In the parent training world this is the million dollar question (although unfortunately for my bank balance not literally). It's the number one thing I'm asked. How do I say no without starting World War 3?
The beginning of a new year is a time when ambitions and dreams are taken from under the bed, dusted off and thoughtfully considered. For a lot of us, it's a good time for soul searching and a great time for change, and in the world of fostering in 2017 there is a great deal of change that's needed.
I'm angry that in resorting to easy stereotypes Ms Sarler takes attention away from the vital central point. This is that some adopted young people are traumatised. Some have terrible trouble coping. Some families struggle. Many cry out for help and face a wall of indifference in return.
If Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher have shown us anything (and they have both shown us so much during their lives) it's that true love exists in the everyday of life. It doesn't have to be a big, Romeo and Juliet style affair. It is in the simple love between a parent and their child.
The emotional pity has turned to real stares. Falling into their trap my Wife and I begin to give each other those eyes that say, "I'm out of ideas, you got any Einstein? And this is your damaged personality coming out in our kids."
We all went downstairs together and guided Joseph towards his pile of presents. He glanced across and asked where the iPad was. I explained that there would be no iPad and encouraged him to open his presents.
The second reason I'm a fan is the many similarities between my motivation for my work and James' motivation for his. James' mum had younger onset dementia, and he gave up his career to care for her. His experiences with his mum have underpinned everything he's put into creating and now running Unforgettable.
On Christmas Eve, I will join my parents for a night of fun, laughter, and joy. But this cheerful atmosphere sharply contrasts the mood of the family gathering seven years earlier. On that day, my father informed me that a parent is only as happy as his saddest child. My response was, "Well then, you're screwed." I was 23 years old and had surpassed a previous low to hit rock bottom...
I have spoken to every friend and family member that I can, to explain that gifting should be small and simple this year. We are giving our 3 year old books, clothes and a small toy to play with. And we would love it if our friends and family followed suit.
We've all experienced one thing in our lives that brings everything to a halt. Things that shake you so vehemently that you can't remember how things were ever so 'normal.' This world is brutal, there's so much that can harm us.
For some of us, spending time with family is purest delight, for others it ranges from a little tricky to a complete nightmare. Most of us regress to emotionally younger versions of ourselves when we are with family. Here are the 3 things that will help you navigate difficult relationships (in fact, all relationships):
As parents, we know our children look up to us. I have always tried my best to teach my daughter to be strong, to be confident, to stand up for herself, trust her abilities and to believe in herself. However, the funny thing is, I'm not sure how much of this was influenced by me in the first place.
Now, as those of us in the Northern Hemisphere face the longest night of the year, it is time to do as communities in our cold little island have done for millennia, and celebrate all the small things that make us happy as we begin our journey back from the darkness into the light.
Now with two kids of our own and eight people (spanning four generations, and including one recent separation and a vegetarian) coming to our house on Christmas day, these are the years when it's my turn to do the hard graft.
Make it your New Year's Resolution to take a little time each visit to notice the early, subtle signs that your elderly relative may be becoming more frail or ill and act on these quickly to prevent them losing their independence.
I'm not quite sure what my session involves. I did get a package with useful information but between Christmas cards and practicing songs for the school carols service I didn't get around to read it. Nevertheless, looking at the wall display celebrating 100 years of radiography I'm rather relieved the technology has advanced significantly.