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A Very Modern Family: Stories and guidance to nurture your relationships

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Brian & Arthur’s Very Modern Family (RTÉ One, 9.35pm) is two documentaries in one. The first is in the genre of “celebrity does something interesting” as former Big Brother winner Brian Dowling and choreographer and Dancing With The Stars judge Arthur Gourounlian chronicle their journey to parenthood. BAFTA award-winning broadcasters and vocal coaches Carrie and David Grant joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch to talk about their new book A Very Modern Family. Carrie continued: “David and I have got a phrase in our house, which is ‘fix your face’, which is, think about what you're gonna look like when your child presents with this, that or the other. Make sure you have fixed your face. Otherwise your child will know your judgement.

Carrie and David Grant have an extraordinary family story to tell. They have four children, one of whom is adopted, and all have come with a curveball: mental health challenges, neurodivergence, trans non-binary identities, various sexualities, and they are a mixed-race family, too.It is a reflection of the fact that society is changing faster than most of us can keep up with. The wider concepts of family and community are being deconstructed. There are those who are desperately clinging to the old and those who are desperate for the new to be accepted. How do we hold our families and communities together in unity? How do we create a society where all are included and none are oppressed? He added: “I would say that, in the book, we give lots of guidelines and lots of strategies, but not directions. Because the way that you change something… things have to be malleable to suit your child, in your particular situation, in your family dynamic." David said: “I think one of the things about parenting, even if you're parenting neurotypical kids, is that you're going to encounter situations that you're not prepared for. And you have to learn how to deal with them."

Carrie gave Chris a rundown of their kids, explaining that 28-year-old Carrie is an actor and “one of the stars of Halo, the TV series. And Olive has ADHD and their pronouns are they/them. They’re non-binary.In “A Very Modern Family,” Carrie and David Grant open their hearts to share the trials and triumphs of creating an incredible, diverse family and community. Their multi-intersectional family serves as a beacon of hope and change. Through their personal experiences, they offer profound insights and mindset shifts necessary to forge a more accepting and unified space for all. In A Very Modern Family, Carrie and David share their own familial experiences, while providing you with a deep dive into real life, frequently encountered situations and pertinent, applicable advice. Their openness and solutions-based approach will provide solace, guidance and inspiration for families everywhere.

The next child down is Tylan, who is autistic, and Tylan is in Hollyoaks, and Tylan’s pronouns are he/him.” She added: “They were the first autistic, at the time, girl ever to play an autistic character on UK telly. So that was groundbreaking. I would go like, ‘This is what you do’.... If you put these elements of discipline and structure in, this is the child you get. And of course, it didn't occur to me, children are their own people.” Carrie and David Grant have been regular fixtures on our television screens for decades. They were vocal coaches and judges on Fame Academy, judged the BAFTA award-winning Glee Club and have been part of several BBC primetime entertainment shows. Alongside co-authoring a bestselling vocal coaching book, Carrie has also written for various books on subjects such as mental health, child psychology and autism. For the past ten years they have run a parent support group and Carrie has been involved in several campaigns and Parliamentary white papers across health and education.But hiding in plain sight is a second film exploring a uniquely Irish dysfunction. Because when it comes to surrogacy – which is how the married couple are to have their daughter – the legislation here is a never-never land with few certainties and much guesswork. And then Arlo is 17. Arlo is amazing. Arlo’s at school, in an autism school. And Arlo’s pronouns are they/he, slightly gender-fluid.

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