. This episode explores what bullying is, how to identify it, online bullying, what do to if your child is being bullied at school, and how you can help your child with strategies to deal with bullying and promote their confidence and self-esteem. You can find out more about the NI Anti-Bullying Forum here: and to get more information on the competition click here. If you are concerned about your child and bullying you can contact Parenting NI for free on 0808 8010 722 or visit our website. 

Nov 2019

48 min 29 sec

It's Parenting Week! Our favourite week of the year, and this year it's a double celebration as we mark 20 years of running the annual initiative and 40 years of supporting parents in Northern Ireland. We chat about what all we've been up to to celebrate and have a special interview with Pip Jaffa, who has been involved with the charity since it's beginnings in 1979. Pip gives insight into what it was like in the early days when the helpline first started, how things have changed for families and what support she'd like to see for parents and families now. 

Oct 2019

39 min 6 sec

Ahead of World Mental Health Day, we meet up with our friends at Tinylife and chat to 2 mums about their experiences around mental health and having a premature baby. You can find out more about the Positive Minds for Premature Parents project by calling freephone 0808 8010 722 or visit Tinylife's website. You can read our latest parents article looking at what research says about parental mental health here.

Sep 2019

30 min 44 sec

There's not long to go now until young people pick up their exam results! This can be a tense and nerve wrecking time for parents and young people, so this month we're chatting about how to manage your expectations and other options for your young people other than the traditional academic route. We also talk to Young Enterprise about investing in young people's entrepreneurial and employability skills. 

Aug 2019

35 min 37 sec

The kids are off for summer, which we are unbelievably halfway through! This month we're discussing ideas for beating boredom over the holidays. We also explore whether boredom can ever be a good thing for children and the importance of play. You can read our accompanying article for more on the research and activity ideas:

Jul 2019

31 min 2 sec

Happy Father's Day! This month is all about dads, Hear more about the Dads Project, chat about being a 'real' man with Conor McCafferty from Zest - Healing The Hurt of Self-harm and Suicide, inspiration and affirmations from Glenn Hinds Motivation & Coaching Consultants, and we talk to dads about having support for dads means to them.

Jun 2019

48 min

After our stint in the Belfast City Marathon, this month is all about exercise and discussing the positive impact it can have on your mental health. We catch up with the Families Together Walking Group in St Mary's Primary School Strabane, hearing how walking brought them friendship and we also hear Thomas Walls from Grosvenor Community Centre and his inspirational journey with fitness and exercise.

May 2019

49 min 29 sec

This month we're talking all about reading and the benefits it has for children's development. We also have a chat with Libraries NI about some of the services libraries provide for families in Northern Ireland. Alongside the exciting news of our app and how we'll be running in the Belfast City Marathon Team Relay to help raise funds to continue the development of it. If you would like to donate we'd really appreciate it! You can do so here:

Apr 2019

31 min 18 sec

Happy Mother's Day! This month we're focusing on the challenges of balancing motherhood and a career following our special event for working mums at Belfast Castle. We discuss employee wellbeing, work life balance and ask mums about their experiences. 

Mar 2019

28 min 48 sec

For Safer Internet Day we discuss all things video gaming. From concerns to who children could be playing online with, to loot boxes and streaming. More information on children and gaming can be found on our website:

Feb 2019

46 min 57 sec

We've decided to give podcasting a go! This first episode introduces you to Parenting NI, the leading charity for parenting support in Northern Ireland and explores what we hope to do with the podcast. Thanks for listening! You can find out more about Parenting NI at       

Jan 2019

17 min 27 sec