Kate Silverton on how her new book became all-consuming: ‘I’ve pulled more all-nighters than in my 20s’

·5 min read
Kate Silverton said she'd pulled all nighters to get her new parenting book finished on time (Image: Getty Images)
Kate Silverton said she'd pulled all nighters to get her new parenting book finished on time (Image: Getty Images)

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She may be best known for being a BBC news anchor, however, Kate Silverton has now added author to her CV with her first book, on parenting, being published this spring.

For Silverton, who is currently studying to be a children’s counsellor, There's No Such Thing As 'Naughty' was a real passion project. 

Speaking on White Wine Question Time, she explained to host Kate Thornton how the idea came to her during the first lockdown.

Read more: Kate Silverton on grieving for the children she never thought she’d have

“At the start of lockdown, I was in the school at the school gates talking to other parents," she said. 

"I already knew it was going to impact on the children that the charities really helped, because that's at the really acute end of children's mental health, but here were parents saying to me, ‘My daughter has changed beyond all recognition, she's actually banging her head against the wall.’ 

"And we'd only been in the home schooling for like, a few weeks.”

Watch: Kate Silverton on why you should never leave a baby to cry it out

Buy it: There's No Such Thing As Naughty by Kate Silverton | £11.58 from Amazon

There's No Such Thing As Naughty by Kate Silverton
There's No Such Thing As Naughty by Kate Silverton

In her journalistic capacity, Silverton wrote a few articles for newspapers but couldn’t help but feel there was more she could offer parents who were struggling, especially as she had been researching the topic for a while in her quest to become a therapist for children.

“All the research that I've been doing was bubbling up, and I thought I need to get all of this down,” she told Thornton.

“It all happened very quickly. I spoke to a publisher…And before I knew it, I had written this proposal.”

She continued: "I just thought we don't have enough therapists out there; we don't have enough support. I thought if I can just write something to share all the science that I've been studying and all the knowledge, because there's loads of practical tips and tools that will really help parents right now.”

Listen: Kate Silverton talks about why we need to be more honest about parenting in the latest episode of White Wine Question Time

Silverton, who juggled the project alongside home schooling her two children Clemency and Wilbur, with the help of her husband Mike Heron, said the project took over her life for a few months. Her need to balance her children’s mental health, meant she found herself working around the clock.

“It just became this all-consuming thing and I thought it'd be deeply ironic if I'm actually neglecting my own kids in the process,” she laughed.

“So, during the day I was with my kids. I pulled more all-nighters in the last year than I did when I was like 20! It was a little bit intense.”

The book, which looks at the science of how young brains works, shows parents that behaviour perceived as naughty isn’t always so – especially tantrums — and it’s already won some celebrity fans since being published in April of this year.

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Silverton said: “Joe Wicks has just come out saying ‘This is life changing, you’ve changed my life because exactly for that reason, he’s now seeing his kids as not naughty, but actually having a need and he’s like I can stop it in seconds, it’s amazing!”

One of the things Silverton advocates is not leaving children to cry, which goes against advice doled out by cult parenting writer Gina Ford.

“There is never ever, ever any shame or blame with parenting because we can only do what we've been told,” she said.

“But understanding that leaving a baby to cry it out — and I mean prolonged crying, not just a little bit of crying where a baby has got a sort of a wobbly bottom lip — the baby stops crying because they give up. That’s sort of a devastating when we think they've given up.

“There's no mammal that would leave a cub to cry, in the middle of the night, when their little ancient brain is saying 'I'm scared, there might be a predator around the corner.' They would go and comfort, so I just want us to sort of go back to what it is to be human.”

Kate Silverton, seen here with her son Wilbur and daughter Clemency, says she's worried for the mental health of children post pandemic (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Dockers)
Kate Silverton, seen here with her son Wilbur and daughter Clemency, says she's worried for the mental health of children post pandemic (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Dockers)

The BBC news anchor, who starts studying for her Masters degree in psychotherapy this September, says while journalism is still important to her, she can see herself moving away from her current role as news presenter.

“It's getting to the point now where I would I still want to use a journalism, I'd still love to be working within the BBC or elsewhere, with a programme around this — raising awareness around children's mental health,” she told Thornton.

“I've got a little bit of a plan — not much of a plan, I mean, I don't sort of plan it out too much! My kids come first and foremost, and my lovely hubby, and then the rest is kind of with the counselling that just brings me such joy!”

Hear Kate Silverton talk about the struggle to conceive naturally in the latest episode of White Wine Question Time. Listen now on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

WATCH: Kate Silverton on being held hostage by the man that would become her husband

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