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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For and against

Should Blue Ivy have been at the VMAs?

Many were quick to condemn Beyonce and Jay Z after appearing on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards with their two-year-old daughter, but others thought it was a sweet family moment. What do you think?

Toddler attacked at gym creche

Two-year-old girl Eva Ness was left with a black eye and bite marks on her face and body after an altercation with an older child at a health club's child-minding facilities. Now her parents are calling for the centre to be closed.

Pregnancy a tricky matter of timing for FIFO couples

Manipulating rosters, coordinating 'conjugal' visits, working on site with your partner; getting pregnant can prove stressful for FIFO workers.

WIN a $100 RedBalloon for Dad

Enter now for your chance to win 1 of 5 $100 RedBalloon experience vouchers. Helping you make Dad's Day EXTRA HAPPY.

Carseats have twice as many germs as a toilet

Most parents know their child's carseat is not always squeaky clean, but they might not realise just how dirty it really is.

Doctors remove foetus from 'medical marvel' after 36 years

Doctors in India have removed the skeleton of a foetus that had been inside a woman for 36 years.

Nine months in six seconds: new parents' Vine clip a hit

We’ve seen some memorable time-lapse pregnancy and birth announcement videos before. Now one new couple has taken it to the extreme, capturing it all in just a six-second Vine video.

Sonia Kruger speaks of baby joy

Celebrity mum-to-be Sonia Kruger has spoken candidly about using donor eggs and IVF to fall pregnant at age 48.

Dressing to not impress: life through the eyes of a three-year-old

When it comes to getting dressed, my three-year-old has only one criterion: “I don’t want to look beautiful.” And now I've worked out why.

Special nappies made with love for angel babies

Angel Baby Nappies make and provide tiny bereavement cloth nappies for pre-term stillborn babies and premature babies who pass away in the NICU.

Inside the brain of a tantruming toddler

What's going on in your child's mind in the lead-up to a tantrum? And what’s the best way to respond?

5 secrets to a long-lasting relationship

When it comes to keeping your relationship strong, it’s what you do - and not what you want - that really matters.

When 'furbabies' meet real babies

I am obsessed with my dogs, and can't imagine loving them any less once my baby arrives. But that doesn't stop everyone from telling me I will.

The least popular baby names of 2013

Looking for a baby name that’s nowhere near the top 10 – or even the top 1000? Try the bottom five.

'I was so sleep deprived I crashed my car'

There are no laws regulating driving while tired, but statistics show that driver fatigue is one of the top three contributors to the road toll.

Why are there so few sexy maternity bras?

Rather than feeling ashamed of their post-baby bodies, women should be free to buy lingerie that makes them look attractive and pretty - no matter what stage of life they're in.

Toddler Alliyah one step closer to first trip home

She has lived the first 14 months of her life in a hospital intensive care unit, but Alliyah Broadby's parents hope to finally take their little girl home with them.

'Put people before IVF profits': IVF pioneer Alan Trounson

IVF could be done for hundreds of dollars in Australia instead of $8500 if clinics stopped charging what ''the market will handle'', a pioneer of the technology says.

Expectant parents urged to swap the pub for bub

Nearly one in five women drink while pregnant, but a current campaign is trying to drive down that unhealthy statistic.

Nutella supplies threatened by bad weather

There's bad news for fans of Nutella, the gooey, chocolatey hazelnut spread.

The cost of growing your own vegies

Does it make financial sense to grow your own veggies, or are you better off ordering produce from the local food co-op?

Breastfeeding mums less likely to suffer from PND, but all need support

A new study has shown the a complex relationship between a mother’s intention to breastfeed, her ability to do so, and postnatal depression.

Win back some precious time and get FREE coupons

Membership to eBay's Bubs’ Corner is free and includes a $10 coupon to spend on nappies each month - a win for multitasking mums!

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 back some precious time and get FREE coupons

Membership to eBay's Bubs’ Corner is free and includes a $10 coupon to spend on nappies each month - a win for multitasking mums!

Do you suffer from Precious Firstborn Syndrome?

Testing ‘no more tears’ shampoo in your own eyes, warming cucumber sticks so they're not cold straight from the fridge, waking a sleeping baby to check they’re still breathing: these are all symptoms of Precious Firstborn Syndrome.

Ezra's tragic death not in vain, mum says

Little Ezra was a "Harry Houdini" who loved trying to escape the family home. Now, after his tragic death, his parents are doing what they can to help others.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend – me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum – I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

Video: When adults act like children

Ever wondered what would happen if adults were allowed to act like children? This dad's hilarious video clip will give you an idea of what life would be like.

Mums hit hardest as flu cases skyrocket

The number of confirmed cases of influenza in Australia has doubled the number for the same time last year - and women are 25 per cent more likely to get it.

The mum who had four babies in nine months

Feeling exhausted due to the demands of caring for a baby? Imagine the life of this mum, who gave birth to three boys and one girl in just nine months.

Everything baby at Big W

Lowest prices on everything baby, only at Big W. Sale starts August 4 and ends August 20 2014.

Smiggle is painting the town red!

We have 3 Red Smiggle prize packs to give away! Enter by posting a photo of something red to your Instagram.

Going viral

Mum gives birth at school

After four decades in the industry, pest controller John Birkett couldn't believe what he found in one woman's bedroom.

Mind, body, beauty, life

Making time for me

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