Real joy at Christmas

It can be particularly difficult not to feel the stress and overwhelming power of consumerism that accompany this time of the year. Twenty four hour shopping even on Sundays, pre-Christmas sales that spur spending on unnecessary stuff and shops abubble with frenzied customers can be exhausting to the most ardent Christmas lover. And then, there is the quandary of which relative to invite for Christmas lunch and what present to buy them given that you only see them once a year (perhaps for good reason). Work can seem to pile on and the trail of unread emails grows longer as you prepare to wind down for the holidays. There are certainly quite a few parties too, but they often lack authentic or

Emotional Education for teenagers

Recently, I have had to deal with my son going through the first stages of puberty. As most parents would agree, this phase makes the previous decade in the child's life look like a honeymoon! The surges in hormones, the constant apathy, the inexplicable dysfunction of the ears, the perpetual behaviour issues... As a coping mechanism, it helps me to imagine my son with a sign on his forehead which says "Gone for lunch... for the next 6 years!!!" Leaving aside the frustration we both feel of not being heard or understood by the other, I really want to help make this time as smooth as possible so we can remain close and he transitions into adult life without getting too hurt. Easier said than

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