As fathers in recent years have been encouraged to be more hands-on with their children and more supportive of their partners after the gruelling experience of childbirth and recovery from it, the number of new fathers struggling with some form of postnatal depression seems on the increase.
The fact that many families live away from their closest relatives means that the support networks of times past that would give the parents a break from caring for their new-borns are absent.
One day of being spoilt doesn’t lead to spoilt children; that happens throughout the rest of the year. However, if you think a greedy, grasping Yule could tip them over the edge, here are the Ten Commandments of Christmas that Moses forgot – or didn’t need, as he was Jewish.
What does being spoiled even mean?
We all know the scene. Many of us have witnessed it ourselves. A couple of young kids tearing their way through a pile of gifts like an Egyptian pyramid with the care and attention of a pack of festive piranha, wrapping paper and tears and envy and rage all over the lounge, the tree weighed down with bad feeling and disappointment.
We only seem to have had a couple of chilly days so far this year, but when the cold snap comes (and come it will) no one wants to be left with their pants down (so to speak).
So, we’ve had a look around and come up with a few handy tips to help keep your little treasures warm and dry this winter.
It’s all about layers. This is one of those many occasions when you look to the wisdom of the ancients. Remember all the cardies and vests that your Grandma seemed to wear?
It’s a sentiment that has echoed down through the decades, probably the centuries, maybe millennia – “Kids today!!!”
With their iPads and their PJ Masks and their extensive LEGO collections and their ten-second attention spans and three-second fuses and their jet-skis (okay, maybe not the jet-skis), who hasn’t picked up a newspaper or turned on a daytime TV show to hear how the next generation are monstrous creatures, spoilt by their spineless millennial parents substituting screen time for affection or iron discipline or both.
This November it will be 100 years since the Armistice that marked the end of the fighting in the First World War.
With all the poppies appearing on shows across TV, the special shirts worn by high-profile footballing heroes, and veterans and other people selling them on behalf of the British Legion on high streets all over the UK, there’s a good chance your little ones will have questions about what the little plastic flowers mean or even about the First World War itself.
Is it a sweet tradition (pun intended – it’s a Halloween thing) for the kids, or a dangerous encounter with terrifying teens, grumpy neighbours or worse? Are there somethings you should be really scared about?
The supermarkets are backed with tubs of chocolates and jelly sweets. There are cheap plastic devil masks appearing in corner shops, ‘warding off’ underage kids who want to come in and buy illegal fireworks.
Soon, the pubs and party-houses will be filling up with people disguising themselves in ‘sexy’ costumes, joke blood and weird contact lenses. Your kids are already planning what they’re going to do with their haul of sugary treats this year.
You’ve probably noticed the articles in Metro, the ads on Amazon already – Black Friday is on the way with Cyber Monday trailing in its online wake. But what (if anything) does it all mean? Aside from bargains?
First it began with trick or treating sometime in the 80s, as the sweet, sweet lure of cutting holes in a sheet to extort Hallowe’en ‘candy’ from the neighbours began to eclipse the more traditional British past-time of building a makeshift guy and wheeling it around in a wheelbarrow to extort money from the neighbours before chucking it on a bonfire and setting off fireworks.
How can this be, I hear you ask. Aren’t we supposed to show our kids that we believe in them?
Isn’t telling them that they are little Mozarts or Einsteins or Serenas meant to build up their confidence, meant to reinforce the idea they can be whoever they want to be? What the heck are we meant to say to them now?
It’s not fair, is it? You try your best to feign interest in the same conversation about whether a Triceratops is better than an Allosaurus. You congratulate your offspring on how clever they are when they manage to find the secret stash of chocolate biscuits and unleash the crumbs all over the carpet.
Summer holidays are almost here, and for some families, that means hitting the Autobahns, the autoroutes, the autostrade with the little ones in the back. But before the dreams of exotic traffic jams and wailing kids asking if you are there yet, there are some legal matters to attend to.
There are some differences between the different countries, if you’re planning some cross-border shenanigans, but there are some recurring themes – suitable child restraints for passengers under a certain height, airbags should be disabled if rear-facing seats are used at the front – but this does raise one question…