Graham Poucher is 35 and lives in Morley with his wife Michelle, 36, and three-year-old daughter Liv. Graham is director of Poucher PR and Michelle is an area co-ordinator for the NSPCC.
What are your top tips for getting children to do what you ask?
Striking a deal with them – it’s all about the barter! The serious side is it also teaches them recognition and reward.
What family task takes you the longest?
Getting out of the house, hands down. Gone are the “just nipping out” days.
What’s the weirdest thing your children have done/brought home/done to your house?
Junk models. Or should we say homemade sculptures! A friend one said that instead of keeping them you can just take a picture, lasts forever.
Have your children ever really, really surprised you? How and why?
Yes all the time with her incredible story telling skills. When she adds intonation to her speech just captivates and melts your heart.
What’s the most bizarre thing you have found yourself saying since having kids?
Poo, talking about and encouraged them to poo.
What’s the funniest thing your children have ever said/done?
Pretending her phone’s ringing, answers it and Liv says: “It’s the Prime Minister,” to us, pauses, then adds “no thanks”. Priceless.
Mini moan - what really gets your goat?
People who don’t say please and thank you –and general thoughtlessness. Infuriating.
What’s your favourite family day out?
Going somewhere and experiencing something together for the first time. Museum and attraction visits are always good value, and we have fond memories of places like Xscape and Eureka.
What hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy as a family and separately?
Michelle goes climbing at ROKT and also enjoys pilates. Graham plays flat green bowls and very occasionally works out! Together, it’s all about attractions and museums.
What’s the hardest thing about being a parent?
The constant guilt about not being able to do everything and making sure we do our best and keep her safe.
What’s a typical evening for the grown-ups once the children are in bed?
Catching up on emails/work, going to a sports class or watching a box set together. Veep and True Detective have been recent winners.
What is Leeds’ most family-friendly restaurant and why?
Salvo’s in Headingley. They really put family first, kids’ facilities and menu is spot on and we’ve been going since Liv was a few months old. Toby Carvery in Morley is also a regular for us!
What’s the best thing about weekends and why?
Family time, we both work full time so it’s great to have some fun together and Liv gets so excited. Coffee on a Saturday morning at Oxford Coffee Club Morley has been a bit of a tradition.
What is your most treasured memory?
Almost impossible to answer, but all laying down on the sofa together – quietly – watching Teacup Travels. Those Hollywood moments NEVER happen! Also, watching Star Wars with Liv for the first time.
What’s the number one thing you would change about Leeds?
Well, since we moved here over a decade ago we’ve got most things now! But definitely a mass transport system – tube or super tram. Borderline essential.
What’s the children’s favourite food/meal?
A roast or a curry. Or pizza. Mexican’s good too. Food, just food.
What’s your top penny-pinching tip?
Embrace what’s free – go to the park, the library, enjoy local activities, free museums, children are happy just to play and be engaged with. Walk and wonder.
One family member’s proudest achievement?
Graham being part of the team that bid for and brought the Tour de France to Yorkshire.
What one item can you not live without?
GHD hair straighteners (mostly Michelle!)
What can your children not live without?
Can you also tell me your child’s favourite book and author.
Anything by Julia Donaldson, she’s great. The Gruffalo will always be with Liv.