Benefits of good childcare 30 years on

While the early years can be the most taxing for parents, they are also the most critical for child development. A major American study has found that the effects of good childcare on infants can be seen even at the age of 30. The study found that children who received a quality programme of extensive…

The Terrible Twos

  Temper tantrums are a normal part of human development, writes Rory Fitzgerald   There’s bad news about the ‘terrible twos’: researchers now say they can begin well before the age of two, and can go on for a number of years afterwards — if you’re not careful. The symptoms are well-known to all parents…

Bishop Boyce in the dock

It’s ironic that a secularist is seeking to use the criminal law to prevent free speech, writes Rory Fitzgerald A remarkable story emerged this week: The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is considering prosecuting Bishop Philip Boyce of Raphoe for inciting hatred against secularists. This offence can carry a penalty of up to two years…

Do we need vitamin and dietary supplements?

In any chemist or health food section you will find a phenomenal array of vitamin and dietary supplements. Many of these can be quite expensive. So, are they of any real benefit? Since Victorian times, there has always been a ready market for ‘cure alls’. Research has shown that many of these dietary supplements are…

We are what we eat

  Keeping a healthy,balanced diet is actually fairly simple, writes Rory Fitzgerald   We are what we eat. That can be a curse or a blessing — depending on what you eat. The greatest health problem facing us in Ireland today is not the lack of food, but a surfeit of it. In a race…

Two train journeys

Dad’s Diary   It was a glorious, blue-sky morning just before Christmas. The calm, half-empty train pulled out of London’s Waterloo Station. I had just finished work for the year and the cosy joys of the festive season sparkled ahead. One of the things I was especially looking forward to was taking my two-year-old boy…

New technology – pitfalls

Technological advances have had a huge impact on family life, writes Rory Fitzgerald   Our children are increasingly wired — in every sense. Children nowadays are intimately familiar with complex technology, often literally before they can walk. My two-year-old can turn on the iPad, punch in the access code, open his favourite Peter Rabbit app,…

There is something heavenly in Leonardo Da Vinci’s work, writes Rory Fitzgerald from London   Leonardo da Vinci is currently visiting London. The most extraordinary collection of his works ever assembled in the British Isles is currently on display at London’s National Gallery. This exhibition is entitled ‘Painter at the Court of Milan’ and it…

Dealing with highs and lows

  Rory Fitzgerald offers a positive approach to depression in the family   Despite living on a rain-lashed island which was impoverished and unfree for most of its history, we Irish have generally been known as a cheerful bunch. However, at this time of year, even the most cheerful of us can succumb to despondency.…