I want them to grow up to be able to make up their own minds about things and not be easily led. I want them to think things through and make sensible, rational decisions that are fair and just. But I want them to make the same sensible, rational decisions that I make. Otherwise their decisions would be wrong and that would annoy me...
Nobody should ever judge mothers on the choices they make when it comes to balancing work and family life; it should always be a personal choice. But this choice needs to be a meaningful one, not simply picking the least worst option. Unfortunately, this still isn't the case for far too many women. We can and we must do better.
On Thursday 23 January, my team at the Babylab at Birkbeck, University of London, together with similar teams from across Europe, is launching a new study of infants with older siblings with autism or ADHD. For infants with an older sibling with autism or ADHD, the chances of also having one of the conditions may climb to 20%.
According a web survey by insurance company Aviva, 18% of couples split childcare responsibilities evenly, with 6% of men now the primary carer of their child. Pushing the figure from 6,000 in 2000 to 600,000 in 2010. And in a less scientific survey done by myself sat in the window of my front room at 3:30pm, more and more Dads are at the school gates.
The downside of defining different parenting styles is the defensiveness that this can cause. Understandably, when we come across someone who does things differently to us, it can make us either want to defend our own way, or convince the other person to try it out. We all want to feel secure that we're doing the right thing because it's such an emotive issue...
The Marriage Foundation, founded by the High Court Judge Sir Paul Coleridge, has claimed that cohabitation, i.e living together without marrying, is the key driver of family breakdown. The report urged the Government to reverse the trend away from marriage, by "distinguishing, encouraging, promoting and incentivising marriage."
For someone adopted who has already been abandoned, the fear of abandonment is a real and present danger. With a narcissistic mother, the abandonment actually occurs, again and again and again, reinforcing the truth that you are unloveable unless you meet the standards set out for you. And even then...
I did this for the first time last year on my website, 12 things I learnt in 2012, and I think I might do this annually. There's always something to be thankful for and lessons to be learnt.
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.
Dementia, in common with many terminal diseases, polarises opinion when it comes to the priorities different individuals and groups have. For me, finding merit in every argument isn't difficult. Take for example families who have a loved one currently living with dementia; their priority is generally for improved care and support now. Who wouldn't agree with that?
We're all mad to get home for Christmas because it is the done thing. We spend the rest of the year with these people, they've known us our whole lives, so why - on the one day everyone is meant to be happy - are we forced to swap cracker jokes with them over a dinner fraught with 'I wouldn't have done it like that' tension?