‘We shout at and smack our children: how can we stop?’

07. February 2018 Love and Sex 0
Take a deep breath, step away and avoid bust-ups with your kids, says Mariella Frostrup. Failing that, seek professional help The dilemma I have two lovely little girls aged six and three and a wonderful husband who helps a lot with childcare. I work full time and my husband works four days a week, so we’re busy, but I do have some paid help. I worry that we both have very short fuses, and our girls are exposed to a level of anger that isn’t appropriate. I want them to grow up in a calm and loving household, but we both blow up. I calm down immediately, but am full of remorse for shouting at or smacking our older girl. The younger one isn’t often naughty. My husband uses phrases like “shut up” or “go away”, which I would never say to a child. I’ve spoken to him about it and he does try, but our elder child can be very provocative. We both grew up in homes with strict parents, where we were smacked. We now struggle with the fact that our eldest is deliberately naughty and defiant. She is terribly jealous whenever the younger one gets any attention. How can we keep the atmosphere calm? We were never angry like this before we had children. read more

I have been dogging in secret for years. Should I tell my wife?

07. February 2018 Love and Sex 0
My constant casual encounters are beginning to make me feel guilty, but not enough for me to stop. So including her could be the solution I have been going dogging in various car parks across the UK for more than eight years, and have never told my wife. We have a healthy sex life, but I feel I can’t talk to her about my sexual activity away from her. Recently, I’ve been considering suggesting dogging to her to gauge her response, but don’t want to alienate her. She’s in no way prudish but she’s not an exhibitionist. My constant casual encounters with men and women are beginning to make me feel guilty, but not enough to make me stop. So including her could be the solution. read more

Phwoar, get an eyeful of all that top Tory beefcake… | Barbara Ellen

07. February 2018 Love and Sex 0
If handsome guys lean to the right, how do you explain Trump and our leading Conservatives? The secret is out. A US study, published in the Journal of Public Economics, says that more attractive people tend to politically identify as Conservative/Republican and that it’s precisely because they are so gorgeous that they have such a hard time believing that less fortunate people may need state help. read more

My boyfriend has changed his mind and now wants children | Dear Mariella

07. January 2018 Love and Sex 0
Mariella Frostrup advises a woman of 22 not to make her mind up yet about becoming a parent The dilemma I’ve been with my boyfriend for three years, and recently he has decided he wants kids when before we both shared views on not wanting them. He believes time will change my mind (he is 31 and I am 22), but I know myself. I am ready for every other big step in life – getting a house with him, getting married – both of which he has not expressed he wants. I want to believe I will change my mind, but I’m afraid it will then be too late for him to have kids. I’m scared he’ll resent me if I don’t give him a baby. And worse, I believe I will resent him if I do. Any advice? I don’t want to leave him, but I’m afraid it’s the more responsible decision. No matter how much it will hurt. read more

A new year that changed me: a sexual awakening, and a lesson in loss | Alice O’Keeffe

07. January 2018 Love and Sex 0
Transfixed, Will and I peered over the wall into the garden of adulthood – little knowing the fathomless sadness that lay in wait there In my family there is a before and an after: one event against which everything else is measured. The new year that changed me took place just “before”, and my memories of it have the tantalising glow of all precious, lost things. It was 1990-91, and I was 11, fresh from my first term at secondary school. My parents had been invited to stay and see the new year in with some friends in their cottage in Pembrokeshire. My sister, Jess, and I were dragged along reluctantly. We didn’t really know Brian and Carla, who were relatively new friends of my parents. read more

For a happy family life, think free-form jazz | Tim Lott

07. January 2018 Love and Sex 0
Running a successful household requires kindness, respect, intimacy, shared meals, phone-free times – and the ability to improvise I am coming to the end of my time as a Guardian Family columnist, so I thought I would use my final contributions to summarise what I have discovered or pondered over during the last four years – a few principles worth thinking about if you hope for a functional family life. read more