Vegans are used to having their beliefs challenged, to having to work harder to get other people and institutions to accept their child's needs. As it is this needs to change, but threatening parents who are trying to give their children the best start in life with imprisonment is unacceptable.
The dynamics of families can change, the dynamics will switch and I'm very lucky that within the Harper clan this has always been how we've worked. A family can only work if it adjusts itself to suit each person in it.
Ultimately though, despite some truly turbulent events in my formative years, there was always one constant in my life, and that was the unconditional love I received from my mother. I'm certain that this was the difference between me going completely off the rails as a teenager and the (I would hope) well-rounded, wise and emotionally developed person I am today.
A contract, though, can be a great idea in principle. Children will initially agree to anything in order to achieve their desired goal. But an animal, whether it be a pony, dog, cat or guinea pig, needs time, attention and looking after, with some being more demanding than others.
I discovered quickly that it can be hard work trying to teach our children to share and to think of others. Any thoughts of sitting back and enjoying a catch-up and coffee with another mum while the boys played happily together, sharing the contents of the box of cars, bricks or tub of Lego, generally remained a dream
Mostly, my daughters stay away from drama as much as they can but of course it does find them and my youngest is in the middle of such a drama. I won't bore you with the details or who said what to whom and when, but the crux of the matter is her best friend broke up with her and she is now dealing with the aftermath.
The most frightening aspect of the herds of immersed Pokemon GO players walking through crowded streets with their eyes glued to the screens of their smartphone isn't the fanaticism, but the precedent.
My family were my motivation for getting my health back, I make no secret about it. They are also the reason I know I need to maintain my health... Here are some of the key practices I believe that as parents we can have to keep our families fit and healthy.
Having spoken to other home working parents, many of you reap the benefits of this early start, not just during school holidays but every working day. 5.30 am seems to be the most popular time for opening up the laptop and I suspect it has become the new 9 am for our breed of workers.
For all we know, we may never meet again. So goes the 1934 song, interpreted here by Carmen McRae. A classic love song, at first glance. But like ma...
As the schools break up, children all over the country will be celebrating the start of a long summer holiday. For most of their parents however, work and other commitments carry on as normal, except now they have the additional task of finding childcare for the next six weeks.
Sleep issues often lead families into crisis, sleep deprivation is after all used as a form of torture. Becoming a new parent and interrupted sleep go hand in hand, those first few months can be utterly exhausting, but for some families sleepless nights with their children can go on for years, putting a real strain on family life.
I cannot help but turn to the cliché that the only certainty in life is death. Everywhere, every day, people encounter the dying and have to deal with death. My father's death last month gave me a genuine understanding of the phrase 'a peaceful death'.
Having our two children is all we've wanted, we are so in love and complete. I don't want to miss this, to forget the important parts of raising our boys by getting lost in impossible and ultimately unimportant standards which are completely self-imposed.Because I am already doing a great job, and so are you.
Watching yourself transform into Mother is life changing. You live and breathe motherhood and devote every waking hour to becoming the best mother you can be as you grow in love, understanding and compassion every day.
How many times have you sat down to watch the Olympic Games and thought 'I know exactly how that feels'? Not often right, but perhaps we as parents should. It struck me recently that parenting is actually not dissimilar to this sporting event, with numerous hurdles, sprints and relay's taking place all the time.