Logo

Hampstead child psychiatrist pens parental guide to help build kids’ self-esteem

PUBLISHED: 11:22 02 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:24 05 June 2017

Dr Holan Liang

Dr Holan Liang

Archant

A child psychiatrist believes that having conversations with your children from a young age is vital in building their self-esteem.

Inside Out Parenting by Dr Holan Liang Inside Out Parenting by Dr Holan Liang

In her mission to “build children from the inside out”, Dr Holan Liang – a consultant psychiatrist at the south London and Maudsley NHS Trust – has penned her first book based primarily on the early years of parenting.

The book – Inside Out Parenting: How to build strong children from a core of self-esteem – evolved largely from her experience as a mother of two young kids, which propelled her to start the blog called Shrink Grows Kids: Can a child psychiatrist raise children?’

Despite her career being based on working with children, Dr Liang believes that nothing can prepare you for the real thing. As well as the impact on your life as a whole, you are left with a decision to make on your career.

“When you have kids you have difficult choice when it comes to balancing your work life and family life,” she said.

"There is a worrying trait that some parents wait to establish their career first before being around for their children, or even wait until they can have intellectual conversations around the dinner table to really speak to them. "

Dr Holan Liang

“When people have children they are often at the point in their lives when they are just about to make real strides in their career, that was certainly the case for me. This sharpens the difficult choice required.

“Each time I came off maternity leave my salary was downgraded and the pay felt atrocious as it barely covered two children in nursery – and that’s a doctor’s salary so I don’t know how many people on a lower salary cope with trying to continue to work.”

“I wanted to be researching and at the cutting edge of my work, but as a child psychiatrist I knew the importance of parental engagement in the early years and so I made the difficult decision to go part time to the detriment of my career. But once my children were at nursery and school, I found myself twiddling my thumbs at home. It felt a waste of my training, so I started my blog.”

In Dr Liang’s book however, the focus is firmly on the kids, and in particular  an empowering approach to parenting that champions building a strong base of “inside things”, such as self-esteem, so that the “outside things”, like achievement in musical exams and academia, has better meaning for your child.

Unpicking the barrage of information available out there, the book helps readers to develop parenting strategies best suited to each individual child rather than presenting a catch-all method.

“I think that the tiger parents, the helicopter parents, the micro-managers and maxi-organisers, the French parents whose children don’t throw food, the Chinese who are all about the tutoring, have been getting their priorities all wrong,” Dr Liang said.

“They’ve been sweating the small stuff – without self-esteem, a child’s achievements will be unfulfilling, their relationships will be lopsided at best and doomed at worst, and perhaps happiness will elude them forever.

“We need to start building them up from the inside out.”

Dr Liang – who lives in north London with her husband and two children – is also a firm believer that the key is parents building a relationship with their kids when they are very young.

“There is a worrying trait that some parents wait to establish their career first before being around for their children, or even wait until they can have intellectual conversations around the dinner table to really speak to them.

“I think that employers and institutions need to allow their employees to be there for their children when it matters.

“Those early years are incredibly formative and it is so important to have conversations with your children from an early age – even if what they are saying doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

In her book, Dr Liang – who is also an honorary consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital – blends scientific reasoning with anecdotal advice, with the latter proving to be just as invaluable.

The over-arching mission is to help nurture children with a strong identity who are ready to “take on the world”.

You can find the book – which was published in May – in Waterstones and by searching for Dr Holan Liang at amazon.co.uk. Take a look at Dr Liang’s blog by visiting shrinkgrowskids.com.

Dr Liang is also holding her book launch at 6.30pm at the Waterstones on Hampstead High Street on Thursday, June 8.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate education news

Former refugees reunite at Chalk Farm school where they met

Two women who arrived in the UK as refugees have returned to the school where they became friends.

Students ditch smartphones and go back to basics in pioneering King Alfred School project

For one week in the summer term, 50 King Alfred School students camp outdoors with six teachers and form their own community.

Highgate Wood School, Fortismere School, Greig City Academy and Hornsey School for Girls star in Haringey awards ceremony

The future is bright in Haringey after a stellar array of school role models were celebrated.

What art education decline? Highgate School students pull off stellar exhibition

Despite widespread fears that art education is in decline, students at Highgate School have shown that there is plenty of appetite for the subject after a stellar exhibition.

From basketball star to debating champion: Haringey high achievers set for Jack Petchey awards

A basketball superstar, champion of debating and teenage interpreter are just some of the characters being rewarded for achieving great things in Haringey this year.

Concerns grow over Muswell Hill Library’s future

Suspicions a much-loved public library could be moved have led to anxiety for its supporters.

Q and A: The Cavendish School headteacher Jane Rogers

In our latest question and answer feature for Ham&High Education, we interviewed The Cavendish School headteacher Jane Rogers.

Teenager dies after being found unresponsive at Hampstead Garden Suburb school

A teenage girl has died after being found unresponsive at her school.

Hampstead child psychiatrist pens parental guide to help build kids’ self-esteem

A child psychiatrist believes that having conversations with your children from a young age is vital in building their self-esteem.

Time running out to bid on your favourite from the Camden School for Girls anonymous art competition

Time is running out to bid on the Camden School for Girls anonymous art auction.

New headteacher determined to lead Portland Place School into new era

A new headteacher has taken up his position at the helm of Portland Place School.

Frank Barnes School rides wave of transition and bags another ‘outstanding’ Ofsted

A Camden school for deaf children has been rated “outstanding” by Ofsted once again, despite moving to a new site and losing a long-serving headteacher in the space of a year.

Placard-wielding Haringey families protest against funding cuts at Highgate Wood and Alexandra Park

Placard-wielding families have ramped up the pressure on campaigning politicians with a series of protests across Haringey’s parks.

Highgate Library ‘being sacrificed’ in possible move to Jacksons Lane

The introduction of plans to relocate a 110-year-old library to a nearby arts centre has been met with resistance by users.

Army of Muswell Hill Primary School students, parents and teachers take on Highgate Woods charity walk

An army of schoolchildren, staff and parents have raised £2,000 by taking part in a sponsored walk around Highgate Woods.

Portland Place School students share social media expertise with Victoria Derbyshire on BBC show

A trio of Portland Place School pupils were invited to the BBC to share their expertise on social media.

Fears grow in Highgate over 110-year-old library’s future home

Visitors to a library which could move from its Highgate home after 110 years have called for a rethink.

Woodside High School working with Muswell Hill energy group to install solar panels on sports hall roof

Woodside High School is working with a Muswell Hill energy group to put up solar panels in a bid to save around £63,000 in electricity bills over the next 20 years.

Camden protest assembly in response to funding cuts cancelled after Manchester Arena attack

A Camden ‘big assembly’ scheduled to take place this afternoon in response to funding education cuts has been cancelled in the wake of last night’s attack in Manchester.

Camden and Haringey parents descend on parks for protest assemblies against school funding cuts

Camden and Haringey parents are descending on parks this week for protest picnics and assemblies against school funding cuts.

Funding, academies and SATs: Haringey politicians debate education issues at St Mary’s Primary School in Hornsey

Funding for education in Haringey came under the spotlight last night as politicians, teachers and parents came together for a ‘question time’ style debate in the run up to the General Election.

Inspirational Highgate Wood sociology teacher lauded by high-flying ex-students at Oxford University

A Crouch End secondary school teacher has been honoured by Oxford University for the inspirational role he played for two of his former students.

Heartlands High School staff and students take on River Thames challenge ahead of trip to Ghana

An army of 115 staff and students from a Wood Green school have completed a 26-mile walk along the River Thames.

Michael Gove debates Brexit at South Hampstead High School

In the run up to the General Election a former leadership candidate for the Conservative party took to the stage at South Hampstead High School for a lively debate with students.

Can you answer these SATs exam questions designed for 11-year-olds?

Hundreds of 11-year-old students across Camden, Barnet and Haringey sat their SATs exams last week - but how would you fare?

Politicians to be quizzed about funding cuts at St Mary’s Primary School in Hornsey

Politicians are set to be quizzed on funding cuts to schools across Haringey in a series of Question Time style evenings.

Highgate School considering ‘gender neutral’ uniforms as students question identity

Highgate School is considering bringing in ‘gender neutral’ uniforms in response to students questioning their identity.

Hasmonean High School, Islamia Girls’ School and UCL Academy come together for inter-faith programme

Students from different backgrounds have been brought together in a programme designed to empower teenage girls.

Campaign at Camden School for Girls launched to promote music education for young people

A campaign to raise awareness of the importance of music education for children is hitting all the right notes.

Crouch End social enterprise sees homeless people getting creative ahead of King’s Cross photography exhibition

A photography exhibition is opening up in King’s Cross on Friday featuring work by homeless people living in hostels across north London.

Fleet-footed Eden Primary School students gearing up for Crouch End fun run

The benefits are endless for a group of fleet-footed youngsters taking part in running sessions before school.

Headteacher of ‘outstanding’ Fortismere School resigns

The headteacher of a Muswell Hill state school which has established itself as one of the best in the country has announced that she will be resigning at the end of the summer term.

Fortismere School determined to play pivotal role in supporting students struggling with mental health

A Muswell Hill school is pulling out all the stops to ensure it plays a pivotal role in supporting students who are struggling with their mental health.

Argyle Primary School students take to stage with cast members of STOMP at Ambassadors Theatre

Camden children took to the stage today with the cast of hit production STOMP as part of a campaign to encourage exercise across the borough.

Camden teachers cycling length of wall that divides Palestinian West Bank and Israel

A group of Camden teachers have challenged themselves to cycle the length of the separation wall that divides the Palestinian West Bank from Israel.

Headteacher lauds staff and students at Hornsey School for Girls following Ofsted report

A headteacher has lauded her staff and students after the latest Ofsted inspection at Hornsey School for Girls.

From maths mystery to maths mastery: Coldfall Primary School teacher on enlightening trip to Singapore

A group of teachers from a Muswell Hill school paid a visit to Singapore over the Easter break in a bid to expand their outlook on the teaching of maths.

Get inspired to put pen to paper by performance of Suddenly at Cockpit Theatre in Marylebone

A theatre company is hoping that children who come along to their latest production will be inspired to put pen to paper.

Parents missing out on National Offer Day due to high demand for ‘outstanding’ primary schools

We spoke to London Metropolitan University’s head of subject for health and childhood Kelly Cooper about her experience of National Offer Day...

Advice for Camden, Haringey, Barnet and Westminster parents on what to do if your child misses out on top primary school place

Families in Camden, Haringey, Barnet and Westminster found out yesterday whether their children had bagged their top choice of primary school.

More Barnet children set to attend primary school of their choice in September

More Barnet children will be attending the primary school of their choice in September.

Camden and Haringey 2017 primary school places allocated

Parents across Camden and Haringey have found out today which primary schools their children will be going to in September.

Campaigners call on Haringey parents to come up with summer term plan of action against funding cuts

Campaigners are calling on parents to help them come up with a plan of action in their fight against funding cuts to schools.

Controversy over private girls’ school teacher taking part in Miss Universe contest

A teacher from top private girls’ school Channing has hit tabloid headlines after announcing she is entering the Miss Universe GB competition.

North London Conservatoire expanding innovative music school for young children to include Hendon

An innovative music centre which provides young children with a wealth of musical opportunities is expanding its school to include Hendon.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

2017 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant