"If you can't stop the war then at least send us steel shelters so children have somewhere to hide, and send us some food so that people don't starve. The children in Syria are so hungry they are eating mud." These are the stark words of 12-year-old Syrian refugee Zeina to world leaders ahead of peace talks this week, which will determine her country's fate.
There were nights the crying got so bad, I hoped my son would stop breathing altogether. There were worse nights than that. And the guilt I felt- for those thoughts, and for my inability to help my son- further fuelled my suffering. I felt as though I deserved to hurt. Then one day in our son's second year, my wife convinced me that we should take him to the clinic...
Despite having an eating disorder I'd never heard of bulimia, let alone knew it was a mental illness. Most days I would run out of lessons or avoid lessons completely to escape the torment of bullies. I'd hide in the boys toilets and lock myself in a cubicle as it was the only place where I couldn't be found.
There is a sad and recurrent theme in many of the worst child abuse scandals - of a child's voice not having been heard. Poor Daniel Pelka, seen looking through bins for food at his school but whose suffering at the hands of his mother and partner was not discovered until it was tragically too late...
I took part in a recent UN convoy that delivered much-needed relief supplies to a hard-to-reach area of rural Idleb, in Syria's north-west. An estimated 40,000 displaced people have taken shelter in Khan Shikhon town, in the southern part of the governorate, swelling the town's regular population of around 80,000. They have come mainly to escape fighting their home areas in rural parts of Idleb and Hama governorates... For many of these vulnerable children and families, the humanitarian situation in Khan Shikhon is grim.
How about a resolution that will change other people's lives and yours too? ChildLine is urgently seeking volunteers to go into schools to talk directly with nine-11-year-old children about different forms of abuse and about staying safe. You don't need any previous experience and you will be given first class training and support.
So only children are the future. Bigger families are increasingly disparaged in the West, remaining the preserve of the opposing ends of the class spectrum, and fewer and fewer of us will be able to afford the financial and time investment required to rear a brood as market conditions adapt to smaller families.
On the busiest Christmas shopping day of the year staff at Action for Children are working to support the poorest families across the UK stay warm and fed. This is a sad reflection of the worsening effects of the tough economic times we are in; in previous years we handed out presents during the festive season.
As the wealth gap grows, schools remain one of the few shared factors of the next generation. I think schools should be institutions of education but also a place of opportunity and equality. Governments should ensure time outside is incorporated into education to guarantee no child is denied the access to nature that is so essential for their development.
On my daughter's first Christmas, my husband Gregor and I discussed Santa. Do we? Don't we? For him, the decision was easy - we can play all the games, but we don't have to actually tell our daughter Santa is real. I thought this sounded reasonable. But part of me was torn. Would we be denying our daughter the magic of Christmas?
This year Christmas at school is a happy occasion. Tom is taking part in the Christmas festivities at school, he attends Hillside Specialist School for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Longridge Preston and he is a different little boy to a year ago all because of this wonderful school.