Don't get me wrong: Often it's okay to play the Child Card. But don't abuse it. Don't think that because life is so difficult for you as a parent, non-parents are obliged to make your life easier. I'll let you decide the date and place we meet. I won't comment on you turning up an hour late. But it's because I'm being nice, not because I owe it to you.
Let's face it, Lila just can't find the staff these days. I pander to her whims based on a battle to battle evaluation; The bottom line being how prepared I am to deal with a mini-person literally melting onto the carpet.
Unbeknown to me at the time my anorexia was trying to regress me back to a time where I was carefree and cared for - not having to face harsh realities of life like my parents' catastrophic divorce or becoming a young lady.
You have no idea whether I am infertile, had countless miscarriages and/or abortions or had a child adopted. It's a personal question and it's not your place to ask. The same goes for the marriage query as well.
Fast forward eight years and three children later and I am only just starting to be more open about these topics of conversation. This is important because I don't want my own children, nor the teenagers whom I teach, to feel there is a stigma connected with mental illness.
Talk to children using words they understand and are appropriate for their age. It's best to use honest, clear language if possible. It's probably best to tell children information a bit at a time, giving them the opportunity to come back with more questions. Older children will want and be able to handle more information.
As a father, this plays on my mind. On a very basic level I want my son to understand that he can express himself unhindered - that being free to pursue artistic creativity is as important as maintaining healthy physical wellbeing or achieving academic success.
Every screen is splashed with the red of breaking news. Another needless attack, civilians injured, innocent people killed and indiscriminate slaughter. How can we explain this to our children? What kind of message is this sending out?
First smiles, the first time they sleep through the night, first steps, first day at school. All big milestones for our little ones. But what about the parents? What about the milestones we reach? What about the crap that no one warns you about? The first Poonami.
Interestingly enough every time I spoke to the midwife about this she always smiled sweetly and said: "please keep an open mind Tina" - I scoffed knowing full well I did not need an 'open mind' as it was all going to go just beautifully thank you very much!
Exams seem to be emerging as a new battleground not only for children, but schools, government and now seem to be responsible for dragging parents into a new fear spiral. It's a very different world from when we were kids.
It took many years to become 'normal', whatever that is. Once I had finished therapy, inpatient and outpatient treatments, ending all mediations, I felt I was finally mentally fit and ready to take on the world.
I'll hasten to point out that I don't in any way regret my decision to be a mother. This is not a "what a mistake" type thought. Indeed, I truly wouldn't have it any other way and if I went back in time I'd still have sex with my idiot ex-husband at the same time on the same day to make sure that the exact same little human was produced from that union. That doesn't take away my understanding however.
Their families, friends and pets won the day for my audience of 4-7 year-olds. They then proceeded with the task they'd been set; to devise a character for their own story that would make them smile.
When we talk about children receiving a good start in education there is sometimes an assumption that they all begin primary school on an equal footing. But children can grow up at a very different pace and in particular those who don't develop communication skills early on can face an uphill battle to catch up.
Teachers find themselves taking all the responsibility for the attainment of the class. If they are not succeeding in tests then we are the ones feeling stressed, often feeling the 'failure' more keenly than the students.