This week the Corbett household has been turned upside down by a new arrival, a rescue puppy called Ronnie. Apart from the obvious mirth created by a tiny dog called Ronnie Corbett (youngsters, look him up), it has also reminded me of the crushing routine required in socialising a young dog into the human world. He looks at me with terror and runs to his basket every time I am in the room, conversely he jumps on my wife’s lap every time she appears. He has worked out, as did my children, where the power in the family lies.

Ronnie has already mastered the art of playing mummy off against daddy, it seems that this is an instinct for all young mammals. Our young people are no different to Ronnie, they sniff out the inconsistencies, understanding where they are going to get the extra treat or be able to push the boundaries that little bit further. Since the extended lockdowns created by the pandemic, young people have become more aware of the differences in the boundaries at school and those that they have at home. Parents were forced into a very difficult position of being both the supportive parent and the strict schoolteacher. It is nice that this school year we are beginning to regain those old, timeless consistencies that have made so many of our young people so successful. Just as Ronnie will learn the boundaries of the world around him, our young people are also relearning their boundaries.