Melanie Hartgill's book: Raising a star achiever

Melanie Hartgill’s book: Raising a star achiever

I am very happy to share with you all that my book has been published:

If only came with a parents’ guide …

Raising happy, well adjusted children is a tall order for any parent or caretaker. All parents want what’s best for their children and will do whatever it takes to help them navigate life. But being a parent doesn’t mean you have all the answers!

Questions like:

  • What do children really need?
  • How can I build my child’s self-esteem?
  • What are the typical skills my child can learn at his age?
  • What is the best way to discipline my children?
  • How do I help my child to accept the new baby?
  • Should I restrict or even monitor my children’s use of technology?

are just some of the issues that parents often struggle with and feel ill-equipped to handle.

As an educational psychologist and mother of two, I will skilfully lead you through the thrilling labyrinth of parenthood. My vast experience, professional advice and helpful suggestions, combined with my unique insight as a parent, will guide you on your exciting and challenging journey of raising children.


The world we live in today is fast paced and as parents we have to fulfill a number of roles every day, over and above our responsibility for our children. The pressure is on our children at school in order to succeed, in the academic field as well as sporting and cultural activities. The amount of homework they receive has increased over the last few years and we still want them to have the opportunity to relax, play, be children and have fun.


Articles and books are being published on a daily basis that provide more information about what we should be doing as parents and in doing so, they often serve to put additional pressure on us as well. It would be very easy to feel overwhelmed or inadequate as a parent, which could turn into putting additional pressure on our children to achieve more. We wear many different hats as parents and, more recently, this has included the hat of teacher as we assist with homework tasks that are brought home; some find it far easier to wear this hat than others. I thought it would be useful to provide information about tackling school and homework tasks with our children in a way that remains fun, practical but beneficial. By breaking the tasks into their essential components of reading, writing, spelling and maths and giving additional tips on how to set a good homework environment and routine, I hope to make the homework hat easier to wear.


Many parents say they only want their children to be happy but it can be quite hard to keep this goal in mind when there are so many expectations on us and our children today. We want to raise children who have good morals and values, in order to improve behaviour and enhance relationships with one another. We want our children to be confident and have high self-esteem, enabling them to tackle the daily problems they will face both in and out of school, as well as when they are adults. Discipline is important but techniques that worked in the past are not necessarily considered acceptable by many nowadays and therefore different strategies need to be available.


We live in a constantly changing world with technology advancing daily. Our children tend to be used to instant gratification because if they want to know something don’t have to take a walk to the local library and look up the information in an encyclopaedia, they can simply log onto the Internet, found on their smart phone (which is normally attached to their hand) and find out the answer to their question. I do not think any parent would really want their child to fall behind their peers and society in general in terms of their ability to use technology but at the same time, there needs to be limits as to how much time a child spends in front of screens.


I wanted to remind you of what our daily pressures look like, as well as those of our children, because this was at the forefront of my mind when I put this book together. I wanted to provide a practical resource that gives parents short but useful suggestions that they can use to help them tackle some of these daily challenges. One chapter particularly stood out for me, Out and about with children, because it has become commonplace to provide a smart phone, tablet or portable DVD player in order to keep children amused when they are not at home. As a family, we have never needed to rely on these; sitting in waiting rooms, standing in queues at the supermarket, sitting in a traffic jam trying to get to or from school, waiting in the car for an older child to finish school next activity is the perfect opportunity to spend some fun time with your children playing a game that is enjoyable and often enhances learning skills in one form or another. I found it incredibly difficult to limit myself in this chapter and feel that I could have written entire book all by itself just on games and activities that can be played to have fun with your kids while also building various essential skills.


I really hope that you find this book to be useful for you and your children and I am confident that you will have fun together playing the suggested games as a means of getting through daily life. If my suggestions can take the pressure off in just one area and allow you and your children have more fun together, then I have done what I intended to do.