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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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Forever in the archive

What does war mean for children?

Jasminko Halilovic was four years old when the siege of Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, started in 1992. His memories of the war are punctuated by the rare breaks from shelling when he would go out into the street to learn how to ride his bike.

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When children feel like a burden

When do children become a burden rather than a joy? I’m not ready for the question that Nacho, my husband, asks me while he’s driving us from one errand to another. Lorenzo, our son, is with us today because of something Covid-related (is it the

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The importance of learning how to be lazy

When we returned recently from our time with friends in Thailand, I was excited to take advantage of the time difference and jet lag to start my days at 6 a.m., as I had done for many months last year. Think of the possibilities! Writing

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Why we should give every child the right to quality daycare

In Italy, there is a new plan to invest heavily into building new daycare centres as part of the NextGenerationEU recovery plan. Initially I was surprised to find so much push-back against these early education spaces, even from right-wing spaces such as senator Tiziana Drago, who

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Not having children does not diminish us

Pope Francis recently created a big controversy by criticising couples who decide to have pets over children. “This denial of fatherhood or motherhood diminishes us, it takes away our humanity,” he said. “Civilisation becomes aged and without humanity, because it loses the richness of fatherhood

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sleeping fox

Let’s talk about sleep, baby

If you read my newsletter last week, you may remember that my intention for 2022 is to get enough sleep every day. Ten days into the new year, I am already sleep-deprived: I’m writing this after having slept only five hours, as I stayed up well

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Three ways The First 1,000 Days plans to start 2022

This is a special edition of this newsletter that marks our first-year anniversary, so I’ll skip recommendations for this week. They will be back next week as usual. Since I was little, I always paid attention to the Neapolitan tradition that whatever you do on

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How I see the first 1,000 days recognised globally

My home city of Naples, in southern Italy, is famous for its wild celebrations on New Year’s Eve. Like many places, at midnight the skies light up with thousands of fireworks — which have caused many injuries and deaths throughout the years. The streets also

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Forever in the archive:

baby's feet

Humanising childbirth: less silence about the violence

We don’t remember when we were born — let alone the circumstances and the scene that day. They’re not really stories we sit around a fire or kitchen table listening to, especially if the experience itself was negative: if the person giving birth had negative

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How to change how we talk to children

Before we get into this week’s story, an important announcement! If you leave a comment below a story, you can now receive notifications if someone replies or the conversation continues. A few of you had pointed out how impractical it was not to receive notifications.

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Tree swing on hill during daytime

This week I turn 40 – and I mark a loss

*Warning: This newsletter touches on the subject of miscarriage. If you find the topic triggering, maybe skip reading this edition, and check out this book that I highly recommend. This week is also Pregnancy and Baby Loss Awareness Week, and you can find more resources there.

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blue lego minifig on a white surface

Is not using the word tantrum enough?

A few weeks ago I wrote a newsletter about why we should stop referring to children’s meltdowns as tantrums. Michael, a reader, inspired me when he wrote to say that the word tantrum had negative connotations and stigmatised children. Thanks to the help of Andrea

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