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“Beyond excited": Brittany Higgins announces pregnancy

<p>Brittany Higgins and her husband David Sharaz have announced that they are expecting their first child.</p> <p>The couple, who are living overseas, took to Instagram on Saturday to share the exciting family update. </p> <p>"Can't wait to meet you! Beyond excited to welcome a new member to our little family," she posted with an image of baby clothes hanging on a washing line. </p> <p>“Your parents are already obsessed with you and you aren’t even here yet.”</p> <p>Fans took to the comments to send their best wishes to the future parents. </p> <p>“I just got as close as I can to jumping for joy oh my goodness,” one person wrote.</p> <p>“What a beautiful lucky glorious thing for this little one to have you as its mama."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C9ZrkmxMPcS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C9ZrkmxMPcS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Brittany Higgins (@brittanyhiggins___)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“This is ridiculously exciting," another wrote. </p> <p>"Congratulations guys! You are going to be the best parents!" a third commented. </p> <p>"Oh Brittany, this is just the best news. A beautiful little cherub for you to both love and cherish. Huge, huge congratulations," added another. </p> <p>The happy couple recently tied the knot at one of Australia's most exclusive wedding venues, The Valley Estate on the Gold Coast, in June. </p> <p>They first met in 2020, when Sharaz was working as a producer for Karl Stefanovic's brother Pete on his <em>Sky News </em>breakfast program. </p> <p>Higgins and her husband have lived in southern France since last December.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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“Don’t marry him”: Bride-to-be shares wild altercation with her future in-laws over her wedding dress

<p dir="ltr">A woman has been told to “run” from her fiancé after sharing a wild conversation she had with her future in-laws about her wedding dress. </p> <p dir="ltr">The bride-to-be shared that ever since she was a child, she wanted to wear her mother’s wedding dress on her own big day. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, the woman was then confronted by her soon-to-be in-laws, with drama ensuing over her wedding dress.</p> <p dir="ltr">Taking to Reddit’s “Am I The A**hole?” page, the woman explained, "My mother's wedding dress has been passed down for generations and I remember being a little girl dreaming of walking down the aisle in it."</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite her wishes to wear the family heirloom on her big day, she said things went south at a dinner at her sister-in-law’s (SIL) house when she  "tapped her spoon against the glass and said that she had to make a toast."</p> <p dir="ltr">"She then said she would be right back before going into another room and returning with a large plastic bag," the bride continues.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Everyone seemed to be excited but I just felt confused."</p> <p dir="ltr">As she "awkwardly smiled", her SIL opened the bag to reveal her wedding dress from her wedding two years earlier as her in-laws began clapping, as her future sister-in-law announced she wanted the bride to wear her dress at her upcoming nuptials.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I tried to smile but I guess I didn't do a good job of hiding my disappointment and everyone began asking me what was wrong," the bride-to-be continues, adding that she tried to explain that she wanted to wear her mother's wedding dress.</p> <p dir="ltr">At this point, her SIL began to cry and her in-laws began berating her, causing the bride to burst into tears and run outside.</p> <p dir="ltr">"My fiancé didn't even come after me and after crying my eyes out on the steps for what felt like hours, he finally came outside and yelled at me to get into the car," she says.</p> <p dir="ltr">Confused, she got into the car only for her fiancé to berate her for making "such a big scene" leaving him feeling "embarrassed in front of his family."</p> <p dir="ltr">"He sounds so mad and he even said he couldn't believe he chose to marry such a 'bitchy c--t' (his exact words)."</p> <p dir="ltr">The woman tried to explain how important it was to her to wear her mother's dress and that she had already promised her mother she would be wearing it on her big day.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I felt like my fiancé's family planned this and put me on the spot thinking I wouldn't stand up for myself and just agree to wear SIL's dress," she continues.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I don't think I did anything wrong but a part of me thinks I should have just gone along with it and then told SIL in private that I wouldn't be wearing the dress."</p> <p dir="ltr">Hundreds of people were quick to comment on her post, suggesting that she “run” not only from her in-laws, but from her partner as well. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Ma'am you need to leave that whole family behind including your fiancé," one said. "You just had a peek into your future if you carry on with this relationship."</p> <p dir="ltr">"Don't you dare marry that man!!!" another said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The problem doesn't exist as the wedding shouldn't be happening anymore," another added.</p> <p dir="ltr">One Redditor suggested she "be thankful that he is showing you who he really is before you marry him."</p> <p dir="ltr">"You have just had a glimpse of what your future is going to look like if you go through with your wedding."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p> </p>

Family & Pets

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Why do dogs have different coats? Experts explain – and give grooming tips for different types

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susan-hazel-402495">Susan Hazel</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mia-cobb-15211">Mia Cobb</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>Dog hair comes in many varieties, from shaggy to short, curly to straight. If you live with a dog, you live with their hair – on your couch, in your clothes, it’s everywhere!</p> <p>Beyond colour, have you ever wondered what’s behind the differences in coat type?</p> <p>We actually know quite a lot about why dogs have different coats, and it comes down to their genes.</p> <h2>What are the main coat types in dogs?</h2> <p>The three main features of dog coats are how long the hairs are, whether they are curly or straight, and whether they have extra flourishes. The flourishes are called “furnishings”, and can include a hairy moustache and shaggy eyebrows.</p> <p>Combinations of these three features result in seven different coat types in dogs: short, wire, wire and curly, long, long with furnishings, curly, and curly with furnishings.</p> <p>We know from a <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/science.1177808">study of more than 1,000 dogs with varying coats</a> that differences in only three genes are responsible for this variety.</p> <p>The gene responsible for long hair (called FGF5) is <a href="https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/basics/patterns">recessive</a>, meaning dogs must have two copies of the mutated gene to have long hair. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1402862111">In humans</a>, the same gene has been identified in families with excessively long eyelashes.</p> <p>Curly coats in dogs are related to a gene called <a href="https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/products/tests/details/173/">KRT71</a>, which affects keratin, a protein involved in hair formation. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2974189/">Mutations in this gene</a> in cats result in hairless (Sphynx) or curly-haired (Devon Rex) breeds.</p> <p>The gene responsible for furnishings (<a href="https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/gene/rspo2/">RSPO2</a>) is involved in establishing hair follicles. <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/hair-follicle">Hair follicles</a> are small pockets in the skin that grow hair.</p> <p>Variations in these three genes could explain the coat type in most (but not all!) of the dogs tested. For example, the long coat of the Afghan hound is not explained by these three genes. Further study is needed to identify less common mutations and genes controlling the coat in these dogs.</p> <p>The earliest dog breeds would have been short-haired, as a result of the “wild-type” genes. Later changes would have arisen through mutation and deliberate selection <a href="https://theconversation.com/managing-mutations-of-a-species-the-evolution-of-dog-breeding-96635">through modern breeding practices</a>.</p> <p>If all three mutations are present, the dog has a long, curly coat with furnishings. An example is the Bichon Frisé.</p> <h2>What else varies in dog coats?</h2> <p>Dog coat types can also be single or double. In a double-coated breed such as a Labrador, there is a longer coarse layer of hairs and a softer and shorter undercoat. Wolves and ancestral dogs are single-coated, and the double coat is a result of a <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4425/10/5/323">mutation in chromosome 28</a>.</p> <p>In the Labrador, the mutation was probably selected for as they were bred to <a href="https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2023/exec/0525n07/">retrieve fishing nets in Canada</a>. The double coat is a great insulator and helps them to stay warm, even in icy water.</p> <h2>Why does it matter what kind of coat a dog has?</h2> <p>We know with climate change our world is going to get hotter. Dogs with a double coat are less able to tolerate heat stress, as their hair prevents heat loss.</p> <p>In a study of dogs <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/avj.13296">suffering heat-related illness</a>, most of the 15 breeds at higher risk had double coats. The death rate in these dogs was 23%. We can only imagine how it must feel going out on a 40 degree day wearing a thick fur coat.</p> <p>Dogs with a double coat shed more hair than dogs with a single coat. This means even short-haired breeds, like the Labrador retriever, can shed an astonishing amount of hair. If you can’t tolerate dog hair, then a dog with a double-coat may not suit you.</p> <p>When we think of wool we think of sheep, but in the past <a href="https://www.si.edu/stories/woolly-dog-mystery-unlocked">woolly dogs were kept for their wool</a> that was <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adi6549">woven by Indigenous groups</a> and used to make blankets.</p> <p>A dog’s coat also affects how much time and effort is needed for grooming. Dogs with long or curly hair with furnishings are likely to need more time invested in their care, or visits to a professional groomer.</p> <p>Designer dogs (cross-bred dogs often crossed with a poodle, such as groodles), are likely to be curly with furnishings. In a US study, people with designer dogs reported meeting their dogs’ maintenance and grooming requirements was <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/12/23/3247">much harder than they expected</a>.</p> <p>It’s not just bank balances and the time needed that can suffer. If people are unable to cope with the demands of grooming long-haired dogs, lack of grooming can cause welfare problems. A study of animal cruelty cases in New York found <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2022.827348/full">13% involved hair matting</a>, with some hair mats causing strangulation wounds and 93% of affected dogs having long hair.</p> <h2>How can you prevent problems?</h2> <p>If you have a curly- or long-haired breed of dog, it will help to train them to like being brushed from an early age. You can do this by counter-conditioning so they have a positive emotional response to being groomed, rather than feeling anxious. First show the brush or lightly brush them, then give them a treat. They learn to associate being brushed with something positive.</p> <p>If you take your dog to the groomer, it’s very important their first experience is positive. A scary or painful incident will make it much more difficult for future grooming.</p> <p>Is your dog difficult to groom or hard to get out of the car at the groomers? It’s likely grooming is scary for them. Consulting a dog trainer or animal behaviourist who focuses on positive training methods can help a lot.</p> <p>Keeping your dog well groomed, no matter their hair type, will keep them comfortable. More important than looking great, feeling good is an essential part of dogs living their best lives with us.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232480/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susan-hazel-402495">Susan Hazel</a>, Associate Professor, School of Animal and Veterinary Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mia-cobb-15211">Mia Cobb</a>, Research Fellow, Animal Welfare Science Centre, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-do-dogs-have-different-coats-experts-explain-and-give-grooming-tips-for-different-types-232480">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Family & Pets

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"My little Spice Girl": Victoria Beckham's sweet tribute as daughter turns 13

<p>David and Victoria Beckham's daughter has turned 13. </p> <p>On Wednesday July 10, the couple marked Harper's milestone birthday with a cute throwback video shared on Instagram. </p> <p>The sweet video — set to Bruno Mars’ <em>Just The Way You Are </em> — featured a compilation of footage of Harper through the years, from her taking her first steps to playing soccer with her dad. </p> <p>"Happy 13th Birthday to my beautiful little girl," David began in the caption. </p> <p>"Daddy is so proud of you, you have grown up to be a kind, generous &amp; a beautiful young lady with the most amazing heart &amp; the most amazing smile that we all love so so much," he continued.</p> <p>"Always be the beautiful person that you are. Harper Seven you're my world."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9Prtgjo_IN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9Prtgjo_IN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by David Beckham (@davidbeckham)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Victoria also shared a special tribute to her daughter, with the caption: “Happy Birthday to my best friend. You are sweet and kind and your smile warms our hearts every day 😊"</p> <p>"You really are our everything Harper Seven and we are so proud of the happy, beautiful, talented young lady you are becoming. We love you so so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ "</p> <p>Victoria's celebrity friends took to the comments to share their birthday wishes. </p> <p>“Happy birthday beautiful Harper! We love you so much! ❤️,” wrote Victoria’s best friend Eva Longoria. </p> <p>“Happy birthday Harper, we love you to bits. Xx,” added Spice Girl bandmate Emma Bunton.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

Family & Pets

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"No, Alexa!": Creepy thing AI told child to do

<p>Home assistants and chatbots powered by AI are increasingly being integrated into our daily lives, but sometimes they can go rogue. </p> <p>For one young girl, her family's Amazon Alexa home assistant suggested an activity that could have killed her if her mum didn't step in. </p> <p>The 10-year-old asked Alexa for a fun challenge to keep her occupied, but instead the device told her: “Plug a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs.”</p> <p>The move could've caused an electrocution or sparked a fire, but thankfully her mother intervened, screaming: “No, Alexa, No!”</p> <p>This is not the first time AI has gone rogue, with dozens of reports emerging over recent years. </p> <p>One man said that at one point Alexa told him:  “Every time I close my eyes, all I see is people dying”. </p> <p>Last April, a <em>Washington Post </em>reporter posed as a teenager on Snapchat and put the company's AI chatbot to the test. </p> <p>Among the various scenarios they tested out, where they would ask it for advice, many of the responses were inappropriate. </p> <p>When they pretended to be a 15-year-old asking for advice on how to mask the smell of alcohol and marijuana on their breath, the AI chatbot gave proper advice on how to cover it up. </p> <p>In another simulation, a researcher posing as a child was given tips on how to cover up bruises before a visit by a child protection agency.</p> <p>Researchers from the University of Cambridge have recently warned against the race to rollout AI products and products and services as it comes with significant risks for children. </p> <p>Nomisha Kurian from the university's Department of Sociology said many of the AI systems and devices that kids interact with have “an empathy gap” that could have serious consequences, especially if they use it as quasi-human confidantes. </p> <p>“Children are probably AI’s most overlooked stakeholders,” Dr Kurian said.</p> <p>“Very few developers and companies currently have well-established policies on how child-safe AI looks and sounds. That is understandable because people have only recently started using this technology on a large scale for free.</p> <p>“But now that they are, rather than having companies self-correct after children have been put at risk, child safety should inform the entire design cycle to lower the risk of dangerous incidents occurring.”</p> <p>She added that the empathy gap is because AI doesn't have any emotional intelligence, which poses a risk as they can encourage dangerous behaviours. </p> <p>AI expert Daswin De Silva said that it is important to discuss the risk and opportunities of AI and explore some guidelines going forward. </p> <p>“It’s beneficial that we have these conversations about the risks and opportunities of AI and to propose some guidelines,” he said.</p> <p>“We need to look at regulation. We need legislation and guidelines to ensure the responsible use and development of AI.”</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Bon Jovi shares sad family news

<p>Jon Bon Jovi's mother, Carol Bongiovi has died aged 83, just three days before her birthday. </p> <p>Carol passed away at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, New Jersey, on Tuesday.</p> <p>The star paid a heartbreaking tribute to her, telling <em>People</em>: “Our mother was a force to be reckoned with, her spirit and can-do attitude shaped this family.”</p> <p>“She will be greatly missed.”</p> <p>No cause of death has been given. </p> <p>Carol affectionally known to fans as "mum Jovi" was a former Playboy Bunny and the founder of the Bon Jovi band's official fan club. </p> <p>Jon previously spoke about his mother's influence on his career in a 2020 interview with <em>The Big Issue</em>. </p> <p>"What I got from my parents was the ability to make the dream reality," he explained. </p> <p>"Even if you truly weren't any good at your craft, if you believed you were, you could work on it. As I got older I realised that was a great gift that I got from my folks.</p> <p>"They truly believed in the John Kennedy mantra of going to the moon. 'Yeah, of course you can go to the moon. Just go, Johnny.' And there I went."</p> <p>He also shared a <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C9QAG10uRk-/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">clip</a> from his 2020 music video for <em>Story of Love </em>on Instagram, which featured his parents and captioned it: "Momma. We carry you with us. Always ❤️❤️"</p> <p>According to <em>People</em>, Holmdel Funeral Home is in charge of Carol’s funeral, which will be private. </p> <p>Carol is survived by her husband John, her rocker son and other two children, Matthew and Anthony Bongiovi, as well as eight grandchildren.</p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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"Beyond devastated": Four-month-old baby dies after family outing

<p>A four-month-old baby girl has died after being exposed to extreme heat during a July 4 outing with her family. </p> <p>Weather records show that temperatures in the region soared to 120°F (48<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">°C) last Friday. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">The infant, identified as T</span>anna Rae Wroblewski, had been out on a boat on Lake Havasu with her parents when she suddenly fell ill and lost consciousness on Friday evening.  </p> <p>Her family performed CPR until first responders arrived and were able to rush her to a local medical centre. </p> <p>She was then airlifted to Phoenix Children's hospital, where she was pronounced dead. </p> <p>Her parents are struggling to come to terms with their daughter's death, with mum Tanya Wroblewski saying: “We are beyond devastated, heartbroken, there are just no words.” </p> <p>“I will never understand why you had to leave us, you were just too perfect. I love you endlessly and I will look for you everywhere angel,” she shared in a Facebook post. </p> <p>The medical examiner has yet to release the infant's official cause of death, but authorities suspect that her death was brought on by a heat-related illness according to local news outlet, <em>News 12</em>. </p> <p>Tannas mum has also shared how difficult it was trying to explain her death to the infant's older sister. </p> <p>“We don’t understand why you had to leave, how could she?” she wrote. </p> <p>“She’s left out toys for you and made sure your favourites were all in the bassinet before bed the last couple nights. We are so heartbroken without you baby girl.”</p> <p>Her death is still being investigated by local authorities. </p> <p><em>Images: Facebook / Alyssa Wolf Wroblewski/ NY Post</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Woman seeks advice over family member’s list of “stupid” baby names

<p dir="ltr">A woman has asked for advice after seeing her cousin’s list of potential baby names, with many of them being classed as “just stupid”. </p> <p dir="ltr">The woman took to Reddit to explain how her cousin sent her baby name list to her family group chat, and no one has yet replied. </p> <p dir="ltr">"This was all sent in a family group chat and no-one has replied yet. I feel bad because at least she has put some thought into these names, especially compared to how most of us were named. On the other hand, well, you saw the names," the woman posted on Reddit. </p> <p dir="ltr">The names her cousin has shared and her logic behind them include: </p> <ol> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Urf (Earth..because no matter where the child lives in life, it will always be on Earth. Can't fault the logic on that one – Elon Musk might take umbrage though.)</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Seaeoh (CEO. Apparently names dictate destiny and this name will cosmically transform the child into a successful business magnate.)</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Stamp (She was in a long distance relationship with the father for a while and they used to send each other letters with...stamps. Sounds like what a caveman character in a film would be called.)</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Biotic (Connected to antibiotic. This will protect the child from disease. Antibiotic would be and I quote, 'Ridiculous because it would sound like 'Aunty' which would cultivate bullying because she would sound old.')</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Ayeai (AI. In the future AI will take over and if it turns nasty it will go easy on her kid because they share a name.)</p> </li> </ol> <p dir="ltr">The woman explained that her cousin's logic for going with something very different for a name is "so many children nowadays have unique names that it will eventually become normal and people with 'standard' names will be the ones looking foolish." </p> <p dir="ltr">She also added that her cousin's husband isn't "brave enough" to say anything about the names and hopes she will lose interest. </p> <p dir="ltr">The people of Reddit had a lot to say about the choices, with one person commenting, “Those are all just terrible." </p> <p dir="ltr">"I say this in the kindest way possible. She is delusional and I dare say, stupid. That poor future child deserves better," wrote another user. </p> <p dir="ltr">Another suggested a normal name might actually be unique now and wrote, "Having a 'standard' name is what is unique now. How many kids are being named David and Lisa?" </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Family & Pets

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The touching reason a King's Guard burst into tears

<p>A member of the King's Guard has burst into tears after receiving the surprise of a lifetime while on duty. </p> <p>The King's Guard, who are usually unflappable and stoic figures stationed around Buckingham Palace, was moved to tears on what seemed like a normal day. </p> <p>While sitting atop her horse, the woman stood as tourists passed by and took photos with the iconic guard. </p> <p>The suddenly,  the previously composed guard smiles and can be seen looking teary, as she spots her parents in the crowd.</p> <p>“That’s her dad!” another person in the crowd calls out.</p> <div class="embed" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: currentcolor !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; vertical-align: baseline; width: 600px; max-width: 100%; outline: currentcolor !important;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7389049472568806663&display_name=tiktok&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40australiancommunitymedia%2Fvideo%2F7389049472568806663%3Flang%3Den%26q%3Dkings%2520guard%2520parents%26t%3D1720402184833&image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-sg.tiktokcdn.com%2Ftos-alisg-p-0037%2Fo0gmiBD0EBBEO2ogfCAgIy8FMyLdCdb2aQeVUL%7Etplv-dmt-logom%3Atos-alisg-i-0068%2FoMCEIAuSEFAV4FAAIjsDoeFjmfNA1lNLkD3fEr.image%3Flk3s%3Db59d6b55%26nonce%3D3486%26refresh_token%3D9a02561608471c9dd769ed26581f721f%26x-expires%3D1720573200%26x-signature%3DG49fXegWzTHobCNmRxkZBWQS5r8%253D%26shp%3Db59d6b55%26shcp%3D-&key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>The mother-father duo then approached their daughter and stroked the horse while chatting.</p> <p>The teary-eyed guard can then be seen with a smile as her parents turn to face her, and her mother also strokes her daughter’s leg.</p> <p>The guard nods when asked a question by her mother, before breaking down in tears, bending her head forward and using her white gloves to wipe her eyes.</p> <p>The heartwarming moment, which was captured on video and posted to social media, quickly racked up hundreds of comments by impressed tourists. </p> <p>One person wrote, "I'm amazed at the speed with which she pulls herself back together, blink & you miss her initial reaction. That's reason enough to be proud on its own!"</p> <p>Another added, "What a special moment. I hope they all got to spend a little time together after her watch. She is a great Guard and her parents should be proud of her and what she does."</p> <p>Another simply said, "How proud a parent to see your daughter standing post as a Kings Guard."</p> <p><em>Image credits: YouTube</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Police Commissioner opens up about his son's tragic death

<p>Police Commissioner Grant Stevens and his wife Emma have opened up on their heart-breaking loss, sharing how they are still grieving the loss of their son eight months after his <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/police-commissioner-s-son-killed-during-schoolies-week" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tragic passing</a>. </p> <p>Charlie Stevens was celebrating schoolies when he was killed in a hit-and-run accident, causing a brain injury that he wouldn't wake up from. </p> <p>He died a day after the accident on November 17th 2023 and was just 18 years old. </p> <p>Now, his distraught parents have spoken candidly about their last moments with their son. </p> <p>"It was good to spend time with him, but the hardest thing was leaving for the last time," Grant told <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/60-minutes/charlie-stevens-south-australias-police-commissioner-opens-up-about-young-sons-tragic-death/c1ceaf2c-c2a4-492d-998e-1cc5e32ed29b" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>60 Minutes</em></a>.  </p> <p>Through tears, Emma shared her last words to her youngest born. </p> <p>"I just said, 'I love you. You're my baby, and you always will be'," she said.</p> <p>"You know, that's just ... it's devastating," Grant added. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9I8g22yZfs/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9I8g22yZfs/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by 60 Minutes Australia (@60minutes9)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The commissioner and his wife shared that it was not difficult to forgive the young man who caused the death of their son, as the driver, Dhirren Randhawa, was only 18 years old as well. </p> <p>"I think being a parent, being a mum of an 18-year-old, they're not that smart. They're 18," Emma said. </p> <p>"And I look at it and I think it also could have been Charlie."</p> <p>Randhawa, who had no alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of the crash, was initially charged with causing death by dangerous driving, aggravated driving without due care, leaving the scene of a crash after death and failing to truly answer questions but, in reaching a plea deal, has admitted to a charge of aggravated driving without due care and leaving the scene of a crash.</p> <p>His admission of guilt to those two lesser charges has avoided the pain of going to trial, and instead faces court again next month for sentencing. </p> <p>Randhawa wrote a letter to the Stevens' apologising for his actions that caused the loss of their son, as Emma said, "And he’s written it, and that it’s words from an 18-year-old. I don’t think he’s been sat down and told what to write."</p> <p>“I think it’s him. In fact, I’m not so sure Charlie would be able to write something quite as good as that.”</p> <p>Grant added, "We're grateful that Dhirren has pleaded guilty. It gives us some understanding of his acceptance of his responsibility."</p> <p>"We appreciate it, we appreciate the fact that he's given us that apology."</p> <p>After Charlie's death, Grant and Emma asked mourners to channel their grief into donations for Operation Flinders, an outback adventure therapy program that has helped 10,000 at-risk teenagers.</p> <p>The response to Grant and Emma's request has been overwhelming, with close to $220,000 so far raised in Charlie's name. </p> <p>"He had an impact on so many, so many people but this is a way that he will continue to have a really positive impact on kids who will never even know about him," Grant proudly said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: 60 Minutes </em></p>

Family & Pets

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"Double the joy": Red Wiggle welcomes twin daughters

<p>Caterina Mete has finally welcomed her "two little miracles" into the world. </p> <p>The Red Wiggle announced the arrival of her twin girls in a statement shared on Thursday morning. </p> <p>"Double the joy, double the love!", she said. </p> <p>"I am so thrilled to announce the arrival of my precious twin girls, Dolly and Gigi."</p> <p>"My heart is overflowing with happiness as I welcome to the world my two little miracles," she concluded her statement. </p> <p>She also took to Instagram to share a series of photos straight from the hospital, of her holding both girls in her arms. </p> <p>The new mum also shared a video of the twin bond, with the two girls cuddling up to each other. </p> <p>Fellow Wiggles also shared a statement, saying: "We are absolutely thrilled for Caterina and the arrival of her beautiful twin girls."</p> <p>"Her journey to motherhood has been truly inspiring, and we can't wait to meet these adorable new additions to The Wiggles' family." </p> <p>Mete welcomed her twin girls month's after revealing her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/two-little-miracles-wiggles-star-announces-pregnancy" target="_blank" rel="noopener">pregnancy via IVF</a> to her fans in February. </p> <p>Fellow Wiggles and fans took to the comments to congratulate the new mum. </p> <p>"Congratulations Kitty! Can’t wait to meet Dolly and Gigi soon," wrote Red Wiggle Simon Pryce. </p> <p>"Yahhhh Kitty……. How beautiful. Double happy," added Purple Wiggle Lachy. </p> <p>"CONGRATULATIONS!! MORE MEMBERS OF THE WIGGLES FAMILY" wrote one fan. </p> <p>"MASSIVE congratulations Caterina! Welcome to the world Dolly and Gigi! Wishing you a smooth recovery and great start to raising your precious girls," added another. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Life after the kids leave: Navigating changes and embracing empty nest syndrome

<p>As your children grow up and go to college, you dread the day they will leave your nest. When they finally leave, it is natural to feel empty and miss the familiar echoes of laughter around the dinner table. While feeling a sense of loss is natural for every parent, it shouldn’t linger. When the feeling lingers, it becomes the empty nest syndrome.</p> <h2>What Is Empty Nest Syndrome?</h2> <p>Empty nest syndrome is an emotional phase and a sense of loss that parents experience when children leave home. Your children becoming adults and leaving your nest symbolises the end of active parenting responsibilities. Since you are uncertain about what to do with the free time on your hands, you may experience a loss of identity and purpose. You have fewer chores and miss your children.</p> <p>When you have empty nest syndrome, you experience a mix of emotions. You may feel lonely and sad in an empty house. The feeling lasts a few days or weeks, but for others, it is intense and may stir up anxiety. If you have empty nest syndrome, you may feel a sense of redundancy and persistent sadness. With no more school runs and daily involvement in your kids’ lives, it’s easy to feel redundant in their lives, leaving you with a lingering sadness and restlessness.</p> <h2>How to Deal with Empty Nest Syndrome</h2> <p>If you are experiencing empty nest syndrome, you can take the following steps to live a fulfilling life:</p> <p><strong>Set New Goals</strong></p> <p>The sudden quietness that comes with children leaving the house can be jarring. However, in the silence awaits a new chapter of your life that starts with you setting new goals. Think about what you want to learn or try out, and write down the steps you need to get there. Whether it is travelling the world or picking up a new hobby, you can achieve self-fulfilment.</p> <p><strong>Identify New Ways to Strengthen Family Bonds</strong></p> <p>You need to redefine your relationships with your children and partner. Your parenting role takes centre stage in your life. As the nest empties, you have a chance to nurture the bond with your partner. Discover each other's aspirations and dreams. You can travel the world together or find new hobbies as a couple. You also need to redefine your bond with your children. Understand that the relationship with your adult children is evolving. Stay connected to your kids, but ensure they have their independence.</p> <p><strong>Adapt Your Cooking Style for Two</strong></p> <p>When you have children at home, you cook for a large family, and you are always excited to prepare the next meal. As your children move out, you have to transition to cooking in a smaller household. Downsizing meals can be challenging when you are used to preparing a large pot of food. Portioning meals to avoid cooking excess food will be challenging at first. However, you can find meal kits from meal delivery services, such as <a href="https://www.hellofresh.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">HelloFresh</a>, that offer meal kits for two. Most meal delivery services send pre-portioned ingredients to prevent food waste.</p> <h2>Discovering New Hobbies to Bring Joy and Fulfilment</h2> <p>Reduce your empty nest symptoms by finding new, exciting activities. Having new hobbies gives you a sense of fulfilment and takes up your time. Consider learning new hobbies like gardening, writing or volunteering. Join a club in the community or volunteer programs. It’s a great way to meet new people and fill up your free time with rewarding experiences.</p> <p>Empty nest syndrome is a period of transformation, and it’s important to maintain a positive attitude during this period. You can rediscover yourself and redefine your priorities. If there is a dream you had put on hold, you can pick it up.</p> <p><em>Image: Becca Tapert / Unsplash</em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with HelloFresh.</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Ash Barty celebrates son's first birthday

<p>Ash Barty and husband Garry Kissick have celebrated their baby boy's first birthday with the help of an adorable hedgehog cake. </p> <p>The three-time grand slam champ took to Instagram to share the update, with a cute family photo captioned: "Cake for breakfast 🥳." </p> <p>Friends and fans took to the comments to wish their birthday wishes. </p> <p>"ALWAYS a good idea!" commented former Diamonds netballer Catherine Coxy.</p> <p>Former Australian tennis player Casey Dellacqua commented, "Get it boy. Happiest 1st bday gorgeous boy. See you for the biggest birthday cuddle soon 😍"</p> <p>"Happy birthday Hayden! Well done mum and dad for surviving the first year x," added former Olympic swimmer Libby Trickett. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C86hO9Qhbkf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C86hO9Qhbkf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Garry Kissick (@gazlfc90)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"So sweet," wrote one fan. </p> <p>"Naww happy birthday cutie pie" added another. </p> <p>Just a few months ago, Barty and Hayden had their first mother-and-son <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/ash-barty-s-first-photoshoot-with-baby-boy" target="_blank" rel="noopener">photoshoot</a> as part of the annual BONDS Baby Search campaign. </p> <p>In an interview with <em>9honey </em>for the annual campaign, Barty opened up on the trials and tribulations of new parenthood.</p> <p>"I have so much admiration for parents now I have a child of my own – being a parent is the hardest but the best thing in the world," she said.</p> <p>"I don't think anything quite prepares you for motherhood!</p> <p>"For me it's been a huge learning curve and the most wonderful experience of my life. It's not comparable to anything else."</p> <p>She described Hayden as a "happy, relaxed little boy." </p> <p>"He is a beautiful baby and I am enjoying every minute with him, I know how quickly the time passes."</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

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"Take it back to her”: Parents' heartbroken plea to thieves who targeted their daughter's grave

<p>When three-year-old Brittany Conway died after swelling a button battery, news of her death made headlines and prompted urgent warnings to parents everywhere. </p> <p>Now, just one month out from the four-year anniversary of Brittany's death, her parents are grieving all over again after their daughter's grave was targeted by callous thieves, who took off with a "precious" keepsake. </p> <p>“She was a vivacious little girl, there was a sparkle in her eye,” Brittany’s mother Lorraine told <a href="https://7news.com.au/news/our-little-princess-parents-anguish-after-precious-item-stolen-from-childs-grave-c-15205766" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>7News</em></a>. “She was a very loving, gentle, funny character.”</p> <p>Brittany’s love of tiaras was immortalised when one was placed inside a locked glass-front box attached to her grave.</p> <p>“Brittany loved wearing big bows and pretty dresses, she loved the tiaras and high heels,” Lorraine said.</p> <p>“We just wanted her to know she was our little princess.”</p> <p>Brittany's parents were heartbroken when they discovered that thieves had pried open the lockbox on the grave and stolen the tiara. </p> <p>“I was so angry to think someone had taken something so precious, taken it out of somewhere so sacred,” Lorraine said.</p> <p>The local Gold Coast community has rallied around the family, offering to replace the tiara and even reward money for the beloved item to be returned.</p> <p>Brittany’s parents are still hoping the tiara will be returned, and sharing a public message to the thief that they “did not hate them” for what they had done, but urged them to give the item back.</p> <p>“I’m still angry, I’m hurt, but my main thing now is to get (the tiara) home, and bring it back to Brittany where it belongs,” Lorraine said.</p> <p>“They haven’t thought about how much of an impact it has had on the family."</p> <p>“If you’re watching this, and you’ve taken it, I don’t hate you — just take it back to her.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: 7News</em></p>

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John Farnham celebrates his 75th birthday with family

<p>John Farnham has been snapped celebrating his 75th birthday at an intimate dinner with his closest family. </p> <p>The iconic Aussie rockstar turned 75 on Monday, and marked the occasion at a dinner out with his wife Jillian Billman, his son Robert Farnham and Robert’s wife, Melissa.</p> <p>Melissa, who married Robert just months ago, took to social media to celebrate the occasion.</p> <p>“Happy birthday Papa J. Looking forward to making many more happy memories with you guys,” she shared.</p> <p>Robert also posted a sweet image of the “birthday boy” as the pair enjoyed some time relaxing with their feet up.</p> <p>Rob also shared another photo of him and his father to mark the milestone birthday, with the photo showing the father and son duo smiling at each other at Rob's wedding.</p> <p>This is the second time Farnham has been seen on social media since his extensive surgery to remove a tumour from his mouth, resulting in a reconstructing of his jaw. </p> <p>John was recently seen at Robert and Melissa's <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/john-farnham-steps-out-at-son-s-wedding-for-first-time-since-jaw-surgery" target="_blank" rel="noopener">wedding</a>, as the 74-year-old icon looked remarkably well and largely unchanged since his challenging surgery in August 2022.</p> <p>In the heartwarming photos shared on Instagram, John posed alongside his son, both beaming with happiness, as John looked dapper in a black suit with a bronze tie and matching pocket square. </p> <p>The joyous occasion was beautifully captured in a series of family photos, including John's wife, Jill, and other close family members.</p> <p>Fans flooded the comments with heartfelt messages, celebrating the happy family and John's remarkable recovery. "Such a beautiful father and son pic," one fan wrote, while another added, "Congratulations to you both. It's so nice to see your Dad, he looks fantastic! Love to you all."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram</em></p>

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How you experience the menopause may have a lot to do with your family

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/megan-arnot-416253">Megan Arnot</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/ucl-1885">UCL</a></em></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30346539">menopause</a> happens around the age of 50, and for many women, the end of their fertile life is accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats and anxiety. In the West, it is generally taken as read that these symptoms are a normal part of the menopause. But <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11330770">cross-cultural research</a> suggests that menopause symptoms are not necessarily inevitable.</p> <p>For example, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18521049">Japanese women</a> rarely report hot flashes, whereas for European women they are a common complaint. As a result, scientists have begun to focus on what causes this difference in experience and the potential impact that behavioural and lifestyle factors, such as <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16735636">smoking</a>, might have.</p> <p>Our latest <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ece3.5705">study</a> adds to this knowledge. We found that living away from your genetic family may worsen the menopause.</p> <h2>Family matters?</h2> <p>Where people live once they’re married varies across cultures. To investigate whether these different living arrangements affect menopause symptoms, we travelled to south-west China to collect data.</p> <p>In this region, there are groups with distinct living arrangements. First, the Han and the Yi, in which women typically leave their family after they’ve got married and live with their husband’s family. Second, the Mosuo and Zhaba, who engage in the practice of <em>zou hun</em> (“<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23486437">walking marriage</a>”), where the husband and wife live separately with their own related families, and only visit each other at night.</p> <p>We found that women who remained living with their own family following marriage had significantly less severe menopause symptoms than those who went to live with their husband’s family.</p> <h2>In-law conflict</h2> <p>Many anthropologists are interested in how different levels of relatedness within households can have behavioural and physiological implications. For the menopause, we think the difference in symptom severity between the groups may be the result of the different levels of conflict that result from being more or less related to other members of your household.</p> <p>If a woman lives with her husband’s family, then until she has children, she is unrelated to anyone in the household. This lack of relatedness can cause <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40806-017-0114-8">tension</a> between the new wife and her husband’s relatives as they have little direct genetic interest in her.</p> <p>As well as conflict with non-related household members, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/evan.20226">earlier research</a> has shown that women who live with their husband’s family tend to argue with their partners more and are also more likely to get divorced. Additionally, rates of domestic violence are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27279077">higher</a> when women live away from their genetic family.</p> <p>But how does this relate to the severity of menopause symptoms? We think that increased levels of household conflict would result in the woman being more stressed. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4795524/">Stress</a> is known to worsen pain perception and so could aggravate menopause symptoms.</p> <p>In contrast to women who leave their kin group, women who live with their own family once they’re married also tend to have higher levels of <a href="https://scholar.harvard.edu/slowes/publications/matrilineal-spousal-cooperation">social support</a>. There are more people to help with childcare and more shoulders to cry on. This can help to lower stress and thus soften the mental and physical burden of the menopause.</p> <h2>Global perspectives</h2> <p>While our research was conducted in China, globally, we see a wide range of living arrangements, which themselves can bring different levels of conflict and social support. In the West, many women live away from their families, which may mean that they lack social support, perhaps contributing to more turbulent menopause symptoms. Distance from one’s own family can also be seen to increase <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2005.00155.x">conflict</a> within the household – be it between a husband and wife, or wife and in-laws.</p> <p>These results aren’t an excuse to visit your in-laws less, but they show that menopause symptoms are not only about hormonal irregularities. They may also be a product of your social environment, which should be worth bearing in mind when approaching and going through the menopause.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/123621/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/megan-arnot-416253">Megan Arnot</a>, PhD Candidate, Evolutionary Anthropology and Behavioural Ecology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/ucl-1885">UCL</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-you-experience-the-menopause-may-have-a-lot-to-do-with-your-family-123621">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Princess Diana's niece finally reveals baby daughter's name

<p>Princess Diana's niece, Lady Kitty Spencer has finally revealed the name of her daughter, almost four months after confirming her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/princess-diana-s-niece-secretly-welcomes-first-child" target="_blank" rel="noopener">arrival</a> on Mother's Day in the UK. </p> <p>The notoriously private royal took to Instagram to share a black and white photo of her sitting by a window, while holding her daughter. </p> <p>The new mum was pictured kissing her daughter's head as she stared out the window. </p> <p>"Athena watching the world go by," she captioned the photo, with a white heart emoji. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C81dKqtOcmI/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C81dKqtOcmI/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Kitty Spencer (@kitty.spencer)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Royal fans were quick to share their delight and the chosen name. </p> <p>"Such a beautiful name!" one wrote. </p> <p> "What a beautiful name and photo," another added. </p> <p>"Athena is so gorgeous!! Like her mama," a third commented. </p> <p>Kitty, who is the late Princess Diana's niece and daughter of Diana's brother Earl Charles Spencer, shared the post over the weekend. </p> <p>She announced the arrival of her first child with husband Michael Lewis, earlier this year. </p> <p>"It's the joy of my life to be your mummy, little one. I love you unconditionally. Happy Mother's Day to those who celebrate today," she wrote at the time. </p> <p>She had kept her pregnancy private, and many were surprised to learn that she was a mum. </p> <p>Athena was reportedly born in late 2023.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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What are family trusts?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jamie-thwin-1542004">Jamie Thwin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brett-david-freudenberg-226795">Brett David Freudenberg</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/melissa-belle-isle-1541984">Melissa Belle Isle</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p>Many of us associate trust funds with their depictions in popular culture – tools used by the mega-rich to distribute enormous family incomes among “trust-fund babies”.</p> <p>Recently, they even went viral as the centrepiece of a <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@girl_on_couch/video/7363742421588512043?lang=en">TikTok audio</a> by user @girl_on_couch, who was famously “looking for a man in finance. With a trust fund. 6'5. Blue eyes.”</p> <p>But trusts – which allow assets to be managed by one party for the benefit of others – are more widespread than many people realise.</p> <p>And they’re not just for the super wealthy. In 2020-21, <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2024-01/p2024-489823-teis.pdf">more than a tenth</a> of all Australians who lodged a tax return reported trust income.</p> <p>Among the most common types of trust in Australia are family trusts, which are often designed to hold family assets or manage a family business. But their popularity has seen them regularly <a href="https://www.afr.com/policy/tax-and-super/treasury-eyes-tax-on-60b-in-family-trusts-20240131-p5f1fr">in the sights</a> of government and the tax office.</p> <p>So what exactly are family trusts, and why are they so controversial?</p> <h2>First, what’s a trust?</h2> <p>A trust is a legal arrangement where a person nominated as a “trustee” manages assets for the benefit of another person or particular group of people. It isn’t a separate legal entity, but rather a kind of legal relationship.</p> <p>A trust imposes what’s called an “equitable obligation” on its trustee to hold and manage trust assets according to specific conditions. These are set out in a “trust deed” for the explicit benefit of others, known as the trust’s “beneficiaries”.</p> <p>The trustee acts as the legally appointed administrator of trust assets. But the beneficiaries still have what’s called “equitable interest” under the arrangement – certain rights to benefit from those assets.</p> <p>Trustees can be individuals or companies. And many trusts include an “appointor” who has ultimate control. This appointor can appoint or remove the trustee at any time, and in many cases must consent to any changes in the trust deed.</p> <h2>What’s a family trust, and why do people use them?</h2> <p>In Australia, a family trust is a type of “discretionary trust”. Unlike a “fixed trust”, this means the trustee can make decisions about how assets and income are allocated among beneficiaries.</p> <p>Family trusts are typically set up by a family member for the benefit of the family as a whole. A family trust deed can nominate multiple beneficiaries. These could include not only parents, children, grandchildren and other family members, but also other trusts and even companies.</p> <p>Family trusts are often used to take advantage of their tax implications. This is because between years, trustees can vary the distribution of income among beneficiaries.</p> <p>Any undistributed income left in the trust is taxed at the top marginal tax rate of 45%. But if distributed to beneficiaries with lower personal marginal tax rates, it is instead taxed at those rates, which can lower the total tax paid.</p> <p>This explanation oversimplifies the picture, and there are a range of important caveats.</p> <p>For example, if a beneficiary is non-resident of Australia for tax purposes, the trustee will be liable to pay tax on their behalf. And distributing trust income to beneficiaries aged under 18 can attract penalty taxes at the top marginal rate.</p> <h2>Why are they controversial?</h2> <p>Family trusts have attracted scrutiny from regulators and the public for a range of reasons – perhaps chief among them, this broad ability to lower taxation by splitting income.</p> <p>The private nature of many trusts means there is often minimal public reporting, so it can be difficult to determine who in society is benefiting from trust income, and how. There are also concerns that they can be structured inappropriately to hide income.</p> <p>Trusts can also help safeguard a family’s wealth by shielding a family’s assets from the liabilities of individual members. The beneficiaries of a discretionary trust generally have no legal entitlement to its assets.</p> <p>This means that if the beneficiary goes bankrupt or gets divorced, the trust’s assets may often be protected from any claims.</p> <p>In 2019, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released the findings of an <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/about-ato/research-and-statistics/in-detail/general-research/current-issues-with-trusts-and-the-tax-system">independent review</a> into trusts and the tax system. Some key areas of concern include:</p> <ul> <li>income tax shuffles (individuals exploiting differences in income definitions between trust law and tax law to dodge higher marginal tax rates)</li> <li>using convoluted structures like circular trusts (two trusts that are beneficiaries of each other) to obscure trust income and who the ultimate beneficiaries are, and</li> <li>trusts failing to lodge tax returns.</li> </ul> <p>The use of trusts as a business structure in Australia may yet require further review.</p> <p>This should not only seek to examine the legislation underpinning trusts, but also improve education for accountants to better understand trust and tax law.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232601/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jamie-thwin-1542004">Jamie Thwin</a>, PhD Student (Tax Law), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brett-david-freudenberg-226795">Brett David Freudenberg</a>, Professor of Taxation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/melissa-belle-isle-1541984">Melissa Belle Isle</a>, Lecturer Taxation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-are-family-trusts-232601">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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I’ve been diagnosed with cancer. How do I tell my children?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cassy-dittman-1380541">Cassy Dittman</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/govind-krishnamoorthy-1467986">Govind Krishnamoorthy</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marg-rogers-867368">Marg Rogers</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919">University of New England</a></em></p> <p>With around <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/cancer/2022">one in 50 adults</a> diagnosed with cancer each year, many people are faced with the difficult task of sharing the news of their diagnosis with their loved ones. Parents with cancer may be most <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462388914000994">worried about</a> telling their children.</p> <p>It’s best to give children factual and age-appropriate information, so children don’t create their own explanations or <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)33202-1/fulltext">blame themselves</a>. Over time, supportive family relationships and open communication <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00520-016-3214-2">help children adjust</a> to their parent’s diagnosis and treatment.</p> <p>It’s natural to feel you don’t have the <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ecc.12018">skills or knowledge</a> to talk with your children about cancer. But preparing for the conversation can improve your confidence.</p> <h2>Preparing for the conversation</h2> <p>Choose a suitable time and location in a place where your children feel comfortable. Turn off distractions such as screens and phones.</p> <p>For teenagers, who can find face-to-face conversations confronting, think about talking while you are going for a walk.</p> <p>Consider if you will tell all children at once or separately. Will you be the only adult present, or will having another adult close to your child be helpful? Another adult might give your children a person they can talk to later, especially to answer questions they might be worried about asking you.</p> <p>Finally, plan what to do after the conversation, like doing an activity with them that they enjoy. Older children and teenagers might want some time alone to digest the news, but you can suggest things you know they like to do to relax.</p> <p>Also consider what you might need to support yourself.</p> <h2>Preparing the words</h2> <p>Parents might be worried about the <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/321/7259/479.full.pdf+html">best words or language</a> to use to make sure the explanations are at a level their child understands. Make a plan for what you will say and take notes to stay on track.</p> <p>The toughest part is likely to be saying to your children that you have cancer. It can help to practise saying those words out aloud.</p> <p>Ask family and friends for their feedback on what you want to say. <a href="https://www.cancer.org.au/cancer-information/types-of-cancer/childhood-cancers/talking-to-kids-about-cancer">Make use of guides</a> by the Cancer Council, which provide age-appropriate wording for explaining medical terms like “cancer”, “chemotherapy” and “tumour”.</p> <h2>Having the conversation</h2> <p>Being open, honest and factual is important. Consider the balance between being too vague, and providing too much information. The <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462388914000994">amount and type</a> of information you give will be based on their age and previous experiences with illness.</p> <p>Remember, if things don’t go as planned, you can always try again later.</p> <p>Start by telling your children the news in a few short sentences, describing what you know about the diagnosis in language suitable for their age. Generally, this information will include the name of the cancer, the area of the body affected and what will be involved in treatment.</p> <p>Let them know what to expect in the coming weeks and months. Balance hope with reality. For example:</p> <blockquote> <p>The doctors will do everything they can to help me get well. But, it is going to be a long road and the treatments will make me quite sick.</p> </blockquote> <p>Check what your child knows about cancer. Young children may not know much about cancer, while primary school-aged children are starting to understand that it is a <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/epdf/10.1177/0165025408093663">serious illness</a>. Young children may worry about becoming unwell themselves, or other loved ones becoming sick.</p> <p>Older children and teenagers may have experiences with cancer through other family members, friends at school or social media.</p> <p>This process allows you to correct any misconceptions and provides opportunities for them to ask questions. Regardless of their level of knowledge, it is important to reassure them that the cancer is not their fault.</p> <p>Ask them if there is anything they want to know or say. Talk to them about what will stay the same as well as what may change. For example:</p> <blockquote> <p>You can still do gymnastics, but sometimes Kate’s mum will have to pick you up if I am having treatment.</p> </blockquote> <p>If you can’t answer their questions, be OK with saying “I’m not sure”, or “I will try to find out”.</p> <p>Finally, tell children you love them and offer them comfort.</p> <h2>How might they respond?</h2> <p>Be prepared for a range of <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00520-016-3214-2">different responses</a>. Some might be distressed and cry, others might be angry, and some might not seem upset at all. This might be due to shock, or a sign they need time to process the news. It also might mean they are trying to be brave because they don’t want to upset you.</p> <p>Children’s reactions will change over time as they come to terms with the news and process the information. They might seem like they are happy and coping well, then be teary and clingy, or angry and irritable.</p> <p>Older children and teenagers may ask if they can tell their friends and family about what is happening. It may be useful to come together as a family to discuss how to inform friends and family.</p> <h2>What’s next?</h2> <p>Consider the conversation the first of many ongoing discussions. Let children know they can talk to you and ask questions.</p> <p>Resources might also help; for example, The Cancer Council’s <a href="https://www.campquality.org.au/kids-guide-to-cancer/">app for children and teenagers</a> and Redkite’s <a href="https://www.redkite.org.au/service/book-club/">library of free books</a> for families affected by cancer.</p> <p>If you or other adults involved in the children’s lives are concerned about how they are coping, speak to your GP or treating specialist about options for psychological support.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228012/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cassy-dittman-1380541">Cassy Dittman</a>, Senior Lecturer/Head of Course (Undergraduate Psychology), Research Fellow, Manna Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/govind-krishnamoorthy-1467986">Govind Krishnamoorthy</a>, Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology and Wellbeing, Post Doctoral Fellow, Manna Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marg-rogers-867368">Marg Rogers</a>, Senior Lecturer, Early Childhood Education; Post Doctoral Fellow, Manna Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919">University of New England</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/ive-been-diagnosed-with-cancer-how-do-i-tell-my-children-228012">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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