Children's games that encourage kids to use drugs for every minor or temporary complaint are not harmless fun. They are insidious in that their influence is creeping, hidden and wrapped in cute and cuddly packaging. They pave the way for a tacit acceptance of prescribed and even non-prescribed uppers, downers, relaxants and stimulants.
One of the best ways to foster creativity in children is to read to them or, better yet, to make up stories with them, and fathers in particular have an important role to play in this: it's long been recognised that the more a dad reads to his children, the greater their verbal intelligence, academic success and emotional wellbeing.
Statistics show us that more and more women are choosing not to have children, for reasons that are as varied as the seasons. With that, one would hope the negative attitude towards those who opt out of parenthood, the idea that they are unnatural and selfish, will dissipate. Not wanting kids doesn't make you any less of a woman or a bad person. Talking about not wanting kids doesn't make you offensive, just honest. Not wanting kids doesn't automatically mean you dislike them. Having kids reluctantly, as a kind of 'just in case' policy is probably not the best idea.
Exactly a year ago, hundreds of kids misbehaved really badly, so why has nobody asked the question? Have we - society, government, family - done something wrong? Why the loud silence? Oh, sorry, I forgot - they are they just nasty little rioters, and should go to prison. There is nothing else to ask. Where is the reflection, the understanding, the questions? Those arrested during the riots mainly came from deprived areas and had the poorest educational backgrounds. They set fire to their own communities, and looted consumerist goods − plasma TVs, "branded" fashionable electronics and expensive shoes. Why did they do what they did?
I was exhausted, depressed, utterly obsessed with making it work and insanely jealous of the women who made it look easy. I asked every woman I knew who had children about breast feeding and was surprised but also heartened to discover that I wasn't alone. My new world of parenting was littered with devastated women who eventually, with heavy hearts, had to throw in the towel...