Teenagers are a strange breed. Creatures of habit, room dwellers, cupboard scavengers, door slamming mumblers. They like to sleep for copious amounts of time but also possess the ability to become nocturnal socialisers. They fridge forage and either avoid the bathroom at all costs or consume it for seemingly every waking minute... there is no in-between.
When someone announces a pregnancy, congratulations frequently come easily and naturally. On the other hand, an adoption announcement doesn't always get the same reaction. I speak from experience; my two children are adopted. My son came to us when he was 3.5 years, and our daughter came to us when she was 10 months.
If we want to fully realise yet another pledge in the Queen's Speech 'to work to bring communities together and strengthen society,' then as the party of Government we have an opportunity - and an urgent duty - to help families build strong and happy homes for the benefit of themselves, their children, and society as a whole.
The dates of Dementia Awareness Week always have a massive circle around them on my calendar. Whilst I passionately believe that it's important to raise awareness all year round, there is no doubt that a week of concentrated action definitely helps to put dementia higher up the agenda.
Nothing's more magical than your toddler's first word. Unless that word is s***, of course. But once they start, they don't stop. Unfortunately, toddler lingo is a foreign language in itself. So here's a quick guide to understanding it.
Our young people need to learn how to think about projects, how to work on those projects and overcome frustrations and set backs, and how to implement and communicate solutions.
Just like Luke Skywalker spared his father's life, thus declaring his allegiance to the Jedi Rebellion, in parenting you must pick your battles. Pardon the Star Wars reference, but my house has been overtaken by the George Lucas franchise thanks to my three-year-old.
Through examining 10 cases in Murderers and their Mothers, I have begun to unpick the complex fabric of the killer by pulling at the "mother" thread. Why such an emphasis on mothers? What about the fathers? Isn't this sexist? These are questions that I have encountered a lot over the past few months.
We have to learn to open up about the only true inevitability in life. Dying Matters Awareness Week is a reminder that opening up doesn't have to be painful and doesn't have to happen at the worst of times - lets recognise that death is part of life and stop running from it.
Relationships can be hard work to maintain, and this week I knew I needed to work on one of mine. The toddler, 18 days ago, became a big sister. I know it's been 18 days because I'm counting the scratches on her cot walls.
When you think of the word wedding, what image does this conjure up for you? For me, it's stress, money pressures, anxiety and months of planning that I simply don't have time for. I am just a bitter old cynic? Perhaps, but let me try and explain why...
Our new analysis shows that the average British family simply cannot afford to get cancer. Having the disease costs 4 in 5 patients an average of £570 per month. This is a combination of incurring extra costs such as travel to hospital or increased heating bills, as well as losing income if they are too ill to work.
I often see couples two years into their stepfamily experience when they're thinking, 'hang on, I didn't sign up for this.' This is why it's vital to know what to expect as a stepparent, how to navigate the pitfalls, and above all how to be realistic in your expectations.
Why is it that when you go away on holiday in the UK - whether that's to a caravan, campsite or cottage - all those boring, everyday things you do at home magically become fun? We took the kids to Yorkshire for a mid-week break last week, and we noticed a few things while we were there. Recognize any of these?
I have always believed that the act of writing is, and always will be, an act of courage and defiance - regardless of how long you've been writing for...
Before I became a parent I lived very much for the future. Short term I lived for the weekend and the nights out. Longer term I was all about promotions, property, and marriage proposals. It was all part of the 5 year plan.