UK Families

In the Footsteps of Our Families

Robin Lustig | Posted 18.07.2014 | UK
Robin Lustig

Like an ever-increasing number of people, we have a growing interest in our families' origins. But also because, as journalists, we can't help but be aware that migration is one of the biggest challenges facing the world we live in. So it's only natural that as the son and grandson of immigrants, we're irresistibly tempted to use our own families' pasts as a way of examining the present and the future.

Call the Health Visitor

Anne Longfield | Posted 04.07.2014 | UK
Anne Longfield

Pregnancy and the birth of a baby can be a magical time for parents, full of hope for a bright future as they bring their newborn home from hospital. But the experience of pregnancy and becoming a parent can also be an anxious and uncertain time- especially with a first child.

Will 'Saffy' Teens be Absolutely Fabulous for Society?

William Higham | Posted 02.07.2014 | UK Lifestyle
William Higham

In my last article, I identified a new young generation, the SAFFYs: Serious, Active, Forward-Facing Youth. They're very different to the "typical teen" parodied by Kevin the Teenager. Less frivolous, hedonistic, lazy and 'devil may care'. More anxious and responsible about the future, and more respectful of the past.

Is Your Teen a Saffy?

William Higham | Posted 06.06.2014 | UK Lifestyle
William Higham

Teenagers? We know what they're like, don't we. They're hedonistic and impetuous. They want their brands 'edgy' and their work easy. They kiss the future and shun the past. Sex, drugs and R&B.

A Family's Core Task Is to Look After Its Vulnerable Members

Muhammad Abdul Bari | Posted 15.07.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Muhammad Abdul Bari

The community, society and state enter into the scene and must have their role, but upholding this humane ethos is a 'cradle to the grave' family task.

Celebrating Families - International Families Day, May 15 2014

Sigrid Daniel | Posted 08.07.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Sigrid Daniel

What has changed most for you in the last 20 years? Chances are, it's to do with family: maybe you have started one, or you are caring for one. Maybe you have gained new family members or you have suffered a loss? It's possible you are in a blended family situation, a single parent one, or your family has a dual income.

I Want Mama! When Dads Get Rejected

Torsten Klaus | Posted 01.07.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Torsten Klaus

"I don't wanna play with you. I want mama. She is more fun than you, I like her best!" I'm sure many fathers have heard their children saying those or similar expressions. And even worse, often they come out of the blue with no warning, or any justifiable reasons.

The Parent's Drug Cure Is Killing Their Children

Meg Munn | Posted 29.06.2014 | UK Politics
Meg Munn

At the moment the number of children who die or suffer serious harm as a result of taking adult's prescribed medication is thankfully small. But the likelihood of a child dying if they do take these drugs is very high.

Protecting Our Ageing Loved Ones

Beth Britton | Posted 28.06.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Beth Britton

Whilst offering people who genuinely have dementia a timely diagnosis is important, the idea of trying to fit square pegs into round holes just because our disjoined health and social care system cannot provide for an ageing population is wholly unacceptable.

You're £1,000 Worse Off Due To Osborne, Says Balls

The Huffington Post/PA | Posted 04.04.2014 | UK Politics

Families will be almost £1,000 a year worse off as a result of chancellor George Osborne's tax and benefit changes, Labour has claimed as it escalate...

No Shortage of Words on 'Tax-Free Childcare', Nor Sensationalism... Just One Question - What's Happened to the Mission to Explain?

Anand Shukla | Posted 21.05.2014 | UK Politics
Anand Shukla

A few years ago, just after becoming Chief Executive of what was then the Daycare Trust, I took part in an ITV news website discussion with parents on childcare. At the time, uppermost in my mind were threats to children's centres and cuts to support for parents with childcare costs.

Suffolkating: Partying Hard in Old Front Bottom

Mark Piggott | Posted 07.05.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Mark Piggott

At midnight I look up at the screen to see Big Ben, haloed in light, wreathed in the smoke of rockets and bangers, keeping stern watch over the city I called home for almost thirty years: so close, yet so far away.

Suffolkating: Just an Everyday Standard Coincidence?

Mark Piggott | Posted 30.04.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Mark Piggott

Having received a card from the middle-aged couple a few doors along, next week we're having a little soiree for the neighbours - all except Dead Bob Willis and his invisible wife, obviously. As I drive home from Homebase with a boot full of planks singing along to "Rebel Rebel" it somehow feels Christmassy and normal.

Suffolkating: One Part Inspiration, Nine Parts Perspiration

Mark Piggott | Posted 22.04.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Mark Piggott

Sean's spots are healing, Emma making friends; Lynda is working in London today. The house is "coming together" (as in, it's no longer falling apart). The roof of the summerhouse is secured with tarp and screws. There's nothing useful I can do alone. Nothing for it: I must write.

Suffolkating: the Elephant in the Room is the Room

Mark Piggott | Posted 16.04.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Mark Piggott

Neither of the kids seems traumatised by their first day at Straddlewick; we heave sighs of relief. Then, at tooth-brush-time, Emma says Sean was called names by an older boy in the playground.

Suffolkating: The Hillbillies Have X-ray Eyes

Mark Piggott | Posted 09.04.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Mark Piggott

Lynda's supposed to meet me at the train station but the Stilo's out of action: some sort of steering rod calamity that will cost more to fix than we paid for the infernal thing. For about a trillisecond I consider taking a mechanic's course then remember I have better things to do. I'm not sure what, exactly, but I do.

Spare a Thought For the Families of Addicts

Galia Orme | Posted 08.04.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Galia Orme

We cannot ignore or minimise the affect addiction has on others. The reality is that there is no happy ending for anyone involved in the life of an addict. My children have lost their father and I have lost my best friend.

Suffolkating: Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

Mark Piggott | Posted 02.04.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Mark Piggott

Following a great deal of badgering, bribery and blackmail the children allow themselves to be shown round Straddlewick primary by the deputy head and we assume from their relative silence they have no fundamental objection to being educated there.

Suffolkating: Fate Gets the Finger

Mark Piggott | Posted 25.03.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Mark Piggott

Joy! The kitchen sink is finally installed so now we can wash our pots and clothes without resorting to the scabby old bathtub. Shame about the missing cutlery drawer - "I'll come back later," says the plumber, vaguely - but who cares when you can clean your socks without your hands resembling Brillo pads immersed in Jif?*

Putting People, Not Process, First for Families

Anne Longfield | Posted 25.03.2014 | UK
Anne Longfield

The Head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, said on 22nd January that parents and families should take more responsibility for their own lives. It's a view I share. 4Children's own Family Commission told us that families, even very vulnerable families, want to be seen as part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Keeping an Eye on Our Feathered Friends

Mike Collins | Posted 24.03.2014 | UK
Mike Collins

I'm no expert but the very wet and mild winter that we're having must be very confusing for our feathered friends. Their biological clocks will have started to tick early as they will be thinking that we're heading towards the first day of spring rather than being stuck still in the middle of winter. That's the beauty of nature: you don't need to be Sir David Attenborough to understand how the weather is affecting the natural world...

Suffolkating: Good Omens

Mark Piggott | Posted 19.03.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Mark Piggott

Continuing to work in London is disorientating: waking hours before dawn, driving along waterlogged lanes to the station where I wait for the local train to take me into Cambridge, where I make a dash for anything heading towards the city: no time for coffee or breakfast, then I look up drowsily from "Portrait of a Lady" (how did these people ever actually mate?) - and I'm back in the smoke.

Suffolkating: Adders and Asbestos

Mark Piggott | Posted 11.03.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Mark Piggott

One of the main reasons we left our beloved London for a tiny village no-one's ever heard of is the local primary school, which is tiny, with its own little swimming pool and straight As all down its Ofsted report. Unfortunately, although there's a place for Sean there isn't one for Emma and rather than try elsewhere we're keeping the kids home.

UN Convoy Crosses Conflict Line to Reach Vulnerable Children and Families With Emergency Supplies

Michele Al Kaae | Posted 04.03.2014 | UK
Michele Al Kaae

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.

All Around the World, We're All the Same

Samantha van Dalen | Posted 03.03.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Samantha van Dalen

None of us can save another human being. Each of us has a responsibility to save ourselves. No one is to blame when the easiest option becomes the best option. Life is hard. Life is cruel.