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How to fight less with your kids at home

Dear reader, I am on maternity leave, and I scheduled this story before I took a break so that you wouldn’t miss me too much. You will be receiving my newsletters every two weeks until 19 January. Some, like this below, will be older stories

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Forever in the archive

Why you shouldn’t spank a child

A disturbing investigation by Brazil’s Agência Pública and online platform openDemocracy has uncovered that Brazil’s religious homeschooling groups, supported by ultraconservative U.S. associations, are giving parents instructions on how to spank their children while dodging the law. There are several ways to think about this

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The life-changing power of reading aloud

When I was pregnant with my son Lorenzo, I would often sit down and read aloud to my belly. I wouldn’t read just anything. My plan was to get him acquainted with my all-time favourite author who gave me my first experiences as an independent

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What it’s like to flee a forest fire

One afternoon last year, I fled my home with my family as the hill above my home burned. I’d had time to pack only some laptops and hard discs (don’t ask me why), passports and a change of clothes for my son, Lorenzo, who was

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The cost of the motherhood penalty

🚨 On 18 July, I am moderating a panel on why we should take children and carers into account when reporting on migration. It will feature Luis H. Zayas, chair of mental health and social policy, at UT Austin, U.S., as well as award-winning journalists

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What does trauma really mean?

An image has been haunting me recently. It’s of children lined up in an airport in the United States about to be deported to Mexico and Central America. Of course, this has happened often in reality, but the image comes from Valeria Luiselli’s novel Lost

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Criminalised for a miscarriage

**Warning: this piece handles miscarriage, pregnancy loss and abortion, and goes into some graphic details. If you’d still like to stay informed about the U.S. abortion ban, I recommend this piece in The New Yorker or this one on the dangers of abortion bans for other patients.

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Why cooking matters

Meet Manal. She is one of the women I met in Lesbos, the Greek island that became a main transit destination for migrants trying to reach Europe via Turkey. Born in Syria, Manal has three children, the youngest of whom, Nina, was born in the

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Why the books we read matter

A reminder: this coming Monday, 13 June, I am moderating a panel on the mental health of children and carers. I think a lot of readers here will be very interested in the event. It will feature child trauma psychologist Chandra Ghosh Ippen, as well

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Forever in the archive:

What’s it like to give birth in a refugee camp

Aziza never imagined she would become a mother while living in a refugee camp. A civil engineer, she fled Afghanistan last year when the Taliban takeover became a threat to her family because her husband had worked for the US-led government. When they arrived on

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The issue dividing feminists — and a country

After almost two decades away from Italy, I ended up moving back just after I found out I was pregnant in 2018. We lived in a stone house among olive trees in the Umbrian countryside, just off a beautiful Medieval borgo called Montecastello di Vibio. Even

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Is a gender-neutral world science fiction?

I’ve just come back from a trip to Gethen – a cold place, with beautiful glaciers and a society of people that are devoid of sex and gender for most of the time. They are simply *people*, undefined by what they have between their legs

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Creating safe spaces for children during war

Show kids they are in a safe space, physically and emotionally. They need to chose games freely and have enough time to play, in their own time. They require minimal intervention and guidance from adults. They need opportunities to create, no matter what the result

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LEGO Superman in shallow focus

Why a child’s imagination is a superpower

Baidui is a child, but he’s also an uncle. He is a boy, but he’s also a mother. He is one and many at the same time. He lives in Thailand, but travels daily to Argentina, Italy and Greece. He goes to a daycare, but

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Who gets to make decisions for a child?

Photo credit: Picturehouse Entertainment A child walks into a courtroom to sue his parents. When the judge asks him why, the boy answers: “Because I was born… I want them to stop having children.” This is a scene from the Lebanese film Capernaum, directed by

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Off on a date on a working day

Dear reader, This week I had several plans for this newsletter. I wanted to reflect on climate anxiety, following the latest damning IPCC report. I planned to write a piece in praise of the work of midwives. I am also still processing an interview on

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War has no borders

Dear reader, I am in Lesbos this week, the Greek island that became the symbol of migrants and refugees in 2015 when tens of thousands of people arrived after crossing the sea from Turkey. Many drowned in the Aegean Sea before making it to shore.

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