Top tips for family life in 2015

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Published: Saturday 27th December 2014 by The News Editor

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With the New Year on the horizon we asked some of the country’s top parenting experts about the resolutions they’d like British families to make for 2015.

Anna Feuchtwang , chief executive of the National Children’s Bureau says: “A simple thing that all parents can do to show their love for their children is to make a will. Statistics show that in people of parental age, approximately one in four deaths come unexpectedly, with little time to put in place the arrangements that can make all the difference to a child. But still only a quarter of parents of young children have made a will.”

Jeremy Todd , chief executive of the charity Family Lives, says: “Stop arguing with your ex and make this a New Year’s resolution now, as all the evidence points to the importance of children having good, positive, meaningful relationships with both parents; and developing significant resentments and difficulties later in life if they feel this has been deliberately prevented. We’d encourage you to just find a way to talk through the pain and resentment.”

Tamsin Kelly , editor of the parenting website Parentdish, says: “Don’t worry about what other people think or how other people bring up their children. By loving your children, giving them attention and slowly preparing them for adulthood, you’re doing a great job as a parent. Having children is a (very large) part of your life, but try to keep some aspect of your day for yourself – at least half an hour to watch your favourite TV programme or enjoy a cup of tea in peace.”

Cari Rosen , editor of Gransnet, says: “Examine your attitudes to older people. Are you writing off people with experience, wisdom, perspective, time and energy because you’ve got a prejudice against grey hair and wrinkles? Good things don’t necessarily come in young packages; resolve to challenge everyday ageism.”

Maggie Sims , the Children’s Food Trust head of Let’s Get Cooking, says: “When you’re juggling work and family life it can be easy to reach for takeaway or ready meals even though home-cooked food is healthier and often cheaper. Making a resolution to cook from scratch just once a week is a really good place to start. Absolutely anybody can learn to cook.”

Jonathan Douglas , director of The National Literacy Trust, says: “Read with your child for at least 10 minutes a day – then curl up with a good book yourself. Fostering a love of reading at home is crucial to children’s future happiness and success. Parents are really important reading role models and our research shows that children’s attitudes to reading improve the more they see their parents read, so we would encourage all parents to make time for enjoying a good book themselves.”

Sarah Jackson , chief executive of Working Families, says: “Make the most of your new rights at work in 2015. Everyone now has the right to request flexible working hours, no matter what their caring responsibilities are at home. And mothers and fathers who are expecting or adopting a baby on or after April 5 this year can take Shared Parental Leave and should be asking their employer about it now.”

Copyright Press Association 2014

Published: Saturday 27th December 2014 by The News Editor

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