Every parent I’ve personally come across who lives with the children but not with the father of the child is anxious for the father to see them at Christmas. Photograph: iStock

Christmas is approaching fast and with it the need, if you’re a non-resident parent, to make plans for your involvement with the children at that time(...)

Stress is not just unpleasant – it raises your blood pressure and can also end up with the gift of ulcers. Photograph: Getty

“All this stuff about stress,” he said, “is a waste of time. It comes with the territory, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” We were chatting (...)

Cases involving sexual abuse of children have a strong impact, and this impact can become stronger if the staff member is, or becomes, a parent. Photograph: iStock

Emotional trauma is an invisible wound. It can lead people to seek relief in self-medicating and can numb them emotionally. When the trauma isn’t pri(...)

“Every person, even if they regard themselves as submissive, also has drive to power – but experiences can teach you to deny your power.”

When I read about dominatrixes getting into life coaching and personal development, my immediate reaction was that this was a perfect example of the c(...)

Most parents find that children bring a sense of meaning to their lives and a deeper joy that well compensates for the fall in happiness. Photograph: iStock

That the happiness level of couples falls when children come along is fairly well-established in research. The happiness level of mothers falls more t(...)

For old people, bitterness is a one-way street and we know where it ends.

“If you can keep from growing sour, surly, bitter and cynical, man you’ve got it half licked.” So wrote Henry Miller, author of Tropic of Cancer, in (...)

‘Sometimes, though, we hear of baffling cases of suicide in which the person who died seemed to have everything going for them.’ File photograph: Getty

Never kill yourself while you are suicidal. So wrote Edwin Shneidman in his book The Suicidal Mind (published by Oxford University Press). Prof Shnei(...)

You can make the choice to call off the search for the best in favour of a search for the good enough. Photograph: iStock

If you’re facing into a college course, work project or relationship with the intention of being the world’s greatest student, worker or partner, you (...)

“The number of evening and weekend courses available from September is uncountable but choose courses or events on the basis of interaction between people.”

Hope and fear are the watchwords, I think, at this time of year when colleges open their doors to students, many for the first time. On the surface t(...)

 A woman checks her phone  on the opening day of the annual Appleby Horse Fair, in   north-west England. For today’s children and young teenagers, the smartphone is just something that has been around for as long as they have. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty

We live in an era, as Voltaire wrote in 1736, of new pleasures and new needs. Most of us would see the smart phone as a manifestation of this in our t(...)

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