Showing posts from March, 2011

Toddler tantrums, Mum 'no's' best & the counter revolution of grace

Maybe you have managed to buck the trend & raise perfect children, but I suspect not? A quick browse through the chatrooms of Net Mums et al is enough to dispel the notion that our little cherubs are...well...cherubic in any sense of the word.If even the proud, brand name buggy pushing, hot house educating mums that frequent these sites are prepared to admit that little Harry & Chelsea still squirm & fight when they are shoved in their Prada car seats in the back of the 4x4, then it must be true - our children are not perfect - 'Get me a Nanny whilst I go back to work!'

It starts at the very beginning. The first word my children uttered was ‘No!’
They said it once & we smiled – then it came out over & over, usually in various embarrassing & inappropriate moments in the company of tutting adults who thought we ought to do better as parents!

Now they are older it’s the other way round, it feels like us saying no to them all the time.‘Mum, can I just.....NO!…

How do you keep the music playing?

Our culture values outer beauty over inner character, youth over experience, the passionate moment of sex over sustained intimacy & friendship.
Books, movies, magazines, popular music – all preach this message boldly. It’s a cultural worldview which we've unthinkingly accepted without questioning the destination it takes us too. What happens when the music fades – where do we look for answers in a society which is running blindly up the wrong alley with it's fingers firmly in it's ears?

Marriage relationships are hard work. They don't just flourish on their own. There is so much pressure to contend with from the worldview expressed above, notwithstanding our own ability to blow it - in all the marriages we've explored in counselling, most pressures have been entirely self imposed. The joy of being together can so quickly turn to disappointment as reality bites. So many of your high Hollywood expectations will get crushed by gritty reality.

‘He’s not the man I thou…

Already my Book of the Year for 2011

Forget the rest, the polls are closed & the golden envelope is already being opened in March! I can't wait for the year end, I'm convinced I won't find a more arresting read this year.

Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you, 'The case for working with your hands, or why office work is bad for us & fixing things feels good.' By Matthew Crawford. Any book which has 20 words in the title deserves something just for that alone.

In this little masterpiece, Crawford turns on it's head the accepted academic pursuits of knowledge based training leading to an inevitable university education, which in turn so often leads to a job at a desk in a cubicle. He yearns for a simpler life where the brain & the hands are engaged together in tasks which have meaning & coherence for our whole lives.

This is philosophy & economics on a grand scale, yet it touches the heart of everyone who has ever been asked the question 'What do you want to be when you grow up?…

Jif Lemon, dead religion & a trail all the way to Easter

Happy Jif Lemon Day - the official start of the Creme Egg Season! The climactic weekend of gorging ourselves stupid on our own body weight in chocolate is now only 40 days away, let the the countdown begin!

Nobody really understands Pancake Day anymore, apart from a few of our more religious friends who also happen to go to church the following day to have ash crosses painted on their foreheads. There is a huge disconnect today between our ancient festivals which used to mark the pattern of the year & our modern mindset.

Most of them we have happily buried in the past (I include the idea of having an ash cross daubed on my head) but some we have kept. Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday to the real aficionados, incredibly made the cut. When you consider that we have quietly disposed of maypoles & even harvest in our urban culture, it is amazing, downright extraordinary that millions will batter pancakes into submission around Britain tonight!

The truth is only 1 in 10 children under 1…