Experts launch animated parenting tips for struggling households during lockdown

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

A series of short films featuring a host of famous faces offering parenting tips during the lockdown, has been launched by experts.

With UK schools expected to remain closed until June, there are growing concerns that many families face increasing challenges as some restrictions on movement remain in place.  

Eight short films offering parenting tips have now been launched called  ‘Families Under Pressure’, featuring the recognisable voices of a host of well-known parents including Olivia Colman, Rob Brydon, Holly Willoughby, Danny Dyer, Sharon Horgan, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Romesh Ranganathan and Shappi Khorsandi.  

King’s College London, Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Maudsley Charity - Profeare, and the University of Nottingham have launched ‘Families Under Pressure’ to help families struggling under the Coronavirus pandemic.  

The tips are based on decades of research from the UK’s leading experts and rooted in the experience of NHS teams working with families and feedback from parents, and are available free on a dedicated website, along with informative resources, to provide parents and carers with tips on how to respond when children play up. 

This comes after government research released last week revealed that 4 in 10 adults (44%) said homeschooling was putting a strain on their relationships in the household, and a further 46% said their own well-being had been affected under lockdown*. 

Families under pressure provides important advice and reminders selected by experts that parents can trust. It is delivered in a brief and entertaining format so that parents who are already stressed and worried can quickly use the advice to help them and their children.”
David Daley, Professor of Psychological Intervention and Behaviour Change, in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, is one of the experts who helped develop the films

The eight episodes provide tips and advice on: 

TIP 1: Keeping positive and motivated – Academy Award-winning actor Olivia Colman explains the importance of looking after yourself and staying connected with others, to ensure you look after and stay connected to those you love.  

TIP 2: Making sure everyone knows what’s expected of them – Actor and comedian Sharon Horgan explains how to introduce simple rules that can be applied to everyone in the household.

TIP 3: Building your child’s self-confidence and trust in you – Actor and presenter Danny Dyer talks through advice on how to ensure your children know they are valued.

 TIP 4: Getting your child to follow instructions – Comedian and actor Rob Brydon provides advice on ensuring your child listens when you ask them to do something. 

TIP 5: Promoting better behaviour – Athlete Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill offers advice on building good behaviour through rewards. 

TIP 6: How to limit conflict – TV presenter Holly Willoughby explains how to implement a plan that will help avoid situations that can result in conflict.

 TIP 7: Keeping calm when your kids act up – Comedian Romesh Ranganathan shows parents how to take a moment to collect their thoughts when things start to erupt.

 TIP 8: Using sanctions carefully – Comedian and author Shappi Khorsandi explains how to deliver sanctions carefully, calmly and consistently. 

‘Families under Pressure’ is funded by Maudsley Charity and the National Institute for Health Research Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre.  They are based on ‘Pointers on parenting under pressure (POPUP); Evidence-based support for families getting through difficult times”. Edmund Sonuga-Barke PhD FMedSci FBA (King’s College London) with Margaret Thompson MD PhD, Jana Kreppner PhD, Hanna Kovshoff PhD, Catherine Thompson MSc and Sam Cortese MD PhD (University of Southampton), David Daley PhD (University of Nottingham) and Johnny Downs MD PhD (King’s College London).

Story credits

More information is available from Professor David Daley from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, at

Charlotte Anscombe - Media Relations Manager - Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Phone: 0115 748 4417

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

More news…

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798