This is not a religious post.

Yesterday, at church, my Catholic priest, Fr John Pipat, a jolly Thai guy who looks like Friar Tuck said in his warm, smiley voice, “Jesus did not command his people. He spoke with authority, authority of love.”

And I thought, so true, when applied to real life. My children’s father, who almost never screams or loses it with our children, have so much authority where they are concerned. He just needs to say something – once, and not loudly either – and they would obey, no question. He has such gentleness about him and his children respond beautifully to that.

Not quite so with me. I am a shouty mummy. My temperament. But over the years, I have learned, first from my mother then my children’s father, to show love, to show love, to show love. The rest, they said, “Will come out in the wash.”

Children become damaged adults because lack of love, cruel words, emotional neglect. Not from not having showers, messy bedroom (stinky football stuff festering away), refusing to accept Hess’s Law (chemistry) and doing too much maths….which were the last four things I shouted at my daughter about. I don’t need to command her, she is growing up nicely on her own. Those niggly little things are not important. Far better to use those words to tell her how much I love her … which I do, a lot (tell her that I love her, I mean).

“At least you shout with love,” she said magnanimously to me. “But do watch your blood pressure, Mum.”

So here I am, trying to be chilled. Have a good week, all x