We know from our own work with families that children who come from vulnerable and disadvantaged families are most at risk of experiencing problems with school readiness. In 2011 the Sutton Trust found that children who come from low-income or disadvantaged families are often up to a year behind in their development...
Today we found out that for many thousands of children in England, everyday life isn't just a matter of going to school and playing with friends, but involves providing regular care for an ill or disabled parent, grandparent or sibling.
The low point probably came several months ago when I raced upstairs, put on my best suit and pretended to go off to work. It was 5pm and the children were due back from school. The truth that I wasn't able to tell them was that I had lost my job 72 hours earlier and was acting out this increasingly ridiculous charade partly out of shame, embarrassment and, well, I just didn't know what to say.
How did I ever get into this, I think? How did I ever let my life slide so far? I could have been a political science lecturer, a Japanese language interpreter, a writer who inspired millions, but here I am sorting out arguments between two teenagers. Where did it all go wrong?
My wife has left me. Ok, you could say I drove her to it. My children would. So too would her friends. And there's a lot of truth in that. It started about six weeks ago.
In five months time I am going to be a Dad and I've never felt manlier. It's an interesting coming of age moment where everyone shifts position; father becomes grandfather, son becomes father and bump becomes cute yet terrifying little human.
Having been a father for exactly a week now, I am clearly qualified to impart all kinds of paternal wisdom. But the wisdom is not mine - it is the baby's. As Will and Kate will no doubt discover, their little princess' grasp of what's important in life, will be more akin to an old yogi or bearded professor than an infant waiting to 'grow up.'
The latest scare will prompt many parents of unvaccinated children to act now that their children are older. However, heightened awareness will be short lived and dependent on the media agenda, so what changes could achieve a long term turnaround in the success of the MMR programme? It might be time to try other methods to trigger behavioural characteristics.
When kids are fighting because they all want to do maths practice - or grammar - with you, it's a nice problem to have. But also one you need to solve. What if you're handling your kids solo, and there's no one else there to get the offender(s) in a headlock so you can carry on?
My son said he was afraid of getting the answers wrong because he wanted to impress me. He'd tense up and breathe faster when we started practising the times tables. The solution came by accident. I asked him to answer 'smoothly', not fast, gave him a big hug and told him we need to make mistakes to learn.
Stone skimming nestles at number five on the new '50 things to do before 11 3/4' list published by the National Trust this week... Stone skimming, that timeless past time that generations have enjoyed. Whether you skim yours on a beach, lake or river the experience and emotions are the same. This is partly about accuracy and technique but it's also about pride and raw emotion.
During a brief stint teaching, my shoes were captured and held to ransom by students. I don't remember the detail of their demands, just that I was h...
When my eldest was first born, I used to spend countless hours reading 'educational' news articles with titles like 'Why Women Mess Kids Up', 'Why Food is Evil for Children' and 'Why Mothers are to Blame for the Demise of Modern Society'. These conflicted 'expert voices' all agreed on just one thing; that 'whatever you do for your kids, it is WRONG.'
In no particular order, here are a group of people that probably made their parents and grandparents sob many a bucket's worth over the years...
I was once the perfect mother. TV time was strictly controlled, no sugary sweets would pass my little darlings lips, and there was absolutely no way they would be allowed to use iPads, iPhones, Xboxes, computers or any other internet connecting medium until they were mature enough to use them. Possibly not even then. Of course that was before I actually had any kids.
The point is that being a mum, whether you are working or not working, is no easy feat. Shouldn't we be supportive of each other regardless of our choice (or non-choice) about whether to work or not? At the very least, surely we shouldn't pass judgment on each other.