My baby boy's world is now full of stress. The stress takes up so much space he has no room for anything else. He is eleven. I didn't even know what the word "stress" meant when I was that age. Today, the only question that he has asked me is "What's a noun? I'm not good at grammar. I'm worried about it." This is what SATs do to children. They don't gain anything from them, but they lose so very much.
If I can't manage to put my own phone away for an hours family dinner time then why should I expect my son to do the same? Maybe parents need parental controls too? I want to reduce my own screen time, not just because I want to be a better parent but because I'm happier offline.
In a pre-child life, if someone were to ask me what I got up to at the weekend and I replied that I went swimming and to the supermarket all in one day, the person asking might look at me as if to say 'and...?'. With children, doing two different things in 24 hour period is something to be proud of. Medal-winning territory.
If I have learnt anything in raising a child who has severe disabilities and complex medical issues but with no diagnosis for his condition, it is that I cannot do this alone. It is too big a job.
Weaning isn't anything to be frightened of. Neither is it a definitive, military operation, governed by strict rules and riddled with pitfalls and potentially calamitous consequences.
In the week beginning 9 May, 10-11 year olds will be taking their SATs tests in English and maths. These tests have always been controversial, but this year's SATs have provoked unprecedented levels of concern for the following reasons...
Gradually it got easier, the girls slept a little better but just as importantly I began to learn how to juggle. I grew into my role of mother of two and although the days (and nights) still had the potential to be challenging, I was more able to mentally cope.
Tooth decay among young children is big in the news this month with the cost of removing teeth in hospital rising by 66% since 2010-11, according to the British Dental Association. It's shocking and sad and completely preventable, not to mention expensive for the NHS.
The 4th Undiagnosed Children's Awareness Day takes place on Friday April 29th. The aim is to raise awareness of undiagnosed genetic conditions and SWAN UK (syndromes without a name), the charity that offers support and information to families of children affected by these conditions.
In the midst of all this easy-to-use technology, somehow we lost touch with the fact that someone has to build it all. And the kids have become consumers, sitting slack-jawed and motionless above the wrists for hours, killing baddies but never knowing the thrill of summoning the code-driven genies themselves.
During pregnancy a woman's body must go through a stunning transformation. Her blood volume will nearly double to support the growing foetus, her organs will be pushed to the side by an expanding uterus, her breasts will swell in preparation for lactation and her hormones will rise and dip exponentially.
There are healthy options available in our house and we live by the beach. So why stuff your face with junk food and hole yourself up in your room wasting time watching mindless TV (which she never does), instead of eating a homemade energy bar, swim in the sea and get down to work?
I found myself being backed into a corner, or more accurately a cubicle, and it wasn't long before the sanctuary of the shower was all that remained.
During my maternity leave my energy levels were low and sometimes I didn't know what to do with my baby to entertain her - especially in the very early stages. That is when I started playing my cello to her and she instantly seemed happy and intrigued.
I blame Disney, Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey for my warped vision of perfect relationships after kids. Those books and movies filled me with an unrealistic view of relationships. Like how Mr Disney made me believe I needed to grow up to find my Prince Charming in order to live happily ever after.
Babies are incapable of self soothing or self settling in the true sense. Sure, they can suck their thumb, stroke a lovey or take comfort from a dummy/pacifier. This is their limit though. It's like 'self soothing lite'. This 'self soothing lite' requires the baby to be in a position where everything is fine.
From the moment your child is born, he/she is naturally being exposed to a huge number of bacteria and viruses every day. Your baby's immune system is able to cope with this and as a result becomes stronger. Compared with exposure to germs in the natural environment, responding to vaccines use only a tiny proportion of the infant's immune system...
Sexting is often the result of peer pressure, the desire to start a relationship or a longing to boost self-esteem. Unrealistic body goals set by glossy magazines and media puts added pressure on to teenagers who seek comfort in the form of likes on their pictures or positive commentary from their friends and strangers alike.