A friend told me that at her child's school, if children don't complete their reading journal, they are made to stay in at playtime and...read! Using reading as a punishment is likely to build up a positive association with books as quickly as if you'd bashed them over the head with one.
The relationship went from being my friend to a full blown affair, late night sessions while Tash and the baby slept. Slipping of secretly to the toilet, sat on the throne, paper in one hand, Siri in the other using only the pins and needles as a reminder that i had been in there long enough - Tash hadn't even seen me poop.
What makes it worse is parents, just like me, begin to perpetuate this. We ask the same questions we loathed ourselves, we begin to reinforce the notion that motherhood and enjoyment are bed fellows. Is it because we are too scared to admit the truth?
Since giving birth to my beautiful boy three years ago I have been my own worst critic. Am I doing enough for my son? Am I giving him what he needs? Am I being the best mother I can be?
Weight lift children who are refusing to move of their own accord (it's not really possible to do reps here, you simply have to carry them forever unless you can find some bribes in the change bag).
You can't avoid kids. Just to clarify, what I mean is you can take certain precautions to avoid having them, but you can't go through life without encountering them. As a student of the relatively new concept of 'positive psychology', I thought it'd be worthwhile trawling the research to find out how the science applies to parenting.
With an explosion of gender neutral lines for kids & babies* have you ever wondered who these clothes are really benefiting? There is it turns out a dirty truth in the supply chain of some 'gender neutral' clothing: the empowerment of girls in the west on the back of the misery of the world's poorest women and girls.
I'm angry, we're all angry and we're all taking it out on people who actually care because we're so frustrated at the limits society places us under, forcing us to submit, and smile about it, or else.
Striving for perfection is exhausting. I found myself trying to be everything at once: the strict dad, the caring dad, the helper of homework and fixer of bikes. You can only keep that up for so long before you make yourself ill, before becoming enveloped in an emotional sandstorm.
We've all been there, a drunk person/three-year old will shout things at us while we simply try to dress them, stop them peeing on themselves or attempt to wipe bodily fluids off them. We tell ourselves they don't mean it really.
Watching your son grow up is a great joy. Watching your son prepare to leave home is a journey of tiny painful steps. He used to call me when he left school and he would chat on the phone until he arrived home and could tell me all about his day in person. Now I'm not always sure if he is in the house.
You know the score. You're in a rush to get out the door. You need to drop the kids off at school, pre-school or childcare. Then you have to make it to work or to an appointment on time. Or you just generally need to be somewhere.
Using children as a marketing tool with pester power and peer pressure to get parents spending is a sly trick played on us by the marketing departments of big corporates like Disney. Persuading consumers to buy a pink and a blue version of everything to comply with the gender rule results in those companies doubling their profits!
Being in my late thirties with a toddler to chase after, I felt exhausted during the second pregnancy and absolutely wiped out after the birth. It was a physical and mental challenge going from one to two.
When we have children, we need to be very careful about how we react when we're in their presence because we will invariably pass on our fear to them.
Children can see where the boundaries are and so feel safe, accepted and loved. They have room to explore, to grow in independence and to push against the boundaries in the knowledge that they are there for their benefit.