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Our sisters drive us crazy at the best of times, but a new study has found that having a sister makes you a more optimistic person.

According to a study conducted by researchers at De Montfort University and Ulster University, people who grow up with a sister are happier people.

They may steal our clothes, forget to call us for weeks and hogged the remote like there was no tomorrow when we were kids, but researchers found that sisters are more open to communication, making their siblings feel more supported.

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Nearly 600 people took part in the study. They were asked about a variety of topics, including having a positive outlook and mental health.

The participants were aged between 17 and 25.

The team found that sisters encouraged their siblings to talk more, especially if they had something on their mind.

“Sisters appear to encourage more open communication and cohesion in families. Emotional expression is fundamental to good psychological health and having sisters promotes this in families,” said Professor Tony Cassidy.

 

He added that boys tend to bottle things up, but we need to encourage them to communicate more too.

The researchers said their findings will help promote communication in families, which will help youths who are suffering from mental health disorders. They believe that opening up to their family will relieve some of their stress.

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Professor Cassidy added, “I think these findings could be used by people offering support to families and children during distressing times.

We may have silly tiffs with our sisters from time to time, but they are always there to cheer us up in our time of need.

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Unless you grew up in the fictional world of a Steve Martin film, chances are your relationship with your family is more complicated than you'd like to admit.

The dynamics within the family unit can be hard to wrap your head around, and while we love them dearly (flaws and all), sometimes it's necessary to take a step back from all the drama.

Well, research from Michigan State University has revealed that close friends may actually bring us more health and happiness than family members.

Researchers conducted a study in which over 300,000 participants were asked how much they value their friendships. Results showed that those who put a higher value on relationships outside the family unit were happier and healthier overall. However, this only works if you actually get on with your mates.

Another study looked at almost 7,500 people ages over 50 and examined the correlation between their friendships and the state of their health and found that those with stressful friendships were at a higher risk of developing diseases like cancer and diabetes.

The author of the study, William Chopik told The Guardian: "With friends you are more likely to do activities – they provide an outlet. You can say things to friends and they are less judgmental. There is a distance there that provides a level of honesty."

The study also concluded that people with strong social bonds of any kind, increased their chances of living longer by an incredible 50 percent.

So, next time your friends tell you they're too busy to hang out, remind them that they're actually gaining precious hours by simply enjoying your company.

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Eldest siblings, rejoice! We’ve got good news for you. A new study has found that the eldest child is the most intelligent.

The study found that there was “a strong negative relation between birth order and cognitive outcomes of children.”

This news will certainly boost the older siblings ego, but it is bound to cause major sibling rivalry in households across the country.

The study was conducted by teams of researchers at the Universities of Houston, New South Wales and Sheffield.

The teams discovered that older siblings feel more confident when it comes to their academic performances, whilst younger brothers and sisters can often doubt themselves.

This may be because the eldest sibling doesn’t have anyone to compare themselves to. However, as younger siblings know, you’re often compared to your big sister or brother.

There is a huge pressure on youngsters to perform better especially if their big brother is a math whiz, or if their older sister is a history buff.

The team explained that younger siblings may be ‘less intelligent’ because they don’t get as much attention from their parents, compared to their older siblings.

They said parental attention has a massive impact on children’s academic performance. For example, the youngest daughter may not feel as supported as her older brother did when he was in school because the parents have more children to focus on.

“Although later-born children are not born disadvantaged in their health or developmentally, we find that parents are unable to provide them with the same level of cognitive support as they do with their first-born,” they explained.

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Christmas is officially one month away! We have yet to start our shopping and the stress of what to buy our other half is weighing us down. Finding the perfect gift for someone is a nightmare but some people have taken the stress out of Christmas by making a deal with their beau. According to new research commissioned by FUJIFILM, over half (53 percent) of women this year are planning not to gift to their partner this Christmas. 

Delving into the insights provided by over 1,000 women in recent weeks, the rationale for not giving to their other half at Christmas can be summarised under three main headings:

  • Money: After purchasing gifts for children and extended family, on top of forking out for the festive food, there is just no cash left to buy for their other half according to 48 percent of participants.

  • Inspiration: What do you buy the person who ‘has everything’ or simply ‘does not need anything’? This was the response of 27 percent of participants who are planning on ditching the Christmas gift for their partner this year.

  • Time: With mums taking on the lion’s share of the Christmas preparations, it’s hardly surprising that 25 percent say that they simply won’t have time to purchase a gift for their other half on top of everything else.

The Christmas countdown is on and while some people (13 percent) will have started ticking off their gift list as early as January this year, not everyone is as organised. However, the common theme amongst this year’s savvy buyers is to shop local, with over 77 percent avoiding online UK purchases for fear of problems getting product guarantees honoured in the future or returning items in the new year due to Brexit. 

Parenting Expert Laura Erskine, has some advice for those of you who put yourself and your partner last on the Christmas list this year:

“Choosing not to buy your other half a gift this Christmas may seem like the easy option this year, especially when done on the basis of a joint pact. However, I would advise parents to think very carefully about what this says about the health of your relationship, and what message this sends your children.”

“When a relationship is under strain, the lack of a gift or indeed a poorly thought out gift tend to take on symbolic proportions where the recipient believes their partner doesn’t care for them as much as they used to. This is particularly true when you witness the giver gift to family members at the same time. Likewise, when your other half nails your gift, irrespective of how much money was spent on it, you tend to feel loved and connected to your mate.”

“You must remember that your children will be watching and take pleasure out of seeing the two most important people in their lives, gift to each other on Christmas morning. Similarly the lack of a gift to one another may cause anxiety or upset around the security of their family unit.”  

Gift giving to your partner at Christmas time is an important part of the celebration and does not have to cost a lot of money, require a huge amount of thought, or take up too much of your time.  The FUJIFILM Imagine mobile app is every parent’s secret weapon to blitz their Christmas list in record time, but with all of the sentiment and none of the hefty expense! 

The photos locked away on our smartphones hold the secret to some really amazing Christmas gifts. Simply choose photos depicting special moments shared between you and your partner, the kids or even the family pet and use them to create personalised presents they will treasure forever. You can order through the FUJIFILM Imagine mobile app, online, and on touch screen kiosks in store nationwide. Choose from personalised photo books, canvas art, phone or tablet covers and much, much more. Then, wrap it all up with personalised gift-wrapping paper to really bring a smile to their faces this festive season.

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Japan Airlines has introduced a tool that shows passengers where babies are sitting before they book their seat on a flight. Passengers can now ensure that they are not sitting near a baby, especially for long flights.

The airline shared: “Passengers travelling with children between eight days and two years old who select their seats on the JAL website will have a child icon displayed on their seats on the seat selection screen. This lets other passengers know a child may be sitting there.”

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Image: Rahat Ahmed

However, this tool has been met with mixed responses, with many parents stressing that it makes them feel like a hindrance.

We understand that flying with kids must be a nightmare, we can barely get ourselves through security with ease never mind a toddler.

However, many people have said this service is a huge help because sitting beside a crying baby is never fun.

Others expressed their outrage on Twitter:

“Babies are not capable developmentally to “plan” crying or screaming,” said one woman.

Another user added, “They are babies as we all once were. We need to learn tolerance or will soon start needing a map of seat locations for mouth breathers, droolers, farters, drunks, and perhaps a lot more things in life. What ever happened to life's surprises?”

What do you make of this new tool? Should other airlines introduce it or are people being far too fussy about where they sit on planes?

 

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We all remember the pain and turmoil surrounding the annual family photo taking.

Usually it's the Irish granny who forces all the grandchildren to stand in a group together and sit still long enough for someone to get the shot, but somebody always blinked or looked the wrong way.

Kim Kardashian has finally managed to get her four children to sit still for a family portrait photoshoot, three months after baby Psalm arrived. The result? It's pretty damn cute.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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She captioned the gorgeous image; "Bahamas pictures coming up! I thought taking a picture with three kids was hard. OMG this is almost impossible! "

Celebrity mums are just like our own, it seems. The famous family are holidaying in the Bahamas, which means proof has to be captured via camera of the experience. 

The 38-year-old Keeping Up With The Kardashians star struggled to get her children to pose; six-year-old North, three-year-old Saint, 19-month-old Chicago and three-month-old Psalm.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Kim and her daughters, Chicago and North, are matching in metallic swimsuits in the photo, while Saint and Psalm are wearing dark green swimming trunks.

Khloe Kardashian commented on the image of her nieces; “Honestly you’re perfect!!!! Your beautiful family!! You are everything.” Matriarch and momager Kris wrote;  “This is so beautiful!!”

Kim and Kanye’s youngest child, Psalm, was born via a surrogate earlier this year. We wonder will a fifth come along soon?

Feature image: Instagram/@kimkardashian

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Taylor Swift is set to turn 30-years-old on December 13 and apparently this means she has to settle down and have kids.

When women reach a certain age they are bombarded with questions about their family plans, how many kids they want to have and when they’re going to get married.

We’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives, whether it’s the awfully nosey aunty asking when you and your beau are going to tie the knot or the obnoxious neighbour passing remarks about how you ought to hurry up and ‘squeeze a few puppies out’.

During an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur, a journalist asked the Shake It Off singer if she was planning on settling down to start a family now that she is approaching her 30th birthday.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

Swift replied with grace and simply stated: "I really do not think men are asked that question when they turn 30. So I'm not going to answer that question now."

The presumption that every single woman on the planet wants to have a bump and ring on her finger by the age of 30 is beyond dated, and extremely sexist.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

Did it ever occur to those who ask these absurd questions that some women don’t want to get married, others may be happier single or simply don’t believe in marriage?

Marriage is one thing, but quizzing women about their family plans and ‘advising’ them to get pregnant at this age is simply ignorant. You never know what is going on in someone’s life, especially when it comes to their fertility.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Millions of people struggle with infertility around the world. An estimated 10 percent of Irish women suffer from polycystic ovaries, which makes it harder for women to become pregnant and increases the risk of developing complications during pregnancy.

Other women simply don’t want to have children and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that decision.

Taylor Swift’s response to this rude question was completely fair and I couldn’t applaud her more for it. It is a personal question that can make women feel pressured, uncomfortable and distressed.

I’m sure the interviewer didn’t mean to cause offence but his ignorant notion has certainly highlighted a vital conversation about the expectations placed on women when they reach their 30s.

Feature Image: Shutterstock

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Jennifer Zamparelli has opened up about a decision she made about her fertility after she welcomed her second kid.

The TV presenter revealed that she had her tubes tied as she and her husband Lau don't want any more children.

The 39-year-old is mum to four-year-old Florence and one-year-old Enzo.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jennifer Zamparelli (@jenzamparelli) on

Jennifer said that she had the procedure in February 2018 after she gave birth to Enzo.

She said, ''My tubes are tied. I had a C-section and while the surgeon was down there – job done.''

She added, ''Lau really didn't want to have any more. Life is busy enough with two and with work.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Jennifer will be starting her own morning show on 2FM in June and the fact that she and Lau don't work ''steady jobs'' is also a reason they're happy with two kids.

She told the VIP Magazine, ''It's not an overnight success, it didn't just happen, I didn't just get plucked from RTÉ.''

She continued, ''I've been chipping away doing great TV shows, doing s***ty TV shows, getting rejected, getting ideas rejected.''

She's happy with her two gorgeous little ones and that's all that matters. 

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Frankie Cocozza has become a dad for the first time.

The former X Factor star has welcomed a gorgeous baby son with his wife Bianca. 

The 26-year-old took to Instagram to announce the happy news, posting a gorgeous snap of him and his baby boy. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Frankie Cocozza (@frankiecocozza) on

He also revealed that he and his wife had chosen to stick with a traditional family name, by calling their baby Frankie. 

He captioned the stunning snap, ''You’re in for one hell of a ride son. You’ll be absolutely fine because you’re half your mother.''

He later took to Instagram Stories where he wrote, ''Frankie the fourth x.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bianca Cocozza (@biancacocozza) on

His wife Bianca also posted a picture of the tot, captioning it, ''Because the world needed another Frankie Cocozza. I will be stuck in love land until further notice, our son 11/5/19. Pure happiness.''

Frankie's fans were delighted for him and took to the comments to post their congratulations.

One said, ''Love this Frankie boy! Huge congratulations to you and Bianca. What a wonderful life you’ve created. Lots of love man.''

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Frankie Cocozza (@frankiecocozza) on

While another wrote, ''Huge Congratulations to you & Bianca! He’s just beautiful.''

The pair married in Brighton in May 2018 after a whirlwind romance and Bianca announced her pregnancy in October. 

She wrote, ''Mummy n Daddy 2 be!!!**** We’re not wasting any time! Popping out our 1st babeh May 2019. Save the D8 & swipe 2 c da bubbby. Thank u every1 for the love n support, we r SO excited!''

Huge congratulations to the couple on their adorable arrival and as life as a family of three. 

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Dwayne Johnson has celebrated being another year older in the sweetest way.

The 47-year-old took to Instagram to post a snap of him in front of a birthday cake holding his two young daughters.

The picture showed Dwayne with his three-year-old Jasmine and one-year-old Tiana. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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He captioned it, ''My lil' queens, Tia & Jazzy made my birthday. Good reminder for me of what's really important in life and why I work the way I do.''

He continued, ''Only thing missing was my other daughter Simone, but two outta three of a good thing ain't ever bad so I'll take it. These two baked me an apple cake with sprinkles and three candles for the amount of hours I'm going to sleep in 2019."

His fans went wild for the adorable snap. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

One said, ''Nothing better than family.''

While another wrote, ''Such an amazing picture!! Happy birthday!!''

Dwayne has the two little girls with his girlfriend Lauren Hashian, who he has been with for 12 years. 

He is also dad to 17-year-old Simone from his marriage to Dany Garcia.

Happy birthday to the Rock, we're sure he had the best day surrounded by his gorgeous family. 

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Pink has had enough of social media trolls when it comes to her kids.

The singer, who regularly posts snaps of her two little ones, slammed the mean comments she received on a post of her young son.

The 39-year-old is mum to seven-year-old daughter Willow and two-year-old son Jameson.

She spoke on The Ellen Show about the ''rude, mean-spirited" comments she received after she posted a semi-nude image of her toddler son. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by P!NK (@pink) on

She said, ''Someone went as far as saying someone should call child services…some of the nastiest things. And I cried so hard after that. I won't share them anymore."

She went on to say that she understood people's concerns but that they could be kinder in their responses.

After posting a snap of her son and daughter and a pelican that had wandered into their home, it was the fact her son had taken his nappy off that accused issue among her followers.

Pink responded with, ''I deleted it because you’re all f*cking disgusting. And now I’m turning off my comments and shaking my head at the state of social media and keyboard warriors, and the negativity that you bring to other people’s lives.''

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by P!NK (@pink) on

She also received criticism after she posted a video of her son playing with cars and saying, "Ah, damn it."

She said, ''Some people were like: 'Nice language, I'm sure that came from you' and 'What kind of mother do you think you are?'''

She continued, ''And I understand people saying you need to be more careful because you are in the public eye and you should have thought of that – they're right. But there's a nice way to say that. There's a kind way to be online.''

She said the time was right to stop posting images of her daughter as she is getting older.

She said, ''It's probably time to pull her back from the world and let her live her best life."

We love Pink and her real posts about family life – but we applaud her choice to keep that part of her life private. 

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner. It is a day of love and celebration. It is a day where mums get to enjoy breakfast in bed, receive handmade cards covered in glitter and are gifted bunches of delightful blooms to show them how much they’re loved.

It is a day many of us look forward to, but we must remember that it isn’t easy for everyone. It is a day that causes major heartache and upset for people all around the world, for their own personal reasons.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bloom & Wild (@bloomandwild) on

Many have lost their mums, others have poor relationships with them. There are women who have spent their lives dreaming of becoming a mum only to have that dream cruelly snatched away from them.

Bloom & Wild have acknowledged just how difficult and emotional this holiday can be for people and what they’ve done for their customers is beyond admirable.

The florist offered customers the option to opt-out of receiving emails about Mother’s Day. They have sent a thoughtful email to their customers, including blogger Lottie L’Amour who shared a screenshot of their message.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bloom & Wild (@bloomandwild) on

The email read: ‘Want to opt-out of Mother's Day emails? No Problem. I wanted to get in touch as I know that Mother's Day can be a very sensitive time for some of us. So if you don't want us to send you any Mother's Day reminders this month, we won't. Just let us know by opting out here. Then we'll do the rest. And don't worry, if you opt out we'll still keep you up to date with everything else, like normal. Best wishes.’

Bloom & Wild have received heaps of praise for their kind gesture. They thanked everyone for the support: ‘We've been so overwhelmed by the positive response to our recent opt-out email. We just wanted to say thanks for all the kind words and we hope we can make things the tiniest bit easier for some at a tricky time.’

Fair play to Bloom & Wild for thinking of those who struggle with Mother’s Day.

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