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Can we be parents in a world without screens?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently conducted a study which recommends that children under the age of 18 months be permitted no screen time – that includes television, movies, computers, smartphones, and tablets. Strange, it’s almost as if nobody at the AAP has had kids yet… According to the report, “Parents who want to see…

Can a man dress his daughter for autumn/winter?

Contrary to popular belief, sometimes the best ideas aren’t the ones you have down the pub, three pints in. ‘Brainstorming’ some blog post ideas with friends in my local, the following conversation ensued: "You bang on about being into fashion and that, why don't you do an autumn/winter looks photoshoot with your daughter?” “Yes! The…

Dandy Dad’s Heroes: daddyknott

The sheer volume of crap in your Instagram feed means it’s rare when someone’s profile stops you in your tracks. I came across James Knott’s account when I was first setting up Dandy Dad, and it melted my frozen, cynical heart. @daddyknott was set up by James to give people have an insight to his family’s journey with their son Nelson, who was born profoundly deaf. ...

Dandy Dad’s guide to stylish celebrity fathers

New dads; I've got news for you. I don't care if you're covered in milky sick and are subjected to repeated bouts of sleep deprivation, it DOES NOT entitle you to let your style game slip. In fact, putting extra effort in colour matching and polishing your shoes can, in fact, make you feel human again - when in reality you just feel like a useless, spent, worthless husk of a man. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how celebs dads have dealt with the challenge. So who manages to get it right, and who needs to employ a stylist (or sack their current one): ...

My week with Martha: Wednesday

By day three it started to dawn on me that looking after a baby is both bloody exhausting and pretty damn boring after a while – no offence Martha my dear. Unfortunately, BBC4 documentaries don’t hold your child’s attention, you can’t really have an intelligent conversation, and I find that the main protagonists in children’s books have rather limited character arcs. So what else did I do with my third day in charge? ...

My week with Martha: Tuesday

As my crash course in fatherhood gathered pace, here’s a post all about Tuesday – a.k.a the ‘difficult second album’… Monday had gone far better than I’d expected, and it had given me an air of hubris. When my wife got home and asked about my day at the helm, I adopted an air of insouciance, as if it could be taken as read that a man of my years and experience could look after a 10-month-old baby without a second thought....

My week with Martha: Monday

A few weeks ago I had a week off in-between jobs. Instead kicking back and relaxing, my wife thought it would be a great idea if I spent three days of my much-anticipated holiday looking after our daughter while she went to work; the proviso being that we could spunk the money we saved not hiring a nanny to do something together sans child for once. I agreed/acquiesced to this arrangement — after all, I’m dandy Dad and if anyone can show my daughter a good time then it’s me, right? ...

I have some awful news…

It was a bright June evening but I remember the air was completely still, not even the familiar cloying scent of jasmine from next door’s herb garden was able to penetrate the atmosphere. I was slumped on the sofa in the living room, sipping at a beer and beginning to decompress after another long, underwhelming day at work. My wife Emily was putting our 9-month-old daughter Martha to bed after I’d given her the usual lukewarm, shallow bath. This part of the evening was our much-cherished downtime, where we could unwind, have a drink and talk away the working day before I got busy rustling up something in the kitchen for supper. ...

Dandy Dad’s Heroes: Stuart Heritage

Ah, the internet; so much to answer for. The democratisation of media for one. In my very limited experience of blogging, becoming a parent does not a good writer make. In fact, one of the main reasons for starting this blog in the first place was the lack of quality being pumped out into the parenting arena of the blogosphere. So much poor writing, so many dull lives; or so it would seem......

Lessons learned from an unconventional upbringing

I’ve heard a lot of guff spoken about the importance of the traditional nuclear family unit, usually from right wingers. I remember this from Iain Duncan Smith in 2009:
“We now know that children suffer hugely if they don’t get the balance of two parents in their upbringing. Those with two parents are less likely to take drugs, more likely to do well at school, more likely to get jobs.” Hmm... I’m not so sure myself. I was raised by a single mum. Not only that, but a single mum with a serious heroin habit. And miraculously, I have a well-paid job, a degree (albeit in the performing arts) and not even the slightest hint of a drug habit, yet! I’m not even sure that the notion of a traditional family unit even exists anymore. In fact, in my experience, one-parent families are just as likely to produce bright, intelligent and emotionally stable children as other clans are. ...