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The first generation to have the right to play

This week marks the first-ever International Day of Play, which recognises the crucial role play has in the healthy development of children and even into adulthood. If you are a reader of this newsletter, you know this is a topic close to my heart. I

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Forever in the archive

Gaining a child, losing myself

It was past midnight when I got a message from a friend: “I hope you’re sleeping.” I was not. Between 9 p.m. and midnight, I had held León on my lap as I tried to finish up some work, hoping he would finally fall asleep.

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Finally parents can say screw being tidy

You may have seen the headline: tidying up guru Marie Kondo has announced that she has “kind of given up on tidying”. “Marie Kondo’s life is messier now — and she’s fine with it” titled The Washington Post piece that ran the scoop. Other newspapers spoke of

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Daycares are big business

Last week I sent a link to a survey, asking you to help shape this newsletter. It takes just between 5 and 10 minutes to complete, and I will add your name to a prize draw if you answer by 3 March. You can find the

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Help shape early childhood journalism

You might have seen that last month a huge campaign was launched in the UK by Kate Middleton to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood development. It aims to make early childhood development “one of the most strategically important topics of our time”.

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The real reasons screens are babysitting our kids

You would have to be living in a cave these days not to have heard of CoComelon, El Reino Infantil, A Galinha Pintadinha or Il Pulcino Pio, depending on what your language of choice is. These YouTube shows for kids are everywhere: you hear the

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Why your birthing experience matters

This story talks about obstetric violence and infant death. If this is too much for you, please skip it. There is no collection of helpful resources that I have found, but feel free to reach out and I may be able to help you find

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This newsletter turns two — thanks to you!

Happy 2023, dear reader, and thanks for your continued support. A special thanks to those who sent a one-off donation via Paypal (you can still do so here) and to those who picked up a membership here. Also an apology: this newsletter was supposed to go out

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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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How we’re raising future politicians

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’ll be receiving my newsletters every two weeks until 19 January — a mix of new content and some older

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Forever in the archive:

Why maternity leave is crucial

Over the past few weeks, I felt that my pregnancy had become a chore. I was trying to stay fit by going to yoga and walking. I was also trying to get enough sleep (because you never know) and being in touch with friends before

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My deepest fear about giving birth

On Sunday night, I was so tired I could not fall asleep. As I lay down in my bed on my left side, hugging a breastfeeding pillow to support my gigantic belly, I started feeling some intense pain. The baby was somehow pushing on my

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Wrongs ideas about childbirth are common

📢 Next Thursday 13 October, I am moderating a panel on how to look at the climate crisis through the eyes of a child. It has an exciting line-up that promises lots of insight: Robert Hughes, a public health researcher and lecturer on early childhood

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It’s time to talk about obstetric violence

**Warning: this piece handles obstetric violence, and goes into some graphic details. If this has affected you and you have not received support, feel free to send me an email and I will try and help you find the right resources in your country.Images: Courtesy

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Routines are great, but have you tried spontaneity?

📢 On 21 September, I am moderating a panel on how losing a caregiver can impact a child’s health and what are possible ways to protect them in the future. It will feature Charles H. Zeanah, professor of psychiatry & pediatrics at Tulane University, and one

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The invisible load holds women back

This morning, as I was driving back from dropping my son off for a few hours with his babysitter, I blasted music on the car stereo and sang along with Rino Gaetano, an Italian singer-songwriter who died before I was born. “Ma il cielo è

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Summer is great for everyone except parents

There is a poem by Gianni Rodari, the Italian children’s book writer I can’t stop raving about, that has always stayed with me. It’s called “Ferragosto”, after the name of the Italian public holiday that falls on 15 August, and it’s about children who can’t afford to

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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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