There's a place and a time for parent bloggers and they are very much part of the conversation, but at the end of the day that is just one person's opinion. The Family Panel is all about connecting people, and letting everyone have their voice heard.
This generation never knew a world without the Internet. With near on constant connection with their peers, social media has taken a dominant role in school age socialising. But much of this is invisible to us as parents.
I may be so much more conscious of this issue as a single parent, who is self-employed, runs a charity and has raised two kids 'single handedly'. My girls roll their eyes and mime at this line as it is much used, mainly in an aim to get people to see that if I can do it....anyone can, seriously, anyone can do this.
In times of turmoil, what better than to turn to the statistics. What do they say about children and happiness? At first sight, it's not good. Most of the data seems to indicate that having children makes you less happy.
I've heard it all, from ladies who tell me how desperate they are to drink blood to those who also end up with cravings for certain smells, like creosote on fence panels or for the aroma of their pet's feet.
Sometimes they will want to curl up and cry and it might make them very anxious but it is all a necessary part of going it alone. They can't say no to a team day at work because they are afraid they might be asked to do something they don't want to and haven't learnt to say no yet.
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.