Fatherhood: Review – Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar, 2016

November 5, 2016 at 2:56 pm

lego-star-wars-advent-2016Most of you who follow or know me will already be aware of my fascination with Lego – so when I was asked if I wanted to review the 2016 Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar, I obviously jumped at the chance.

After my initial excitement, I realised I was in a bit of a strange situation. To truly “review” a product, you’ve got to open it and play with it – something I’ve always done in past reviews. But with this – an advent calendar – opening it before December the 1st seems a bit… well, a bit naughty. And as we all know, you’ve got to stay on the nice list at this time of year!

Fatherhood: Talking Food with Jamie Oliver and HuffPo

July 15, 2016 at 9:04 pm

Oliver-51Today I had the privilege of being invited to take part in a really interesting event at the offices of the Huffington Post in London. Myself and a selection of other, much more prolific parenting bloggers (and a few others to boot) were asked to take part in a debate with TV Chef and all-round nice guy Jamie Oliver – an opportunity that I’d have to be a right idiot to turn down. Naturally, I jumped at the chance.

As luck would have it, the HuffPo offices are only a couple of underground stops away

Fatherhood: 5 Ways to be a Better Father in 2016

January 4, 2016 at 3:24 pm

20150812_113511As a rule, I don’t really go for New Year Resolutions – never have really, but even less so as I get older. Much like most of the promises and plans we make in January, 90% of them are a distant memory by March, so what’s the point in deluding ourselves?

If you want to make a change in your life, do it then and there – like the dieter who decides to lose weight on a Friday, but convinces himself

Fatherhood: Going from Buddy to Bad Guy

November 9, 2015 at 9:12 pm

11056625_10156187775185072_8519251786831773805_oWell, it was good while it lasted. If I’m honest, I probably didn’t expect it to last the seven years that it has. But all good things have to come to an end.

Yes, I’ve finally gone from best buddy to bad guy, at least in the eyes of my 7 year old.

What is the wedge coming between us, I hear you ask? Well, I’ll tell you: it’s YouTube. Or the unrestricted access to YouTube, to be more exact.

Now I’m not going to talk about the inherent dangers of giving your kids unrestricted access to the internet – or how you need to know what your kids are accessing.

Fatherhood: Parenting – You are now entering Phase 2

September 20, 2015 at 10:25 am

IMG_8232This would definitely go down as one of the more unusual places that I’ve written a blog post. I am currently sat on a bench on the balcony-floor above a school swimming pool, laptop on lap, children whooping and screaming on the level below.

It’s not my children’s school, I should point out – though I wish it was. No, my children aren’t lucky enough to attend a school with a swimming pool, so I take them to a posh school in town for their weekly swimming lessons – lessons they are currently taking in the pool below me.

Fatherhood: Our Revolutionary New Parental Incentive Scheme – and Why it’s Failing!

April 1, 2015 at 5:48 pm

raffle-ticketIn an effort to incentivise our children to do good things, parents turn to many different options. Some choose money – whether ‘pocket’ money or ad-hoc rewards – others choose praise (good luck making that last past 18 months!). Some reward with presents, some use sticky charts or tables and some believe that to ‘reward’ is simply not right.

Whichever camp you fall into, chances are you’ve probably tested out a few systems in your time as a parent – I know we certainly have. None of them have ‘stuck’ for long, so when my wife came up with a revolutionary new idea for rewarding our boys, we thought we might have found “the one” at last.

Fatherhood: Guest Post – And then there were 4

February 9, 2015 at 6:30 pm

image005I don’t write about my children often. I love sharing pictures and amusing stories, but when it comes to anything serious I was always conscious of coming across as one of those people who either never shuts up about their kids, or would imply that a certain method of parenting is better than another.

But I’ve been asked by a few people to write something about my experiences with two children as opposed to one, and was running out of sarcastic excuses not to. So here goes.

I have two daughters aged 2 years and 4 months (Jess). And 4 months (Abby). Despite very little planning on either occasion, they inexplicably share the same birth date of the last day of September. So is having two much more difficult than having one? The short answer is both yes and no.

Fatherhood²: In Defence of President Business

August 24, 2014 at 8:10 pm

LEGO-Movie-PRESIDENT-BUSINESS-Warner-BrosEver since the Lego Movie came out this year, I have earned myself a new nickname in our house: President Business.

Now I should probably clarify at this stage, I don’t THINK they’re suggesting I’m an evil, maniacal overlord who wants to destroy cities and stamp on all types of creativity.

I THINK they’re calling me this because of my resemblance to ‘The Man Upstairs’ (as the credits list Will Ferrell’s character) in the final act of the movie.

And if I’m honest, they’re not that wrong. I pretty much AM President Business.

But is that SUCH a bad thing?

Fatherhood: 15 Things Game of Thrones Can Teach You about Parenting

August 6, 2014 at 7:44 am

Raising children can be a beautiful experience, but even the most hardened and successful parent will probably admit that there are times when it can be tricky.

During the tougher times, it can be good to look outside of your immediate circle of family and friends for advice. Some people read books, some for groups, some go online looking for knowledge.

Others look to the media and popular culture – Doctor Who and Han Solo being two recent examples I’ve seen.

I, on the other hand, look to the character and storylines of TV’s ‘Game of Thrones’ for my parenting advice… Here’s why.

Fatherhood²: DISASTER in Tooth-fairy Land

April 30, 2014 at 8:11 pm

10169239_10203169737300424_7054126657678109860_nThe Elliss family were on the brink of a developmental dental-disaster this evening…

It all started when my wife picked Robert up from school. He’s had a wobbly tooth now for several weeks – possibly months. We’re talking the most hotly-anticipated teeth-based incident for decades.

This was Robert’s first foray into teeth-losing, so it took some getting used to – we had several days of delicate eating before he eventually got used to it, and the usual bedtime toothbrushing routine has been a little more stressful than usual.

All throughout this build-up, we’ve been distracting Robert (he gets quite anxious about stuff like this) with talk of the Tooth Fairy and the potential reward to be gained at the end of the ordeal.

You know, as all deceptive parents do.