In defense of TV

tv toddler

AMITY DRY Feeling guilty after hearing about the latest study on kids' exposure to TV? Amity Dry says you're not alone - but that this is one study she'll be taking with a grain of salt.

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Do hospitals offer frequent flyer cards for climbers?

Child climbing tree

Kylie Orr Until her third child, Kylie Orr had never had a climber. She's now got her second injury-prone Spiderman-wannabe ... and it's driving her up the wall.

A touch too much

high five

Amity Dry A school in Victoria has banned high fives, and Amity Dry thinks it's a sign that the world's gone mad. What are we teaching our kids when we don't allow them to act on these harmless instincts?

Have you ever visited the land of empty threats?

Nagging mum

Kylie Orr Empty threats are often blurted out by parents in the heat of the moment, when frustration with our children trumps all else. Kylie Orr revisits some of the pearlers she's come out with, and a few classics from years gone by.

Have you turned into your mother?

Turn into mum

Kylie Orr It may start with the birth of your child, or take a good few years to set in, but you will eventually turn into your mother, Kylie Orr writes. But is it really so bad after all?

English for beginners

Toddler with blocks

Kylie Orr Her toddler will eventually pronounce words properly, but Kylie Orr loves the mispronunciations her son is coming up with along the way. Sceezy cuggle, anyone?

How do you make time for family time?

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Joseph Kelly Do you make time for family time? Have you figured out a way to get some balance into your family so that "family time" means actually interacting with each other? Are modern "conveniences" a blessing or a curse?

Summer traditions

Cooking with Kids. From left, Charlie, 11yrs, Henry, 9yrs, Tom, 7yrs, Ava, 6yrs, and Daphne 4yrs, all making pizza.Story by Kate Gibbs for SMH Good Living. Photo by Quentin Jones.

Joseph Kelly Every year we have our Christmas holidays in the same beachside town with my three brothers, four sisters and all their children. A tradition that the kids love is the annual "boys' night" which is held at exactly the same time, but in a different location, to the "girls' night".

The simple life

Painter girl

Joseph Kelly When I was a young boy, the most mystical place I knew of wasn't in my imagination or in any books I had read. It was Phil's hardware store and it was packed with some of the most amazing, fascinating and down-right weird things I could imagine.

Have you ever accidentally hurt your baby?

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Joseph Kelly You can't help bad luck. No matter how under or over protective you are, accidents happen!

Generation next: Are you a better parent than your parents?

parents kissing baby

Joseph Kelly It is only natural that you will judge yourself by comparison to the people whose parenting you had the most contact with: your own mum and dad. So how does your parenting fare?

Toddler-induced exhaustion

Sleeping todller

Joseph Kelly There is nothing more precious to me now than sleep. Not a morning arrives when I don’t think everything about the impending day will be improved by just ten more minutes of sleep.

Ikea: Swedish for 'hell'?

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Joseph Kelly Have you visited Ikea and lived to tell the tale? Do you know of anyone who has taken a child into the store and walked out unscathed?

Theme parks: hell on Earth?

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Joseph Kelly There are a lot of very crazy things that people do for love. I proved my love for my daughters by taking them to Dreamworld on the Gold Coast.

No son? You're a failure!

Three girls sisters in striped tops

Joseph Kelly A son would be lovely, but my three daughters are more than enough.

Doing the drop-and-go

Unisex party

Joseph Kelly The drop and go party requires you the parent to be confident that your child won’t eat their own body weight in lollies, throw up on their new party clothes and fight the birthday child for the presents.

Zen and the art of parenting

dad baby beach

Joseph Kelly Really, parenting shouldn’t be that hard. You take two people that love each other very much. By all accounts these two people have enough love left over to be shared about with any small people that they are blessed enough to create. There’s some money coming in to pay the bills and make sure everyone is fed and clothed. Nothing easier. And then the children arrive.

The Guilt trap

Family shopping

Joseph Kelly The wonderful thing about being a parent is there is always something to feel guilty about.

Care factor

Dad and daughter

Joseph Kelly Are men as caring as women? Gender roles may have changed, but it seems society hasn't caught up.

Parenting or working - which is harder?

dad daughter

Joseph Kelly In Dad's Diary this week, Joseph finds out that staying at home is not quite the laid-back experience he'd hoped it would be.

Music to drive you GaGa

Dad and kids in red car

Joseph Kelly My car is generously appointed with speakers. There’s one in each door, two in the cargo area and a couple of tweeters next to the door handles. All this is designed so that I can blast myself silly to some testosterone fuelled guitar-God driven rock mayhem. Only this never actually happens because my musical taste, along with most other things in my life, is dictated to me by the three hecklers in the back seat.

Where do kids learn these things?

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Joseph Kelly Are there things that you’ve said in front of the kids that have come back to haunt you? Have the kids ever told you something you knew you weren’t supposed to hear?

Kids and Finance: What do you teach them?

Joseph Kelly Is it wrong to try and burden kids with the concept of financial responsibility, or is it wrong not to provide a good financial base for your kids? Is it something better left to the free market to decide?

The bedtime shuffle

Your toddler and sleep

Joseph Kelly Our bedtime routine has turned into a bit of a farce lately. Every night we go through the same charade of getting the girls bathed and dressed for bed. Putting kids to bed is one of those exercises that seems to get harder the more you practice it. A lot like golf, only far less fun.

Your child's mementos - do you cherish or chuck?

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Joseph Kelly To bin or to bind? How do you manage the unending influx of irreplaceable artwork generated by your kids?

Do you judge your kid's friends by their names?

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Joseph Kelly 2 Judge, or Not 2 Judge... Is it wrong to judge a child based on their name? What do you think of “unique” names and “creative” spelling?

Do you go on dates by yourself?

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Joseph Kelly Every second Tuesday one of us stays with the kids while the other goes to the movies. And it is one of the greatest sanity savers I could ever think of.

Who brings kids on holidays?

Tackling childhood obesity by getting Mum fit

Joseph Kelly I have discovered the flaw in the whole holiday caper – everyone wants to relax. Except of course for the kids, who are keen to party like its 1999.

Pregnant women - hot or not?

A pregnant woman with a man.

Joseph Kelly Call it the pregnancy "glow", but it seemed as though Susie had tapped into the essence of life.

Weekend with Barnaby

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Joseph Kelly Last weekend I was running at break-neck speed from late Friday right through to late Sunday. And all because of a stuffed toy bear.

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Compare your baby's length and weight for age against the World Health Organization's standard growth charts for children aged 0-3 years.

Teaching our son to say no to violence against women

Today, on White Ribbon Day - and every other day - we're teaching our son to say no to violence against women.

Mothers told to breastfeed in 'spacious' toilet

If there is one thing the owners of Tillings Cafe can be certain of, it is that the eatery won't win the award for Britain's best baby-friendly coffee shop any time soon.

Mother gives name to son dumped down drain

A woman who admitted to dumping her newborn baby down a Sydney drain has reportedly been allowed to give him a name.

Taking small steps to reduce stress

Are you feeling used up by life's stress, family problems and a demanding job you can't turn off? Many people are way beyond work-life exhaustion. They are functioning as robots.

Bad news: we're running out of chocolate

The world's biggest chocolate-maker says we're running out of chocolate.

Born at 23 weeks, 'Chopstick Baby' survives first week

A baby who was born at 23 weeks has survived her first week of life outside the womb.

Manic stations: the nesting instinct in pregnancy

It might sound like temporary insanity, but almost obsessive nesting as you near your due date isn’t uncommon – even if you’re not usually a particularly clean person.

How a baby can survive alone for days on end

The baby found abandoned in a Sydney drain may have been alone for up to six days without being fed, leaving many asking how he could have survived.

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

A child's excitement at Christmas time is a beautiful thing, but one dad ponders whether his toddler daughter is getting into the festive mood a bit too soon.

Hospital lets dads the experience some of the pain of childbirth

A new experience is radically altering men's views of childbirth.

Italian doctors questioned over formula bribes

Italian police have placed 12 doctors under house arrest on suspicion of promoting baby milk formula over breastfeeding.

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Those special moments of sibling bonding

Every now and then your child does or says something that is truly memorable.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Baby monitor footage posted online

Footage of Australian babies and children sleeping in their bedrooms are among the images on a Russian site showing live feeds from thousands of homes and businesses around the world.

Did this new dad really hit on his wife's midwife?

Was there really a man who was actually there by his wife’s side as she laboured and gave birth to his child, all while he was making what he perceived to be meaningful eye contact with a midwife?

Keep calm and ignore the Tantrum Trolls

Tantrum Trolls are a small but growing species of predatory bottom-feeders who delight in picking on parents at their most vulnerable.

It's okay to never 'get over' the death of a loved one

The death of children, siblings, and parents has long term impacts on the rest of our lives.

What Mark Latham needs to know about depression and motherhood

Love has nothing to do with mental illness. But love may drive a mother to do something about it.

'We're just trying to keep our child alive': life with FPIES

We have a beautiful seven-month-old son, and his allergy rules our life.

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

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Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong'

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.