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When Harry hit Sally


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CHILDREN’S BEHAVIOUR is what Andrea Clifford-Poston hopes parents will explore in her new book When Harry Hit Sally, Understanding Your Child’s Behaviour. It is a path of discovery she shared in an exclusive interview with The Resident.

With over 30 years experience as a teacher and education psychotherapist and working with families in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals and clinics, Andrea Clifford-Poston decided to write about child behaviour in response to what parents were asking her.

Named after the title of the famous 1989 romantic comedy When Harry met Sally, Andrea wanted to convey that disruptive and difficult behaviour is normal, saying that everybody thinks that everybody else’s children are good all the time and people are sometimes reluctant to share how difficult siblings can be behind closed doors.

“I wanted a title that normalised difficult behaviour and also say that it had meaning, that children weren’t just being difficult, they were trying to communicate,” said Andrea.

This book is aimed at helping parents regain their parenting skills by thinking about what their child’s behaviour is communicating to them and showing parents that their children are behaving in a certain way for a reason.

“Parenting has always been difficult, but it has changed and become more complex as nowadays both parents are likely to work outside the home and children are much closer to the media than before,” said Andrea, adding “Children are becoming more materialistic and are growing up too quickly by becoming sexualised”.

In this book, a variety of topics are covered by chapter including sibling rivalry, the impacts of divorce and understanding issues at school, which are further broken down into segments.

The main thing she wants to convey to parents in this book is for them not to be afraid of getting it wrong, but to keep the communication open between them and their children.

“We didn’t choose our parents, we took what we got and we made the best of it and that is what children do,” said Andrea, adding “People will forget what you said and what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel and that is how it is with parenting”.

Andrea Clifford-Poston has now written four books, the fourth which will be released in February 2008 being for professionals who work with children.

As well as writing and working with children, Andrea also shares a great love for the theatre as well as physical exercise and walking.

“I also read a lot and am currently doing an English literature course at Guidlford University one day a week,” said Andrea.

She is a regular visitor to the Algarve, having owned a villa in Carvoeiro for six years which she visits often for a break from writing and lecturing.

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