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close-up photography of sunlight through maple leaf

I am gathering the sun

This autumn has greeted me with a sunny day in Trento, northern Italy. A beautiful day — but it can’t fool you. A chilly wind catches you in the shade, a clear reminder of winter just around the corner. There is a large crowd of

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Forever in the archive

green and white mug with a stylized owl

In praise of the 6am wake-up call

I am writing this at 6am. For most of my life, this was an ungodly hour, a time I would spend awake only if I carried on through the night or if I had picked one of those cheap flights with a low-cost airline. I

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A woman and her baby at the AMURTEL organization in Greece

A healthy start for an Afghan migrant baby

As an Afghan born and raised in a loving, large family in Iran, Fatimah always expected to become a mother one day. So when she found out she was pregnant, she was overjoyed. At the same time, she also felt the need to change her

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Open books on an orange background

These are my favourite stories from this year

The news have been scary and sad around us. For a week, the air here in the outskirts of Athens was awful, with terrible wildfires only 40 km away from where I live. The climate report left me anxious as we experienced an awful heat

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cat-shaped toy with an angry expression

Why we should stop using the word “tantrum”

Before I dig into this week’s material, I wanted to apologise because last week I shared my Google Doc without the right settings. If you feel like adding your thoughts to my investigation about early education, as I explained last week, please check out the document here. A

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boys writing on book

Teacher Tom: Putting children at the heart of society

“Daddy, let’s go somewhere!“ It was 2-year-old Josephine that unconsciously pushed her father Tom Hobson to shift gears. After studying journalism, Hobson was working as a content writer while trying to publish his fiction. But when his wife Jennifer got pregnant, it became clear that

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Why do we judge parents?

It’s a sunny Sunday in winter. Greece is in lockdown, parks are closed, but the beach is open to all. I arrive at Kavouri, south of Athens, with Lorenzo; we carry a bag of buckets, spades, scoops and other beach toys. We sit down, and

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Forever in the archive:

ultrasound photo surrounded by string lights.

Pregnant – and harassed – in Japan

This post is public, so feel free to share it. Also, it is packed with information, so my recommendations will be back next week! It was the picture that caught my attention first. There was a guy sitting on a bed, wearing a vest that

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Red and yellow octopus plushes. The red one has an angry expression while the yellow one has an happy expression.

What’s wrong with the idea of the “terrible twos”

I heard of the “terrible twos” way before I decided to have a child. The idea goes something like this: cute chubby, mostly benign babies turn into screaming, irrational, defiant dictators. The developmental shift that creates such an explosive potential is the child’s gradual understanding

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red and white "2000m" milestone on a foggy mountain

Taking the first steps (Or: why I dislike milestones)

I rarely mention milestones in my newsletters, which may be puzzling to some of you who have children or work with them. Milestones are checkpoints in a child’s development: taking the first step, using the toilet for the first time, saying the first word. They

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Yellow and black plastic toy on a wooden table

Learning from our falls – and getting up again

This week I’ll skip recommendations because this is a longish newsletter. Many of you have said that time is an issue, so I’ll also tell you how long it will take you to read this newsletter, and I’ll try and keep the reading time to

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Round assorted-colors plastic cases. In the center one there are several wooden colorful figurines, shaped like fish, hearts and stars.

How do we really listen to kids about their needs?

Some like to call children our future. It’s technically true: they will most likely outlive us adults. They have more time on earth and fresher, more innovative ideas. But children are also our present. If we stick to the United Nations definition of children as

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