Does teen love dampen exam success?

Do teen love affairs lead to poorer exam results at 16 and 18? I’m only asking because of what I’ve noticed from the results that have just come out and from my own dismal exam showing at the age of 16. Have the kids with boyfriends and girlfriends done worse?

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Things to do with a teenager in the hols | Yeah, right

I love the way the newspapers and supplements are recommending ways to keep children occupied over the long summer break from school. There’s knotting elastic bands and helping them improve their stock animation skills, there are recommended reading lists. These things are all fine if your kid is under 12

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Take a moment and enjoy

With teenagers becoming the new battle ground in the Middle East, it’s made me think about the parents of the dead kids on both sides in Israel and Palestine. Just how terrible must it be for everyone around you to be claiming their murders in geopolitical terms, in terms of

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Have you got this weird disease?

Did you know that doctors use four letters to sum up the symptoms of many middle-aged women who come to see them? TATT stands for Tired All The Time. For a long time I suffered from being TATT and it would lead me to discover not only that I have

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Growing pains

I want to grow up. I do. I’m in my forties, but this fabled conservatism that’s supposed to creep up on everyone as they get older simply isn’t creeping up. Two weeks ago 200 girls were kidnapped from their dorms at school in Chibok, Nigeria: http://www.npr.org/2014/04/27/307451067/have-mercy-on-our-little-ones-kidnapping-agonizes-nigerians  This terrible ordeal for the

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Breaking Bad habits

Ciao Walt, Skyler, Walt Jnr, Holly, Hank, Marie, Jess, Saul. Sunday morning I emerged from my bedroom blinking in the light. Four years of TV consumed in three months. My children taller and muttering “We know that unwashed woman in her housecoat, but who is she?” If you’ve never watched

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When should we give up our dreams?

When should we give up our dreams? Remember how when you were younger you’d watch successful people and think “OK, she’s a world famous author but she’s two years older than me. I’ve got two years”? Maybe you didn’t. Either you got successful young or you gave up trying. I’m

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How TripAdvisor landed me in the poo

What kind of person fails to study TripAdvisor before putting a deposit down for a family summer holiday? Yep. You’re looking at her (or rather her blog). Fool and money parted at the travel agent’s desk.Last year we went to a place in Crete that had glowing TripAdvisor reviews only

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My cat chat

Our cat is our baby substitute. As the kids grew older, we craved a warm creature to hold, nuzzle and to talk to in a silly voice. The man of the house said he didn’t want a sh*tting, sofa scratching ball of fur in our home, but as soon as

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Was this a hate crime?

The other day a 14 year old boy stepped on the foot of a grown man in Essex. The boy apologised, but the man followed him into the train station and demanded “Have you got a problem?” then punched him in the head. The teenager was unconscious for 20 minutes.

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