‘Families Under Pressure’ is a series of eight short films offering parenting tips 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.

The tips are based on decades of research from the UK’s leading experts and are rooted in the experience of NHS teams working with families and feedback from parents. IoPPN, SLAM and the Maudsley Charity worked with top creative agency TOAD London and animators Esther Lalanne, Aysha Tengiz, Caitlin McCarthy and Giulia Frixione to turn the tips into short films. These are now available free on the Families Under Pressure website, along with resources, to provide parents and carers with tips on how to respond when children play up. 

Stress of parenting

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

"We are hearing that many families are struggling with restrictions. This comes as no surprise as research shows that bored and worried children are more likely to play up and cause disruption, and frustrated parents can over-react to these challenges. Very quickly, these sorts of behaviours can escalate and lead to the breakdown of relationships and exacerbation of problems " – Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke, Professor of Developmental Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, King’s College London.

He continues, "The idea for Families Under Pressure came when I was thinking about how my poor old mum might have coped with me in this situation, as I was quite a handful as a child. What advice would she have found helpful?"

"These tips were originally intended to support families dealing with pressures of ADHD and other behavioural challenges, but are relevant for families facing the current challenges too. I am sure that having well-loved and recognisable parents narrating and a digestible and shareable format, will really help at a time when it is needed most." 

The eight episodes provide tips and advice on:

Keeping positive and motivated

Academy Award-winning actor Olivia Colman explains the importance of looking after yourself and staying connected with those you love.

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.

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.

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.

Promoting better behaviour

Athlete Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill offers advice on building good behaviour through rewards.

How to limit conflict

TV presenter Holly Willoughby explains how to implement a plan that will help avoid situations that can result in conflict

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.

Using sanctions carefully

Comedian and author Shappi Khorsandi explains how to deliver sanctions carefully, calmly and consistently.


The animations are also available to view on the King's College London YouTube channel.