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I favour one of my children

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 22 September 2016
Dear Patricia Marie,
I'm worried that I love one of my children more than the other. While one is sweet-natured, funny and full of character, the other is sullen and unresponsive. My husband doesn't seem to notice the difference, but to me it's obvious and I find it hard to treat them in the same way. I hate myself for it, but I'd rather spend time with one than the other. Is it really such a big problem, and, if so, how can I stop this cycle?

Patricia Marie says...


If you think favouritism is no big deal - think again. The consequences for both the golden child and the least favourite can last a lifetime. Many adults embark on counselling due to the psychological damage of having either been the rejected, or indeed the favourite sibling. That early message of 'you are the special one' to a child can give a distorted view of themselves and their place in the world. For those parents who show preference and turn a blind eye to inappropriate behaviour, the child can then grow up struggling with rules, as well as lacking in morals and may struggle to find a partner who cherishes and spoils them in the way their parents have.

Whereas, the least favourite can go through life never feeling good enough, constantly feeling they are undeserving of love and kindness - often embarking on partners who treat them poorly. Step into their world and try to imagine how they are feeling - indeed, both are victims of your favouritism, and unless you see things more clearly and break the cycle, you could jeopardise any future relationship with them.

Your letter indicates you are feeling guilty for your behaviour - this recognition is a good step towards promoting positive change. Starting to treat your children equally, losing comparisons and begin celebrating, rather than criticising their differences, will allow you the opportunity to turn things around and create a healthy, happy family.

And finally, sibling love is unique. Who but your brother or sister remembers, the family rituals, the good, bad and crazy fun times - all those childhood memories that help to bond this special love. Favouritism can ruin a relationship between siblings, depriving them, sometimes forever, of a precious resource, one of the best gifts you, their parent, will ever give them; one another.
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The Emotional Driving Test

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 21 September 2016
IMG 3343When I got the call about participating in an 'emotional driving test', one that would put my senses through their paces to determine my emotional intelligence behind the wheel, I jumped at the chance. What exciting technology, I thought to myself, and how on earth is it going to know how I feel and what I need to better myself into a cool, calm, collected driver? Only one, small problem. I don't drive.

Luckily, Hannah from Hyundai UK and the designated researcher for the test does, so it was no issue she arrived. With surprise, confusion and laughs, we swapped places for the day. I was to be the researcher, and she was to be the guinea pig. After hooking her heart monitor up and fixing the GoPro's in place (so behavioural psychologist Patrick Fagan could assess her reactions to the test), we were off on our 30 min designated route around London.IMG 3364
My job was to listen to the computer and complete its robotic voice orders throughout our drive. We had to remember to remain quiet to get a more accurate reading of Hannah's reactions and expressions to the test while on the road. My first task was to feed Hannah sour sweets, which she was more than happy about.

Throughout our route around Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Westminster and back, the tasks varied: spraying new car smell, feeding her chocolate, smoothies and water, playing unnervingly loud car beeping noises and metal music (then turning it back to Pharell's 'Happy), spraying a seaside scent, speaking to Hannah for an allocated time about her day, and then opening a jar filled with petrol. On top of all that, we were told to open and close the windows sporadically, where noises from the aligning streets would be equally as loud and distracting. Needless to say, I wasn't even driving, and it was a rollercoaster of the senses.

Hannah handled the tasks well, and her driving was superb. Although there were some intense distractions, Hannah kept her calm. I failed my driver's test twice in America, so I can only imagine how I'd do in the middle of England's biggest city with IMG 3353noises and smells and tastes being thrown at me. Her GoPro footage will be sent back to Patrick to determine her emotional intelligence behind the wheel, and as well as what would conditions would best suit her for a casual and calm driving experience.

Over 1,000 people have taken the same test in the UK, and as it so happens, women are 12% angrier drivers than men.
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The Helen Titchener trial

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Monday, 12 September 2016
Helen and Rob Titchener's domestic violence storyline in the Archers on Radio 4 has utterly gripped the nation, touching so many people in the real world. Almost five million listeners tuned in to last week's dedicated week long trial, to see if Helen would be found not guilty of the attempted murder of her husband, Rob. The opening episode began with Rob taking his place on the stand, shedding crocodile tears, and portraying himself as the loving, devoted husband he clearly wasn't. He'd underestimated the determined Anna, Helen's defence counsel, who put it to him that he'd passed the knife to Helen, stating the only way she could escape was to kill herself, and daring her to do just that before he lunged at her young son, Henry...

As the trial continued, gasps were heard from the gallery when Helen finally broke her silence and admitted that Rob had repeatedly raped her in a bid to have a child. Many listeners took to social media to comment on this powerful episode, praising Helen for being brave in revealing the truth. Although distressing, observing other people's lives, either from listening to radio productions, watching soaps, or indeed, in real life, can often allow us to see our own situation more clearly. Helen's mother, Pat Archer, was clearly overwhelmed on hearing her daughter's heartbreaking evidence, confirming that it isn't only the victim who is affected by domestic violence, but their families too.

It was only when Rob's ex-wife, Jess Myers, took to the stand and spoke of their acrimonious marriage, revealing that she had also been raped by Rob when they were together, that gave the glimmer of hope Helen's supporters needed to hear. Rob was questioned on his ex-wife's evidence, giving an Oscar-winning performance, and insisting both Helen and Jess were needy, unstable women. In Anna's heartfelt summing up, she put it to the jury that Helen did what any one of us would had done under these intense circumstances - protect herself and her child.

In Sunday's unique hour-long episode, the jury found Helen not guilty. Social media was at meltdown with messages of relief and joy at the result. Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women's Aid, immediately responded "thankfully the judge and jury saw Helen's actions for what we all knew they were - the actions of a woman in fear of her life and fearful for her child. We don't know what will happen next - but we know that she will need support from a specialist domestic abuse service, to help her and her children to rebuild and recover. She is free - but the invisible prison of domestic abuse will stay with her for a long time. Helen, Women's Aid is here for you. We stand in solidarity with you - and all survivors of domestic abuse."

For every fictional Helen there are real ones, and as this plot has shown, abusers are often initially charming and loving, until their partner is fully committed to them. Then begins the gradual process of controlling and intimidating their victim, and, just as Rob did with Helen, gradually isolating them from family and friends, and making them wholly dependent on the abuser. There are many reasons why women struggle to leave in these circumstances - fear of retaliation, having young children and nowhere to go, no money of their own, worrying they won't be believed, as in the case of Helen, when Rob came across to others as a caring, loving, man - a pillar of society. Often victims convince themselves that their abuser's behaviour will improve, and indeed, question if it was their fault, that they in fact, deserved this.

The skilful writers have been praised for their realism, which at times many listeners found disturbing and uncomfortable, never expecting anything quite so shocking to happen in The Archer's tranquil village of Ambridge. Raising awareness through this emotive storyline, that domestic violence can happen in any community, and to anyone, has encouraged others to reach out for help, and set themselves free from abuse.

The Helen Titchener Fund, which was set up by a fan of the show, reached its target of £150,000 as last night's unmissable episode aired. The money raised will go to Refuge, the domestic violence support charity.

Women's Aid can provide both practical and emotional support, and, alongside the love of family and friends, victims can survive to enjoy the abuse-free life they very much deserve.

Women's Aid: www.womensaid.org.uk 0808 2000 247

The Archer's can be heard on BBC Radio Four every day Sunday to Friday at seven p.m. And they're repeated the following day at two p.m. - except on Saturdays.
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GCSE and A-Level Results

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 26 August 2016
Patricia-Maria says...

The last week or so has been a frantic time for students up and down the country, with both the GCSE and A level results coming in. If the results are disappointing, it can cause emotional fallout for the student themselves and their parents, and cause problems between them...

Even if you are unhappy with your child’s grades, try not to show this, as it could have a negative impact on their wellbeing. It is very important to remain calm and look to the future, so put aside your own wishes for them, look beyond the marks, and, at a time when they could be feeling disheartened and not good enough, remind them of their attributes, giving them reassurance that your love and approval are unconditional. Don’t push them into making the wrong choice just to please you, as this may cause resentment in the future, and try not to compare their results with those of others, as even the most successful people in the world have had failures in their life. Make sure they have some time out to do their research and get as much advice as they can, before making any decisions, and bear in mind that helplines are only a phone call away, so do encourage them to call sooner rather than later.

If you are a student, remind yourself that your parents ultimately just want you to be happy. It can be hard to see a way forward when you feel you haven’t achieved, but learn from this setback, take responsibility for your results, and consider that if you work hard and commit yourself, your options are limitless. If you haven't been accepted at your chosen university, speak to your tutors, who should have the skills and resources to help you explore your choices. Remember, there are always opportunities to improve yourself, whether in or out of education. Experience and other life skills are just as important as qualifications, so perhaps take a gap year, which will allow you time to think of alternatives that you may not up until now have considered.

Sharing life's challenges is a great time for parents and children to bond together, and, with mutual understanding and the right attitude, it can surely only lead to success...

There are helplines available for both students and their parents: The Universities and College Administration Service (UCAS) exam result helpline on 0808 100 8000 offers careers advice and practical support, and Family Lives can provide much needed emotional help on 0808 800 2222.
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A Silver Screen Evening at Somerset House

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 26 August 2016
Now summer is here, it is important to make the most of the light evenings and good weather we’ve been having of late. So when an invitation came through to attend the Somerset House Silver Screen to the Catwalk exhibition followed by the Film 4 screening, I was ready with my tartan blanket and Pimms!

The screening was hosted by Pamela Hutchinson, Polly Devlin and Amber Butchart who spoke about their inspirations of Fashion and how it’s portrayed through film. Polly had worked closely with Diana Vreeland in New York so had many an anecdote and funny tale, which kept the audience delighted- I particularly liked her story of being asked what was the next big thing in fashion. Her reply? Hay fever!

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Amber also showed us how patterns and themes run through the storyline. When they got to the Audrey Hepburn slides I was all ears as she is my favourite actress (Think Pink!) We were also fully educated on other films such as The Red Shoes and Marlene Dietrich, which still inspires the fashions of today.

Afterwards we were treated to cocktails on the terrace (yes please, don't mind if I do), a 1950’s D’J who also danced amazingly and then the film started…

I loved how everyone had picnics and blankets spread out in the courtyard. I had obviously positioned mine in the correct place as the chaps next to my friend and I kindly offered us some homemade rolls. Let's just say they didn’t last long!

Watching a film outside is a very unique experience and quite refreshing seeing the sun set behind Somerset House on a beautiful Sunday evening- a lovely end to a lovely week.

http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/events/2016
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