Are our kids becoming immune to terrorism?

Are our kids becoming immune to terrorism?
The entire nation is mourning the recent deaths of 22 people and injuries of countless more after the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday night. It was an unspeakable act. Suicide bombing is bad enough, but children? Really? I don't even need to go there - we're all equally disgusted. What worries me is that my kids, now 11 & 13, didn't even seem that fazed by the whole thing. There I was on Tuesday morning, fretting about how…
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Is it motherly love or laziness?

I was recently chatting with a friend about how much we do for our kids. She's a mum of three (aged 17, 15 & 12) and still makes them cooked breakfast every morning and prepares their lunches for school. I thought this was really sweet and a clear sign of motherly love - especially as I, too, make my kids their breakfast as well as pack lunch for my 11-year-old, who's perfectly capable of doing it herself.   Nevertheless, we…
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Gratitude, forgiveness & compassion: a recipe for happiness

It's easy to get into a cycle of negativity. The washing machine is broken. The trains aren't running on time and you're late for work. The dog started vomiting as you were leaving the house. With the social media craze, complaining about your problems is that much easier. You get an instant sympathetic ear and a knowing laugh (emoji), but this just perpetuates the negativity, really. That was me until recently. During a very intense personal development workshop one weekend…
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Breaking News: compassion is on the radar!

Breaking News: compassion is on the radar!
I confess. I’ve been pretty rubbish about the volunteering thing over the past several months. It’s hard to find time and as the kids get older, they’ve got other priorities. But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up. I’m still trying to instil compassion in them on a daily basis by generally just being a kind person in their presence and hoping that some of it will rub off on them. And by making sure they’re aware of the humanitarian crisis…
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Don’t teach our kids to fear immigrants

It’s interesting that Britain’s vote to leave the EU (‘Brexit’) took place in the middle of National Refugee Week. In my 12-year-old’s school, the week was celebrated with various activities, like donating backpacks and toothbrushes for the refugees who are still landing on European shores daily with only the shirts on their backs. The highlight of the week was when a former Syrian refugee ‒ now 27 and a British citizen ‒ came into the school and talked about her…
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Happiness is…compassionate kids

I’m feeling rubbish and it’s the school holidays. Even before I was struck down with the lurgy, I was feeling really guilty about not doing anything interesting with my 12-year-old son while his sister is at gymnastics camp all week. But rather than ask to be entertained or whinge about being bored after a week of inactivity, my lovely boy made me a platter of food, got me water & paracetamol and ran upstairs to get my favourite pillow and…
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Why NOT doing charity runs is charitable

Spring is upon us, hooray! It's a time for celebrating new beginnings, for renewing those long-abandoned New Year's resolutions... and for committing to the increasingly obligatory charity race (and/or supporting others in their efforts). For the first two, I wholeheartedly say yes. But for the last? Not so much. Actually, just no. It may seem strange that a mum who's actively trying to teach her kids about philanthropy and charity would choose to give this golden opportunity a miss. But…
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Fancy a life-changing holiday this summer?

It made me cringe the minute I heard it. “This hotel is only three stars,” observed both kids as we pulled up to our ski lodge on a Slovenian mountainside, where we’d be spending the February half-term week.  We proceeded to have a fantastic ski holiday, despite the offending lack of stars, but the fact that this was even on the kids’ radar left me unsettled every time I walked past the hotel sign that week. In fact, the holiday…
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Things your kids can learn from a pet’s death

You really never know how you’re going to talk to your kids about illness and death until you’re forced to do it. My turn came this morning, when I found that one of our guinea pigs had died overnight. I’d gone into Jessie’s bedroom to wake her up for school, only to discover that Bobo had gone to piggy heaven. Since Jessie was sleeping just a few feet away from the cage, there was no way I could hide the…
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Are you a Smug Parent?

Looking back at some of my posts, I realise in horror that I may have come across as a bit self-righteous, aka smug. If there’s one thing I cannot tolerate, it’s smug people, especially of the parental variety. You know, the ones who make you feel like a complete failure at parenting? The ones who cut you no slack and criticise your decisions, even though you’re doing your damned best? I want to set the record straight: this isn’t my…
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