By Alan Meban One of the theatre productions in this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival explored the issue of toxic masculinity. As a reviewer, I was watching an actor who had grown up in Cork, tell his story of being steeped in a particular sporting tradition. As he rose throughRead More →

By Alan Meban “Be sure your sins will find you out” was an oft-repeated mantra of my mother’s. Throughout my childhood, the phrase would be uttered whenever I’d been caught doing something wrong, or when her maternal early-warning radar suspected something untoward was happening, and also at random intervals toRead More →

By Alan Meban I’ve been known to leave books or leaflets lying around the house in the hope that our child will pick them up and read them. It’s a passive, less directive way of piquing their interest in something that would be immediately shot down if I verbally suggestedRead More →

I’ve been writing this column for over a decade and every time September rolls around I wonder where the year has gone but this year it’s different… Life happens so intensively and so rapidly we don’t get many chances to reflect on it. Parenting is a long and important partRead More →

Here we are again in September, and like many parents, Ni4kids’ columnist Alan Meban’s thoughts are returning to children’s education, exams and employment. On one day this August, three press releases hit my beleaguered inbox. The first heralded the latest set of Labour Market Data to be published by NorthernRead More →

Do you ever scroll through Facebook and raise your eyebrows at some of the updates describing perfect family outings? Do you feel deeply inadequate at the scenes of cross-generational harmony, big joyful smiles, out in the open air, without a screen or piece of technology in sight, and none ofRead More →

‘The Flack is back’ as Love Island has returned to our screens – an announcement that I know will be met by hurrahs and boos in equal measures (I’m in the hurrah camp btw) and this can only mean it’s nearly summer holiday time… While this news is indeed welcome,Read More →

By Alan Meban What advice would I give my 25-year-old self? That question rattled around my head for days on end. I knew that I needed a pithy answer before sitting down with Vinny Hurrell in a radio studio to record an interview for his Monday night show and podcast.Read More →

With recent temperatures soaring, and the shops full of tempting textures and textiles, this is the month to tastefully transition your look from spring to summer without being caught out by a cold snap. I love the month of May but it can also be a challenging month to lookRead More →

The Easter Parade Call it uncertainty surrounding Brexit (yes – I used the “B” word) but there’s definitely a ‘making the most of the clothes you own’ mood permeating the atmosphere and even I’m not immune says Stephanie Berkeley… In the past, I’ve spouted the “buy less and wear more”Read More →

Author and mum-of-four from Bangor, Rebecca Reid,is teaching her kids the concept of gratitude and that good things come from hard work… In an era of instant gratification, in one aspect of parenthood our generation has it harder than ever. I sound like my mother (or all our mothers combined)Read More →

Hallelujah January is over! We can officially ditch the diet and detox and get back to eating warming winter pies and slow-cooked stews. ‘Girl’s gotta eat for heat’ as they say. Welcome February – oh how I do love thee. Some people slag off the month of February like thereRead More →