Philippa Perry is a psychotherapist, artist and writer who has a weekly agony aunt column in the Observer. She has written the only book on parenting that I feel speaks to me, and that I recommend to other people. It's called: 'The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will be Glad That You Did)'. Her big messages are that talking to your children about feelings is key, and that all feelings are acceptable, so don't shut them down. I agreed with her when she said: how well you get on with people is more important than how well you do in your GCSEs.I met up with Philippa (and her mischievous cat Kevin) in mid December at the beautiful Georgian house she shares with her husband, the recently knighted artist, Sir Grayson Perry. We sat in their living room with the fire going, and part way through the conversation she pointed out that the fireplace is a stucco art piece about fertility, made by Philippa herself, when she was trying to get pregnant. 31 years on their daughter Flo, also an artist, has recently illustrated Philippa's graphic novel 'Couch Fiction', about the world of psychotherapy.Philippa shared how, as a child, her nanny had been her most signifiant other, but when she was sent to boarding school aged 4 she never saw her again, which deeply upset her. This experience impacted Philippa's style of parenting, and she didn't want any outside help, retraining as a psychotherapist when her daughter was 18 months old, and only working while her daughter was at school.Today she divides her time between writing and art. She talked about how exciting it is to have, as Virginia Woolf described, a room of one's own, dedicated to creating art. We talked about teaching children to communicate, and when we touched on the subject of sibling rivalry, Philippa got me to do some role-play with her. She showed me how getting the children to brainstorm, to solve a dispute, is so much better than a parent taking what they think is a short cut, and deciding how a quarrel should be resolved. I learned a lot. And at the end of our incredibly informative and helpful chat, I had a proposition for her: "How do you feel about moving into our house for a while...just for a few years...to observe and help us sort everything out...?! Kevin can come too!"Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.