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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Toddler Growth Chart

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

Share the little things that make you smile

We're giving away a Mountain Buggy nano, the ultimate travel stroller - and here are some of the great entries so far.

Toddler pleads for return of "stolen" nose

A two-year-old's reaction to a game of "got your nose" shows it doesn't take much to make a toddler cry.

The 15 photos new parents share (and five they don't)

From the first scan photo to the baby covered in cake at their first birthday party, there are 15 photos most parents seem to share - and some they don't.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

Breastfeeding friendly café goes viral

A photo of a breastfeeding-friendly sign in a cafe has been posted to Facebook and shared by hundreds of mums around the world.

First look at the Bugaboo Bee3

The newest Bugaboo Bee – the Bee3 – offers a variety of improved features, including a much asked-for bassinet and a rainbow of colour combinations.

Childcare costs, not paid leave, the real issue for parents

Given the choice between maintaining their wage for six months to have a child, or having a reduced rate of pay for a time but a better deal on childcare when returning to work, there are no odds on what most working parents would choose.

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We’re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

We lost three babies in two years

Our first pregnancy ended the way we all expected it to - with a healthy, happy baby in our arms. What a true blessing he was, for we were not to know the heartache we were about endure.

Family turned back from doomed flight MH17

'There must have been someone watching over us and saying, 'You must not get on that flight,' says mother who narrowly avoided boarding the Malaysian Airlines flight which exploded in mid-air over the Ukraine last night.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Adorable Skeanie loafers for kids

Your little toddler or preschooler can now get their nautical on with a new range of classic loafers by Australian show brand Skeanie.

My baby is hypermobile

For months, I have been telling myself not to worry that Jasmin isn't crawling or walking. This week I heard the term hypermobile for the first time.

When you don’t bond with your baby

They say that there is no bond greater than the bond between a mother and her child. But for some women, the mother-baby bond takes more time and effort to develop.

Yumi Stynes: Having a baby after a 10-year break

After a long break, Yumi Stynes gets a reminder of the pain - and the pleasure - of giving birth.

Grieving father asks for help to Photoshop his daughter's image

When Nathan Steffel's daughter Sophia died from a liver condition at just 6 weeks old, he reached out for someone to create a beautiful image of his little girl.

Raising kids in a 'low media' home

Can you imagine a life without TV or computers? Some parents are opting for a low-tech, screen-free life for their kids.

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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Win a Mountain Buggy nano

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The beautiful moment a baby was born at the side of a road

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Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

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The Nappy Collective starts new drive

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Photographer captures the beauty of adoption

The love of a family is usually tough to capture on camera. This is an exception.

Pregnancy progression photo ideas

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Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.