When my youngest child G was in primary school, the walls outside her classroom were display boards for pupils' artwork. She wasn't academic at that time (being a late reader), but with child-like enthusiasm and exuberance, she used to put a lot of work into art.
Despite living in 'classless' Britain and being 'middle class' (ahem) there has always been a part of me that feels like I am masquerading somehow. I have never really felt the need to get caught up in any kind of pretension and quite honestly I couldn't care less about my social standing. That is until I became a parent.
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.
When I was working long hours and running from work to childminder I might have had my rose-tinted glasses on and I may have assumed that staying-at-home was the easy option. It really isn't. It can be tiring, mundane, frustrating and boring.
My 60 kg 16-year-old daughter is strictly a carnivore. She eats greens under sufferance, namely to neutralise the acidity of the meat she eats. She of...
Parents do not get enough credit for having children. Becoming a parent is the hardest job in the world, however companies and employers do not appreciate the skills parents have gained. Especially woman returning from maternity leave or from being a Stay-at-Home Mum - they are considered a done and dusted vegetable head.
It's no secret - I detest work that requires sitting down and I detest work that requires using my brain. These two traits were the cause of my dismal...
Children love to feel secure because it makes them feel happy. We're all happy when we feel safe and secure, and we all feel the opposite when thrust into a changing, unsure situation - though as adults we should be adjusted enough to deal with uncertainty better than our kids.
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.
I wish I had known that refusing to pay for childcare to get the break I so desperately needed as my husband worked seven days a week would eventually make me MISERABLE.
Many people keep asking me how I managed to get them to sleep through the night at such a young age, so I thought I should share some of my tried and tested tips. Here they are:
So, the unwritten rule as a kid is to rebel, rebel, rebel ... parent suggests an early night ... teen thinks let's stay up all night. Parent suggests teen gets some studying done ... teen thinks yeah right let's spend all night on my phone.
Weaning isn't anything to be frightened of. Neither is it a definitive, military operation, governed by strict rules and riddled with pitfalls and potentially calamitous consequences.
Can you believe that my daughter is going to be 1 this week? I can't, and I've been a bit slow in the buying of birthday gifts in comparison to when her big brother turned one. Denial? Probably. But it was in buying her special first birthday gift that got me to thinking...
When I deliver talks and workshops in schools, it surprises me how many parents and teachers ask me what my best parenting tip is. Over the years I have interviewed many leading figures from the world of education and psychology, but a few 'golden nuggets' have stayed with me.
Arrange for your partner, husband or a reliable friend to look after your child for just an hour approximately. Feed your child, change their nappy and head out of the door to the nearest coffee shop. Enjoy a hot drink of your choice in peace.