‘I hate the idea of ‘optimising’ your child – a child isn’t a project to perfect, but a person to relate to’

‘I hate the idea of ‘optimising’ your child – a child isn’t a project to perfect, but a person to relate to’

The Guardian’s agony aunt Philippa Perry tells Elaine Prendeville why her new book on child psychology might just change the world – if parents don’t ‘string’ her up first

When a child screams, cries and is a complete pain in the arse, what should you do? Ignore them? Scold them? Punish them? Cry?

What you should do, according to Philippa Perry, is none of the above. Perry, a psychotherapist best known as the Guardian’s agony aunt – and artist Grayson Perry’s other half – says you should get down on their level, sympathise with them, and acknowledge their feelings. You should not treat them...

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