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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Vaccine ignorance is deadly and contagious

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Toddler's awesome dress up month

Two-year-old Willow and her photographer mum, Gina Lee, made October "Dress Up Willow Month". She posted photos of Willow's costumes on her Instagram account, and her creative takes on popular culture are simply adorable.

Childhood around the world

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Best picks for baby and toddler shoes

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I lost my wife and daughters to Ebola - then it came for my son

Sunday, September 21, is a day I will never forget.

The 'yucky' illness that took over my life

I have a chronic illness nobody likes to discuss. It involves toilet talk, and probably caused my miscarriage. But it needs to be talked about.

Prenatal testing: the facts

Prenatal testing is done to check if a baby has certain medical conditions before birth. Here is some important information about what the tests are for and the risks involved.

5 things to do with your baby’s old clothes

Did you think your only option for your baby’s old clothes was to pack them away or give them to the Salvos? Think again.

Why it's possible to not realise you're pregnant until the baby arrives

After hearing about 'surprise babies' born to mums who didn't know they were pregnant, it's common to ask "how did she not realise?" But experts say it's entirely possible for it to happen.

'My miracle is finally here'

How has the world continued on its pace when mine has been altered so drastically?

Dairy can help older women fall pregnant: study

Ice cream may be the ultimate comfort food, but a study suggests it could also help older women to have children.

Megan Gale goes topless for 'sexiest people' cover

Six months after a heavily pregnant Megan Gale posed nude for Marie Claire, the glowing new mum has gone topless for the cover of another magazine.

A new perspective on life from living with two diseases

A mother shares her personal story about the difficulty of living with two conditions, one of which stops her from being able to see her daughter's face.

Warning about Children's Panadol dosage

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued a safety advisory warning parents about confusion when using the dosing syringe supplied with Children's Panadol.

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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Couple has five babies in 14 months

Julie and David Grygla weren't sure they'd ever have kids - but their dreams have now well and truly come true.

What's in a name?

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Looking for a classic name, or an unusual name? Our Baby Name Finder is for you, search or browse to refine your shortlist.