Education & Family

The five best parenting stories of the week

Two snowmen hugging Image copyright Thinkstock

In case you missed them, here's a round-up of the most interesting parenting stories from the BBC this week.

1. There's a new Christmas trend in town.

A carrot for Rudolph and a mince pie for Father Christmas are traditions that most British families associate with 24 December. Now so-called Christmas Eve boxes are gaining popularity, but do they add to the festive joy or simply pile on pressure for parents?

2. Do the toys children play with influence their chosen career?

The Institution of Engineering and Technology is warning parents not to buy pink toys for girls this Christmas because they could be putting them off getting into science in the future. Not all of you agree, however. Women in science and engineering jobs have been sharing their experiences as children on our Facebook page.

3. A woman gave birth to her own grandson

This is an incredible story of love and science. Jessica Jenkins, 21, had cancer treatment that left her infertile. But her mum offered to be a surrogate. "In May this year we had an embryo defrosted and implanted into my mother's womb for her to be the little oven helping our Jelly Bean grow."

4. Some parents regret having children.

Now this is not something you hear talked about openly very often. But as part of the BBC's 100 Women season, we profiled French author Corinne Maier, who said her children had left her "exhausted and bankrupt". Her attack on "idealising parenthood" struck a chord with many mothers and fathers around the world. Here are some of the responses we received from other parents who regret having children.

5. Something to look forward to on New Year's Eve.

Actor Tom Hardy is going to be reading a CBeebies Bedtime Story on New Year's Eve and we're not sure who is more excited - children or parents. The father-of-two is best known for his roles in Inception, The Dark Knight Rises and The Revenant. But now children across the country will be able to hear him read You Must Bring a Hat by Simon Philip and Kate Hindley.

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