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Hilary Wilce
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Hilary Wilce is an education correspondent, best-selling author and personal development coach, whose advice column ran for ten years in The Independent, a leading UK daily newspaper. She has written widely on education for newspapers and magazines in both UK and the USA, and brought her three children up in both countries. As a coach, she knows that people must find their deepest values in order to make their best life choices. In education, she knows that parents need to help their children make the most of school. Her latest education book is "The Six Secrets of School Success" . Her previous book “Backbone: build the character your child needs to succeed” was a parenting best-seller. A graduate of Cambridge University, she also has an MA in creative writing from London University, and is an award-winning short story writer.

Entries by Hilary Wilce

Help? Can ANYONE Teach Me to Sing?

(2) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 8:18 AM

Please, please, can anyone tell me the secret of singing?

Years ago, my music teacher at school pronounced me 'a groaner' and told me to mime through every school concert and carol service. Fast forward through many miserable years of not singing Happy Birthday to friends and family, or joining...

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The Hard, Daily Switch from Work to Home

(1) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 6:22 PM

An Australian website recently sent me a list of interview questions about my book, Backbone, including one about how "time-poor" working parents can help their children develop character strengths like resilience and persistence.

But by far the biggest problem for working parents is not time, but tuning.

As...

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Your Child's School Success? It's All in Your Head

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 1:25 PM

You want your child to do well in school. Of course you do. But where does this success start?

Is it in the excellent genes that you and your partner have passed on to them? In the first-class nursery you signed them up for? Or the school that you've carefully...

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6 Things That Will Set Your Child Soaring At School This Year

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 6:09 PM

There are six things will make all the difference to how well your child does at school this year. Six things will make them feel happy to walk into the classroom, excited about what they are learning there, and able to use all their energies to play, learn and grow....

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The Real Secret of School Success

(4) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 4:42 PM

Here's the honest truth about school -- almost all children could do better there.

I know this for certain after spending my life as an education correspondent, visiting schools all over the world, sitting in on hundreds of lessons and talking to thousands of school students, teachers, principals, helpers...

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6 Guaranteed Ways to Screw Up Your Child's Education

(9) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 6:43 PM

Want your child to get as little out of school as possible? Here's how.


1. Ensure they understand, from babyhood on, that learning is a competitive issue. Focus intensely on all block-building, finger-painting and shape-posting activities to make sure your child is staying ahead of other children. Point...

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Children - Not Galley Slaves

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 12:02 PM

How I hate the phrase "driving up standards".

Every time I hear it, I see primary-age schoolchildren, bent low and sweating over heavy oars, struggling to propel the great ship of education towards some distant, hazy destination that their elders and betters have deemed they must aim for.

Politicians, of...

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What to Do -- and Not Do -- to Live a Really Great Life

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 7:28 PM

One of my closest friends died of a stroke last month -- a shocking and unexpected death for someone who was still young and deeply in the thick of life. Her funeral took place in her country village in Kent on a day of sunshine and birdsong and apple blossom...

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5 Things Tomorrow's Parents Will Do Differently

(29) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 2:01 PM

I was walking along my street the other morning when I saw an extraordinary sight: a toddler, scooting along on his scooter without a helmet or any protective gear cushioning his knees or elbows.* Then, in his enthusiasm, he over-scooted, tumbled sideways onto the sidewalk and began to wail. "Oh,...

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5 cosas que me hubiera gustado darle en menor cantidad a mis hijos

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 2:01 AM

Los padres podemos pasar un montón de tiempo preocupándonos de si estamos dando a nuestros hijos todo lo que necesitan. Pero, ¿qué pasaría si les estuviéramos dando demasiado? Ahora que lo veo todo con más perspectiva, me doy cuenta de que debería haberles dado menos de estas cinco cosas a...

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5 Dinge, von denen ich meinen Kindern am liebsten weniger mitgegeben hätte

(0) Comments | Posted March 23, 2014 | 9:30 AM

Wir Eltern können uns nicht genug den Kopf darüber zerbrechen, ob wir unseren Kindern genug von dem geben, was sie brauchen. Aber was ist, wenn wir ihnen das falsche geben? Hier sind fünf Dinge von denen ich mir wünsche, dass ich meinen Kindern davon weniger gegeben hätte.

1. Weniger Zeit...

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5 Things I Wish I'd Given My Kids Less Of

(6) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 2:19 PM

We parents can spend a lot of time worrying about whether we're giving our children enough of what they need. But what if we're giving them too much of the wrong things? Here are five things I wish -- with the wisdom of hindsight -- I'd given mine less of....

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Parenting: Let's Hear it for Experience

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 6:28 PM

A recent article in The Times (London, not NY), "The 12 deadly sins of middle-class parenting,' deemed me a "childcare expert" -- causing several people to ask me, rather pointedly, who did I think I was to tell other people how to bring up their children?

Fair question....

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Schools and Parents Have to Work Together on Character Education

(1) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 4:31 PM

British Members of Parliament have discovered that children must have grit, courage and determination to do well in school.

As I write this, they are publishing a report calling for "a national conversation" in the UK on how to build resilience and character in children, in order to help...

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Resilience: Why There's So Much More to It Than We Think

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 6:49 PM

Reading The New York Times yesterday morning I found it calling Bill Clinton "the Big Dog himself, the gallivanting global statesman who is more popular than he has ever been," and my mind flicked back a few months to when I saw at first-hand how he does it.

I...

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6 Qualities Kids Need to Succeed -- and One They Don't

(3) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 9:40 AM

I spent last year researching and writing a book about the six key character strengths that children need to live happy, successful lives.

And everyone I told that I was writing it knew exactly what the first one should be. Of course they did. We all have characters. We all...

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