By Alan Meban There’s a small chance that you heard me on the radio over the new year telling Dearbhail McDonald that I’m not really into resolutions and would continue not to make any this year. I unknowingly misspoke as I very definitely am making a change in 2020. LikeRead More →

It’s Christmastime… there’s no need to be afraid…Or is there? Isn’t there so much to do? So many countless gifts to buy for family, friends, teachers, tutors, childminders etc.  What many of us think of when we anticipate the Christmas preparations are the lists of presents we have to buy,Read More →

Mum-of-four Rebecca Reid is asking what Christmas really means to families… Every family has their own Christmas traditions, but every now and then they get shaken up a little. Going right back (we are talking over a decade here) our usual festivities got shaken up as soon as the babies startedRead More →

Ni4kids columnist Alan Meban admits that he’s not a big fan of Christmas… My overall humbug attitude towards the season is mostly centred around the surrounding nonsense that stresses people’s wallets, relationships, travel plans and wellbeing. A bustling Christmas market really doesn’t lift my spirits in the same way as beingRead More →

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 →