Tooled Up Member Webinars
The home of evidence-based resources on all aspects of parenting, education and family life
Schools that are part of our Tooled Up Education community can provide their parents and teachers with access to Dr Weston’s exclusive resources, covering areas such as aspiration, resilience, mental health and behaviour.
As a member of the Tooled Up community you will have access to a whole host of evidence-based resources, which will enable you to support your children or students in a way that makes their lives and educational journeys both easier and more enjoyable.
Dr Weston's Wednesday Wisdom
In an ever increasingly busy and demanding world, Wednesday Wisdom provides a reflective 2 minute read every week that readers constantly tell us they look forward to. Full of topical and relatable experiences that help provide reflection, motivation and support in achieving a balanced family life.
Over the years, thousands of people have benefitted from and continue to enjoy the parenting and educational talks from Dr Kathy Weston at Tooled up Education and have subscribed to Wednesday Wisdom. Join them now for free and receive your own weekly digest of inspiring, engaging and mindful parenting directly from Dr Weston herself.
“I just wanted to say how grateful I am to read your Wednesday Wisdom email. Perfect size for the time I have to engage and reflect and think about the topics you touch on. It helps me to evaluate my parenting and take a step back to look at scenarios that play out.”
Parent – October 2020
Once upon a time, many years ago, as part of some training I was doing on couples therapy, I came across a case study scenario, shared by a colleague, that I have never forgotten. It featured two parents with a young daughter, who they described as ‘aggressive and very naughty’. In fact, she had taken her shoes and thrown them at her parents in a ‘fit of rage’; an incident which made them wonder if she might need some sort of psychological help.
Parenting Question of the Week
Our Promise: We will answer all questions, and, whilst we may share your question and answer to help others, we will never declare who asked it.
Researcher of the Month
Mishika Mehrotra, PhD student, University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge
Mishika’s research interests include finding ways in which parents and caregivers can promote children’s cognitive development and school readiness.
This month, we highlight Mishika Mehrotra, an exciting researcher to look out for in the future! Mishika is a Gates Cambridge Scholar studying within the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge. Her PhD will add new evidence to an existing body of research which focuses on the importance of dinnertime family conversations in children’s development. She plans to examine the link between dinnertime chat and children’s executive functions.
“Executive function” is an umbrella term which refers to the higher order mental processes that we use to manage our thoughts and behaviour in order to meet the demands of any given situation. As well as being a measure of general intelligence, well developed executive functions are associated with a range of positive outcomes for children, including increased social understanding, academic achievement and fewer behavioural or mental health difficulties. Parenting can play a significant role in their development.
Mishika is working with 70 families with children aged between four and six, to measure the impact of mealtime family conversation. She is obtaining recordings of natural family interactions at home and will assess their quality. She will quantify the impact of family conversation by meeting with children virtually to play games and carry out tasks designed to assess their cognitive abilities. She hopes to publish her findings in 2024.
Implications for parents – Regular family mealtimes, featuring positive interactions, are beneficial to children’s cognitive development and wellbeing. If eating together is not feasible in your home, seek to put aside some other regular time, where you can converse with your child in a similar way. This could, for example, be in the car or whilst you are out for a walk.
Encourage rich conversation by asking open questions and talking about the past and future, as well as abstract ideas and concepts. Aim to use ‘mental state’ language – that which refers to feelings and emotions. We know that mealtime conversations are only beneficial if they are characterised by warmth and positive affect, so try to avoid topics which cause tension or stress.
Tooled Up News
Holidays are well and truly back, the sun is shining, school closures feel like a distant memory and, despite the high numbers of infections, Covid-19 no longer dominates either the headlines or our everyday conversations. News and discussions about current affairs are now rightly focused on the horrifying and urgent situation in Ukraine. However, as we embark on this post-pandemic period, researchers are becoming increasingly aware of the long-term impact that the pandemic has had on the mental health of our children.
Over the past few years, I have interviewed some of the most eminent researchers, criminologists and experts on digital risks and vulnerabilities and asked them what parents need to do to keep their children safe online. Here are 10 tips that I have derived from this work, which schools should emphasise in
"I thought the talk last night was absolutely fantastic. It really helped us to have a vision and how we can support [Child] to develop his resilience."Parent
"So informative - lots of food for thought as a teacher and a parent of two girls. Thank you."Parent
Merchant Taylor's School
"So informative, thought-provoking, practical, awesome!"Parent
South Hill School
"Thank you so much for such a wonderful Q&A, it was so informative and rich with information. I am certain our parent community will use all these resources!"School Welfare Counsellor
St. Catherine's British School
"Expert and engaging, Kathy gives rich, evidence-based guidance. You will come away inspired and empowered"
Dr Johnny Noakes
"It is no exaggeration to say that Dr Weston’s input into our pastoral programme has been transformational. Her presentation to more than two hundred staff was the most inspirational – and practical – training we have received on how to support adolescents through the changes of the teenage years."
Francis Holland School
"Kathy’s talk was engaging, interesting and highly informative throughout. She balanced factual information with personal advice and practical tips to ensure that the talk was relevant and accessible from the outset."
Sarum Hall School
"Just to say you are amazing at what you do.. really really informative and helpful to parents and can’t recommend tooled up highly enough!"
"I just wanted to say that it was great to meet you yesterday. Thank you so much for giving such an impressive and insightful talk. We have had lots of positive comments today about it. You struck just the right tone, and I know that the advice will have been invaluable to so many of our parents. It’s such a vital and important message and we are very grateful to you for sharing your knowledge and insights."
"Thought provoking, deeply engaging and totally relevant to every aspect of my work. Thanks so much for your passion and drive."
Stopsley Community Primary School
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Have a Question?
If you are interested in learning more about Tooled Up Education, have a technical question, press enquiry or any other query, please follow the link below or get in touch with Dr Weston’s team on email: firstname.lastname@example.org