In the whole array of virtues that a stepparent must possess in order to succeed in raising a well-rounded child whose world has been shattered by the separation of his or her parents, courage is only mentioned in passing. Yet courage is the foundation of a construction that promises to be challenging from the outset, say those who have plunged into the role and managed to bring a drifting relationship to the shore.
Sister trio Clara, Emily and Sharon always dreamed of different things they could do together when they grew up. They never thought they would be where they are now as travelling artists with a thriving business and a 17,000 (and growing) following.
"School is where children learn that they have to read. Home is where kids learn to read because they want to," conclude the authors of a guide to cultivating a passion for reading in children of all ages. It is clear that with good resources and role models, a child can become passionate about reading, but there are parents who wonder where they are going wrong if they fail to inspire a love of books in their child.
The most important human relationship you'll ever have is with your spouse. Protect it at all costs.
"Once upon a time, there was a princess as beautiful and kind as a fairy. She was an only child and her parents loved her dearly and did everything for her. When she grew up, they gave her a magnificent wedding to the brave man she had chosen, a handsome and virtuous fellow. After a while, misfortune struck: not a day would pass without a harsh word or a deep sigh at the palace...
For at least one party, sibling estrangement can be more painful than loss through death, writes Fern Schumer Chapman, who was excluded from her brother's life for four decades.
Money can do strange things to people. A few years back, a survey in England asked people to imagine first that the average income was £100,000, but they earned £125,000. Second, they were to imagine that the average income was £200,000, but their income was £175,000. They were then asked which they would prefer. The majority chose £125,000—they would rather have the possibility of lower spending opportunities if it kept them ahead of the pack!
Many couples only realise after divorce the price they have paid for failing to find common ground, and a few even manage to rediscover the forgotten path to their partner's heart and to rebuild their relationship.
The factors behind successful ageing have been the subject of research for decades, but the subjective side of ageing still needs to be explored. Because successful ageing is more than an attempt to defy age and its frailties, it is a process in which, in addition to losses, benefits need to be taken into account—not just those delivered by good genetics or a healthy lifestyle, but also those generated by a positive outlook on life, even as it nears its sunset.
In an ideal world, everything would be simple: you, as the father or mother, tell your child, the apple of your eye, to do something and, being perfectly obedient and submissive, they do as they’re told. However, we don’t know if such a world would really be ideal. Nevertheless, for many parents, this resembles a paradise to which they would love to escape for at least a few weeks.
Nine years ago, as my then-fiancé and I were deep in the throes of folding paper flowers, painting glass bottles, and designing and making our own wedding stationery, the question popped up fairly regularly: Why don’t we just elope?
As strange as this question may seem, it is also difficult and has consequences that are not at all negligible. Even if it is not always phrased like this, or perhaps not even spoken out loud, this question arises in every home.
From a distance, it looked like a simple picture of a tree: nothing very artistic—more of a sketch in subtle shades of brown and green. But as I looked closer I noticed something unusual. The tree had been constructed out of words and phrases. Someone had collected snippets of information about their family and their ancestors, and written it down to form the trunk and the branches, using various shades of ink. Soon people’s names, birth dates, marriages, occupations, significant events and places emerged from the patterns in the picture.
No matter how much we avoid it, the day will come when our parents will not be able to get by without us, just as we would not have been able to grow up without them.
Many families struggle with broken relationships and domestic violence. Because of this, some people are tempted to wonder whether marriage is still a worthwhile option. But the important aspects of family life still remain valid after thousands of years and these, if practised, can help our families to flourish, even in the twenty-first century.