Tomato soup and parenting crime

My 16 year old is doing school exams. It is stressful, exhausting and relentless. There is A LOT of screen time involved. It is also cold and dark in the UK. Yesterday, in order to take a break from revision, he wanted to make a tomato soup. Not a tin version, but the one from Jamie Oliver’s. Great! I love when my kids take initiative, I love when they plan something and make it happen. I love it when they…

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Mental health and the power of rituals

I really wanted the first blogpost of the 2021 to be amazing and meaningful. Instead, I am grappling for words, trying to readjust and rebalance my family and work life once again, like many other parents and carers in the UK. So far, the New Year felt like a false start – another lockdown, plans cancelled and kids are back to studying from home. Personally, we are feeling the prospect of this lockdown more than before. Winters here are miserable…

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Why thirteen is the worst age for social media

Parents know very well the pressure to let their children have a social media account even before the legal age of thirteen. As mum, I would argue that the limit should be flexible and it all depends on the particular family and the child. Although as a researcher, I would argue that from a developmental point of view thirteen is still far too early, and even 14-15 is still not ideal.  In 2016, when I started visiting schools in London…

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Can technology kill motivation?

Harry was an active and lively little boy. He loved cars, insects, loved playing football. He was a ball of energy and imagination. He enjoyed climbing trees, building Lego and playing X-box with Dad. Gradually, as Harry grew older, his interests narrowed down. By some unknown reason he stopped enjoying being outdoors as much, he stopped enjoying doing anything, apart from computer games. His days would be filled just with school and online games. Actually, only one game. Nothing else…

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The why and how to minimise distractions

5 PRACTICAL TIPS on how to organize our space when working or studying from home. Technology transcends and disrupts time and space and deletes boundaries between work and life, compressing everything into an urgent NOW that demands our immediate attention. Digital technology has very little limitations, but human mind and psyche is limited. Our attention is a finite resource. Therefore, before the burn-out comes, before the fuse goes and we become an overstretched emotional mess, we need to take back…

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The two traps of multitasking or ‘I am bored!’

A tornado of PE kits, braids, sandwiches and school jumpers left the house and I can finally focus on work. In reality, I’ll try to work despite the lack of focus: answering a business call whilst unloading a washing machine, opening the door for a postman with a half-eaten piece of toast in hand, and finishing online grocery shopping while waiting for work files to upload. Multitasking is our new modus vivendi or our ‘way of life’ – a survival…

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Reflections on Summer 2.0 or Welcome to digiScope

Summer is over and the new school year is ahead. The long holiday can be a testing time, especially for parents: on one hand it proffers a well-deserved rest and valuable family time, on the other hand the lack of a fixed routine can draw even the most organised people into a chaos of laxity and procrastination. Bedtimes become later and later, snacking replaces proper mealtimes, and any vague attempts to work from home are doomed to epic failure. The…

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