"I don't think my dad ever loved me." This is the statement I hear my clients repeating time after time. It's irrelevant who says it, men or women, although it is more common coming from women, given that an unhealthy relationship with their dad, i.e. 'Key Male Figure', tends to reflect in their relationships
I think we often underestimate the benefits that pets can bring to children. I often reflect about how my two boys benefitted immensely from our lovely cat Charlie - sadly no longer with us. He was an elderly stray cat we adopted and he showed them how you had to be tolerant and respect a pet's needs. In return Charlie offered devotion and a listening ear when life was 'unfair'.
Besides their enhanced chances of subjection to violence or of being embroiled in crime either as victims or perpetrators, teens sleeping today in our cities' parks, upon shop doorsteps or 'sofa surfing' between friends and acquaintances often live in real peril of various forms of abuse by adults or older minors who observe their movements over time only to then take advantage of their powerlessness.
Young children bring much joy and love but let's be honest about their day-to-day management. The grinding monotony, constant supervision, logistics, attention and sacrifices, and so on. I regularly find myself wishing my four and six year old daughters would just get on with it, hurry up and grow up.
In every region of the world, the Convention on the Rights of the Child has inspired changes in laws to better protect children, altered the way international organisations see their work for children, and transformed the way children are able to participate in their communities and societies. Today, children across the UK and the world are celebrating this momentous day.
I don't often get called effortless: In fact in a stand up contest with a one legged emu I reckon I would still come off looking more awkward. It's a natural gift of mine, my hair is never tidy, my clothes are always creased and I never, ever look like I have my shit together. This is especially true of birthday parties...
Emotional wellbeing is fundamental to every stage of a child's life - from starting school to entering adulthood - but a shocking number of young people are suffering from mental health problems and not receiving support to fulfil their potential. Action for Children recently conducted research revealing no signs of improvement for these children, with 91% of professionals working with vulnerable young people in our services seeing levels of mental health problems either rising or staying the same over the past year.
I've spent the last few years trying to work out how other parents managed to maintain houses oozing with monastic calm while mine more closely resembled a herd of gorilla at full chat. I was caught up in the irony of a peaceful parenting movement telling me to respect my child while also damning them for not being peaceful enough.