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Bringing up Britain

Mariella Frostrup presents the series that explores the complex realities of parenting in today's Britain.

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Bringing Up Britain presenter Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC Radio 4's parenting series, Bringing up Britain, returns for another year to explore the complex realities of parenting in today's Britain. Each episode, Mariella Frostrup hosts a debate about parenting with families, experts and policy-makers.

This series includes topics including:
Intelligence and IQ
Divorce and separation
Behaviour, manners and discipline


Join the debate

Let us know your views in the polls for each episode.

But what do children and young people think?

Dr Victoria Cooper asks 'Do we really listen to children and young people?' in an article about participation from the Children's Research Centre at the Open University. Ellie Jones speaks about her experience of youth participation in a video interview.

We also asked a group of 12-16 year olds what they think of the poll questions and issues in each episodes - click here to see the results and compare their answers with your own views. 

Find out more

Here on OpenLearn, you can dive deeper into the subject of parenting, childhood and youth studies:

The first episode airs at 9.00am on Wednesday 2nd September 2015 on BBC Radio 4, with an edited repeat at 9.30pm. For more information, visit the programme page on

Boosting your child's IQ

Silhouetted girl blowing bubbles against a blue sky Creative commons image Icon By Asim Bharwani [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr Creative Commons under Creative-Commons license As summer ends and children trade flip flops for school shoes, Bringing Up Britain starts the new academic year exploring what can affect a child’s IQ.

Parents who read to their children, talk at the dinner table and help with homework might have happy offspring, but will they be making them smarter?

In the light of research into the influence of genes, Mariella and her guests debate the role of parenting on intelligence. They explore recent research into the effect of exercise and sleep and ask what difference can breastfeeding, flashcards, violin lessons and superfoods really make.

In this first episode of the new series, Mariella is joined by Dr Stuart Richie, Postdoctoral Fellow in Cognitive Ageing at the University of Edinburgh; writer and consultant Sue Palmer; Dr Sophie von Stumm, Lecturer in Psychology at Goldsmiths and Director of their Hungry Mind Lab; and Hilary Wilce, writer, advice columnist and coach.

Take the poll - Can we make our kids clever?

But what do children and young people think?

Find out more about childhood and parenting

Study with The Open University

Episodes in this series

Episode Description
Behaviour, manners and discipline In the final programme of three, Mariella and guests debate the best methods of tackling bad behaviour when children... Read more
Divorce, separation and children In the second programme, Mariella and guests explore what parents can do when they have decided to end their... Read more
Boosting your child's IQ In the first programme, Mariella Frostrup and guests start the new school year exploring what can affect a child's IQ. Read more


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