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Weekly digest of parenting news

1. E.B White on how to write for children

Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down. Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth. They accept, almost without question, anything you present them with, as long as it is presented honestly, fearlessly, and clearly. I handed them, against the advice of experts, a mouse-boy, and they accepted it without a quiver. In Charlotte’s Web, I gave them a literate spider, and they took that.

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What I learned on my holiday

It’s always when I’m in the middle of the way through a holiday that I realise how much I needed it.

Over the half-term break, we went to Yorkshire to see my husband’s family.

There were family trips out everyday.

At Bridlington beach, it was incredible to be beside the seaside. Notice how the sea meets the sky. There is something magical about the line separating sky and sea.

Doesn’t the view of the sea remind you of a Hiroshi Sugimoto seascape photograph?

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A Valentine’s Day gift to you

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s a celebration that’s so commercialised by greeting card companies that it’s become a matter of principle for my husband and I not to celebrate. We’ve never celebrated Valentine’s Day in fact. Ever.

It’s just an excuse for restaurants and florists to jack up their prices.

If your friends celebrate Valentine’s, be happy for them. No need to crumble under peer pressure though. You can still bring out that lovely feeling; do something special for yourself.

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Minecraft is driving my kids crazy

I might be the only mother in the world who has not downloaded Minecraft for her children. This is according to No.1 child.

For the last year or so, I’ve said no to No.1 and No.2’s repeated requests. Mainly because we have an old Mac (I’ve heard there are glitches with the Mac version of Minecraft) and an iPad 2 (which I’ve yet to check if Minecraft is compatible with).

This lack of Minecraft in the house has driven them to creative ways of persuasion. Every week there’s a new one. This one is today’s, which I’ve turned into a Vine.

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