Tagged With family

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Much has been written about the importance of the family meal. There's something about setting aside time every day, away from the distractions of work to-dos and house chores and Instagram notifications, to connect over food with your clan. Kids who grow up with the ritual will be fundamentally different from those who don't — science backs this up.

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In her new memoir Now My Heart Is Full, Laura June writes about how becoming a parent has helped her make peace with the memory of her own mother, her mother’s alcoholism, and their difficult relationship. Here, she talks about life with her daughter Zelda, from her belief that babies sometimes need to be left alone to the way motherhood has made her more creative than ever.

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Parents who share a Netflix account with their families know the distinct pain. After putting your kids to bed, you sit down to watch a sexy new drama (or for me, The Great British Bake Off), and up pops on your TV screen: “Because you watched Lalaloopsy: A Sew Magical Tale, here’s Luna Petunia, My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake!” Your shows! What happened to all your shows?!

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Dear Lifehacker, I consider myself a pretty organised person. The rest of my family? Not so much. It's not that we're totally out of control or anything, but with three kids, there are lots of activities, messes abound, and schoolwork is always a hassle. What can I do to get us all more organised and in sync with each other?

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So, you need some help. It's okay, we all need a hand sometimes. Problem is, a lot of us don't know how to go about asking - so we don't. Well, according to a social psychologist, here's the simplest, most effective way to ask for a favour.

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When I was a kid, my dad taught me how certain chess pieces move by having me analyse the shapes of the pieces themselves. The rook, a castle made of horizontal and vertical lines, moves horizontally and vertically. The bishop, which has slanted lines, moves diagonally.

I was never much good at the game, but I vividly remember sitting there at our dining room table, watching the man explain all of this with glee (he even added eyes to the bishop with a marker and nicknamed it "Joey Bishop" - what a dad). Now as a parent myself, I'm convinced that playing chess is a wonderful way to bond with your child.

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I was three and a half months pregnant when my partner and I separated, and I suddenly had to rearrange my life around something I'd never anticipated: single parenthood. In operatic moments, I made mental ledgers of all the things I'd likely have to give up as a sole caretaker: my demanding career, my exercise routine, my friends, reading, going out to dinner, going out to movies, going out at all. I was terrified to parent alone.

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Studio Ghibli films have been a touchstone in my life for years. They're artistic masterpieces, featuring a stunning attention to detail. The films defy stereotypes -- they feature female protagonists with great depth, male leads with striking vulnerability, and unforgettable background characters.

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I remember the moment my mother brought home our first chick, Victoria, better than I remember most of my birthdays. It was a warm, spring afternoon, and we came home from school to find my mother had finally started the flock she'd been wanting for so long. Looking at the downy fluff of Victoria's body and her scrawny, dinosaur legs, it occurred to me then, as an eight-year-old, that I'd never really observed a bird up close before. Birds were probably my least favourite creatures, what with their beady eyes and sharp beaks, but Victoria was something else. She chirped in her sleep and made a mess of her water bowl and responded to treats just like all the puppies I'd loved before her.

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Do you feel as though your social life is out of control? Maybe you (or your kids) have events every evening, when all you want to do is spend a quiet night at home. Maybe you feel like you're spending too much time "touching base" and "picking brains" with people you aren't close to, and not enough time with your friends. Maybe your in-laws want you to spend every Sunday having dinner with them, and you... don't.