Raising children can be a beautiful experience, but even the most hardened and successful parent will probably admit that there are times when it can be tricky.
During the tougher times, it can be good to look outside of your immediate circle of family and friends for advice. Some people read books, some for groups, some go online looking for knowledge.
Others look to the media and popular culture – Doctor Who and Han Solo being two recent examples I’ve seen.
I, on the other hand, look to the character and storylines of TV’s ‘Game of Thrones’ for my parenting advice… Here’s why.
1. Raising kids can be hard, but you just have to look around you to realise there are very few parents who got it exactly right…
2. Sometimes, your kids can be bastards. But even the bastards can be nice.
3. You always try to do the best for your children, but sometimes you still end up getting it in the neck yourself. Let’s face it, we all lose our head once in a while!
4. If your child shows megalomaniac-al tendencies, putting them in a position where they have a lot of unrestrained power is probably going to end badly.
5. There are some crappy dads out there, but there are just as many crappy mums in the world.
6. Whether they’re ‘Children of Summer’ or born of a long Winter, everybody loves a bit of Snow.
7. You have to teach children to play nicely together – as the old saying goes, “It’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye”
8. Never let your children wander around with strange people you don’t know. Even if they do have cute, pet-based nicknames.
9. Children grow up a lot faster than you think. Sometimes, it feels like you turn away for one moment, turn back and they’re all grown up without you even noticing.
10. If you have a large number of children, the smallest one is usually the most likely to get lost or disappear for unusually long periods.
11. Let your children play to their strengths; some are academic, some artistic, but even the most monosyllabic of children can have hidden strengths…
12. If you give your home a strange name, like say “The Dreadfort”, chances are you might be contributing to them turning out a little bit unpleasant…
13. Little girls shouldn’t be stifled by gender stereotyping or a sexist society. There are strong female role-models everywhere you look.
14. Playing on high walls never ends well. Inevitably, it usually results in somebody getting hurt.
15. Little boys can sometimes seem obsessed with their genitals. Don’t chastise them too much for it, though – after all, sometimes good things leave us far too soon.