Jean Piaget, the Swiss psychologist, was particularly interested in the role of play in child development. He demonstrated that play can be an effective vehicle for children to learn about their world. He would say, 'Play is the work of children.
Before she could read, my child had a strong sense of gender based on the same stereotypes we encountered on the high street, from clothing and toys, to cards and pull-ups. Whatever stereotypes our society is guilty of, they are reinforced exponentially by a consumer culture that puts all its faith in gender marketing.
The first weekend went pretty much without a hitch. The kids all made it to where they needed to be; the older one made her art class, the younger one made his party; the middle one got a bike ride. We managed to get the shopping done, do some arts and crafts, sing a few songs, and have a dance around the coffee table.
We are being misled to think Barbie is empowered because she's wearing shrubs, a suit, overall, uniform or geeky T-Shirt. But Barbie can't actively use her body to walk, jump, or, in fact, work. She was made to be an object we look at and kit out. What she wears when she's boarding a jet is more important than how fast she can fly it.
Some days I look in the mirror and hear, 'urgh, not today'. My hair isn't right, my face looks dull and carries the marks of yesterday's mask, the one I have worn to face the day. Other days I take a peek and say, 'yeah, bring it on!', and for sure the day goes better. I might look the same, but I'm more self-accepting, less critical.
Society has been telling women for years that their sole purpose in life is to breed and reproduce. That's what we're here for right? That's why we women have a uterus, to spawn more humans. It's expected of us and has been since the dawn of time. How else is the population of the world expected to grow otherwise, correct?
Against this background of Mothering Sunday hysteria, it's understandable that over the years various teachers, play school helpers and creche supervisors approach the inevitable 'for whom should we make the card' conversation with us with visible dread.
Can you believe that my daughter is going to be 1 this week? I can't, and I've been a bit slow in the buying of birthday gifts in comparison to when her big brother turned one. Denial? Probably. But it was in buying her special first birthday gift that got me to thinking...
It was World Book Day. Many of us would have dressed up our children and sent them to school in fun outfits. Maybe we took a picture and posted online or shared it with a relative. What pride, to see our children engaged with reading - with character and with stories...
We need to make a commitment to children that it is them, not the abusers who will be protected from hereon. Within all cultures, and for children of all ages, the belief that if you are young you should be seen and not heard, with all that it represents, must finally be laid to rest.
Mother's Day is the one day of the year when the little bosses get to appraise my contribution to the family firm over the last year. Actually, all things considered, I think I've had a pretty good year, demonstrating dedication to the task in hand, flexibility, commitment and a willingness to work long hours in some frankly quite trying circumstances.
We know that preventing violence won't just make life better for children around the world, it will be critical to making progress for children in all areas - including ending poverty, providing access to education and promoting gender equality. Together we can prevent violence against children - 1 billion of the world's children are crying out for it. If we don't act now, who will?
This weekend a very important seminar on the Prevent programme was held, by voluntary community organisation PreventWatch. A diverse amount of people ...
In 1951, inspired by a mix of guilt and hope, governments around the world got together to write a Refugee Convention. It was sort of a blue print for...
My role is different. As a writer my working life is flexible. And boy does it need to be because my wife works too. Like an increasing number of British fathers I only bring home part of the bacon, the rest of the time spent cooking, cleaning, picking up or dropping off.
Last week, on Thursday February 18th, I had the great honour to be invited to take part in one of the festivals held at London's Southbank Centre. As part of the Imagine Children's Festival, which ran from February 9th until the 22nd, I joined celebs, such as Cerrie Burnell and Carrie Grant, and many others to read a chapter of the classic kids book Matilda for Dahl In A Day.