Everyone picks up bad habits in life as well as driving, it's inevitable, but when you have children it's important to make sure you're not making glaring mistakes on a regular basis. I suppose that what many people need to realise is that if for instance your child grows up watching you on your phone in the car then they'll believe that it is safe behaviour.
My youngest (and newly teenage) daughter, has recently developed a love affair with Instagram. Please don't judge my parenting skills, I fought diligently against any flirtation with social media until the required age, but as soon as she reached the magic '12', she was on it. As predicted, she's not been off it since.
You take your baby to the toilet because she cries / you cry if you put her down for a second. Crafty, manipulative baby feels afraid, primary source of life is gone! Your baby's evolutionary built in survival safety mechanism is working, hurrah! This is a good thing.
The shortest route to you wanting to tear your hair out and scream is to tell an ungrateful child to feel grateful for something. It's counterproductive to try and force kids to feel something they're not feeling. Children need to develop a meaningful, genuine sense of gratitude over time; we can't impose it upon them.
If I was to have my 'cooking dinner' time over again with children, there are lots of things I would do different. Each stage of a child's food education and development is special and this includes discovering good food, cultivating exciting palates, appropriate size portions, cultivating a healthy attitude to food....
For the first time in my life, I find myself putting family before (or at least on the same level as) work. It's a truly uncomfortable feeling. At first, there's the realisation that things will never be the same again, and then there's the even more awkward, mid-life crisis-inducing emotion that for the past 15 years, I've likely had my priorities wrong.
This week is National Adoption Week (3-9 November) and this year the focus is on finding new parents for groups of brothers and sisters. According to research carried out by the British Association of Adoption and Fostering around half of the 6,000 children in the UK currently waiting to be adopted are in sibling groups.
I'm due to give birth tomorrow. I've never done it before and like many women my age (early 30s - just), I've agonised over whether now is the right time. Will it wreck my career? Do we have enough money to feed and clothe another human being? Will we become one of those couples who fill social media feeds with massively un-fascinating photos of their dribbling offspring?
So why do parents think the education system isn't working? The majority of parents (64%) said their children are missing out on the key skills that employers want, like communication and teamwork. And over half (57%) think there's too much focus on academia. Similarly, a third of parents worry that their children can't link their education today with their future careers.
When my first child was a small baby I collected parenting books, convinced that one of them contained the secret to a full night's sleep and a miracle cure for colic. They mostly lay unread as I was too tired to read them, but occasionally my husband or I would pick one up and pick and choose the bits that we could live with out of one and half-apply them in our exhausted states.
An independent review of existing policy would be a good, practical starting point. An evidence-based approach is vital and a bit of common-sense wouldn't go amiss either. My dream would be for a safety-first approach using realism rather than idealism. It's vital that we take control of drugs in order to establish a healthier and safer society for all of us. No legislation has changed since Martha died and as long as that remains the case, that realisation eats away at me.
While celebs like Robbie undoubtedly use the vids for some serious self-promotion, for the rest of us it's an amazing chance to document the experience from start to finish and - in some cases - to share with the world.
I have grown up with both my parents and still live with them today, I have always been allowed to go out with friends and even trips up London without my parents for almost 5 years, but why is it that so many parents are so protective over their children. Is it because they're worried that their child may get kidnapped? Murdered?
Religion is actually a very beautiful philosophy. It is sad that these days, the world is so polarised, over-sensitised, fearful, filled with irrational hatred and cowed by political correctness when it comes to religion. I had to think twice before writing this, so conditioned am I into thinking that the r-word is a tinderbox that could incite a large, destructive flame.
Thus, my mother had always told me that I had to learn to love cooking before becoming a mum. Not merely to learn to cook, but to learn to love cooking. Her rationale is learning to love cooking is not merely about putting food on the table, but cultivating a mindset where there is a genuine desire to nurture and care for another human being.
Before Carolyn had really had time to open her eyes Iris vomited all over her. It was pretty good timing. And it was as I was laying in bed mopping vomit off my wife's chest that I thought to myself... this parenting stuff can be really quite rank.