Expecting kids to all be at a certain level at the exact same time is on a par to expecting toddlers to all walk at the exact same time. It dismisses your unique gifts, your individuality and forgets that in the long run, you'll all get there in your own time.
In Italy, kids are encouraged to be part of every social occasion that revolves around food - it's not about dividing the kids from the adults, giving them separate meals or putting them to bed early. The kids are part of the social activity of everyday life and they are encouraged to eat, smell, touch and experience new tastes day in day out.
I once imagined that having a baby would be a pretty romantic affair. I figured that we'd conceive this baby on holiday or following a candlelit meal. I fantasised about how I would tell my husband, maybe by wrapping the pregnancy test as a gift, or spelling out the news in Alphabetti Spaghetti on his plate.
We have our day, every week. A day free of work, when there are no other requirements upon my time or attention. Our mother and daughter day, when it's just the two of us whiling away the precious minutes and hours.
While some schools insist phones are handed in at the gates, others embrace the technology and build lessons around it. While most secondary schools find it tough to police phone usage, many primary schools lay down a zero tolerance policy.
Encourage children and young people to ask questions, and try to answer them simply and honestly. They may need to ask the same question several times as a way of coming to terms with what has happened. If they do ask questions, they are probably ready to hear the answers.
Science simply gives you the means to understand what you are curious about. I think that's why young children have a natural aptitude for it, why they like it so much and do so well at it. Their inherent inquisitiveness is still in overdrive.
Teachers have a wealth of experience of working with and supporting children. Their ability to provide a trusted, thoughtful listening ear should never be underestimated. There are multiple pressures on teachers' time, but their skills are invaluable in supporting children - especially children with mental health problems.
Post-truth politics are in full effect at the Department for Education. In response to the growing clamour surrounding the biggest cuts to school funding in a generation, Ministers keep trotting out the same line; that they are spending more on education than ever before.
I carried on as normal, giving a somewhat rusty input for a lesson on line graphs and circulating around the class clarifying my often-misunderstood instructions. D turned out to be curious: a thinker, a questioner.
There is a lot of emphasis now on body positivity, I for sure struggled with that my whole life. When I look back at photos of when I was 16 I feel so sorry for that girl, so much time spent thinking I was fat; I wish I was that 'fat' now.
Yes homework should be banned. I have said it before and I'll say it again - children need to be allowed to be children. The school day is jam packed enough with academic and educational lessons, and in my opinion that is where it needs to stay.
I wanted to share with you some of the words of the young people who took part. They spoke about the pressures from society, school, celebrities, the media and their families. Alongside dealing with the challenges of just growing up, one area which was mentioned frequently was the sheer relentless of the body image pressures they faced:
It occurred to me the other day that I don't really see myself as a 'widower' anymore. Nothing about losing my wife feels any different, but it's only really when I have to fill in the marital status section of some sort of form that I think, Oh shit! That's me!
Those two approaches are not the only options, though. The best option is to allow someone to explore their feelings, support them in gaining self-understanding, and accept their identity whatever it turns out to be. It is not complicated, and it's only scary if you are still holding onto the belief that being either autistic or transgender - or, perish the thought, both - is a terrible thing to be. Which it's not. I am, along with countless others like me, living proof of that.
There is no point trying to shield children from such derogatory and demeaning language and hate-filled invective - not when the leader of the free world thinks it's acceptable and it's therefore reported on every media outlet possible.