How To Find Family Friendly Video Games

Let’s be honest, finding appropriate video-games is a minefield even for those who are well informed. Some might say it’s as simple as reading the box but there is more to it than that.

Andy is a journalist specialising in video-games and families. He talks to a lot of parents struggling to catch up with their children’s gaming hobby and there are some simple steps to take to ensure the whole family has a positive experience.

Bilingualism Myth Buster – Children are Sponges

If you bring your children up speaking more than one language, what is the most common reaction that you hear from other people? For me, it has always been, “Oh, how marvellous! Children are little sponges, aren’t they? They pick up languages so easily”. As a mother of an 11 year old and a 13 year old, it now takes all my strength to resist saying, “No. Children aren’t sponges, and bilingualism isn’t that easy”. Since I’m much too polite to say it, I’ll write about it, in the hope that it makes some people stop and think before enraging someone like me.

The Truth about Foodbanks

When our Science Editor Samantha set us the task of thinking up meals to make with the list of goods provided by her local foodbank, our Facebook group took up the challenge. What do you make with a pile of tins and dried food? The suggestions included pasta bake,  jambalaya style rice dish, soup, fishcakes (using tinned fish and potatoes), cottage pie (using Smash and tinned mince), bubble and squeak.
One thing that we quickly realised was that without basic herbs, spices, breadcrumbs, oils and other ingredients to make the food more interesting and tasty, the meals would be bland and boring. Not to mention the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables!
We also realised that we didn’t know as much about them as we thought we did, and asked Sam to tell us the truth about foodbanks, how they are run, and who uses them.

Why I Let My Kids Win Arguments

Parenting can feel like an extended battle at times. A war of attrition, with children pushing back against unreasonable parental demands such as wearing a coat when its raining, and putting the damn phone away at the table. To paraphrase the song, from the time they could talk, we ordered them to listen … and to do what they were told.
Last week, I really enjoyed Rebecca’s post on how to apologise. She talked about how apologising even when you don’t feel you are in the wrong may aid communication. It’s not just a colleague or a friend that this works well on, but also with our kids. Some parents have a feeling that if they let their kids win, that they’ve lost, but in actual fact everyone wins.

Bilingualism and Special Needs

bilingualism and special needs

The third in our series on bilingualism by Millie Slavidou deals with bilingualism and special needs. If you missed the first two parts, you can find them here – 7 Reasons to Bring up Your Kids Bilingual and Supporting Bilingualism in Tweens and Teens.

Parents of children with special needs frequently find they need to grow a thick skin to deal with all the ignorance and comments directed at them, and this is especially true in a bilingual family. As a mother of a child with special needs myself, bringing him up in a bilingual family has been a challenge. I have been accused of deliberately trying to sabotage his development through speaking my own language to him!

How Do You Explain Mental Illness to Children?

Serious illness can be a tricky thing to explain to children at the best of times. While it’s relatively easy for them to understand physical pain or injury, how do you explain mental illness to children?