Will the countryside die with our generation?

Not so many years ago, playing outdoors was the staple pastime of children of any age. I remember spending day after day playing in the fields, building dens, climbing trees, looking for frogs in the pond and playing with friends at the park. As I got older, outdoor activities would include walking in the hills, cycling, climbing, running and playing cricket on the local sports field, using our jumpers as the wickets. Back then, if the weather was terrible we might watch television or read a book. But the days indoors were long, there wasn’t much to entertain you. I am…

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What age should I give pocket money?

Libby is 3 years old. She will be 4 in June and starts school in September. Last week, she had her first ever pocket money. I have been asking myself, at what age should I give pocket money? And in the end, it seemed to come naturally. She has started to want things and understand that things have to be paid for, and that she can’t have everything she asks for. This seemed like the right time. So, why have I started to give her pocket money so young? 1. Learning about spending Libby is slowly starting to learn what each…

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Our Thursday photo #64

I can’t believe another week has passed already and Thursday has come round again. Mercifully, tomorrow marks the end of my month of working all hours god sends to try to earn a bit of extra money. It has gone quite well and I will be able to start looking at my business again as of next week. Having a month that has been even more difficult has led me to form some small aims for some time to myself. From next week, I intend to make time to do an hour’s exercise at least twice a week. I also aim…

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Being a grown up

I look at my little girls, listen to them laughing and see them smiling. I hear their little grizzles about all the terrible things in their lives. Not being able to find their favourite toy, not being allowed to stay at the park or being unhappy with their lot at dinner time. I envy them their childhood and I worry for them about when their time comes to be grown ups. There are so many things to worry about as a grown up. What our generation are doing to the environment. The terrible atrocities that are going on in the…

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Parenting manuals versus maternal instinct

Almost every day, I read about or speak to someone who has sage advice from a parenting manual.  The advice is never the same twice.  Your baby should be sleeping through the night, leave it to cry. You’re emotionally damaging your baby, don’t let it cry. Your baby is too skinny, use formula. Your baby is obese, feed it less.  You’re not interacting with your baby enough, it will be developmentally delayed. You’re over-stimulating your baby, it won’t sleep.  Your child is too whiny, you’re mollycoddling it. You’re not letting your child cry, you’re damaging it emotionally. Your child has too…

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To the decision makers of 2015 from the children of 2045

The date is 26 May 2045 and I am 15 years old. I was born in 2030, 15 years from the time you are in now. The end of my time in school is in sight and soon I will have to think about where to go to university and what job I want to do. My choices are very different to yours.  This morning at school, we had double science. I think that physics lessons were different when you were in school. People of your time knew that Einstein’s theory of relativity opened up the possibility of time travel. …

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Bank holidays before and after children

I think there are times when parents speak a different language to everyone else. Bank holidays are one of those times when certain phrases have very, very different meanings before and after having children. Here’s a quick guide.  1. I’m looking forward to the bank holiday Before children: I love getting drunk on Sunday nights and not going into work with a hangover.  After children: An extra day away from the office is always welcome.  2. I’m going to a music festival Before children: I intend to spend the weekend drunk and dancing to great music. After children: I’ll probably go and listen to…

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